Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, May 21, 2020, 14:13 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Why is it “weak” for God to invent a mechanism for natural expansion but not for natural complexification?

DAVID: Apples and eggs. Complexification does not change a species as brain expansion does. God speciates each step. You can't seem to tell the difference. Complexification is a process given to each stage of brain in hominin/homo evolution, previously stated by me over and over.

We are not talking about speciation but about two different processes: enlargement and complexification (usually a potent argument for design, but not here apparently). I’m still wearing my theist’s hat: do you think that the brain’s ability to complexify all by itself came about spontaneously through natural processes, or through God’s hands-on design? If it’s the latter, why could he not also have hands-on-designed the brain to expand all by itself? You told us complexification was “no different than enlarging muscles with repeated exercise” and also gave us the kidney example. Why do you think complexification can be compared to muscles expanding with repeated exercise, but expanding brains can’t?

DAVID: You are ignoring the science. Those cooperating cells in different organs were forced to be that way by DNA instructions. Cells don't cooperate with DNA. They are specifically told what to do in forming their organs and you haven't gotten rid of the bony issues[…]. For a new species to appear, DNA must be changed beyond epigenetics, which cells might suggest. […]

dhw: Back to basics: Do you deny that the brain consists of cell communities which cooperate with one another, that the cell community of the skull must expand – like muscles expanding through exercise – to accommodate the enlarged brain, and the cell community of the birth canal must expand to accommodate the enlarged skull? And in your theory, do you think your God DOESN’T reorganize the cell communities in such a way that they work together?

DAVID: How do the various bony cell committees know what to do on their own? Answer, they don't. Newly instructed DNA/stem cells tell them how and what to form. Your overwhelming desire for brilliant cells to get rid of God doesn't fit the science. But, thank you. Of course God instructs every part of a body in new species through changes in DNA. Nothing natural.

My bolded question remains unanswered. The various bony cell communities contain DNA! What do you mean by DNA/stem cells being newly instructed? Three days ago it was the germ cells instructing the stem cells, then it was DNA issuing instructions, and now DNA and stem cells are being instructed. By what? I don't know which part of the cell community runs which, but I suggest that the bony cells know what to do is because – as many scientists believe – cells are intelligent.

DAVID: Your imagined degree of cell intelligence is a gross extrapolation from what Shapiro proposed with no advances in that area since his book.

dhw: There is no gross extrapolation. You’ve forgotten the list of quotes from your own book, which calls Shapiro’s “an amazing documentation of all the work in the epigenetic field” (p. 146): CELLS are cognitive, sentient beings with “sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities”, and “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” Please note the word “novelty”.

DAVID: I fully respect Shapiro and his theory as a great contribution. In this website I quoted his careful presentation to the Royal society which is not as stretched as you constantly want it to be.

The address did not contradict the quotes above. And the above is not a “stretch” – those are his words!

DAVID: Your desires are not the truth of where evolutionary theory sits as of now. Invent all you want. I will constantly reject it.

Do you think evolutionary theory as of now sits with your God preprogramming or dabbling every past and present “evolutionary novelty” plus lifestyles and natural wonders in order to design us? Does it as of now sit with chance mutations? I couldn’t care less where it “sits of now”. Please stick to the logic of the arguments.

QUOTE: "The gene system must have the physical freedom to specify itself, as well as any variation of itself."

dhw: I’d be grateful...if you would explain the implications of the above quote, which seems to me to confirm that the gene system has the potential to vary itself.

DAVID: I've clarified the statement and you hopefully keep trying to subvert it to your unreal realm of thought. DNA does not change itself other than epigenetic marks for adaptations within species. I know what the author meant and described it by definitions.

I merely asked for clarification, not for your views on what DNA can and can’t do. But if it actually means that the gene system can’t vary itself, then of course I shall forbear from quoting it!

DAVID: And please accept the concept of information behind or organizing all processes of life. I know you fight it because of the implications for a designing mind.

No need to reopen this thread, except to say that my objection has absolutely nothing to do with design and everything to do with inadequate and totally misleading and confusing use of language.

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