Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, June 01, 2020, 12:16 (186 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: There is no reason to assume that your God could not have designed a mechanism (cellular intelligence) that would enable brains and other organs and organisms to restructure themselves “naturally” and autonomously in response to new requirements. You are against it because it runs contrary to your image of an all-controlling God, not because it is unreasonable in itself. I have no problem with the idea that intelligent instructions come from the genome and are carried out by the rest of the cell or the cell community in an ongoing process of cooperation. Your insistence that what looks like intelligence is in fact automatic is purely a matter of opinion even though you state it as if it were a fact.

DAVID: It is my opinion and I accept it as fact, because I find it much more logical of the two possibilities, as a design theorist.

dhw: Design theory has nothing to do with it. A God who designs an autonomous mechanism for change is no less a designer than a God who designs every change himself. Accepting one’s own opinion as fact is just about as unscientific a principle – not to mention other contexts of human life - as anyone can imagine.

DAVID: A designer with purpose will make sure a design mechanism will follow His guidelines.

See below for your “guidelines”. Your opinion, which you think is a fact, is that your God designed a mechanism for autonomous complexification without his having to dabble, but he could not have designed a mechanism for autonomous expansion without his having to dabble. I asked you why not.

DAVID: My guesses as to how God controls evolution I admit are my guesses. An autonomous mechanism would come with guidelines. Autonomy for me implies use it or don't use it as you wish. My God would not allow just any possible variety of result and drive evolution off His desired course.

Your guidelines turn out to be a 3.8-year-old computer programme for targeted brain expansion – not to mention bee leaf-biting – or personal dabbling, i.e. the exact opposite of autonomy. If we focus purely on brain expansion, let me repeat my proposal, which has to be in general terms, as I‘m no expert on the brain, and am also extremely reluctant to restrict any one aspect of brain activity to any one of the cell communities that make up the brain.

Pre-sapiens expansion took place in those areas of the brain that needed to expand their capacity for thinking (materialist view, inapplicable to dualists who attribute thought to the soul), gathering information and giving material expression to thoughts/concepts/ ideas/ aspirations/desires and all the other non-material aspects of the mind-brain interaction. Now I’m sure you’re not trying to tell me that your God wanted to direct all the individual thoughts etc. of all the individual pre-sapiens homos and hominins, so what do you see as the threat to his “desired course” if he invented a mechanism that autonomously expanded the brain in the manner I have described and bolded? Please bear in mind that these processes have now been taken over largely by complexification in the modern brain, and this apparently is an autonomous mechanism, since you don’t seem to think your God dabbles with it.


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