Brain complexity: learning new tasks (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 05, 2017, 15:21 (9 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I've taken the step of erasing all the back and forth to once again explain my theory about brain/skull enlargment which has been lost by you: Current evidence shows that a brain enlarges with new implementations and shrinks as it complexifies, all within the unchanging skull because of the cerebrospial fluid layer allows these modification of the brain. Ideas or concepts do not change brain size. I firmly believe this process antidates sapiens and goes back to orginial homo brains at all stages.

I agree with all of this, but pre-sapiens skulls, unlike ours, DID change - their brains expanded permanently. Whether their brains also shrank beforehand is speculation, but is perfectly reasonable. At each stage they would have followed this process until it could no longer implement new concepts, and then came the permanent expansion.

You seem to be accepting that the current human brain is an end point, which fits with my belief that it was/is God's purpose to produce.


DAVID: I also believe that the development of more complex ideas can only be developed by more complex larger brains.

dhw: What do you mean by “development…developed”. You agreed earlier that the ideas are formed by the smaller brain. “If habilis has an idea for spears, the idea is immaterial. No brain change.” The implementation requires a larger brain, and so once the idea has been implemented “his brain has enlarged”.

You do not seem to understand my theory, A small brain is limited in the concepts it can develop. Pre-habilis could not understand the concept of spear. It took a habilis-sized brain to have the concept and implement it, both occurring in the same brain, not a subsequent larger addition.

dhw: The skull does not change in Homo sapiens! But it expanded in pre-sapiens! If the brain expanded beyond a certain limit, the skull had to expand to accommodate it until it reached a point (sapiens) when it stopped expanding, and complexification took over.

You accept that pre-sapiens brains might complexify with new implementations and then you withdraw the idea! And sapiens did have brain and skull shrinkage as part of the known history.


DAVID: We do agree that evolution builds on past developments of complexity by innovation. This theory follows that precept. And remember I'm using shorthand in writing, the role of soul being understood for brevity's sake.

dhw: My theory does indeed confirm that evolution builds on past developments. Each smaller brain comes up with new concepts for more complex artefacts, the implementation of which demands and produces a bigger brain. Your summary confirms every step described in your post of 2 December: concept first, brain expands through learning process (implementation) until we reach sapiens, when it stops expanding and complexification takes over. We remain in perfect agreement, except that you refuse to agree that we agree.

We have never agreed on my point that more complex concepts require a more complex larger brain to be developed and then implemented. Size first, use second. Artifacts fully support my idea. I find yours totally illogical.


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