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

by David Turell @, Monday, February 12, 2018, 15:30 (8 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The point I was making, using the NDE's as background, is when the brain is not functioning, the s/s/c separated and is off having an experience, which it can disclose to the brain only when the brain is once again functional.

DAVID: I cannot have a feeling of selfhood unless my brain is functional. The living brain and the s/s/c only work together when joined.

dhw: Of course two things only work together when joined. The question is how they work, and as you keep agreeing and then disagreeing, the s/s/c does the thinking (software) and the brain gives material expression to the thought (hardware). That is how they work together.


DAVID: Of course his now functioning brain receives the information, and that occurs only when Alexander is able to turn on his brain and understand what it now contains.

dhw: Your usual dodge from I=s/s/c to Alexander being different from “I”. Of course the brain cannot receive the information from Alexander’s s/s/c until it becomes functional again. But it is the s/s/c that had, remembers and analyses the experience. I don’t see the logic in the s/s/c informing the brain of what it knows, and then thinking: “Ah, now that I've given the information to the brain I am able to understand it."

Again your confusion about a functional brain. Unless the brain is turned on after the event Alexander cannot experience his s/s/c and learn its information. Would you know your s/s/c existed if your brain stopped working? They are interfaced!

DAVID: This is a temporal sequence. Alexander, the live 'himself', during the week-long coma, had no knowledge of the NDE until he revived and then explored the knowledge his brain now can transmit to him.

dhw: As above, and a total reversal of dualism. The non-functional brain had no knowledge, but Alexander’s self/soul/consciousness had the experience, remembered it, and explored its implications. The brain can’t transmit to the soul the knowledge it never had!

Of course not! The s/s/c return to a functional brain, and now a newly awake Alexander learns of the experience. One can relate to one's soul only through a functional brain.

DAVID: For me I view a living person as having a sense of self through his living brain. He uses his s/s/c (immaterial) only through his functional brain (material). Dualism

dhw: However, our sense of self in the material world is intimately linked to our relations with that world, including other people. That is why the brain gives material expression to the thoughts etc. of the s/s/c. Dualism.

Separation from other folks is not entirely what a sense of self is. My thoughts are immaterial, not a material expression of my s/s/c, but they come from a material brain. Dualism

DAVID: The brain and s/s/c must intimately interface for us to think.

They must interface if the s/s/c’s thoughts (software) are to be given material form, which is the function of the brain (hardware) – your favourite analogy. .


DAVID: … your conjecture consistently ignores the issue of brain shrinkage with implementation complexity as a scientifc fact we know about the brain under use.

dhw: Dealt with over and over again. I suggest that brain shrinkage occurs because of the efficiency of complexification. This may also have been true of hominin brains. However, both hypotheses agree that brain expansion became necessary. That does not mean that brain expansion occurred BEFORE implementation made it necessary!

So necessity drives evolution. Whew!

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