Dualism versus materialism; addendum (Identity)

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 12, 2017, 15:38 (9 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: There are no knots. We settled this. It is obvious the soul uses the brain as an instrument. I am discussing the attributes of the instrument and what can be done with it by the soul.

dhw: Good. So why do you say the brain was the CAUSE of our wanderings, and the Neanderthals didn’t wander because their brains were less complex? Was it the brain that inspired Sapiens to wander, or did the soul instruct the brain to move the body?

Why do you constantly forget that when I say the larger complex brain allows for these advances, the soul is always understood as using the more advanced brain in size and complexity?

DAVID: You are forgetting gaps. You are using Darwinian thinking again. The hominin fossil evidence shows each time a new species appears its brain size is 200 cc bigger, and more than likely has a higher complexity of its neurons and connections. That larger brain allows for more advanced ideation and more advanced artifacts to prove the point.

dhw: How can the brain “allow for more advanced ideation” if it is the soul that produces ideas? In your dualism, the brain implements the ideas provided by the soul, and the more advanced artifacts are the material realization of the ideas. Which comes first: ideas or implementation of ideas? If an idea requires something new from the brain, the brain must make changes to itself. Each expansion or complexification will therefore be the result of new demands.

Soul use of brain explained once again ad nauseum. How can there be new demands if the soul/brain cannot imagine them? I view each earlier hominin stage as being unable to envision anything beyond the stage of brain complexity they possess for their self/soul to employ. Each stage indicates its limits by its artifacts, as paleontologists show.


DAVID: Stop beating a dead horse. Sapiens brains appeared 300,000 years ago, no larger than Neanderthal, in fact smaller, implying more complexity on board, as shown by sapiens accomplishments compared to Neanderthal all living in competition. The woman you refer to are using an existing brain of specific size and complexity. They learn to read which results in known shrinkage in size and increase in complexity of an already existing brain size and advanced connectivity of more neurons. Your example is a total nonsequitor to our discussion of what causes 200 cc jumps in brain size. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: It is you who have (in my view rightly) combined the factors of size and complexity. Yes, the women had an existing brain of specific size and complexity, but the desire to read, as you so rightly say, RESULTED in increased complexity. The same process – the effort to do something new – would have RESULTED in expansion and/or increased complexity in earlier species of hominin/homo.

But all the ladies did was use an existing brain to learn to read, a brain that had the built-in capacity/ complexity to allow that event. As sapiens, over 300,000 years, learned to use heir new instrument much like learning to play the piano or use a computer, the instrument got smaller, not bigger! That is a fact, expansion not a result. Neanderthals had a bigger brain, which is presumed to be less complex. They did not invent the ability to read or write as sapiens did with a better brain. I presume the Neanderthal watched the sapiens in action, but did not know how to keep up. The "effort to do something new – would have RESULTED in expansion" is against all the evidence we have from science.


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