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

by dhw, Thursday, March 26, 2020, 15:47 (10 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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”.

DAVID: …it seems your mind does not recognize my answers. The God-enlarged more complex brain does all the job, showing the soul all the current necessary info and allows the soul to conjure up the new design, how to construct it and instructs the hands and eyes to do the fairly simple construction work.

Yet again you try to gloss over the fact that there are THREE stages, of which the first – which you always try to omit - is a concept that arises solely out of EXISTING information: hunter, bison, danger from close-quarter killing. Out of this comes the new idea – kill by throwing something sharp. From then on, in your dualistic version, the soul and brain will work together as you describe, designing and constructing, and in my theory it is THIS combined effort which causes the brain to expand. In your theory the brain had ALREADY expanded before that initial concept was conceived. So what role did the brain play in the soul’s conceiving the new concept, which arose solely out of EXISTING information? None. Therefore no need for expansion until the concept exists and presents the soul and brain with new tasks.

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

dhw: 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.

DAVID: That they don't speculate is no reason to ignore the way they present their findings.

They present their findings without any reference to the reason for expansion.

Dhw: …how could the larger brain have given the soul a new idea if it did not provide any new information?

DAVID: As above, of course the bigger brain knew the past as in the erectus study and provided the soul with the complexity to create advanced artifacts: (Thursday, March 05, 2020, 21:40)

The question is why the smaller brain expanded! Each smaller brain would have known the past and would have continued to create more advanced artefacts until its capacity was once more exceeded by another new concept. Then it would have needed to expand again.

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)

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

DAVID: Since you and I accept common descent, my logical assumption is that the early hominin/homo brains brains did expand tiny areas as the current brain does.

Our brains still expand in tiny areas as a result of mental and physical activities. It is therefore logical to suppose that in the past, when there was room for overall expansion, the same process took place.

DAVID: What you constantly seem to forget is that the H. sapiens brain arrived 315,000 years ago, filled with past knowledge and then gradually developed our current knowledge and uses, language 50-70,000 years ago recruiting cerebellar connections in the process.

You don’t need to go through the history of civilization AFTER the pre-sapiens brain had expanded! The question is why the brain expanded in the first place.

DAVID: That does not fit your theories which are counter to my belief God did in all in advance. You won't use God. I do.

If God exists, I can “use” him in far more logical ways than preprogramming/dabbling bigger brains, whales’ flippers and transverse arches before they are needed. Your next quote shows you have missed the point of our discussion:

DAVID: The studies always equate the artifacts with the current folks:
https://cosmosmagazine.com/archaeology/new-clues-to-new-guinea-s-past?utm_source=Cosmos...

QUOTE: "Artefacts uncovered in the highlands of what is now Papua New Guinea (PNG) reveal a shift in human behaviour between 5050 and 4200 years ago in response to the widespread emergence of agriculture, ushering in a regional era similar to the Neolithic in Eurasia."

DAVID: humans use what they are taught and what they teach themselves to do.

The article describes developments after the brain had expanded to current sapiens size! Of course they use what they are taught and what they teach themselves and of course the artefacts appear after the expansion of the brain. You have simply forgotten what we are discussing: WHAT CAUSED BRAINS TO EXPAND? And I keep repeating that it is the first artefacts produced by the new species that will have caused the expansion. All later artefacts will have been made when the brain had already expanded.


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