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

by dhw, Monday, March 09, 2020, 11:03 (125 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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: There are no known facts to support your dream theory. Imagination makes anything see m possible.

Yet again, you ignore my request for known facts that make my theory impossible, let alone for known facts supporting your theory that God preprogrammed or dabbled each successive expansion.

dhw: If it can enlarge on a small scale now, it is not unreasonable to suppose that in earlier times, when the whole organism could adapt to carrying a larger brain, the same process would have taken place. You continue to ignore my plea for the extra knowledge you have that indicates the brain functioned differently in the past.

DAVID: All I can repeat is all archaeological articles equate the advance in artifact complexity with the new large brain size. No one uses your step.

You keep agreeing that none of these articles even attempt to solve the problem of brain expansion. Do any of them tell us that God expanded the brain before early homo thought of making a spear? In my theory, the new artefact is also equated with the new brain size since its making was what caused the expansion!

dhw: You keep insisting that each expansion is a jump engineered by your God. A jump suggests discontinuity. And so if the earlier smaller brain did not expand into the later larger brain as a result of the smaller brain’s activities, you have discontinuity. Also exemplified by the theory of random mutations.

DAVID: A twist in meanings as usual. If God is continuously in charge there is no discontinuity in control. God does not come and go as your statement implies, as I stated above.

If God dabbles, how can it be anything but a “come and go”?

DAVID: Random mutations? I thought we had left that aspect of Darwin behind, b ut you can't ever seem to leave him.

I do not accept the theory of random mutations! I merely pointed out that it entails a jump, just like your God dabbling. (In fact Darwin himself rejected the idea of Nature jumping!)

dhw: it is the implementation of the concept that causes the expansion – just as the modern brain changes in RESPONSE to new activities and not before them.

DAVID: Fuzzy use of 'implementation" again.

Do you really not know what the word means? When any abstract concept, idea, desire, plan is implemented, it is turned into reality. The idea/concept of a spear is turned into a real spear; the desire to read is turned into the actual ability to read; an abstract plan or strategy turns into real action. And surprise, surprise, we know that it is the realization of the concept, desire, strategy, plan that is known to change the brain.

dhw: Yet again: the modern brain changes itself through its efforts to meet new demands. I propose that the ancient brain did the same. I ask you for evidence that the ancient brain did not do the same, and you never answer.

DAVID: Tiny modern brain enlargements from learning new info as the whole brain shrinks 150 cc over the past 35,000 years offers nothing to support your daydream.

How many more times? We agree that shrinkage is due to the efficiency of complexification. It is the tiny modern enlargements which support the theory that the brain cell community can expand as a result of implementing ideas.

DAVID: Daydreams have no counter evidence. They are pure smoke. From the standpoint of understanding evolution, the current processes of our brain is based on real processes of past ancestral brains.

Precisely. And the current processes indicate that the brain changes AS A RESULT of implementing ideas, and not in anticipation of ideas. This is not a daydream. Some folk would suggest that an unknown all-powerful intellect preprogramming or dabbling everybody’s brain expansion at intervals is more of a daydream than the theory that modern brains work the same way as ancient brains would have done.

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