Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, April 30, 2020, 15:30 (175 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] 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.

DAVID: 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.

Not “fully” different, and as regards shrinkage, please reread the bold.

David: As for your God mechanisms, they are always dragged in when you have no other escape. […]

You always “drag in” this silly objection to any theory of evolution that is different from yours. A god who directly controls absolutely everything is no less a guess than a God who invents a mechanism to allow things to occur without his permanent dabbling.

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?

DAVID: 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.

Of course bigger brains made better artefacts, but the articles don’t discuss how or why the brains got bigger! Please quote an article stating that God expanded pre-sapiens brains before pre-sapiens souls could come up with any new ideas.

dhw: […] 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?

DAVID: 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.

Once you have the new size brain, of course it provides more information and implements more new ideas. Again you skip the issue, which is WHY the old size brain becomes the new-size brain! Using our simplified example of a spear: new idea, based on EXISTING information: a means of killing from a distance. Why is this not your concept of a new idea? Now follows the process: how to kill from a distance? This question requires HARD THINKING. And so from that initial idea arises the concept of a sharp tool thrown from a distance etc. until, after more and more HARD THINKING, our homo produces the artefact. HARD THINKING is known to cause changes to the brain. By the time the artefact is made, the brain has expanded. Please tell me why you find this illogical.

I’m going to skip the section dealing with your constant references to the brain’s thinking capacity, because it recurs during the following objection to my theory:

DAVID: 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….

Stop right there. Our problem is why there is a new brain in the first place! You have skipped to the point at which the new brain already exists! (And dualists don’t believe the brain thinks…)

DAVID: …but the conceptualization of the immaterial design requires a neuronal network complex enough to have that new complex thought…

Once more you the dualist are attributing thought to the neuronal network. (My theory covers both the dualistic and the materialistic view of the source of thought.) According to your belief, it should be the soul that works out the immaterial design, using information supplied by the neuronal network, and the soul will then go on to use the neuronal network to give material form to the immaterial design.

DAVID: …The new larger brain provides that neuronal complexity in the newly enlarged frontal and prefrontal lobes for the soul to think of it

dhw: So the neural network apparently has the thought without which the soul cannot think of the thought!

DAVID: Remember all enlargement is in the thinking areas, and no where else.

But this does not explain why the thinking areas expanded in the first place! Back to the spear example and following your dualism: the soul uses the brain to acquire information. The idea “kill from a distance” arises out of EXISTING information. That IS the vital point. In order for the new idea to be developed/implemented/designed/ produced, it requires NEW information. And that is how it triggers “hard thinking”, and “hard thinking” is a process which we know makes changes to the brain. Once the new brain is there, it will carry on providing information and implementing ideas until a new “big idea” comes along and demands more information than the existing brain can supply, plus new actions which also entail a learning process (a bit like reading or playing an instrument). So long as you ignore the importance of the old brain’s new idea based on existing information, you will continued to miss the point that a new idea or task or demand is the trigger for HARD THINKING,which is known to change the brain, and so long as you the dualist continue to attribute thought to the brain, you will continue to contradict yourself.


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