Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 24, 2018, 13:44 (946 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: If we can agree that in life the s/s/c and brain must interface and work together for new thought to appear, we can move on. I cannot leave behind my living impression that I am material but my thoughts are not and I am in control of my thoughts.

dhw: I have the same “living impression” as you, but I don’t know whether my immaterial self (which IS the controlling "I") is the product of materials or not. That is the great debate between the materialists and the dualists. Your materialistic insistence that new thought would have been impossible for pre-sapiens until the brain had been enlarged was the starting point of this particular discussion, and it remains hidden in the words “for new thought to appear”. If you had said “to be implemented”, I wouldn’t have had a problem, as we can shake hands on the rest of your statement. But you obviously cannot see that if immaterial new thought depends on the material enlargement of the brain, you are espousing materialism, whereas you claim to be a dualist. However, we have been stuck in this groove long enough, and maybe we’ll make some progress if we look deeper into possible ways of reconciling the two approaches.

Of course the brain, by reacting with the mechanisms of the s/s/c implements the appearance of thought to the thinking person with a living material brain. Your view does not solve the problem.


DAVID (under “Learning new tasks”): New research moves the memory development from synapse changes to dendrite controls:
QUOTE: The newly discovered process of learning in the dendrites occurs at a much faster rate than in the old scenario suggesting that learning occurs solely in the synapses.

DAVID’s comment: This adds another level of complexity and precise control to the brain as it develops new knowledge. We must continue to recognize the material side of the equation in the relationship between brain and s/s/c. It shows how the s/s/c is obligated to specific interfaces.

dhw: There is no disagreement over the importance of interaction between s/s/c and brain. However, the article simply discusses WHERE learning takes place. Instead of synapses the focus is on dendrites. It sheds no light – and is not meant to – on the question of whether the s/s/c exists as a separate entity (dualism) or is the product of the material self (materialism). Nor does it explain – and it is not meant to – what learning actually consists of. What we do know is that the process of learning is accompanied by changes in the brain (illiterates, taxi drivers, musicians). So what happens? Has the brain recorded/memorized the thoughts of the s/s/c? If so, although confined here to memory, it’s still a major blow to your hypothesis that new thoughts cannot arise until the brain “allows” them. All memories are the result of what were once new thoughts/experiences. The thoughts have to precede the brain change - which is one up for your dualistic belief that the brain is a receiver, not a generator, although you the dualist don’t agree!

Our brain is built (designed) to respond to the needs of the s/s/c as it manages thought. What the brain 'receives' is the mechanism of the s/s/c which I think is at the level of quantum reality. Thought is then achieved by the two of them working together as hardware and software. You give lip service to this view and then ignore it in your analysis.

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