Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 30, 2021, 16:23 (320 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Speciation demands major changes to existing structures.

DAVID: 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.

dhw: why are you confining speciation to the Cambrian? Are you now telling us you’ve rejected common descent altogether?

DAVID: Read your own thought above!!! What I pointed out is the Cambrian is an exception. New complex species from no precursors, not from 'existing structures'.

dhw: See “giraffe plumbing” re the Cambrian. My point was in answer to your comment that “survival adaptations made epigenetically do not cause speciation. Survival has nothing to do with the appearance of new species”. I am arguing that major changes, even in your own theory, are made in order to allow organisms to adapt to or exploit new conditions in their quest for survival.

Evolution does not come from a 'quest for survival'. New species are designed by God to insure future survival following their appearance.

DAVID: 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?

dhw: You still haven’t understood that I find it equally impossible to have faith in ANY of the explanations, and that is why I remain agnostic! Why don’t you explain the rationale behind your firm belief that consciousness requires a designer but supreme consciousness does not require a designer? And please note my comment on “first cause” before you answer.

DAVID: There has to be a first cause. The biological design we see requires a designer who is necessarily the first cause.

dhw: I asked you to note my comment on “first cause”, but of course you ignored it: “Back to the non-explanation of “first cause”, which might just as well be unconscious materials evolving into consciousness”. And of course you continue to ignore my request for the rationale behind your firm belief that consciousness requires a designer but supreme consciousness does not require a designer.

I didn't ignore your first cause. You know my belief is in an eternal God designer. I know your disbelief, which to me defies logic.

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 […]
"The VWFA is specialized for reading only in literate individuals

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?

DAVID: 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.

dhw: How do you know that the evolution of spoken language did not itself change the wiring of the homo brain?

DAVID: I agree brain plasticity played a role. But necessarily receptive areas were already present to receive new wiring connections.

dhw: That would apply to the whole history of the brain’s evolution. It would have expanded (with new “areas”) when plasticity was not sufficient to meet with new requirements. But my point was that the homo brain would not have come with “the proper wiring built in”. The new wiring would have been the result of spoken language evolving, just as rewiring was the result of illiterate women learning to read.

The pre-homo brain had existing areas that eventually acquired specific uses. Lots of neurons had to be present to accept new functions. Hominin brains were much larger than ape brains and hominins learned how to use them as hominins arrived on the scene.

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