Evolution and humans: big brain size uses energy (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, October 29, 2017, 13:07 (2430 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] I view the brain as a passive computer run by me/soul/ consciousness. The larger size allows the more complex development of thought, concepts, etc., conducted in our enormous cortex, which animals do not have.

dhw: I asked you to explain what you meant by “allows” and all you have done is repeat “allows”! I can only say again that if the brain is a receiver run by your “soul”, it is you/soul/consciousness that comes up with the more complex thoughts, concepts etc. The larger brain size enables the body to produce the material implementation of the concept. We know that in modern times new concepts cause changes to the brain (rewiring). The logical sequence would therefore be that previously the new concept caused expansion of the brain (until it reached its optimum size), i.e. your God did not expand the brain before humans produced tools; the “soul” produced the concept of the tool, and the need to implement the concept resulted in expansion. (I shan’t repeat my comments about the materialist alternative.)

DAVID: You are troubled by the word 'allows'. Let's use the computer analogy again, A more complex computer permits more complex operations to be performed. A more complex brain allows more complex concepts to be developed. The artifacts found with the fossils clearly demonstrate that as the brain became larger, more sophisticated activities occurred. Size first.

There is no analogy for the relation between brain expansion and consciousness, since nobody knows the source of consciousness or the reason why the brain expanded. But even with computers I wonder which came first – the need for computers/tools (and then for more complex computers/tools) leading to their making, or people making computers/tools (and then more complex computers/tools) when there was no need for them. In any case, the artifacts cannot possibly tell us which came first: the idea for the artifacts or the larger brain that enabled them to be produced.

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