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

by dhw, Sunday, February 18, 2018, 13:16 (1069 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: An aspect of our discussion should include the development of the brain in current human adolescents and how it allows for full development of personality and of course the full development of the s/s/c:

DAVID: From my training I know, and we have discussed in the past, that the human adult does not have a completed pre-frontal cortex until age 25. A person cannot fully evaluate his/her decision making particularly as to risk taking until that point. But the brain is fully enlarged as is the skull by age 16-20. What is not complete until age 25 is the complexity of the neuron network and the ability to use that network to its full capacity. Thus a fully developed and functional s/s/c must wait for the underlying biological development. It is current theory that the adolescent must wait until his brain is ready for him/her to think and made judgments at the adult level.
This fits my theory that complexity (size with complexity) must precede full thought/concept capacity. Size/complexity first, concepts/artifacts second, as we see in our adolescents' development.

You repeatedly use the words “complete” and “full”. If the cortex remains capable of new connections at any age, what do you mean by “complete” (other than size)? And what is a fully developed s/s/c? Of course the brain, like every other organ and like the s/s/c, does not arrive fully formed, but every brain and every self is different. I know teenagers whose judgements I would trust infinitely more than those of certain adults. They do not have to wait until their brains are “ready for him/her to think and make judgements at the adult level”. What is an adult level of judgement? I believe that both brain and self continue to change throughout life, and I don’t know what criteria you have for “full thought capacity”. In any case, as a dualist, you argue that it is the s/s/c and not the brain that does the thinking, but HOW it thinks depends partly on genetics (40% according to you) and partly on experience. Here is an important quote from the article:

The importance of the need to understand the changes in the brain and its implications on the adolescents and the families may be understood from the fact that shaping the development of the brain is in the hands of the teenagers themselves. Positive experiences lead to an adaptive brain. The teenagers who go through adverse experiences in this age are bound to remain disturbed for the rest of their life, given that they are not supported by adults. “ (My bold)

In dualistic terms, then, experience determines the teenager’s s/s/c (though a percentage of the s/s/c is already formed at birth), which in turn determines the development of the brain. I would therefore argue that complexification is ongoing, both in the s/s/c and in the brain (even a 60-year-old illiterate will make new connections when learning to read and write). And except in cases of material outside interference such as disease, accident, drugs, alcohol (all evidence for materialism), it is the s/s/c that controls the brain and not the other way round.

As for your conclusion, once again you make nonsense of your own dualistic beliefs. According to you, the s/s/c does the THINKING. Our hominin’s brain would have been “completed” in respect of its size, enabled him to observe the deer, and sent messages to his s/s/c to say: “Me want food!” But it was the s/s/c that said: “Dammit, this is dangerous. I need a better way to catch the deer than using my bare hands.” Hence the new concept, followed by the implementation and expansion. Don’t you find that more plausible than your God paying him a visit, enlarging his brain, and only then can the above conversation, concept and implementation take place?

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