Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, March 22, 2018, 10:42 (954 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Current studies show that the level of intelligence depend on volume and complexity: :

DAVID's comment: Copied intact. It is logical to assume that advanced intelligence will produce advanced planning and concepts. Erectus did not have the IQ of sapiens. Note that IQ depends upon volume as well as complexity. On this basis I find your theory of enlargement of the human brain to have no basis in fact or theory. There is no evidence that lesser IQ brain produces the more advanced concepts found in greater IQ brain. Our artifacts, produced from concepts which appeared 300,000 years after our brain appeared is consistent with that. Advanced concepts require the presence of more volume and advanced complexity, without question.

dhw: Clearly, advanced intelligence will produce advance concepts, but if intelligence depends on the volume and complexity of the brain, it is equally clear that there is no independent self/soul/consciousness that thinks up the concepts. Dualism separates immaterial mind and material body, and not even you will deny that intelligence is a quality of the mind and not the body. I have no objections if you insist that the brain is the source of intelligence. My objection is when you contradict yourself by claiming that we have an immaterial s/s/c, of which our intelligence must be a part, and which does our thinking, feeling, decision-making etc. and can survive the death of the brain. As for current studies, they also show that areas of the brain can complexify and/or enlarge as a RESULT of the effort to implement concepts (illiterates, taxi-drivers, musicians). There is, however, no question that advanced concepts require more volume and complexity. The question hangs over whether implementing the concept CAUSED the complexity/enlargement, in keeping with the findings of current research and with the dualistic belief in a separate s/s/c, or the complexity/enlargement CAUSED the ability to come up with the concept, also in keeping with the findings of current research but contradicting the dualistic belief in a separate s/s/c. Your own position is caught between the two approaches (materialism versus dualism) but you refuse to acknowledge the dichotomy in your thinking. I too am caught between the two, and hope eventually to come up with a way of reconciling them.

DAVID: A very fair summary. But as I've noted my concept of dualism is not yours. My immaterial s/s/c has two parts, a software mechanism and a personality structure within the software, much like a file in your computer made by the software in your computer.

The s/s/c IS the personality. It is all the immaterial qualities that make up the thinking self in the soul/self/consciousness, which dualists believe to be a separate entity from the material self, although the two interact. Please don’t try to muddy the waters with some nebulous concept of “threealism”. But thank you for your acceptance of my summary. If you stick to that, and recognize the dichotomy I keep pointing out, we may be able to move on to a possible reconciliation between dualism and materialism. I will try to find time in the next few days to elaborate on the ideas I put forward earlier on this subject.

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