Brain expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 12, 2020, 19:14 (109 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Still defending your natural view of expansion. Fine. We clearly disagree. I'll stay with God who decides when in evolution a larger brain will appear. All we know about human brains is they shrink when heavily used, after having enlarged at first in areas that provide the soul with more complex conceptual thinking areas. That is basically where all enlargement takes place from Lucy-likes and onward.

dhw: Of course I’m still defending it. We know that the modern brain stopped expanding (I suggest that this was because further expansion would have required major adjustments to the anatomy), complexifies in response to thought, certain areas expand in response to thought – but not enough to require overall expansion – and certain areas have shrunk because of the enhanced efficiency of complexification, which made those areas redundant. It is therefore perfectly feasible that in former times brains also complexified in response to thought and expanded in response to thought. They would not have shrunk, because the existing capacity for complexification was inadequate to cope with the new thoughts which required implementation.

I agree with you, earlier brains undoubtedly had some degree of plasticity and complexification. Advances in evolution build on previous processes and structures, and the bold is straight from my thinking. In contrast, I view the thought mechanisms for the soul to use for new ideas must appear in a new-sized brain, and then implementation can occur.

DAVID: Skulls and brains shrink is the only example we have in sapiens even if neurons are added in the hippocampus. It is all part of plasticity and complexification. I suspect, as stated before, both processes were present to small degrees in earlier hominin/homo brains, neither of which would enlarge brains.

dhw: Same again. Yes, it is all part of plasticity, added neurons in the hippocampus are an example of expansion, and we agree that both processes (complexification and expansion) would have been present in earlier brains. But my proposal is that when their capacity for complexification was insufficient, expansion took over. In the modern brain, when greater capacity is required, enhanced complexification has taken over, and – for the umpteenth time – you have agreed that shrinkage is the result of complexification’s increased efficiency. I still don’t know why you think your God could not have given earlier brains the same mechanism for autonomous complexification and expansion as the one you recognize as being present in the modern brain, although you refuse to countenance the possibility that the mechanism might be cellular intelligence.

I've not changed my ideas and theories. Our major difference is I see God as running evolution. None of sapiens' brain history fits your thoughts. Remember the sapiens brain only began to shrink in the very recent past as we/souls started to use the brain in its full available capacity. The stasis in use becomes very obvious when viewed this way. As for cell intelligence, my view is not changed. They appear to react intelligently because of God's intelligent instructional information they contain.

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