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

by dhw, Saturday, February 10, 2018, 13:26 (104 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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: We agree.

dhw: 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: I really feel I have blank periods.

You can have as many blanks as you like, but if you are only aware of your thoughts when you speak to someone or write them down, as you claimed, you have a problem!

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.

dhw: 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: You are confused. I'm never aware of my s/s/c unless my brain is functional, as per NDE's.

Now you say your self is never aware of your self unless your brain is functional, but in NDEs the brain is NOT functional and yet the self is aware of itself, and afterwards reveals its experiences to the brain. That is why NDEs provide evidence for dualism. You agreed at the top of this post, and now you disagree.

DAVID: My thinking is done by my s/s/c using my brain as hardware.

The s/s/c (software) does the thinking, and uses the brain (hardware) to give material expression to the thoughts.

DAVID: In NDE's the s/s/c observes and receives information. There is no information that the s/s/c thinks during an NDE.

What are you saying? That during the NDE patients are not aware of what they are experiencing? And yet when they return to the body they remember everything that happened and inform the brain about it! The thinking, remembering, interpreting is done by the s/s/c (software), and the brain (hardware) is used by the s/s/c (software) to communicate the experience to others. You keep agreeing and then disagreeing.

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

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

DAVID: In NDE's the s/s/c may only receive information, not form concepts.

I don’t know if this is true, but in any case, forming concepts is not the only way of being aware of your self. The dualist’s brain would not remember or interpret an experience it never had! It can only give material expression to the thoughts (in speech or writing) after the s/s/c passes on its experiences and interpretations. If you believe the s/s/c cannot be aware of its experiences, remember, interpret without a functioning brain, as suggested by NDEs, then you may as well forget about dualism and embrace materialism.

dhw: 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: Except complexity shrinks brains!

Explained over and over again: in pre-humans, brain reaches point where greater capacity necessary (same in your own hypothesis, so no disagreement there); in modern humans, expansion not possible; complexification so efficient that it shrinks brain.

dhw: 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”.

DAVID: My statement always meant 'prior enlargement'. I've never changed my concept.

You asked me to describe what implementation entailed, and your account is as clear a description as possible. Immaterial idea first. NO BRAIN CHANGE. New activities, brain “has enlarged” with all the movement etc. involved. I know you wish you hadn’t written it, but that’s not the point. It’s the perfect description of what implementation entails according to my hypothesis.


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