Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 15:44 (8 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Modern science has shown that the brain changes when implementing new concepts. That is evidence for thought causing brain change (= dualism). Modern science has also shown that chemicals can alter thought processes. That is evidence for materialism. For reasons I cannot fathom, you refuse to recognize this dichotomy both in the findings of modern science and in your own arguments. That is the issue between us.

The chemicals that affect the brain are controlled by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, both intimately connected to the brain, so are all part of the effect of stimuli on the brain. They are more emotional effects than changes due to new thought effects. Of course the materialism of the issue is shown by what happens in the brain.

Dhw: As shrinkage is so important to you, perhaps you should explain why you object to my explanation [that it is caused by the efficiency of complexification], and then give us your own.

My pointing out the shrinkage is that the demonstrated shrinkage is opposite to your view that the desire for implementation of concepts forces a new sized brain to carry that out. What we see is a brain that is able to complexify and shrink 150cc in size while developing complex concepts and carrying them out. I agree with you that it is new complexity.


DAVID: Advanced thought can only occur in a brain of more advanced complexity. The ability to think of the s/s/c of Lucy could not have been the s/s/c of humans.

dhw: You keep repeating that advanced thought depends on an advanced brain, which means that thought depends on the brain, and that is pure materialism, which contradicts your claim to be a dualist. Nobody would claim that Lucy was capable of thinking like sapiens! The evolution of human thought is one of learning. Our ancestors invented primitive killing projectiles, their descendants improved the killing capacity, and now we have projectiles that can obliterate whole countries. Clever us. But is that because we have bigger brains (materialism) or because the s/s/c has built on the knowledge acquired by earlier s/s/c’s, and brains initially expanded and currently complexify in order to implement the new ideas (dualism).

Agreed Lucy couldn't think like we do. But remember, 20,000 years ago no one could think like we do, but 150cc smaller brain and the s/s/c have vastly more complex thinking.


DAVID: Immaterial thought complexity is grounded in the material complexity of the brain. My software/hardware view of s/s/c and brain.

dhw: You are a master of obfuscation. What do you mean by “grounded”? Do you mean your soul lives in your brain during life, or do you mean the brain is the source of our thought? Your software/hardware analogy can only mean that the s/s/c is the software which provides the thought, and the brain is the hardware that implements it. The software does not depend on the hardware for its programmes, but only for implementing its programmes.

The word 'grounded' confuses you? As built on a solid basis of connectivity. They must work together as you full well know I believe. In life the s/s/c must use the brain to create thought. We go back and forth like a ping pong game.


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