Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, April 14, 2018, 13:08 (247 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] Even to you it now seems “obvious” that if the immaterial self exists, IN LIFE it does the thinking and the brain does the implementing. It should therefore be equally obvious that if your form of dualism is correct, IN LIFE there is no need for the brain to expand or complexify before the immaterial self comes up with new immaterial thoughts. It needs to expand or complexify in order to implement the new immaterial thoughts, as proven by modern science (with sapiens shrinkage probably the result of efficient complexification). […]

DAVID: The point we disagree upon is brain complexity in life in this way: since the s/s/c must interface with the brain and rely upon it to functionally think, only a more complex brain allows more advanced thought.

What does “functionally think” mean? In life the s/s/c thinks and relies on the brain to implement its thoughts, as you stated quite explicitly: “the obvious dualism of material brain and immaterial personality/thoughts implemented to appear through the work of the brain.” You keep agreeing and then trying to disagree through obfuscation. According to your dualistic beliefs, only a more complex brain allows implementation of more advanced thought. Modern science shows that the brain changes in response to implementation and not before it.

DAVID: Thus only a larger brain with an expanded thought area (prefrontal cortex) allows for the development of highly complex concepts, as proven by the artifacts at each level of brain complexity in earlier hominin fossils.

The artefacts are the material implementation of the immaterial thoughts. If you wish to argue that the pfc PRODUCES the concepts/thoughts, you are once again embracing materialism, which may be correct but is not what you profess to believe.

DAVID: The history of sapiens is compatible with my approach: we are present for 315,000 years with big brains, but have only learned how to use them in extreme complexity (as shown by our artifacts) in the past 10,000 years. If our most previous ancestors had 'immaterial thoughts' that required expansion (your 'push' concept) why was there a delay of 305,000 years for those thoughts to appear and be implemented?

We have dealt with this over and over again. We don’t know what concept caused the final expansion. We only know that the skull stopped expanding x years ago (the figure seems to change from one post to another). Our immediate ancestors did not think the thoughts we thought ten thousand years ago! They thought the thoughts that caused the final expansion. From then on, new concepts required additional complexification (probably resulting in overall shrinkage) or restricted expansion. It takes individuals to come up with new ideas. For 305,000 years, things carried on without any major advance – just as they had done for hundreds of thousands of years with the non-advancing species that preceded sapiens (a fact which you like to ignore). Then 10,000 years ago along came the geniuses with new ideas that mushroomed into the civilizations (so-called) that we know today.


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