Dualism versus materialism; addendum (Identity)

by dhw, Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 09:09 (642 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The woman simply used their enlarged brain with increased complexity to learn to read, which modified their brain (which had the capacity to easily modify).
dhw:Exactly. The brain had the capacity to change, and the new activity changed it (modification means change). You can’t get round the fact that learning to read RESULTED in changes to the brain – you said so yourself.
DAVID: You keep skipping the idea that the human brain, 300,000 years old shrank as we civilized and developed new uses of the brain. Of course it modified. It has the ability to plasticize new connections.

I answered that point, as I have already done several times: “As for shrinkage, the human brain had clearly reached its optimum size, and so any new change had to be within the existing capacity. The solution: densification or complexification. And this process has proved so efficient that it no longer needs such a size. You like computer analogies. Well the first computers were colossal. Look at them now. As complexification becomes more efficient, size shrinks.”

DAVID: Which fits my point about the gaps in size and hominin brain development. Our brain growth in size through evolution is not following your concept of "I want a spear, so I'll grow a bigger brain to plan it". Our brain shrunk with advanced use.

Once more, the planning in your dualistic world is not done by the brain but by the “soul”. The brain expands by implementing the plan. To recap, a brief summary of the dualistic hypothesis: Small-brain hominin’s “soul” thinks of spear (illiterate woman thinks of reading). Spear-making requires new skills, and effort to make spear changes brain (effort to read changes brain). Small-brain hominin thus becomes larger-brain hominin. As “souls” come up with more ideas requiring more new skills, larger-brain hominin becomes even larger-brain hominin. Expansion of brain reaches point where further expansion would create problems for rest of body. Effort to implement new ideas now changes brain through complexification instead of expansion. Latter process demonstrated by illiterate women’s brains complexifying as result of effort to read. Complexification so efficient that brain shrinks. (Hypothesis based on Cartesian and Turellian dualism. Lots more hypotheses available if based on materialism.)

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