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

by dhw, Saturday, March 28, 2020, 12:59 (106 days ago) @ David Turell

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: As below all you imply is a recognized need for a new concept forces the brain to expand.

No! It is the EFFORT to implement the concept that forces the brain to expand! Just as in the modern brain it is the EFFORT to read, to memorize routes, to play an instrument, to develop complex ideas that forces the brain to complexify and/or expand in certain areas.

DAVID: We have a current need for a real string theory like theory that works and to understand quantum theory. The greatest advance was Einstein over a century ago, with a tiny part of the brain enlarged one centimeter thicker. Proves giant jump in size unnecessary.

Once more: It is not the need for a theory but the EFFORT to develop theories that changes the brain. Of course Einstein’s sapiens brain didn’t do a giant jump! Major expansion had long since finished. But a brain one sixth the size of the sapiens brain would not have had enough capacity to design and construct our artefacts or to develop our theories or to perform our new tasks. You simply keep ignoring the fact that the modern brain changes through performing a task – it does not change in anticipation. There is no reason to suppose that the ancient brain did not change for the same reason.

dhw: 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: My God, as I think of Him is much too purposeful to do that. he runs the show completely. You humanized God is God-lite as usual. God has given all forms epigenetics for minor modifications of existing species, but no evidence of anything more.
I view ancient brains as enlarging small areas with plasticity as our brain does now. Giant leaps are God's doing.

Perhaps the key words in your comment are “as I think of him”. Perhaps for a moment you could stop thinking of him and of the purpose and method you impose on him, and simply think of the subject under discussion. Please explain to me why you think it is not possible for the ancient brain to have functioned in the same way as the modern brain: namely, by changing itself AS A RESULT OF THE EFFORT TO PERFORM NEW TASKS. I’m not asking you to believe it. Just tell me why you don’t think it’s possible.

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