Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, April 16, 2020, 12:27 (471 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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?

DAVID: You have taken a very narrow view of human evolution, as we discuss a spear.

It’s simply a concrete example, which you also used. You go on to give details of what was expanded and by how much. Then you ask:

DAVID: […] What expanded habilis' brain over the million of years from Lucy and intervening species? […]

You don’t disprove my answer by repeating the question!

DAVID: And then you also have a problem of tying artifacts to brain size:

QUOTE: "Because more complete fossil heads than hands are available, it is easier to model increased brain size in parallel with the rich record of artifacts from the Paleolithic Period (c. 3.3 million to 10,000 years ago), popularly known as the Old Stone Age."

All agreed, but we can’t know whether the FIRST of those artefacts was produced AFTER the brain had already expanded (your theory) or as a result of the smaller brain having expanded through the EFFORT to implement new concepts (my theory). All subsequent artefacts would have been developed by the new-sized brain until the next big idea came along and the process repeated itself. This theory is based on the fact that the modern brain RESPONDS to new activities and does not complexify or expand certain areas BEFORE the new activity.

DAVID: We are debating at your level of looking for a natural way to expand hominin brains. Why is the expansion only in the frontal lobe cortical area? Looks like God's purposeful activity to me.

Because presumably that is the area which needs to expand when the existing area is unable to develop and implement the new concepts.

DAVID: You may have convinced yourself that thinking of abstract concepts cause brain enlargement, but nothing I've written above or copied comports with that.[dhw: None of it attempts to explain brain expansion!] Our present brain enlarges from learning something, and the special Einstein evidence is neutral, and can be easily argued, he was born that way […]

Not “thinking of abstract concepts”. Why do you constantly change my terminology? I propose that it is the EFFORT to develop and implement new abstract concepts that causes the expansion, just as it is the EFFORT to read, memorize, play an instrument that causes complexification and mini-enlargement in the modern brain. As you say, the Einstein evidence – as with the first artefacts – is neutral, so you can’t call on it to discount my theory.

dhw: According to you, the dualist, it is NOT the brain that conceptualizes! It is the soul that uses the brain to conceptualize, and the brain’s function is to supply information and to implement the concept.

DAVID: Please learn my real concept, which is not changed. It is the advanced complexity of the larger brains neurons and their organization in special circuits in the prefrontal cortex which gives the soul the ability to create advanced conceptualization.

Fudge. You have agreed that what I bolded above is correct. The soul does the conceiving, and the “advanced complexity” of the brain enables the soul to develop (another word for “advance”) and implement its concepts.

dhw: If you mean the soul can only conceptualize within the parameters of the information supplied by the brain, then you have your own example of the spear: existing information = bison – meat – close-up killing dangerous – better find way of killing from a distance. THAT is the initial concept within the existing parameters of information. And the rest follows as above (EFFORT - EXPANSION). Now tell me why that is not logical, even if you don’t believe it.

DAVID: Twisting what I believe offers you no help. Existing information has to be analyzed in immaterial thoughts to then reach a conc ept of how to use that information in a new design.

More fudge. Of course once you have the initial concept drawn from existing information you have to continue the process by working out in “immaterial thoughts” how to develop the concept as a new design. And that is what requires the EFFORT which I propose causes expansion. I have offered you a logical step-by-step progression and have asked you why it is not logical. Please answer.

dhw: […] You already agree that there must be a mechanism for complexification and minor expansion without your God's intervention.

DAVID: Yes, in our current brain He gave us to use.

dhw: That’s fine with me. So once more: if your God gave us a brain mechanism that now complexifies and expands in certain areas without his intervention, how can you discount the possibility that the same mechanism would have expanded the earlier brain for the same reason: that brains must change in order to perform new tasks?

DAVID: But my God didn't do that. Our present brain is a marvelous gift from Him way beyond previous evolutionary iterations. Ask Adler!

Yes, our brain is way beyond previous brains. Now please answer the bolded question above. It is not an answer just to pretend that you and Adler know “God didn’t do that”!

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