Brain expansion: different theories about rapid expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, August 29, 2020, 11:50 (420 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Why could the system he devised for autonomous complexification etc. (i.e. with no divine involvement) not have also engineered pre-sapiens expansion?

DAVID: Engineering pre-sapiens expansion means, in my mind, the obvious enlargement but also the designer's anticipation of how that enlargement will be used, as the users learn to used it. But think about it, God does not dictate to use it or how to put our brain to work. God did not tell use to invent cricket or other games. We invented the piano, He didn't. Our brain has the adaptability to react to any and all physical and mental and emotional demands we place on it. It is God given. I except no Darwinian-lite theory such as yours that through unmet natural demands enlargement is somehow driven. All hominin/home enlargements are in anticipation of what might be achieved/accomplished by the new species.

“The designer’s anticipation of how that brain will be used” can only mean that your God anticipated our invention of cricket and the piano and our reaction to any and all physical and mental and emotional demands. The same would apply to the brains of all our ancestors. So according to your theory, when he performed his operations on them and us, he also gazed into his crystal ball to see what they and we would come up with.

The key here, though, is “God does not dictate to use it or how to put our brain to work”. Exactly. What he did (if he exists) is give us and our ancestors the means to do our own independent, autonomous thinking. All the brains performed the same functions, and whatever the mechanism may be, the brain - as you so rightly observe - REACTS to all the demands put on it by our ancestors and by us. This is confirmed by studies of the modern brain: it changes as we REACT. And so it is perfectly feasible to argue that pre-sapiens changes, including enlargement, were all reactions to whatever demands were made on the brain. New demands would have resulted in complexification until the brain needed greater capacity, and so the same mechanism would have supplied the new cells. For any theist, of course the assumption will be that God designed the original mechanism. (I join Shapiro in proposing that the mechanism for all evolutionary developments is cellular intelligence.) For your particular belief, it seems that God has to perform an operation to provide the additional cells so that the same autonomous mechanism can continue to perform the same autonomous functions!

Under “Jumping genes and rapid expansion”:

QUOTES: "The researchers identified two KZFPs as specific only to primates, and found that they are expressed in specific regions of the human developing and adult brain. (David’s bold)

"'These results reveal how two proteins that appeared only recently in evolution have contributed to shape the human brain by facilitating the co-option of transposable elements, these virus-like entities that have been remodeling our ancestral genome since the dawn of times," says Didier Trono."

DAVID: Why did these special proteins suddenly appear and help human brain expansion by attaching to specific parts of transposable DNA? Chance is a very unlikely answer. Looks planned by a designer to me.

Nobody knows how all these evolutionary processes work, but the component parts of the mechanism - the transposable elements - “have been remodelling our ancestral genome since the dawn of time”, i.e. the same mechanism has shaped the whole of evolution, not just the brain. I agree that chance is very unlikely, and my own proposal (cellular intelligence, which would organize the transposable elements)) includes the possibility of God as the designer. The issue between you and me in these discussions is therefore not chance versus design or whether a designer exists, but HOW he might have proceeded if he does exist. In the case of brain expansion, you insist that he dabbled. I propose that he designed the mechanism which continued to function without his interference, as explained above.

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