Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 19, 2018, 17:43 (238 days ago) @ dhw


Dhw: 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.

DAVID: Of course, yes. As I have always explained your view of dualism is not mine.

dhw: How can you say yes and then claim that our view of dualism is not the same? Our view is identical! You agree that in life the soul (software) does the thinking and interacts with the brain (hardware), which does the implementing. It is therefore a blatant contradiction for a dualist to argue that THOUGHT depends on the size of the brain. It must be the ability to implement that depends on the size of the brain.

You are making black white from the facts we have. The only brain we can study is ours. The Cro-Magnon brain from 20,000 years ago was 150 cc larger in the frontal area where thinking takes place. Since then we have complexly civilized with massive concepts and implementations. All of the planning takes place in the front and it shrank from a developing complexity of neuronal connections.

DAVID: The only evidence we have about brain activity (shrinkage) is in sapiens but it might just as well apply to all pre-sapiens, since evolution builds on mechanisms of its past.

We are trying to find out why the pre-sapiens brain and skull expanded. We know that the brain changes as it implements new thoughts, and modern activity includes expansion and complexification as well as shrinkage. If evolution builds on mechanisms of its past, it is only logical that pre-sapiens brain-changes also took place through the implementation of new thoughts. Whether it shrunk and complexified as well as expanded is irrelevant, since we are only interested in the cause of expansion.

dhw: 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.

dhw: 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: No, brain complexification caused the shrinkage as demonstrated.

dhw: Thank you. So you now agree with my hypothesis concerning shrinkage, and you have agreed that the same processes we know today (thought causing brain change) would have applied to pre-sapiens and can therefore explain pre-sapiens’ brain expansion. What are we arguing about?

Again black is white. The only process that we know about in brain function is shrinkage when operating under intense thought for concepts or planning for implementation. The brain cannot plan for implementation without thought. As for a pre-sapiens making a clay pot, it requires frontal lobe concepts and coordination with the visual area, the motor area, and the cerebellum. What has enlarged since Lucy is primarily the frontal lobes. Designing an airplane is all frontal lobe. Implementation is planning a factory in the frontal lobes! The factory workers use all parts of their brains in working at the factory. So, please define your use of the word 'implementation' as it relates to brain function. For the argument about brain size, it is important to know where thought and actions take place. The s/s/c is compartmentalized in its interface with the brain, a concept you struggle with.


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