Big brain evolution: changes in sapiens skull shape (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, January 28, 2018, 13:35 (267 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Must I repeat! The s/s/c uses a more complex cortex for more complex thought [...] Brain does operate without s/s/c running the show.
dhw: Since s/s/c uses the brain, I presume you mean brain does NOT operate without s/s/c running the show. You don’t need to repeat the formula that I keep questioning. We are discussing two stages: 1) concept; 2) implementation. According to you the s/s/c/ does the thinking. Yes or no?

DAVID: Yes

dhw: It uses the brain to implement its thoughts. Yes or no?

DAVID: Yes

dhw: Your argument that God expanded pre-sapiens brains and only then were they able to think of new concepts is also a hypothesis. It contradicts the dualistic hypothesis that thinking is not done by the brain but by the soul.
DAVID: S/s/c (immaterial) uses brain (material) to create thought is dualistic to me.

What is the difference between thinking and creating thought? You have agreed above that the soul does the thinking and the brain does the implementing. This means that the s/s/c uses the brain to implement, not to think. Your obfuscation does not resolve the contradiction: If the soul does the thinking, it does not depend on complexification or expansion of the brain to do its thinking!

dhw: […] in your hypothesis, God steps in and expands the brain BEFORE the relevant new concept (or if you like, before the innovative development of existing concepts) can be thought of. That means the thinking depends on the size of the brain – the exact opposite of the dualistic view that thinking is done by the soul.

DAVID: NOT SIZE OF BRAIN, but advanced complexity within the larger size of the prefrontal cortex, as stated over and over.

Our subject is why the pre-sapiens brain expanded, and you say your God increased its SIZE before pre-sapiens could think of new concepts. But perhaps we need to clarify the role of complexification. You keep agreeing that the soul does the thinking, and that new thoughts cause complexification: for a dualist it cannot be complexification of the brain that CAUSES thought. And so thought is implemented by complexification (proven by modern science), but once the pre-sapiens brain’s capacity for implementing concepts by complexification had reached its limit, the brain needed additional cells and connections – to implement the thoughts of the soul, not to create them! (The soul thinks and the brain implements.) After the pre-pre-sapiens brain had expanded, new concepts and their implementation once again caused complexification until once again the CAPACITY was unable to cope, and so once again the brain had to expand. Process repeated until we get to sapiens, whose brain cannot expand any further.

DAVID: You won't convince me from the evidence I see. Artifacts appear after the brain has enlarged.

Yes, the artefacts can only appear once the concept has been implemented. In your hypothesis the enlargement takes place before the concept has been thought of; in mine the enlargement takes place during and because of the implementation of the concept (once complexification can no longer cope). In both cases, the artefact itself can only appear once the brain has finished enlarging.

DAVID: Sapiens artifacts took 270,000 years to begin to appear after enlargement. Mind the gap, as in the Underground

Yes, as already explained many times: once the immediate pre-sapiens ancestor’s brain had enlarged to sapiens size in order to implement a concept, it stopped expanding. Then just as erectus spent one or two million years faffing around doing nothing special with his own enlarged brain, sapiens (according to you) faffed around for a mere 270,000 years before the geniuses appeared, and their dualistic souls came up with brilliant new concepts. But since the brain couldn’t expand any more, it complexified more and more – so efficiently that it even shrank a bit, and apparently also changed its shape. All in a smooth, totally logical sequence of cause and effect.


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