Big brain evolution: changes in sapiens skull shape (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, February 05, 2018, 14:19 (989 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I can't think without a brain that is functional

You may well be right, but that statement is pure materialism, and you claim to be a dualist.

DAVID: I cannot, while alive, communicate with my immaterial s/s/c except though my material brain mechanisms (cortex).
dhw: Once more you go back to separating “I” from your self/soul/consciousness.
DAVID: You separated my 'I' from my s/s/c. I don't see it that way. I know what I feel and it is not an illusion (Dennett).

I have not said it’s an illusion! It was you who separated the two by saying your “I” could not communicate with your “self/soul” without a brain. I have always understood your dualist belief to be that the self/soul/“I” is distinct from the body/brain (though they work together during earthly life), and lives on independently of its material container (body/brain) when it leaves the material world.

DAVID: My s/s/c cannot function under my awareness if my brain is non-functional. but the s/s/c can experience 'being' without me and return to tell me about it when the NDE ends with resuscitation. Total dualism. Do you believe in NDE's as described? They are the basis of my theory.

I keep an open mind about NDEs, and they are one of the reasons why I cannot embrace materialism. The question we are discussing is not the authenticity of NDEs, but how you can reconcile your dualism with your belief that your soul cannot think unless it has a brain.

DAVID: Read Eben Alexander's book. He only learned about his NDE experience only after he woke up from a week of deep coma with no demonstrable brain function. His description of his experience will give you a whole new perspective of this discussion.

What do you mean “he only learned about his experience”? Assuming the whole story is true, during his coma he/his self/his soul left his body. Here’s what happened next, according to his website:

QUOTE: If one had asked me before my coma how much a patient would remember after such severe meningitis, I would have answered “nothing” and been thinking in the back of my mind that no one would recover from such an illness, at least not to the point of being able to discuss their memories. Thus, you can imagine my surprise at remembering an elaborate and rich odyssey from deep within coma that comprised more than 20,000 words by the time I had written it all down during the six weeks following my return from the hospital. (My bold)

What, then, told “him” about his experience, enabling “him” to learn about it? Do you the dualist really believe his brain told his soul what his soul had experienced? The soul does the thinking and remembering, and the brain puts the experience into 20,000+ words.

dhw:I am not arguing against dualism (I remain neutral) - I am simply pointing out to you that if you believe thought depends on the brain, and more complex thought depends on a larger brain, you are a materialist. That is why your arguments are contradictory.
DAVID: As long as you refuse to accept the s/s/c as software and the brain as hardware we will never see any agreement. Dualsim is obvious.

If I were a dualist clinging to the software/hardware analogy, I would say that the soul (software) thinks up the ideas, and the brain (hardware) does no thinking of its own but is used to implement the ideas. The logical conclusion from this analogy is that the expansion of the brain had nothing to do with thinking up new concepts, but had everything to do with the implementation of those new concepts.

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