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

by dhw, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 08:53 (307 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I view the consciousness we receive as a structured mechanism (information structure) that the brain can learn to employ. And because there is a universal consciousness from which it comes, it survives transient death in NDE's. No one tells us how to think. We are free to use consciousness as we wish. And I do think quantum mechanics are involved in the structure, both at the brain level and the consciousness level, as shown by the late choice quantum experiments.

We are both wrestling with something that everybody else has equal difficulty with, and I appreciate this latest effort to clarify your ideas. I’ll try in turn to explain why I find them confusing, and perhaps you can correct any misinterpretations, but I must stress again that I am not taking sides in the materialism versus dualism debate. I am only trying to understand your own approach. NDE patients tell us that our consciousness survives the death of the brain, but during these experiences they are themselves – they retain all the information that makes them individual. And so consciousness cannot simply be a mechanism: it is the seat of all the attributes that make us ourselves - our memories, emotions, ideas etc. – and if you believe in free will, it must also be the decision-maker. So when you say “we are free etc.” what is this “we”? It can’t be the brain, if “we” survive the death of the brain. The implication of this whole scenario is that the brain provides information to consciousness, and then obeys the instructions of consciousness, and “we” are our consciousness with all the above information contained in it. In other words, the exact opposite of your opening statement: consciousness “employs” the brain and not the other way round.

This has implications for the problem of which came first: brain enlargement allowing function, or function enlarging the brain, but let’s go one step at a time.

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