Brain expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 18:44 (93 days ago) @ dhw

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.

dhw: 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.

The usual 'anything is possible' interpretation, but a change from the past approach in a way. Your past thought was that a design/ concept originated in a smaller brain which then enlarged only when the concept was manufactured using the new brain. But you are now accepting a bigger brain appears first followed by long stasis. So I raise the same question I've had. If the idea exists, why the stasis?

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.

dhw: 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.

The bold is your misunderstanding. We both agree, The brain cannot think without the soul.


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.

dhw: 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”.

The has been a recent explosion, starting with more complete language, but socializing and other concepts were added slowly before that.


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.

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

Illogicality is something you have problems with. I don't and am content with my theories.


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.

dhw: 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.

You've just agreed we didn't 'do nothing' but slowly added some concepts until the language developed and concepts exploded. We know the brain was oversized, but my explanation is that the extra neuron circuits allowed for a well-designed complexification. God gave us free will and I don't think He knew exactly how we would develop our use of the brain. As an example, we invented our complex language. He did not give it to us, but all the parts of the brain we use in speaking, reading, and writing were there for us to incorporate them.


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