Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, June 12, 2020, 11:57 (497 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your parallelism is an enormous stretch of a very weak theory, just because bacterial membranes can change their characteristics lightly but the bacteria are really unchanged.

dhw: You still persist in ignoring the bold and focusing solely on bacteria. Once more: bacteria have a simple form of memory. Bacteria are single cells. I propose that once single cells began to merge and cooperate, simple forms became more complex – e.g. the simple form of memory evolved into more complex forms of memory.

DAVID: I know your bottom-up theory. Complex memory ability simply appeared, because cells can do it!

No, it didn’t simply appear. Cells have memory, and by combining and cooperating, they increased the complexity of that memory. Theistic version: instead of your God preprogramming or dabbling each advance in complexity, he gave cells the ability (intelligence) to do their own combining and cooperating.

DAVID: How does the baby's new skull size tell the mother's pelvis to enlarge?

dhw: It doesn’t! The cell communities that form the mother’s pelvis find themselves confronted with a new problem – a bigger skull. And as all cell communities do when confronted with new requirements, they adapt or die (and no doubt many do die before the process is completed)! You seem to think that the skull and the pelvis have to expand simultaneously in anticipation of the problem! That is not how adaptation works in any context.

DAVID: Woolly thinking! It has to be simultaneous! With a bigger baby head arriving, the pelvis has to be bigger at the same time! The father's genes played a role, but didn't tell Mom's genes.

We have no idea how gradual this process was, but I am suggesting that until the pelvis had adapted to the new size of skull, there may well have been lots of dead babies and mothers. That is how adaptation works: one change demands others.

DAVID: God has given all organisms the ability to learn and memorize a huge library of antibodies as infections occur.

dhw: Thank you for this confirmation that your God has given them the ability to create the library for themselves, as opposed to obeying instructions set out 3.8 billion years ago or directly dabbled as and when new problems occur. The ability to do this for themselves is clearly indicative of autonomous intelligence.

DAVID: Don't thank me for your distortion. The immune system has all the God-given instructions it needs to create this library.

Originally you wrote: “God gave all early immune systems, animal and man the ability to develop a library of responses.” I would suggest that this means he gave them the autonomous ability to create or develop the library, and not that the cells of the immune system obeyed 3.8-billion-year-old instructions or were dabbled with “as infections occurred” and automatically held on to each instruction it had miraculously chosen from the programme or been supplied with via a dabble.

DAVID: Your proposal is that the erectus brain designed the sapiens brain. Really?

dhw: No, my proposal is precisely the same as your proposal for the immune system: that the existing cell communities develop a system or “library” as they learn. Each new infection is a new book. Each new experience is an addition to the “library” of the brain. […] The cell communities of the erectus brain did not design the cell communities of the sapiens brain: the sapiens brain emerged from the process of complexification and expansion of the erectus brain, and the sapiens cell communities continue (vastly) to expand their “library” through complexification (which is so efficient that some volumes can even be discarded).

DAVID: You are conflating the functions of two very different systems…

Not the functions! The process of development!

DAVID: ….and then miraculously brains can expand on their own without worry about the bony problems which simply disappear into the mist of subterfuge.

What does that mean? There is no miracle. Instead of your God simultaneously expanding brain, skull and mother’s pelvis in advance of any need, we have the brain expanding to meet new demands, the skull expanding to accommodate the expanded brain, and the pelvis expanding to accommodate the larger skull – all over an unknown period of time and no doubt with plenty of mishaps on the way.

DAVID: Smart design, smart cells, all require a smart designer who makes cells look intelligent.

Or a smart designer who gives cells an autonomous intelligence to work out their own designs (theistic version).

DAVID: dhw has questioned why so many pre-human varieties appeared during evolution. The answer is obvious. The varied experience by all the different populations combined many helpful genes into the sapiens genome.

So we have your God dabbling or preprogramming the changes in various brains and immune systems (since you now reject the idea of cells being able to develop their own library), and specially designing each of these human species - including those that became extinct before sapiens arrived - dabbling or preprogramming different attributes into them, and then preprogramming or dabbling a selection of those attributes into the only species he actually wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. Is that correct?

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