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

by dhw, Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 13:39 (986 days ago) @ David Turell

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!

dhw: 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.

DAVID: A comatose Alexander lying in his hospital bed did not know for a week what happened. Yes, his s/s/c knew but his physical body and physical brain did not know until the
reunion. Out of coma he (material) could learn about all of it (immaterial).

Yes, his immaterial s/s/c passed the information on to his revived material brain, so his revived material brain learned about it from his immaterial s/s/c. Why do you repeat my point as if you are disagreeing with it?

dhw: 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….
DAVID: Yes, but Alexander has two existences during the NDE: the physical body/brain lying there and the immaterial s/s/c traipsing around!

Why “Yes, but…”? His physical body played no part in the experience, which is why the s/s/c passed on all the information, and why the experience is offered as evidence for dualism. So why do you keep insisting that the s/s/c cannot THINK without a functioning brain? This is the claim that leads you into all your contradictions. The whole discussion revolves round your insistence that hominins could not conceive of new ideas until they had larger brains. NDEs suggest to us that the brain is NOT the source of immaterial thought. Conceptualizing is immaterial thought. You keep agreeing: s/s/c thinks, brain implements, and then you ignore it again.

DAVID: My thoughts are immaterial, not a material expression of my s/s/c, but they come from a material brain. Dualism
dhw: […] 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: And I agree to that. His dualism is that for a week he was in two parts.

Exactly. One part was functioning and the other was not. And that is why it is clearly contradictory to argue that the s/s/c cannot THINK without a functioning brain and that thought depends on the size of the brain.

dhw: Communicating with other people is part of what gives us our sense of self.
DAVID: You are again in the area of solipsism. I know my 'self' is me with or without other selves being around.

No disagreement, but the self develops through experience. I can find out more about myself through my experiences with other people. That is why in this material life we need our brains to gather information and to give material expression to our thoughts.


dhw: 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,
DAVID: As you know I'm not convinced of the survival argument, since we see very long pauses (270,000 years in our case) in bare survival mode before evidence of new concepts and implementations appear.

We are talking about advances in evolution. The pauses (stasis) take place when organisms have what they need to survive. The advances take place when (a) their survival is threatened, and (b) when individuals come up with new ideas that will IMPROVE chances of survival or IMPROVE modes of living.

DAVID: As for improvement, I see a radiation of forms many of which (whales) are unreasonable examples of improvement

Yes to a radiation of forms. There is nothing at all unreasonable if pre-whales entered the water in order to improve their chances of survival and if, in the course of time, they improved their modes of adaptation to aquatic life. It only seems unreasonable to you because it doesn’t fit in with your anthropocentrism, and because you insist that God engineers every adaptation in advance of changing conditions instead of the adaptations taking place in response to changing conditions.

dhw: ...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.
DAVID: Yes, complexity, plasticity and shrinkage, nothing more.

Plasticity is what allows the different modifications. Why do you refuse to accept that the addition of lots of cells and connections leading to enlargement is also a “modification”?

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