Big brain evolution: brain size and intelligence (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 11:48 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw (under “brakes on thought”): The dualistic inference of this particular study seems to be that in life, every thought triggers chemical responses in the brain; the materialistic inference seems to be that every thought is caused by chemical actions in the brain. Once again we have an apparently irreconcilable dichotomy, with evidence for and against both schools of thought.
DAVID: This issue is why we have crossed swords or words. The s/s/c and brain are locked together and what science studies is where the s/s/c is specifically expressed.

This is not where we have crossed (s)words. We agree that in dualism s/s/c and brain are locked together, and yes indeed, science studies the workings of the brain. But the unsolved mystery is the source of thought/consciousness. Where we disagree is on your claim that human thought depends on the size of the brain. You claim that on the death of the brain, the “soul” is released and is still able to think, feel, remember, make decisions - though now finding itself in a different, immaterial world. If so, then in life, that must be its FUNCTION within the dualist’s self: it thinks, feels, remembers, makes decisions and uses the brain to gather information and to implement its thoughts. Yes, the dualist’s soul and brain are inseparable and interdependent during life in the material world, but they perform different FUNCTIONS in this world (see your own software/hardware analogy). My “soul” can conceive of flapping its arms enabling me to fly, but my brain/body cannot implement such a concept. However, my “soul” can conceive of a machine that will enable me to fly, and it will then use the brain to implement that concept. Modern science has shown that the brain changes when implementing new concepts. That is evidence for thought causing brain change (= dualism). Modern science has also shown that chemicals can alter thought processes. That is evidence for materialism. For reasons I cannot fathom, you refuse to recognize this dichotomy both in the findings of modern science and in your own arguments. That is the issue between us.

DAVID: You keep forgetting I posit that God enlarges the rain in anticipation of each advance in human form from Lucy to erectus to us.

A delightful misprint, which might explain why we soaking wet British are so intelligent. But no, your claim has always been that your God enlarged the brain, and only then could pre-humans think of new concepts. This means that the large brain must be the source of the concepts, which is pure materialism. It may be correct, but contradicts your belief in dualism.

Dhw: As shrinkage is so important to you, perhaps you should explain why you object to my explanation [that it is caused by the efficiency of complexification], and then give us your own.
DAVID: Back to God did it. God speciates. The point you have struggled to avoid, but now accept in another thread, is the intimate connection of brain and s/s/c.

I have never denied the intimate connection between thought (by s/s/c) and implementation of thought (by brain). Stop erecting straw men.

DAVID: Advanced thought can only occur in a brain of more advanced complexity. The ability to think of the s/s/c of Lucy could not have been the s/s/c of humans.

You keep repeating that advanced thought depends on an advanced brain, which means that thought depends on the brain, and that is pure materialism, which contradicts your claim to be a dualist. Nobody would claim that Lucy was capable of thinking like sapiens! The evolution of human thought is one of learning. Our ancestors invented primitive killing projectiles, their descendants improved the killing capacity, and now we have projectiles that can obliterate whole countries. Clever us. But is that because we have bigger brains (materialism) or because the s/s/c has built on the knowledge acquired by earlier s/s/c’s, and brains initially expanded and currently complexify in order to implement the new ideas (dualism).

DAVID: Immaterial thought complexity is grounded in the material complexity of the brain. My software/hardware view of s/s/c and brain.

You are a master of obfuscation. What do you mean by “grounded”? Do you mean your soul lives in your brain during life, or do you mean the brain is the source of our thought? Your software/hardware analogy can only mean that the s/s/c is the software which provides the thought, and the brain is the hardware that implements it. The software does not depend on the hardware for its programmes, but only for implementing its programmes. And you still haven’t told us why you object to my explanation of shrinkage, and you still haven’t given us your own explanation.

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