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

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 19:39 (38 days ago) @ dhw

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).

dhw: 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?

Because his physical being was separated for a period from his s/s/c. Look at what you wrote above. The separation strongly supports dualism

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!

dhw: 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.

Because you will not accept my view of NDE. The s/s/c can separate from the brain in two circumstances, resuscitation back to life and death. Only an intact s/s/c interfaced with a functional brain can allow a living person to think. That has nothing to do with the concept that only a more complex cortex can have more complex ideation by the s/s/c.

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.

You are attempting to combine two separate concepts. The s/s/c can think with or without a brain, but its level of complex thought generated within a living person depends on the complexity/size of that cortex. Think of this: was the s/s/c of erectus as complex as ours in the level of thought achieved? I believe the complexity of s/s/c evolved as Homo did.


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.

dhw: 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.

You are simply rephrasing 'survival of the fittest', which I do not accept.

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.

dhw: 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”?

Because the only facts we have in sapiens is shrinkage.

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