Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, May 11, 2020, 18:15 (442 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: 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: Past brains are not “totally” different from ours. Even chimps’ brains are not “totally” different from ours! The twisting here is entirely yours. Even you have suggested that past brains are likely to have complexified and undergone minor expansions. How does this make them “totally” different?

Read above!!! I said you implied past brains are totally different. I didn't promote the idea

dhw: If complexification probably came from earlier processes, it is clearly absurd to argue that our brains are “totally” different. So what do you think would have caused complexification in earlier brains if it was not “hard thinking”? And yes indeed, brain change due to “hard thinking” is a known proven process, so why is it “garbled” and “woolly” to suggest that a known proven process might also have taken place in the past?

Fallacy in you basic theory: How do you do 'hard thinking' with only a very basic set of words in your minimal language? Don't you use language to think? So you use visualization of a possible object. How hard is that?

DAVID: 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!

dhw: Please don’t change the subject, which is brain expansion. If you believe that your God designed the mechanism enabling the brain to respond to “hard thinking” by complexifying itself, please give me a reason why that same mechanism should not have enabled the earlier brain to respond to ”hard thinking” by expanding itself?

The same 'anything is possible' under God or without Him approach. Of course it is. And how does hard thinking get the skull to expand to allow the newly required fit, and the mother's birth canal accommodate the newborn's bigger head? The subject is the same as I raised above. Phenotypic changes all apply. Hard thinking must trigger all!!!

dhw: […] the process of expansion followed by stasis was common to all our ancestors and in many cases for far longer than 280,000 years.

DAVID: 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.

No evidence has been found of anything but “simple living”, as with the first 280,000 years of H. sapiens, though each stage has been accompanied by comparatively minor improvements.

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?

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

dhw: It’s you who keep telling us that nothing new was produced for 280,000 years. How do you learn to use something and yet not produce anything? You yourself drew attention to some indigenous tribes who still live like their ancient ancestors. So-called progress comes from new ideas or new demands. For 280,000 years, sapiens was obviously happy with the way things were. What is your point?

As above quite clearly: it was there to use when the particular group decided to do it. Some did sooner than others or barely at all.

DAVID: God gave us a huge brain with the ability to complexify as needed, and to shrink.

dhw: Presumably means your God designed a mechanism to enable us to complexify naturally, which again raises the question why the same mechanism should not have enabled the brain to expand naturally. I don’t know why you regard shrinkage as an ability! We have agreed (umpteen times) that it shrank as a result of efficient complexification.

You argue in circles. Our overly large brain came with a very active complexification process that is an obvious attribute. With active use, certain areas became more complex and enlarge slightly, and other areas were not needed and disappeared as we learned to use our brain and refine its functions. God did not do these brain changes. He left it up to us, expecting it to happen. And you seize on these tiny enlarged areas to invent a pipe dream

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