Human evolution; our complex speech mechanism (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, November 29, 2018, 10:08 (544 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: What can a new concept to act upon or do if the newly needed structure is not in place? Cart before horse.

dhw: It is implementation of concepts new to the individual that creates new neurons and new connections as the person learns. I thought you had accepted this, as it was clearly illustrated by the examples of the Indian women, taxi drivers, musicians. We do not know where the original concepts come from, but I am not trying to restart the discussion on materialism versus dualism, and should not have opened the door to that particular subject. My apologies. I am simply wondering (pure conjecture) whether the “evolution” of the individual’s brain as it adds and complexifies through childhood and into adulthood mirrors the evolution of the brain through history, with its additions and complexifications – just as the “evolution” of the individual embryo appears to relive (that might be a better term) at least part of the history of human evolution. It’s just a thought that struck me. Maybe the idea is too fanciful?

DAVID: You've jumped to minor plasticity in newly literate Indian women using a very complex brain they were given and plastically changed a little. Speech requires the complexity of the human brain starting 300,000 years ago. The eventually completed complex brain takes until 25 years old and may in part (I agree with you) mimic evolution of it.

No one would doubt that speech requires greater complexity than non-speech, but we needn’t go over all that again. Thank you for your agreement that individual evolution may mirror/relive/mimic historical evolution. This ties in with a vague concept I have of microcosms mirroring macrocosms, but this would be a colossal field that you are certainly better equipped to explore than I am.

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