Introducing the brain (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, May 24, 2018, 19:23 (924 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The soul being implanted on the brain is certainly dualism. The soul using the brain’s networks to provide information and to implement its thoughts is also dualism. The soul being dependent on the brain for its ABILITY TO THINK (as illustrated by your insistence that the brain had to be enlarged before it could THINK of new concepts) is materialism. The soul being dependent on the brain for its ability to think, and then not being dependent on the brain for its ability to think, is neither one nor the other, or both mixed into all the contradictions and confusions I keep pointing out. I have offered a theory to make the mixture possible, and so far you have not come up with any logical loopholes in my theistic version of it.

DAVID: The soul using the brain mechanisms to think is explained in the software/hardware analogy. Software is implanted on an existing material computer network, but the soul/software is immaterial.

That part of your analogy is perfectly clear, and is the essence of conventional dualism. But software contains the thought that is to be implemented by hardware, and the task of the hardware is to obey the software’s instructions. The programmes are not invented AFTER insertion into the hardware. And if the software/soul’s programmes cannot be implemented by your existing hardware/brain, you have to change your computer (i.e. get a larger or more complex brain).

DAVID: There is no right or wrong here. My concept differs from yours: you want a rigid soul formulation, but it very well may be malleable and work somewhat differently in each situation while producing the same personality.

I have never said the soul must be rigid! As the thinking, feeling part of your being, it changes all the time throughout its lifetime of experience. But it is always the immaterial thinking, feeling you, as opposed to the material implementing you.

DAVID: It certainly fits the facts we have. Each of us has invented our own form of soul, and mine fits my theory about increasing frontal lobe size through God's intervention. Habilis' weak thinking would not force brain enlargement like exercise increases muscle size. The brain, involves size and amazing complexity of networks. Muscles simply enlarge existing muscle bands by enlarging existing fibers.

Your theory demands an increase in frontal lobe size to enable the soul to think. The fallacy is amply covered by your software/hardware analogy above, in which the software soul instructs the hardware brain to implement its programmes/thoughts. We know that the brain involves size and amazing complexity of networks, and we know that in some cases (musicians, taxi drivers) thinking INCREASES the size of certain parts of the sapiens brain and INCREASES the complexity (the illiterate women learning to read and write). It is therefore perfectly logical that the existing cells of earlier brains should also have complexified and expanded through thought. To forestall your usual digression: sapiens brain has shrunk. This is most likely because there had to be a limit to skull expansion, or we’d have finished up with elephant-sized heads. Complexification proved so efficient that some cells were no longer required.

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