Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, August 29, 2021, 14:32 (352 days ago) @ dhw

Part Two

Current science: overenthusiasic interpretations
DAVID: His main point, discussed here many times is that breeding for improvement reaches endpoints beyond which only deterioration occurs. Secondly, more bad mutations occur naturally than good ones. So how did evolution go, naturally, from bacteria to humans? The implied answer is not naturally.

Substitute “by chance” for “naturally”, and we are simply back to the same dismissal of the random mutations theory that you and I agreed on 13 years ago.

How children pick up a language
QUOTE: "Until the 1970s, most linguists believed that the structure of language existed out in the world, and that the human brain then learned it from infancy. Building on the work of her friend Noam Chomsky, Dr. Gleitman argued the opposite: that the structures, or syntax, of language were hard-wired into the brain from birth, and that children already had a sophisticated grasp of how they work."

All animals – including ourselves – learn by imitating whatever forms of behaviour and communication are practised by their own kind in the world around them. Feral children for example, may speak wolf language. If then brought into human society, they can learn to use human language, but the older they are, the less proficient they are at learning it. How does this illustrate that human syntax is “hard-wired” into the brain from birth?

Rethinking brain organization
DAVID: As a living organ the neurons of a specific area can recruit any and all of the brain as required when the neurons recognize the current task at hand. That has to be seen as superb design.

Yes, it’s just like a colony of ants recognizing new tasks and responding by taking on different roles. Yet more evidence of the (perhaps God-given) intelligence of cells.

New oxygen research
"It's important because the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere is fundamental -- it's the biggest driver for the evolution of large, complex life.'" (David's bold)

DAVID: Note my bold. I don't think oxygen as a driver of evolution. Lots of oxygen allows evolution to advance but the driver is up for debate here.

It fits in perfectly with the theory that evolution is triggered by new conditions which require adaptation but may also offer new opportunities in the great quest for survival.

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