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

by dhw, Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 13:38 (298 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: There can be no question that in life the dualist's s/s/c must interface with the brain, and if there is an afterlife, then the s/s/c will live on without the material mechanisms that have provided it with material information and with material implementation. The afterlife "experience" (NDEs) is regarded by dualists as evidence that in earthly life the s/s/c does the thinking and the brain does the implementing, as you keep agreeing. So why do you also keep insisting that the s/s/c cannot think without the brain? (You may be right – but that is MATERIALISM, which you reject.
DAVID: You are missing the two modes of the s/s/c while you describe it! In life the s/s/c and brain are interfaced in producing thought. When the brain is non-functional the s/s/c works independently on its own. Clear?

You are repeating exactly what I have said in my first sentence above! And in both modes, the dualist’s s/s/c THINKS. But in earthly life it interacts with the brain, which collects information and expresses or implements thought. Software/hardware, to use your favourite image. And NDEs, in which the s/s/c THINKS without a functional brain, are regarded as evidence that in this life the mind is a separate entity from the body (= dualism). Clear?

DAVID: Since quantum mechanics is the base state of the universe it represents God's universal consciousness. S/s/c quantum state discussed above.
dhw: …you have not told me whether you think this quantum mechanism is part of the brain or part of the soul, whether it survives the death of the brain, and whether your God’s consciousness is a quantum state.
DAVID: I think the s/s/c is a quantum state as is God's consciousness, since the basis of the universe is quantum mechanics. Our consciousness is part of God's.

So you now have the s/s/c as a quantum state which does the thinking and survives the death of the brain, and you have the brain as a material mechanism which gathers information and expresses or implements the thoughts of the quantum s/s/c. And God is a quantum state. How does that support your materialistic argument that the s/s/c cannot think without a functioning brain?

DAVID: First, I agree that common descent theory appears to be true, but not by any Darwin mechanism. I insist that God logically arranged for speciation, and that minor modifications way have occurred without His direct intervention, but through built-in guided mechanisms.
dhw: I also accept the common descent theory and am sceptical about Darwin’s mechanisms. Your insistence that God logically arranged for speciation – presumably as opposed to giving organisms the means to speciate without his dabbling (direct intervention) or a 3.8-billion-year old computer programme (built-in guided mechanisms) – is on a par with an atheist’s insistence that there is no God. Of course both of you have every right to insist that your opinions are correct, but it is no way to conduct a rational debate.
DAVID: Ah, 'rational' is only if I agree with you!?
No, no, no! I am simply pointing out that your insistence that your hypothesis is right does not provide any rational grounds for anyone to believe you – and you would say the same if an atheist said to you: “I insist that God does not exist”. Insistence is not a rational argument.

DAVID: I've gone so far as agree with you God might have provided a speciation mechanism in organisms, but we have found no evidence of it so far.

You do sometimes make this concession, but when pressed you insist on qualifying it with “guidelines” (as above) and ultimately with a refusal to consider (perhaps God-given) autonomy, which is the key to my whole hypothesis. I have always acknowledged that we do not have evidence that cell communities (organisms) are intelligent enough to provide the major innovations that result in speciation (broad sense). There is no evidence of a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or of divine dabbling either.


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