Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 11:49 (24 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: An exact distortion of what I have previously written about my dualism theory: to repeat, in life the soul MUST use the brain mechanisms to develop thought and concepts. In death it is free and on its own to think.

dhw: How is it a distortion? We agree that in life the dualist’s soul MUST use the material brain: its thoughts and concepts depend on the brain for information and for implementation. But the dualist’s soul itself cannot be material if it survives the death of the body/brain! Perhaps it is the term “thought mechanisms” that has caused confusion. Please explain it, please tell us whether the dualist’s soul is or is not material, and please explain why you think the dualist’s soul cannot use existing knowledge to come up with new ideas until the material brain has already provided new knowledge and an enhanced ability to implement the ideas.

DAVID: In life the soul and brain are totally linked. The immaterial soul must use the neuron networks to retrieve memory, to receive sensory information, and to develop abstract thought, which thought can only be as abstractly complex as the neuron networks allow. This fits the slowly advancing of human forms/brain enlargement over time associated with more advanced artifacts.

We agree that the dualist’s immaterial soul must use the material brain, but why is its abstract thought limited to the capacities of the neuron network? Once again you refer to artefacts, and so once again let’s use them as an example. Pre-sapiens wants to kill an animal. He knows that the closer he gets, the more dangerous it is. Why must his neuron network expand before he thinks to himself: maybe I could invent a weapon that would kill the animal from a distance?

dhw: If the modern brain controls its complexification and its limited expansion autonomously, why couldn’t the same mechanism have done the same in former times?

DAVID: Because I think God creates the appearance of evolution to make you fell better about my description of God running evolution

I don’t understand your answer, but I presume it is a cover for your not knowing why the ancient brain could not have had the same mechanism as the modern brain.

DAVID: We are currently discussing the evidence from sapiens brains and since it doesn't fit your natural theory of expansion you have scurried back to pre-sapiens brains to avoid the problem. Please stick to the subject, sapiens brains and long initial stasis of ideas/artifacts.

dhw: You are right – my reply concerned the history generally, and not sapiens’ history. My apologies. But I have already given you the answer umpteen times. We do not know what new requirement resulted in the final expansion. But I propose that the sapiens brain stopped expanding because if it had expanded any further, this would have necessitated major changes to the whole anatomy.

DAVID: Skull size no problem. Our brain was sizeably bigger (about 150 cc) before the shrinkage, with no anatomic problems. Could be easily added back, if necessary, but isn't. Your anatomic problem is not reasonable.

My “anatomical problem” explains why the brain and skull stopped expanding after reaching that size! Once complexification had taken over, the brain eventually shrank because of its efficiency, although according to you, there were also minor expansions. So why would the brain as a whole start expanding again to fill the gap once complexification had proved so efficient? Do you expect it to fill the gap and then revert to complexification because it’s gone back to the size which won’t allow further expansion?

DAVID: You have agreed to a stasis period. That destroys your idea that compelling ideas in a previously smaller brain demanded enlargement for implementation. Where is the implied immediate implementation? No where. Delayed for over 200,000 years.

You seem never to have understood the point I keep bolding. We don’t know what “compelling ideas” demanded enlargement for implementation. We took artefacts as an example, because they are the only concrete evidence we have from the past. The trigger could have been new requirements through local environmental changes, new discoveries, new developments within a social structure. None of us were around at the time, and none of our ancestors knew how to keep a diary! As for stasis, again you persist in ignoring my previous answers. Once the unknown cause had required expansion, there were no new ideas or discoveries or developments that would have required expansion. This applies to pre-sapiens AND to sapiens. There were always periods of stasis. In sapiens’ case, the stasis ended when some clever folk did have new ideas, but for the reason I have given, the brain did not expand – it complexified.

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