Evolution and humans: big brain or concept first? (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, June 30, 2017, 13:18 (165 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Hand stone tools, not spears for habilis. Hand stone tools simply rewired the habilis brain as in Indian women reading with our brain. You are totally inconsistent.
dhw: My mistake. Thank you. Habilis came up with a new idea (stone tools, not spears). How the heck do you know that these simply rewired the brain? How many of our fellow animals invent and manufacture tools, no matter how primitive? This was a huge mental step forward in evolution, and it required a physical leap in order to manufacture and use the tools.
DAVID: Simple answer. We know the brain has plasticity. The first advanced hominin brains undoubtedly had that property. What is plasticity but rewiring as in the illiterate women. No enlargement from plasticity. The brain can accommodate new ideas without enlarging. Happens to all H. sapiens whose brains have shrunk. Obvious concept.

So why do you think your God kept on enlarging the human brain if rewiring is all that is required to produce and implement new ideas?

dhw:You say God enlarged their brain first, and then they thought of making tools. Please explain how you know that the effort to implement the new concept of tool-making was not the cause of their brain enlargement, or that the effort to swim was not the cause of legs changing to flippers, or that the effort to walk on land was not the cause of fins changing to legs.
DAVID: Habilis did not know what it did not know. When it did something new its brain rewired as happens now. Now you are proposing that effort causes speciation?

So once again, why did your God enlarge the brain? And where did the concept of new tools come from? The mind or the brain?
Yes, I am proposing that the effort to implement new concepts and new ways of life causes organisms to change themselves. Instead of God transforming a leg into a flipper and then plonking the pre-whale in the water, I am proposing that the pre-whale for whatever reason decided to enter the water, and the effort of adapting itself to life in the water resulted in the anatomical changes we know took place. (I have a strange feeling that this may not be an original idea.;-) )

dhw: The effort to read caused rewiring because the brain had already long since reached its optimum size. There has to be a limit to brain growth. Before it reached its optimum size, the brain expanded in response to the effort to implement new concepts.
DAVID: If our brain is 'optimum' humans are the end point of evolution. Thanks.

A total non sequitur. The suggestion that the human head could not expand any more without causing problems for the rest of the human anatomy does not mean that evolution is over.

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