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

by dhw, Friday, February 09, 2018, 13:10 (995 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You keep agreeing [ …] that I = the s/s/c. So now apparently your s/s/c reaches and controls your s/s/c! I suggest that a dualist’s s/s/c reaches and controls the functioning brain. To use your pet analogy, the software controls the hardware.
DAVID: I'll accept your last sentence.

The software is the “soul” and the hardware is the brain, so you accept that in dualism the soul controls the brain, without all this rigmarole of the soul (s/s/c = I) reaching and controlling the soul (s/s/c = I) through the brain.

DAVID: In an NDE the s/s/c is separated from the non-functioning brain. Operates without brain. That is first state. Second state is with functional brain with s/s/c joined to it and revealing the experiences.

Exactly right. You wrote: “The s/s/c is in two different states during an NDE, with and without a functional brain.” No, the s/s/c is without a functioning brain DURING the NDE, and then tells the now functioning brain about its experience AFTER the NDE. That is why NDEs are regarded as evidence for dualism. You’ve got it!

DAVID: Thoughts have a temporal aspect. You are not aware of what you are thinking until you think it.

Obviously. But you wrote “I must use my material brain to reach my immaterial thoughts”, which means: “Apparently you don’t know what you are thinking until you have said it or written it.” (My bold)

DAVID: But you do? Amazing.

Yes, I do. I am thinking all day long, and I know what I am thinking even if I say nothing and write nothing. I’ll be so bold as to say to you in all honesty that if your mind is a blank until you talk to someone or write something down, it is you who are the source of amazement.


DAVID (under “multicellularity”): […] I am material and I can only approach my s/s/c when I start to think. I can only use my brain to make contact with my s/s/c. I=s s/s/c. You and I cannot get around the material brain is the gateway to the s/s/c.

More confusion. Your s/s/c is your immaterial self or “I”, and yet you say “I am material”! You can only make contact with yourself through the functioning brain, and yet you only “approach” your self when you start to think, and thinking is done by your self/soul (software), NOT your brain (hardware) - the very essence of dualism. This is epitomized by NDEs:

DAVID: NDE's show us the s/s/c can be separate from the brain and be entirely functional, and when reattached to the brain transmit all of its newly received information. This tells me there are two separate entities, brain and s/s/c which work together when attached.

Exactly right again. If the s/s/c, the “I”, does its thinking entirely separately from the non-functional brain, it is patently absurd to argue that the functional brain is the gateway to the s/s/c.

DAVID: Our discussion always deals with a material brain and an immaterial s/s/c, dual entities. Materialism always has to part of the discussion. Can you show me complete separation which you seem to imply?

You have just shown complete separation with the example of NDEs. There is no complete separation when the patient recovers: then the s/s/c continues to do the thinking, and uses the brain to express its thoughts.

DAVID: And I am convinced a more complex cortex must be present to allow the s/s/c to perform more complex thinking.

Then you are convinced that the s/s/c cannot think independently of the brain, in spite of NDEs, and that is materialism.

DAVID: Every development in the evolution of Homo shows us that. Complex cortex always results in more complex artifacts. Your hypothesis that a small brain can have a concept, but must enlarge to implement it has no basis in what we know about Homo evolution.

Every development in the evolution of Homo shows that the larger brain coincides with more complex artefacts. History can’t show us that the brain expanded BEFORE the artefacts were produced, which is your hypothesis. We know the brain complexifies through and not before the implementation of new concepts, so it’s feasible that the same applied to expansion.

DAVID: This also tells me the brain can receive information, can transmit information which is more than functional implementation, which you imply is all the brain does. It modifies to help with handling new concepts. Can you describe what you think implementation entails?

I have said repeatedly that the brain gathers information and passes it to the s/s/c. And yes, it modifies to help with handling new concepts - not BEFORE the concepts exist. (See also your post on the mouse cortex.) I can’t improve on the description of implementation that you wrote yourself under “Learning new tasks”, 2 December, but later wanted to rewrite: “If habilis has an idea for spears, the idea is immaterial. No brain change. Once he learns to knapp flint, attach the stone point to a wooden rod, and then practices throwing it with accuracy, there is no question his brain has enlarged with all the muscle movement and visual coordination involved”.

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