Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 12:33 (264 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'll stick with God creating the growth.

dhw: Apparently we also show complexification and enlargement of specific areas, and if specific areas can expand now, clearly we cannot rule out expansion then – but simply on a greater scale, which required skull expansion as well. But nobody knows why pre-sapiens brains expanded.That’s why we have different hypotheses. “God did it” is yours, but if God had to do it before pre-sapiens could think up new concepts, that means the brain is the source of thought (conceptualization being a mental process). Welcome to materialism. The appearance of artefacts alongside expanded brains fits in with BOTH hypotheses: 1) they could not have appeared until the brain had expanded sufficiently to implement the concept (mine, which fits in with dualism and materialism, as I hope eventually to explain); 2) they could not have appeared until the brain had expanded sufficiently to think up the concept (yours, which = pure materialism). That is not to say that materialism is wrong. (my bold) It simply contradicts your claim to be a dualist.

DAVID: You refuse to accept a different concept about the brain s/s/c interface. My point is the s/s/c in life cannot develop new concepts independent of the neural mechanisms in the brain. It is still the idea presented by our computers that complex hardware allows for more complex software development of concepts. To restate your comment, 'the brain is the source of living thought'.

You could scarcely find a statement more supportive of materialism. Once more: dualism is the theory that in living beings the mind/soul and the body are separate entities that work together. That is the meaning of “dual” – two, not one. The mind/soul as the source of thought encompasses all the immaterial elements of our personality – that part of us which some people believe survives the death of the body. And so if the brain is the source of thought in living beings, there can be no such thing as a separate mind/soul, because without the source of thought, there can be no thought.

DAVID: In life there is always a material brain role in the production of immaterial thought. And amazingly the brain also understands its equal role to the s/s/c by its plasticity, by enlarging regions and also shrinking areas. Your bolded comment is a total misstatement of my theory. In life the s/s/c doesn't float around, but is completely attached to the brain with which it must work. In death the s/s/c doesn't have to create new concepts and operates in a somewhat different way.

The idea that the soul somehow lives within the brain does not mean that the brain is the source of living thought. According to you it is the receiver of living thought. Suddenly now you are talking of “equal role”. What does that mean? Certainly not that the brain is just as much the SOURCE of thought as the soul. The latter is supposed to be the source of living thought, and the brain is supposed to be the receiver, which supplies information and implements thought by expanding and complexifying. Equally important, yes. We could not function as living beings in a material world without our material self. Your post simply confirms what I wrote in the statement you have bolded: that according to you new concepts could not appear until the pre-sapiens brain had expanded, and in life the brain is the source of thought! But as I keep repeating, I am not rejecting your materialism. I am trying to point out the contradictions in your arguments.


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