Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 18, 2020, 21:51 (118 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I will have to stick with your dualism for simplicity’s sake. The only concrete examples we have of the way brain plasticity works are those observed in the modern brain, which complexifies and/or enlarges in certain sections IN RESPONSE to the new tasks which the soul asks it to perform. And yes, bigger brains are found with bigger artefacts but, for the umpteenth time, we are asking why the brain got bigger in the first place, and that is why I suggest that the FIRST artefacts of each phase were produced through the EFFORT of the smaller-brained homo to implement his new concept – using the plasticity of the brain as explained above. New concepts would follow till the next big idea demanded expansion.

Exactly backward. All this boils down to is frantic attempts thinking forces a brain to expand by huge amounts and then spending lots of years figuring out how to use the expansion the thinking created. Logic tells us this method logically should not have gaps in time, but the gaps are there. It is much simpler to realize complex ideation by the brain/soul complex can only be achieved as far as the exiting brain allows the soul to work with.


DAVID: Only you think of the cause of expansion that way, so it is not an issue for anyone else. Do you have any voiced/written support?

dhw: Of course expansion is an issue, but you keep choosing articles that don’t deal with it. Nobody knows the cause, but I’ve told you that common theories include the use of fire and cooked food, and bipedalism.

Entirely backwards: fire, cooked food, sharply shaped stone tools are all equated with the size of the brain found when the event happened. Bipedalism and brain size developed concurrently, either created by God or what is your proposal. One did not directly cause the other.

dhw: 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: The old brains are totally different, given what has been found: bigger brains in bigger thinking areas with better artifacts found with them.

dhw: “Bigger, bigger, better” do not mean totally different.

DAVID: Somewhat similar, based on evolution from them.

dhw: So not “totally different”. Now please answer the bolded question.

dhw: I’d better forestall the next objection: my theory does not in any way exclude God. If God exists, my theory is that he created the mechanisms to allow for this “naturalistic” process.

DAVID: Your usual sop to bring in your God-lite image of him. Of course I repeat my mantra, God did it. Surprise, I believe in God.

dhw: Why a “sop”? Why do you always insist that the only possible God is one who dabbles absolutely every step in evolution apart from the odd one which he preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago? It is perfectly possible for other people to believe in God and not to share your views on his nature, purpose and method.

As you think you can imagine any sort of God. It is well accepted God is only inferentially known to us.


Under “Human cave art”:
DAVID: H. sapiens traveled all over the world, getting to the Western Hemisphere very late. Note my bold. Sapiens arrived 315,000 years ago according to current knowledge. Look how long it took to learn how to use their new-sized brain. Dhw's theory of forced enlargement can be easily interpreted as meaning the new brain did not need a learning period like this.

dhw: You keep bringing this up. What is your point? I keep repeating that ALL phases of brain expansion have been followed by long periods of stasis. So what? Advancements come with new ideas, so 260,000 or so years passed before there were any major new ideas. Then along came the new ideas, and brains complexified, mini-expanded and eventually shrank instead of expanding. We’ve been through all this! What “learning” are you talking about? Do you think your God spent 260,000 years giving sapiens courses in brain use? Or generation after generation practised conceiving non-concepts until at last they learned how to conceive a concept? Please explain why you think your omniscient God expanded the brain to sapiens size 260,000 years before you think it was needed.

Long stasis of advanced intellectual ability interrupts your thought that thinking drives major brain enlargement. You haven't explained the time gap in conceptual development. Why does new thinking drive brain enlargement with complexity and then everything quits for a long time.

Your usual confusion. As for God's actions, He arranged for each expansion and then the existing hominin, homo group started to learn to use it over time, just as history tells us, repeating my standard theory.


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