Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, April 23, 2020, 13:22 (463 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your suggestion is not close to fact. I've read a theoretical article I have not presented that theorized the human brain could ideally reach 3,300 cc! Please try to convert to ounces: 2,000 extra cc are only seventy ounces. You think our muscles can't handle that? Back packs are much heavier.

dhw: My suggestion is not close to fact because you’ve read a theoretical article!

DAVID: Reminder!! You stated your previous size theory suggestion as fact.

I have always stressed that my previous size theory /suggestion is a theory/suggestion. Now please tell us why my theory/suggestion is not close to fact as a result of your reading a theoretical article.

dhw: [..] explain to me why your God deliberately produced the gaps. *
*These are the gaps between a) expansions and b) between H. sapiens’ acquisition of a larger brain and the 260,000-year stasis before the great leap forward.

DAVID: Each new larger size had to be learned to be used.

dhw: I keep asking you what you mean by “learn to use” (divine lessons, instruction manuals, for sapiens 260,000 years of trial and nothing but error?). Never answered.

DAVID: Why can't you envision self-learning with a new instrument? Developing new info (your mantra) and new simple concepts exchanged with others.

I like your explanation. So why do you make such a fuss about the gap between sapiens’ new brain and the great leap forward?It fits in with my proposal and with the pattern of all phases between expansions: I called it stasis, but let’s say comparative stasis – just minor matters for thousands of years until the next big idea causes expansion (earlier phases), and minor matters for 260,000 years before the great leap forward (sapiens), presumably causing complexification and minor expansion, as we know from the modern brain.

dhw: [re the reason why the sapiens brain has not expanded] My (unproven) theory is that further expansion would have been deleterious, and so complexification and minor expansion took over.

DAVID: And the scientific proposal I noted about doubling size, wasn't worried about your deleterious imagined concern. I will ask: Why deleterious?

Because I’d have thought that doubling the size of the brain would require a larger skull, which would require changes to the anatomy. Neanderthals had bigger skulls than ours, which presumably housed bigger brains. There were also differences in their anatomy.

dhw: You have acknowledged that your God gave our brains the ability to complexify and mini-expand without his intervention. Why should he not have done the same with earlier brains?

DAVID: Mini-expansion and complexification with shrinkage is not giant enlargement
[dhw: 2000 cc is nothing, but 200 cc is “giant”]

DAVID: Totally off the point of your 'deleterious' enlargement.

But totally on the point of your claim that 200 cc was too great a leap to have happened spontaneously, and please don’t use the “deleterious” argument as an escape route from answering my bolded question.

DAVID: God is capable of whatever you wish to propose, but it would help if you tried to analyze from exactly what God produced as a guide to thoughts about His purpose. From the evidence God is very powerful in his ability to create. What He created is what we see. Of course you can create abilities for God that I don't think He used.

Stop flannelling. You wrote that he invented a mechanism whereby complexification and mini-expansion take place without his intervention. The fact that you don’t think he invented a mechanism whereby the brain could expand as well as complexify does not invalidate my theory!

DAVID: My God, to use your words is the 'control freak' you bring up as a supposed derogatory term. Nothing wrong with God firmly in control. Your idea again relinquishes God from carefully designing each step in brain enlargement/complexity. […] Once again you want a weak God who gives up control and allows newly-sized brains to self-invent their new size and networks. That implies they are already as smart as God in engineering brains.

Sorry, but this is silly. I propose (theistic version) that he invented a mechanism which allows complexification without his intervention (acknowledged by you) and also expansion. There is “nothing wrong” with God not needing to intervene, it does not make him weak, and if he invented a self-improving brain, that does make the brain into the smart inventor of self-improving brains.

DAVID: Then why do they need any further improvement? You have invented a theory with no substance, just seizing on the fact that our brain, with its massive complexity, well beyond those previous iterations, can have very small areas of enlargement to handle new mental and muscular activities. You are trying to make grapes into pineapples.

I keep proposing that the smaller brains needed further improvement because they could not implement the new big ideas. And I’ve seized on the proven fact that modern brains RESPOND to the demands made on them by what you call “hard thinking”, and do not change in advance of “hard” thoughts. Your theory is the exact opposite of what is known, and also contains a problem for you as a dualist – namely that your God had to dabble changes to the brain before the soul could think of a new idea.

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