Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 12:22 (12 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We have no idea when the idea appears or the manufacture of the new implement is performed. In archaeological dig both are found together. So all that can be said is the artifact is related to and the result of the newly-size brain. (dhw's bold)

dhw: Precisely: they are found together, and the artefact is the result of the newly expanded brain. Then comes stasis. Thank you.

DAVID: Again distorting. You and I have no idea when stasis occurs related to anciently produced new artifact. We know in sapiens the stasis from 315,000 years ago to 50-70,000 years ago.

We know that for hundreds of thousands of years, australopithecus, habilis, erectus & Co hung around without making much progress with their bigger brains. If we don’t know precisely when the artefacts were produced, then it is perfectly possible that the very first of them was the CAUSE of the expanded brain (i.e. marked their beginning). Then of course they would have continued to produce them from that moment onwards.

DAVID: I didn't say or believe what is in the bold.

I have quoted you!

DAVID: What I state is the soul must use the brain's neuronal networks in order to have/create thoughts while in life and attached to/part of the living person.

dhw: Yes, we agree! And I have explained how the soul uses the brain, and you have agreed. But you added “brain capacity for complex thought”. If you now wish to withdraw that, please say so and we can shake hands.

DAVID: My position: Advanced thought by the soul requires the brain to have advanced neuronal webs.

Agreed. Otherwise, the soul would not have the information needed for its thoughts and would not be able to implement its thoughts. This does not mean that the brain has a capacity for thought, complex or otherwise.

dhw: Mystery: in your theory, your God expanded the brain approx 280,000 years before H. sapiens made any significant progress. For some reason, you seem to think this denotes planning, and I asked what was his purpose for the period of stasis. You answered that it was for us to “learn to use the brain”. I don’t understand how you learn to use the brain by doing nothing special for 280,000 years. Stasis has followed every expansion, and I used the Amazon tribes as examples of stasis continuing even now. Learning to play the piano does not mean learning to use the brain. We use our brain in order to gather information and to implement our thoughts. We don't consciously make all the connections and complexify it! And there is nobody on earth who can use the brain to full capacity, because there is nobody on earth who can know everything there is to know or implement every thought that can be implemented.

DAVID: It is your mystery alone. Of course we are still expanding our use of the brain.

Yes indeed. The mystery is why, as you claim, your God expanded the brain 315,000 years ago but sapiens didn’t make much progress for approx. 280,000 years (= stasis). You claim that this was so that sapiens could “learn to use the brain”. I don’t understand how you can learn to use the brain by doing nothing, and I didn’t understand what you meant by “learning” to use it anyway. However, see below, as your piano example has made me change my mind to a degree.

DAVID: As for 315,000 years ago, they were using it at a simple level and bit by bit learned to use it for more complex activities.

I thought your point was that they didn’t start to use it until there was a sudden explosion of new activity that led to civilization as we know it. Hence 280,000 years of “stasis”.

DAVID: As for length of time, it is consistent with what we know about all of evolution and the time it took. I don't worry about God's reasons or His purposes. That is always your issue.

You inform us of your interpretation of your God’s reasons or purposes, and prefer not to worry about the illogicality of your interpretation.

DAVID: As for the piano, I've learned to play as a child. You have no idea of the finger coordination that is a brain-learned process as well as the timing of the rhythm.

I also play the piano and am totally aware of the coordination required, as my brain implements the “thoughts” of the music and directs my fingers accordingly. But you are right: there are many such activities that do require a conscious use of the brain’s abilities through specific forms of learning/training, although most of the time our use of them is unconscious. I’ll withdraw my objection to the term, and thank you for the example. However, this still doesn’t solve the mystery of why your God gave sapiens his big brain BEFORE it was needed, and how sapiens was able to learn to use it by doing nothing.


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