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

by dhw, Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 21:33 (985 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: 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: Agreed.

Then let us keep this in mind throughout our discussion.

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."
DAVID: 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!

Once again you try to separate Alexander from his s/s/c. Alexander’s s/s/c was what experienced the NDE, carried all the information, and passed the information on to the revived brain. Are you now saying that Alexander’s s/s/c didn’t know it was observing God and the angels etc. until it returned to his revived brain, and then it informed the brain about something it (the s/s/c) didn’t know??? The whole point about NDEs as evidence for dualism is that self/soul/CONSCIOUSNESS (which is not confined to self-analysis) exists when the brain stops working. Interface occurs when the s/s/c thinks and the brain gives material expression to the thought, as you agree at the top of this post.

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: The brain can’t transmit to the soul the knowledge it never had!
DAVID: 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.

As above, Alexander IS his self/soul. His self/soul knew of the experience. His brain didn’t. Did the patients who initially refused to go back not know who they were?

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.
DAVID: 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

Communicating with other people is part of what gives us our sense of self. The rest of your statement is as confused as it could possibly be. Of course your thoughts are not a material expression of your s/s/c. They are immaterial, and dualism argues that immaterial thoughts do NOT come from a material brain but from the s/s/c! The material brain gives immaterial thoughts their material expression, as you agreed at the beginning of this post. THAT is dualism.


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!
DAVID: So necessity drives evolution. Whew!

You have taken a giant leap, and ignored the whole context. Let me spell it out for you again bit by bit. Evolution, according to my hypothesis, advances through a drive for survival and/or improvement. Pre-sapiens had a concept whereby his chances of survival would be improved: a spear. In order to make a spear, he had to perform certain new material actions, but those actions necessitated changes to his brain. So survival and/or improvement drive evolution, but it is not possible to perform new tasks without changing the brain. THAT is what “necessity” means here. We know that pre-sapiens brains expanded, and we know that new actions cause changes (or “modifications”) to the brain. To return to the subject that you have ignored in your “Whew!”, shrinkage is probably the outcome of efficient complexification, and has no bearing whatsoever on your claim that both concept and enlargement preceded implementation. However, you appear to have abandoned that hypothesis in your post under “Brain complexity”: “At each stage in the size of brain as human evolution proceeded, that size had plasticity and could modify with new implementations.” (My bold) And earlier: "Implementation results in automatic plasticity changes." (My bold) Yes, it changes WITH or as a result of new implementations, and not BEFORE them.

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