Evolution and humans: big brain or concept first? (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 01, 2017, 18:10 (808 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Rewiring is what happens at each size change, but size of the frontal lobes is what allows for the advanced ideation of each new species on the way to humans. The capacity of each new hominin is shown by the artifacts found from their time of existence.

dhw: This is getting more and more confusing. “The brain can accommodate new ideas without enlarging” – i.e. by rewiring – now apparently means rewiring happens when the brain enlarges. I thought rewiring happened when there were new ideas.

I have no idea why you are so confused. Let's use the knowledge we have about our brain and apply it to habilis. His little brain allows new concepts: hammering flint to make sharp hand axes. His brain plasticity allows him to learn how to hammer (apes can't). That is a result of a form of re-wiring: his brain does not enlarge, because it has the plasticity to adapt to his new desired activity. But we find that he doesn't conceive of putting the flint on a stick to throw as a spear. With erectus' bigger brain that concept appears.

dhw: You keep saying the brain “allows for” new ideas, but this still doesn’t tell us where the new ideas come from. Once more, as under “dualism versus materialism”, please tell us (a) whether you think new ideas come from the brain or from the soul, and (b) why you think your God bothered to enlarge the brain if it could accommodate new ideas without enlarging. But yes, the artefacts tell us what ideas each hominin was capable of conceiving (= thought) and then implementing (= the material realization of the thought).

You haven't accepted my idea that brain/ me/ consciousness are all fused together in life. As before, a larger brain obviously allowed for more advanced conceptualization, better use of the received consciousness.

DAVID: Again, your concept skips the idea that a planning mind must imagine the future phenotypic changes and form that are required and plan for them in advance. DNA must be mutated appropriately in a coordinated pattern to achieve those changes. Takes a brain/mind to do it, nothing less.

dhw: Dealt with yet again under “gaps are very real”, but yes indeed the cell communities that make up every organism must coordinate, and this requires intelligence. Only apparently you do not believe your God is capable of endowing cell communities with the intelligence to do it themselves.

I don't, and you know that.


DAVID: I didn't imply any of your suggestion. You have a great imagination. I suggest there is no need for enlargement because the brain is as complex as it needs to be for all future concepts.

dhw: I thought it was densification that led to complexity, and future concepts would lead to further densification, i.e. further complexity. As for my imagination, I didn’t realize that “humans are the end point of evolution” meant their brains didn’t need to expand any more. I thought it meant humans were the end point of evolution. “"We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language." (Oscar Wilde)

Complex thought led to densification, as previously shown. We are the end of evolution, and our brain will not grow any more. It doesn't need to. Einstein had a thickened area related to conceptualization, but his hat size was normal.


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