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

by dhw, Saturday, March 07, 2020, 11:28 (202 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: We agree. So why do you keep talking of what “a more advanced brain can conceive” and “a thinking brain”? You claim to be a dualist, but these expressions are materialist. (No problem in itself. My objection is to your inconsistency.)

DAVID: It is not my inconsistency. You forget my fixed view which I view as assumed in discussions we have. Review my comment today (Friday, March 06, 2020, 17:21)

Your “fixed view” is the one I have defined (the soul uses the brain for information and implementation) and which I keep reminding you of, because you persistently forget it and tell us that the brain does the thinking and conceiving!

DAVID: You say above the new areas of enlargement are small segments!

dhw: Yes, because the sapiens brain cannot enlarge any more (hence the irrelevance of your American Indians, which I see you have dropped) – and I have extrapolated my theory from the known fact that the modern brain responds to new requirements by complexifying or enlarging. There is no reason to assume that smaller past brains did not function in the same way, so yet again I ask you to give us the additional known facts that support your own theory.

DAVID: Your bolded statements are not fact. Our brain has shrunk 150 cc since 35,00 years ago, and most likely is an endpoint in evolution and most probably won't enlarge again, not "cannot". That shrinkage was caused by complexification and plasticity.

You still refuse to give us the known facts that support your theory or "debunk" mine. My “cannot” referred to my proposal that any further expansion (disregarding the leeway left by shrinkage) would create havoc with our general anatomy.

DAVID: The second bold implies the new uses of brain made giant enlargements, not the tiny ones we know about.

No it doesn’t! I was explaining WHY there are only small segments, in reply to your comment (now bolded).

DAVID: As for ancient brains, yes they operated in similar ways, perhaps less complex ways, but this means any new uses made tiny enlargements in those brains just like our brain does.

Nobody knows why earlier brains expanded. From the known fact that the modern brain makes “tiny enlargements”, I have extrapolated the theory that in former times the brain was able to make large enlargements. Please tell us any known facts that make this impossible.

DAVID: How our brain works is inherited from the past with new modifications, simple evolution. Nothing is consistent in your illogical theory. Tiny enlargements cannot be extrapolated to 200 cc gaps! The gaps are totally unexplained. I have God to point to. You use natural changes that somehow appear. You see the need for design, but won't accept a designing mind. So we differ.

Again: what knowledge do you have to support your contention that the brain functioned differently in the past from the way it functions in the present (complexifying and enlarging)? I use “cellular intelligence” (possibly designed by God), not “somehow” to explain the gaps. I would say it is more logical to assume continuity than a complete break that requires your God to step in every time he wants to design a new form of homo as he dabbles his way towards the only homo he actually wants to design.

DAVID: This article shows the mind-set of Archaeologists: the fossils that are found with the artifacts created the artifacts, but newer species still used older species artifacts, which obviously were carried over by the newer species. Erectus knew what habilis created and used. I see no support for your evolution of brain size theory.
DAVID: Archaeologists and paleontologists both equate tools and fossils to showing what the fossils created. Habilis did not tell Erectus what to do.”

dhw: Why are you surprised that thinking beings use the knowledge and inventions of their predecessors? Then of course they went on to create their own implements. But this has nothing to do with the causes of brain expansion! What’s your argument? Erectus used habilis’s tools, and this proves that God expanded erectus’s brain before he used the tools and invented his own? The archaeologists are dealing with a totally different subject!

DAVID: No, God enlarged the brain to the Erectus stage and erectus of course invented his own new artifacts. Of course the artifacts discussion has a direct relation to brain enlargement. Your theory is falling apart with this new set of papers showing how archaeologists in interpret their physical findings. Of course they are not discussing brain enlargements causes, but we must use their findings to think logically. I find your theory as weaker and weaker.

Apart from your extraordinary knowledge of what God did (first sentence), you have not provided a single argument against my proposal! Once more: What the archaeologists have found does not and cannot tell us whether the first artefacts were conceived before or after the expansion of the pre-erectus brain.(Only the first are relevant, because obviously later artefacts were conceived and created after expansion….until eventually that brain couldn’t cope any more, and new concepts required another expansion….on and on till we reach H. sapiens.) Bearing this in mind, please pinpoint anything in the article or in your own “knowledge” that makes my theory illogical or “weaker and weaker”.

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