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

by dhw, Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 11:49 (2358 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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. […] 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.
DAVID: I am not supporting your twisted argument! Each stage of hominin development, did not know what they did not know.

Nobody knows what they do not know until they know it! No invention has been invented until it has been invented! According to your beliefs the invention is done by the “soul”, not the brain, and so each stage of hominin development produces new ideas which may require new activities from the brain, which must then adjust accordingly in order to implement the ideas – initially through expansion (not proven), and in modern times through rewiring (proven). (See below)

DAVID: Development of more complex computers occurred because thinking industrialists recognized a need.

Exactly. The need preceded and resulted in the complexification, not the other way round.

DAVID: In the case of evolution, God recognized the need for better brains and with each stage created better ones for proto-humans to survive and use them to provide improved artifacts for a better life. Habilis did not sit around the fire in the cave and say I need to have a bigger brain. He could not will it. God could.

Of course habilis did not will it. When I do exercises, I do not “will” my muscles to get bigger. When organisms adapt, they do not “will” their bodies to make the necessary changes. When the illiterate Indian women tried to read, they did not “will” the brain to rewire itself. In each case, the body responds to the demands made on it. You have had your God restructuring pre-humans before they descended from the trees, whales before they entered water, fish before they stepped onto the land, and you have him expanding hominid brains before there is any reason for them to be expanded. Why must your God preprogramme or dabble all these changes in advance? We know bodies and brains change IN RESPONSE to different demands. If your God created the mechanisms that enable them to do so, why do you insist that he has to change bodies and brains IN ADVANCE of new demands?

The rest of your post revolves around the same subject. Briefly, yes “larger brains are required to implement invention”, which is the reason why in my hypothesis the “soul” causes the brain to expand. There is no reason for it to expand if its current size is adequate for all tasks. (My hypothesis, however, allows for a materialistic explanation of the “soul”. This is the “reconciliation” between materialism and dualism that I keep talking about.) I don’t know what you mean by “the brain’s soul”, but yes to “larger size, better creation”, which is why the effort to create something better results in changes to the brain, whether in size or in complexity, just as in my hypothesis organisms evolve because of the drive for survival and/or improvement: they do not change before the needs and opportunities arise.

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