Big brain evolution: learning new tasks (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, April 26, 2018, 13:35 (237 days ago) @ David Turell

I am telescoping this thread and the "brain size and intelligence" thread, as they overlap.

DAVID: […] I insist that the soul must interface with the brain in life to produce recognizable thoughts: the software/hardware analogy. I am me. You are you. You direct your brain to think as I do. We cannot separate from our brains except in NDE or death. You keep presenting the s/s/c as a totally separate entity from the living brain.

I do not (except as you do in relation to NDEs) and you know I do not, as was clear from the following exchange made yesterday:

DAVID’s comment (under “memory at molecular level”): The work of the s/s/c is represented by work at the molecular level. No way to separate the material and the immaterial.
dhw: Of course you can’t separate them. The s/s/c does the thinking and the molecules do the implementing. In life you can’t have one without the other. But that does not mean they have the same FUNCTION.
DAVID: Of course they have different functions.

Their different functions are the only separation involved, and you agree. Please stop manufacturing straw men. However, you are still faced with the problem raised in our next exchange.

DAVID: You seem to object to my reviewing where in the brain the interlocking is required to take place.
dhw: I have no objection whatsoever. Since you now agree that in dualism the “soul” functions as the thinker of thoughts and the brain/body as the implementer of thoughts, you have no grounds for your insistence that your God had to expand the pre-sapiens brain before pre-sapiens could think up new concepts.
DAVID: Yes, I do. Using my software/hardware analogy, only an complex brain can be the home for complex s/s/c thought. The artifacts show it.

My objection is to your claim that the soul can’t think new thoughts until it has a bigger/more complex home. Your software/hardware analogy, as you keep agreeing, is software thought and hardware implementation. You can’t have one without the other, but the function of the hardware is to implement the thoughts of the software. The artefacts are the implementations of the soul’s thoughts. You can have your pre-sapiens soul sitting inside the pre-frontal cortex if you like, but it’s sitting there directing the operations of expansion or complexification that will implement its thoughts. It does not sit there waiting for the implemental complexifications and expansions to arrive before it can do its thinking.

DAVID: I know I initiate thought. I just did and manifested it through my somewhat trained fingers. No monkey can do that with any sense of purpose. I know I made the thought initiated in my prefrontal cortex, which then told my motor cortex what to do. Immaterial thought appeared in this material entry. Obvious dualism.

All agreed, but your thinking “I” is your s/s/c. So your s/s/c is sitting in your pfc thinking its thoughts, and then it tells the rest of the brain what to do, and you produce this entry. Thought first, material implementation second. That is indeed how your form of dualism works. And if your sapiens brain were asked to perform a task it had never performed before (e.g. if you were an illiterate person just learning to write) your brain would respond by making new connections or complexifying. It would not make new connections/complexify/expand in anticipation of the new tasks.

Perhaps before replying to all this, you might read my “Theory of Intelligence”, which may help us to move on a little.


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