Evolution and humans: all over Africa (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, May 09, 2018, 12:55 (2238 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My 'maybe' covers your question about the borderlines of the areas. But cognition, thought, is generally only in the pfc.

dhw: “Generally” leaves a nice margin. It still makes no difference to the argument that the “soul” must expand its set of controls as it sends out new instructions, which would explain the expansion of the pfc. I notice you have ignored this suggestion.

DAVID: The 'generally' covers the fact that the pfc must reach into the hippocampus and other areas for memory facts while studying a problem. The soul uses implementation areas already existing in other areas of the brain before the pfc enlarged. I keep telling you about the fact that enlargement is in a thought area, not an implementation region which all other primates have as we do, and that fact doesn't seem to be receptive to you.

I’m quite happy to accept that the enlargement is in a “thought area”, but you don’t seem to be receptive to the fact that new thoughts will require new connections to the rest of the brain if they are to be implemented. Those connections will have to begin in the “thought area”. Hence expansion.

dhw: And you refuse to contemplate the possibility that your God might have designed cells in such a way that they were able to engineer all the different changes themselves – an explanation which explains the whole higgledy-piggledy history of evolution, including the changes to all brains, skulls and pelvic outlets.

DAVID: Why do you persistently forget I always have agreed God could have invented a mechanism for organisms to advance their own evolution with guidelines.

Because whenever I pin you down to the nature of these “guidelines”, they turn out to be divine programming or dabbling, which removes the whole concept of autonomy.

dhw: It was you who said we must “interpret past evolution by studying what we see now”. What we see now is brain changes CAUSED by and not PRECEDING the implementation of new concepts.

DAVID: The sapiens evidence is very specific: areas can enlarge through use (taxi drivers) but overall the sapiens brain has shrunk 150 cc since it appeared, despite enormous use more recently. Hard to refute this obvious fact. Wide spread complexification from conceptual thought shrinks the brain.

dhw: We have been over this a hundred times. There had to be a limit to expansion, or sapiens would have finished with a head the size of an elephant’s.
DAVID: This is your unproven concept. No facts involved.

Of course. Nobody’s hypothesis has been proven – and that includes your own. Otherwise there would be nothing to discuss. However, that doesn’t in any way negate the logic of my argument. And I notice you have ignored the point that even your own shrinkage hypothesis now has new thoughts changing the brain instead of God changing the brain before the s/s/c can have new thoughts.

DAVID: As for what God did, I feel He was/is in charge of what evolution did/does. His work is the best explanation for the arrival of the human brain. Your theory simply accepts that.
dhw: If your God exists, then of course he was/is in charge, in the sense that he set up the mechanism for evolution, and could always interfere if he felt like it. How does that come to mean that the brain had to expand before pre-sapiens could think of new concepts?
DAVID: From my concept that only a bigger computer can do more complex tasks.

Agreed. The s/s/c (software) thinks the tasks, and the brain (computer) “does” them.

DAVID: Enlarging the brain is a complex task, since it involves skull and mother's pelvis.
dhw: Agreed. How does that come to mean that the brain had to expand before pre-sapiens could think of new concepts?
DAVID: Your answer question is a non sequitur. I am discussing the complexity of this species change, to create a larger front of the brain: new skull and different mother's pelvis.

That is a fact, and I am not disputing it, so why do you keep bringing it up? In any case, I answered it in the same post: “any major change in any organism entails cooperation between the different cell communities that make up the whole body. Since you believe in common descent, you now seem to be telling us that God has to engineer every single major physical change in every single organism that descended from the first cells.”

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