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

by dhw, Monday, October 30, 2017, 12:34 (2359 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Computers were developed because early on it was recognized how useful they would be. I think from your comments, that you do not understand capitalism. The need was recognized and then computers were developed and improved so the manufacturers could make profits, pure and simple.

You tried to draw an analogy between brain expansion and the complexification of computers! You now agree that the need for computers/more complex computers preceded their making. What would have been the use of making/complexifying computers if there was no need for them? What would have been the use of expanding the brain if there was no need to expand it? In both cases, expansion/complexification were a response to the need, so although the analogy is not a good one, thank you for offering it and supporting my argument. (As usual, however, I must repeat that I am NOT arguing for dualism against materialism.)

Dhw: 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.

DAVID: As for artifacts, more sophisticated ones appeared associated only with larger brains. The inference that larger brains were the source, strongly implies the larger brains were required to allow the inventiveness.

“Associated” does not mean the larger brain came first! It would also be “associated” if the idea of the artefact PRECEDED the expansion. If there is a “soul” which does our inventive thinking, larger brains would only be required to “allow” the implementation of our inventive thoughts. The idea precedes the implementation.

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