Evolution and humans: big brain size or use (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, June 09, 2017, 22:10 (493 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your statement is wrong as to my view. A larger brain allowed a more complex use of consciousness and therefore allowed complex conceptualizations to appear, if desired by the human using his brain. Not a cause, not required.

dhw: What do you mean by “allow”? If, as you believe, consciousness and the self are entities that are independent of the brain, you cannot possibly mean that consciousness and the self are incapable of conceptualization without the brain. What the brain does “allow” is for concept to be translated into action, but this means the concept must come first.

I view the brain as my tool to use consciousness. I invent my concepts in my brain using my consciousness. In the NDE, the non-functional brain releases the consciousness which then has experiences, and when the consciousness return to the brain, the brain is able to transmit to me what happened during the NDE.

dhw: The illiterate women desired the complex concept of reading, and this RESULTED in their using and restructuring their brain. You are now saying that the big brain does not cause conceptualization, so what DOES it do? With all your references to the mysterious gap of 190,000 years (possibly now increased to 290,000 years), the answer seems to be that it does precious little.

For some reason you are not following what I write. Read my first statement as an answer to your comment:

dhw: We have no proof that your God fiddled with the brain to enlarge it, or that the enlargement of the brain was the CAUSE of conceptualization, but you seem to believe it.

The use of the big brain had to learned and its use in conceptualization exloded in the past 12,000 years, and only then did the brain shrink.

dhw: It is simply there. And presumably the brain saltations in pre-humans also served little or no purpose. Just God expanding the brain clump by clump up to the 200,000-year mark so that eventually, after another 190,000 years, homo sapiens would “learn to use” the final biggie, by which time it was inadequate!

What was inadequate? It is perfectly adequate for us.


dhw: Is the rewiring not an internal drive (though perhaps the process was designed by your God)? Does conceptualizing not precede the rewiring? Is it not a reversal of this known process to say that enlargement must precede conceptualization?

The rewiring is recent once the brain is under much more complex use. 190,000 years of hunter-gatherer use and 12,000 years of much more complex use and then it shrinks. Why do you extrapolate backwards?


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