Consciousness: and brain damage (General)

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 13, 2018, 14:52 (253 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Not in this article but in some other entry I presented it has been shown that sapiens brains have shrunk during the development of our new civilization activities. I have assumed that the shrinkage is due to the demonstrated rewiring.

dhw: I don’t dispute brain shrinkage! But thank you for once more confirming the all-important fact that the brain RESPONDS to the implementation of new concepts! You challenged my statement that complexification had proved so efficient that “some cells and connections are no longer needed”. Shrinkage must mean that something is lost, and so I asked what else the shrinkage could consist of. You have not answered.

I have said the shrinkage is known, but I am unaware of what else might be lost. Losing neurons is possible if the remaining ones become more complex by altering their branching and the variety of their synapses variety of strength.


DAVID: I can easily accept your version of my theory as you state it. I think that is what I have been stating all along, but perhaps not clearly.

dhw: Statements like “of course thoughts and concepts are produced by the pre-frontal and frontal cortex”, and “the base of mental processes is of course biochemical”, can hardly mean that thoughts and concepts are produced by the soul and the soul is immaterial.

Of course the soul is not material. My point is it uses the brain which is material. there is a soul brain interface, thus dualism.

dhw; Since you can now easily accept that the brain provides information and implements thoughts and concepts which according to your dualism are produced by the soul and not by the brain, perhaps you will also easily accept that the expansion of the brain must have followed on from and not preceded the soul’s acts of conceptualization, but no, back you go:

DAVID: We remain at opposite poles. I can only see the brain enlarging and only then the thoughts and concepts can appear. The enlargement is provided by God's action. Enlargement first, artifacts second.

dhw: But you believe thoughts and concepts are produced by the “soul” and so they do NOT depend on the brain! It is the implementation that depends on the brain, as is shown by the “only real evidence we have” (below). Therefore just as effort to read and write changes the brain (rewiring), effort to produce artefacts changed the brain (expansion).

But the only evidence we have from our brains is the effort to 'produce' shrinks!


DAVID: More intense thought shrinks the brain in sapiens and it is the only real evidence we have about thought and brain size. If evolution builds on the past, previous more ancient brains employed this same course. Why should only sapiens brains do this?

dhw: Yet again (if you keep asking the same question, I can only give the same answer): pre-sapiens brains may well have complexified to some degree, but they reached a stage at which more brain capacity was needed to implement new concepts – hence expansion.

That is where God stepped in and created the next larger sized brain.

dhw: The brain/skull then reached a size at which further expansion would have caused anatomical problems (as you said yourself, an infinitely expanding brain/skull is the stuff of science fiction).

Taking my comment about science fiction brains out of original context doesn't help you. Our current brain was God's goal.

dhw: Consequently, complexification took over from expansion, and was so efficient that the brain shrank. Please explain your objections to this hypothesis.

No objection. God reached His goal.


DAVID: Your statement that our brain is at a non-enlarging state in evolution only supports my contention that our brain is the end point of God's purpose.

dhw: Your God’s purpose is a separate issue from that of the mechanics of evolution, which is what we are discussing here.

No it is not separate. Don't forget I think God used evolution to create us. God never goes away in my thinking, while you sneak Him in now and then when it suits your purpose.


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