Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, April 26, 2020, 12:07 (460 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The obvious conclusion by all written is the artifacts represent creation by the current brain size found. Your bold is a contortion of reasoning generally accepted. Raising a possibility doesn't prove your theory.

dhw: The articles don't deal with the cause of expansion! Do give us a reason for expansion which is “generally accepted”.

DAVID: Of course they don't. The scientists are limited to their assumption natural evolution caused expansions and the bigger brained hominins made the artifacts found with them. Theists believe God did it.

I know. Now please tell me what reasoning is “generally accepted” and which part of it I have contorted.

DAVID: As I read your prose, all it tells me is the smaller previous brain immaterially thought of the artifact, which to me means visualized it, and that forced a 200 cc enlargement…..

dhw: Once again you ignore what I write, so let me repeat it with a bit more emphasis: small brained homo’s initial concept: KILLING FROM A DISTANCE. Not visualizing it, and no, no, no, the initial concept does not force an enlargement. What forces the enlargement is the process of DESIGNING, WORKING OUT THE DETAILS, LEARNING TO RECTIFY MISTAKES and also making it, because while our homo is making it and trying it out, there will be NEW INFORMATION which will require MORE of that you call “hard thinking”, and it is the “hard thinking” that causes changes – in this case expansion – to the brain.

DAVID: I'm afraid all I can do is analyze what I have done with our very specialized brain. I start recognized need (not a hard part) and then with design as you do. I would remind you design implies visualizing a possible product solution. That is the hard part.

No disagreement here. And as the “hard part” causes the “hard thinking” which changes modern brains, how does this prove that the earlier brain had to change BEFORE it even knew there was a hard part to tackle?!

DAVID: I must ask you: tell me about your experiences in conceptualizing a new productive p, and ow difficult is any of it?

Why “must” you ask me? I am not a designer. We agree that it requires hard thinking to design the initial concept, or in your terms to “visualize a possible product solution”. This raises the crucial question I have asked above. Do please answer it.

DAVID:…. the new species waited awhile (your stasis)*** and then put it together easily because of the new complex enlargement.

dhw: Crazy! Once the new artefact is made, we have a newly enlarged brain. There then follows a period of thousands of years when there are only minor developments which, as you said yourself, “add nothing to size until the next jump”. THAT is the STASIS! (You fussed about the gap between the launch of sapiens’ brain and the 260,000 or so years of STASIS that followed. I explained it.)

DAVID: A terrible explanation!!! Early sapiens 315,000 years ago lived just like erectus and other following pre-sapiens in a stone age until 12,000 years ago. Yes, they picked up an early form of language and some better hunting artifacts, like the two-foot throwing stick. That is real stasis with a great advanced brain sitting around waiting to be used much more completely.

My stasis is not having a pre-sapiens “waiting a while” till his brain has finished expanding, and then putting the artefact together! We have no idea what caused the initial expansion to sapiens size or any of the other expansions, but they were all followed by periods of what I now call comparative stasis. All these pre-homos had bigger brains which “sat around” for thousands of years till whatever caused the the next expansion. We "sat around" for thousands of years till whatever caused the leap forward. So what point are you trying to prove?

dhw: Now please explain to me why it is unreasonable to assume that if changes to the modern brain are the RESULT of hard thinking, changes to the ancient brain might also have been the RESULT of hard thinking.

DAVID: It is obvious our advanced brain is totally different from the early ones, like Lucy's and following. Our brain shrunk 150 cc in the past 35,000 years. How does that factor into your thinking. Just ignore it is mainly what you are doing.

Over and over and over again, you have agreed that shrinkage is the result of efficient complexification!

DAVID: You are focused on one change, but not the other. The shrinkage tells us how advanced our brain is and how different from past ones. […] You must use the whole picture as I do before I'll accept any sort of slim proof of your hopeful very strained conjecture.

It is you who are refusing to consider the whole picture! So here it is again: pre-sapiens brains expanded. Sapiens brains stopped expanding (we don’t know why, and you reject my anatomical explanation), and complexification took over, accompanied by minor expansions. This proved so efficient that the brain shrank. Modern science shows us that the brain changes in response to hard thinking. Therefore it is not unreasonable to propose that earlier brains also changed in response to hard thinking. Your picture skips the modern findings apart from shrinkage (and you agree about the cause) and has God preprogramming each expansion 3.8 billion years ago or dabbling them BEFORE all the hard thinking.

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