Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, June 22, 2020, 11:08 (481 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Our obvious difference is you think the soul can come up with concepts without using a brain during life, and therefore is able to push the brain to a new size so the brain can accommodate the drive for new thought.

dhw: This is a travesty of what I have proposed! The dualist's soul comes up with concepts based on the information provided by the brain, and I don’t even know what you mean by “accommodate the drive for new thought”! The brain implements the concepts that the soul comes up with.

DAVID: It is the complexity of neuron networks that allows advanced thought.

You keep using the nebulous word “allows”, and I don’t know why you keep popping in the word “advanced”. Dualists believe there is an immaterial soul which does all the thinking. The complexity of neural networks provides information and material expression and implementation of the soul’s thoughts. Materialists believe that the complex neuron networks do the thinking as well as the expressing and implementing. In my theory, the brain complexifies and in former times expanded IN RESPONSE to the dualist soul’s thinking and it does/did the same IN RESPONSE to the thoughts of the thinking areas of the materialist’s brain – as proven by the fact that the modern brain complexifies IN RESPONSE to new requirements.

DAVID: We both agree to a stasis period but interpret it differently: you think a tidal wave of unrealized soul concepts forces expansion. My question is, as above, if that is true why does the appearance of those new concepts take so long?

dhw: Another travesty. Each expansion would have been caused by the fact that the existing brain did not have the complexification capacity to implement a new concept. After each expansion (up to and including sapiens) there was a period of stasis because the dualist's soul did not come up with any new concepts that could not be dealt with by the existing mechanism of complexification. The red sentence obviously has not been covered, since you are again assuming that pre-sapiens and sapiens souls should have come up with millions of new ideas immediately after expansion! Why?

DAVID: Your theory implies the ability for immediate new thought, since the brain is under your idea of a command to new thinking. I always refer to long stasis.

I don’t know what your first sentence means. Sticking with your dualist’s soul, it can come up with new thoughts at any moment! In pre-sapiens times, these are likely to have been sparked by causes related to survival (though the latest research shows that some of our earlier ancestors were not as restricted as was once believed). If the current system of survival was functioning, there would be a period of stasis until a problem arose or someone had a brilliant idea to make life even better. I also refer to long periods of stasis (think of the lost tribes of the Amazon). What is your point?

dhw: Why do you think that a God who invents a mechanism enabling cells to expand their number autonomously = a God without purpose, whereas a God who invents a mechanism enabling cells to complexify autonomously runs evolution with purpose?

DAVID: It is your invention, not mine. He can do one with guidelines.

Why do you keep restricting your God’s inventiveness? If he can invent an autonomous mechanism for complexification, why must he preprogramme or personally dabble each enlargement – the only guidelines you can offer? And why is autonomous complexification purposeful but autonomous enlargement would be without a purpose?

dhw: You have your God dabbling with a group of homos, simultaneously expanding their brains, skulls and pelvises overnight. I suggest a more gradual process, no doubt with casualties (and a lot of pain) on the way, as the pelvis responds to the need for expansion until eventually and naturally only the larger pelvis survives. We cannot reasonably expect to find fossils recording every stage of transition. Why do you find this hypothesis less convincing than your own?

DAVID: Simple. All evolution shows is full gaps with complete new forms on arrival. Forget Darwin.

Every fossil was once a complete form! And every new fossil find is a sensation, because fossils are so rare. Therefore all the fossil record shows is a few dots instead of a continuous line. Of course there are gaps! Why do you find this so difficult to conceive, and yet you can imagine your God choosing a group of homos and somehow reaching into their brains, skulls and pelvises to engineer an overnight expansion?

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