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

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 04, 2018, 15:07 (290 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I am following up on your claim (Feb. 19) that “judgment about the consequences of any new action by an individual is impaired or limited until the development of the prefrontal cortex is complete”, which you say happens at 25. This can only mean that either the cortex and not the s/s/c is responsible for making judgements or, according to your latest theory, the s/s/c can’t get the cortex to obey its instructions. Which is it?

Each person develops his own ability at judgments using his pre-frontal cortex. Again you are implying the s/s/c is separate from the brain. Both are interlocked with each other and must work together. You are confused about this, and therefore misrepresent what I am presenting.


dhw: And do you believe that a dementia sufferer actually knows what is going on but is simply unable to communicate that knowledge?
DAVID: Medically, many demented actually recognize their impairment and try to cover it over in conversation.

dhw: In my earlier post I specified extreme cases, so will you now answer the question?

Severely demented may be total vegetables. So?

DAVID: Complexification of a network with possible shrinkage does the whole job. You constantly forget the bony case must be coordinated with the enlargement as well as the mother's birth canal must be adjusted to the new-sized baby head. This can only happen by design.

dhw: It does the whole job NOW. We are trying to explain why the pre-sapiens brain expanded. Of course the skull had to expand as well. Modifications to one part of the body may well require modifications elsewhere, whether your God did it or he endowed cell communities with the means of doing it themselves. You appear to believe that your God is incapable of devising a mechanism that can work without his interference.

But I've said he could! With general outline to follow.


dhw: 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.

DAVID: What a contorted answer! His genius resulted from the enlarged area from birth, because we know complexification causes shrinkage! Please lets use factual material. Perhaps you know Einstein is the only known sapiens who had brain area expansion abilities, and the rest of us don't.

dhw: The contortions are entirely yours. If his genius resulted from the enlarged area, you have provided rock solid evidence for materialism (which of course may be correct, but you the dualist are supposed to reject that theory). How do you know his “conceptual area” was thicker from birth?

I admit I should have said developed from birth. The enlarged area allowed his s/s/c to have a greater ability at conceptualization, dualism

dhw: You keep telling us that the cortex isn’t fully developed until the age of 25. His skull was clearly able to accommodate the extra centimetre, whether he had it from birth or it developed with his great thoughts. Who knows, your own cortex might be a centimetre thicker than mine. Have you had it measured?

Our brains are equal, but my thoughts are stronger.

DAVID: No. Intelligence springs from the s/s/c being able to use an advanced brain in size and complexity.

dhw: Strange, I thought you’d agreed (a few dozen times) that the s/s/c is the thinking, experiencing, remembering, decision-making you, both in life and in death. Now apparently, in the afterlife you believe in, you will leave your intelligence behind because you haven’t got a brain to use.

And the only way there can be advanced thinking, as Einstein shows, is through brain complexity. The s/s/c and brain are fully interfaced in life and depend upon each other. And the s/s/c in afterlife is in a different circumstance. It carries all of its knowledge. We have no idea if it can develop new thoughts or not. All we know from NDE testimony is thoughts/information are transmitted telepathically.


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