Brain expansion: different theories about rapid expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, August 27, 2020, 14:09 (33 days ago) @ David Turell

David: My beliefs are facts to me.

dhw: And there was me thinking you were a scientist.

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!

DAVID: Dawkins can't think.

Dawkins would say the same about someone who made such statements as “All brain expansions were designed by God who speciates all”, and “My beliefs are facts to me.” Both of you are perfectly capable of thinking, but I wish the two of you would be a little less presumptuous and acknowledge that your opinions are not facts and should not be stated as such.

dhw: ….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.

DAVID: 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.

I don’t understand your refusal to acknowledge the above: that what we see is “complexification, reshaping, shrinkage and minor expansion IN RESPONSE to new requirements.” We have agreed that shrinkage is simply the result of cells becoming redundant owing to the enhanced efficiency of complexification. I agree with you completely that real theories should involve a range of related considerations. I have just given you the related considerations of how the brain works now, bearing in mind that pre-sapiens brains also involved complexification and different shapes. You ignore all these related considerations and make a “unipolar jump”: an unknown and eternal and all-powerful intelligence we call “God” must have done it.


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