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

by dhw, Tuesday, February 06, 2018, 15:56 (164 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I can't think without a brain that is functional
dhw: You may well be right, but that statement is pure materialism, and you claim to be a dualist.
DAVID: The s/s/c is the immaterial part that uses the material brain. Dualism. Your 'you may well be right' indicates you are not sure you think with your brain. Do you?

Yes, the immaterial s/s/c using the material brain is dualism. But the s/s/c “can’t think without a brain that is functional” is materialism. You try to use NDEs to prove that the immaterial s/s/c does NOT need the brain to think, remember etc., and then you tell us the immaterial s/s/c needs the brain to think, remember etc. But you cannot see the contradiction. As for my own approach, I am indeed unsure whether I need my brain to think (materialism) or I have a thinking soul that tells my brain what to do (dualism).

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.
dhw What[…] 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.

DAVID: No! His s/s/c now able to use his brain which came out of a week of coma, transmitted the NDE information into his brain, which he then could interpret thought his active material brain using the returned s/s/c software (immaterial) which carried the new memories and now he could write the 20,000 words.

If his s/s/c informed his brain, “he” did not learn about his experience “only after he woke up”. And when you say he could “then interpret” it, do you think it was his brain that interpreted the experience? Do you think it is your brain or your soul that solves problems, thinks up answers to my questions, applies your knowledge of biochemistry to questions such as God’s existence and the mechanics of evolution? If his story his true, Alexander’s soul returned to his body with full knowledge of its experience, “transmitted the NDE information into his brain”, and his brain enabled him to transcribe his immaterial experience into material form: 20,000 words.

dhw: 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.
DAVID: 'Implementation' is only the physical use of the body to carry out ideas, as in typing my responses to you. I develop ideas using my s/s/c which uses my brain in the process of my recognizing my own new ideas. I have no idea what your use of the word 'implementation' implies in this context.

The s/s/c “…uses the brain in the process of my recognizing my own new ideas” is another of your weasel wordings. For you as a dualist, it is your soul that produces and also thinks about your ideas. Implementation in this context means giving material form to immaterial ideas. Eben Alexander used his brain to type out the 20,000 words dictated by his soul. Erectus’s soul used his brain to knapp flint, tie the sharpened flint to a shaft, throw the spear at the animal. Your soul uses your brain to read my words, then it thinks about them, works out its responses, and again uses your brain to put the words it dictates into the computer. And to return to the subject under discussion, you believe that NDEs prove we do NOT need the brain to think, and so the logical extension of this belief is that the brain is only required to give material form to immaterial thought, i.e. it is a complete contradiction to argue that you cannot think without a functional brain and that the hominin could not have thought up his concepts if his brain had not already expanded.


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