Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 10, 2020, 16:24 (442 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You are simply insisting without any logical thought extending from the facts we know that hard thought expanded brains up to 200 cc at a time. What we know is evolution builds upon past processes as organism complexify. It is reasonable, as I've stated, to assume that ancient brains did do some complexification with tiny areas enlarging and perhaps with some shrinkage as in ours. That makes more sense.

dhw: The logical thought concerns the one word you constantly avoid. If brains CHANGE through hard thinking now, why would they not CHANGE through hard thinking in the past? Then they needed to expand. Now they only need to complexify.

I know they CHANGE. We know how ours changed and you have twisted that to invent your theory which is not a description of how our brain works, which implies past brains are totally different from ours, denying the concepts of evolutionary change.

dhw: It seems that the message will never get through. You agreed that shrinkage was due to the efficiency of complexification, and it is not the tiny areas of enlargement that I refer to but the process whereby "hard thinking" CHANGES the brain.

I fully get and reject your garbled thinking. All this occurs under our brain's advanced complexification process, which probably came from some earlier processes in earlier brains. Massive enlargement due to hard thinking is your woolly idea from no evidence, just a stretch from a known proven process..

DAVID: You've just admitted the process in our brain occurs under an advanced complexification process and I've pointed out previous brains may have had simple versions of the same process as evolutionary theory would imply. Therefore I can accept that ancient brains may have had tiny expansion areas as ours does. That is consistent thought.

dhw: But it does not explain why ancient brains expanded! Hence the theory I am proposing.

Propose all you want. It has no basis in any facts we have.

DAVID: I have full faith and belief there is a designer who enlarged brain. I have no belief in chance causes which you are consistently trying to find.

dhw: My theory does not involve chance at all, and allows for God as the designer of the mechanism for brain change. Do you believe that your God complexified the relevant areas of the modern brain before people learned to read, memorize maps or play instruments? Or did he design the mechanism enabling the brain to respond to their “hard thinking” by complexifying itself? If you favour the second explanation, why do you think it illogical for the same God-designed mechanism to have enabled the brain to respond to “hard thinking” by expanding itself?

Because of another consideration. Each new hominin had much more than just brain expansion. That is just one part of our evolution. Bodies were changed in many ways as part of God's work in producing them. God speciates. Consider just the differences in Neanderthal and sapiens body forms!

Transferred from “dualism”:

DAVID: In the bold I don't understand the use of the word 'coincide'. The larger brain allowed the development of our very advanced concepts, such as grammatical language 50-70,000 years ago, while erectus had very simple communication skills, and we didn't come out of erectus' stone age until 10-12,000 years ago. I view the stasis as proof we were given a brain we didn't know how use and had to learn to use it.

dhw: “Coincide” in the sense that the two go together, but as with the artefacts, I am proposing that it was not the larger brain that allowed our advanced concepts; it was our effort to give material expression to more advanced concepts that caused the brain and other related organs to change - the same process we observe today, when the brain changes in response to new tasks. As I was not around at the time, I can’t tell you what “big idea” would have expanded erectus’s brain to sapiens size, but the process of expansion followed by stasis was common to all our ancestors and in many cases for far longer than 280,000 years.

Since we weren't there and activities of daily living were quite simple, what stasis are you talking about in the past? We only know our stasis.

dhw: I don’t know either why your all-powerful God would have given us a bigger brain before we needed it, or what you mean by we “had to learn to use it”. We’ve discussed that before. How did we learn to use the brain if we didn’t actually produce anything new for 280,000 years?

WE had to learn to use it like a new instrument. It was our job. Not God's to teach us.

dhw: It makes far more sense to me that the brain would have expanded because of a particular new need, and then life went on virtually unchanged (as for previous homos) until the next “big idea” required new uses of the brain. Immediately after expansion this would not have been anywhere near as complex as it is now, because "hard thinking" is what complexified it, and the efficiency of all the new complexifications is what made it shrink.

How distorted! God gave us a huge brain with the ability to complexify ass needed, and to shrink.

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