Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, July 08, 2020, 11:25 (114 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: At least three times now I have drawn your attention in bold to my statement: “nobody knows what requirements the pre-sapiens brain was responding to…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.

DAVID: The Moroccan fossils did not have any newly advanced artifacts, which destroys your theory of expansion by implementation. thank you for the admission.

For approximately the fourth bolded time, nobody knows what the requirements were. We took artefacts as an example because they are the only material evidence we have. Do you really expect me to know precisely what events, discoveries, concepts preceded each expansion over the last two million-plus years?

dhw: You have conveniently left out your own comment: that God “wanted us to do the modification ourselves by the plasticity mechanism He gave our brain”. It was I who told you that “we” didn’t do the shrinking, and yes the brain has a possibly God-given mechanism (I call it cellular intelligence) for changing itself, whether by expansion, complexification or shrinkage.

DAVID: That concept neatly explains what happened, but all you do is end up puzzled.

dhw: My concept certainly does, and I don’t find it puzzling at all. I am only puzzled by your idea that God fiddles with brains, skulls and pelvises overnight, and also gave us more neural networks than we needed.

DAVID: Fully explained and you seem to accept it above in bold. I agree 'we didn't do it', the brain did it with God's implanted mechanism.

Excellent. That is the theistic version of my theory: God implanted the mechanism of cellular intelligence, which autonomously engineered/engineers expansion, complexification and shrinkage. Agreement at last. Goodbye to divine dabbling. Except that you insist on continuing the argument as if you hadn’t agreed.

DAVID: Do our brains have plasticity or not? I view the design as clever, anticipating use by free-will humans with consciousness. I know I cannot get into God's mind, but a little reasonable thought arrives at reasonable reasons. Sorry you are blind to them.

dhw: Yes, our brains have plasticity. And I have no idea what free will has to do with the expansion of the brain, since “we” do not consciously organize complexification, expansion or shrinkage. I don’t know what reasonable thought has led you to conclude that God did a dabble for each expansion although he gave the modern brain its own autonomous mechanism for complexification and shrinkage and “adding ability”.

DAVID: Simple: God runs evolution and its history tells us what He decided to do.

History tells us that the brain expanded, and you have agreed that the modern brain has a mechanism for autonomous expansion, complexification and shrinkage. It is therefore not unreasonable to propose that the ancient brain had the same mechanism, though shrinkage did not apply because expansion was the necessary new development.

Under “brain complexity”: "A lot of people don't realize that the brain is made up not just of nerve cells, but also cells that keep the brain healthy, and even the space in between cells is packed with fascinating interactions."

dhw: A nice way of describing the cooperation of cell communities which lies at the heart of Shapiro’s and Talbott’s and my own proposal concerning how evolution works, including that of the brain.

DAVID: My counter thought is the cells all perform under God-given instructions.

So have you now abandoned the divine dabbling theory and gone back to your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every evolutionary change past, present and future?


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