Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, April 01, 2018, 11:11 (257 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: NDEs and the belief in a soul that lives on after death are integral to the concept of dualism, i.e. that IN LIFE there are two separate elements that work together: the soul and the body; the mind and the brain. There is no dualism in death (indeed there may be nothing at all in death), and if bigger brains have better thoughts, then there is no dualism in life. Yes, the s/s/c uses the brain. As you acknowledged in the two quotes above, it uses the brain to IMPLEMENT its thoughts, not to create them. And yes, the s/s/c IS the living personality, which dualists believe is the immaterial living, conscious, THINKING “me” which survives death.

DAVID: Here we seem to agree.

dhw: If you agree that the s/s/c uses the brain to IMPLEMENT its thoughts, not to create them, how can you possibly justify the following statement?

DAVID: Yes, but thought is created by use of the material brain, and in life cannot be done without it. I don't think we differ.

dhw: As a dualist you agree that thought is not CREATED by use of the brain; it is CREATED by the s/s/c and IMPLEMENTED by use of the brain. We differ only when you keep differing with yourself.

DAVID: I am a material me managing to create an immaterial structure of my personality starting at birth.

dhw: If you believe that the material you creates your immaterial personality, you are a materialist. In your dualistic guise, you even tell us that the consciousness of the s/s/c is part of your immaterial God’s immaterial consciousness, i.e. it is not a product of the material self.

DAVID: My theory of dualism is not yours. I must use my brain to think, using my consciousness as a gift from God which allows thought.

dhw: Your theory of dualism – as you have agreed above – is precisely the same as mine. Your self/soul/consciousness does not “ALLOW” thought. It thinks. And – as you have agreed above – your brain “allows” you, your self/soul/consciousness, to implement its thoughts.

DAVID: We seem to agree. I just use words differently than you do.

Since you now agree that according to your dualistic beliefs the s/s/c does the thinking and the brain does the implementing, it must be clear to you that the pre-sapiens brain would not have needed to expand before the s/s/c could come up with new immaterial concepts (which are thoughts). The expansion was required for the material implementation of the new concepts. With this in mind, I will try in the next few days to formulate an explanation that might eliminate the dichotomy between this dualistic view of the thinking self and the materialistic view that the material brain is the source of immaterial thought.


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