Evolution and humans:big brain size and food supply (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, June 23, 2017, 02:11 (509 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID:You've forgotten I have defined use as survival activities. Tool making, etc.

dhw: Thank you. In the context of enlargement, that is the clarification I have been waiting for. We agree that brain enlargement precedes survival activities such as tool making. My point is that the CONCEPT of the tool must precede the making, and conceptualization according to you is independent of the brain.

I never said that. The level of conceptualization ability is directly related to the size and complexity of the brain, especially the prefrontal and frontal areas.

dhw: Therefore, just as the concept of reading demanded a rewiring of the illiterate women’s brains in order to be implemented, earlier concepts demanded enlargement for the same reason.

Exactly backwards. Reading was done by the already enlarged brain. Rewiring results in densification and shrinkage of brain size.

dhw: So why assume that the process was reversed in earlier times, and the means of implementing the concept preceded the concept? In answer to the habilis and erectus comment: habilis’s simple tools required the first enlargement so that he could implement his simple but brand new concepts, and erectus’s new tools (plus use of fire, engravings and other more sophisticated advances) demanded another enlargement. Once more, we both want enlargement before realization, but you also want it before thought, although you believe that thought does not depend on the brain. (Of course the archaeological remains can’t tell us anything about the sequence.)

You can't get around the fact that each bigger size is associated with more complex survival strategies. Under your idea, h. habilis wants to control fire, but can't figure out how to do it so he tries to think very hard and his brain suddenly jumps 200cc of frontal lobe. H. habilis doesn't know what he is missing by not being erectus! Habilis had no idea a spear was a better way to hunt. He did not have any inkling.

DAVID: I don't know how you can describe my use of brain this way. My brain is my gateway to my consciousness.

dhw: As you keep agreeing and forgetting, you/your consciousness are an inseparable entity, and as explained above, your brain is the gateway through which you/your consciousness get your body to realize new concepts.

My self, my brain and my consciousness are seamless. I'm not forgetting.


DAVID: Only the recent development of the H. sapiens brain, starting 350,000 years ago allowed the complexity that required densification. Your sequence is backwards. Our current modern brain is filled with concepts and shrinking. Why isn't it enlarging per your hypothesis?

dhw: Because there has to be a limit to enlargement, or you will end up with an elephant’s head on an ape’s body. Once the maximum size was reached, the only way new concepts could be implemented by the brain was through densification. Shrinkage is merely a by-product of the efficiency of densification.

Neanderthal brains were 150cc larger. We could have enlarged a little more. I didn't say we needed more enlargement. We shrunk with increased complexity and density, and that is one reason why I think evolution is over. You have just proved my point.


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