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

by dhw, Monday, July 03, 2017, 13:23 (2484 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You continue to use the word “allow” without telling us where the new concepts come from. (See under “dualism versus materialism”.) You now have habilis’s little brain “allowing” NEW concepts, but erectus has to have a bigger brain to “allow” NEW concepts – and you think I’m confused. If habilis could have NEW concepts through rewiring, why couldn’t erectus?
DAVID: When habilis appears he has a bigger frontal area with more neurons. This allows him the ability to do a little more deep thinking.

First it was his “little brain allows new concepts” because of its plasticity, but now it’s his bigger brain that allows new concepts. You change your arguments from one day to the next.

DAVID: He becomes more conscious of possibilities. As he develops those ideas his brain can do a little plasticity rewiring to accommodate the new activities. Same for erectus at the next level of prefrontal size. He has the ability to conceptualize more. Again habilis brain/consciousness is seamless.

The new concept must precede the implementation of the new concept (I don’t know why you change my “implement” to “accommodate”.) Under “dualism versus materialism” you accept that the immaterial soul is in charge, and so – once more – it is the immaterial soul, not the brain or the enlarged brain, that directs the material brain to give material form to its concepts.

dhw: “Appears” is another of your wishy-washy words. In any case, it’s not the concept that “appears” but the material manifestation of the concept – a distinction you keep avoiding because you refuse to say whether the concept originates in the immaterial mind or the material brain.
DAVID: I keep saying it is seamless. The material brain uses the immaterial mind/consciousness under the direction of the proto human.

It is seamless in the sense that during life the soul and the body are “me”, but you say it is the soul/me that is in charge, and therefore the soul/me directs/uses the brain/me, and not the other way round. Unless, of course, you think that whatever is in charge is directed by the thing it is in charge of. (Back to your blind faith in the illogical?)

DAVID: I view myself while alive as using my brain to create concepts with the mechanism of my immaterial consciousness. I view myself as material while alive, using my immaterial consciousness. That is my view of dualism.

If your material self uses your immaterial self, then it is your material self that is in charge, the exact opposite of what you have agreed under “dualism versus materialism”.

dhw: You don’t what? Believe your God is capable of endowing cells with intelligence? Back to his limited powers?
DAVID: I've said He can give them an IM but only with guidelines to advance evolution according to his plans. Cells are not intelligent by themselves, but automatic.

If your God can create cells that seem to be intelligent, I suspect that he can create cells that actually are intelligent. You keep telling us that nobody can possibly judge from the outside...and so we are back to your dogmatic assertions that you just happen to know the truth.

dhw: It [the brain] doesn’t need to grow, or maybe it can’t, but that hardly proves humans are the end point of evolution.
DAVID: Upright posture was fully developed one million years ago or before. 350,000 years ago a fully developed Homo sapiens brain appeared (latest findings in Morocco). Now the brain through civilized concepts is slightly smaller with plasticity rewiring and densification. The whole drive is posture and prefrontal brain for all that time. I don't see another drive on the horizon, nor can I imagine one that adds anything better. Can you?

I am aware of the history, but the fact that I can’t imagine the human head expanding any more doesn’t help me to imagine what life will be like in, say, a thousand million years from now.

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