Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, April 06, 2018, 11:41 (903 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If the s/s/c doesn’t do the thinking and the brain the implementing, there is no duality! And as evidence for their belief in this duality, dualists point out that in NDEs, when the brain is non-functional, the s/s/c still creates thought. What do you disagree with in these statements?
DAVID: I don't disagree except you always blur the distinct difference in living brain and dead brain and how the s/s/c functions. They are completely different. In life the s/s/c can only act through using the brain and is bound to it.

No disagreement at all. The crucial point for our discussion is that in life the thinking s/s/c acts by using the implementing brain.

DAVID: Just my point that IQ varies from below 70 to 200+ proves that the s/s/c has to use the mental machinery available to it.
dhw: The s/s/c IS the mental machinery! The brain is the physical machinery. If you think intelligence depends on the physical machinery, you are a materialist, and you may well be right. If you think it depends on the mental machinery, then please stop arguing that new concepts can only be thought of once the brain has enlarged.
DAVID: See my point above. The s/s/c can only be as intelligent as the complexity of the brain it is attached to allows.

In life the dualist’s s/s/c can only “act through using its brain”, and of course it is restricted by the limitations of the brain/body, but it is not the brain/body that limits the intelligence of the s/s/c. I can imagine flapping my arms and flying, but I can’t do it. However, my dualist’s s/s/c can work out different ways in which I can use materials and enable myself to fly, and then the s/s/c uses the brain and body to give the concept material expression and form.

Dhw:[…] in life the s/s/c interacts with the brain: conscious activity is the work of the s/s/c, and precedes its material implementation, which depends on the brain. There is no way round it if you claim to be a dualist, so (again) please stop arguing that the brain has to change (in pre-sapiens, enlarge) before the s/s/c can come up with new thoughts.
DAVID: My IQ analogy refutes your point.

Once again: your IQ analogy can only refute my point if you insist that the source of intelligence is the brain and not the s/s/c, which it may well be. But that is the materialism which you claim to reject.

DAVID’s comment on Gazzaniga’s new book: If a brilliant scientist throws up his hands in surrender, who are we to try? Note my bold. Sleep walking is a great example of consciousness being present only if the brain allows it. In life the s/s/c doesn't work unless tied to the neuromechanics of the brain.

Thank you for this superb article. Sleep is yet another complex aspect of the insoluble mystery, but if you insist that the s/s/c cannot think unless the brain is “awake” and functioning, you are providing evidence for materialism. That is why NDEs are so important for dualists, since they run counter to the idea that thought depends on the functioning brain.I find it reassuring that this brilliant scientist is just as torn between materialism and dualism as I am, and I do wish you would acknowledge the same dichotomy in your own thinking!

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