Introducing the brain: half a brain is just fine (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, February 27, 2020, 11:06 (209 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I am pointing out that the only evidence we have points to brains changing in response to new ideas, not in anticipation of them.

DAVID: But it is evidence from this final finished brain with its sole capacities.

What are “sole” capacities? But yes, the modern brain is the only one we can observe at work, and so the only concrete evidence we have about how the brain functions is that it changes when trying to implement new ideas.

DAVID: Total illogical thought. The exiting brain conceives of the new object and makes it. The old brain smaller brain has nothing to do with it. It can't conceive of the new idea.

Why are you stating this as a fact? Firstly, you are claiming that the brain conceives the idea, which is the materialist view, though you claim to be a dualist. Secondly, why is it illogical to claim that in the past the brain may have changed (either through complexification or enlargement) in the course of implementing new ideas, when we know for a fact that this is true of the modern brain?
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DAVID: Level of concept must be strictly related to level of brain capacity. An earlier brain cannot conceive what a more advanced brain can conceive and create. (dhw's bold)

dhw: Now you unequivocally have the brain both conceiving and creating (I use the word “implementing”). That is absolutely fine with me, because it makes not the slightest difference whether you embrace this totally materialist belief or the dualist belief that ideas are produced by the soul – we still have the known fact that brains are altered by the implementation of ideas, whereas there is no evidence that the CAUSE of pre-Sapiens enlargement is a divine dabble or a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for periodic brain enlargement. But of course each generation builds on what were once the new ideas of its predecessors, and the same would apply to succeeding “species” of hominids and homos. They didn’t need to reinvent the spear. But someone then invented the bow and arrow. And maybe that resulted in another expansion. Neither of us can write a clear history of all this – unless you have discovered your God’s computer programme detailing which inventions caused or followed pre-sapiens brain expansion.

DAVID: You continue your totally illogical idea. The soul uses a more complex brain to create more concepts and create the new needed artifact. Accept the history that bigger brains have better artifacts found with them. No relation to the older brain which you would like to explode trying to develop a new idea.

First you say it is the brain that conceives concepts, and now – having been informed that this makes you a materialist – you come up with the soul “using” the brain to create concepts. Please explain how it does so, other than by using the information provided by the brain and the rest of the body. But yes, the soul – if it exists – uses the brain “to create the new needed artefact”, which is why the brain has to make changes to itself in order to produce something the body has never produced before. As regards artefacts being found WITH the bigger brains, thank you for changing your terms in accordance with the following exchange:

DAVID: You don't answer why we see bigger brain and only then improved artifacts, which always follow the appearance of the bigger brain. (dhw's bold)

dhw: We find improved artefacts ACCOMPANYING the appearance of the bigger brain! According to my theory, it is the process of production that causes enlargement, so you can only find the artefact when the brain has expanded!

"Accompanying" or "with", not "following". We do not see improved artefacts following the appearance of bigger brains, we see them accompanying bigger brains. There is no way of knowing whether the original expansion preceded or followed the original concept. We only know that implementation causes changes to the brain. Of course subsequent concepts would follow the expansion until the next time implementation of a concept required increased capacity.


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