Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, July 18, 2020, 10:39 (297 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: It is the amount of information the brain makes available that limits the dualist's soul's capacity for thought, but that doesn't mean new thoughts can't arise out of EXISTING information. Each new complexification is the RESULT of thought. Advances in artefacts will result from the thoughts of the dualist’s soul using existing information, and the implementation of the thought will CAUSE complexities. In my theory, it will have CAUSED expansion when the capacity for complexification was exceeded by the requirements of the new thought.

DAVID: You have again avoided my theory that the soul must use the degree of complexity offered by the neuronal networks in the brain it is using in life to reach the limit of complexity of thought that network allows.

You have again fudged the argument. Yes, the dualist’s soul uses the existing networks' complexities for the information they provide, and for implementation of its thoughts. And yes, these two functions are limited. But the dualist can have new thoughts using the existing information (the spear example, extending right through to – and including – sapiens), and the implementation of these new thoughts will require further complexities. However, if the existing networks are not sufficient to implement the new thoughts, the brain will require additional networks – hence pre-sapiens expansion.

DAVID: There was no anatomical problem […]

dhw: We don’t know why our brain stopped expanding, but “reason” should tell you that if it had continued to expand indefinitely, we would have ended up with a head the size of an elephant’s! And you don’t think this would have caused anatomical problems?

DAVID: 'Elephant head' is a ridiculous inventive totally unreasonable concept, based on brain enlargements in known history.

Nobody knows why the sapiens brain stopped expanding and complexification took over. I have offered you an explanation!

DAVID: I'll stick with God running evolution and enlarging brains and skulls and changing pelvic measurements as necessary and all at once. The necessary enlargements that advanced us to our current stage were a total of 800 cc., about 26 ounces.

Thank you for the information. How does that explain why the sapiens brain stopped expanding?

DAVID: Your 'minor' expansions are simple local additions of a few new neurons in the hippocampus, nothing more. Making a mountain out of a tiny molehill.

dhw: I’m pointing out that the autonomous mechanism for expansion is still present. And so it is perfectly possible that in former times, before complexification took over, the same mechanism led to overall expansion.

DAVID: 'Anything is possible' is a nebulous argument. Our brain dos not expand presently!!! Some neurons( microscopic size) can be produced, nothing of size.

The argument itself is not nebulous but absolutely concrete. If there are vestiges of an autonomous expansion process, the same process may have played a major role in former times. The fact that it is an unproven theory does not make it any more nebulous than the theory that there is a God, or that one morning a group of homos woke up to find that God had enlarged their brains, skulls and pelvises “all at once”.

QUOTE: It is shown that local wiring and cortical folding is a simple design principle that enables brains to be more compact and faster with increasing size. Scaling studies and computational models, furthermore, indicate that the functional capacity of the human brain is inherently constrained by its neural architecture and signal processing capacity and that with our brain we have nearly reached the physical limits and evolutionary potential of a neural-based system. (DAVID'S bold)

DAVID: My thoughts almost exactly.

And for the record, I also agree.

QUOTES: Our brain is not only much bigger than apes, it is designed very differently and cannot be considered an expected advance from previous designs:

Similar changes are not observed in the nonhuman primate—is this what makes us human?

...interareal expression pattern of a set of selected genes was not very well correlated between the healthy human and the nonhuman primate brains. (dhw's bolds)

DAVID: This article and the previous one sound almost like ID sourced material or commentary from Adler. The size and organization of our brain is a giant leap from the previous brains from which we were evolved. A typical non-Darwinian gap in the evolution story.

I don’t have any problem with the argument that our brain is a giant leap. Please note that the leap described here is from nonhuman primate brains. Of course there is also a giant leap from early human to modern human, but apart from the size, we don’t know exactly what differences there were. We both agree that plasticity and complexification must already have been a feature.

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