Brain expansion: different theories about rapid expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, September 11, 2020, 13:54 (18 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I approach thinking about God from every aspect we can use to draw as broad a concept as I can. That is why we disagree about Him. I get the sense you pick and choose in a biased way.

dhw: In the context of evolution generally, you offer us one fixed belief, the component parts of which cannot be fitted together logically. I offer a variety of alternative explanations which you agree are logical, and all of which entail the possibility of your God as the creator. (I am an agnostic.) In the context of brain expansion, I offer an alternative to your fixed belief, while acknowledging that it is only a theory. Which of these two approaches would you say is more indicative of bias?

DAVID: You offer a purely humanized (biased) version of God. My reason simply uses His creations as explanation. If it exists He wanted it for His own reasons, no inventions on my part.

Re evolution: I offer various alternative versions of your purposeful God, to explain why he might have created what he created. You accept that they are all logical, and that God probably has patterns of thought and other attributes similar to ours. You offer one version, based on fixed, non-factual (i.e. invented) premises, to which you adhere with total rigidity, despite their illogicality as a combination. I don’t know why you think my approach is the one that is biased. Re brain expansion: you stick rigidly to your belief that your God performed an operation on hominid and homo brains, skulls and pelvises to make them expand. I propose an alternative theory that older brains may have functioned in the same way as modern brains, by complexifying and expanding through the same autonomous mechanism which the theist can attribute to God. Why do you think my theory is more biased that your rigid belief?

DAVID: As usual the bold does not fit history: the new-sized fossil skulls, when found are accompanied by new improved artifacts. You try to make the point the artifacts might have appeared as the brains were still enlarging. But the Moroccan sapiens of 315,000 years ago offer nothing to support that until 260,000 years later!!!

dhw: This is becoming silly. Read the bold! “The brain expanded when unknown new requirements were fulfilled.” Look at what follows, as examples of new requirements: “e.g. new ideas, ways of life, changes of environment”. I didn't even mention artefacts, but earlier we took them as a concrete example, because in some cases, as you say, the new-sized fossil skulls were accompanied by new artefacts, thus providing possible evidence that these were the “new idea” which could only be implemented by adding new cells. But the cause is UNKNOWN. If we knew it, there would be no debate.

DAVID: What is silly is ignoring the facts the Moroccans did not change lifestyle, had no new artifacts, and the opinion is given in the literature that their appearance was due to the climate allowing them to appear. Where are the new ideas? You are blind to 'stasis' now?

When I say the cause is unknown, I mean the cause is unknown. But if there was a change in the climate (or the Moroccans had migrated from a different climate), that would certainly trigger new requirements. Many thanks for providing a possible cause that supports my theory. What do you mean by “blind to stasis”? Once the brain had met the new requirements by expanding, there were no more new requirements until a sudden rush of new ideas approx. 35,000 years ago.

dhw: Now please offer me one good reason why the autonomous mechanism which enables the modern brain to adapt to new requirements by complexifying and adding a few new cells could not possibly have complexified and added a lot of new cells in earlier brains, also in response to new requirements.

DAVID: My answer is God enlarged the brain and had the complexification mechanism built in. Where did your version of the brain come from?

But we have agreed that the autonomous complexification mechanism must already have existed in pre-sapiens brains, and since modern brains are known to add a few cells to meet specific requirements, why do you exclude the possibility that in former times the same mechanism could have added lots of cells to meet specific requirements? After all, you yourself have told us that the brain has an autonomous “adaptability to react to any and all physical and mental and emotional demands we place on it.” Why is not feasible that the pre-sapiens brain also reacted autonomously to the demands placed on it? As for where the brain came from, you are now expanding the discussion to the whole of evolution, which of course we’ve already done above, thanks to your accusation of bias. But you know perfectly well that my proposal (not rigidly fixed belief) for the origin of all organs and species is that intelligent cells form the communities of which all multicellular life consists, and your God may have been the designer of cellular intelligence.


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