Brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, August 07, 2020, 10:32 (54 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: It means that the brain gets bigger through the process of implementation.

DAVID: Which didn't exist with the Moroccans' fossils.

NOBODY KNOWS the specific causes of each expansion, but perhaps the solution to the Moroccan problem lies in your post on human evolution:
DAVID: Another unknown species appears in new DNA study:
https://phys.org/news/2020-08-dna-ancient-unidentified-ancestor-humans.html

QUOTE: "A new analysis of ancient genomes suggests that different branches of the human family tree interbred multiple times, and that some humans carry DNA from an archaic, unknown ancestor.”

Maybe your Moroccans were not the first big-brained humans. You seem to think that the fossil record is now complete. New discoveries are being made all the time. So maybe some small-headed Moroccans interbred with some big-headed Nigerians, and the Nigerians were the ones who started it all. WE DON’T KNOW how it all happened. That is why we have theories!

DAVID: Which bigger brained fossil should be accompanied by new advanced artifact. The Moroccan sapiens were not but we see stasis. And later:
DAVID: Your underlying theory requires a new artifact to appear with the new larger brained fossil.

dhw: This is getting silly. I keep repeating that NOBODY KNOWS what caused any of the expansions, and that we used artefacts as a concrete illustration of the process. In the bold above, e.g. means "for example". It does not mean every expansion was caused by the invention of a new artefact! What we see in Moroccan sapiens is the larger brain. We don’t know what caused the larger brain. That is why we have theories. Presumably yours is that one night God stepped in and dabbled with their brains, skulls and pelvises. Any evidence?

DAVID: I'll stick with God, and with no evidence you are now avoiding the need for artifacts and offering meaningless verbiage.

There has never been a “need for artefacts” – they were an example! And what evidence is there for your theory? I have corrected your repeated distortion of my theory (it “requires a new artefact”), so I don’t know why my answer is meaningless verbiage to you. What don’t you understand?

On the subject of reading:
QUOTE: "To account for the development of this skill, some scientists have hypothesized that parts of the brain that originally evolved for other purposes have been "recycled" for reading. As one example, they suggest that a part of the visual system that is specialized to perform object recognition has been repurposed […](David’s bold)
[…]
dhw: […] what we do know, and what is supported by the above hypothesis, is that the brain changes as it responds to new requirements and not in anticipation of them. I can only repeat that I see no reason why anyone should assume that the same process was not responsible for complexifications and expansions before and including that of sapiens.

DAVID: No matter what you propose about brain enlargement, all we know is our big brain was present long before it was used in any new way.

dhw: Yes, the non-use is what we call stasis.

DAVID: And it obviously came with a very functional complexification mechanism, causing the brain later to shrink. The whole process appears designed in advance of needs and to handle needs as required over time.

dhw: We have agreed that preceding brains would also have complexified. The earlier brain must have been plastic enough both to complexify and to expand, so sapiens brain was/is no different in that respect. Shrinkage is also part of the plasticity – just as the brain could add cells when needed, it could discard cells that were not needed. The whole process of complexification and expansion may go back to the design of a mechanism that enables all organs and organisms to “handle needs as required over time”. I have called it cellular intelligence. Your version used to be divine preprogramming or dabbling, though this has now been thrown into disarray by your theory that evolution has progressed through random mutations which God allows but does not design.

DAVID: You still do not want to understand my view of mutations as DNA errors, corrected by God as He wishes during evolution.

Dealt with on the “errors” thread. Meanwhile, thank you for the important entry under “Introducing the brain”:

QUOTES: “Brain cells talk to one another. This synchronized cell-to-cell crosstalk regulates neuroinflammation and the immune system…”

A key factor is how neurons communicate among themselves. These novel molecules participate in delivering messages to the overall synaptic organization to ensure the accurate flow of information through neuronal circuits.


"'It's like an orchestra," says Bazan. "You need a conductor, and this is the role that DHA plays. Such a large-scale complexity first requires violinists, or in this case, synapses, which are highly sensitive sites of stroke injury that become messengers to target vulnerable cells.'"

I regard these findings as support for the theory that cooperation between intelligent cells/cell communities is the key not only to brain expansion but also to the whole process of evolution. And to answer your usual question, their specific form of intelligence may have been designed by your God.


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