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

by dhw, Saturday, March 10, 2018, 10:47 (281 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: According to dualists, the s/s/c and not the prefrontal cortex does the thinking, and so it makes no sense for a dualist to say that the s/s/c can’t THINK without the prefrontal cortex.

DAVID: I agree, but in life the area where the s/s/c is focused is the frontal cortex. I am my s/s/c but can only work with it through the frontal cortex.

Your immaterial self (s/s/c) does not work with your immaterial self (s/s/c)! In dualism your s/s/c “works” with the material world through the material brain. The s/s/c does the thinking and the material brain provides information and does the implementing, as you keep agreeing and then disagreeing.

dhw: [The history of expansion] fits in perfectly with the dualistic hypothesis that initially the concepts thought up by the pre-sapiens s/s/c caused expansion of the implementing areas of the brain, but as concepts became more complex, the pfc itself as the material link between immaterial thought and material implementation also had to expand. In both cases, the expansion can be interpreted dualistically as a RESPONSE to concepts, not as their source (= materialistically)

DAVID: That may be your view, not mine. All animals have these early areas because they involve smell, vision, muscle control and coordination, etc. to conduct themselves in activity. No concepts. Early hominins are the same. When given a larger pfc then they can conceptualize and these other earlier parts of the brain don't have to change much. Artifacts prove that.

No concepts? How do you think our fellow animals first managed to build nests, devise protection against predators, hunt in packs, create all the natural wonders that we so much admire? All preprogrammed or dabbled? If so, you are saying that autonomous thought only came into existence when your God gave hominins a larger pfc. But if it is the pfc that is the source of autonomous thought, then you are a materialist, though you think you are a dualist. (Dualist view: the s/s/c thinks; the brain provides information and gives material form to concepts.)

dhw: Dualists separate s/s/c and brain, using NDE's as evidence, which means that the s/s/c does not depend on the brain for its ability to THINK.

DAVID: NDE's offer no evidence that new conceptualization occurs. The NDE'r observes and wishes to stay. I don't think the s/s/c in the afterlife invents new theories. It can only exist as it was in life.

Conceptualizing is only one aspect of the s/s/c's thinking capacity. The discussion concerns the source of thought, which covers conceptualization, emotion, memory, decision-making, judgement and every other immaterial aspect of the self/soul. But I too would very much doubt if during an immaterial afterlife there was any need for it to conceive of objects that require a brain to give them material form. Neither of us has the slightest idea what an immortal soul would think about for the rest of eternity, but that’s another subject. Our current subject is your materialistic claim that the s/s/c can’t THINK without the brain, even though it THINKS without a brain in the afterlife you believe in.

dhw: If intelligence survives the death of the brain, it is absurd to say that it “springs from” the ability to use the brain. According to dualism, intelligence is what USES the brain, it is not the product of its use of the brain!

DAVID: If your point is true why do different brains in structure have different IQ's as in Einstein?

Everybody’s brain is different. Everybody’s s/s/c is different. I myself do not know if the structure of the brain determines intelligence. If, however, you believe the s/s/c is the source of immaterial intelligence (and conceptualization and every other immaterial element of your self), then please answer your own question. You are the dualist. I would say your question implies evidence for materialism.

dhw: Once more: In life the s/s/c “functions” as the thinking self which uses the material self to cope with the material world. NDEs appear to show that the thinking self survives the death of the material self, and that is why it is used as evidence for DUALISM – namely that mind and body are TWO different things. Therefore it is a complete contradiction to argue that the s/s/c or mind cannot THINK without the body/material brain. It simply cannot translate its thoughts into materiality without the brain.

DAVID: Not my view. I can only construct my personalty by working on my s/s/c with my brain. I think, therefore I am. Any s/s/c is not me unless I can reach it and construct it, using my brain. This is why consciousness is the HARD problem. Material brain, immaterial personality.

This answer completely ignores the contradiction I have highlighted! Your personality IS your self/soul, and you ARE your personality. Yes, it uses the brain throughout its development, and yes indeed, consciousness is the hard problem but, as you keep agreeing and then trying to disagree, the s/s/c (c = consciousness) IS the thinking you, and remains the thinking you in brainless NDEs. And so once again: it makes no sense to claim that the s/s/c can’t think without a functioning brain. “I think, therefore I am” is the whole basis of Descartes’ separation of mind and body. He does not say, “I have a prefrontal cortex, and therefore I am.”


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