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

by dhw, Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 12:10 (2293 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So if God’s purpose was to produce you and the food you eat in your own eco-niche, why did he specially design the nest, the wasp that lays its eggs on the spider’s back, the skull-shrinking shrew and the duckbilled platypus etc.? Or are you going to tell me that life couldn’t have gone on without them?
DAVID: Each econiche has is own balance and all the econiches contributed to the overall balance of total nature.

Which constantly changes. I agree. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with God’s prime purpose being to produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

dhw: My whale hypothesis: whales needed food, which they found in the water. Once they were in the water, they needed to make changes to their bodies. The cell communities designed the changes in response to that need. No planning in advance of the need. I suggest that organic design is a response to need or opportunity for improvement, just as it is for human design.
DAVID: Left out of your hypothesis: the gap in fossil record.

Not left out. You quoted my answer in the very next exchange:

dhw: In my hypothesis, the cell communities are capable of designing saltations – as opposed to your God providing the first living cells with a programme to pass on for every saltation for every innovation throughout the history of evolution (or alternatively dabbling each one personally), just to keep life going till he can produce Homo sapiens.
DAVID: And I view it as logically impossible. All cell changes we know about are simple adaptations.

All the major changes are cell changes! The question is how they happen. My hypothesis is based on the fact that we know there is an autonomous mechanism capable of making minor changes. Nobody knows the mechanism for major changes, but the same autonomous mechanism is at least as “logical” as a 3.8-billion-year-old divine computer programme or a divine dabble for every single major change, plus lifestyle plus natural wonder.

dhw: You are constantly talking of purpose, but you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that organisms might have a purpose of their own; namely, survival and/or improvement. And if God exists, he may have given them the means to try and achieve that purpose.
DAVID: All life is homeostasis in action. All life's activity shows purpose, but that doesn't translate to speciation, much as you might wish it.

Nor does it translate to a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or divine dabbling all for the purpose of Homo sapiens’ brain, much as you might wish it. And the whale explanation you offer and reject below leaves you with no explanation at all, although you still refuse to consider mine.

dhw: I know you are confused about whales. What is confusing about the process I have described above?
DAVID: The process is exactly what I propose. God-directed change.
dhw: Which you say leaves you confused. So what is confusing about the process I have proposed above?
DAVID: It leaves out the mental activity required.

The whole hypothesis is based on the concept of cellular intelligence, as advocated by various experts in the field. Intelligence can be equated with mental activity. You may question whether that exists, but the concept could hardly be clearer, so why do you find it “confusing”?

DAVID: Because history shows what history shows. God prefers starting stages and then evolving. Fits history perfectly. In the bush you are trying to interpret His mind. I just read history.
dhw: But you are confused because you don’t know why he had to produce the eight stages of whale, or (in an earlier post which I don’t have time to look for now) why he had to produce the big universe if all he wanted was us, or whether he has limitations or not. But you are right: starting stages and evolution fit history perfectly. It’s just your theory of your God’s motive and method that doesn’t fit history and causes you so much confusion.
DAVID: I'm not confused.

You wrote: “You are just as confused as I am about whales.” So you are confused but you are not confused. Don’t you find that confusing?

DAVID: I question the need for such a design-requiring effort. I have a whale purpose theory expressed before. The whales are necessary for the ocean's balance of nature. Their decomposing dead bodies benefit ocean floor organisms. I've seen papers on the subject. Perhaps God's point is: look at what I can do with my powers, reversing the course of evolution from mammals on land to put them back in water where life came from. But that is a tongue-in-cheek view and I don't believe it.

We all know that organisms feed on other organisms. Once again, that has nothing whatsoever to do with God’s prime purpose being to create the brain of Homo sapiens! Now the only alternative to your anthropocentric explanation of the higgledy-piggledy bush is a show-off God – a hypothesis you yourself don’t believe in. So your existing hypothesis still leaves you just as confused as ever, but unwilling to consider a hypothesis which you keep agreeing DOES fit the history.

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