Brain expansion: different theories about rapid expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 17:44 (34 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I use scientific findings as facts upon which to base opinions.

dhw: That’s more like it! Alarm bells start ringing when people state their opinions as if they were facts. At the risk of becoming a bore, I like to quote the following as a prime example: “Natural selection not only explains the whole of life; it also raises our consciousness to the power of science to explain how organized complexity can emerge from simple beginnings without any deliberate guidance.” (R. Dawkins) If that raises your hackles, perhaps you will think twice before you state your own opinions as if they were facts!

Dawkins can't think

DAVID: You always skip over the fact that larger brains are found with better artifacts. I interpret that as meaning the arrival of larger brains allowed the invention of the artifacts and better brains must appear before the artifacts are made.

dhw: I have never skipped over it. We used artefacts as a concrete example of the process I propose, which is that the smaller brain has the idea, and implementation of the idea causes the brain to expand. (You remember now?) And so of course new artefacts and expanded brains go together. There may well be improvements to these over time, with the same sized brain able to implement the improved concept, but then eventually this brain can’t cope with another new requirement, and so once again it has to expand. And you still haven’t given me a reason why your God should have to step in for each expansion when the mechanism for brain change in response to requirements was already installed.

DAVID: Brain change within an existing brain that has the ability to modify what exists does not at all imply that the brain can add large portions of new brain expansion, remembering average expansion were 200 cc. Remodeling is not expansion. My God steps in for all speciations.

dhw: You criticized me for “skipping” the artefacts argument. I have never done so. In answer to the above, nobody knows what caused the brain expansions, but my point – for the umpteenth time – is that since we do know the brain makes such changes as complexification, reshaping, shrinkage and minor expansions IN RESPONSE to new requirements, there is no reason to suppose that major expansions were not produced by the same mechanism. Bald statements that “all brain expansions were designed by God”, and “God steps in for all speciations” do not provide any reason for assuming that past brain changes were not produced in the same manner as present brain changes.

We can only use what we know. All we see is brain shrinkage from the complexification process. Your expansion addition to the process is a hopeful extrapolation of pure supposition. I believe God speciates for the real reason that new designs are so complicated. Real theories should involve a range of related considerations, not a unipolar jump in judgement.

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