Introducing the brain (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, May 11, 2018, 12:11 (938 days ago) @ David Turell

I’ve transferred the “all over Africa” post to this thread, as it has shifted its focus to the brain, so we can avoid some of the repetition. We start with brain enlargement:

DAVID: The apes have the same implementation areas we have with the same connections. You can't get around that the major area of enlargement is frontal lobe, but of course, there is some enlargement elsewhere.

You keep ignoring the explanation I have suggested! The control centre would have to create new connections to all the different areas. Lots of new connections in the centre, only a few in the other areas. The more connections, the more materials required, and hence expansion.

DAVID: Shrinkage negates your point that the pressure of thinking new concepts forces enlargement of brain and skull.

dhw: […] you are still ignoring the point that even your own shrinkage hypothesis now has new thoughts changing the brain instead of God changing the brain before the s/s/c can have new thoughts.

DAVID: We know God gave the brain plasticity; therefore the brain could shrink on its own as it pruned unnecessary areas.

Pruning is the explanation I have offered. Shrinkage is therefore irrelevant to the question of why the pre-sapiens brain expanded.

DAVID: My form of dualism is not the one you constantly define. I believe the immaterial soul must use the brain networks to think in life. I have every right to my interpretation of a dualistic philosophy.

I am simply pointing out that you constantly contradict yourself, but of course you have the right to contradict yourself and to believe whatever you like.

DAVID: The clear meaning is that small brain intense complexity can equal larger brain less complexity: corvid=ape. Thus our intense complexity coupled with massive enlargement results in being able to use the advanced thoughts of our current s/s/c.

I shan’t bother with the first set of contradictions you are responding to here, since this new statement makes it very clear that it is only through complexification and enlargement that the thoughts of the s/s/c can be “used” (which I take to mean materially implemented). The s/s/c therefore does the thinking, and the brain does the implementing. Thank you.

dhw: Second contradiction, which you keep making over and over again: if the enormous size and complexity of our brain CREATES our consciousness, you are a materialist. In the days when you are a dualist, you claim that our consciousness is a piece of God’s consciousness.

DAVID: Second misconception. anyone following this discussion knows I view the s/s/c as having to use the brain's complex networks to think in life. I AM ALWAYS A DUELIST. This statement is ALWAYS implied.

Anyone following this discussion will recognize that the above example is as glaring a contradiction of dualism as one could possibly find: if you think the large and complex brain creates our consciousness, you are a materialist no matter how loudly you protest that you are a dualist (although, dear friend, you are certainly a duelist, because you love a good fight!).

The rest of your post hinges on the same point: “True human consciousness requires the presence of a massively complex large brain for the s/s/c to think with in life.” I suggest we now abandon the term s/s/c (self/soul/consciousness) and confine ourselves to “soul” in the context of dualism. Materialists also have a self and consciousness. If we substitute “self” in your sentence, we have pure materialism: the self thinks with its brain. If we substitute “soul”, your dualistic argument seems to be that the soul can only think if it is inside a brain, except that it continues to think when there is no brain (NDEs, an afterlife). If we are kind, we might call that a paradox. We obviously can’t substitute “consciousness” here.

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