Big brain evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 13:45 (210 days ago) @ David Turell

The two posts under “sticks and stones” and “big brain evolution” overlap, and David’s responses are so full of misunderstandings that I will summarize my hypothesis and then deal with any points not directly covered by the summary. For this purpose, I’ll adopt David’s dualistic approach – the materialist version was described in my previous post on this thread.

Soul thinks of new concepts; brain provides information and is used by soul to implement concepts. Soul of small-brained hominin has idea. Implementation of idea requires new abilities/greater capacity, and brain expands. Soul of new larger-brained hominin may come up with new concepts which can be implemented by complexification, but eventually once again new concepts require new abilities/greater capacity, and once again brain expands in order to implement them. Repeat until new concepts require "final" expansion, i.e. now that new concepts of sapiens' immediate predecessor have been implemented, we have sapiens’ brain which can no longer expand without nasty anatomical consequences. For 270,000 years (David’s figure) soul of sapiens does not come up with major new concepts, but whatever it does come up with is dealt with by complexification. Then "geniuses" arrive, and so – because expansion is no longer possible – complexification becomes sole means of implementation.

There is no “‘logically' the new brain should have had the ideas right away.” The new brain came about because of ideas produced by the pre-sapiens soul and implemented by expansion to sapiens brain. Once each enlarged brain exists, including sapiens, it can hang around for hundreds of thousands of years without any major innovations.

Each new bigger size may well enable implementation through complexification for limited time, but “allow the soul to use it to come up with more advanced concepts” is not clear: the soul uses the brain to gain information and to IMPLEMENT its concepts, not to do its thinking for it. (But new concepts may well arise from the soul’s thoughts about existing implementations of its concepts. We progress by building on earlier concepts and their implementations.) There is no preconceived agenda. Expansion and complexification take place in response to whatever new ideas are provided by “genius” souls.

DAVID: The false thought here is that future concepts desired in a smaller less complex brain forces expansion to a larger more complex brain.

They are not “future” concepts.”Genius” pre-sapiens’ small brain has concept of spear, and implementation of concept forces expansion – just as concept of reading and writing forces new complexifications in brains of illiterate women. Once more: concept formed by soul with current brain; implementation changes brain – precisely as described so vividly in your post of 2 December under “learning new tasks”.

DAVID: “Your point about a physical limit agrees with my point that current sapiens are/were God's goal all along.”

Physical limit has nothing whatsoever to do with your God’s goal. All species reach a certain size, with limbs, head etc. in proportion to the rest of the body. We may assume that the dimensions are optimum under current conditions. Maybe in a billion years, there will be new conditions, with elephant-sized ants, ant-sized elephants, and humans...well, who knows?


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