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

by dhw, Saturday, March 14, 2020, 12:31 (120 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: We are trying to explain why the pre-sapiens brain expanded, but the sapiens brain stopped expanding and has actually shrunk. Of course the modern brain is sufficient, because complexification took over from enlargement and proved so efficient that the brain has actually shrunk. Please explain why it is illogical to suggest that if the brain enlarges on a small scale now, it might have enlarged on a large scale in earlier times. According to you, God preprogrammed or dabbled the whole process, each expansion taking place before it was needed. So please explain without any fluffiness why you think he stopped the expansion and engineered increased complexification (plus mini-enlargements) to take over, and why he then presumably decided that the brain was too big and needed shrinking.

DAVID: You are simply describing facts that I know God produced.

You don’t “know” any such thing, and I have asked you to explain your interpretation of the facts, as bolded.

DAVID: Sapiens arrived with a barely used brain and then employed your implementation process with in the end shrinking.

dhw: You have totally missed the point of our whole discussion, which concerns the reason for each expansion. That is why I keep emphasizing that it is the first artefact that would have been the cause. Once the new brain is in place, it continues to produce new things until the next “big idea” requires further capacity. Each new capacity is “barely used” initially, and then it is used until it proves inadequate. Sapiens’ capacity would have arrived in the same way, but when new concepts had to be implemented, it complexified instead of expanding etc., as above.

This is a vital part of the process I am proposing. As you constantly point out, “sapiens arrived with a barely used brain”. Our subject is what caused the arrival of the new large brain, and what caused its later shrinkage. I've offered you a detailed explanation, but all you can say is “So false an approach”. Please tell me which step in this process you consider to be false.

dhw: […] You yourself admit that we cannot “know” whether Einstein’s thicker brain sections were the cause or the result of his innovative thinking. See also your dualist’s dilemma in the parenthesis at the start of this paragraph.

DAVID: No dilemma. It all follows my dualist theory in the soul having to use a more complex brain to generate more complex concepts.

You have agreed that according to your dualism, the soul uses the brain to gather information and to implement (make real) its concepts. According to dualism the brain does not conceive concepts, and yet over and over again you keep saying that it does.Do you want me to go through the list of quotes again?

dhw: You have no idea why your God would have made it bigger than necessary - “Pounding same dead horse. I don't look for His reasons. No need.” – whereas I have provided a logical explanation for the whole sequence.

DAVID: We don't know why the brain started out bigger.

That is precisely what I have repeatedly tried to explain. See above and below.

DAVID: All we can presume is it was a requirement of the development of the more complex smaller brain later on. Just follow what happened. we cannot know God's reasons. Remember.

The fact that we cannot “know” God’s reasons does not mean that God acted in the way you tell us he did! We can at least make intelligent, logical guesses to explain the facts. For instance, yet again: the sapiens brain reached its maximum size for the practicalities of human anatomy, complexification took over, and (as you keep agreeing and then trying to disagree), complexification proved so efficient that the brain shrank. I find this rather more reasonable than “God did it and we don’t/can’t know why”.

Under “Neurons change to form memories”:
QUOTE: Even slight alterations to this signal affected the mRNA's journey to its target destination, showing the sophisticated mechanisms brain cells develop to control the logistics of thousands of different messages.

Once again the process is one in which the cells RESPOND to events. They do not make alterations in advance of them.

DAVID: Once again a very refined system of molecular changes to manage the system of memory formation. Which raises the next issue: when you try to remember a given pint, how does the brain go about finding it? Nothing about our brain is all that simple, when digging into the biochemistry of thought and memory. Our brain is obviously a miraculous outcome of evolution. Evolution was not unguided but designed.

Yes indeed, it is a miracle. And your comment emphasizes your materialistic view of it, since you have the brain and not the soul searching for the “pint” (I love this misprint! Hic!). This ties in with my earlier attempts to reconcile dualism and materialism under a Theory of Intelligence, beginning on 26 April 2018.

I have shifted the rest of your post to the thread concerning your theory of evolution


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