Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 13:45 (321 days ago) @ David Turell

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

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Don't change my definition of dualism to advance your argument! In life the soul can create thought only by using the brain networks and advanced thought requires much more complex networks than in previous brains.

There is no dispute here, and I am changing nothing, unless you disagree that the soul does the thinking. You are simply leaving out what the soul uses the brain for! You keep agreeing that it uses the brain for information and for implementation of its thoughts, whether those thoughts are simple or complex. Obviously more complex thoughts require greater complexities for their implementation! And in the past that would explain why the brain had to expand - because the capacity for complexification was not large enough.

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.

dhw: I don’t know what your first sentence means.

DAVID: I don't know why you have a problem. Your theory, as you present, it is that brain expansion comes from the drive to have new concepts, and it requires a larger more complex brain to allow it. Logically one would expect the new thoughts to appear immediately upon enlargement, but no, we both recognize the delay (stasis).

Totally wrong! My theory is that brain expansion comes from the drive to IMPLEMENT the soul's new concepts, not to HAVE them. In the past these concepts would have been IMPLEMENTED by complexification until the capacity for complexification reached its limit, and so additional cells were required to IMPLEMENT the new concept. Hence expansion. The dualist’s soul can have new thoughts at any time, and complexification and enlargement are a RESPONSE to new thoughts, not the cause. Stasis resulted from the fact that there were no new thoughts that required enlargement - not surprising if homos were able to survive as they were. Even today,the lost tribes of the Amazon have to a large extent prolonged the sapiens period of stasis. This would have ended when certain individual souls thought up new concepts that eventually led to our civilization.

dhw: 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?

DAVID: Complexification obviously comes with guidelines as our oversized brain was used and developed, casting off unnecessary neuron webs. How did our brain know what to safely cast off if not guided?

You have not answered any of my questions. Nor have you ever explained why your God would have created an oversized brain in the first place. The answer to your own question is that complexification was so efficient that certain cells were not being used, and if something is not used, it will disappear. What is your theory? God created an oversized brain and then stepped in to remove all the cells that were not needed? And would you please answer my questions now.

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.

DAVID: See the video for today, noting all new species arrived competently designed and fully functional, no Darwain gradualism.

Thank you for this excellent video. In our context, however, the discussion is not about new species in the sense of totally new organs and phyla. The brain already existed, and expansion did not constitute “novelty”.

dhw: 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?

DAVID: Your thoughts are fully desperation. The gaps are real and fully recognized as a problem for Darwin thought, which you can't seem to leave behind:
The video. The first five minutes make the point. Note Eldridge and Gould both agreed about the gaps and invented a weird punctuated equilibrium theory, that was entirely descriptive and of no real value.

As above, you have switched the discussion from the development of an existing organ to the origin of species. I disagree with you about the value of “punctuated equilibrium”, but that is a totally different subject.

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