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

by dhw, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 11:20 (107 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: We do not agree because you keep refusing to acknowledge that there is a development from the initial concept to the design and material production of the artefact: from “me throw something sharp” to “me design and make artefact no one ever designed or made before.

DAVID: Not in my personal experience. The initial step is the conceptual recognition of the need for new artifact and the immaterial development of the concept of the necessary design. All requires a degree of mental complexity. Once the design is recognized the rest is hand work to produce. In Edison's case some degree of trial and error also was employed.

So when in this process do you think your God stepped in to enlarge the brain? According to me, it is small-brained homo who recognizes the need and thinks to himself “Maybe me throw something sharp”. THAT is the initial concept. THEN come design and “hand work” which together require and create a greater capacity. You have your God stepping in before the small-brained homo even recognizes the need for a new artefact. I find your view doubly surprising in the light of your dualism, in which it is the soul and not the brain that creates concepts. You agree that the soul uses the brain to gather information and to turn abstract concepts into real artefacts by design and “hand work”. And so I keep asking you what new information the enlarged brain could have provided to spark off the initial concept of “Maybe me throw something sharp”. Your answers so far have simply avoided the question.

dhw: It is impossible to know whether the larger brain preceded the design and making of the first artefact or was caused by it – the result would be the same: simultaneous appearance of larger brain and first artifact.

DAVID: What is logical is the bigger brained produced the newer more complex artifact as archaeologists present their studies.

You have agreed that archaeologists do not speculate on what caused the expansion of the brain, and in any case all except the very first artefacts would indeed have been conceived and produced by the larger brain (materialism). Your comment simply ignores my own in relation to the first artefacts: there is no way of knowing, so please don’t pretend that one explanation is more logical than the other.

Dhw: […] New and intense mental effort is required to turn the initial concept into material reality through design and manual work. We know from all our studies of the brain that mental effort CAUSES changes to the brain. (The examples are meant only to illustrate the process, not to pinpoint the exact cause of each and every expansion.)[/i]

DAVID: As is obvious I totally disagree with your theory. I believe your bolded sentence I created all occurs in the larger brain. What made the brain larger was God at each stage of 200 cc bigger.

I know you disagree with it, and I know you think God expanded the brain before the homo was able to realize that he needed a better weapon. You also believe that there is a soul that does all the thinking and uses the brain to gather information, but this realization was based only on information already available to the smaller-brained ancestor, so how could the larger brain have given the soul a new idea if it did not provide any new information? You also claim that the new and intense mental effort does not occur until the brain has already expanded, but the only process we actually know of is that the brain changes as a result of mental effort (illiterate women, taxi drivers) and also physical effort (musicians), not in advance of it. You have even illustrated this today under “examples of plasticity”:
QUOTE: “Professional violinists practice these movements for hours each day. "This has a consequence on the physical arrangement of the connections in their brains, because movements of the fingers are controlled by a specific brain area. In professional violinists, the area expands….” (dhw's bold)

Why should we believe that the process was reversed in earlier homos, i.e. expansion first, then new concepts and new tasks?

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