Human Brains Have Always Been Unique
Whether examined from inside or outside, young or old, historical or modern, east or west, the human brain is like no other biological organ.
Human nature is familiar to us all, no matter how one looks at it.
From Time Forgotten
The discovery of modern-looking human skulls in Morocco dated 300,000 Darwin Years old should cast doubt on whether evolutionists have a coherent story for the public (see 6/08/17). Phys.org says of discoverer Jean-Jacques Hublin, “His efforts revealed that Homo sapiens is 100,000 years older than previously assumed—ageing our species by a whole third and dislodging East Africa as the cradle of humankind.” That double falsification has far-reaching ramifications. For evolutionists, it pushes the origin of big-brained, sharp-minded people like us uncomfortably further back in their mythical timeline. It also means they have been wrong for decades! The TV documentaries, textbooks and infographics are fake science. Experience shows, sadly, that the mistakes will likely not be corrected for many years, as with other icons of evolution (Haeckel’s embryos, the horse series, and the “march of man” lineup). Another ramification is that there must be something wrong with the dating of human fossils.
Further strain is put on the evolutionary story by Science Daily‘s post that “‘Humanlike’ ways of thinking evolved 1.8 million years ago.” If Homo erectus gets included into the truly-human category (as many creationists affirm), the problems stated above get exacerbated six-fold. It becomes incredible to imagine beings with “humanlike ways of thinking” living for 1.8 million years without inventing cities, technology and governments, especially if they walked upright and were fully capable of using tools and fire. Aren’t evolutionists embarrassed to say things like this?—
“This is a significant result because it’s commonly thought our most modern forms of cognition only appeared very recently in terms of human evolutionary history,” said Shelby S. Putt, a postdoctoral researcher with The Stone Age Institute at Indiana University, who is first author on the study. “But these results suggest the transition from apelike to humanlike ways of thinking and behaving arose surprisingly early.“
The anthropologists divine too much from stone tools, admittedly. But they know the implications: “Strikingly, these parts of the brain are the same areas engaged in modern activities like playing the piano.” Who can possibly believe that beings capable of playing the piano never exercised their full human potential until the last half of 1% of their existence on this earth?
From Historical Clues
Even from the first days of farming, humans engaged in careful planning and diverse techniques to grow crops. This is certified in a paper in PLoS One, “Farming legumes in the pre-pottery Neolithic” in—of all places—Israel. Notice the intelligence of these farmers indicated by this sentence, and pay attention to the last three words: “Comparison with coeval sites in the region show how the presence of peas, narbon vetches, inconspicuous peas, jerusalem vetchlings and bitter vetches together with faba bean and lentils is unique to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, and might indicate specific patterns in farming or storing at the onset of agriculture.” Is it really credible to imagine Homo erectus, Neanderthals and the modern humans of Morocco never achieved this in 300,000 years or more, only to have their descendants suddenly acting like the farmers we know?
Phys.org writes, “Study provides surprisingly complex portrait of ancient trade networks.” The time period discussed in this article comes much later (400 to 1000 AD in South America), but who should be surprised? People are inventive, cooperative, and resourceful. They quickly invent complex societies. These people were not even in a hurry to develop commerce, but it didn’t take them tens or hundreds of thousands of years to create complex trade networks – just decades or centuries. That’s what makes Phys.org‘s article on the molecular clock and human evolution so unbelievable. The reporters and scientists toss around tens and hundreds of thousands of years like peanuts, never dealing with the issue of instant civilization exploding recently onto the scene.
It’s like trying to measure time with a clock that ticks at different speeds under different conditions.
Something must be drastically wrong with evolutionary dating schemes. And it is: dating methods are theory-laden with evolutionary assumptions. They calibrate their clocks with reference to assumptions about how far back humans began to evolve from chimpanzees. It forces them to believe in long periods of human evolution, and to fit the data to those assumptions, even though the archaeological evidence for agriculture and trade is all recent. Another clue to bias in the dates comes the article’s discussion of “unsteady clocks” and other “complicating factors“. Look: “It’s like trying to measure time with a clock that ticks at different speeds under different conditions.” Well, then. With a clock like that, one could come up with any answer he wants!
From Around the Globe
Another way to look at human uniqueness is to see that all humans are similar, despite living across oceans and in very diverse habitats. Two scientists published a paper in PLoS One, “Personality traits across countries: Support for similarities rather than differences.” Why would different cultures show the following similarities, if people groups had been separated for hundreds of thousands of years of evolution?
We postulated that differences in personality traits between countries would be small, labeling this a Similarities Hypothesis. We found support for this in three stages. First, similarities across countries were observed for model fits for each of the five personality trait structures. Second, within-country sex differences for the five personality traits showed similar patterns across countries. Finally, the overall the [sic] contribution to personality traits from countries was less than 2%. In other words, the relationship between a country and an individual’s personality traits, however interesting, are small. We conclude that the most parsimonious explanation for the current and past findings is a cross-country personality Similarities Hypothesis.
The evolutionary story would predict profound differences between people groups, after hundreds of thousands (or millions) of years of random mutations. Different environments (compare the Arctic Circle compared to the Sahara) should have selected very different traits, according to evolutionary theory. But as we know in our increasingly small world, people have many more similarities than differences. Once worries of threats are ameliorated, we can quickly understand people from other parts of the world, relate to one another’s personality traits, smile, and build friendships. Even evolutionists admit we are all one species—one race.
The view from brain anatomy and physiology also challenges evolutionary explanations. You don’t get a GPS system by mistake, but Amsterdam scientists were delighted to find particular neurons in a part of the brain that seem to help us find our way in complex settings. Science Daily announces, “New ‘GPS’ neuron discovered.” What kind of chance mutation does that? It makes no sense. “The discovery is an important step towards understanding how the brain codes navigation behaviour at larger scales,” the article says. Notice that word codes—a word indicative of planning and information. We can choose to override the brain’s GPS signals, but the hardware is there to help us keep track of our location.
Every day billions of people across the planet successfully navigate their environments, for example when they go to work or head home. Such journeys generally happen with little conscious effort and rest on the brain’s ability to use overall knowledge of an environment to make estimates of where it finds itself.
Integrating knowledge and making estimates are not simple abilities. An evolutionist might reply that birds and wildebeest have good senses of direction, too. And their point would be, what? Did those capabilities arrive by mistake, too?
Other portions of brain anatomy are no less complex. Science Daily praises “lesser-known” brain cells called astrocytes that are getting a lot more respect than they used to. Look at some of the ways they serve us:
Astrocytes are known to support neurons in a number of ways, from providing them with energy and physical scaffolding to cleaning up their waste. Astrocytes also have more general brain functions related to regulating blood flow and inflammation (a marker of injury or disease).
Could the more-honored cerebral neurons function without such a support crew? “The brain is a fragile and unique organ,” says another article on Science Daily, “that has its own specially tailored immune system.” A fragile, complex organ is not likely to be improved by random mutations. So where did its tailored immune system come from? The article tells about another class of brain cells called microglia, that
recognize, disassemble, and dispose of various substances that do not function properly in the brain, from dying cells to various cell debris and protein aggregates. Yet microglia activity is under tight regulation to allow them to dispose of waste without harming adjacent healthy neurons that retain important information. The gamut of their activity — from essential immune function to the risk of damaging healthy neurons due to hyperactivity — is well balanced in young healthy individuals….
From Darwinian Failures
The evidence from all the above is clear: humans are unique, they are the same across time and space, and they come equipped with highly complex brains composed of incredibly capable cells for support and maintenance and direction-finding. And in addition to operating all the organs and systems of the body, the brain also helps us think! So how is Darwinian evolution to account for all this?
Believe it or not, a new hypothesis coming from evolutionary materialists is that we grew big brains because of changes to diet. That’s right; it’s explained by Phys.org without laughter:
“Fruit is patchier in space and time in the environment, and the consumption of it often involves extraction from difficult-to-reach-places or protective skins,” observes DeCasien.”Together, these factors may lead to the need for relatively greater cognitive complexity and flexibility in frugivorous species.“
But if this were a law of nature, all fruit-eaters would have big brains, and grazers would have small brains. Why didn’t humans go the way of the giraffe, evolving long necks to grab the fruit?
We’re expected to believe this is a better hypothesis than the old one, the “social brain” idea. For that, listen to Mark Maslin at The Conversation argue, “Why did humans evolve such large brains? Because smarter people have more friends.” At least Maslin admits humans are unique and well-equipped:
Humans are the only ultrasocial creature on the planet. We have outcompeted, interbred or even killed off all other hominin species. We cohabit in cities of tens of millions of people and, despite what the media tell us, violence between individuals is extremely rare. This is because we have an extremely large, flexible and complex “social brain”.
To truly understand how the brain maintains our human intellect, we would need to know about the state of all 86 billion neurons and their 100 trillion interconnections, as well as the varying strengths with which they are connected, and the state of more than 1,000 proteins that exist at each connection point. Neurobiologist Steven Rose suggests that even this is not enough – we would still need know how these connections have evolved [sic] over a person’s lifetime and even the social context in which they had occurred. It may take centuries just to figure out basic neuronal connectivity.
Can these superlatives of the brain be explained by simplistic stories about fruit and friends? There’s a shortcut to the obvious “No!” answer. If the storytellers really believe their own stories, we can deduce that neither storyteller cares about the truth. The first one is hungry for an apple; the second one is lonely.
Because Darwinian thinking makes people crazy, it will be eliminated by natural selection. [Cue sound of short circuit.]
For fun, let’s try our own just-so story. 1.8 million days ago, Homo erectus emerged with a very compact but powerful brain. These hominids built cities with megalithic blocks and technologies that engineers cannot fathom, even today. Mutations took their toll, reducing the fitness of those early brains. To compensate for decreasing intelligence, the brains grew larger. Those hominids were called Neanderthals. Alas, the slide into stupidity continued, but the accumulated wisdom of the early humans allowed technology to overtake the increasing entropy of mutational load. Finally, the “modern humans” arrived, building on the knowledge of their predecessors but suffering irreplaceable losses in their bloated, but less streamlined brains. The slide continued. And this, children, is why academia fell for the idea that their brains came about by accident.
Try your own just-so story! It’s easy! It’s fun! No evidence or rigor required!