Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 15:39 (493 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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.

DAVID: The so-called memory is not brain-based memory, but electro-mechanical changes in a bacterial outer membrane. […]

dhw: They never claimed that it was our sort of memory! They were demonstrating that bacteria had memory, and there were parallels to our neurons! I used this simply as an example of how simple may have advanced to complex as outlined in my proposal above.

DAVID: Your brilliant cell committees! Neurons are not bacterial membranes, but are highly complex designed cells for a purposeful function not limited to membrane activities As described in the Ellis piece today.

You persist in misreading my post. Nobody said that neurons were bacterial membranes. But the article says there are parallels, and from that I have extrapolated my proposal, now in bold.

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

DAVID: Requires exact design planning of parts( regions and connecting tracts of the newly expanded brain. Complexification is a much more simple process of reorganization of what is currently present. […]

dhw: Human brain expansion did not result in new parts. Our fellow animals have the same parts with the same functions as ours. […]I don’t understand why you think the cell communities that make up the different parts of the brain can respond autonomously to new requirements by reorganizing what already exists (complexification), but can’t possibly have responded autonomously to new requirements by adding to what already exists (expansion).

DAVID: Same old problem: new brain size, new skull size, new material pelvic size, all coordinated, and you have never really answered how the different cell committees in each different part of the problem coordinated.

Same old effort to dodge the argument by raising a different question, which in fact I have answered over and over again. Cell communities respond to new requirements. If the cell communities of the brain expand, then of course the cell communities of the skull must respond. And if the skull has enlarged, then of course the pelvis communities must respond. There may well have been major problems during the transitional phases – who knows? But without adaptation to new requirements, organisms will die!

dhw: So now we have autonomous adaptations, e.g. to altitude, but the immune system was a dabble. But the immune system itself functions through a process of ongoing adaptations, as you’ve just described. It constantly adapts itself to cope with whatever hostile forces attack it. And as such, no doubt it has complexified (apparently an autonomous process) as time has confronted it with more and more problems to tackle. And why have you singled out the human immune system anyway? As with the brain, our fellow animals also have immune systems! Did your God dabble those too before specially dabbling ours?

DAVID: God gave all early immune systems, animal and man the ability to develop a library of responses. Without it no advanced life would exist.

I would say the ability to develop a library of responses demands intelligence. In previous posts, if I remember rightly, you had your God providing the library itself – this in fact is what I assume you refer to generally as your God’s instructions. This is a most welcome shift of position.

DAVID: God designed each attribute into humans. There never was a separate attribution design mechanism.

dhw: What I’m suggesting is that if your God created a mechanism for autonomous adaptation, the same mechanism could also be responsible for what you call attributes – and indeed it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two, since both are so dependent on the interaction between cell communities and the environment. I’m afraid I really can’t accept the authority with which you phrase your concluding statement. Opinion should never be stated as if it were fact.

DAVID: My faith makes me take what God provides as fact. You are correct, we must be able to adapt to changing conditions. Adaptability is what God builds into various biological systems.

Thank you. Your authoritative statement that “God designed each attribute. There never was a separate attribution design mechanism” is not a fact. The question then is whether he supplies all the instructions for all the adaptations, or he gave organisms the intelligence to design their own adaptations and attributes, as above. In the case of the brain, you continue to support the idea of an autonomous mechanism for complexification, and you reject the idea of the same mechanism for expansion, although both entail the response of the brain to changing requirements. I find this illogical.

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