Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, May 14, 2020, 12:51 (442 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So yet again: if he could get our brains to complexify by themselves, why is it unthinkable to you that he could also have got their brains to expand by themselves? […]

DAVID: You have ignored my comments in my recent series of introducing the brain':
Introducing the brain: fast evolution explanation (Introduction)
by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 00:56
"my point is more important to consider, that the brain enlargement has to coordinate with bigger skull (bone) size and a necessary enlargement change in the female birth canal (pelvic bone) to accommodate the bigger baby skull (bone). "

In your continued desperation to avoid answering my straightforward question, you repeated your question on this thread, which I answered on Tuesday at 12.29:
DAVID: 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: Hard thinking applies to the brain, because the brain is the seat of thought, whether there is a soul or not. 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. Any anatomical change will involve different cell communities cooperating.

I repeated this yesterday, accused you of ignoring my answer, and now you say:

DAVID: Of course I ignored your cell committees as totally off the mark.

I gave you an answer which you ignored, and now you tell me I ignored your question. The fact that you dismiss cellular intelligence (= Shapiro’s “natural genetic engineering”) as an explanation for adaptations and innovations (including skull and birth canal expansion) is no reason for pretending that I have not given you an answer. Dismissing the answer as “off the mark” presupposes that you know the mark, which you don’t.

dhw: Once again I asked the following question:
dhw: 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?

DAVID: Total confusion of facts: complexification results in overall shrinkage! And how about the bony problems?

Total non sequitur plus continued attempt at digression. Once more: if as you believe, your God invented a mechanism which enabled the brain to complexify itself autonomously in response to new requirements (with shrinkage simply the result of its efficiency), why should his invention not also have enabled the earlier brain to expand autonomously for the same reason? If he was happy to leave the modern brain to do its own thing (complexify), why would he not have been happy to let the ancient brain do its own thing (expand) as well?

dhw: You keep quoting articles that make no attempt to solve the mystery of expansion, as if somehow they support your theory and disprove mine!

DAVID: My quotes simply show most folks thinking about brain size and artifacts simply assume the bigger brains did it. We both also agree. Your theory is your theory no one else's. And you have never answered the 'bony problem' which involved separate organs than brain.

Yes, they don’t deal with the possible cause of brain expansion, which nobody has yet explained. My apparently original explanation calls for rational discussion, which so far you have not yet provided. Attempted diversion through “bony problem” now dealt with three times.

Under “Introducing the brain”:
"Senior author of the study, Dr. Penny Spikins, from the Department of Archaeology said: "More sophisticated tools like the Boxgrove handaxes start to appear around the same time as our hominin ancestors were developing much bigger brains. (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: Note the bold once again associating the advances in technique with brain size. It is known that erectus brain size increased from the time they first appeared. This also fits my idea that the bigger brain allows for thought advances, that is, learning to use it as knowledge builds and is passed on.

Your bold in no way contradicts my theory that the first handaxes would have been the cause of the expansion. Three cheers for homo erectus, who clearly began with a smaller brain but went on expanding it through his thought advances (or “hard thinking”). Or are you now saying that your God must have kept “stepping in” and dabbling erectus’ continued brain expansion to enable him to think more advanced thoughts as time passed? And this in spite of the fact that as a dualist you believe that only the soul does the thinking?

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