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

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 17:37 (97 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You continually ignore my point that in life the s/s/c is intimately connected to the brain and must use it to think. Neither you nor I can think if our brain is not working properly. Think a drunken stupor, or schizophrenia as misrepresentations of a normal s/s/c.

dhw: I have repeatedly pointed out to you that disease, accident, drugs, alcohol are evidence AGAINST dualism, but you are a dualist, and it is you who insist that the s/s/c is the THINKING self which survives death and therefore does NOT depend on the brain. In this discussion, if I remember rightly, we reached a dead end with the extreme case of dementia, in which you suggested that the “vegetable” was really still his/her normal self, knew what was going on, but couldn’t communicate properly. If so, of course, that too would mean the s/s/c does all the thinking and the brain only does the implementing.

You continually ignore the fact that I am alive and can only reach my s/s/c, to act on it or alter its thought pattern, is by working through my brain. I change conclusions by using my brain. My s/s/c never tells me what to do. I have free will and have modified me all of my life by thinking with my brain In implementing my new original thoughts my brain is modifying the personality construct of me, the s/s/c. This is my relationship with my s/s/c in life. Again, in death, the entire situation is different. My s/s/c is static, observing, but never creating any new facet of my personality. You keep trying to join life and death as a single entity for the s/s/c in which to act. I cannot thin k clearly if my brain is damaged.

DAVID: Death or NDE are different circumstances and my theory is that the s/s/c is free to think on its own with possibly a slightly different construction or mechanism.

dhw: Yes indeed, same THINKING s/s/c in different circumstances. And yes, the mechanism must be different because there is no material self to give material form to thought (e.g. communication by telepathy, and not by vocal chords or pen and ink.) In life you are still left with the same thinking self plus the material self which the thinking self uses for information and implementation. Therefore it makes no sense to claim that the thinking self cannot THINK of new ideas until the material brain has made the adjustments necessary to implement the new ideas.

You are still ignoring the point that the brain is in a sense a computer, and only more complex computers can do more complex operations (implementations).

DAVID: You cannot deny that sapiens thought is markedly more complex than erectus, and that is due to our giant pre-frontal cortex.

dhw: If you believe that more complex thought is “due to” a more complex pfc, then you believe that thought is “due to” the pfc, and you are a materialist! There is nothing wrong with this belief. But it makes nonsense of your claim to being a dualist, and of your belief that the thinking s/s/c survives the death of the pfc.

DAVID: Once again you specifically ignore the reasonable concept that the brain is a form of hardware and the s/s/c is a form of software, probably at a quantum level, with the result that complex thought requires complex neuronal networks in the prefrontal cortex.

dhw: I keep agreeing that in life the s/s/c (software) cannot implement its thoughts without the brain (hardware). But you keep ignoring your own analogy when you say that in death the same s/s/c (software) can exist and function independently of the brain (hardware), thereby proving that thought emanates from the s/s/c (software) and not from the brain (hardware).

You admit to two circumstances in life and death, and then ignore it.

DAVID: Whatever is contained in my s/s/c in life is also present in death totally unchanged. It is obvious that the living brain allows different levels of intelligence.

dhw: How does the brain “allow” intelligence? Either the brain is the source of the intelligence (materialism) or it is the tool of the intelligence (dualism).

DAVID: We really don't differ much in the definition of blank slate. You look to genetic guidelines to say it isn't blank at birth, and I say it starts blank at birth and is molded by the guidlines from day one.

dhw: Ah well, I say that if the guidelines are 40% present at birth, you are not a blank slate at birth. I’m happy to drop the subject if you are.


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