Brain expansion: different theories about rapid expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, September 12, 2020, 12:19 (18 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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: First of all I am writing from a firm belief in God, while you try to view evolution as entirely natural.

As an agnostic, I allow for God as the inventor of the autonomous mechanism which you yourself agree enables humans to react “naturally” (i.e. without God’s intervention) to all the demands made on the brain.

DAVID: Secondly, all of your so-called logical reasons God might have acted as He did are human-level reasons and at that level are logical.

Since you and I are human, and you agree that your God probably has thought patterns and other attributes similar to ours, I really don’t know why you think that human logic is to be ignored in favour of a theory that defies human logic.

DAVID: Adler's arguments about our difference are convincing to me we are God's primary purpose.

“Primary”? You have repeatedly said we are his one and only purpose, and when challenged to name other purposes, have stuck to the argument that every directly designed and now extinct life form, econiche etc. was “part of the goal of evolving humans”. And I have repeatedly said that I have nothing against Adler’s logic, but it is your effort to combine that with other basic premises not covered by Adler that makes your theory illogical.

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?

dhw: 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.

DAVID: You have offered no new requirements. All that is present is a new-sized brain with no new advances in life-style in a pleasant climate.

How can I offer new requirements when nobody in the whole world knows what has caused brain expansions? And how on earth do you know that the change of climate did NOT trigger new requirements? Do you think your Moroccans should have kept a diary? Have you read newspapers from 315,000 years ago recording the temperature? Meanwhile, what evidence do you have that your God operated on a group of Moroccans to enlarge their brains, skulls and pelvises, and what was the point if they and their descendants then hung around for 280,000 years doing nothing with their new heads? "Are you blind to stasis now"?

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

dhw: 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 it not feasible that the pre-sapiens brain also reacted autonomously to the demands placed on it? As for where the brain came from, […] 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.

DAVID: OK. You are just adjusting your seat on the agnostic fence. I'm arguing only for a designer God and don't believe nature can do what happened on its own. I see the complexity of the complexification mechanism as requiring a proper designer.

I am not adjusting my seat. I am an agnostic because I can’t make up my mind whether God exists or not, and so any theory must include the possibility that God exists. I have not argued that nature can “do what happened on its own”. My argument is that your God may have designed the mechanism which you agree enables the brain to react autonomously to all the demands placed on it. I propose that the mechanism is the intelligent cell. Why do you think the designer of cellular intelligence would not be a “proper designer”?


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