Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, May 05, 2020, 10:53 (26 days ago) @ David Turell

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?

DAVID: 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.

Yes, it is special, and yes it has a remarkable degree of complexification. That does not mean hard thinking causes the brain to shrink, and it does not mean that if hard thinking CAUSES changes to the modern brain, it could not have CAUSED changes to the earlier brain.

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.

DAVID: 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.

As bolded above and repeated umpteen times, I have not seized upon tiny enlargements. I have seized upon the known PROCESS whereby hard thinking changes the brain. I see no logical reason why the process should have been the exact opposite in earlier brains. Your constant misrepresentation of what I keep bolding is a sign, I’m afraid, of your “desperation” to ignore the possibility that your God might have organized evolution in a different way from the way you want him to.

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

dhw: I’m sorry, but your repetition of “God does it” does not provide a single logical reason for rejecting my theory!

DAVID: 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.

And still the only fault you can find with my theory is that it is a different pipe dream from yours.

DAVID (under “Dualism”): As for you comment about brain enlargement, my position still is God did it. Your convoluted twist about the archaeological articles dating brain size and artifacts and not really knowing when each aspect occurred is pure sophistry. The assumption in the articles is obvious.

If my theory is correct, each expansion is preceded by something that requires expansion. If the “something” is an artefact, let’s say the very first spear, then the very first spear will exist when the brain has finished expanding. Is this too convoluted for you? And why do you think the argument is designed to deceive you? As for the articles, they assume nothing. They simply do not deal with the subject. Nobody, including yourself, has yet come up with a generally accepted explanation for the series of expansions.


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