Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 11:43 (492 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID (under “cerebellum”): In looking at the two paragraphs above, survival is not to be mentioned, yet there are, I assume implied, serious requirements for human life that must be faced. You can't have it both ways.

Of course I can have it both ways! You chose to narrow the field to violin-playing, as if somehow that would disprove my theory that the pre-sapiens brain expanded in response to new requirements. In the pre-sapiens eras, survival would obviously have been the prime motive, so why bring in modern-era violin-playing as your example of new requirements?

DAVID: A giant jump in brain cortex and prefrontal cortex volume (about 300+ cc from erectus to us) implies a need for a very strong response, to use your words. You want it naturally to happen and I feel only a designer could create such a large change.

Your feeling is not a logical response to my proposal. I don’t see why a designer should be incapable of creating a mechanism for large changes as well as small changes.

(The rest of your post under “cerebellum” concerned matters dealt with here:)

DAVID: In your cellular committee self-creation theory can you explain why the brain was produced oversized in the beginning? A mistake? Purposeful? If purposeful, what purpose? Can you describe the committee's discussion?

dhw: It would be more appropriate to ask why your God produced an oversized brain in the beginning! A mistake? Or what possible purpose could he have had? Do please answer. […]

DAVID: Bigger brain explained as allowing the appropriate complexification to occur to handle the new invention of activities humans developed like violin playing. Briefly it gave the bigger brain much more flexibility of response to the soul's new demands.

Thank you. At long last our theories are converging. Of course the bigger brain is better able to respond to the soul’s demands. That is why, in my theory, the brain expanded in the first place – it could not respond to the soul’s new demands because the existing capacity for response through complexification had reached its limit. In our earlier example, the dualist’s soul demanded implementation of the spear concept, and the brain had to expand to handle it; in your example it demanded implementation of the violin concept, and it was handled by complexification.

Your response still hasn’t explained why your God would have produced a bigger brain than necessary, but my theory faces no such problem – complexification is so efficient that certain cells became redundant. My proposal does not, however, exclude your God. As with the rest of evolution, it allows for him to be the inventor of the whole system whereby cells/cells communities use their intelligence to respond to different requirements.


dhw: You have left out my question: do you think the switch to large pelvises happened overnight? If not, how long do you think it might have taken?

DAVID: How large are the known time gaps?

dhw: That is not an answer.

DAVID: Of course it is. Each new hominin. homo species with larger skull appeared suddenly after hundreds of thousands of years

And do we have fossils from all of those hundreds of thousands of years? Do you think the switch to large pelvises happened overnight? If not, how long do you think it might have taken? I seem to have asked this question before.


DAVID: Your usual misinterpretation: the instructions are set for a lifetime of antibody responses.

dhw: WHAT instructions? How to deal with every new infection? That = a divine programme for every infection for the rest of time. Do you think our ancestors already had the cure for Covid-19 in their immune system?

DAVID: Total misunderstanding. All diseases can be handled by several immune mechanisms; outright killing (engulfing bugs) and antibodies to kill or neutralize. The instructions are in all immune cells for these actions. No program for all possible present and future bugs. Anything that comes along can be dealt with by present limited responses.

You are simply telling us what an immune system does – it kills or neutralizes the enemy. But the enemies are all different! Our highly intelligent scientists are now trying to find a way to get rid of Covid-19 because the immune system’s library of responses – accumulated from all its past experiences – does not contain “instructions” on how to deal with the new enemy.

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