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

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 21:15 (189 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] if the present brain is built on the past brain, there is no reason to assume that its process of changing itself in response to new actions was reversed in the past by changing itself in anticipation of new actions.

DAVID: That can be your assumption, but it is not at all the same as our brain confining some new activity to a small enlarged area.

dhw: It is a theory, not an assumption, but you are dismissing it because you assume that the modern brain functions differently from the past brain. The similarity lies in the fact that in both cases there is expansion. We know that in the present, expansion is a response to requirements.

My only point is our brain is a major advance over other brains, and may operate differently because it is so advanced. We do not know how Habilis and Erectus expanded, but we do know about a 150 cc shrink age of our brain as how to fully use it was learned from 315,000 years ago.

DAVID: I know the soul's role in my way of looking at dualism. I think you do understand it, as shown in your reminder. To repeat: for the soul to develop advanced concepts it must use a brain of advanced complexity.

dhw: This is far too general. Our problem is what caused all the expansions. I suggest that once the dualist’s brain has expanded, the dualist’s soul will continue to use it until the next point at which existing capacity is insufficient. Sapiens’ brain reaches capacity, and so the soul continues to use it for new concepts, but instead of overall expansion, there is now advanced complexification, minor expansion, and shrinkage caused by the efficiency of complexification.

Good summary, especially the point about the shrinkage, despite the constant development of new concepts. There is no indication it requires any new enlargement. it appears to be totally adequate for the demands


DAVID: The problem is the innate ability for an existing underlying brain to accommodate the development of new concepts.

dhw: Precisely. And in the past, the existing underlying brain could not accommodate the development (i.e. the actual design and implementation of the new concept, not the conception itself) and therefore had to expand. You’ve got it!

Precisely the opposite approach to mine.


DAVID: Your 'information and implementation' requires understanding that implementation has two parts: developing the abstract concept and then actually making the new idea as a product. It requires abstract thought. Abstract thought is not required to simply receive information. but coordinating the new information into a new concept requires abstract thinking.

dhw: There is no new information initially! The old brain (materialist) or soul (dualist) forms the new concept based on existing information. My proposal is that the effort to develop (design) and actually make the new product is what causes the brain to expand.

Your theory is: The effort to find a new concept doesn't need a new complex brain expansion, but building the new artifact does it! Backward, inside out illogical thought. Abstract envisioning of a new artifact and how to build it is the key step. Actually constructing it is the easy part. I know. I've designed and built things (sheds and barns). I've designed two homes; also two medical clinics, two dialysis units, two business offices and two x-ray departments as part of my work at my clinic, all accepted by the other doctors and the architects as having excellent traffic flow. The later construction was the easy part as blue-collar folks followed the instructions.

DAVID: I'll stick with what archaeologists present: Brains of a given size produce the artifacts found with them and are solely responsible for their appearance. No relation to past brains. And remember the resident soul is using the current brain.

dhw: Already covered earlier. The FIRST artefacts would have been the product(s) resulting from whatever concept(s) CAUSED the pre-sapiens brain to expand to sapiens size. There is no way anyone can possibly prove or disprove this, because an artefact can only exist once the brain has finished expanding through the effort to design and make it.

The bold is still your reversal theory of the series of events archaeologists appear to believe.


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