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

by dhw, Monday, March 02, 2020, 11:41 (124 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Please use all our knowledge. Don't just pick out part of what we know to further your argument.

dhw: There is absolutely no reason why the current known process should NOT be applied to the past: more advanced sets of attributes would apply to every expansion and every complexification resulting from the implementation of new ideas. Nobody “knows” why or how past brains expanded – the only knowledge we have comes from our observation of the modern brain, so what is the rest of the “knowledge” you are referring to?

DAVID: You are, as usual, ignoring the gaps in brain size, 150 cc each time with new artifacts.

I am not ignoring the gaps, I am explaining them! Read the bold. Every expansion is your gap of xxx cc (last time it was 125 cc). Now please tell me what other “knowledge” you are referring to.

dhw: We find improved artefacts ACCOMPANYING the appearance of the bigger brain! According to my theory, it is the process of production that causes enlargement, so you can only find the artefact when the brain has expanded!

DAVID: […] In your weird approach I can image the artifacts came first and then the brain enlarged from its efforts. How do you timeline the separate events?

Of course the artefacts did not come first! My "approach" is that the concept came first, and the brain enlarged BECAUSE of the effort to design and implement the concept – just as the modern brain complexifies or enlarges certain sections BECAUSE OF the effort to read and write, memorize, or make music.(And since you keep raising the issue, the modern brain has shrunk because of the efficiency of complexification.)

dhw: The earlier homo doesn’t think about what it needs in future! It thinks about how it can improve its responses to the needs of the present! We think of it as a smaller brain because it WAS a smaller brain, and we think of it as more primitive because the improvements only became visible once the brain had expanded!

DAVID: But it is limited to only what its soul can conceive of, using a less complex brain.

Disregarding your materialist/dualist obfuscation, you might just as well say that nobody can think of anything he/she can't think of. I'm sure we'll all agree! The whole point of my theory is that somewhere along the line, some early homo(s) thought of something nobody else had thought of (it's also happened in modern times, just in case you hadn't noticed), and the concept leads to new activities which demand changes to the brain. In those early days this meant expansion. Nowadays the outcome is complexification.

DAVID: We each discuss our viewpoints about God from how we conceive of God. Adler has guided me as to how to do it properly.

I’m sorry, but nobody has the right to say their way of thinking about God is the proper way. Please stop hiding behind Adler.

DAVID (under “cerebellar contributions"): the development of language has caused our cerebellum to assume new functions beyond the usual sensory-motor functions that were well understood.

dhw: Yes, an example of how new demands cause changes to the brain. The cerebellum would not have changed itself in anticipation of language development.

DAVID: But as usual you forget. In anticipation of our newer developing functions, such as grammatical language our complex brain has been given excellent plasticity to make all the necessary adaptations and still shrink 150 cc in 30-35,000 years.

Stop harping on about shrinkage unless you have a different explanation from the one we have agreed on. Of course our brain has excellent plasticity. It would not have complexified or expanded if it didn’t. That is not the issue. The issue is your claim that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every change in advance of new concepts, as opposed to the only process we can actually observe, which is that the brain changes in its efforts to implement new concepts. But NB there would also have been new concepts after expansion...until once more the concept exceeded the capacity. When the brain reached its final capacity (ours), subsequent new concepts led to complexification, not expansion.

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