Brain expansion: different theories about rapid expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, September 07, 2020, 14:10 (384 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: As usual, ignore an oversized brain that shrinks, exactly the opposite to your theory about brain expansion. Nothing in the facts we have supports your idea. The only 'EXPANSIONS' in our brain relates to heavy use of memory in London cabbies, changes in musicians' brains with millimetres of thickness in small areas.

dhw: I have not ignored it. I have said that it is irrelevant. […] Nevertheless, as you rightly point out, there are still instances of expansion to support the case for a mechanism that causes expansion IN RESPONSE to new requirements.

DAVID: It is relevant, since the only expansions related to it are quite small.

How can shrinkage, which is caused by the efficiency of complexification, be relevant to small expansions? Your argument has always been that autonomous small expansions do not prove that the brain is capable of autonomous large expansions. I propose that autonomous small expansions show that the brain is capable of autonomous brain expansion, and in former times, the brain’s capacity for complexification was limited by its size and required more cells. Why is this not feasible?

DAVID: I am not accepting naturalism as a cause of brain expansion, which is our difference in this discussion.

I suspect your use of “naturalism” precludes the existence of God, and so let’s clarify this. You are not accepting the possibility that the mechanism you believe your God created to give the modern brain its AUTONOMOUS “adaptability to react to any and all physical and mental and emotional demands we place on it” – resulting in complexifications and minor expansions – was also capable of engineering large scale expansion in earlier brains.

DAVID: As for God's knowledge about how we humans might use our brain, I'm sure He didn't anticipate every last usage in games we might invent, and I've listed possible examples. Distorting my part of our discussion again.

dhw: A week or so ago, you wrote: “Engineering pre-sapiens expansion means…the designer’s anticipation of how that enlargement will be used.” I replied that this could only mean that he anticipated our invention of cricket and the piano. You replied: “The phrase in no way meant God knew specifics of what we humans invent.” I asked you in that case what he did anticipate, and you replied: “That we would dominate the world.” What was that meant to be an example of?[/b] You go on and on about your God dabbling expansions to prepare for the future, and you asked me if “neurons knew enough of future use to have self-designed by themselves such a mechanism for future use.” I keep repeating ad nauseam that changes in the brain – as you yourself have rightly pointed out – are caused by RESPONSES TO NEW REQUIREMENTS, and not by gazing into a crystal ball and preparing for what is to come. I’m sorry, but the distortions are all yours. And you still haven't explained why ancient brains could not have changed IN RESPONSE to new requirements, just as modern brains do.

DAVID: The discussion still revolves about what God did, in my mind and how a brain might expand naturally in your mind. There is no way to cross that divide. The bold shows your strange misinterpretations. Do we dominate the Earth or not? I've made it quite clear God gave us a brain that anticipated in general the many uses we would learn to put the brain to as we took complete control.

See above for “naturally”. You accused me of distortion. You have NOT made clear the “many uses” your God anticipated. You denied that he anticipated our various inventions, and you finished up with a prophecy about world domination.

DAVID: And you have to admit our brains complexification mechanism has worked beautifully.

Of course I agree. Why do you think it is not feasible for your God’s invention to have worked beautifully by complexifying and then expanding the pre-sapiens brain?

DAVID: There is no way your 'intelligent cells' could understand how to prepare for the future.

I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that my ‘intelligent cells’ did not prepare for the future. I have bolded yesterday’s reply. Why do you persistently ignore your own description of how they work – by reaction, not by anticipation?

DAVID: Our brain lay fallow from (current science) 315,000 years ago until about 50,000 years ago with better language. But it was ready for the new burst of activity due to advanced planning with the complexification mechanism ready to go.

Also dealt with over and over again. Yes, the complexification mechanism was ready to go. But the complexification mechanism only functions when there are new requirements to make it function. And so there was a period of stasis until new ideas resulted in new requirements. So what do you think was planned in advance?

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