Brain expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 01, 2020, 18:05 (116 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: 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?

dhw: There is no change, but simply a continued muddling of my theory on your part. Once more: small brain comes up with new big idea. Brain expands through implementation of idea. Artefact and expanded brain appear simultaneously because it was the process of designing and manufacturing the original concept that CAUSED the bigger brain! After that, plenty more artefacts but no more “big ideas” whose implementation demands greater capacity, and so there is a period of stasis. I don’t know why you find this so difficult to understand.

I've understood your fantasy. The brain expands with no stasis, makes its new idea and then goes to sleep for some time for a delayed stasis. The only problem for you is the history we know of sapiens. The Moroccan 315,000 yo fossils did not come with new artifacts. Then nothing for 250,000 years.


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

dhw: We emphatically disagree! The dualist’s brain does not do the thinking! The soul does the thinking, and uses the brain, as above.

I've said the same thing in different words. Brain 'thinking' is soul driven. Brain cannot think without the soul using it.


dhw: […] 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.

DAVID: We know the brain was oversized, but my explanation is that the extra neuron circuits allowed for a well-designed complexification.

dhw: The extra neurons proved to be unnecessary! Complexification worked without them, which is why they disappeared.

Already answered:

DAVID: 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.

dhw: I’m quite happy with the concept of a God who doesn’t know what’s coming. It actually forms part of my own theory of evolution generally, if you remember. And it fits in nicely with your perfect God who can’t create a perfect system, or with my God who deliberately creates an imperfect system. All rather “humanizing”, but as you rightly say, God probably has patterns of thought similar to ours. I don’t know how this explains his giving us more neurons than we needed. And how about when he expanded the brains of all our predecessors? Do you think he knew or didn’t know they would produce their various tools and weapons? I must say I've lost the thread of this discussion, so I eagerly await an explanation of the point you are trying to make.

You seem to have forgotten free will. I don't, as above, think God knows exactly what we will come up with as time passes. The bold, as you keep deliberately repeating, is wrong. God thinks logically as we do, but nothing more in terms of humanized desires on His part. Complexification, as a brain plasticity process, needed extra neuron networks for careful tailoring as sapiens developed various uses and concepts. Allows for unexpected use developments.


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