Brain expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, July 24, 2020, 21:30 (14 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Friday, July 24, 2020, 21:39

DAVID: The bold is not a correct interpretation of my view. The larger-than-needed brain allowed us to tailor the already given complexity to our preferred uses of the brain. But certainly, implementation of new ideas, developed by that complex brain, played a large role in the process.

This is not a rebuttal of the bold! Do you or do you not agree that the modern brain complexifies when implementing new requirements? Our subject here is why the earlier brain expanded. The modern brain complexifies in response to requirements and even performs minor expansions. I argue that the same process may have been in action before sapiens, though in those times the brain needed greater capacity to cope with requirements, and so it was the mechanism for expansion that came into operation. You argue that the brain expanded BEFORE there were any new requirements. On shrinkage, see below.
dhw: On the subject of why David’s God gave us 150 cc extra brain which we did not need and which therefore disappeared after approx. 270,000 years, resulting in brain shrinkage:

DAVID: I'll repeat., again: To allow us to use the brain as we wished so that the eventual brain would exactly fit our uses.

dhw: So God gave us what we needed plus 150cc extra. We didn’t use the extra (270,000 years of stasis) but it “allowed” us to think what we wanted to think. Perhaps I shouldn’t ask you how our not using it “allowed” thoughts we didn’t have, or thoughts we did have after 270,000 years, when it still wasn’t used and therefore disappeared. Perhaps I should just leave you to think what you want to think.

DAVID: Your-tongue-in-cheek description gets it!!! New ideas took a long time to appear. The first sapiens were pretty sluggish thinkers, but they finally got the hang of it, but from the beginning they were way beyond apes.

dhw: Of course human brains were beyond apes, even before sapiens arrived! And we agree that after the initial expansion to sapiens size, there were no new ideas, and so there was a period of stasis. How does that explain why your God gave us 150 cc more brain than we needed so that we could think thoughts we didn’t think, and when we did think the new thoughts, the 150 cc were still useless, so they disappeared?

We go 'round and 'round. I'll simply give you what is clear above: 'To allow us to use the brain as we wished so that the eventual brain would exactly fit our uses'. The 150 cc disappeared into new networks of use by the plasticity mechanism and the system worked so well there were redundant areas that could be removed, and we ended up with a tailored brain that fit our needs exactly. Makes perfect sense. When one thinks of God as very purposeful it is rather simple to spot reasons for His actions. Try my method, it works.

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