Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 16, 2020, 21:19 (120 days ago) @ dhw

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

dhw: you don’t disprove my answer by repeating the question!

What expanded was the conceptual areas, not the muscular control and autonomic areas: cortex in frontal and prefrontal regions, with some cerebellar changes with development of speech. But the stone age lasted until 10,000 years ago. God's purpose is obvious. He gave it so we could learn to use it.


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."

dhw: 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).

Exactly counter to the impression given by the quote. You have never explained how your nebulous EFFORT works to greatly expand the mostly unused conceptual area of the new-sized brain

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.

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

Not presumably. That area must be present in order develop any new complex immaterial design.


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!]

But you have an explanation. It expands by the effort of trying to think!

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.

dhw: 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.

No fudge. Not my soul/brain concept which you misinterpret: the soul must use the brain to think and develop new concepts. One does not work without the other.


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!

dhw: 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”!

The old brains are totally different, given what has been found: bigger brains in bigger thinking areas with better artifacts found with them. Tiny advances until recently. Twist the timing all you want but your twist doesn't fit the facts. Habilis made stone tools. Sapiens used stone tools until 10,000 years ago. We were given advanced brains we had to learn how to use at each stage. In the past 10,000 years we have finally learned to use it fully. God did it and your naturalistic theory makes no sense to me as we argue it.


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