Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 16:20 (555 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The bold is proven! Learning to read, memorizing maps, playing musical instruments entail mental developments which are known to change the brain by complexification or minor expansions.

DAVID: Only in our very different specialized brain.

dhw: You have agreed with me that earlier homos “would also have used their brains to gather information and to implement their concepts.” Once again: if implementation of concepts changes our brains (a proven fact), why is it not possible that the same process applied to earlier brains?

DAVID: I'm sure a habilis brain or an erectus brain had tiny areas of enlargement as our current brain plasticizes. We evolved from them so that is very logical to conclude.

So why do you think it’s not possible that in the days when major expansion was possible, the same mechanisms could not have operated by major expansion instead of the current complexification?

DAVID: I don't ignore your answers. I find then totally unreasonable and unacceptable working with known facts.

dhw: The ONLY known facts are that our brains are changed by new activities. You have not offered a single reason why my explanations of time gaps and of FIRST artefacts should be deemed unreasonable. You can only come up with the fact that my theory is not proven!

DAVID: You are hopefully extrapolating from tiny reasonable changes in our very advanced brain. To remind you, as you remind me, our debate is the possible reason for giant expansions. For habilis, activities of daily living were not very complex. Struggling to conceptualize some way to kill at a distance is not going to force a 200 cc enlargement. One can only think of what one is capable to thinking of in a brain/soul cooperation system.

Not “hopefully”. I am trying to find a reasonable explanation for something nobody has yet explained, and I see no reason why one should not extrapolate a possible procedure based on one that is already proven. We both used the spear example. Why do you think your God expanded the brain by 200 cc if whatever example you choose did not require it? Remember, nothing much happened after that until the next expansion. If the soul exists, then we have a soul/brain cooperation system. That does not mean the brain has to expand before the soul can have new ideas based on the existing information provided by the brain. Hence the vital importance of my argument concerning the FIRST artefacts that accompanied the new brain.

DAVID: You have jumped to a wishful theory with no known support.

dhw: No theory has been proven. […] what “known” support do you have for your theory that your God caused each brain expansion, and only then could homos’ souls come up with new ideas?

DAVID: Logic based on artifacts associated with each new brain size, which facts you have twisted beyond all possible belief. The idea that the previous homo knew of a spear concept but had to grow a brain to then manufacture it, is such distorted reasoning when compared to what we know happens today in design and physical creation.

So do you believe that today’s brain has to complexify BEFORE the designer can have his new idea? It is you who are twisting facts beyond belief. And you are also twisting my description of the process. Initially our homo didn’t “know of” the concept: he had the existing information of meat – danger of close contact with meat supply – better to find way of killing at a distance. That is the new concept using EXISTING information. It is the EFFORT of designing and then making and using the artefact that would have caused the expansion, just as it is the mental EFFORT of reading or memorizing that causes the modern brain to complexify.

DAVID: You are still pursuing a way to avoid God's activities in evolution. Understandable as an agnostic, but it is much like like atheistic thinking.

Please stop assuming that any theory different from yours is a way of avoiding God. We have precisely the same situation as with all evolutionary processes: you think your version of God as a total control freak is the only one possible. You already agree that there must be a mechanism for complexification and minor expansion without your God's intervention. And I see no reason at all why your God should not have designed the mechanism also to engineer major expansion without his intervention. How is that atheistic?

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