Evolution and humans: all over Africa (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, May 07, 2018, 12:46 (221 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: “fMRO: a very critical review again": “…you see activity in a brain region and assign it a specific function. But it’s completely wrong. Multiple functions are subsumed by multiple areas, which are handled by cognitive networks. It’s very complicated.This is why I prefer to talk of the brain in general, but it may well be that the pfc is the control centre where conceptualization takes place and which sends out instructions to the rest of the brain.

DAVID: You are totally confused about the brain. Yes, the whole brain is operating all the time, but definite areas as consigned to where the s/s/c does its work, and the thinking area to create concepts is the pfc, nothing else. The pfc does extract known memory facts from the hippocampus and elsewhre in doing the collating of its thoughts, but those thoughts are in the pfc.

I am totally ignorant about the brain, and therefore rely on what the specialists tell me. If specialists disagree, yes, I am confused. You wrote: “The fMRI follows muscle movement and other application areas fairly easily but thought may be in frontal areas and is influenced by other areas controlling emotions, which are harder to define.” I like your “may be”. When you say emotions are harder to define, you raise the whole question of definition. Where exactly is the border between thought, emotion, memory etc.? Are the “cognitive networks” confined to the pfc? But none of this makes any difference to the following:

dhw: If so [i.e. the pfc is the control centre], it is perfectly reasonable to suppose that the dualist’s “soul” will expand its set of material controls as it sends out its new instructions, rather than its material controls expanding before it has even thought of any new instructions to send out.
DAVID: A concept from thin air. The soul drives the enlargement of the brain? Enlarges the skull and changes the mother's pelvis? I didn't know souls had that power, being immaterial.

You want to read and write, so your soul drives your hand to handle the pen and your brain to make the new connections. Do you think your God expands the taxi-driver’s hippocampus and the musician’s auditory cortex before they can take up their professions? If your soul can change the brain cells, why can’t it get other cell communities to change as well? Why does your God have to preprogramme or dabble every change?

DAVID: The concept of the spear developed in a pfc complex enough to think of it.
dhw: Once again you have the brain (pfc) doing the thinking. Pure materialism. (Fine with me, but you keep forgetting that you are a dualist.)
DAVID: I never forget. I assume you always remember that I have shown the s/s/c has consigned areas of the brain in which to work.

Then there is no disagreement. Of course concepts develop in the area of the brain where concepts develop.

DAVID: Ability to have more complex thought can only come from a more complex thinking area for the s/s/c to use.
dhw: “[…] Are you saying that your immaterial piece of God’s consciousness has to have more space in order to do more thinking? That simply makes no sense! If your immaterial piece of God’s consciousness does not have enough materials to give material expression/implementation to its immaterial thoughts, then it needs additional materials. Hence expansion.
DAVID: Your response makes no sense in light of my statement. The brain has a thinking area for the s/s/c, the pfc and frontal cortex. That portion enlarged and thinking became much more complex. Implementation is performed by other parts of the brain that did not enlarge in the steps from Lucy to us.

But did the portion enlarge BEFORE thought could become more complex, or BECAUSE thought became more complex? As above, if the dualist’s soul is sitting in the pfc, the more messages it has to send out, the more material connections (producing the “cognitive networks”) it has to make. This means either complexification or, if the brain runs out of space, expansion, which leads us to:

DAVID: Your request for studies into enlargement of the brain have no basis of facts in which to work. All we've got is fossils to measure.

It was you who said we must “interpret past evolution by studying what we see now”. What we see now is brain changes CAUSED by and not PRECEDING the implementation of new concepts.

DAVID (addendum): I've found a theoretical study about how human brain growth starts:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180504103802.htm
DAVID: this study does not help us decide our differences, but it certainly demonstrates how different our brain start is compared to other animals.

Agreed. It doesn’t help us at all! The wonderful article on porpoises is probably more to the point, as it touches on the question of borderlines between thought and emotion.

DAVID: As for what God did, I feel He was/is in charge of what evolution did/does. His work is the best explanation for the arrival of eh human brain. Your theory simply accepts that.

If your God exists, then of course he was/is in charge, in the sense that he set up the mechanism for evolution, and could always interfere if he felt like it. How does that come to mean that the brain had to expand before pre-sapiens could think of new concepts?


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