Consciousness: Egnor on dualism: another example (General)

by David Turell @, Friday, August 03, 2018, 15:47 (50 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So either the mind reorganized it (dualism), or it reorganized itself in order to produce the same “normal” mind (materialism).

DAVID: A six year old cannot tell his mind to think I must redo my surgically destroyed lobes so I maintain my IQ. We know it happens automatically with brain plasticity, but I can understand the mind/soul containing a mechanism of direction for plasticity.

dhw: What is a “mechanism of direction”? If the soul directs the reorganization of the brain, you have dualism, and the reorganization is not “automatic”. If the brain reorganizes itself, you have materialism, but that is not automatic either, as is clear from this quote:

They also note that in a recent review of similar cases, published by two of the authors, recoveries weren’t nearly so promising. They suggest the boy’s case may have been helped by the fact his pre-operative cognitive function was at a high level, and that his slow-growing tumour gave the brain enough time to re-home some of those visual tasks.”


You could hardly have a clearer pointer to the brain being the source of intelligence, and in this case the brain cells working out what needed to be done. In other cases, the brain cells were not intelligent enough to do it.

I suspect in his developing brain, the pressure of the growing tumor stimulated some corrective plastic changes before the ablation surgery occurred. Somehow plasticity is related to level of cognition, which suggests the soul is involved in plasticity.


Under “Brain complexity”:

QUOTE: This pattern of keeping most connections local, and having only a few cells transmit information long-distance, had huge consequences for primate evolution. It didn’t merely allow primate brains to squeeze in more neurons. Kaas thinks that it also had a more profound effect: It actually changed how the brain does its work. Since most cells communicated only with nearby partners, these groups of neurons became cloistered into local neighborhoods. Neurons in each neighborhood worked on a specific task—and only the end result of that work was transmitted to other areas far away. In other words, the primate brain became more compartmentalized. And as these local areas increased in number, this organizational change allowed primates to evolve more and more cognitive abilities.

DAVID: Was this genetic change purposeful from God? Or chance?

dhw: Throughout the article, we have cells communicating with other cells and reorganizing the brain. I don’t for one second believe that the primates were saying to themselves: “I must reorganize my brain.” So if we return to the boy whose brain reorganized itself to get back to normality, we are left with the distinct possibility that the cells work out how to reorganize themselves. Definitely not chance, but the inventive intelligence of cells may have been your God’s creation.

Definitely not chance.


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