Evolution and humans: big brain size uses energy (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, November 06, 2017, 15:13 (346 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Not likely. This was an ancient monkey followed by other species of monkeys with a slight change in one lumbar vertebrae.

dhw: Are you saying that 23 million years ago your God personally dabbled or preprogrammed a slight change in one lumbar vertebra for absolutely no reason? Or to “prepare the way” for Lucy some 20 million years later? If not, what is your point?

Obviously to prepare the way for Lucy.


DAVID: Lucy obviously lived in and out of trees which fits your suggestion. But silverbacks and other great apes have done that for centuries without change. Lucy was something very different. God at work.

dhw: Why do you think every species of ape should have turned into humans? They have managed perfectly well as apes (at least till we came along), or they would have died out. Common descent means all species have branched out from earlier forms. It doesn’t mean every other form had to go extinct or to change into an ape and then into a human.

Of course common descent means branching. I'm raising the issue of why this branch appeared at all. We see no driving force, but I see purpose in the giant brain.


DAVID: A non-answer. They could conceptualize to a certain level of compexity at each stage. The artifacts show what they could think of, and artifacts advance with jump in brain size.

dhw: Yes, they could conceptualize, i.e. they could think (not “try to think”) of things that had not yet existed, i.e. were not yet known, so the artefacts do indeed show what they could think of. It is the implementation, not the concept that requires the jump in brain size. Concept first, then expansion if the brain is not already able to accomplish the implementation. Just as later the Indian women’s brains had to rewire in order to implement the concept of reading, instead of your God doing the rewiring first.

You have again equating epigenetic change with full speciation.

DAVID: You struggle to have cell communities doing their own thing, and bring in God to give them a mechanism to do so on their own, so He is never directly in charge. Intellectual side-step. If God created the universe, started life, managed evolution, then of course He speciated. As an agnostic you like to dabble a toe in holy waters.


dhw: You have already agreed that they do their own thing when changes are epigenetic and also when the brain shrinks. If I “bring God in…” as a possible inventor of the mechanism, how is that different from your “bringing God in” to invent a programme for the whole of evolution or to keep dabbling? “Directly in charge” is an “intellectual sidestep”. If God created the universe, life and the mechanisms of evolution, that does not mean he had to direct every step of evolution, every lifestyle, every natural wonder. Just as – according to you – he gave humans free will, he could have given organisms the means of inventing new forms for themselves, i.e. deliberately sacrificing control, though he could take it again if he wished.

The problem with your last sentence "sacrificing control, though he could take it again if he wished" at its basis assumes God does what He wants. God is therefore in full control.


Dhw: As a matter of interest, do your ID friends insist that their God fiddled with ape anatomy before apes left the trees, designed eight stages of pre-whales before they entered the water, and planned weaverbird’s nests, toxin-swallowing snakes and skull shrinking shrews in order to keep life going until he could produce Homo sapiens’ brain? A simple yes or no will do.
Your answers so far have been: “Generally, yes. They (ID-ers) believe in planning and design.” And “It fits their theories.” And now: “They fully believe in prior design.”

“Prior design” of what? Everything listed above, as you believe? A simple yes or no will do.

Of course, yes


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