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

by dhw, Saturday, March 03, 2018, 13:39 (282 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: A materialist will argue that if a change to the brain entails a change to the personality, that is clear evidence that the basis of the personality is material.
DAVID: I see no problem. The material brain only allows expression to an immaterial s/s/c. A sick brain gives a sick improper expression. I use the idea of the brain receiving the s/s/c as an explanation, just as a damaged radio gives a garbled output. The underlying s/s/c is really the same and normal.

So do you accept the argument that anyone under 25 is not responsible for his criminal actions because his brain is not yet fully developed and so his nice kind s/s/c couldn’t express itself properly? And do you believe that a dementia sufferer actually knows what is going on but is simply unable to communicate that knowledge?

Dhw: Hypothesis 2): if implementation of s/s/c-generated concepts is known to modify the brain, maybe pre-sapiens brains needed greater capacity to implement new concepts, and so implementation caused modification in the form of expansion. Hypothesis 3): although concepts are generated by the s/s/c and not the brain, the s/s/c could not generate new concepts until God had enlarged the brain.
I suggest that Hypothesis 2) is logical. I suggest that Hypothesis 3) is illogical. A designer can be present in both hypotheses.

DAVID: I'm still with Hypo 3. The theory of implementation requiring enlargement where development of complex concepts does not, is an inconsistent thought.

Pre-sapiens brain expanded. Implementation of concepts requires brain modification. Pre-sapiens brains may well have complexified (modification) but eventually needed greater capacity and expanded (modification). There has to be a limit to expansion unless you believe sapiens could function with an elephant-sized head, and so complexification took over (so efficiently that there was shrinkage). No inconsistency. And you continue to ignore the obvious illogicality of 3).

DAVID: Einstein's brain is a point in my favor. His conceptual area was almost a centimeter thicker than the average human, but his overall brain was the same size as the rest of us. He was obviously born a genius. (Page 209 of The Atheist Delusion)

If you are a dualist, the obvious conclusion is that the thoughts of his genius s/s/c created ever greater complexity within the conceptual area and even expanded it within the given capacity of the brain. More evidence for my hypothesis. But if there were no limits to expansion, we would have elephant-sized heads. The brain responds to the s/s/c. Concept first, brain change second.

QUOTE (under : What lit “the fire of intelligence”? McKenna’s answer lies in the hominid’s diet. He essentially thinks that “we ate our way to higher consciousness."
DAVID’s comment: All of this weird theory occurs in sapiens from 40-50 thousand years ago. The pre-frontal cortex was already there waiting to wake up. The mushrooms didn't enlarge it, but might have helped complexify it at least in sexual ways, as this hippy theory implies.

Diet is a common explanation for brain expansion, though as you point out, this theory has nothing to do with expansion. I share your scepticism. But the conventional diet theory does equate brain expansion with lighting the fire of intelligence, to which you as a dualist ought to be fiercely opposed, since you believe that intelligence springs from the s/s/c and not the material brain. And yet you continue to defend exactly the same basic process: that brain expansion preceded each increase in intelligence.


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