Introducing the brain (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, May 25, 2018, 11:30 (205 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] 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: You have just described my theory. If God wants more advanced thought with more complex software, the hardware has to be enlarged to accommodate the larger more complex software.

Accommodation does not mean invention. The more advanced programmes/thoughts contained in the software depend on the enlarged accommodation for their IMPLEMENTATION, not their invention. The bigger hardware (brain) does nothing without the programmes/thoughts and instructions provided/invented by the software (soul). Your theory is that you had to have a new computer before the new programmes could be designed. Which comes first: thought or implementation of thought?

DAVID: […] 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.

dhw: 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: I'm describing your concept of a rigid unchanging mechanism of soul in life and death. There can be a different mode of thought in life and in death with the personage/soul kept entirely the same.

I keep asking what mechanism you are thinking of beyond that of observation and communication, where without eyes and ears and voice, the soul must obviously use immaterial “mechanisms” of a psychic nature. Now you refer to “modes of thought”. If that is different from “mechanism”, perhaps you mean ways of looking at things. Yes, of course. If you are placed in a different world from the one you are used to, it will unquestionably change your mode of thinking. But as you rightly say, that part of the personage which in life did the thinking and feeling will continue to do the thinking and feeling. That is the essence of dualism.

dhw: Your theory demands an increase in frontal lobe size to enable the soul to think.
DAVID: Not to just think but to have more advanced thinking, as explained above.

What does this mean? If the bigger frontal lobe enables the soul to think bigger thoughts, then the smaller frontal lobe only enables it to think smaller thoughts. You still have the frontal lobe responsible for thought, which is the direct opposite of the dualistic belief that the soul does the thinking.

dhw: […] 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.[ …]

DAVID: And once again you have neatly skipped the related problems: bigger skull to accommodate the bigger brain, and change the mother's pelvis so she can dump the bigger-headed kid without dying in the process or killing the baby. There are three interval changes that must occur here, all coordinated by different DNA's in different organs and people.

Once again you resort to one of your digressions, to which I give the same answer every time: any major change in the body will require major changes elsewhere in the body. In the theistic version of my theory I have your God endowing cooperative cell communities with the ability to design all the changes themselves. In your post on my theory of intelligence, you wrote: “You are invoking God's unlimited powers to do anything He wants.” You have him drawing up a computer programme 3.8 billion years ago that will implement every single innovation leading from single cells to every new species, every lifestyle, every natural wonder, and the enlargement of the frontal lobe and the change in the mother’s pelvis. Whatever he didn’t preprogramme had to be personally dabbled on the spot, e.g. he personally taught the weaverbird to build its nest, or he personally expanded Adam and Eve’s skulls, and wiggled Eve’s pelvis, so that they would be able to think bigger thoughts, because thought depends on the brain – except when there isn’t a brain to depend on. One invention (my theory) is replaced by billions of inventions and interventions (your theory). But you have every right to invoke God’s unlimited powers to do anything you want.


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