Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 13:14 (308 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

DAVID: 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.

Drugs are also chemicals and can totally change a person’s way of thinking. It is not clear to me whether your final sentence is or is not an acknowledgement of the materialistic/dualistic dichotomy I keep pointing out in the scientific research and in your own insistence that, despite your professed dualism, the s/s/c can only THINK by using the brain except when it hasn’t got a brain to think with. Do you or do you not acknowledge this dichotomy in both contexts?

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.
DAVID: 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

Shrinkage is in sapiens, and I keep offering you an explanation for it. My hypothesis of concepts forcing expansion refers to pre-sapiens. Once more, here is my hypothesis step by step:
Pre-sapiens: small brain, new concepts force expansion of brain and skull to implement them.
Sapiens: brain and skull have reached maximum size for comfort. New concepts force complexification and limited expansion of certain areas within given skull size. Efficiency of complexification causes overall shrinkage.

Please explain in equally direct terms what you object to, and please explain what you think is the cause of shrinkage.

DAVID: 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.

Yes, we know the modern s/s/c thinks vastly more complex thoughts. I have explained that thought evolves, as generations build on the thoughts of previous generations. Are you now saying that shrinkage has CAUSED the new thoughts?

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

I have explained the ambiguity of "grounded". Yes, the thinking mechanism must work together with the implementing mechanism in life, in order to give material expression/form to its thoughts. So do you believe that in life you have an immaterial thinking soul (software) which interacts with the material brain (hardware) by using it to gather information and to implement its thoughts? A simple yes or no may end this set of ping pong and we can start the next.

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