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

by dhw, Sunday, March 29, 2020, 13:22 (97 days ago) @ David Turell

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

dhw: 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: I think of this as totally backward. A concept is an immaterial thought of a new tool, and it can only appear if the brain/soul complex are advanced enough to imagine it. The actual production of the tool is hand eye work based on knowledge of materials available to use: napping stone into sharp point and attaching to shaft.

In the case of the spear, the initial immaterial concept is to remove the necessity of close quarter hunting by inventing a weapon to kill from a distance. That initial idea springs from existing information. The brain does not need any additional capacity. But from that moment onwards, the brain (materialist) or soul (dualist) must make the effort to translate the idea into reality, and that requires design (new thoughts) and manual labour. It is new thoughts (e.g. illiterates, Einstein) and labour (musicians) which force changes to the modern brain. The only difference is that the earlier brain was capable of overall expansion in order to implement its initial concept, whereas the modern brain has stopped expanding and complexifies instead (with minor expansions). Your theory would only work if we knew that the brain complexified or expanded before it could have the original concept and the new thoughts arising from the concept. This is contrary to all the known facts, and is doubly illogical if you believe in a soul which does all the thinking and only uses the brain to gather information and to give solid form to the immaterial concept.

DAVID: A correction first: early Lucy brain one-quarter size. (dhw: Thank you. Maybe there were smaller brains before Lucy!) I'll stick with archaeological fact that advanced artifacts are only found with advanced brain size.

Once again you ignore the argument that it is the FIRST artefact that will have caused the expansion, after which the same brain will produce new ones until once more its capacity is not sufficient. And there is absolutely no way in which archaeologists can know whether the brain had already expanded before the production of the FIRST artefact, or as a result of its production.

DAVID: As above, there can be no effort to find a new immaterial concept if the brain is not complex enough to begin with to think of it.

And as usual you the dualist fall into your own trap of attributing the thought to the complex brain instead of to the soul. See above for the functions of the soul and the brain in dualism, and see below for the same problem. (Materialists will opt for the brain as thinker and implementer.)

dhw: 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.

DAVID: For me it doesn't fit the facts we have as I discuss above. I cannot believe forced thinking can expand a brain 200 cc.

I don’t like to delve too deep into precise figures. Fossils are so rare that it hits the headlines whenever we find one. What figure could you believe? It’s perfectly possible that for each expanded brain we have found, there are others that preceded it with smaller dimensions. The fossil record does not provide a continuous record of expansions!

DAVID: An existing early stage brain can only think at a level that existing complexity allows.

Back into the trap, and you complain when I pull you up on this, but it suits your argument to say – as you keep doing - that the brain does the thinking (and it may well do so, as materialists will tell you). Your argument falls apart if it is the soul that does the thinking, because the soul uses the brain only to gather information and to implement concepts. The soul did not need extra brain complexity when our homo had his bright idea, because that was based solely on existing information. The soul would only need the brain to IMPLEMENT its concept (= design and make it).

DAVID: Remember, this discussion is at your non-god level, looking at a possible natural reason for expansion. I prefer God for the expansion.

What is wrong with the proposal that God organized Nature so that it would work naturally?


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