Introducing the brain (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Friday, June 01, 2018, 14:41 (199 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Friday, June 01, 2018, 15:01

As an agnostic, I accept the possibility that your God exists, and if he does, then of course he must be the basis of the universe. What I object to is the illogicality of arguments such as your belief that a piece of God’s consciousness is incapable of thought without a brain until there is no brain. The illogicality has nothing to do with my agnosticism or with the impossibility of proof.

Not illogical to me. In life the soul must work with the brain circuits to produce thought we recognize within ourselves.


DAVID: In my view software has to use hardware to produce its thought, as occurs in life.

dhw: Another of your obfuscations. By “produce” do you mean that the software soul is unable to think, or is unable to express/implement its thoughts without the hardware brain?

Why do you approach the living soul as separate from the living you? The living you produces thoughts through your living brain. When the soul reaches death it carries all of the recorded past with it.


DAVID: In afterlife there is no hardware, so the software (soul) is somehow able to do it on its own. I also have noted that afterlife is primarily observation and telepathy for discussion implying a simpler underlying mechanism of operation.

dhw:Unable to do what – think, or express itself? If it’s the latter, you are again repeating what I keep saying: the difference between the dualist’s soul in life and in death is that it must have different means of observing/expressing itself. Its function – as you keep agreeing – remains the same: it is the thinking, feeling, remembering self (as opposed to the information-gathering, expressing and implementing self) which it was in life.

No it is not the same. In death it only remembers, observes and discusses.


DAVID: New concepts occur in life, not death.

How do you know? If an atheist (Eben Alexander?) thinks he’s in heaven, and has a whole new world opened up to him, do you think he’s incapable of thinking new thoughts at the time?

His book simply shows he brought back his memories of what he saw.


DAVID: No refusal. I fully agree with you that sapiens brain is 150 cc smaller from new complexity.

dhw: Thank you. Then perhaps you will stop telling me that the only brain response to new thoughts is shrinkage.

It shrank due to massive new usage!

dhw: We are talking about brain expansion! Your argument was that new thought shrank the brain. My argument is that new thought changes the brain – by complexification and limited enlargement (shrinkage being a consequence of complexification, as you now acknowledge).

We both know that heavy use of the brain shrinks it and we also know there are areas within the shrinkage of local enlargement with special use. What is your problem? See this article on varying size and areas of usage:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2170532-people-with-big-brains-have-a-different-br...

"Analysing these, they found that some particular areas expanded more than others in people who had an overall larger brain size. These regions seem to be involved in integrating information from across the brain, he says.

"These expanded areas are the same regions that have grown relatively larger throughout our evolution, and they continue to grow in our early lives, becoming relatively larger in adult brains than they are in child brains."

dhw: The pre-sapiens brain expanded. Shrinkage is irrelevant, and it is perfectly logical to suppose that if implementation of thought changes the brain now, it would have done so then.

Which means shrinkage back then was possible.


DAVID: All we don't know is how the brain naturally jumped from 400 cc to 1,200 cc in several jumps over 3-4 million years. You are looking for some logical explanation. All I see is God.

dhw: Of course I am looking for a logical explanation, and the one I am offering does not in any way exclude your God. What it does exclude is the illogicality I keep complaining about, as repeated at the beginning of this post.

The illogical approach you have is viewing your soul as separate from the living you.


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