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

by David Turell @, Monday, March 02, 2020, 22:17 (124 days ago) @ dhw

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

dhw: I am not ignoring the gaps, I am explaining them! Read the bold. Every expansion is your gap of xxx cc. Now please tell me what other “knowledge” you are referring to.

Your past discussion has noted specifically areas enlarged in London cabbies and Italian illiterate women who learn to read. All true, but your interpretation is entirely wrong. What type of brain use caused the enlargement? That is the key. Were there new concepts developed which involves planning and design. Of course not. Their brains were learning from known information and the process was memorization of streets and for reading a complex of learning printed words and learning the meaning of some words not known before reading.


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?

dhw: 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.)

Your theory is totally debunked above if you are using the cabbies, etc.


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.

dhw: 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!

Just my point. A new concept will bring new artifacts. Smart new ideas require a more complex brain for use by the soul/consciousness. But teh artifacts will appear after the new brain is used.

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.

dhw: 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.

I don't hide. Adler has taught me how to think properly about God.


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.

dhw: 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.

I've shown you the bold is not true. Just to help you the only true sort-of evidence we have about enlargement is Einstein's autopsy. The area thought to relate to his theorizing was much thicker. Problem:was he born with it or did he develop it from thinking/conceptualizing? We don't know. Brilliant folks are generally born that way? No real evidence.


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