Re: * makes hubey

H. M. Hubey (
25 Nov 1995 17:42:10 -0500 (Phillip Bigelow) writes:

[stuff about parallelism/convergence etc deleted]

> High cognitive IQ is not pre-ordained for the animal kindom on the
>following evidence:

Who said all living things had to be as intelligent as humans?

> 1) Out of the hundreds of millions (billions?) of different organisms that
>live/have lived on the earth, only a small handful have what would be called
>"large brains".

That is what makes them the end result of evolution. The others
are dead-ends.

If large-braininess were an end-goal of the evolutionary
>process, it 1) would have happened much sooner,

How much sooner?
How do you reach these conclusions?

and 2) it would have happened
>with more frequency than it has.

Why is there a need for umpteen human species?

Liberal democracy is an evolutionary idea what has triumphed
over monarchism, despotism, fascism, collectivism, theocracy,
and a few others. Does this mean that it's not the end result
of an evolutionary process and should it have occured a zillion
times more in the past?

>3) Large-braininess is a variable *character trait* of the mammalia....and to

So what? There are lots of other things that vary. It depends
on how you want to assign weights to the magic word "variable".

>complicate matters, it is not even a synapomorphy of the order. Most modern
>families of mammals have had 60 million years to evolve large brains.

Oh excuse me. It should have happened immediately. God must have
gone to sleep for a while :-)..

>Large brains are extremely-derived in only a few families. For other
>orders of animals, even the most evolutionarily-derived of them,
>large-braininess has not taken place at all.

What does evolution mean?

>4) A test of Hubey's large-brain-is pre-determined hypothesis:
> The Plant Kingdom is at least as old as the Animal Kingdom (perhaps even
>older by some phylogenist's reckonings). There is not a single plant with a
>centralized "data processing" area. If intelligence is inevitable, why did
>the Plant Kingdom get the short end of the stick?

That's why they are dead-ends of evolution. They stayed where they
were, the animal kingdom moved on. It's like a train dropping
off things at various intervals alongside its travel. Whatever
is dropped off remains within some neighborhood of that location
just like the drunkard by the light pole.

> Considering that large-braininess has arisen only a handful of times out
>of a billion tries or so over 3.5 billion years of trying, I would say that

What exactly are you arguing for or against?

have you heard of arguments having no connections with each other?

The antecedent has no connection with the consequent.

>the character trait has an *extremely low degree of probability* of arising.

You sound like a creationist i.e. there is a very low probability
of life arising spontaneously from methane, and other gases and
and the lightning bolts of the athmosphere etc so God must have made
them all. Where's the connection?

> If something is possible, then given enough time, and through chance, it
>*will* eventually arise. Determinism-through-chance is taking place in

The only part of your post that makes any sense. Why didn't you just
skip the nonsense and post your agreement instead?

>But the notion that intelligence is a highly desirable thing for
>evolution to move toward, is simply unsupported by the physical evidence.

yikes. I spoke too soon.

Intelligence is the best adaptation possible. With it you can
adapt to any environment and even change your environment to suit
your needs. With intelligence you don't need a trunk to reach the
grass, a tall neck to reach tops of trees, wings to fly, webbed
feet to swim, gills to go underwater, fur to live in cold climates,
large canines to kill prey, sprinter speeds to catch prey, grasping
feet to climb trees or any of the other half-assed adaptations.


Regards, Mark