Introducing the brain: half a brain is just fine (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, February 23, 2020, 08:37 (213 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] please give me a known example of brains complexifying or expanding in anticipation of new ideas.

DAVID: A conclusion: more advanced artifacts appear only after a new-sized brain is present.

The artefact cannot appear until the concept has been IMPLEMENTED! In my theory it is the implementation that CAUSES the bigger brain, just as the implementation of reading skills, navigational skills, musical skills CAUSES the brains of illiterate women, taxi drivers and musicians to complexify or expand in certain areas. First the idea, then the complexification or expansion as a RESULT of implementing the idea.

dhw: I answered your point about shrinkage. Why won’t you tell us your own theory about it?

DAVID: Obviously plasticity with complexification created the shrinkage, an attribute of our brain given by God.

So your theory is exactly the same as mine: the efficiency of complexification causes the shrinkage.

dhw: I don’t want to get into specifics, but of course later species would already know the concepts of their ancestors and would then add their own concepts, so the earlier species would not have known what the later species knew. Hardly a revelation.

DAVID: Finally good logic. The new big brain gave the later species the ability to add new concepts. So where is the pressure for enlargement if the older group could not conceive of them?

Once more, here is the sequence: Species A has new idea which requires expansion for its implementation. This leads to Species B with bigger brain. Species B goes on for thousands of years with its bigger brain coping with all its new ideas until bigger brain can no longer cope with The Next Big Thing and once again requires expansion for implementation. Even bigger brain leads to Species C. Process repeated until finally brain can expand no more and complexification takes over. Now you have H. sapiens.

DAVID: There are currently indigenous tribes now extant that live in roughly the same fashion as 315,000 years ago, with the same sized brain as the rest of us. […] My point is why did they bother to get the big brain if it wasn't required.

You’d better ask your God, since you think he did it. My point is that they are H. sapiens, descended from the very first H. sapiens. Some sapiens don’t use their brains as much as other sapiens. What’s the problem?

DAVID: The Homo Hobbits had a small brain and lived as the indigenous until 30,000 years ago before disappearing. Why didn't they get the required big brain?

dhw: My point is that they DID get the required brain – though I don’t want to speculate on who turned into who. [...]

DAVID: If a prior species does not have the brain complexity which allows the self/consciousness to know of new concepts/inventions, how can there bean pressure for enlargement? You can't wish for that of which you have no conception.

What do you mean by the brain “allowing the self to know of new concepts”? We do not know the source of ideas, but regardless of whether it is the dualist’s soul or the materialist’s brain, I keep repeating my proposal that it is the IMPLEMENTATION of ideas that changes the brain. The pressure for enlargement therefore came when the existing brain did not have the capacity to IMPLEMENT the new idea. As illustrated by the fact that the modern brain complexifies and even expands in certain areas when a new idea has to be IMPLEMENTED.

Taken from “Can science prove God?”

DAVID: A need for a spear c an be solved only by a brain ready to conceive of the need and design it. If the earlier form cannot conceive of it, there is no perceived need. The bold is not possible until the brain is actually enlarged.

Answered above, but you have focused on my own example, so here yet again is the process: regardless of whether ideas come from the dualist’s soul or the materialist’s brain, small-brained hunters are sick of being mauled by their prey. Someone has an idea: instead of trying to bash the deer with a sharp stone, attach the stone to a shaft and throw it. But this idea has to be implemented, and the work of converting an abstract idea into a concrete reality requires changes to the brain. The small brain of our hunters cannot cope, and so the very effort of IMPLEMENTING the idea causes the expansion, just as nowadays the IMPLEMENTATION of certain skills results in the complexification or EXPANSION of certain areas of the brain in the illiterate women, taxi-drivers and musicians. The idea occurs within the original brain; the implementation of the idea causes changes to the brain.


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