Brain expansion: different theories about rapid expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, August 23, 2020, 13:09 (37 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: And so you still haven’t given me a single reason why the same autonomous (perhaps God-given) mechanism cannot possibly be responsible for pre-sapiens expansions.

DAVID: God in charge makes all final decisions. From my point of view, an automatic inventive mechanism needs very extensive guidelines to make all the required decisions about evolutionary advances. Much too cumbersome to design. Easier to design advances directly. I've expressed all of this before, remember?

dhw: Your “guidelines” consist only of 3.8-billion-year-old computer programmes and direct dabbling. Remember? I don’t know why you think it’s “easier” for your God to design every evolutionary advance, life form, econiche, lifestyle, strategy and natural wonder in the history of life on Earth than for him to give organisms the intelligence to do their own designing. Meanwhile, please grant my request bolded above. Remember, this mechanism, according to you, did NOT require guidelines. God was not involved.

DAVID: I've answered before. I've designed and know all the considerations are so convoluted, they require direct thought, not a massive compendium of instructions.

According to you, all undabbled evolutionary changes, not to mention lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders, from bacteria through to humans, were run by a 3.8-billion-year “compendium of instructions”. And according to you, the sapiens brain’s convolutions of complexification, minor enlargements, reshaping and shrinkage proceeded independently of your God’s involvement. Why do you think early brain expansions were more convoluted than all these processes and therefore required a divine dabble?

Under: Brain expansion:our brain's unique differences from apes
dhw: Nobody would query the fact that our brains are different from those of apes, and our cognitive faculties are far more advanced. Where you and I differ is in your insistence that all the differences were installed in preparation for future requirements, whereas I propose that they evolved in response to requirements as these arose. […]Furthermore, the very notion that brain change precedes improved cognitive faculties bolsters the case for materialism versus dualism, though you claim to be a dualist.

DAVID: You always misinterpret my dualism. The soul can only achieve complex thought if the brain it is given by God allows that degree of complexity.

Dealt with over and over again. In the modern brain, if we reject materialism, it is the thoughts from the dualist’s soul that CAUSE complexifications, reshaping, shrinkage and even minor expansions, i.e. the brain RESPONDS to the soul’s new ideas and requirements and does not change in anticipation of them. There is no reason to suppose that the process was reversed in the past for major expansions.

DAVID: Read the new entry on language. The anatomic capacities/attributes of body and brain allowed us to develop language on our own but only because of the capacities we received given by God.

DAVID: A totally different view completely opposing Chomsky:
https://aeon.co/essays/the-evidence-is-in-there-is-no-language-instinct?utm_source=Aeon...

Thank you for this. The article fits in perfectly with my own opposition to Chomsky repeated several times on this forum, the latest being on August 6 under “Human evolution; Egnor on Chomsky”. As for your own comment, “We were given the physical attributes to develop language without instinct”, my proposal as above is that we developed the physical attributes as a result of the effort to meet new requirements. The article suggests that “the most profound spur on the road to speech would have been the development of our instinct for cooperation”, which makes perfect sense, since cooperation requires communication.

xxxx

DAVID: You have faith in design. Remember!

dhw: I would not call it faith. I have three separate theories concerning the origin of life’s complexities: 1) a designing God; 2) chance as the power that first assembled the intelligent mechanism which over billions of years has designed all of life’s complexities; 3) intelligence as an innate quality of materials (panpsychism) which eventually produced the mechanism that has designed all of life’s complexities. I do not have faith in any of these theories.

DAVID: But you've admitted design keeps you agnostic. Only a mind can design. Chance is a very weak choice, and as for panpsychism, it is a pitiful substitute for a thinking mind. What is its source? Magic?

dhw: We have been over this time and again. What is the source of the thinking mind you call God? Magic? Don’t say “first cause”. My other two theories are also “first cause”. And I have no faith in any of these three theories.

David: But you admit a first cause is necessary.

Why “admit”? I’ve never opposed the idea that there has to be a first cause.


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