Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 15:30 (24 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The survival adaptations made epigenetically do not cause speciation. Survival has nothing to do with the appearance of new species.

dhw: Speciation demands major changes to existing structures.

The Cambrian does not show that. Entirely new organ systems appear with no precursors. Only after that does your observation apply. The whale series omitted is previously discussed.


Reductionism

dhw: […]I cannot choose between the two equally mysterious options, even though one must be nearer the truth than the other.

DAVID: What does 'nearer to the truth mean' to you? For me it is a cut and dried choice, a designer must exist to produce the designs we see, or chance did it. And I view chance as beyond illogical.

dhw: But you still can’t see the illogicality of your belief that consciousness (ours) has to be designed, and yet consciousness (God’s) does not have to be designed. Back to the non-explanation of “first cause”, which might just as well be unconscious materials evolving into consciousness. “Nearer to the truth” because of some form of panpsychism that avoids the concept of a single conscious being, while at the same time avoiding the concept of chance finding the magic formula.

Does obvious design require a designer? Panpsychism requires the same explanation you are lacking, What made panpsychism from inert inorganic matter which was on the scene first?


Newborn brains
QUOTES: "Humans are born with a part of the brain that is prewired to be receptive to seeing words and letters, setting the stage at birth for people to learn how to read, a new study suggests. Analyzing brain scans of newborns, researchers found that this part of the brain -- called the 'visual word form area' (VWFA) -- is connected to the language network of the brain.

"The VWFA is specialized for reading only in literate individuals.

"'Our study really emphasized the role of already having brain connections at birth to help develop functional specialization, even for an experience-dependent category like reading.'"

DAVID: Was this wiring arrangement present 70,000 years ago when it is thought complex language developed or did the brain circuits evolve quickly since then? I think God had the brains pre-wired and therefore ready to accommodate the new skill.

dhw: Here’s a sensational suggestion. We know that the brain changes with new experiences. (Illiterate women’s brains changed when they learned to read.) So maybe the changes to the brain began with the first readers, i.e. resulting from a new activity, not anticipating it. And now the changes are passed on to the babies of literate people through a process called “heredity”. Too simple?

But luckily the advanced homo brain came with the proper wiring built in, because spoken language came first, and then other visual parts stepped in as later required with written language.


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