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

by dhw, Thursday, March 01, 2018, 13:09 (291 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Once again, you ARE your self/soul, you don’t “reach” your self/soul! And your thinking “self” is the same in life as in NDEs, as you are about to acknowledge:
DAVID: I ( the physical me) can't be in contact with reach) my s/s/c if I am in coma like Alexander.

Of course there is no contact between the brain and the s/s/c if the brain is dead! That is why NDEs are used as evidence that the s/s/c exists and thinks separately from the brain, whether this is functioning or not, and that is the meaning of dualism.

DAVID: I am dead and my s/s/c is active, and I theorize it has two forms, one in life and one in afterlife. Same s/s/c but slightly different in how it interfaces with where it is.
dhw: Yes, the SAME s/s/c. […] And so we return to the obvious fact that if it’s the SAME s/s/c which thinks independently of the material brain, it makes no sense to argue that the s/s/c depends on the material brain to come up with its THOUGHTS. […]
DAVID: We are back to the same takeoff point.

And off you go at a tangent, talking about babies. I am putting that discussion back on the baby brain thread where it belongs. Please stick to the point. The SAME s/s/c does its thinking in different circumstances, which means that the s/s/c does not depend on the functioning brain to come up with its THOUGHTS. Yes or no?

David’s comment (under “mental illness perspective”): this research demonstrates the obvious, how the s/s/c must depend on a properly functioning brain. An improperly functioning brain results in a skewed s/s/c.
dhw: I have already drawn attention to the fact that disease, accident, drugs, alcohol etc. can change a person’s s/s/c, which is prime evidence for MATERIALISM.
DAVID: No it isn't. It changes the brain's ability to receive and express the s/s/c properly. The interface is damaged.

What are you saying? That the s/s/c is telling the drunkard's brain not to rape the woman but the message has got garbled? (“Sorry, m’lud, but my self kept telling my brain not to do it and it misunderstood.”) Does the s/s/c of a dementia victim actually know perfectly well what is going on, but the brain doesn’t get the message? Changes to the brain, whether temporary or permanent, are known to change the thoughts and behaviour of the s/s/c, and that is evidence for materialism.

dhw: It contradicts the dualistic theory that the s/s/c controls the brain.
DAVID: IT doesn't control the brain. The s/s/c is a software program that uses the brain to express itself.

And part of what is expressed is the will. The s/s/c wishes to perform an action, and the brain implements the will of the s/s/c. What we call “normal” is the situation in which the mind tells the body what to do, i.e. the mind CONTROLS the brain. What we call “abnormal” is when that situation is reversed, as in cases of illness, addiction etc.

dhw: This does not in any way alter the fact that we KNOW modern thoughts/ideas/concepts RESULT in modifications to modern brains. The modifications do not precede the concepts.
DAVID: Remember you are discussing a sapiens brain which suddenly appeared quite enlarged, and then did nothing for 250,000 years. Concepts could only arrive as we learned to use the newly complexified prefrontal cortex.

I don’t know how often we have to go over this. Each pre-sapiens enlargement was also followed by a long period of comparative stasis. It needs individuals to come up with major new concepts, and these require brain change to be implemented. The cortex does not complexify in advance of new concepts – it complexifies when concepts demand new connections. Yes, it took a long time for sapiens to use his newly enlarged brain, and when he did, instead of expanding still further (probably because further expansion would have caused anatomical problems), it became increasingly complexified as more and more concepts required implementation.

dhw: […] […] it is the implementation that CAUSES complexification and resultant shrinkage, which suggests that implementation would also have CAUSED earlier modifications, such as enlargement.
DAVID: Again twisting the only evidence we have which is shrinkage, which could more likely have occurred in Erectus. Evolution builds on processes from its past.

If evolution builds on processes from the past, then clearly present processes are highly likely to be the continuation of past processes, and so past brains would have been modified by implementation of concepts, just as they are today. I suggest shrinkage has come about because of the efficiency of complexification (some cells and connections are no longer required). There is no reason to suppose that pre-sapiens brains shrank, but even if their brains did complexify and shrink, that is not the point! We know they expanded. And expansion is also a modification of the brain, which suggests that the same process – implementation causes brain changes – caused expansion when the capacity was not great enough. Perhaps your dualist’s mind will now be kind enough to think why you regard this hypothesis as unreasonable, and then to use your materialist brain to give your immaterial thoughts their material expression.

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