Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 15:49 (15 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Since my whole theory is based on the bolded argument to which you were replying – namely, that the SAME process would have taken place in past and present brains – how can you possibly say this implies “total” difference? It is you who insist that the process of change is totally different: the modern brain changes itself (complexification), whereas the ancient brain had to be changed by your God! Although of course I agree that our brains are vastly more complex and advanced than those of our ancestors, “difference in kind” is paramount to your theory.

Note the bold. This is my totally consistent theory if you recognize God gave our brain this special property while seeing to the enlargement of all hominin/homo brains.

dhw: Look at your heading and comment in another of your posts:
Introducing the brain: our brain is so different
Comment: our current [brain] is very different in kind from previous brains.>

dhw: […] 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?

DAVID: 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?

dhw: Again you refuse to answer a straight question. “Hard thinking” is just a term to denote more intense concentration than ordinary thinking, and it’s the extra effort that changes the modern brain. Our fellow animals don't need words to think, ...Our pre-sapiens hunter would not have needed a verbal analysis to know that close-up killing was dangerous and killing from a distance would be safer. But when he’d come up with a strategy and an artefact, he would almost certainly have wanted to invent a sound that would denote the new weapon. That’s how language evolves and, in my theory, how the brain changes: as a response to new requirements, not in anticipation of them.

Your theory is simple. The naturally existing brain boot-straps itself up to a larger more complex form under the pressure of intense concentration. Please tell us about the natural mechanism that performs that task?


dhw: You can never seem to get your head round the fact that the body consists of multiple cell communities which cooperate with one another, with or without your God’s 3.8-billion-year computer programme or personal dabbling, and whether cells are intelligent or not. Your human examples have their parallel in all adaptations and innovations. Now will you please at last answer my bolded question: 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.

You've asked me my question above to you. We do not know who or what cause speciation, the true seat of the argument. 'You never seem to get it through your head' that larger brains are always found with improved artifacts. So you cover that by offering a confused timing proposal to fit your unsupported theory. Remember, all archaeologists presume their timing tests prove that all that is found occurred all together in that time period


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?

DAVID: 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.

Which is true whether we follow your theory or mine. So what does it prove?

DAVID: 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.

dhw: All fine, except that for the umpteenth time, it is the process I seize on, not the tiny enlargements. Now tell us whether you believe your God designed the mechanism which enables the brain to complexify without his direction. If he did, why should the same mechanism not have enabled the brain to expand?

You invoke God for our current brain, but when you discuss past enlargements are you also invoking God? I haven't read it.


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