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

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 14, 2020, 21:16 (120 days ago) @ dhw

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.

Your idea is pure theory based on what I view as a 'category' idea: any brain enlargement of any size definitely implies any sized enlargement is possible. Of course it is, just as anything you declare possible is possible out of thin air. Categorically tiny enlargements are only that, and offer no proof 200 cc enlargements come from the same causes.

dhw: [/b] 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.[/i]

You have forgotten my rule. You love to dig into God's reasons. I don't. My guess is the bigger brain contained a complexification mechanism, which as complexity was accomplished the mechanism disappeared. Logical, yes. Correct, only God knows?


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

dhw: 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.

God made the enlarged brain. Complexification shrunk it. What is your problem?

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.

dhw: That is precisely what I have repeatedly tried to explain.

Explaining without God in charge makes your job difficult. I've given a logical guess as to why larger at first above. Again, only god knows if it is correct.


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.

dhw: 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”.

Of course reasonable, but is your guess correct? Only God knows. Try accepting what God did without hunting for His reasons. My logical guess is above. But why bother?


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.

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

Of course they do. they follow instructions for alterations .


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.

dhw: 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.

You know full well my theory: the soul uses more complex mechanisms in the brain for more complex conceptualization thought


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