Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, May 22, 2020, 11:33 (76 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.

dhw: We are not talking about speciation but about two different processes: enlargement and complexification (usually a potent argument for design, but not here apparently).

DAVID: Of course we are discussing speciation. Each enlarged-brain Hominin is a new species.

How does that prove that your God had to dabble enlargement but doesn’t have to dabble complexification?

dhw: 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?

DAVID: God designed each new brain with the ability to complexify.

Which it does autonomously. So he designed a mechanism allowing autonomous complexification. Why then could he not have designed a mechanism allowing for autonomous enlargement?

dhw: […] 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: Brains are not muscles and complexification is simply a characteristic of the brain, as expansion is a characteristic of muscles. You again have misunderstood or twisted what I give as examples.

So why did you compare complexification of the brain to expansion of the muscles? Muscles don’t complexify, and the complexifying brain doesn’t expand! But I’ll tell you what: muscles (which are also cell communities) expand with repeated exercise, and I have proposed that brains expanded with the mental equivalent of repeated exercise in the form of “hard thinking”. Now how’s that for a comparison? And I’d still like an answer to the bolded question above.

DAVID: How do the various bony cell committees know what to do on their own?

DAVID: I suggest that the bony cells know what to do is because – as many scientists believe – cells are intelligent.

DAVID: Pure wishful thinking. Cells are instructed from above.

I really don’t think you should be accusing scientists like Shapiro, McClintock, Margulis, Buehler and the many others I listed some time back, of basing their conclusions on wishful thinking. I accept that there is no proof that cellular intelligence is advanced enough to have engineered what Shapiro calls “evolutionary novelty” – which is why his “natural genetic engineering” is a theory and not a fact. As for your own theory, what is “above”? First it was germ cells, then it was DNA – all part of the cell community – but presumably what you really mean is a 3.8-billion-year computer programme for every “evolutionary” novelty in life’s history, including brain expansion, or direct hands-on divine dabbling, or a mixture of both.

DAVID: But they [Shapiro’s words] are pure unproved theory as to how evolution might advance naturally.

And the proof of your theory is…..?


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