Originally posted by galveston75
I knew you guys would show up.
So the question is: If evolution in it's purest form improves the species and if we are truly from apes, then why did we not keep this interesting trait that apes as well as all other life seems to have?
So would it be safe to say they just might have it a little better then us in not having this brain schrinkage th ...[text shortened]... on to the next in line in this evoltionary progression that supposedly exist.
We did not descend from "apes." Modern primates are theorized to have a common ancestor. The use of the term "ape" is often used by mendacious creationists as a kind of "poison pill" that is administered to the evolutionists at the outset of a debate in an attempt to weaken them in the eyes of public opinion. Other times it simply reveals a fundamental ignorance of evolutionary theory.
Natural selection mechanisms change a given animal species over time by increasing the probability of successful procreation among those individuals of the species that have a slightly greater degree of beneficial inherited traits (or a beneficial trait stemming from a genetic mutation), and this has the incidental effect of increasing the probability of perpetuation of the species (i.e. the population) as a whole. Brain shrinkage largely occurs, as I understand it, after
the prime reproductive years of humans, and so will not be selected against by natural selection mechanisms and gradually "weeded out". Moreover, as I understand it, brain shrinkage does not in itself result in decreased mental capacity, and so it cannot even be viewed as a "negative trait" that needs weeding out to begin with. Brain size varies among modern humans by quite a bit and has little correlation with intelligence.
One of the biggest conceptual problems, I think, among those who deny the theory of evolution is the fact that evolution is not driven by a conscious intelligence, which I suppose is why creationism spin-offs such as "intelligent design" gain so much traction. "How can a blind man create a watch?" In short, creationists cannot envision how an incremental, purely stochastic process that operates over vast spans of time among vast numbers of individual organisms can result in speciation and their grandmothers. The fact that humans can plan, use language, and fashion tools, is undoubtedly conducive to the survival of the species; but that selfsame cleverness has also handed humans the capacity to utterly annihilate themselves. Amoral evolutionary mechanisms gave rise to intelligence, but even intelligence is a double-edged sword. Evolution does not, necessarily, deliver only "good" traits or "improvements"; indeed, it is not even a causal
agent. It is an effect
of statistical processes and probabilities writ large, and little else. That is, it is a process that needs no god or guiding intelligence in order for it to function, and it is not a guiding intelligence itself.
Why fixate on brain volumes? Do you see the mortality of man as a design flaw? Do you propose to say that evolution is bunk because we grow old and eventually die?