Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 20:01 (536 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: It is the process of tackling new tasks that changes (complexifies) the modern brain, and I propose that the same process would have changed (expanded) the earlier brains. Now tell me why you find that illogical.

DAVID: It is an illogical extension from what we know about our very advanced different brain which shrank from hard thought, with no sign of expansion except in tiny designated areas from its very advanced complexification mechanism. You've seized on the latter because it fits your hopes for a non-god natural expansion. All hope, no support anywhere.

dhw: Nothing to do with “non-god”, since your God may be the designer of the mechanism. Once more: if hard thought caused shrinkage, we would not have any brain left! Our brain shrank, as you keep agreeing and forgetting, because complexification – which took over when the brain stopped expanding - proved to be so efficient that part of the brain became redundant.

I forget nothing!!! Your explanation describes our brain as fully different and specialized compared to previous brains and hard thought shrank it a limited degree. We agree to that much. As for your God mechanisms, they are always dragged in when you have no other escape. Current,y we are trying to discuss a 'natural' mechanism of brain growth, according to you from hard thought to come up with a new artifact concept.

dhw: I have “seized on” the fact that the brain changes IN RESPONSE to new demands, so try again: why is it illogical to suppose that it did NOT do so in earlier times?

Not illogical, a total invention since the archaeological article all presume the bigger brains made better artifacts, and you introduce a weird timing for the thought and production that no one discusses, but you.

DAVID: I have never agreed to this distortion of my thoughts. For the last time, hopefully: the soul uses the brain to form thinking and concepts. [dhw: Yes, that is dualism.] It can only form advanced concepts if the brain it is given to use allows more advanced concepts than the last smaller brain, which in my view is always the case. That view is based on known history: each brain size advance is in the frontal and prefrontal areas where such thought takes place.

dhw: You constantly resort to the nebulous word “allow”. If by that you mean the brain must be large enough for the initial concept to be developed and produced, we are in agreement. We only disagree on the vital question of timing. You constantly agree that the dualist’s soul uses the brain to gather information and to implement (= design and produce) its concepts. So why would the brain need to expand if the soul is only using EXISTING information to form its new concept?

Not my concept of new ideas. It's yours alone. A new-sized brain is built with more neurons in more complex networks allowing the soul to think more complexly to reach new designs while using known present information. Better brain first always.

DAVID: The problem with your theory is it is a lonely thought only in your brain. Leaving the natural level of our discussion, I believe God ran evolution and expanded each brain giving it much improved conceptualization capacity for the soul to work with. Our current brain is not at all like previous brains in its thought capacity and complexification process

dhw: The dualist’s brain does not have a “conceptualization” or “thought” capacity, as the dualist’s soul does the conceiving and thinking. That’s one of the problems with your theory, remember?

Why contort my theory??? The bigger newer more complex brain allows the soul to use it to conceive of the more complex concepts. The soul must use the brain it is given to think with to have any thoughts at all

DAVID: Remember our adult brain does not grow new neurons in the cortex but does in the hippocampus. Enlargement is due to more dendrites and synapse connections and more astrocytes, not neurons. How does that fit your 'theory'? In your view the previous brains had to be totally different and ours somehow developed as the oddball!

dhw: Since the brain stopped expanding and gave way to complexification, of course it had to have more connections and its response process is different! How does that come to mean that the early homo’s frontal and pre-frontal cortex had to expand before his soul could have a new idea based on EXISTING information? And how does it prove that the brain had to change in anticipation of new tasks and not in response to them?

Again the same distortion. It is not the existing information that is the vital point. The new brain knows existing information when it starts to think of a new design, but the conceptualization of the immaterial design requires a neuronal network complex enough to have that new complex thought. The new larger brain provides that neuronal complexity in the newly enlarged frontal and prefrontal lobes for the soul to think of it. Remember all enlargement is in the thinking areas, and no where else.

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