Evolution and humans: big brain size or use (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, June 26, 2017, 14:26 (169 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Size first, use second is exactly as you now recognize I mean it. Brain growth is not from attempted conceptualization beyond the capacity of a particular sized brain.

dhw: Once again you are equivocating. It is not attempted conceptualization that would cause brain growth but attempted material implementation of new concepts. In this dualistic hypothesis, the existing brain is not capable of implementing the concept of the spear, and so it has to add to its capacity. Concept first, brain growth second, implementation third.

Just the opposite. More complex size, then more thought capacity. You want the brain to tell itself to enlarge for thoughts it has no knowledge of! "I can't think of a spear, I'd better enlarge."

DAVID: She shows pre-planning in the small changes. She is a scientist, not a theist. I'm the theist interpreting her work.

dhw: The small changes are, of course, very interesting in view of your hostility to Darwin’s gradualism (though in general I agree with you that saltation seems far more likely in most cases of innovation), but “pre-planning” is entirely your theistic interpretation of her thesis.

My hostility to Darwin is the world swallowed it hook line and sinker, and now Darwinists are trying to explain away gradualism. Not his fault. He didn't know any better.

DAVID: I don't know if she has religious thoughts, but her whole work smells of teleology as humans appear in their earlier forms, and previous monkey forms have minor changes with no immediate benefit, but are obviously preparatory for bipedalism.

dhw: I can’t whiff any teleology in her work, and you are simply guessing that the changes had no benefit. Malassé actually suggests that the changes may denote “conceptual and creative innovations well before homo habilis”, so you certainly can’t derive your assumption from her work.

And who made those innovations?

dhw:The changes clearly mark transitional stages on the way to full bipedalism, but in the context of your belief that your God’s one and only purpose was the production of Homo sapiens, that only raises the question of why the heck he didn’t just get on with it instead of messing around with all these itsy-bitsy twiddles to the position of the skull, and all these different hominins, and all these different pre-whales. What happened to the good old saltatory method? No need to answer. I know it doesn’t make sense to you either, but in your own immortal words: “If it’s God’s method, it does not have to make sense.”

Thank you. You have pointed out dabbling!


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