Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, May 15, 2020, 21:37 (166 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Your theory ascribes to your God the actions you wish. My theory is based on the fact that the modern brain changes in response to new requirements, and you cannot find a single reason why the same process should not have applied to the ancient brain. Your invented theory is not based on any facts. “Happy to” was not meant to lead to a discussion on happiness. If God invented a mechanism for the modern brain to complexify independently, why do you assume that the same mechanism would not have enabled the ancient brain to expand independently? My theory is not an assumption but a theory based on the only facts we have.

The only facts we have is complexification causes shrinkage. See today's entry for a logical extrapolation of what our brain demonstrates: May 15, 2020, 16:17

"Our brain did not enlarge from this strenuous effort. It shrunk. Our evolved brain came from previous ancient brains an should reflect what they did as a result of thought, develop slightly complex neuronal networks with small regions of enlargement. Logical, involving no new theory."

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.

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

dhw: First you accuse me of not answering, then you dismiss my answer (as if you alone knew “the mark”), and now you have forgotten my answer!

I find it so unreasonable I didn't concentrate on it, and apologize for forgetting. Please explain how the comment in red works. I understand organs cooperating in life, but not evolution, in which an active positive change in the DNA of germ cells must be required. You have so far proposed nothing supported by facts in evolution.

dhw: An article in today’s Times discusses the importance of highly sophisticated axes believed to have been created about 600,000 years ago by Homo heidelbergensis. “Researchers said these advances in craftsmanship suggest individuals were acquiring multiple characteristics of self-control, such as forward-planning, concentration and frustration tolerance. This happened across a broad area over a period of about 100,000 years, coinciding closely in time with evidence of increases in brain size and social collaboration.”

I like the 100,000 years reference, which lessens the drama of brains suddenly “exploding”. A materialist might claim the brain expansion (cause unknown - maybe chance mutations) led to the advances. My favourite dualist would presumably claim God stepped in with dabbles, and the soul used the bigger brain to advance skills and its own self-awareness. My proposal would be that it was the other way round – new ideas required hard thinking (concentration), and as with the modern brain, this resulted in the changes (first, expansion - probably when complexification could no longer cope within existing dimensions - then sapiens complexification).

Heidelbergensis is just an erectus branch. I covered this without receiving comment. I was aware of the scientific research presented two -three days ago. And entered it here:

Introducing the brain:new skills require developing patience (Introduction)
by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 19:12 with this comment:

"Comment: 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."

My objections to your theory just restated are above.


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