Brain expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, August 03, 2020, 18:14 (277 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: But we agree that better artefacts go together with new-size brains. They may even be the cause of new-size brains, since we know brains change in the process of meeting new requirements. We disagree on your insistence that your God must have expanded brains before homos could come up with any new concepts.

That is our difference

dhw: You have often said that the brain causes thought, but when challenged you have claimed that I have misunderstood your shorthand. Do you now disagree that the dualist's brain DOES NOT CAUSE thoughts but complexifies/expands in RESPONSE to the thoughts of the dualist's soul? Please answer without equivocation.

Repeat, as always. The soul can only work with the brain it is given and its level of complexity which controls the level of thought complexity allowed. The brain will respond by complexification of areas used and may have tiny areas of enlargement with extra neuron networks from intense use. But soul's thought does not cause large expansion as seen in fossils.

DAVID: 'Stasis', as we use the term, occurs after enlargement, not before…

dhw: Stasis occurs before and after enlargement! Here is my sequence: 1) new requirement, 2) brain enlarges through meeting new requirement; 3) followed by stasis = no new ideas, no expansion. 4) Stasis ends with new ideas and new expansion. When I say “long periods of stasis between earlier expansions”, the stasis comes after the original enlargement and before the next one! Sapiens' stasis came between initial expansion and sudden burst of new ideas, resulting in enhanced complexification.

DAVID: Sapiens history of stasis does not fit your definition of stasis. Moroccans did not show new artifacts in the discovery of sapiens fossils.

dhw: I keep pointing out that NOBODY KNOWS the causes of expansion, and I asked why you were so fixated on artefacts as the only possible cause. My definition of stasis is a period during which there are no changes. We don’t know what caused Moroccan enlargement, but we do know there were no changes for approx. 270,000 years, which = stasis. Now please tell me your definition of stasis, and why my definition does not fit the history.

You've changed emphasis. Your original theory about expansion was that an earlier brain had a brilliant idea which forced an expansion so it could be implemented. I pointed out that the Moroccans came with no new artifacts, and the long following stasis disproved your theory. That makes sense to me, while your original theory doesn't fit sapiens history..

DAVID: No, I mean our brain was over-enlarged and then shrunk as reorganized to fit our uses. Whether habilis or erectus complexified is likely, but not proven because of what fossils give us to know.

dhw: What do you mean by “reorganized” if you DON’T mean the brain complexified? What other form of change was there, apart from minor expansions? We agree that pre-sapiens brains were likely to have complexified as well as expanded.

What don't you understand about the word 'reorganized'? It describes the complexification and helps explain the shrinkage as unnecessary neuron circuits are dropped.

DAVID: All we can know is a bigger brain can shrink under usage. I'll stick with God running evolution as we know it.

dhw: We have agreed that it shrank because the excess was not needed thanks to the efficiency of complexification. We also know that the bigger brain changes IN RESPONSE to new requirements. Why do you keep ignoring this proven fact? And why do you assume that the same process could not have applied to pre-sapiens expansion? And why do you keep harping on about “God running evolution”, as if your God could not possibly have run evolution by designing a mechanism that enabled the brain to expand as well as to complexify without his intervention?

See my thoughts about your expansion theory above. If your idea is true under the deluge of ideas we sapiens have had our brain should have expanded, but complexification made it shrink. We agree complexification may have existed in erectus, so the only possibility is slight erectus shrinkage.

dhw: After all, on the “errors” thread, you have him designing a system in which the molecules “ARE FREE TO MAKE MISTAKES” and some of those “mistakes” are BENEFICIAL, even to the point at which they may have “arranged for our human evolution”.

The errors are due to molecular freedom of action even under tight instructions, as discussed

dhw: Let’s call them mutations so that we can avoid the bad implications of “mistakes” and “errors”. Then we have a perfectly logical, theistic explanation for the history of evolution as we know it, all the way from single cells via the great higgledy-piggledy bush of comings and goings to humans and their brain expansions. See under “Back to David’s theory of evolution” for the logical theistic choice that is then open to you.

I've made logical theistic thoughts for me. See in the other threads what I have written that makes perfect sense, if it is finally understood molecules can make mistakes, despite God's powers. You've pounced on errors as a gift from me to denigrate God. But it hasn't worked.

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