Evolution and humans: big brain size or use (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, May 19, 2017, 15:11 (189 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You keep telling us that your brain uses your consciousness instead of the other way round. You are ignoring the point I keep making over and over again: if you believe there is an afterlife in which your identity survives (as reported by NDE patients), the “I” you keep talking about IS your consciousness. And if consciousness is not produced by the brain (= materialism), then it is your consciousness (you) that uses the brain (which provides information to and obeys instructions from your consciousness).

I don't know why you don't understand the concept of the brain as a receiver. When the brain cannot function, as in an NDE, it stops receiving consciousness, which returns when it can receive it. The brain uses consciousness as a function to work with.


DAVID: I don't see that Wiki disagrees with me. The size of brain statements are correct and your final statement is quite correct. I'm saying size first, use second, and your paragraph above supports that concept.

dhw: Firstly, it contradicts your claim that development of brain size was NOT gradual (no “itty bitty changes”).

Where is it mentioned that each hominin brain vault size doesn't show significant enlargement in each stage?

dhw: Secondly, my statement could hardly be clearer: the brain grows in order to accommodate the increasing demands of consciousness, i.e. the demands come first, and then the brain grows in order to fulfil them. But you are perhaps missing one stage in the process I am proposing as a logical outcome of your dualism: 1) consciousness/you/your “self” makes the demands; 2) the brain expands to meet the demands; 3) the demands are met. Demands are the cause, and expansion is the effect. Your proposal, if I have understood it correctly, is that the brain expands first (God doing a dabble?) and then…what? It tells consciousness/you/your “self” that you can do something you never did before? Expansion is then the cause and new ideas are the effect. As above, that would work with the materialist view that consciousness is engendered by the brain, which would mean (part of) the brain tells (part of) the brain what do to. But I don’t see how it can possibly work with your dualist view as epitomized by your belief in an afterlife without brain and body.

In my dualist view the enlarged brain allows for further exploration and development of use of functions allowed by consciousness. My 'self' forms within my consciousness as I use it. In the infant it starts as a tabla rasa, totally blank except for muscular controls and automatic instincts, suckling, breathing pooping, etc. Size of brain allows expanded use of consciousness. Size of consciousness cannot be considered. It is not material. Each new size in the human evolution allowed much larger conceptualizations to be achieved. Human brain size is 200,000 years old, but use of consciousness now is much larger than at that time. Just consider the appearance of language, only 50,000 years ago, as one supreme example.


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