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

by dhw, Friday, March 27, 2020, 11:52 (180 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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: Totally twisted interpretation: of course the existing brain/soul know the exiting information, but the new concept is an immaterial new idea of how to kill with staff and stone tip. It has to be conceived immaterially and made manually. I don't know where three stages come from or how multiplying the number of stages forces a brain to enlarged.

I don’t know how else I can explain it, but I’ll try using illiteracy as an analogy, though this only has two stages as it does not require material production. X is illiterate and has the abstract idea that he wants to learn to read. Y is a hunter and has the abstract idea that hunting would be less dangerous if he could kill the bison from a distance by throwing something. They both want to do something they have never done before. That is the first stage, and at this stage there is no change to the brain. What changes X’s brain is the effort to read. Case proven. In my theory, what changes Y’s brain is the effort to design and make the means of killing from a distance. In both cases, the brain only changes AS A RESULT of the effort to fulfil the desire. According to your theory, the brain must change BEFORE it can have the initial desire to implement a concept. NB This is an analogy. Nobody knows why the brain expanded, but we know that the modern brain changes (complexifies or expands in certain areas) because of the effort to perform new tasks. It is therefore perfectly logical to propose that past brains worked in the same way.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: We don't know that your 'needy' brain can expand itself!

But we do know that the ‘needy’ brain can complexify itself and can expand in restricted areas. Or do you think your God is constantly fiddling with all our brains? If there was room in the past for it to expand as a whole, it is not unreasonable to propose that that is what it did.

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.

dhw: 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: I know our point of discussion. What makes bigger brains. I'm arguing at your non-god natural level, but my 'always' choice is God enlarged them.

You are not even arguing at my level, because you simply want to ignore the evidence provided by the modern brain, which changes "naturally". And please remember that my level does not exclude God. It simply excludes your fixed belief that your God could not have set up a mechanism to enable evolution to go on “naturally” without his preprogramming or dabbling every single development throughout its whole history.

DAVID: The studies always equate the artifacts with the current folks:

dhw: The article describes developments after the brain had expanded to current sapiens size! 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.

DAVID: And I think your multiple stages of discovery and thought, discovery and thought cannot force a whole brain to expand naturally.

And for the last time today: Modern brains naturally complexify and/or expand in restricted areas as a result of performing certain tasks. There is no reason to suppose that ancient brains did not do the same.

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