Posted: Nov 24, 2010 11:56 am
by katja z
jez9999 wrote:I always find it curious that creationists always seem to use the eye as an argument against evolution. 'How could something so complex evolve?' We can explain that pretty well, and their argument is very weak.

If they had picked the human brain, however, they'd be harder to refute. The human brain does seem to stand out to me as truly exceptional and unique. Evolution doesn't feel like enough to explain it. After all, other complex adaptations are evolved simultaneously by lots of different species, because they are useful to living... speed, strength, swimming, flying, sight, hearing, etc. But a human level of intelligence, far above instinct? No other species on Earth has EVER developed anything like it. That's not meant to happen in evolution; although I can accept that some fortuitous circumstances allowed humans to develop tools with our hands thanks to bipedalism, you'd still expect a few other species to have developed truly advanced intelligence if it were an evolutionary benefit. The dinosaurs had millions of years and their intelligence level was frankly pathetic. It's almost as if aliens visited earth 500,000 years ago, and implanted some special process in a certain group of apes that would cause them to rapidly evolve a high level of intelligence way beyond what had gone before in the last billion years. :)

I'm just reading an interesting book on that, Figments of Reality. Basically, the authors argue for the evolution of our intelligence in complicity with the evolution of culture. I haven't yet come to the chapter on language, but social interaction driving the development of linguistic ability driving more elaborate social interaction driving the development of more sophisticated communication seems to make good sense. Of course, this contextual story doesn't supplant the genetic one partly told in the OP, it supplements it.