Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, May 04, 2020, 18:29 (29 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So stop telling us that hard thought shrinks the brain. It doesn’t. Hard thought complexifies the brain, and as a result of the efficiency of complexification, 150 cc disappeared. You asked where it went. Tell us your theory.

DAVID: You've told us. Our special brain can complexify, and by increasing certain networks of neurons remove other areas as now unnecessary.

dhw: So why do you keep harping on about hard thinking being the cause of shrinkage when you agree that it is the result of efficient complexification?

Because it underscores my point that we have a special brain with this remarkable degree of complexification that can cause that much shrinkage, unlike, any previous brain


dhw: If our new brain did not produce anything special for 280,000 years, what was it “learning”?

DAVID: How to use it bit by bit. How did you learn your first computer?

dhw: I learned to use my first computer bit by bit. What do you think early sapiens learned bit by bit for 280,000 years? What are the little bits and pieces that show gradual improvement over 280,000 years? You keep telling us that it was only in the last 35,000 years that we came up with the “current discoveries”! So there was a period of comparative stasis until along came the new “big ideas” – the same process I keep proposing for all the different stages of brain expansion. But in sapiens these ideas would have led to complexification.

DAVID: So you have again agreed our brain is different from the past. Which makes your seizing on tiny areas of growth in our brain offering no basis for assuming hard thought grew ancient brains in past early forms of hominins.

dhw: Thank you for dropping the silly argument about the brain “learning” for 280,000 years. Now please drop the silly repetition of my “seizing on” tiny areas of growth when I have told you umpteen times that I am seizing on the known PROCESS whereby hard thinking changes the brain. And yes, our brain is different: it no longer expands but complexifies. And it is far more complex than earlier brains.

Thank you. then way seize upon tiny enlargements as allowing you to invent a major growth ability from hard thinking in earlier primitive brains? It simply shows a desperation for a natural cause for large brain evolution.


dhw: ...my theory is that the status quo was broken by what I call the “big idea”, which demanded an increase in capacity. After sapiens acquired the larger brain - we don't know what was the "big idea", but the same applies equally to your own theory! – the process repeats itself.

DAVID: My theory is God did it beforehand. I'm debating the possibility of your totally unsupported natural theory.

dhw: I know your own “totally unsupported theory”. And I am waiting for some logical reason why you should reject the possibility that earlier brains might have changed (by expanding) in response to new ideas, tasks, demands, just as modern brains do (by complexifying and mini-expanding).

DAVID: We don't know how speciation works, but I'll repeat God does it.

dhw: You went on to say my theory had no support, you claimed that ID supported your theory but it doesn’t (you ignored that paragraph) and finished with the same erroneous “seize on tiny enlargements”, once again totally ignoring the all-important fact that the modern brain changes IN RESPONSE to hard thinking. I’m sorry, but your repetition of “God does it” does not provide a single logical reason for rejecting my theory!

I view it as a total invention based on our very special advanced brain that is nothing like previous additions. Any way you describe it, I think it is a total pipe dream. I'll stick with God running evolution to the point of this brain appearing.


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