Revisiting language and brain expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, February 03, 2020, 17:30 (232 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Monday, February 03, 2020, 17:52

DAVID: And the modern brain has shown overall shrinking, remember.

dhw: So the brain responds to new requirements, and does not change in anticipation of them. I explained shrinkage in my post: [the brain] “eventually shrunk, presumably because complexification proved so efficient”. What is your explanation? Did God pop down and say, “Hey, they didn’t need all the capacity I gave ‘em, so I’ll shrink ‘em”?

You are confusing two different events: 200 cc jumps in brain size before the new species uses them to full capacity and the completed modern brain which can enlarge small areas when necessary. Note the entry yesterday about brain complexity ( Sunday, February 02, 2020, 19:29)


dhw: Take it from there. The brain expands. And for a while, the expanded brain can cope with all the demands made on it…until someone else produces - or new conditions demand - new ideas it can no longer cope with. More expansion.

DAVID: This description is totally Darwinian, since it implies bit by bit growth as new needs appear. It totally ignores the 200 cc jumps in size the fossil record exhibits. And how homo lives improves after each jump, as archaeologists show. This is the key issue you constantly evade.

dhw: You quote me and ignore what you quote! I did not say the brain expands with each new need. “The brain expands”(= the jump). “And for a while, the expanded brain can cope with all the demands made on it….” until it can no longer cope. Cue for more expansion (= the next jump).

You are pointing to a possible cause but have no answer as to how the brain suddenly enlarges. For me God does it when needed.


dhw: To our knowledge, every adaptation that has ever happened has been in RESPONSE and not in anticipation. (David’s bold […]

Only minor, within a species, adaptations fit your statement. There are no known reasons for true speciation.

DAVID: Your bold is discussing minor needed adaptations within species. The brain expansion IS major speciation, and you mix up the two concepts. You cannot make species adaptation into speciation.

dhw: We do not know the extent to which adaptation leads to speciation, but expansion and complexification are not innovations, and the human brain was not a new organ! However, NOBODY knows how speciation takes place. All the above is theoretical, as is your proposal that an unknown, eternal mind preprogrammed or dabbled every change before it was required.

Yes, adaptations are not speciation. My proposal is based on the logical need for a designer.


DAVID (Under “Introducing the brain”): […] this applies to our discussion about which came first large brain or from dhw a necessity telling the brain to enlarge and complexify. The dhw approach demands to know how did the brain learn to make itself function better by enlarging and complexifying?

dhw: I propose: In the same manner that ALL evolutionary innovations and adaptations stem from the intelligence, sentience, cooperation, communication and decision-making of cell communities responding to the requirements or opportunities offered by changing conditions. I’m surprised that you have forgotten this theory.

Not forgotten, considered unreasonable, based on free living bacterial abilities


DAVID: Only a designer could have created that mechanism, a mechanism dhw awards to evolving organisms by his suggesting God gave such a mechanism so they could do it themselves.

dhw: And why do you consider that to be an argument against the proposed mechanism?

I don't. Note it requires God! And my God would design it with guidelines to achive His specific purposes.


DAVID: In evolution doesn't the present build from the past? We know local brain areas enlarge, when required (London cabbies, illiterate women). Why a limited capacity now?

dhw: Thank you for acknowledging that changes in the brain are responses to requirements. And yes, evolution builds from the past.The human brain built on the brain of its primate predecessors. That is precisely the process I have described. Limited capacity because we'd have had trouble with an elephant-sized head, and so complexification took over, as explained above (including shrinkage).

Don't thank me! You are again erroneously comparing two very different processes, a small area of the current modern brain modifying to handle a new task, vs. 200 cc jumps in brain size in speciation. Again reverting to and apples and oranges argument.


Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum