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

by David Turell @, Monday, June 19, 2017, 21:21 (2491 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: What paleontologists find is that with each change in frontal brain size the early homos do more complex things like stone tools, conquering fire, wearing hides, etc. Each step in size works this way.

dhw: But what they cannot tell us is whether the expansion took place BEFORE the new concepts or as a RESULT of new concepts requiring expansion before they could be realized (just as the brain rewires itself as a RESULT of new concepts).

They can tell us indirectly. At each larger stage they study all the artifacts the new brain sized fossil produced as they survived. The newly invented stuff is always with the larger size, never before. Logically the bigger size produces the advances.

dhw:I don’t understand your reference to shrinkage and smaller steps. I thought shrinkage only started to occur 12,000 years ago, when the maximum size had long since been reached, and so densification took over from enlargement.

DAVID: Increasingly intense use over the past 50,000 years resulted in densification and shrinkage when the usage of the plastic brain became intense enough. Early usage was obviously not that intense, and nothing happened except which each new +200cc fossil the obviously had more mental ability, which it then had to learn at that new stage.

dhw: “Usage” of the brain could refer to immaterial concepts or to material realization of concepts, so we need to distinguish between them. We could say our earlier ancestors had room for brain expansion, which took place as a RESULT of new concepts and enabled these concepts to be realized, but when there was no more room for expansion, new concepts RESULTED in densification, whose efficiency was such that the maximum size was no longer required - hence shrinkage. Logical?

There are so few fossils, the only time we can see shrinkage is in the recent past and so he only example we have is H. sapiens. As I've stated above it is obvious size first use to produce new inventions second.

DAVID: Because I view the brain as a material computer receiver of the software consciousness, and I am the operator of that setup…….

dhw: This does not alter the fact that you believe "you" and your inseparable consciousness ARE the operator and form an inseparable entity that conceptualizes independently of the brain.

You keep missing the point. I have to use my brain directly as a physical part of me to operate with my consciousness which I view as software I receive and can reprogram to fit my personality, etc. I program my consciousness/software using my brain. It all must work together seamlessly.

dhw: You keep agreeing that consciousness is NOT separable from “me”, and now you want to separate it again (until NDEs and death)! If you/your consciousness are a separate entity from the brain and live on after the death of the brain, then you/your consciousness must be capable of conceptualizing without the brain, which at all times according to you is only a RECEIVER. This contradicts the claim that humans were unable to come up with new concepts until the brain expanded.

Explained above. The brain has plasticity to mold itself to my needs as I use my consciousness which it receives. I can only mold the contents of my consciousness through the operation of my brain as I think. No contradiction about size vs. use.

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