Brain expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 07, 2020, 22:04 (30 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The problem for you autonomous method is the required planning needed to provide special areas for special tasks, such as Hippocampus for memory and then specialized tracks to the temporal area with specialized regions for defining visual objects. I don't think these areas an tracts were placed by chance. Autonomous would have had to know exactly what it was doing in advance.

dhw: What you have described applies to all brains, not just human, and you have cleverly switched the subject from the mechanism for the expansion of the human brain to the origin of the brain itself. So God must have dabbled with every brain that ever existed, in order to ensure that one part was devoted to memory and other parts to defining visual objects. The question is important, though, so I’ll follow your attempt to divert attention away from our subject. I suggest – theistic version – that the whole process began with your God’s creation of intelligent single cells (e.g. bacteria). Memory is just one example:

Bacteria have memory, like brain neurons - The Limited Times
newsrnd.com/tech/2020-05-07-bacteria-have-memory--like-brain-neurons--.Sk7K9V-…

QUOTE: Bacteria also have memory: those that form the very thin films adhering to surfaces called biofilms can in fact keep for hours the 'memory' of a light stimulus to which they have been exposed. The mechanism, which has striking parallels with the more sophisticated brain neurons, could open up the development of living computers made of cells.

My proposal, then: As single intelligent cells joined together in intelligent cell communities, they produced ever more “sophisticated” forms of memory, object recognition etc., much as scientists today build on the discoveries of yesterday’s scientists.

Now please tell us why a God who can organize autonomous complexification is incapable of organizing autonomous expansion.

From the article itself:

"The researchers discovered the 'memory' of the bacteria by irradiating a Bacillus subtilis biofilm with light in order to draw the symbol of their university: the light stimulus altered the opening and closing of the channels of the cell membrane from which they enter and exit electrically charged ions, thus ending up changing the membrane potential. "When we disrupted bacteria with light, their cells retained their memory by responding differently from then on"

Note the bold. Membrane potential is a very potent characteristic of membranes and they changed it and it persisted to create the memory. The article is lots of hype, nothing more. The other possibility is membranes may contain rhodopsin molecules, not discussed in the article. You have brought up the simplest of complexification and tried to equate that to working brain neurons and their complex networks and assigned regions of work.

DAVID: […] Denisovans adapted to high altitude though attributes they had, and Neanderthals provided certain immunity characteristics, all covered before quite clearly. These autonomous mechanisms worked in highly controlled fashion.

dhw: Your usual effort to dodge the question. What do you mean by “they had”? Did your God dabble them or not? If he didn’t, then those attributes would have developed through an autonomous mechanism. I asked which you thought it was, and you answered “can happen either way”. Which two ways were you referring to? An autonomous mechanism that produces a functioning attribute will of course work in highly controlled fashion, but if it is autonomous, it is not controlled by anything other than its own intelligence – i.e. without your God dabbling!

DAVID: Adaptation to high altitude involves increasing primarily the population of red blood cells by adding methylation to the genome as an epigenetic modification, an attribute we all have. God has provided this so He didn't dabble high altitude adaptations.

dhw: God has provided what? You have chosen this example, which according to you proves that the adaptations which were passed on from pre-sapiens to sapiens were not dabbled but were the product of an autonomous mechanism. If God created a mechanism for the autonomous production of different attributes, and you yourself have insisted that these attributes account for there being different species, then perhaps we have a blueprint for all speciation: cell communities respond to, adapt to, cope with, and perhaps even exploit different conditions and thus develop different attributes.

Did you read what I wrote? All humans living at altitude can increase their red cell population. I assume the Denisovans genetically had a stronger mechanism, epigenetic change nothing more. Neanderthals with different immune experiences provide some protections for us though interbreeding. No special cell committees involved.


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