Big brain evolution: learning new tasks (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, April 27, 2018, 11:58 (943 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Using my software/hardware analogy, only an complex brain can be the home for complex s/s/c thought. The artifacts show it.

dhw: My objection is to your claim that the soul can’t think new thoughts until it has a bigger/more complex home. Your software/hardware analogy, as you keep agreeing, is software thought and hardware implementation. You can’t have one without the other, but the function of the hardware is to implement the thoughts of the software. The artefacts are the implementations of the soul’s thoughts. You can have your pre-sapiens soul sitting inside the pre-frontal cortex if you like, but it’s sitting there directing the operations of expansion or complexification that will implement its thoughts. It does not sit there waiting for the implemental complexifications and expansions to arrive before it can do its thinking.

DAVID: You keep agreeing that the software/hardware analogy fits, but you refuse to recognize that only a complex expanded capacity computer can do complex expanded capacity solutions/concepts.

What do you mean by “do”? Only a complex expanded capacity computer brain can implement the new complex concepts that are provided by the software s/s/c. If your computer is working perfectly well with the software you already have, you don’t get a new one. I suggest that the pre-sapiens brain (computer) could not implement the new concepts provided by the s/s/c (software), and so it required additional cells and connections (a computer with a larger capacity).

DAVID: […] I know I made the thought initiated in my prefrontal cortex, which then told my motor cortex what to do. Immaterial thought appeared in this material entry. Obvious dualism.

dhw: All agreed, but your thinking “I” is your s/s/c. So your s/s/c is sitting in your pfc thinking its thoughts, and then it tells the rest of the brain what to do, and you produce this entry. Thought first, material implementation second. That is indeed how your form of dualism works. And if your sapiens brain were asked to perform a task it had never performed before (e.g. if you were an illiterate person just learning to write) your brain would respond by making new connections or complexifying. It would not make new connections/complexify/expand in anticipation of the new tasks.

DAVID: Once again, you are discussing what we know about the sapiens brain, and forgetting that evolution builds on what was accomplished in the past iterations of progressive species. We do not know that the erectus brain did not have the same plasticity, but perhaps not to the same degree. Recognize that erectus may well have had brain plasticity. It fits what we know.

Another of your straw men. I have never suggested that erectus did not have brain plasticity – how else could it have expanded? No doubt it complexified too, until the s/s/c came up with concepts that required a great capacity. You insist that your God provided the greater capacity before it was needed. I propose that the need led to the increased capacity.

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