Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, April 24, 2020, 13:34 (181 days ago) @ David Turell

Here too, the brain expansion threads can be combined.

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.
DAVID: Addendum: all that new use and learning from each other adds nothing to size until the next jump.

Precisely – as now bolded below in the reply I gave you:

dhw: 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)

DAVID: 'Stasis' is like your 'effort' term. Sounds good, really explains nothing, as my discussion above is extremely logical. The size gaps are real, and simple acceptance that new brain size causes new artifacts is seen in all the articles. Soul/brain complex assumed) All you want is a non-God explanation, as atheists do.

It was you who kept harping on about the gap between the final sapiens expansion and the great leap forward. So why all the fuss about a sapiens period of stasis (= no change) when the same applied to all phases between expansions? Yet again: your articles don’t deal with reasons for the expansions, and my theory concerns the FIRST artefacts, which would have entailed the “hard thinking” leading to expansion; nobody can possibly tell whether that took place after the brain had expanded (which according to you was engineered directly by God for no particular reason) or was the cause of the expansion.

dhw: You wrote that he [God] 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: No your imagined theory cannot be invalidated. There are no facts supporting it and none refuting it, because it is all in your imagination etc. etc.

The ONLY facts we have show that the modern brain changes as a result of “hard thinking”. It is therefore perfectly reasonable to argue that earlier brains might have followed the same process.

DAVID: 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.

Re “weak” see your theory of evolution. I repeat: 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: God not needing to intervene, means God, in your terms, created a perfect brain expansion program of about 200 cc each stage, with perfect pre-programming. That fits my pre-programming proposal. Fine. We are together, finally, that God perfectly pre-planned evolution.

It means no such thing! Three weeks ago (see your theory of evolution) even you rejected preprogramming as “minor”! His not needing to intervene relates to the “third option”: my (theistic) theory – I’m surprised you’ve forgotten it – that he invented a mechanism whereby the intelligent cell communities cooperate to produce the vast variety of life forms, innovations, strategies, natural wonders etc., including the increasing capacity of the brain.

DAVID: […] you push your unsupported creation that thinking of a new concept expands brains […]

dhw: It is not “thinking of” a new concept but IMPLEMENTING a new concept (i.e. designing, working out details, learning to rectify mistakes, and making the new concept into a material artefact) that demands brain changes.

DAVID: Your concept above is backward. Visualizing the design is always the key.The 'new big idea' requires intense abstract thought, requiring some advance in brain complexity. That is the only hard part. Where you go totally off the rails is in my experience, if I can think if it I can build it. Implementation requires no advanced thought, just manual activity with brain direction.

There is nothing backward, but simply your refusal to read what I write. I have defined what I mean by implementation! Do you not know the meaning of i.e.? First comes the small brain and the initial concept of killing from a distance. Now read my i.e. list and tell me the difference between the intense abstract thought of visualizing the design and my “designing, working out the details, learning to rectify mistakes”? All you have seized on is that actually making the artefact is easy. But it’s still part of the process, because making it and trying it out will supply new information for the brain (or the dualist’s soul) to think hard about. You are really clutching at straws if the only way you can dismiss my theory is by ignoring what I write!:-(


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