Brain expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 18, 2020, 18:43 (97 days ago) @ dhw

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: I don't see a convergence. Violin playing is a sideshow from the real advances. Only you think the brain can enlarge itself. All it can do from the evidence is complexify itself and shrink. How did your cell committees know to overly enlarge the sapiens brain so it could complexify?

dhw: Violin playing is irrelevant to brain expansion. The only alternative to the brain enlarging itself is your God preprogramming and/or dabbling the expansion, and not everybody believes in God. There are various theories (random mutations, diet, discovery of fire) – ask any atheist. The evidence does indeed show that the brain can complexify itself, and so it is not unreasonable to propose that the same autonomous mechanism also engineered expansion.

A false analogy. Complexification comes from specific developments of use and is guided to change by the specific quality of that new usage, i.e., memorizing, repeated new muscular coordinated motions, developing new concepts, etc. In expansion what guides which areas are to enlarged as required for new circumstances and invented new uses? This requires foresight of what is intended. How would an autonomous mechanism know what to create? I see intentionality and you are still back at chance a la' Darwin.

dhw: Your agreement that the brain RESPONDS to the new demands made by the dualist’s soul (as opposed to being changed in advance of new demands) is the breakthrough in our discussions.

False assumption. My point is the overly large brain has a mechanism to adapt to new use, and then shrink as a result. What enlarged the brain primarily is at all explained by new complexification


dhw: 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.

DAVID: The cell intelligence is seen in massive automatic molecular reactions God gave them.

dhw: That's your theory. And you still haven’t explained why you think your God made the sapiens brain bigger than necessary.

I have. It allows for new usages and complexification for brain efficiency as it shrinks. It also introduces the reduction in energy required, since the brain uses so much energy.


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

dhw: 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?

DAVID: All we have is gaps, and Gould felt they were important. In questioning gap size you are constantly avoiding that big pelvis must be simultaneous with big baby head appearance. Disagree?

dhw: I am suggesting that for a period of time, there would have been lots of casualties until the big pelvis WAS "simultaneous" with the big baby head! That is why I asked you whether you thought the switch to large pelvises happened overnight, and if not, how long you thought it might have taken. You still haven’t answered.

Do you have any idea how long your weird catch-up theory would take? Both attempting dead mothers and dead babies and nothing else? Much easier to accept the theory that it all occurred through simultaneous design by God, the designer.


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