Evolution and humans: big brain size or use (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 15:33 (2524 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: And so if consciousness (the self) can exist independently of the brain, the “back and forth” in our lifetime can only consist in the brain providing consciousness with information, and consciousness then instructing the brain to control the rest of the body. Only if you reject the NDE scenario in which “we” (the self) exist as pure consciousness can you claim that the brain uses “us”/consciousness.

I don't reject the NDE scenario. I consider consciousness as an entity which is received by our brain and is used by our brain. We don't know what consciousness is. It is not material. We experience it and work back and forth with it. All animals have the conscious activity and controls you mention above, but not the deeper self-awareness we enjoy. This has always implied to me a universal consciousness in which we all partake are varying levels.

dhw: This has implications for the problem of which came first: brain enlargement allowing function, or function enlarging the brain, but let’s go one step at a time.
DAVID: All of the evidence from studies of our ancestor fossils is brain enlargement allows certain levels of anthropologic activity. Each enlargement allowed more complex activity. 200,000 years ago sapiens activity was not what it is today, but the brain had arrived!

dhw: The evidence shows that enlargement accompanied certain levels of activity. It cannot possibly tell us which came first: the enlargement allowing the activity or the need for the activity causing the enlargement. That is the big debate.

I'm still insisting that speciation of a larger brain precedes any new extensive activity which is what the enlargement allows. This thought follows from the fact that the gaps from Lucy to habilis to erectus to us are huge with gaps from 400cc to 1,200cc with no itty bitty changes. Please remember 200,000 years ago we had 1,200cc, but how much did we use it back then? Obvious.

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