Brain expansion: different theories about rapid expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, September 21, 2020, 10:33 (231 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The issue is you avoid God's role and constantly propose naturalistic mechanisms which at times masquerade as partially from God, i.e., He provides self-help mechanisms rather than direct design.

The issue is that you have a fixed notion of God’s role, and I offer an alternative. If God exists, then you propose direct design and I propose self-help mechanisms which he designed. There is no “masquerade”. Meanwhile, once more: you have agreed that the modern brain complexifies and also adds cells without any intervention by God. So why is not feasible that the same process applied to earlier brains?

DAVID: Living brains cannot tell us how speciation occurred naturally, especially when I add the bony issues from father, mother and baby as contributions to the problems. You blithely assume cellular intelligence handled it easily. I say the evidence indicates design by God is required.

dhw: […] I don’t know why you slip in these derogatory adverbs - “blithely”, “easily” - and I don’t assume anything. Nobody knows how or why the brain expanded, but it’s common sense that the skull and the mother’s pelvis would have had to adapt to the new size. I agree with you completely that the evidence indicates design, but I also believe that an all-powerful God would be perfectly capable of designing a mechanism that would enable the cell communities to do their own designing. (See below for God's non-intervention)

DAVID: Same approach with God-lite control of advances.

You are simply taking it for granted that your theory is correct and God personally designed everything. You do not invalidate my reasoning or strengthen your own argument by inventing a derogatory description of God. Mine is simply a different interpretation of his motives and methods, and you have agreed that it fits in perfectly with life’s history. […]

DAVID: […] Not very different from God doing it directly.

dhw: Except that you have your God doing it before it’s required, whereas the cells would do it because it’s required. In my theory, the complexification mechanism and the expansion mechanism are one and the same: cellular intelligence. The cell communities complexify until they find that the new requirements (whatever they may be) can only be met by adding more cells. This is clearly what happened with the hippocampus (without God’s intervention), and there is no reason why the same thing should not have happened in earlier times. What is “contorted”?

DAVID: your thought avoids all the discussion of the issue of stasis after enlargements.

We have dealt with stasis over and over again. It is not an issue. In my theory, after new requirements had necessitated the initial expansion, there was a period when there were no more new requirements. This occurred after every expansion and it took sapiens approx. 280,000 years (short compared to some other hominids and homos) before new requirements caused further brain changes. The only oddity lies in your own theory: why did God expand the brain 280,000 years before it needed to be expanded? We’ve been over all this, and again you are avoiding the question of why the modern process which is independent of your God’s involvement might not also have been at work in earlier brains.

dhw: […] since the history of the brain is that of an organ whose cell communities complexified and expanded to their present state of complexification and minor expansion, which you agree functions without your God’s intervention, I see no reason to assume that earlier cell communities did not do the same. And yes again, their intelligence may well have come from your God.

DAVID: Once again we disagree about the qualities of God's personality. God will not do it through the agency of cells own actions.

How do you know?

DAVID: You have forgotten the error discussion.

I wish I could.

DAVID: God cannot allow cell advances on their own when errors do occur. That is why in the past I mentioned slight variations from His evolutionary plans (mild errors) could possibly slip through, on his allowance of it. I think not, but it is a question to be raised and addressed.

According to your initial theory, the evolutionary cell advances WERE the errors. Remember? They changed the course of evolution. He couldn’t prevent them, but he allowed them to go through if he liked them, and you were all in favour of chance until it was pointed out that this made you a Darwinian. Then the “errors” became slight variations, and now you’re not even sure that even these occurred. I don’t know why you’ve bothered to raise the subject since now there is nothing of importance to be addressed, and it does not even begin to answer the bolded question in my first entry above, and repeated throughout my post.

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