Consciousness: and brain damage (General)

by dhw, Friday, December 29, 2017, 08:52 (117 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: “Several studies suggest that the brain can indeed be altered by mental stimuli and processes on the molecular, cellular, and neural circuit levels.”

dhw: And this is the sentence that really made me prick up my ears. It lies at the very heart of the hypothesis which I suggest links the whole history of life, evolution and consciousness together: namely, the intelligent cell. Like every other cell community, the brain is an interlinking network in which individual cells and individual clusters communicate with one another. If one cluster is diseased or missing, the something that does the reorganizing may be the cells themselves, cooperating intelligently to fill the gap. An analogy would be ant communities, which never fail to fill any gaps in their social structure, although it is “difficult to imagine “ where a control centre could be located. Combined intelligences would explain at ALL levels of life and evolution precisely how each community works. David insists that cells only APPEAR to be intelligent, and it was all either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago by his God, or his God dabbled. My hypothesis is that cells ARE intelligent, but it allows for a God to be the creator of cellular intelligence.

DAVID: And I will insist they are programmed by God to act automatically intelligently

“Automatically intelligently” is another of your obfuscations which needs to be clarified. Either the cells are automatons that have been programmed with each and every one of their responses and therefore do not require even one iota of autonomous intelligence, or they have been endowed (perhaps by God) with autonomous intelligence which they naturally use when confronted with new problems.

QUOTE: “[Beauregard] concluded that these studies strongly support the view that thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and volition do exert a causal influence on brain plasticity, and he pointed to the obvious fact that mental causation is an essential ingredient for successful therapies.”

Dhw: Once again we have evidence that thought and the effort made by consciousness/the mind create changes in the brain, just like the Indian women learning to write. The brain does not change in anticipation of the thought/effort.

DAVID: This applies to any existing level of pre-cortical development in an pre-sapiens type brain as well as to sapiens. It does not explain the jumps in cortical, pre-cortical size and complexity at each fossil level.

As I keep saying, nobody can explain the jumps, which is why we have so many different theories. However, since we KNOW that mental activity changes the brain, whereas there is absolutely no evidence of the brain changing in anticipation of mental activity (your theory that God enlarged the pre-sapiens brain before it could come up with its new concepts), my proposal at least has a degree of scientific backing, unlike your own.

QUOTE: “According to Beauregard (2007), such findings call into question positions in which all mental processes are thought to be entirely reducible to biochemical processes.
Dhw: This clearly opens the way to the dualistic split between mind and body.
DAVID’s comment: Bruce Greyson has described and agrees with the way consciousness leaves the brain in NDE's. […]
Dhw: This is the point at which we need a reconciliation between the two theories, and one of these days I shall return to that subject!
DAVID: The mental processes are biochemical processes at the base of consciousness functioning. But they are the living wet hardware!

I have no idea what this means. You have always insisted that mental processes are the province of the soul/self/consciousness and NOT of biochemical processes. If this is true, then biochemical processes provide information which is processed by the s/s/c, whose mental processes then trigger further biochemical processes to implement decisions made by the s/s/c.

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