Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, April 10, 2020, 13:25 (53 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You recognized soul and brain have to work together at the brain's level of thought complexity ability.

I recognized no such thing. You claim to be a dualist, so what is the brain’s “level of thought complexity”? I have tried to explain your own dualism to you: the brain does not have any level of thought complexity. Thought is the province of the dualist’s soul, which, as you keep agreeing, uses the brain to gather information and to implement the soul’s concepts.

dhw: The soul’s capacity for thought will only be limited by the information at its disposal....

DAVID: My thoughts are very different from the bold. The soul learns present info through the brain and can think and develop new concepts only up to the extent the brain's complexity allows.

There’s no difference, but as usual you’ve left out my point that the soul can think of new concepts based on PRESENT info (the spear). If existing complexity or capacity does not allow the development of the concept, then it has to be increased. That is the logic behind my theory of complexification (proved) and expansion (not proved) as a result of the effort to perform new tasks.

DAVID: [Einstein’s] early difficulties mean his brain was different from birth. And certainly learning and theorizing as an adult made some other modifications upon the original different brain.

dhw: Yippee! He had difficulties because his brain couldn’t provide all the information that normal brains provide - one of the two uses the dualist’s soul makes of the brain. Your second comment confirms the reasonableness of my theory – learning, theorizing, implementing concepts “modify” or change the brain. […]

DAVID: […] what reasonableness? You still want giant jumps just from thinking.

Nobody knows why there were big jumps, but since we know modern brains change as a result of the above processes, it is not unreasonable to believe that the process might have been the same in the days when expansion was possible.

DAVID: […] God causes the expansions. You know we had to learn to use our new big brain. Pure logic: if intense thinking forced the enlargement of the new brain as it occurred, we would not have to learn how to use it, since the previous intense thinking should have been a continuous process into the new brain. How does your theory provide for the time gaps that we know existed? It doesn't.

I keep explaining it to you. All the new phases have been followed by long periods of stasis. If the new brain is adequate to the needs of its possessors, there is no need for major new concepts or artefacts. (You’ve even mentioned modern indigenous tribes who are content with past ways of living.) We don’t know exactly what new concepts caused the comparative sprint to our sophistications, but there is no “having to learn to use it”. We (H.sapiens) used it as needed until X, Y and Z came up with new ideas – just like my old homo and the spear. But our brains complexified instead of expanding.

DAVID: I theorize from facts we know about the brain as you do…

dhw: No you don’t. You merely tell me that the facts I offer you only cover minor expansions and not major, and God does the biggies.

DAVID: Exactly. My position is that God expands the brain, and your naturalistic approach is concentrated thought forces the brain to expand 200 cc, while all our brain does is one cc here and there as required under plasticity. Logically earlier brains had the same limited plasticity.

But earlier brains had the plasticity to expand, whereas our brain apparently doesn’t, which is why complexity has taken over. Now tell me what facts you have to support your theory that God expands the brain.

dhw: […] there is no way of knowing whether the FIRST set was produced after the brain had ALREADY expanded, or the expansion resulted from the effort to design and make the artefact.

DAVID: No getting away from fact: Each larger-brained fossil lives with better artifacts it created.

Yes, but in my theory the FIRST artefacts would have been the ones that caused the expansion. No getting away from the fact that there is no way of knowing...as bolded. Why do you keep ignoring the bold?

DAVID: Each larger brain is more complex, can allow the soul to produce more complex concepts.

But see comments on each species’ FIRST artefacts, on the role of the brain which only provides info and the ability to implement concepts (but not initiate them), and on stasis.

DAVID: […] God only made several enlargement steps.

If your God only deals with biggies, he must have created a mechanism which enables the brain to complexify and expand naturally, i.e. without his intervention. Good news for my theory. If new ideas and their development through complexification and minor enlargement can occur naturally, through a God-made mechanism, it is perfectly feasible that the unexplained expansions in earlier species could also have happened naturally through the same mechanism. Now please explain why you consider this theistic theory ”weird”.


Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum