Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, April 20, 2020, 15:11 (598 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: What is found is advanced artifacts with advanced brain size, all with the same age timing. The standard assumption is those brains caused those artifacts, nothing prior.

That does not tell us why the brain expanded! Once more: the FIRST artefacts could not exist until the brain had expanded. What followed would have been produced after the brain had expanded. How can anyone possibly know that producing the FIRST ones was NOT the action which caused the expansion? (See later)

dhw: […] logically your God, who can do whatever he wants whenever he wants, shouldn’t have had to bother with any of these in-between stages since his one and only purpose was to directly design H. sapiens!

DAVID: Once again, you invoke your strange view of an all-powerful God who shouldn't be so patient as to evolve us over time, but should act impatiently. That is never my view of my God.

Nothing to do with patience! Please explain why a God whose only purpose was to produce H. sapiens and who was able to do whatever he wanted whenever and however he wanted, produced gap after gap before, according to you, directly designing the only brain he wanted to design.

DAVID: Long stasis of advanced intellectual ability interrupts your thought that thinking drives major brain enlargement.

dhw: Of course it doesn’t. If there are no new concepts demanding new uses of the brain, then there will be no enlargement! Now please explain (a) how you think sapiens “learned” to use his brain, and why your omniscient God, who must have known it wouldn’t be “used” for 260,000 years, expanded it when he did.

DAVID: That is what history shows us. We arrived 315,000 years ago as of current dating, and left the stone age 10,000 years ago. We have really learned how to use all parts of our brain in the past 5,000 years. Most of it lay fallow until then, although with some preliminary use it started to shrink.

Yes, that is the history, and you wanted to know why it took 260,000 years (more now) for sapiens to make advanced progress, and I explained why, and asked you two questions which you have not answered.

DAVID (numbers inserted by dhw): 1) Of course existing brain complexity allows the soul to work with the complexity the brain has to achieve concepts allowed by that brain's complexity. You can't get around what is known. 2) New complexity and new brain size are aged the same on all archaeological sites.3) I know your theory: thought about current info drives expansion. What doesn't fit is intense continuous thought then suddenly stops to allow the gaps in time? Purely inventive and illogical.

1) Muddle. The soul uses information provided by the brain in order to form concepts. It then uses the brain to implement those concepts, and if the brain is not large (earlier) or complex (current) enough to implement them, it expands (earlier) or complexifies (current). 2) Dealt with over and over again, including today, now bolded with “see later”. 3) Dealt with umpteen times, including today after the paragraph ending “see later”, except that you now introduce “intense continuous thought”. No, it’s not intense and it’s not continuous. That is why there are gaps! After the “big idea” everybody carries on surviving until the next “big idea”. You seem to think that every homo should have been an Einstein! So now please tell us why you think your God had all these different homos hanging around for thousands of years making no progress, and then had homo sapiens do the same.

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: I've answered. Our very different brain can modify tiny areas as necessary for new uses and in fact has shrunk about 150 cc in the past 35,000 years as we've increased use, just the opposite of your thoughts. Your theory demands heavy thought expands brains, just the opposite of the reality of our brain's functional workings.

Firstly, I have suggested that our brains had reached a maximum size for anatomical comfort, and so complexification took over, and shrinkage was the result of its efficiency. Secondly, you have not answered my question! You believe your God gave our brains the ability to perform new tasks by complexifying and mini-expanding without his intervention. So why should he not have done the same with earlier brains – enabling them to expand without his intervention?

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

dhw: And that applies to your version just as much as to mine. So why is my different version a “sop”?

DAVID: Because you always run back to allow God to do something, when your basic attempt is to find natural ways to explain evolution without Him.

I am an agnostic, not an atheist. I challenge your explanation of your God’s actions and motives, but I also offer alternatives. There is no reason why you should regard my theistic alternatives as less theistic than yours.

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