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

by David Turell @, Friday, February 16, 2018, 15:44 (36 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: And you are not following my concept. only an advanced hardware brain allows advanced thought. Erectus s/s/c is not sapiens s/s/c.

dhw: No, I don’t follow your concept, and I keep pointing out that you use NDEs as evidence for your dualistic belief that the s/s/c is responsible for thought. That is why dualists believe that in earthly life there are TWO separate entities that work together: 1) mind, 2) body. Forget about “advanced”. Thought is thought, whether it’s advanced or not. The brain does not “allow” thought because, as you keep agreeing, the s/s/c does the thinking and the brain gives material expression to the s/s/c’s thoughts, just as the hardware gives material expression to the software.

I'll accept your comment, but not the point about 'allow'. You've not answered the juxtaposition in history of complex brain and complex artifacts, as current humans show, and is obvious in past history. A complex s/s/c requires a complex cortex to function at an advanced level of thought.

dhw: The s/s/c evolves, both in species and in individuals (your s/s/c is not mine), and of course sapiens as a species has evolved far beyond erectus, both in thinking and in implementing. That does not mean the dualist’s s/s/c depends on your God to provide new neurons and connections BEFORE it can come up with new ideas!

But enlargement always proceeds improved artifacts, and I beliee God provided the advance since He arranges for speciation.

DAVID: My answer is above. Plasticity allows a few new neurons in the research done. It is mostly connectivity.

dhw: That is because you cannot do research on living brains a million years old, and the modern brain has stopped expanding. It complexifies through new connections (and has shrunk because of the efficiency of complexification). It is a fact that brains expanded in stages. This is just as true of your hypothesis as of mine, and so a million years ago brains must have been plastic enough to allow for lots of new neurons.

We don't know the brain and skull won't expand again, and ancient brains jumped in size by 200 cc with each enlargement. Adding the need for increased skull size means brain plasticity alone is only part of a complex process in advancement. Not by chance. God in action.


DAVID: Of course it thinks when separated from the body, but when it returns and is attached to the brain and the revived person receives its knowledge through the brain. A living person can reach his s/s/c only through his brain. The s/s/c has a role with the brain and separate from the brain. Dualism.

dhw: The s/s/c IS the person. A dead body has lost the attributes that made it a person. It is the s/s/c that had the experience and informs the revived brain. The soul/self doesn’t “reach” the soul/self through the brain. In dualism, as above, the soul/self IS itself, and instructs the brain! THAT is its dualistic role with the brain when the brain functions.

As a living physical person I can only sense my s/s/c through my functioning brain. Currently my s/s/c is in my skull doing my immaterial thinking. I believe my s/s/c is a quantum mechanism totally intimately interfaced with the physical brain (Penrose). As I think I am in control of my s/s/c which I formed from childhood. My concept of dualism differs from yours. The s/s/c mechanism is an organized quantum arrangement, yet to be discovered. It can separate and go into an afterlife. Only its thought capacity is immaterial.


DAVID: Improvement is answered in the other thread. I think the emphasis is complexity as explained there. Each stage of an enlarged brain allowed pre-sapiens to develop a better way of living, but it required the enlarged brain for each advance.

dhw: The question is whether it was enlarged before concept and implementation or as a result of implementation. You say you are “happy with God speciating each stage of enlarged brain”. But let me point out that all our observations suggest that brain modifications occur as a result of implementing new ideas, and not in advance of implementation.

The only size modification we know is shrinkage, no matter how you twist it!

dhw: I’m afraid it was you who played games by claiming that only complexification, plasticity and shrinkage could be called “modifications”. Thank you for now accepting that enlargement is also a modification, and since you agree that new actions cause modifications, it is not unreasonable to propose that in the distant past new actions caused enlargement, even if the very idea makes you unhappy.

Propose it if it makes you happy. All we know is shrinkage.

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