Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, April 06, 2018, 15:42 (930 days ago) @ dhw

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.

dhw: 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.

Your concept leads to this preposterous idea: a person with an IQ of 70 is at that level because his s/s/c can do no better, even though his brain is really constructed just like yours and mine! But it isn't constructed the same way.

dhw: 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.

The s/s/c must use the brain it is given and the functional level of that brain will dictate the IQ. Granted other factors in life can improve the IQ to some degree as the brain is plastic.

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.

dhw: 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!

I'm happy to show we are all stumped. And please recognize living brain and NDE are two different circumstances, and the s/s/c may function differently in both.

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