Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, July 04, 2020, 10:38 (42 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We both agree to a period of stasis with no new artifacts. Apply your theory to sapiens only and we have fossil sapiens at many stages of past history with no new artifacts evident, where is the implementation of the 'idea that made the sapiens brain initiate enlargement?

dhw: First we have nothing for 250,000 years (= stasis), and then we have many stages with nothing, as if there WAS something in between. Please make up your mind.

DAVID: Life went on for 250,000 years with little changed. That is true stasis.

Thank you for withdrawing your earlier statement above that there were many “stages”. At least we now agree on the sapiens “stasis” we are talking about.

dhw: You have left out my statement that nobody knows what requirements the pre-sapiens brain was responding to, and now you’re asking me to tell you! The 315,000-year-old Moroccan fossils were accompanied by their artefacts, but I can’t insist that it was their implementation that caused the expansion. Nor can you insist that expansion took place overnight, with your God stepping in to do a dabble with the brains, skulls and pelvises. What is your point?

DAVID: I left out your bold because I don't accept it. You are now struggling to find evidence for your brain growth theory, while we discuss sapiens. I state we had to learn to use our newly given brain. God steps in, which you don't accept.

You asked me to tell you what caused the sapiens expansion. I had already told you that nobody knows. What evidence do you have that your God stepped in and overnight expanded the brains, skulls and pelvises of a certain group of homos? The only evidence I do have for my theory is that the sapiens brain has stopped expanding and RESPONDS to new requirements by complexifying. It does not complexify in anticipation of new requirements. I see no reason why earlier brains should not have done the same, but when the capacity for complexification proved inadequate, the cell communities responded by adding to their number. The same process of RESPONSE to new requirements, just as organisms in general RESPOND to new requirements, as opposed to being fiddled with in anticpation of new requirements.


dhw: “The brain cannot think without the soul using it” means that the brain CAN think if the soul uses it. The dualist’s brain does not think. It is the soul that thinks. Please stop messing around with words.

DAVID: Finally clearly stated. Which implies my rule: brain complexity level allows soul thought complexity level.

At least you have finally dropped your insistence that the brain thinks. I cannot for the life of me understand why you don’t just accept that the dualist’s soul does the thinking and uses the brain for information and for implementation of its thoughts. I do not find this latest “rule” clear at all. Thought and complexification are an ongoing, interactive process. Implementation of the dualist’s soul’s thought causes complexification of the brain. The new complexifications will now contain new information which may lead to the soul having new thoughts. Your “rule” leaves out half of the process – and it is the half that takes us back to the possible cause of brain expansion: namely, the fact that the brain RESPONDS to new requirements.

dhw (on the subject of brain shrinkage): Why specially design unnecessary networks which can be discarded? Why not design the right amount of plasticity in the first place? Yet another example of the various weaknesses you are now finding in your previously all-powerful, all-controlling, all-knowing God?

DAVID: No weakness. Your confusion. The plasticity system is perfectly designed to make use of the extra networks to end up with a tailored brain that fits exactly the uses we find to put it to.

But according to you, your God plonked the extra, superfluous networks into sapiens’ brain! They were NOT used, and that is why they disappeared and the brain shrank!

DAVID: This again shows you have forgotten we have free will and God doesn't know exactly how we will use it. I don't view this as a defect in my God.

So he just didn’t know he was giving us too many networks. Oops! And on the other thread you have him deliberately planning to kill old people, but oops! his system accidentally kills young people too, though in this case he knew it would because he provided safeguards but oops! some of them don’t work. Add all this to a God whose only purpose is to design H. sapiens and who inexplicably proceeds not to design H. sapiens till he’s designed millions of other non-human life forms, and we have a God truly unrecognizable from the all-powerful, all-knowing and always-in-control one you used to tell us about. Now I seem to stand alone in suggesting that he knew exactly what he wanted and did it!


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