A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part One (Identity)

by dhw, Thursday, April 26, 2018, 13:46 (232 days ago)

PART ONE

David and I have been discussing (almost ad nauseam) two diametrically opposed schools of thought: dualism and materialism. Dualists believe that the self consists of two elements, the immaterial mind or soul, and the material body; materialists believe that all our apparently immaterial attributes stem from our materials. Dualists claim that psychic experiences such as NDEs (Near Death Experiences) support their case, which is also supported by the fact that the brain is known to respond to thought, in so far as it complexifies and even expands in certain areas when we perform new tasks – i.e. the soul controls and even changes the brain. Materialists either dismiss psychic experiences or try to find material explanations for them, and their materialism is supported by the fact that people’s behaviour is known to change when influences such as diseases and drugs affect the brain. Thus we have a seemingly irreconcilable dichotomy. In this post I shall try to bring the two schools of thought together.

Most dualists relate the mind or soul to their belief in God, who has given them a piece of his consciousness. Some also believe that their soul will survive the death of the body – hence the importance of NDEs for their way of thinking. This, however, is only one option, and it is the second option I would like to explore.

The second option is based on the assumption that those who read this post are aware that they are reading it and are able to understand it and think about it, but reject the first option. In other words, they believe that the source of our intelligence (I’ll use that term very loosely to cover all the so-called immaterial attributes of the self) is our materials, and for argument’s sake let’s say that our thinking materials are located in the brain. What does the brain consist of? Billions of cells. And these cells are divided up into communities, each with their different functions, though always capable of communicating with one another and interacting. Scientists have even named them: pre-frontal cortex for intellectual activities, hippocampus for memory and emotion etc. (Of course the whole body is one vast community of interconnecting cell communities, but we are focusing here on “intelligence” and the brain.) Difficult though it is to imagine, each of these billions of cells is an individual. Its individuality may be swamped by the fact that it spends its life in the service of its particular community, but it is nevertheless an organism that lives and dies like any other.

At this point, I would like to consider two subjects that have played a very large part in our discussions on this website: the intelligence of bacteria and the community life of ants. Bacteria are single cells, though they also form communities. Of all organisms on earth, they seem to be the most skilful at adapting themselves to different conditions and solving every new problem that is thrown at them. Scientists such as Barbara McClintock, Lynn Margulis and James A. Shapiro have (or had, as two of them are now dead)no doubt that they are intelligent. That doesn’t mean they have all the immaterial attributes of humans, but it does mean that individual cells are sentient, process information, communicate and cooperate, take decisions etc., all of which are hallmarks of what we call intelligence. And they also combine their intelligences to form communities. But for us, a far more striking example of communal intelligence is that of insect communities such as ants. By combining their intelligences, they build the equivalent of our cities, and invent astonishing forms of defence, agriculture, engineering etc. And they also compartmentalize themselves – into foragers, farmers, nurses, warriors etc. And so if we put the two together, we have the intelligence and extreme adaptability of cells and the fact that a community of intelligences can produce a vast variety of thoughts (I don’t think it’s possible to build a city without thinking of building a city) and can divide themselves into differently functioning sub-communities.

If we accept the materialist’s view that intelligence is the product of our materials, then we must accept that intelligence is the product of our intelligent cells cooperating with one another. What other material source can there be? The end result is the same as that of the dualist who believes his/her intelligence is the product of a God-given soul.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, April 26, 2018, 13:51 (232 days ago) @ dhw

PART TWO

There is, then, no dichotomy. Our personal cell communities cooperate with one another to produce all the attributes that make us ourselves, and the brain’s thinkers direct the brain’s implementers, just as they do in any community. But outside forces (diseases, drugs) can disrupt the inner communities and change their behaviour, again as in any community. In extreme cases, the cells cannot defend themselves.

Does this mean that we are at the mercy of our cells? No. We mustn’t think of them as aliens residing inside us. They ARE us. And we ARE the “colony”. Their intelligence is our intelligence, we are the thinking community, and all the interacting internal and external factors that shape us from birth – both material (e.g. genes) and immaterial (e.g. experiences) – are unique to each of us. (It is also worth noting that nothing is fixed, because there is a constant interaction between what happens outside us and what happens inside us.) And so, according to this hypothesis, the materialists are right, because the source of our intelligence is the material cell. And the dualists are right, because what is created by the material cells is the individual immaterial intelligence with all that it entails: will, emotion, memory, inventiveness etc. Ours is an intelligence on a vastly higher level than that of individual bacteria and individual ants, but the two examples show the potential for complexity that arises from cooperation between individual intelligences, let alone between multiple communities of intelligences.

Can the immaterial energy of our intelligence produced by the cells live on when the cells themselves are dead? That was the subject of a post I wrote on 8 November 2016 on the misleadingly titled thread “Human Consciousness: Penrose: soul survives!” and repeated under “Reconciling materialism and dualism” on 5 January 2018 at 17.33. I stand by what I wrote then.

In conclusion – though perhaps this post is more of a starting point than a conclusion, as I’m aware that there are still multiple facets not covered, e.g. psychic experiences – I would accept the basis of dualism itself, in so far as we are a mixture of material body and immaterial intelligence, but we have two possible sources for that intelligence: one is immaterial, in the form of a soul which is a portion of a god’s intelligence; the other is material, in the form of our own cells cooperating with one another. As I hope is clear from the above, the dichotomy I outlined at the start simply disappears if we accept the second of these hypotheses. It still lingers with the first if we try to explain how an immaterial soul can be changed by material means (diseases, drugs), but since a soul has to be subject to change (it spends a lifetime learning), that might be a subject for further discussion. There is one last sting in the tail. It must be emphasized that the origin of our cells’ intelligence is open to question: the theist will say God invented the whole mechanism; the atheist will say it was all a stroke of luck; the panpsychist can go for the God solution or claim that intelligence is innate in all materials. The only other alternative that I can think of is that there is no such thing as intelligence. And if you believe that, you won’t have been able to read this post.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 26, 2018, 21:19 (232 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: PART TWO

There is, then, no dichotomy. Our personal cell communities cooperate with one another to produce all the attributes that make us ourselves, and the brain’s thinkers direct the brain’s implementers, just as they do in any community. But outside forces (diseases, drugs) can disrupt the inner communities and change their behaviour, again as in any community. In extreme cases, the cells cannot defend themselves.

Ours is an intelligence on a vastly higher level than that of individual bacteria and individual ants, but the two examples show the potential for complexity that arises from cooperation between individual intelligences, let alone between multiple communities of intelligences.

We have no real evidence of cellular intelligence. We only can see how individual cells react in response to stimuli, and when each of reactions is studied down to the individual parts of the reaction, it is one molecule reacting to another in a series until the reaction is complete. It all can be seen as an automatic process run by information given to the cell.

dhw: In conclusion – though perhaps this post is more of a starting point than a conclusion, as I’m aware that there are still multiple facets not covered, e.g. psychic experiences – I would accept the basis of dualism itself, in so far as we are a mixture of material body and immaterial intelligence, but we have two possible sources for that intelligence: one is immaterial, in the form of a soul which is a portion of a god’s intelligence; the other is material, in the form of our own cells cooperating with one another. As I hope is clear from the above, the dichotomy I outlined at the start simply disappears if we accept the second of these hypotheses. It still lingers with the first if we try to explain how an immaterial soul can be changed by material means (diseases, drugs), but since a soul has to be subject to change (it spends a lifetime learning), that might be a subject for further discussion.

Disease of the brain alters its function and obviously affects how the s/s/c can think, if as I propose, it is tightly interfaced with the brain cells in order to produce thought that the owner of that brain can recognize in his head.

dhw: There is one last sting in the tail. It must be emphasized that the origin of our cells’ intelligence is open to question: the theist will say God invented the whole mechanism; the atheist will say it was all a stroke of luck; the panpsychist can go for the God solution or claim that intelligence is innate in all materials. The only other alternative that I can think of is that there is no such thing as intelligence. And if you believe that, you won’t have been able to read this post.

I cannot accept the alternative that the inorganic universe has any intelligence of its own. The only panpsychism possible is that the universe is an extension of God's mind. Of course intelligence exists in this universe. It is the miraculous result of the evolution of life, whose appearance is a miracle in and of itself.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Friday, April 27, 2018, 12:05 (231 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Most dualists relate the mind or soul to their belief in God, who has given them a piece of his consciousness. Some also believe that their soul will survive the death of the body – hence the importance of NDEs for their way of thinking. This, however, is only one option, and it is the second option I would like to explore.

dhw: If we accept the materialist’s view that intelligence is the product of our materials, then we must accept that intelligence is the product of our intelligent cells cooperating with one another. What other material source can there be? The end result is the same as that of the dualist who believes his/her intelligence is the product of a God-given soul.

DAVID: I simply view this as a review of everything presented in the past and my answer is the same. Living cells run on information they possess. Where that information came from is up for debate etc.

You have missed the point. I began with your hypothesis, and am now considering the materialist alternative before tackling the dichotomy problem.

DAVID: We have no real evidence of cellular intelligence. […]

We have no “real evidence” for any of the explanatory hypotheses – otherwise there would be no need for hypotheses. See later as regards cellular intelligence.

Dhw: As I hope is clear from the above, the dichotomy I outlined at the start simply disappears if we accept the second of these hypotheses. It still lingers with the first if we try to explain how an immaterial soul can be changed by material means (diseases, drugs), but since a soul has to be subject to change (it spends a lifetime learning), that might be a subject for further discussion.
DAVID: Disease of the brain alters its function and obviously affects how the s/s/c can think, if as I propose, it is tightly interfaced with the brain cells in order to produce thought that the owner of that brain can recognize in his head.

Yes, it is obvious that diseases alter the way people think. But if the s/s/c functions as the immaterial thinker and the brain functions as the material implementer, the brain cells do not “produce” the thought; they express or implement it. How can material diseases and drugs change an immaterial soul? Do the souls of the dementia victim, drug addict and drunkard still think “normally”, but their receiver brains don’t get the message?

dhw: There is one last sting in the tail. It must be emphasized that the origin of our cells’ intelligence is open to question: the theist will say God invented the whole mechanism; the atheist will say it was all a stroke of luck; the panpsychist can go for the God solution or claim that intelligence is innate in all materials. The only other alternative that I can think of is that there is no such thing as intelligence. And if you believe that, you won’t have been able to read this post.
DAVID: I cannot accept the alternative that the inorganic universe has any intelligence of its own. The only panpsychism possible is that the universe is an extension of God's mind. Of course intelligence exists in this universe. It is the miraculous result of the evolution of life, whose appearance is a miracle in and of itself.

I know you are fixed in your beliefs. And as a result you have missed the point of my post. I’ll try again. Once we accept the existence of “intelligence”, we have to accept dualism in so far as we are composed of material and immaterial attributes. The dichotomy concerns the source of the immaterial attributes. If it is immaterial, it should not be changed by material influences (e.g. diseases and drugs), and indeed modern scientific research is based largely on the premise that materials are the source. But if so, how can immaterial thought change its own source – as is also proven by modern scientific research? The dichotomy is resolved if the cells are in sub-communities which provide the thought as well as its expression/implementation but which, being material, can also be changed by outside factors (diseases and drugs). You have ignored the ant analogy, demonstrating how intelligences subdivide into different functions which interact to form a community of communities.

In your own hypothesis, the s/s/c has its “home” in the cell communities – unless you think the brain is not composed of cells. But you believe that cells and cell communities such as bacteria and ants need your God to think for them, whereas large organisms, especially humans, have an s/s/c which lives in the cells and makes its own decisions. Even you admit there is no way of telling the difference. You have also agreed that the opinion of those who believe in cellular intelligence is just as valid as yours. My hypothesis resolves the above dichotomy, allows for the existence of your God and even for a soul that lives on (see my post of 5 January under “Reconciling materialism and dualism”). Theistically, it amounts to your God doing what humans have tried to do for centuries: invent a mechanism that can think for itself. So apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit in with your fixed beliefs, please tell me what flaws you can find in its logic.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Friday, April 27, 2018, 18:59 (231 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I simply view this as a review of everything presented in the past and my answer is the same. Living cells run on information they possess. Where that information came from is up for debate etc.

dhw: You have missed the point. I began with your hypothesis, and am now considering the materialist alternative before tackling the dichotomy problem.

I didn't miss the point. You don't like to accept the point taht cells run on implanted information.

DAVID: Disease of the brain alters its function and obviously affects how the s/s/c can think, if as I propose, it is tightly interfaced with the brain cells in order to produce thought that the owner of that brain can recognize in his head.

dhw: Yes, it is obvious that diseases alter the way people think. But if the s/s/c functions as the immaterial thinker and the brain functions as the material implementer, the brain cells do not “produce” the thought; they express or implement it. How can material diseases and drugs change an immaterial soul? Do the souls of the dementia victim, drug addict and drunkard still think “normally”, but their receiver brains don’t get the message?

If the brain expresses the s/s/c thoughts as it does, if diseased it does it in garbled fashion, obviously.

DAVID: I cannot accept the alternative that the inorganic universe has any intelligence of its own. The only panpsychism possible is that the universe is an extension of God's mind. Of course intelligence exists in this universe. It is the miraculous result of the evolution of life, whose appearance is a miracle in and of itself.

dhw: Once we accept the existence of “intelligence”, we have to accept dualism in so far as we are composed of material and immaterial attributes. The dichotomy concerns the source of the immaterial attributes. If it is immaterial, it should not be changed by material influences (e.g. diseases and drugs), and indeed modern scientific research is based largely on the premise that materials are the source. But if so, how can immaterial thought change its own source – as is also proven by modern scientific research? The dichotomy is resolved if the cells are in sub-communities which provide the thought as well as its expression/implementation but which, being material, can also be changed by outside factors (diseases and drugs).

You miss the point that the s/s/c is firmly welded to the brain and cannot operate properly if the brain is sick or non-functional. I still view it as software at a quantum level.

dhw: You have ignored the ant analogy, demonstrating how intelligences subdivide into different functions which interact to form a community of communities.

Of course I have. Ants, as individuals, act automatically as shown in the entry on ant bridges. Individual neurons in networks are also automatic. The brain is constructed in four or five parallel networks, which the AI folks have noted and are trying to replicate, basically as your community of communities.


dhw: In your own hypothesis, the s/s/c has its “home” in the cell communities – unless you think the brain is not composed of cells. But you believe that cells and cell communities such as bacteria and ants need your God to think for them, whereas large organisms, especially humans, have an s/s/c which lives in the cells and makes its own decisions. Even you admit there is no way of telling the difference.

My point always is that automaticity in single cells is from implanted intelligent information, and one cannot tell from the outside if the opposite point that the cell has ITS OWN intelligence is true. Only one position is correct.

dhw: My hypothesis resolves the above dichotomy, allows for the existence of your God and even for a soul that lives on (see my post of 5 January under “Reconciling materialism and dualism”). Theistically, it amounts to your God doing what humans have tried to do for centuries: invent a mechanism that can think for itself. So apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit in with your fixed beliefs, please tell me what flaws you can find in its logic.

I don't see a solution at all. You are faced with explaining the arrival of the human brain, which is totally unnecessary for survival. You cannot separate the issue of consciousness from the arrival of consciousness, which you have just tried to do. The whole issue is a constellation of facts and factors. There are the issues of both how and why it all happened that must be considered. Your tentative accepting God solves nothing. Nor does isolating it from all we do know. It is logical only if confined by your limits.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, April 28, 2018, 11:26 (230 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: How can material diseases and drugs change an immaterial soul? Do the souls of the dementia victim, drug addict and drunkard still think “normally”, but their receiver brains don’t get the message?
DAVID: If the brain expresses the s/s/c thoughts as it does, if diseased it does it in garbled fashion, obviously.

So when the addict or drunkard bashes his beloved wife’s brains out, is his s/s/c telling him to kiss her but the message gets garbled? And when the demented mother asks: “Who is that man?” is her soul saying: “There’s my son”?

dhw: Once we accept the existence of “intelligence”, we have to accept dualism in so far as we are composed of material and immaterial attributes. The dichotomy concerns the source of the immaterial attributes. If it is immaterial, it should not be changed by material influences (e.g. diseases and drugs), and indeed modern scientific research is based largely on the premise that materials are the source. But if so, how can immaterial thought change its own source – as is also proven by modern scientific research? The dichotomy is resolved if the cells are in sub-communities which provide the thought as well as its expression/implementation but which, being material, can also be changed by outside factors (diseases and drugs).
DAVID: You miss the point that the s/s/c is firmly welded to the brain and cannot operate properly if the brain is sick or non-functional. […]

Not a good image - you can’t “firmly weld” something immaterial! The material and immaterial interact and are interdependent. You say that the immaterial thinking s/s/c has its “home” in the material brain, and the latter cannot express the thoughts of the s/s/c properly if it is sick. So the s/s/c IS operating properly, but its thoughts get “garbled”. See above for the implications.

dhw: You have ignored the ant analogy, demonstrating how intelligences subdivide into different functions which interact to form a community of communities.
DAVID: Of course I have. Ants, as individuals, act automatically as shown in the entry on ant bridges. Individual neurons in networks are also automatic. […]

Once again you focus on automaticity instead of on the significance of communities combining. I trust you will not deny that the brain is a community of cell communities which interact. That is the point of my analogy. Even you agree that those cell communities are the home of an intelligence (the s/s/c) which directs the materials of the brain. Yes, the implementing materials respond automatically to the instructions – but the instructions also come from within the material cells (their “home”). See below on how this resolves the dichotomy that is the starting point of this thread.

DAVID: My point always is that automaticity in single cells is from implanted intelligent information, and one cannot tell from the outside if the opposite point that the cell has ITS OWN intelligence is true. Only one position is correct.

My “theory” is not to prove that bacteria are autonomously intelligent, but to use that 50/50 possibility in order to resolve the apparent dichotomy between dualism and materialism, in which our brain changes our “soul” (through drugs, diseases) but our “soul” changes our brain (complexification, enlargement). If we accept that our thoughts and the implementation of our thoughts all stem from the same material source, the dichotomy disappears: the cell community is divided up to perform different functions – just like ants. Diseases and drugs may change the thinking part as well as the implementing part of the material community. I do not see why diseases and drugs should change an immaterial segment of your God’s consciousness. (But see my post of 5 January on “Reconciling materialism and dualism” concerning the immaterial “soul” that may or may not emerge from the materials.)

dhw: My hypothesis resolves the above dichotomy, allows for the existence of your God and even for a soul that lives on […]. Theistically, it amounts to your God doing what humans have tried to do for centuries: invent a mechanism that can think for itself. So apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit in with your fixed beliefs, please tell me what flaws you can find in its logic.

DAVID: I don't see a solution at all. You are faced with explaining the arrival of the human brain, which is totally unnecessary for survival. You cannot separate the issue of consciousness from the arrival of consciousness, which you have just tried to do. The whole issue is a constellation of facts and factors. There are the issues of both how and why it all happened that must be considered. Your tentative accepting God solves nothing. Nor does isolating it from all we do know. It is logical only if confined by your limits.

My limit here is to resolve the apparent dichotomy between dualism and materialism. When we discuss how evolution works, our limit is the discussion about how evolution works. In both cases, purely for the sake of argument, I am quite happy to say “God did it”, because the matter under discussion is “WHAT was done?” In this case, did your God inject a bit of his s/s/c into each of us, or did he invent a material machine which could produce its own s/s/c? Now please tell me what flaws you find in the logic of the latter proposal.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 28, 2018, 19:03 (230 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So when the addict or drunkard bashes his beloved wife’s brains out, is his s/s/c telling him to kiss her but the message gets garbled? And when the demented mother asks: “Who is that man?” is her soul saying: “There’s my son”?

The s/s/c is not separate from the brain, as you obviously like to imagine it. A sick brain will give rise to deranged thought and nothing else.
]

DAVID: You miss the point that the s/s/c is firmly welded to the brain and cannot operate properly if the brain is sick or non-functional. […]

dhw: Not a good image - you can’t “firmly weld” something immaterial! The material and immaterial interact and are interdependent. You say that the immaterial thinking s/s/c has its “home” in the material brain, and the latter cannot express the thoughts of the s/s/c properly if it is sick. So the s/s/c IS operating properly, but its thoughts get “garbled”. See above for the implications.

Again, you have the s/s/c floating around, interacting but independent. It isn't. It is firmly part of the brain as its software. I've dealt with schizophrenics. They can't help themselves escape from their strange ideations. But chemicals can straighten out the brains chemical derangement. Just as lithium helps the bipolar.

dhw: My “theory” is not to prove that bacteria are autonomously intelligent, but to use that 50/50 possibility in order to resolve the apparent dichotomy between dualism and materialism, in which our brain changes our “soul” (through drugs, diseases) but our “soul” changes our brain (complexification, enlargement). If we accept that our thoughts and the implementation of our thoughts all stem from the same material source, the dichotomy disappears: the cell community is divided up to perform different functions – just like ants. Diseases and drugs may change the thinking part as well as the implementing part of the material community. I do not see why diseases and drugs should change an immaterial segment of your God’s consciousness. (But see my post of 5 January on “Reconciling materialism and dualism” concerning the immaterial “soul” that may or may not emerge from the materials.)

5 January is the same discussion. A diseased brain always can change the expression of the s/s/c thoughts.


dhw: My hypothesis resolves the above dichotomy, allows for the existence of your God and even for a soul that lives on […]. Theistically, it amounts to your God doing what humans have tried to do for centuries: invent a mechanism that can think for itself. So apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit in with your fixed beliefs, please tell me what flaws you can find in its logic.

DAVID: I don't see a solution at all. You are faced with explaining the arrival of the human brain, which is totally unnecessary for survival. You cannot separate the issue of consciousness from the arrival of consciousness, which you have just tried to do. The whole issue is a constellation of facts and factors. There are the issues of both how and why it all happened that must be considered. Your tentative accepting God solves nothing. Nor does isolating it from all we do know. It is logical only if confined by your limits.

dhw: My limit here is to resolve the apparent dichotomy between dualism and materialism. When we discuss how evolution works, our limit is the discussion about how evolution works. In both cases, purely for the sake of argument, I am quite happy to say “God did it”, because the matter under discussion is “WHAT was done?” In this case, did your God inject a bit of his s/s/c into each of us, or did he invent a material machine which could produce its own s/s/c? Now please tell me what flaws you find in the logic of the latter proposal.

I agree with you that God could have made a material brain that could produce immaterial thoughts on its own or He gave us a bit of His own s/s/c. I prefer the latter since I think the universe exists in His universal consciousness. And the NDE's solidify my position. I accept them as real.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two addendum

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 28, 2018, 19:40 (230 days ago) @ David Turell

I have just discovered an article on psychedelics which is on point. The pre-sapiens undoubtedly had the same chemical influences on their brains as we do. The thinking function is just as dependent on chemical health as well as neuronal health in our ancestors and now. What the more complex cortex allows in more complex thought, but still liable to the same chemical influences as previous less complex brains experienced. Habilis may well have had schizophrenia.

https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/how-psychedelic-therapies-are-making-a-comeback

On a sweltering New York evening in August 2016, Jesse Noakes finally found relief from years of mind-numbing depression. As he sat on the sofa facing the therapist his gloom melted away, replaced by feelings of clarity, warmth and enthusiasm. “It was magical,” he says, “something that I was so, so desperate for.”

The Australian writer had spent his 20s cycling from one antidepressant to the next without relief. The therapy session that finally sliced through his mental miasma came at the end of a months-long global quest that took him to the Netherlands, Switzerland, and finally the US. It also took him to the wrong side of the law. That’s because his therapy session was boosted by a dose of MDMA, the active ingredient in the illegal party drug ecstasy.

Clandestine therapy sessions like these may soon be a thing of the past. For years now a band of dedicated scientists has been quietly building a case to redeem the reputation of MDMA and a raft of other psychedelic drugs – LSD, psilocybin, mescaline and ketamine – hoping to deliver them into the hands of mainstream psychiatry. They claim that when it comes to some of our most debilitating mental illnesses – depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – the therapeutic cupboard is close to bare. Psychedelic drugs might provide a radical new answer.

***

MDMA creates a minor snowstorm in the brain, showering it with serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, chemicals known as neurotransmitters because they carry signals from neuron to neuron. Commonly prescribed antidepressants also raise the levels of these neurotransmitters, but MDMA also causes the release of stress hormones like corticosteroids as well as oxytocin, associated with social bonding.

***

When it comes to LSD and other ‘classical’ psychedelics, the clinical story is similar. Gasser’s study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for people with end-of-life anxiety found that LSD reduced anxiety in 12 participants with effects lasting for a year. Studies using the milder psychedelic psilocybin have been even more promising. In 2016 two studies – with a combined 80 participants – found that anxiety and depression were alleviated and attitudes towards death improved. For 60-80% of people who took the drug, the positive effects were felt six months later.

The specifics of how classical psychedelics produce their therapeutic benefits – or how they cause hallucinations – are still not fully understood. Compared with MDMA, the effects on the brain are less scatter-gun. They activate a single serotonin 5-HT2A receptor that studs neurons found in the brain’s outer layer, or cortex.

Brain-imaging studies show psychedelics literally “expand the mind”, says pharmacologist David Nichols, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A 2016 study from Imperial College London and the Beckley Foundation in Oxford, which funds psychedelic research, used MRI scans to show a dramatic increase in the connectivity of different brain regions in subjects taking LSD. This increased connectivity was particularly evident in the visual cortex, which may explain hallucinations.

Normally neurons fire and communicate with other cells in their local neighbourhood, and only rarely reach out to communicate with distant parts of the brain. “When you take a psychedelic,” Nichols says, “all the internal structure of these local networks seems to break down and they all reach out and everything starts globally connecting.”

For Gasser, the mind-expanding effect of classical psychedelics underpins their therapeutic effect. “It’s not a kind of Alice in Wonderland fantasy land,” he says. Sessions can be challenging but his patients’ problems come to the surface in an LSD session. The drug, he explains, brings about a feeling of connectedness – to nature, to friends and loved ones, and to the deep-seated issues that remain buried during the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

***

For Jesse Noakes, the mainstream acceptance of psychedelics can’t come soon enough. Having now found a trusted therapist in Australia, his therapy no longer requires traipsing to the other side of the world, though it still takes him to the wrong side of the law. But he’s confident the psychedelic tide is turning. “I think it’s inevitable,” he says.

Comment: It is rated as an eleven minute read. It is worth it. The issue of dualism is never simple.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Sunday, April 29, 2018, 12:36 (229 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: If the brain expresses the s/s/c thoughts as it does, if diseased it does it in garbled fashion, obviously.

dhw: So when the addict or drunkard bashes his beloved wife’s brains out, is his s/s/c telling him to kiss her but the message gets garbled? And when the demented mother asks: “Who is that man?” is her soul saying: “There’s my son”?

DAVID: The s/s/c is not separate from the brain, as you obviously like to imagine it. A sick brain will give rise to deranged thought and nothing else.

Your first comment distinguishes between thought and expression, and tells us the thought has obviously been “garbled”, which means it was different from what the brain expressed. Your answer now is that a sick brain gives rise to “deranged” thought, which means that the brain produces thought, and not that the s/s/c produces thought which is expressed by the brain. But later you also say: “A diseased brain always can change the expression of the s/s/c thoughts.” Within two posts you switch from being a dualist to being a materialist to being a dualist.

dhw: I do not see why diseases and drugs should change an immaterial segment of your God’s consciousness. (But see my post of 5 January on “Reconciling materialism and dualism” concerning the immaterial “soul” that may or may not emerge from the materials.)
DAVID: 5 January is the same discussion.

5 January has nothing to do with the sick brain. It tries to reconcile materialism and dualism by seeing consciousness as energy. It covers Penrose’s theory, emergence, Sheldrake’s morphic fields, and the possibility of a dualistic “soul”.


dhw: My limit here is to resolve the apparent dichotomy between dualism and materialism. […] Purely for the sake of argument, I am quite happy to say “God did it”, because the matter under discussion is “WHAT was done?” In this case, did your God inject a bit of his s/s/c into each of us, or did he invent a material machine which could produce its own s/s/c? Now please tell me what flaws you find in the logic of the latter proposal.

DAVID: I agree with you that God could have made a material brain that could produce immaterial thoughts on its own or He gave us a bit of His own s/s/c. I prefer the latter since I think the universe exists in His universal consciousness. And the NDE's solidify my position. I accept them as real.

Thank you. I am only asking you to accept the logic behind my hypothesis, which apparently you now do, but of course you don’t have to believe it.

Thank you for the article on psychedelic drugs. Clearly chemicals can change the s/s/c, and your comment could hardly be more appropriate: “The issue of dualism is never simple.” It is certainly not simple if you think the s/s/c is a bit of God’s own s/s/c. But it is perfectly simple if you accept the hypothesis that the s/s/c is produced by materials. And you can still believe in an immortal soul, as I attempted to show in my post of 5 January under "Reconciling materialism and dualism".

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 29, 2018, 20:40 (229 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Sunday, April 29, 2018, 20:49

DAVID: If the brain expresses the s/s/c thoughts as it does, if diseased it does it in garbled fashion, obviously.

dhw: So when the addict or drunkard bashes his beloved wife’s brains out, is his s/s/c telling him to kiss her but the message gets garbled? And when the demented mother asks: “Who is that man?” is her soul saying: “There’s my son”?

DAVID: The s/s/c is not separate from the brain, as you obviously like to imagine it. A sick brain will give rise to deranged thought and nothing else.

dhw: Your first comment distinguishes between thought and expression, and tells us the thought has obviously been “garbled”, which means it was different from what the brain expressed. Your answer now is that a sick brain gives rise to “deranged” thought, which means that the brain produces thought, and not that the s/s/c produces thought which is expressed by the brain. But later you also say: “A diseased brain always can change the expression of the s/s/c thoughts.” Within two posts you switch from being a dualist to being a materialist to being a dualist.

You are a stickler for exactitude and completeness in all of my written English. You know full well that I accept the s/s/c expresses thoughts through the brain. Why waste time and typing?

dhw: My limit here is to resolve the apparent dichotomy between dualism and materialism. […] Purely for the sake of argument, I am quite happy to say “God did it”, because the matter under discussion is “WHAT was done?” In this case, did your God inject a bit of his s/s/c into each of us, or did he invent a material machine which could produce its own s/s/c? Now please tell me what flaws you find in the logic of the latter proposal.

DAVID: I agree with you that God could have made a material brain that could produce immaterial thoughts on its own or He gave us a bit of His own s/s/c. I prefer the latter since I think the universe exists in His universal consciousness. And the NDE's solidify my position. I accept them as real.

dhw: Thank you. I am only asking you to accept the logic behind my hypothesis, which apparently you now do, but of course you don’t have to believe it.

Thank you for the article on psychedelic drugs. Clearly chemicals can change the s/s/c, and your comment could hardly be more appropriate: “The issue of dualism is never simple.” It is certainly not simple if you think the s/s/c is a bit of God’s own s/s/c. But it is perfectly simple if you accept the hypothesis that the s/s/c is produced by materials. And you can still believe in an immortal soul, as I attempted to show in my post of 5 January under "Reconciling materialism and dualism".

I fully disagree with your first sentence. A sick brain or a drugged brain will produce thoughts from the s/s/c in a sick or imperfect fashion, so what appears will not represent the original intent. Now I am picking apart your English. The point is a material brain is subject to the condition it is in at any given time, and can only produce a copy of the original thought that it is capable of producing. It is a two step process: creating of thought and then its expression. Garbling can occur in either stage or both. And don't scurry back to materialism making thought! 'I' try to make thought with 'my' brain which may or may not do it properly. Ask any schizophrenic about the problem.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Monday, April 30, 2018, 12:59 (228 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: If the brain expresses the s/s/c thoughts as it does, if diseased it does it in garbled fashion, obviously.

dhw: So when the addict or drunkard bashes his beloved wife’s brains out, is his s/s/c telling him to kiss her but the message gets garbled? And when the demented mother asks: “Who is that man?” is her soul saying: “There’s my son”?

DAVID: The s/s/c is not separate from the brain, as you obviously like to imagine it. A sick brain will give rise to deranged thought and nothing else.

dhw: Your first comment distinguishes between thought and expression, and tells us the thought has obviously been “garbled”, which means it was different from what the brain expressed. Your answer now is that a sick brain gives rise to “deranged” thought, which means that the brain produces thought, and not that the s/s/c produces thought which is expressed by the brain. But later you also say: “A diseased brain always can change the expression of the s/s/c thoughts.” Within two posts you switch from being a dualist to being a materialist to being a dualist.

DAVID: You are a stickler for exactitude and completeness in all of my written English. You know full well that I accept the s/s/c expresses thoughts through the brain. Why waste time and typing?

This has nothing to do with inexact English. You are continually switching from dualism to materialism every time you insist that the s/s/c depends on the brain for its ability to THINK. This whole discussion goes back to your belief that your God had to expand pre-sapiens’ brain BEFORE he could come up with new thoughts. But that means that the ability to THINK depends on the brain (= materialism). The argument that drugs and diseases can change the way a person thinks is evidence for materialism, and the article on psychedelic drugs leads even you to admit that “the issue of dualism is never simple”. I have offered you a possible explanation, but you prefer to go on using language as a means of blurring the issue. You do it again repeatedly in the following comments.

DAVID: […] A sick brain or a drugged brain will produce thoughts from the s/s/c in a sick or imperfect fashion, so what appears will not represent the original intent.

What do you mean by the brain will “produce thoughts” from the s/s/c? It does not produce them imperfectly. According to your version of dualism, the s/s/c produces them perfectly, and the brain expresses them imperfectly (confirmed in the second part of your sentence).

DAVID: Now I am picking apart your English. The point is a material brain is subject to the condition it is in at any given time, and can only produce a copy of the original thought that it is capable of producing. It is a two step process: creating of thought and then its expression. Garbling can occur in either stage or both.

Fine until the last sentence. Why is the s/s/c’s CREATION of the thought “garbled” if disease only garbles the brain’s EXPRESSION of the thought?

DAVID: And don't scurry back to materialism making thought! 'I' try to make thought with 'my' brain which may or may not do it properly. Ask any schizophrenic about the problem.

In dualism, the ‘I’ is the s/s/c that “makes” the thought. According to one of your beliefs, your brain does not “do” it properly or improperly; the brain expresses it properly or improperly. I have no idea what causes schizophrenia, but when you write “a sick brain will give rise to deranged thought”, you switch to your other belief and tell us explicitly that the brain causes the thoughts – not that the s/s/c causes them and the brain misinterprets them. That may well be so, but it is the exact opposite of the dualism you profess to believe in. This is not a matter of linguistic incompetence. It is symptomatic of the dichotomy in your thinking, which reflects the general dichotomy which you keep refusing to recognize and which I have tried to resolve on this thread.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Monday, April 30, 2018, 18:41 (228 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: What do you mean by the brain will “produce thoughts” from the s/s/c? It does not produce them imperfectly. According to your version of dualism, the s/s/c produces them perfectly, and the brain expresses them imperfectly (confirmed in the second part of your sentence).

DAVID: Now I am picking apart your English. The point is a material brain is subject to the condition it is in at any given time, and can only produce a copy of the original thought that it is capable of producing. It is a two step process: creating of thought and then its expression. Garbling can occur in either stage or both.

dhw: Fine until the last sentence. Why is the s/s/c’s CREATION of the thought “garbled” if disease only garbles the brain’s EXPRESSION of the thought?

I stand by my last sentence. You want to keep separate the brain and the s/s/c. They are not. The s/s/c mechanism is inextricably bound in the brain and must use it during life. We do not know if the s/s/c can have proper initial thought if the brain cannot handle it *(step one of my sentence above). My dualism is not your dualism in any sense.


DAVID: And don't scurry back to materialism making thought! 'I' try to make thought with 'my' brain which may or may not do it properly. Ask any schizophrenic about the problem.

dhw: In dualism, the ‘I’ is the s/s/c that “makes” the thought. According to one of your beliefs, your brain does not “do” it properly or improperly; the brain expresses it properly or improperly. I have no idea what causes schizophrenia, but when you write “a sick brain will give rise to deranged thought”, you switch to your other belief and tell us explicitly that the brain causes the thoughts – not that the s/s/c causes them and the brain misinterprets them. That may well be so, but it is the exact opposite of the dualism you profess to believe in. This is not a matter of linguistic incompetence. It is symptomatic of the dichotomy in your thinking, which reflects the general dichotomy which you keep refusing to recognize and which I have tried to resolve on this thread.

Just because you cannot recognize my view of how tightly the s/s/c mechanism must rely on the brains expression mechanism we will remain apart. Schizophrenia is due to a sick brain and the patient has trouble expressing normal thought. When you hear a paranoid tell you he is being spied on though the light bulbs, you can see the consequence of the brain damage. His s/s/c is obviously confused because his brain is sick. That is in life. When his s/s/c goes to heaven my guess is that it may well think normally. No need for the brain there.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Tuesday, May 01, 2018, 14:16 (227 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: It is a two step process: creating of thought and then its expression. Garbling can occur in either stage or both.
dhw: Why is the s/s/c’s CREATION of the thought “garbled” if disease only garbles the brain’s EXPRESSION of the thought?
DAVID: I stand by my last sentence. You want to keep separate the brain and the s/s/c. They are not. The s/s/c mechanism is inextricably bound in the brain and must use it during life. We do not know if the s/s/c can have proper initial thought if the brain cannot handle it *(step one of my sentence above). My dualism is not your dualism in any sense.

I’d love to know your criteria for “proper” or “normal” thought. I keep agreeing that in dualistic life the brain and s/s/c are not separate but, as you keep agreeing and then trying to ignore, they perform separate functions: the s/s/c does the thinking and the brain does the expressing/implementing. Now you are saying we don’t know if the s/s/c can think its “proper” thoughts if the brain cannot express its thoughts, whereas previously you had the s/s/c thinking its “proper” thoughts and the brain “garbling” them. (See below.)

DAVID: Just because you cannot recognize my view of how tightly the s/s/c mechanism must rely on the brains expression mechanism we will remain apart.

As above, I totally agree that the s/s/c relies “tightly” on the brain to express and implement its thoughts. We remain apart because you keep vacillating between materialism and dualism, as you do yet again in your next comment:

DAVID: Schizophrenia is due to a sick brain and the patient has trouble expressing normal thought. When you hear a paranoid tell you he is being spied on though the light bulbs, you can see the consequence of the brain damage. His s/s/c is obviously confused because his brain is sick. That is in life. When his s/s/c goes to heaven my guess is that it may well think normally. No need for the brain there.

Previously you had your s/s/c thinking normally, and the sick brain unable to express the s/s/c’s normal thoughts, i.e. garbling them. Now you have the sick brain confusing the s/s/c so that its thoughts are not “normal”. The sick brain as the cause of sick thought is a fundamental element of materialism. Your form of dualism changes day by day, as you try to resolve the dichotomy that arises out of the interplay between material and immaterial. This dichotomy is a problem for all of us, but we can’t even begin to discuss it if you refuse to recognize it!

Nevertheless, let me try once more to resolve it. You believe that the s/s/c makes its “home” in different parts of the brain. The brain consists of many cell communities. And so the s/s/c has its “home” in the cell communities. You regard the material “home” and the immaterial s/s/c as inseparable during life. I assume you regard the s/s/c as “intelligent” (the subject of this thread). So we both propose the same structure: intelligence within the cell communities directing the cell communities to implement its thoughts. But you say the intelligence is part of God’s consciousness, and I propose (theistically) that your God invented a material mechanism that generates intelligence as well as implements the thoughts of that intelligence. There is no way in which we can tell the difference (as you keep emphasizing in relation to cellular intelligence generally). But my hypothesis explains why drugs and diseases can change the thoughts as well as the expression and implementation of those thoughts. Yours creates all the contradictions I have been pointing out. Mine also leaves open the possibility that the s/s/c generated by the materials can survive the death of the brain (see my post of 5 January under “Reconciling materialism and dualism”) and does not in any way exclude your God. So what logical flaws can you find in my hypothesis?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 01, 2018, 19:21 (227 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I stand by my last sentence. You want to keep separate the brain and the s/s/c. They are not. The s/s/c mechanism is inextricably bound in the brain and must use it during life. We do not know if the s/s/c can have proper initial thought if the brain cannot handle it *(step one of my sentence above). My dualism is not your dualism in any sense.

dhw: I’d love to know your criteria for “proper” or “normal” thought. I keep agreeing that in dualistic life the brain and s/s/c are not separate but, as you keep agreeing and then trying to ignore, they perform separate functions: the s/s/c does the thinking and the brain does the expressing/implementing.

You have stated our difference. In my view the s/s/c initiates thoughts by using the brain's neural networks. In your statements I am not sure how the s/s/c interfaces with the brain at the initiation of the thought process. We both agree in the second step the brain produces thought in thinking, in speaking, in writing and in reading.

dhw: Now you are saying we don’t know if the s/s/c can think its “proper” thoughts if the brain cannot express its thoughts, whereas previously you had the s/s/c thinking its “proper” thoughts and the brain “garbling” them.

We don't know about the initiation of thought. We don't live in the schizophrenic's brain, just as we don't live in cells and know exactly which is correct. We only experience the deranged thinking that appears to us.

DAVID: Schizophrenia is due to a sick brain and the patient has trouble expressing normal thought. When you hear a paranoid tell you he is being spied on though the light bulbs, you can see the consequence of the brain damage. His s/s/c is obviously confused because his brain is sick. That is in life. When his s/s/c goes to heaven my guess is that it may well think normally. No need for the brain there.

dhw: Previously you had your s/s/c thinking normally, and the sick brain unable to express the s/s/c’s normal thoughts, i.e. garbling them. Now you have the sick brain confusing the s/s/c so that its thoughts are not “normal”. The sick brain as the cause of sick thought is a fundamental element of materialism.

You are so confused. You agree that the s/s/c interfaces with a brain it must use in life, and then are surprised by the idea that a sick brain cannot start with a clear s/s/c thought before expressing it. Materialism of the brain and immaterial thought of consciousness are the start of trying to understand a concept of dualism. Thought must be initiated and then expressed. The brain must be a part of both stages.


dhw: You believe that the s/s/c makes its “home” in different parts of the brain. The brain consists of many cell communities. And so the s/s/c has its “home” in the cell communities. You regard the material “home” and the immaterial s/s/c as inseparable during life. I assume you regard the s/s/c as “intelligent” (the subject of this thread).

The s/s/c can only be as intelligent as the networks in the brain allow. We've discussed IQ before and the brain is the reason for the difference. Yes, I'm saying the s/s/c is limited by the brain it is given.

dhw: So we both propose the same structure: intelligence within the cell communities directing the cell communities to implement its thoughts. But you say the intelligence is part of God’s consciousness, and I propose (theistically) that your God invented a material mechanism that generates intelligence as well as implements the thoughts of that intelligence. There is no way in which we can tell the difference (as you keep emphasizing in relation to cellular intelligence generally). But my hypothesis explains why drugs and diseases can change the thoughts as well as the expression and implementation of those thoughts.

We both seem to agree that the sick brain can garble initial thought and expression of thought, and I think it must be two separate related steps.

dhw: Yours creates all the contradictions I have been pointing out. Mine also leaves open the possibility that the s/s/c generated by the materials can survive the death of the brain (see my post of 5 January under “Reconciling materialism and dualism”) and does not in any way exclude your God. So what logical flaws can you find in my hypothesis?

You admit in 5 January that science shows us how the material brain works. I agree, so science does not explain consciousness. You want the brain to generate the 'materials' of consciousness rather than God giving us a piece of His consciousness. The whole commentary starts with Penrose and quantum mechanics. This brings us back to quantum reality underlying what appears to be a conscious universe. Deciding about consciousness must include multifactorial explorations, which is why I have introduced so much quantum material those shows the effect of consciousness modifying quantum experiments. We just don't understand the quantum reality that undergirds the universe. Which is why we do not understand how consciousness appears in our brain. The way I interpret your thinking is that you agree the s/s/c must us the brain, but then you seem to want a separate s/s/c starting the thought process and then it somehow drifts into the neurons for expression. In my view the s/s/c must use the brain networks to think during life. A separate form of the s/s/c enters the afterlife, but contains the same conscious memories and personality structure.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; Addendum

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 01, 2018, 19:49 (227 days ago) @ David Turell

We agree science studies the brain in relationship to intelligence and consciousness. I have brought up IQ and here is a study on the difference in brains with different IQ:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2167753-smart-people-literally-have-bigger-brain-c...

"What makes some people smarter than others? It could come down to your individual brain cells – the bigger and faster your neurons, the higher your IQ. If confirmed, the finding could lead to new ways to enhance human intelligence.

"Most intelligence research to date has identified brain regions involved in certain skills, or pinpointed hundreds of genes that each play a tiny role in determining IQ.

"To go a step further, Natalia Goriounova at the Free University Amsterdam in the Netherlands and her colleagues studied 35 people who needed surgery for brain tumours or severe epilepsy. Each took an IQ test just before the operation. Then, while they were under the knife, small samples of healthy brain tissue were removed and kept alive for testing.

"The samples all came from the temporal lobe. This brain area helps us make sense of what we see, recognise language and form memories, all of which factor into intelligence.

"Examining this tissue revealed that brain cells are significantly bigger in people with high IQ scores than those with lower scores. The bigger cells also have more dendrites – the projections that connect to other neurons – and the dendrites are longer, suggesting that these neurons may be capable of receiving and processing more information.

"The connections between neurons are thought to be involved in storing memories, so it is likely that bigger cells have more “space” for memories, the team suggest.

“'We’ve known there is some link between brain size and intelligence. The team confirm this and take it down to individual neurons,” says Christof Koch at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. “It’s a beautiful study.”

"The team also tested neurons’ ability to transmit electrical signals by putting current through them, gradually upping the frequency. Neurons from people with low IQs coped with low frequencies, but became fatigued and slower as the frequency rose. Cells from people with high IQs did not slow down, however.

"The team also tested neurons’ ability to transmit electrical signals by putting current through them, gradually upping the frequency. Neurons from people with low IQs coped with low frequencies, but became fatigued and slower as the frequency rose. Cells from people with high IQs did not slow down, however.

"The properties of brain cells explain about a quarter of the differences in IQ, says Koch. Genes, on the other hand, are thought to account for only around 3 to 7 per cent of the difference.

"The study provides the first evidence that human intelligence could be shaped by the properties of individual brain cells – a finding that is likely to be controversial, says Koch. “Some people will say intelligence is so elusive and complex that the idea it can be tied to individual neurons is implausible,” he says.

"It remains unclear why some people have bigger brain cells than others, and whether this is a cause or a consequence of high IQ.

“'We don’t know if the differences are the results of experience, or if they are biologically determined,” says Wendy Johnson at the University of Edinburgh, UK. To establish a clear link between brain-cell properties and intelligence, you would need to study thousands of tissue samples – not just those from 35 people, she says.

"But given how difficult it is to study living brain tissue, this is the best one can hope for, says Koch. “If you want human tissue, the only other options are from aborted fetuses or dead brains,” he says."

Comment: I recognize the problems in this study but it appears to show you can only think with the brain you are given, although we know the brain will modify to a degree as it is used. A 70 IQ will never be 150.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Wednesday, May 02, 2018, 15:12 (226 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You have stated our difference. In my view the s/s/c initiates thoughts by using the brain's neural networks. In your statements I am not sure how the s/s/c interfaces with the brain at the initiation of the thought process. We both agree in the second step the brain produces thought in thinking, in speaking, in writing and in reading.

If the immaterial s/s/c does the immaterial thinking, the brain does not “produce thought in thinking”! The s/s/c uses the material neural networks to materially express or implement the thoughts. First step thought, second step expression/implementation.

DAVID: We don't know about the initiation of thought.

100% agreed. One theory is that is initiated by an immaterial soul, and the other says it’s done by the material brain. That is the problem we are discussing.

dhw: Previously you had your s/s/c thinking normally, and the sick brain unable to express the s/s/c’s normal thoughts, i.e. garbling them. Now you have the sick brain confusing the s/s/c so that its thoughts are not “normal”. The sick brain as the cause of sick thought is a fundamental element of materialism.
DAVID: You are so confused. You agree that the s/s/c interfaces with a brain it must use in life, and then are surprised by the idea that a sick brain cannot start with a clear s/s/c thought before expressing it.

I don’t understand the last part of your sentence. I understood you when you said the s/s/c thought normally but the sick brain garbled the thought, and also when you said the sick brain confused the s/s/c and made it think sick thoughts. Perhaps you can explain more clearly how you reconcile these two contradictory statements. (My bold)

DAVID: The s/s/c can only be as intelligent as the networks in the brain allow. We've discussed IQ before and the brain is the reason for the difference. Yes, I'm saying the s/s/c is limited by the brain it is given.

QUOTES (from the addendum): The study provides the first evidence that human intelligence could be shaped by the properties of individual brain cells – a finding that is likely to be controversial, says Koch. “Some people will say intelligence is so elusive and complex that the idea it can be tied to individual neurons is implausible,” he says.
"It remains unclear why some people have bigger brain cells than others, and whether this is a cause or a consequence of high IQ.

Your comment: I recognize the problems in this study but it appears to show you can only think with the brain you are given, although we know the brain will modify to a degree as it is used. […]

This is the problem in a nutshell. Those who say that the brain cells cause intelligence are materialists; those who say the bigger brain cells are the consequence of greater intelligence are dualists. There is evidence for both sides, which creates the dichotomy which I am trying to resolve.

dhw: So what logical flaws can you find in my hypothesis?
DAVID: You admit in 5 January that science shows us how the material brain works. I agree, so science does not explain consciousness. You want the brain to generate the 'materials' of consciousness rather than God giving us a piece of His consciousness.

I don’t “want” anything. I am offering you a hypothesis which removes the dichotomy, and have asked you to point out the logical flaws. Instead, the rest of your post tells us we don’t know the answers and repeats what is meant by dualism, so let me summarize the hypothesis again, confining it to the brain: this consists of different cell communities that have different, though interacting FUNCTIONS. Our thoughts have their source in the intelligence of the cell communities, which direct other differently functioning sections to express and implement those thoughts. (You also say the intelligence lives in the cells.) The conscious self as the product of materials can interact with and influence other materials: thought changes the brain. But materials can also influence the thought-producing sections of the cell communities (the effects of drugs and diseases). The dichotomy disappears. Materialism as the source is right, but materials produce our immaterial attributes which in turn can change materials, so dualism is also right. However, you rightly raise the issue of the immortal “soul”, which is an important element of most dualistic approaches:

DAVID: A separate form of the s/s/c enters the afterlife, but contains the same conscious memories and personality structure.

This is possible if the energy engendered by the cells takes on a lasting form of its own, as discussed in my post of 5 January under “Reconciling dualism and materialism”. All of this allows for a God who designed the whole mechanism. Now please tell me the logical flaws in my hypothesis.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 03, 2018, 00:12 (225 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: We don't know about the initiation of thought.

dhw: 100% agreed. One theory is that is initiated by an immaterial soul, and the other says it’s done by the material brain. That is the problem we are discussing.

Thought is initiated by the mechanism of the s/s/c using the networks in the brain during life. The brain dies not create thought unless the s/s/c mechanism is present. That is my theory.


dhw: Previously you had your s/s/c thinking normally, and the sick brain unable to express the s/s/c’s normal thoughts, i.e. garbling them. Now you have the sick brain confusing the s/s/c so that its thoughts are not “normal”. The sick brain as the cause of sick thought is a fundamental element of materialism.

DAVID: You are so confused. You agree that the s/s/c interfaces with a brain it must use in life, and then are surprised by the idea that a sick brain cannot start with a clear s/s/c thought before expressing it.

dhw: I don’t understand the last part of your sentence. I understood you when you said the s/s/c thought normally but the sick brain garbled the thought, and also when you said the sick brain confused the s/s/c and made it think sick thoughts. Perhaps you can explain more clearly how you reconcile these two contradictory statements. (My bold)

More reflection and explanation on my part. The s/s/c uses the brain to produce thought, but there are two parts to this process: first the s/s/c introduces a thought into the brain network. Second, the brain, if sick, or drugged will garble the entry of the thought so it is distorted from the beginning. Not the s/s/c's fault, but clear thought never appeared from the beginning; thus third stage thought is expressed in a gargled way.


DAVID: The s/s/c can only be as intelligent as the networks in the brain allow. We've discussed IQ before and the brain is the reason for the difference. Yes, I'm saying the s/s/c is limited by the brain it is given.

dhw: QUOTES (from the addendum): The study provides the first evidence that human intelligence could be shaped by the properties of individual brain cells – a finding that is likely to be controversial, says Koch. “Some people will say intelligence is so elusive and complex that the idea it can be tied to individual neurons is implausible,” he says.
"It remains unclear why some people have bigger brain cells than others, and whether this is a cause or a consequence of high IQ.

Your comment: I recognize the problems in this study but it appears to show you can only think with the brain you are given, although we know the brain will modify to a degree as it is used. […]

This is the problem in a nutshell. Those who say that the brain cells cause intelligence are materialists; those who say the bigger brain cells are the consequence of greater intelligence are dualists. There is evidence for both sides, which creates the dichotomy which I am trying to resolve.

It is resolved if my theory of s/s/c brain relationship is used.


dhw: So what logical flaws can you find in my hypothesis?
DAVID: You admit in 5 January that science shows us how the material brain works. I agree, so science does not explain consciousness. You want the brain to generate the 'materials' of consciousness rather than God giving us a piece of His consciousness.

dhw: I don’t “want” anything. I am offering you a hypothesis which removes the dichotomy, and have asked you to point out the logical flaws. Instead, the rest of your post tells us we don’t know the answers and repeats what is meant by dualism, so let me summarize the hypothesis again, confining it to the brain: this consists of different cell communities that have different, though interacting FUNCTIONS. Our thoughts have their source in the intelligence of the cell communities, which direct other differently functioning sections to express and implement those thoughts. (You also say the intelligence lives in the cells.) The conscious self as the product of materials can interact with and influence other materials: thought changes the brain. But materials can also influence the thought-producing sections of the cell communities (the effects of drugs and diseases). The dichotomy disappears. Materialism as the source is right, but materials produce our immaterial attributes which in turn can change materials, so dualism is also right. However, you rightly raise the issue of the immortal “soul”, which is an important element of most dualistic approaches:

DAVID: A separate form of the s/s/c enters the afterlife, but contains the same conscious memories and personality structure.

dhw: This is possible if the energy engendered by the cells takes on a lasting form of its own, as discussed in my post of 5 January under “Reconciling dualism and materialism”. All of this allows for a God who designed the whole mechanism. Now please tell me the logical flaws in my hypothesis.

I have presented my view. Your approach comes across to me as if you want the brain and the s/s/c at arm's length as I have explained how I think here and in the Neanderthal thread. There is obviously no way thought can occur in life without input/work by the brain. It burns 20% of our daily energy calories.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, May 03, 2018, 12:05 (225 days ago) @ David Turell

I am telescoping posts from “Neanderthal” and “learning new tasks” into this one, to save repetition.

dhw: I understood you when you said the s/s/c thought normally but the sick brain garbled the thought, and also when you said the sick brain confused the s/s/c and made it think sick thoughts. Perhaps you can explain more clearly how you reconcile these two contradictory statements. (My bold)
DAVID: More reflection and explanation on my part. The s/s/c uses the brain to produce thought, but there are two parts to this process: first the s/s/c introduces a thought into the brain network.

If the s/s/c introduces a thought into the brain, then the thought has already been “produced”. That is why we say the brain is used to express/implement the thought.

DAVID: Second, the brain, if sick, or drugged will garble the entry of the thought so it is distorted from the beginning. Not the s/s/c's fault, but clear thought never appeared from the beginning; thus third stage thought is expressed in a garbled way.

The beginning was the s/s/c’s thought. If the s/s/c’s thought was garbled BEFORE it was “introduced” into the brain network then the disease infected the s/s/c, which therefore did not think normally, whereas earlier you told us that it did think normally. The contradiction is clear, so let’s drop this part of the discussion.

dhw: (under “big brain evolution”) I realize that you are much happier changing the subject from brain evolution to the pelvis of the mother […] So long as the baby is in the womb, it is physically joined to and totally dependent on the mother. What difference does all this make?
DAVID: Beautiful fudging. I've changed nothing in the discussion. The mother and the baby are to very different folks with different DNAs no matter where each resides! And the mother's pelvis must change as each baby head in each species enlarges.

The discussion concerns the brain, not the pelvis. Why did you omit the rest of my comment: “Whatever you think your God did to ensure that the cell communities cooperated successfully to accommodate the bigger head, could also have been achieved by your God giving the cell communities the ability to work out the necessary changes for themselves. Or do you think your God was incapable of such a design?” I suggest we drop the pelvis theme as well and focus on dualism versus materialism.

Dhw: Please clarify: what is sick, what is garbled, and is it the simple brain or the simple s/s/c that produces simple thought?

You then repeat your statement on the Neanderthal thread, which ignored my own statement, so I will repeat both. These get to the heart of the problem
.
dhw: If medication fixes the brain, and this leads to “proper” thought, you have clear evidence that the brain is the source of thought – and that is a major problem for dualists. The fact that immaterial thoughts and emotions can change the brain is a major problem for materialists (as are psychic experiences like NDEs, for those open-minded enough to take them seriously). That is the dichotomy you refuse to recognize and which I am trying to resolve.

DAVID: You have twisted the meaning of my statements. My version of the theory is the s/s/c cannot create thought without using the brain during life. The s/s/c is an immaterial mechanism, which through use of the material brain produces immaterial mentation. This leads to my position that only a more complex brain network can produce more complex thought. I've told you that my form of dualism is not yours. Yours comes across as if the s/s/c sits aside at a distance and instructs the brain what to do, as if they are not connected intimately. The s/s/c mechanism resides completely within the brain structure. The dichotomy is ours.

There are two separate issues here: one is our definition of dualism, and the other is the dichotomy between dualism and materialism. In my post above, I have summed up the evidence for each approach. You have focused solely on your definition of dualism. This we agreed on long ago: the two (dual) elements are mind or “soul” and body (let’s confine this to brain). In life they are inseparable. The soul does the thinking and the brain does the expressing and implementing, as in your dualistic analogy of software and hardware.

We are in total agreement that “the s/s/c mechanism resides completely within the brain structure”. But there is no way of telling whether the s/s/c is the PRODUCT of the brain or is an immaterial something you call a piece of your God’s consciousness. That is the essence of the dichotomy. If we say the brain produces thought, we state the case for materialism, which is supported by one set of evidence, as above. If we say thought changes the brain, we state the case for dualism, which is supported by another set of evidence that also includes psychic experiences such as NDEs. With my “theory of intelligence” and my post on reconciling dualism and materialism, I have tried to resolve the dichotomy. And you still haven’t pointed out any flaws in the logic of these proposals. Please do so.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 03, 2018, 18:42 (225 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: More reflection and explanation on my part. The s/s/c uses the brain to produce thought, but there are two parts to this process: first the s/s/c introduces a thought into the brain network.

dhw: If the s/s/c introduces a thought into the brain, then the thought has already been “produced”. That is why we say the brain is used to express/implement the thought.

DAVID: Second, the brain, if sick, or drugged will garble the entry of the thought so it is distorted from the beginning. Not the s/s/c's fault, but clear thought never appeared from the beginning; thus third stage thought is expressed in a garbled way.

dhw: The beginning was the s/s/c’s thought. If the s/s/c’s thought was garbled BEFORE it was “introduced” into the brain network then the disease infected the s/s/c, which therefore did not think normally, whereas earlier you told us that it did think normally. The contradiction is clear, so let’s drop this part of the discussion.

You have analyzed the bolded point. I think you agree that the s/s/c must work with the brain to produce initial thought'. And if the brain network is sick, the thought will be garbled. The s/s/c itself may not be sick, but unable to produce thought properly.


dhw: The discussion concerns the brain, not the pelvis. Why did you omit the rest of my comment: “Whatever you think your God did to ensure that the cell communities cooperated successfully to accommodate the bigger head, could also have been achieved by your God giving the cell communities the ability to work out the necessary changes for themselves. Or do you think your God was incapable of such a design?” I suggest we drop the pelvis theme as well and focus on dualism versus materialism.

Restatement of your 'push' theory does not need repeat comment. As for the pelvic change it is an intimate part of the discussion about how big brains arrive. The growth of the pre-frontal cortex relates directly to the conversation because it directly relates as to how the s/s/c grows .

.
dhw: If medication fixes the brain, and this leads to “proper” thought, you have clear evidence that the brain is the source of thought – and that is a major problem for dualists. The fact that immaterial thoughts and emotions can change the brain is a major problem for materialists (as are psychic experiences like NDEs, for those open-minded enough to take them seriously). That is the dichotomy you refuse to recognize and which I am trying to resolve.

DAVID: You have twisted the meaning of my statements. My version of the theory is the s/s/c cannot create thought without using the brain during life. The s/s/c is an immaterial mechanism, which through use of the material brain produces immaterial mentation. This leads to my position that only a more complex brain network can produce more complex thought. I've told you that my form of dualism is not yours. Yours comes across as if the s/s/c sits aside at a distance and instructs the brain what to do, as if they are not connected intimately. The s/s/c mechanism resides completely within the brain structure. The dichotomy is ours.

dhw: There are two separate issues here: one is our definition of dualism, and the other is the dichotomy between dualism and materialism. In my post above, I have summed up the evidence for each approach. You have focused solely on your definition of dualism. This we agreed on long ago: the two (dual) elements are mind or “soul” and body (let’s confine this to brain). In life they are inseparable. The soul does the thinking and the brain does the expressing and implementing, as in your dualistic analogy of software and hardware.

Bolded slips away again. The s/s/c is required to use the networks in the brain to create the formation of the thought. Step 1. The s/s/c is an initiator and brain responds, then implements.


dhw: But there is no way of telling whether the s/s/c is the PRODUCT of the brain or is an immaterial something you call a piece of your God’s consciousness. That is the essence of the dichotomy. If we say the brain produces thought, we state the case for materialism, which is supported by one set of evidence, as above. If we say thought changes the brain, we state the case for dualism, which is supported by another set of evidence that also includes psychic experiences such as NDEs. With my “theory of intelligence” and my post on reconciling dualism and materialism, I have tried to resolve the dichotomy. And you still haven’t pointed out any flaws in the logic of these proposals. Please do so.

I don't accept that the brain alone produces thought. I am very clear on that. The s/s/c must use the frontal lobe to initiate thought. I believe God did it. For me there is no dichotomy. The bolded is my thought. I don't see a dichotomy. Consciousness requires a giant frontal lobe and God gave it it us. From Lucy on, as the frontal area enlarged, the consciousness mechanism entered and was started in use by that given stage of hominin.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Friday, May 04, 2018, 12:39 (224 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The beginning was the s/s/c’s thought. If the s/s/c’s thought was garbled BEFORE it was “introduced” into the brain network then the disease infected the s/s/c, which therefore did not think normally, whereas earlier you told us that it did think normally. The contradiction is clear, so let’s drop this part of the discussion.
DAVID: You have analyzed the bolded point. I think you agree that the s/s/c must work with the brain to produce initial thought'. And if the brain network is sick, the thought will be garbled. The s/s/c itself may not be sick, but unable to produce thought properly.

In my theory the s/s/c and the brain are inseparable, because the brain produces the s/s/c and then interacts with the rest of the brain. And so if the brain network is sick, the thought will be sick.Your theory separates them: God pops a bit of his consciousness into the brain, and it comes out again when the brain is dead. In your theory, at one moment you have the s/s/c producing normal thoughts and the brain messing them up (no, it does not work with the brain to produce initial thought), and the next moment you have the brain forcing the s/s/c to think abnormal thoughts (yes, it does work with the brain to produce initial thought). Shall we move on from this blatant contradiction?.

dhw: There are two separate issues here: one is our definition of dualism, and the other is the dichotomy between dualism and materialism. In my post above, I have summed up the evidence for each approach. You have focused solely on your definition of dualism. This we agreed on long ago: the two (dual) elements are mind or “soul” and body (let’s confine this to brain). In life they are inseparable. The soul does the thinking and the brain does the expressing and implementing, as in your dualistic analogy of software and hardware.
DAVID: Bolded slips away again. The s/s/c is required to use the networks in the brain to create the formation of the thought. Step 1. The s/s/c is an initiator and brain responds, then implements.

What do you mean “slips away”? If the s/s/c is the initiator, what does it initiate if not the thought? How can you possibly have a thought that has no form? Does the s/s/c think unformed thoughts in NDEs? Do you really believe that a piece of God’s consciousness – your version of the s/s/c – thinks unformed thoughts in the brain but suddenly thinks formed thoughts the moment it leaves the brain? This makes nonsense of dualism. Yes, if you want any consistency in your definition of dualism, the dualist’s brain responds to the thoughts of the dualist’s s/s/c; it does not create the formation of the thought.

dhw: But there is no way of telling whether the s/s/c is the PRODUCT of the brain or is an immaterial something you call a piece of your God’s consciousness. That is the essence of the dichotomy. If we say the brain produces thought, we state the case for materialism, which is supported by one set of evidence, as above. If we say thought changes the brain, we state the case for dualism, which is supported by another set of evidence that also includes psychic experiences such as NDEs. With my “theory of intelligence” and my post on reconciling dualism and materialism, I have tried to resolve the dichotomy. And you still haven’t pointed out any flaws in the logic of these proposals. Please do so.

DAVID: I don't accept that the brain alone produces thought. I am very clear on that. The s/s/c must use the frontal lobe to initiate thought. I believe God did it. For me there is no dichotomy. The bolded is my thought. I don't see a dichotomy. Consciousness requires a giant frontal lobe and God gave it us. From Lucy on, as the frontal area enlarged, the consciousness mechanism entered and was started in use by that given stage of hominin.

In your version, as above, the God-given s/s/c initiates thought. Consciousness is the immaterial s/s/c (self/soul/consciousness). You have said that it makes its home in the brain. I also say that its home is in the brain. How, then, can you tell the difference between brain-generated thought and “soul”-generated thought? You can't. Hence the whole debate between dualism and materialism. You don’t see the dichotomy or the contradictions highlighted earlier because you have a fixed belief. I have asked you to point out any logical flaws in my proposal, and your answer is that it conflicts with what you believe. This is like an atheist rejecting your design arguments because they conflict with his belief in chance.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Friday, May 04, 2018, 19:29 (224 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You have analyzed the bolded point. I think you agree that the s/s/c must work with the brain to produce initial thought'. And if the brain network is sick, the thought will be garbled. The s/s/c itself may not be sick, but unable to produce thought properly.

dhw: In my theory the s/s/c and the brain are inseparable, because the brain produces the s/s/c and then interacts with the rest of the brain. And so if the brain network is sick, the thought will be sick.... In your theory, at one moment you have the s/s/c producing normal thoughts and the brain messing them up (no, it does not work with the brain to produce initial thought), and the next moment you have the brain forcing the s/s/c to think abnormal thoughts (yes, it does work with the brain to produce initial thought). Shall we move on from this blatant contradiction?.

No, you are not following my developing thought. I stand by the statement above. And your theory is pure materialism.

DAVID: Bolded slips away again. The s/s/c is required to use the networks in the brain to create the formation of the thought. Step 1. The s/s/c is an initiator and brain responds, then implements.

dhw: What do you mean “slips away”? If the s/s/c is the initiator, what does it initiate if not the thought? How can you possibly have a thought that has no form? Does the s/s/c think unformed thoughts in NDEs? Do you really believe that a piece of God’s consciousness – your version of the s/s/c – thinks unformed thoughts in the brain but suddenly thinks formed thoughts the moment it leaves the brain? This makes nonsense of dualism. Yes, if you want any consistency in your definition of dualism, the dualist’s brain responds to the thoughts of the dualist’s s/s/c; it does not create the formation of the thought.

This is the quote where you turned the view of the brain//s/s/c into your view of the relationship:
"The soul does the thinking and the brain does the expressing and implementing, as in your dualistic analogy of software and hardware."

My view is that the s/s/c must use the networks of the brain to produce thought as in a computer. Thought is immaterial and has no material form, only grammatical form. Nice twist.

DAVID: I don't accept that the brain alone produces thought. I am very clear on that. The s/s/c must use the frontal lobe to initiate thought. I believe God did it. For me there is no dichotomy. ... I don't see a dichotomy. Consciousness requires a giant frontal lobe and God gave it us. From Lucy on, as the frontal area enlarged, the consciousness mechanism entered and was started in use by that given stage of hominin.

dhw: In your version, as above, the God-given s/s/c initiates thought. Consciousness is the immaterial s/s/c (self/soul/consciousness). You have said that it makes its home in the brain. I also say that its home is in the brain. How, then, can you tell the difference between brain-generated thought and “soul”-generated thought? You can't. Hence the whole debate between dualism and materialism. You don’t see the dichotomy or the contradictions highlighted earlier because you have a fixed belief. I have asked you to point out any logical flaws in my proposal, and your answer is that it conflicts with what you believe. This is like an atheist rejecting your design arguments because they conflict with his belief in chance.

I can make my claims based on NDE evidence, which you have recognized in the past. Logic depends on how you initiate your series of arguments. I disagree with your initial presumptions and have the right to do so. In this current discussion you have come across as a pure materialist. Fine. I'm still a dualist using my logic.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, May 05, 2018, 12:31 (223 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: … if the brain network is sick, the thought will be garbled. The s/s/c itself may not be sick, but unable to produce thought properly.

1st sentence: the proper thought will be improperly expressed. 2nd sentence: if it produces improper thought, there must be something wrong with it!

dhw:.... In your theory, at one moment you have the s/s/c producing normal thoughts and the brain messing them up (no, it does not work with the brain to produce initial thought), and the next moment you have the brain forcing the s/s/c to think abnormal thoughts (yes, it does work with the brain to produce initial thought). Shall we move on from this blatant contradiction?.
DAVID: No, you are not following my developing thought. I stand by the statement above.

Which of your statements do you now stand by? That the s/s/c’s thought is proper, but the diseased brain does not express it properly (garbles it), or the diseased brain causes the s/s/c to think improperly?

DAVID: The s/s/c is required to use the networks in the brain to create the formation of the thought. Step 1. The s/s/c is an initiator and brain responds, then implements.
dhw: If the s/s/c is the initiator, what does it initiate if not the thought? How can you possibly have a thought that has no form? […] Yes, if you want any consistency in your definition of dualism, the dualist’s brain responds to the thoughts of the dualist’s s/s/c; it does not create the formation of the thought.
DAVID: This is the quote where you turned the view of the brain//s/s/c into your view of the relationship:
"The soul does the thinking and the brain does the expressing and implementing, as in your dualistic analogy of software and hardware."
My view is that the s/s/c must use the networks of the brain to produce thought as in a computer. Thought is immaterial and has no material form, only grammatical form. Nice twist.

Then your use of the word “formation” above is another obfuscation. The s/s/c uses the brain to give the thought MATERIAL form. The thought itself, however, can hardly be a meaningless blob when it is initiated by the s/s/c, and if it has meaning it is already “formed” when it uses the networks. “To produce thought” is another obfuscation. The thought has already been produced (software), but the material production takes place through the brain (hardware).

dhw: I have asked you to point out any logical flaws in my proposal, and your answer is that it conflicts with what you believe. This is like an atheist rejecting your design arguments because they conflict with his belief in chance.
DAVID: I can make my claims based on NDE evidence, which you have recognized in the past.

I keep repeating that both materialism and dualism can call upon evidence to support their claims. That is the basis of the dichotomy.

DAVID: Logic depends on how you initiate your series of arguments. I disagree with your initial presumptions and have the right to do so.

Our initial presumptions are exactly the same: we think, but nobody “knows” the source of our thought. We also agree that there are two different viewpoints: materialism and dualism. From that point on there are no “presumptions”, only hypothetical explanations. But even here we agree that the immaterial self is contained within the material self (you have not answered my point that no one can tell the difference between an emergent “soul” and a God-given “soul”). And for the sake of argument I have even accepted your initial presumption that God exists and is responsible for enabling us to think. So please identify the “initial presumption” you disagree with.

DAVID: In this current discussion you have come across as a pure materialist.

In this discussion I am offering an explanation which reconciles materialism and dualism, and I do wish you would read the 5 Jan post I keep referring to under that thread. The basic argument is that the materials produce a form of energy which may continue to exist independently – just as light waves survive and we can see what happened in the past. You yourself believe in conscious energy which has an existence of its own, and you call it God. So why do you dismiss the possibility of your God creating materials which can produce conscious energy? That is the point where materialism can link up with dualism.

Under “Evolution of consciousness
QUOTE: “Awareness is not the “special sauce” that brings dumb biological processes to subjective life but an emergent property of immensely complex neurological processes. This does not so much eliminate the mystery of consciousness as make it no more or less mysterious than the ultimately inexplicable existence of the universe itself."

DAVID’s comment: This book is a materialist view which invokes the uncertainty of of quantum uncertainty and completely ignores the evidence from NDE's. But he certainly emphasizes the enormous complexity of the brain.

The “emergent property” neatly summarizes the materialist argument I have tried to describe on this thread. But it does not consider any of the points I raise in my post of 5 Jan. under “Reconciling materialism and dualism”. The reconciliation I have attempted is no more than that, and of course it doesn’t eliminate the mystery of consciousness. But it does take NDEs into account, and it leaves open the possibility of an immortal soul.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 05, 2018, 16:01 (223 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Which of your statements do you now stand by? That the s/s/c’s thought is proper, but the diseased brain does not express it properly (garbles it), or the diseased brain causes the s/s/c to think improperly?

The s/s/c must use the brain to think during life, so it is likely the s/s/c cannot produce a proper thought with a damaged brain, and may not be able to even form a proper initial thought. I view the s/s/c and The brain as entirely interdependent.


dhw: Then your use of the word “formation” above is another obfuscation. The s/s/c uses the brain to give the thought MATERIAL form. The thought itself, however, can hardly be a meaningless blob when it is initiated by the s/s/c, and if it has meaning it is already “formed” when it uses the networks. “To produce thought” is another obfuscation. The thought has already been produced (software), but the material production takes place through the brain (hardware).

Thought is always completely immaterial unless written or spoken and depends on the s/s/c using the brain networks in life.

DAVID: In this current discussion you have come across as a pure materialist.

dhw: In this discussion I am offering an explanation which reconciles materialism and dualism, and I do wish you would read the 5 Jan post I keep referring to under that thread. The basic argument is that the materials produce a form of energy which may continue to exist independently – just as light waves survive and we can see what happened in the past. You yourself believe in conscious energy which has an existence of its own, and you call it God. So why do you dismiss the possibility of your God creating materials which can produce conscious energy? That is the point where materialism can link up with dualism.

Your quote: "This ties in with two of the ideas we have already discussed: emergence, as the process whereby the property of the whole cannot be explained by the properties of its parts, and Sheldrake’s morphic field, which I take to mean all the attributes and information that comprise the identity of the individual. Once we think of consciousness in terms of energy produced by materials, and we link it to the analogy of the image produced by light, it seems to me that we have a reconciliation between materialism (materials are the source of consciousness) and dualism (the energy exists independently of the source)."

I have said that consciousness may well be a quantum energy mechanism in the brain (Penrose) which allows the appearance of consciousness, provided by God. It doesn't solve the problem of consciousness, but is a reasonable theory.


Under “Evolution of consciousness
QUOTE: “Awareness is not the “special sauce” that brings dumb biological processes to subjective life but an emergent property of immensely complex neurological processes. This does not so much eliminate the mystery of consciousness as make it no more or less mysterious than the ultimately inexplicable existence of the universe itself."

DAVID’s comment: This book is a materialist view which invokes the uncertainty of of quantum uncertainty and completely ignores the evidence from NDE's. But he certainly emphasizes the enormous complexity of the brain.

dhw: The “emergent property” neatly summarizes the materialist argument I have tried to describe on this thread. But it does not consider any of the points I raise in my post of 5 Jan. under “Reconciling materialism and dualism”. The reconciliation I have attempted is no more than that, and of course it doesn’t eliminate the mystery of consciousness. But it does take NDEs into account, and it leaves open the possibility of an immortal soul.

Yes.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Sunday, May 06, 2018, 12:27 (222 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Which of your statements do you now stand by? That the s/s/c’s thought is proper, but the diseased brain does not express it properly (garbles it), or the diseased brain causes the s/s/c to think improperly?

DAVID: The s/s/c must use the brain to think during life, so it is likely the s/s/c cannot produce a proper thought with a damaged brain, and may not be able to even form a proper initial thought. I view the s/s/c and The brain as entirely interdependent.

Thank you. We can now forget the idea that the s/s/c thinks properly but the brain can’t express the thoughts properly. What you, as a dualist, offer us today is a self whose “soul” (piece of your God's consciousness) and consciousness are dependent on the brain for “proper” thoughts (except when there is no brain, as in NDEs and an afterlife). I find it difficult to understand how a piece of your God's immaterial consciousness can be damaged by material disease, but I can fully understand how consciousness that emerges from a material source can be damaged if the source is damaged.

dhw: Then your use of the word “formation” above is another obfuscation. The s/s/c uses the brain to give the thought MATERIAL form. The thought itself, however, can hardly be a meaningless blob when it is initiated by the s/s/c, and if it has meaning it is already “formed” when it uses the networks. “To produce thought” is another obfuscation. The thought has already been produced (software), but the material production takes place through the brain (hardware).

DAVID: Thought is always completely immaterial unless written or spoken and depends on the s/s/c using the brain networks in life.

Using the brain networks for what? And of course there are many other ways of expressing/implementing thoughts besides speaking and writing. I would rewrite your statement as follows: Thought is always completely immaterial unless given material expression or implementation, and this can only be achieved when the s/s/c uses the brain networks. Do you agree?

DAVID: In this current discussion you have come across as a pure materialist.
dhw: In this discussion I am offering an explanation which reconciles materialism and dualism, and I do wish you would read the 5 Jan post I keep referring to under that thread. The basic argument is that the materials produce a form of energy which may continue to exist independently – just as light waves survive and we can see what happened in the past. You yourself believe in conscious energy which has an existence of its own, and you call it God. So why do you dismiss the possibility of your God creating materials which can produce conscious energy? That is the point where materialism can link up with dualism.

DAVID (quoting dhw): "This ties in with two of the ideas we have already discussed: emergence, as the process whereby the property of the whole cannot be explained by the properties of its parts, and Sheldrake’s morphic field, which I take to mean all the attributes and information that comprise the identity of the individual. Once we think of consciousness in terms of energy produced by materials, and we link it to the analogy of the image produced by light, it seems to me that we have a reconciliation between materialism (materials are the source of consciousness) and dualism (the energy exists independently of the source)."

DAVID: I have said that consciousness may well be a quantum energy mechanism in the brain (Penrose) which allows the appearance of consciousness, provided by God. It doesn't solve the problem of consciousness, but is a reasonable theory.

So do you now agree that your God might have designed a mechanism whereby materials produce consciousness?

Under “Evolution of consciousness
QUOTE: “Awareness is not the “special sauce” that brings dumb biological processes to subjective life but an emergent property of immensely complex neurological processes. This does not so much eliminate the mystery of consciousness as make it no more or less mysterious than the ultimately inexplicable existence of the universe itself."

DAVID’s comment: This book is a materialist view which invokes the uncertainty of of quantum uncertainty and completely ignores the evidence from NDE's. But he certainly emphasizes the enormous complexity of the brain.

dhw: The “emergent property” neatly summarizes the materialist argument I have tried to describe on this thread. But it does not consider any of the points I raise in my post of 5 Jan. under “Reconciling materialism and dualism”. The reconciliation I have attempted is no more than that, and of course it doesn’t eliminate the mystery of consciousness. But it does take NDEs into account, and it leaves open the possibility of an immortal soul.

DAVID: Yes.

Here and in my post under “Cell complexity”, our ideas appear to be converging!

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 06, 2018, 15:59 (222 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The s/s/c must use the brain to think during life, so it is likely the s/s/c cannot produce a proper thought with a damaged brain, and may not be able to even form a proper initial thought. I view the s/s/c and The brain as entirely interdependent.

dhw: Thank you. We can now forget the idea that the s/s/c thinks properly but the brain can’t express the thoughts properly...I find it difficult to understand how a piece of your God's immaterial consciousness can be damaged by material disease, but I can fully understand how consciousness that emerges from a material source can be damaged if the source is damaged.

You have agreed that the s/s/c and brain are interlocked to work together. The point remains the same. The s/s/c must think using the brain networks and cannot think properly if the networks are sick. The immaterial and material have a definite interface!

dhw: I would rewrite your statement as follows: Thought is always completely immaterial unless given material expression or implementation, and this can only be achieved when the s/s/c uses the brain networks. Do you agree?

Yes. The s/s/c must use the brain to think during life.


DAVID: I have said that consciousness may well be a quantum energy mechanism in the brain (Penrose) which allows the appearance of consciousness, provided by God. It doesn't solve the problem of consciousness, but is a reasonable theory.

dhw: So do you now agree that your God might have designed a mechanism whereby materials produce consciousness?

No. Pure quantum energy is not material. Penrose has it hiding in brain tubules.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Monday, May 07, 2018, 12:51 (221 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The s/s/c must use the brain to think during life, so it is likely the s/s/c cannot produce a proper thought with a damaged brain, and may not be able to even form a proper initial thought. I view the s/s/c and The brain as entirely interdependent.

dhw: Thank you. We can now forget the idea that the s/s/c thinks properly but the brain can’t express the thoughts properly...I find it difficult to understand how a piece of your God's immaterial consciousness can be damaged by material disease, but I can fully understand how consciousness that emerges from a material source can be damaged if the source is damaged.

DAVID: You have agreed that the s/s/c and brain are interlocked to work together. The point remains the same. The s/s/c must think using the brain networks and cannot think properly if the networks are sick. The immaterial and material have a definite interface!

I have agreed that in dualism your piece of your God’s consciousness does the thinking and works together with the brain to express/implement its thoughts materially. That is how they interface and are interdependent, and that is why a dualist can believe in the same piece of God’s consciousness still being able to think – independently of the need for material expression/implementation – when it separates from the brain (NDEs and an afterlife).

dhw: I would rewrite your statement as follows: Thought is always completely immaterial unless given material expression or implementation, and this can only be achieved when the s/s/c uses the brain networks. Do you agree?
DAVID: Yes. The s/s/c must use the brain to think during life.

You say yes, and then you repeat the formula I disagree with! The s/s/c uses the brain to give material expression/implementation to its thoughts.

DAVID: I have said that consciousness may well be a quantum energy mechanism in the brain (Penrose) which allows the appearance of consciousness, provided by God. It doesn't solve the problem of consciousness, but is a reasonable theory.
dhw: So do you now agree that your God might have designed a mechanism whereby materials produce consciousness?
DAVID: No. Pure quantum energy is not material. Penrose has it hiding in brain tubules.

That is not what I was asking. Consciousness or intelligence is not material, whether you call it “pure quantum energy” or a “soul”. So do you agree that your God might have designed a mechanism whereby materials produce the conscious energy which dualists call “soul”?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Monday, May 07, 2018, 18:32 (221 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You have agreed that the s/s/c and brain are interlocked to work together. The point remains the same. The s/s/c must think using the brain networks and cannot think properly if the networks are sick. The immaterial and material have a definite interface!

dhw: I have agreed that in dualism your piece of your God’s consciousness does the thinking and works together with the brain to express/implement its thoughts materially. That is how they interface and are interdependent, and that is why a dualist can believe in the same piece of God’s consciousness still being able to think – independently of the need for material expression/implementation – when it separates from the brain (NDEs and an afterlife).

dhw: I would rewrite your statement as follows: Thought is always completely immaterial unless given material expression or implementation, and this can only be achieved when the s/s/c uses the brain networks. Do you agree?

DAVID: Yes. The s/s/c must use the brain to think during life.

dhw: You say yes, and then you repeat the formula I disagree with! The s/s/c uses the brain to give material expression/implementation to its thoughts.

I will stick to my view. The s/s/c must think in life using the brain networks.


DAVID: I have said that consciousness may well be a quantum energy mechanism in the brain (Penrose) which allows the appearance of consciousness, provided by God. It doesn't solve the problem of consciousness, but is a reasonable theory.
dhw: So do you now agree that your God might have designed a mechanism whereby materials produce consciousness?
DAVID: No. Pure quantum energy is not material. Penrose has it hiding in brain tubules.

dhw: That is not what I was asking. Consciousness or intelligence is not material, whether you call it “pure quantum energy” or a “soul”. So do you agree that your God might have designed a mechanism whereby materials produce the conscious energy which dualists call “soul”?

No, I think God gave us part of His consciousness added to a material brain.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Tuesday, May 08, 2018, 11:18 (220 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I would rewrite your statement as follows: Thought is always completely immaterial unless given material expression or implementation, and this can only be achieved when the s/s/c uses the brain networks. Do you agree?

DAVID: Yes. The s/s/c must use the brain to think during life.

dhw: You say yes, and then you repeat the formula I disagree with! The s/s/c uses the brain to give material expression/implementation to its thoughts.

DAVID: I will stick to my view. The s/s/c must think in life using the brain networks.

A subtle change, as we agree that the s/s/c thinks and uses the brain networks, which is quite different from it using the brain networks to think. This is becoming a game of words, but perhaps your next comment will be more productive.

dhw: Consciousness or intelligence is not material, whether you call it “pure quantum energy” or a “soul”. So do you agree that your God might have designed a mechanism whereby materials produce the conscious energy which dualists call “soul”?

DAVID: No, I think God gave us part of His consciousness added to a material brain.

This is the essence of theistic dualism. Would you then agree that without the addition of God’s consciousness, the material brain itself would be without consciousness? And would you agree that thinking is impossible without consciousness? If so, and bearing in mind your belief that the piece of God’s consciousness still thinks/remembers/feels/ makes decisions etc. when the brain is dead, would you not agree that the FUNCTION of God’s consciousness in life is to conduct all the mental processes, and the FUNCTION of the material brain is to provide the information that is processed, and to give material expression/implementation to the thoughts of God’s consciousness?

NB All these questions relate to David’s form of theistic dualism. My “theory of intelligence” presents a very different explanation, though still open to theistic interpretation.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 08, 2018, 22:54 (219 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I would rewrite your statement as follows: Thought is always completely immaterial unless given material expression or implementation, and this can only be achieved when the s/s/c uses the brain networks. Do you agree?

DAVID: Yes. The s/s/c must use the brain to think during life.

dhw: You say yes, and then you repeat the formula I disagree with! The s/s/c uses the brain to give material expression/implementation to its thoughts.

DAVID: I will stick to my view. The s/s/c must think in life using the brain networks.

dhw: A subtle change, as we agree that the s/s/c thinks and uses the brain networks, which is quite different from it using the brain networks to think. This is becoming a game of words, but perhaps your next comment will be more productive.

Not a subtle change, but my view all along, repeated over and over.


dhw: Consciousness or intelligence is not material, whether you call it “pure quantum energy” or a “soul”. So do you agree that your God might have designed a mechanism whereby materials produce the conscious energy which dualists call “soul”?

DAVID: No, I think God gave us part of His consciousness added to a material brain.

dhw: This is the essence of theistic dualism. Would you then agree that without the addition of God’s consciousness, the material brain itself would be without consciousness?

As in apes.

dhw: And would you agree that thinking is impossible without consciousness?

Yes.

dhw: If so, and bearing in mind your belief that the piece of God’s consciousness still thinks/remembers/feels/ makes decisions etc. when the brain is dead, would you not agree that the FUNCTION of God’s consciousness in life is to conduct all the mental processes, and the FUNCTION of the material brain is to provide the information that is processed, and to give material expression/implementation to the thoughts of God’s consciousness?

The consciousness God gives us becomes our consciousness and uses our brain networks to think during life.


dhw: NB All these questions relate to David’s form of theistic dualism. My “theory of intelligence” presents a very different explanation, though still open to theistic interpretation.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Wednesday, May 09, 2018, 12:59 (219 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Consciousness or intelligence is not material, whether you call it “pure quantum energy” or a “soul”. So do you agree that your God might have designed a mechanism whereby materials produce the conscious energy which dualists call “soul”?

DAVID: No, I think God gave us part of His consciousness added to a material brain.

dhw: This is the essence of theistic dualism. Would you then agree that without the addition of God’s consciousness, the material brain itself would be without consciousness?
DAVID: As in apes.

Consciousness is not confined to human self-awareness, and I thought you believed that our fellow animals also had souls. But that it is a different subject, so let’s stick to humans.

dhw: And would you agree that thinking is impossible without consciousness?

DAVID: Yes.

dhw: If so, and bearing in mind your belief that the piece of God’s consciousness still thinks/remembers/feels/ makes decisions etc. when the brain is dead, would you not agree that the FUNCTION of God’s consciousness in life is to conduct all the mental processes, and the FUNCTION of the material brain is to provide the information that is processed, and to give material expression/implementation to the thoughts of God’s consciousness?

DAVID: The consciousness God gives us becomes our consciousness and uses our brain networks to think during life.

Of course it becomes our consciousness (if this form of dualism is true), and it takes its individuality from whatever factors mould it during its lifetime. But why do you refuse to discuss its FUNCTION in the duality you believe in, and which you were always so keen to illustrate with the software/hardware analogy, in which the software provides the thought and the hardware does the implementation?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 09, 2018, 18:50 (219 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: This is the essence of theistic dualism. Would you then agree that without the addition of God’s consciousness, the material brain itself would be without consciousness?
DAVID: As in apes.

dhw: Consciousness is not confined to human self-awareness, and I thought you believed that our fellow animals also had souls. But that it is a different subject, so let’s stick to humans.

In the Jewish religion animals have a lesser form of unconscious soul.


dhw: And would you agree that thinking is impossible without consciousness?

DAVID: Yes.

dhw: If so, and bearing in mind your belief that the piece of God’s consciousness still thinks/remembers/feels/ makes decisions etc. when the brain is dead, would you not agree that the FUNCTION of God’s consciousness in life is to conduct all the mental processes, and the FUNCTION of the material brain is to provide the information that is processed, and to give material expression/implementation to the thoughts of God’s consciousness?

DAVID: The consciousness God gives us becomes our consciousness and uses our brain networks to think during life.

dhw: Of course it becomes our consciousness (if this form of dualism is true), and it takes its individuality from whatever factors mould it during its lifetime. But why do you refuse to discuss its FUNCTION in the duality you believe in, and which you were always so keen to illustrate with the software/hardware analogy, in which the software provides the thought and the hardware does the implementation?

Of course the implementation areas carry out the instructions. I've always agreed about that. But my point is also that the size of the implementation areas from ape to human are not that different, but our cerebellum is somewhat larger. Of more interest to our discussion is that the Neanderthal cerebellum is smaller than the sapiens and the conjecture is that is why they failed and we persisted. See here: Friday, April 27, 2018, 19:38. Size matters.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, May 10, 2018, 14:17 (218 days ago) @ David Turell

I have incorporated your comments into other threads, as I would like to confine this one to my theory. Sadly, it may prove to be a dead end, but I’ll summarize it once more, in the hope that you (or maybe someone else) will point out any flaws.

In conjunction with my post on “Reconciling materialism and dualism” (5th January 2018; 17:33), I have proposed that the cell communities of the brain produce the thinking self/consciousness (= materialism). This explains the dichotomy in which materials (e.g. drugs, diseases) directly influence immaterial thought, but immaterial thought also directly influences the material brain (which changes when implementing new concepts, and also does so when responding to other immaterial factors such as emotion and stress). Different cells/cell communities have different functions which are tightly interwoven; the thinking cells may change the implementing cells, and vice versa. However, on the analogy of light preserving the products of materials (theoretically, we could watch the crucifixion of Christ from a planet billions of miles away), one can envisage the possibility that the immaterial energy (call it “soul”) produced by the brain may also survive the disappearance of the materials. Whether it can lead a new life is open to conjecture, but this would explain psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu. And a theist can argue that his God has created this material mechanism to produce a form of conscious energy like his own, which will live on and may even lead a new life. What I am proposing does not solve the mystery of consciousness itself, but it removes the dichotomy between materialism and dualism, incorporates all the evidence for the two approaches, and still allows for all beliefs, both theistic and atheistic. Once more, I would welcome any post that points to flaws in this proposal.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 10, 2018, 18:39 (218 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I have incorporated your comments into other threads, as I would like to confine this one to my theory. Sadly, it may prove to be a dead end, but I’ll summarize it once more, in the hope that you (or maybe someone else) will point out any flaws.

In conjunction with my post on “Reconciling materialism and dualism” (5th January 2018; 17:33), I have proposed that the cell communities of the brain produce the thinking self/consciousness (= materialism). This explains the dichotomy in which materials (e.g. drugs, diseases) directly influence immaterial thought, but immaterial thought also directly influences the material brain (which changes when implementing new concepts, and also does so when responding to other immaterial factors such as emotion and stress). Different cells/cell communities have different functions which are tightly interwoven; the thinking cells may change the implementing cells, and vice versa. However, on the analogy of light preserving the products of materials (theoretically, we could watch the crucifixion of Christ from a planet billions of miles away), one can envisage the possibility that the immaterial energy (call it “soul”) produced by the brain may also survive the disappearance of the materials. Whether it can lead a new life is open to conjecture, but this would explain psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu. And a theist can argue that his God has created this material mechanism to produce a form of conscious energy like his own, which will live on and may even lead a new life. What I am proposing does not solve the mystery of consciousness itself, but it removes the dichotomy between materialism and dualism, incorporates all the evidence for the two approaches, and still allows for all beliefs, both theistic and atheistic. Once more, I would welcome any post that points to flaws in this proposal.

This does not fit my view of dualism in which the soul mechanism is immaterial but must use the networks of the material brain during life in order to think. This also fits your examples of brain damage or drugs affecting the ability to think clearly.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Friday, May 11, 2018, 12:04 (217 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: In conjunction with my post on “Reconciling materialism and dualism” (5th January 2018; 17:33), I have proposed that the cell communities of the brain produce the thinking self/consciousness (= materialism). This explains the dichotomy in which materials (e.g. drugs, diseases) directly influence immaterial thought, but immaterial thought also directly influences the material brain (which changes when implementing new concepts, and also does so when responding to other immaterial factors such as emotion and stress). Different cells/cell communities have different functions which are tightly interwoven; the thinking cells may change the implementing cells, and vice versa. However, on the analogy of light preserving the products of materials (theoretically, we could watch the crucifixion of Christ from a planet billions of miles away), one can envisage the possibility that the immaterial energy (call it “soul”) produced by the brain may also survive the disappearance of the materials. Whether it can lead a new life is open to conjecture, but this would explain psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu. And a theist can argue that his God has created this material mechanism to produce a form of conscious energy like his own, which will live on and may even lead a new life. What I am proposing does not solve the mystery of consciousness itself, but it removes the dichotomy between materialism and dualism, incorporates all the evidence for the two approaches, and still allows for all beliefs, both theistic and atheistic. Once more, I would welcome any post that points to flaws in this proposal.

DAVID: This does not fit my view of dualism in which the soul mechanism is immaterial but must use the networks of the material brain during life in order to think. This also fits your examples of brain damage or drugs affecting the ability to think clearly.

I know it doesn’t fit your view. I am asking you (or anyone else who happens to read this) to pinpoint flaws in the reasoning.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Friday, May 11, 2018, 15:44 (217 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: In conjunction with my post on “Reconciling materialism and dualism” (5th January 2018; 17:33), I have proposed that the cell communities of the brain produce the thinking self/consciousness (= materialism). This explains the dichotomy in which materials (e.g. drugs, diseases) directly influence immaterial thought, but immaterial thought also directly influences the material brain (which changes when implementing new concepts, and also does so when responding to other immaterial factors such as emotion and stress). Different cells/cell communities have different functions which are tightly interwoven; the thinking cells may change the implementing cells, and vice versa. However, on the analogy of light preserving the products of materials (theoretically, we could watch the crucifixion of Christ from a planet billions of miles away), one can envisage the possibility that the immaterial energy (call it “soul”) produced by the brain may also survive the disappearance of the materials. Whether it can lead a new life is open to conjecture, but this would explain psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu. And a theist can argue that his God has created this material mechanism to produce a form of conscious energy like his own, which will live on and may even lead a new life. What I am proposing does not solve the mystery of consciousness itself, but it removes the dichotomy between materialism and dualism, incorporates all the evidence for the two approaches, and still allows for all beliefs, both theistic and atheistic. Once more, I would welcome any post that points to flaws in this proposal.

DAVID: This does not fit my view of dualism in which the soul mechanism is immaterial but must use the networks of the material brain during life in order to think. This also fits your examples of brain damage or drugs affecting the ability to think clearly.

dhw: I know it doesn’t fit your view. I am asking you (or anyone else who happens to read this) to pinpoint flaws in the reasoning.

This sentence of yours is problematic: "And a theist can argue that his God has created this material mechanism to produce a form of conscious energy like his own, which will live on and may even lead a new life." This sounds like pure materialism to me, as you are having the brain produce consciousness by God's design, so consciousness has a material basis only. How does it survive death, if brain dependent? You seem to have God coming and taking it away with Him when death occurs, while my approach has them always separate (brain/consciousness), but required to work intimately together in life.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, May 12, 2018, 11:02 (216 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: This sentence of yours is problematic: "And a theist can argue that his God has created this material mechanism to produce a form of conscious energy like his own, which will live on and may even lead a new life." This sounds like pure materialism to me, as you are having the brain produce consciousness by God's design, so consciousness has a material basis only. How does it survive death, if brain dependent? You seem to have God coming and taking it away with Him when death occurs, while my approach has them always separate (brain/consciousness), but required to work intimately together in life.

Your question “How does it survive if brain dependent?” is what I keep asking you when you tell us over and over again that the soul is brain dependent in life! Time after time, when I try to explain dualism to you, you have accused me of separating the soul from the brain in life, because you insist that the soul cannot think without the brain. My sentence SUPPORTS your argument, but it is a direct contradiction of “pure dualism”. The contradictions that riddle your materialistic version of dualism can be resolved by the sentence you have quoted, which changes the conventional basis of dualism by making the "soul" the immaterial product of the brain. Humans are striving to create a material being that can emulate all the attributes of a human. My theistic version suggests that your God has done precisely that: we are a material being whose materials have produced the consciousness of which he himself is composed. He doesn’t “come and take it away” (which is virtually the same as your idea that it “returns to God”). It has its own identity as a form of energy which (just like light waves) survives the passing of the materials that have produced it and, if NDEs are anything to go by, is capable of new experiences in a different, immaterial world. However, let me emphasize that I am only offering this possibility in order to show that my theory can incorporate your theistic beliefs. I remain neutral on the subject of an afterlife.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 13, 2018, 00:09 (215 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: This sentence of yours is problematic: "And a theist can argue that his God has created this material mechanism to produce a form of conscious energy like his own, which will live on and may even lead a new life." This sounds like pure materialism to me, as you are having the brain produce consciousness by God's design, so consciousness has a material basis only. How does it survive death, if brain dependent? You seem to have God coming and taking it away with Him when death occurs, while my approach has them always separate (brain/consciousness), but required to work intimately together in life.

dhw: Your question “How does it survive if brain dependent?” is what I keep asking you when you tell us over and over again that the soul is brain dependent in life! Time after time, when I try to explain dualism to you, you have accused me of separating the soul from the brain in life, because you insist that the soul cannot think without the brain. My sentence SUPPORTS your argument, but it is a direct contradiction of “pure dualism”. The contradictions that riddle your materialistic version of dualism can be resolved by the sentence you have quoted, which changes the conventional basis of dualism by making the "soul" the immaterial product of the brain. Humans are striving to create a material being that can emulate all the attributes of a human. My theistic version suggests that your God has done precisely that: we are a material being whose materials have produced the consciousness of which he himself is composed. He doesn’t “come and take it away” (which is virtually the same as your idea that it “returns to God”). It has its own identity as a form of energy which (just like light waves) survives the passing of the materials that have produced it and, if NDEs are anything to go by, is capable of new experiences in a different, immaterial world. However, let me emphasize that I am only offering this possibility in order to show that my theory can incorporate your theistic beliefs. I remain neutral on the subject of an afterlife.

Your sentence "we are a material being whose materials have produced the consciousness of which he himself is composed" proports to claim that God caused our material brain to produce an immaterial consciousness in the same form as His own. This differs little from my thesis, in which I have God giving the consciousness. In my view the soul must interface with specific areas of the brain. In your view each area of the brain contributes to forming the soul, so the relationship of brain to soul is the same interlock I describe.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 13, 2018, 00:25 (215 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: This sentence of yours is problematic: "And a theist can argue that his God has created this material mechanism to produce a form of conscious energy like his own, which will live on and may even lead a new life." This sounds like pure materialism to me, as you are having the brain produce consciousness by God's design, so consciousness has a material basis only. How does it survive death, if brain dependent? You seem to have God coming and taking it away with Him when death occurs, while my approach has them always separate (brain/consciousness), but required to work intimately together in life.

dhw: Your question “How does it survive if brain dependent?” is what I keep asking you when you tell us over and over again that the soul is brain dependent in life! Time after time, when I try to explain dualism to you, you have accused me of separating the soul from the brain in life, because you insist that the soul cannot think without the brain. My sentence SUPPORTS your argument, but it is a direct contradiction of “pure dualism”. The contradictions that riddle your materialistic version of dualism can be resolved by the sentence you have quoted, which changes the conventional basis of dualism by making the "soul" the immaterial product of the brain. Humans are striving to create a material being that can emulate all the attributes of a human. My theistic version suggests that your God has done precisely that: we are a material being whose materials have produced the consciousness of which he himself is composed. He doesn’t “come and take it away” (which is virtually the same as your idea that it “returns to God”). It has its own identity as a form of energy which (just like light waves) survives the passing of the materials that have produced it and, if NDEs are anything to go by, is capable of new experiences in a different, immaterial world. However, let me emphasize that I am only offering this possibility in order to show that my theory can incorporate your theistic beliefs. I remain neutral on the subject of an afterlife.

Your sentence "we are a material being whose materials have produced the consciousness of which he himself is composed" purports to claim that God caused our material brain to produce an immaterial consciousness in the same form as His own. This differs little from my thesis, in which I have God giving the consciousness. In my view the soul must interface with specific areas of the brain. In your view each area of the brain contributes to forming the soul, so the relationship of brain to soul is the same interlock I describe.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Sunday, May 13, 2018, 13:48 (215 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your sentence "we are a material being whose materials have produced the consciousness of which he himself is composed" proports to claim that God caused our material brain to produce an immaterial consciousness in the same form as His own. This differs little from my thesis, in which I have God giving the consciousness. In my view the soul must interface with specific areas of the brain. In your view each area of the brain contributes to forming the soul, so the relationship of brain to soul is the same interlock I describe.

You’ve got it! My theory incorporates your thesis by inverting the process, thereby removing all the contradictions I keep pointing out in your arguments (see the post under “Introducing the brain” for several examples). This is how we can reconcile materialism with dualism: yes, materials are the source of the thinking self (materialism), but what they produce is an immaterial self (dualism) as a form of energy which may survive the death of the materials (just as light waves preserve the image of past events) or may not, depending on your faith or lack of faith. I have stuck to the theistic approach that your God designed the “machine” that produces consciousness like his own, because (a) as an agnostic, I regard that as possible, and (b) a theistic approach is the only one you will accept. Clearly an atheist would say that the mechanism put itself together by chance, or that there is a form of panpsychism through which materials gradually but consciously assemble its components. But the focus here should be on the mechanism itself, and I would still like to know of any flaws in the reasoning.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 13, 2018, 15:15 (215 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your sentence "we are a material being whose materials have produced the consciousness of which he himself is composed" proports to claim that God caused our material brain to produce an immaterial consciousness in the same form as His own. This differs little from my thesis, in which I have God giving the consciousness. In my view the soul must interface with specific areas of the brain. In your view each area of the brain contributes to forming the soul, so the relationship of brain to soul is the same interlock I describe.

dhw: You’ve got it! My theory incorporates your thesis by inverting the process, thereby removing all the contradictions I keep pointing out in your arguments (see the post under “Introducing the brain” for several examples). This is how we can reconcile materialism with dualism: yes, materials are the source of the thinking self (materialism), but what they produce is an immaterial self (dualism) as a form of energy which may survive the death of the materials (just as light waves preserve the image of past events) or may not, depending on your faith or lack of faith. I have stuck to the theistic approach that your God designed the “machine” that produces consciousness like his own, because (a) as an agnostic, I regard that as possible, and (b) a theistic approach is the only one you will accept. Clearly an atheist would say that the mechanism put itself together by chance, or that there is a form of panpsychism through which materials gradually but consciously assemble its components. But the focus here should be on the mechanism itself, and I would still like to know of any flaws in the reasoning.

I agree we are close. God could certainly have the cells produce our consciousness, rather than simply giving us the mechanism. See the video I've presented today. we live in God's consciousness and my views of quantum mechanics prejudice my views.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Monday, May 14, 2018, 13:01 (214 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your sentence "we are a material being whose materials have produced the consciousness of which he himself is composed" proports to claim that God caused our material brain to produce an immaterial consciousness in the same form as His own. This differs little from my thesis, in which I have God giving the consciousness. In my view the soul must interface with specific areas of the brain. In your view each area of the brain contributes to forming the soul, so the relationship of brain to soul is the same interlock I describe.

dhw: You’ve got it! My theory incorporates your thesis by inverting the process, thereby removing all the contradictions I keep pointing out in your arguments (see the post under “Introducing the brain” for several examples). This is how we can reconcile materialism with dualism: yes, materials are the source of the thinking self (materialism), but what they produce is an immaterial self (dualism) as a form of energy which may survive the death of the materials (just as light waves preserve the image of past events) or may not, depending on your faith or lack of faith. I have stuck to the theistic approach that your God designed the “machine” that produces consciousness like his own, because (a) as an agnostic, I regard that as possible, and (b) a theistic approach is the only one you will accept. Clearly an atheist would say that the mechanism put itself together by chance, or that there is a form of panpsychism through which materials gradually but consciously assemble its components. But the focus here should be on the mechanism itself, and I would still like to know of any flaws in the reasoning.

DAVID: I agree we are close. God could certainly have the cells produce our consciousness, rather than simply giving us the mechanism. See the video I've presented today. we live in God's consciousness and my views of quantum mechanics prejudice my views.

I don’t know how quantum mechanics can be made to support any view regarding the origin or nature of consciousness, the existence or non-existence of an immaterial “soul”, or indeed the existence or non-existence of the conscious immaterial mind you call God. According to the video, nothing is real until and unless we observe it, and presumably even then it disappears once we stop observing it. But that is a minor point in the history of the AgnosticWeb compared to your acceptance that my theory might be true. If so, it resolves all the issues and contradictions we have been discussing on so many threads. (See “Introducing the brain”).

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Monday, May 14, 2018, 17:33 (214 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your sentence "we are a material being whose materials have produced the consciousness of which he himself is composed" proports to claim that God caused our material brain to produce an immaterial consciousness in the same form as His own. This differs little from my thesis, in which I have God giving the consciousness. In my view the soul must interface with specific areas of the brain. In your view each area of the brain contributes to forming the soul, so the relationship of brain to soul is the same interlock I describe.

dhw: You’ve got it! My theory incorporates your thesis by inverting the process, thereby removing all the contradictions I keep pointing out in your arguments (see the post under “Introducing the brain” for several examples). This is how we can reconcile materialism with dualism: yes, materials are the source of the thinking self (materialism), but what they produce is an immaterial self (dualism) as a form of energy which may survive the death of the materials (just as light waves preserve the image of past events) or may not, depending on your faith or lack of faith. I have stuck to the theistic approach that your God designed the “machine” that produces consciousness like his own, because (a) as an agnostic, I regard that as possible, and (b) a theistic approach is the only one you will accept. Clearly an atheist would say that the mechanism put itself together by chance, or that there is a form of panpsychism through which materials gradually but consciously assemble its components. But the focus here should be on the mechanism itself, and I would still like to know of any flaws in the reasoning.

DAVID: I agree we are close. God could certainly have the cells produce our consciousness, rather than simply giving us the mechanism. See the video I've presented today. we live in God's consciousness and my views of quantum mechanics prejudice my views.

dhw: I don’t know how quantum mechanics can be made to support any view regarding the origin or nature of consciousness, the existence or non-existence of an immaterial “soul”, or indeed the existence or non-existence of the conscious immaterial mind you call God. According to the video, nothing is real until and unless we observe it, and presumably even then it disappears once we stop observing it. But that is a minor point in the history of the AgnosticWeb compared to your acceptance that my theory might be true. If so, it resolves all the issues and contradictions we have been discussing on so many threads. (See “Introducing the brain”).

I admit I can see the possibility that either mechanism for the arrival of consciousness is possible, but for me with an open mind, I must recognize the possibility of both. Since I believe in universal consciousness through God, I then must make a choice of which mechanism is most likely. So I side with the possibility that it is given by God to the brain. I note your idea is possible, but based on a material source in that it arises from the brain. I would think it more likely that consciousness exists in the universe and is always immaterial and never arising de novo from material sources.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 13:02 (213 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I agree we are close. God could certainly have the cells produce our consciousness, rather than simply giving us the mechanism. See the video I've presented today. we live in God's consciousness and my views of quantum mechanics prejudice my views.

dhw: I don’t know how quantum mechanics can be made to support any view regarding the origin or nature of consciousness, the existence or non-existence of an immaterial “soul”, or indeed the existence or non-existence of the conscious immaterial mind you call God. According to the video, nothing is real until and unless we observe it, and presumably even then it disappears once we stop observing it. But that is a minor point in the history of the AgnosticWeb compared to your acceptance that my theory might be true. If so, it resolves all the issues and contradictions we have been discussing on so many threads. (See “Introducing the brain”).

DAVID: I admit I can see the possibility that either mechanism for the arrival of consciousness is possible, but for me with an open mind, I must recognize the possibility of both. Since I believe in universal consciousness through God, I then must make a choice of which mechanism is most likely. So I side with the possibility that it is given by God to the brain. I note your idea is possible, but based on a material source in that it arises from the brain. I would think it more likely that consciousness exists in the universe and is always immaterial and never arising de novo from material sources.

Your recognition that both processes are possible is good enough for me, as it acknowledges that you can find no flaws in my reasoning. Unfortunately, the debate continues under “Introducing the brain”.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 17:44 (213 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I agree we are close. God could certainly have the cells produce our consciousness, rather than simply giving us the mechanism. See the video I've presented today. we live in God's consciousness and my views of quantum mechanics prejudice my views.

dhw: I don’t know how quantum mechanics can be made to support any view regarding the origin or nature of consciousness, the existence or non-existence of an immaterial “soul”, or indeed the existence or non-existence of the conscious immaterial mind you call God. According to the video, nothing is real until and unless we observe it, and presumably even then it disappears once we stop observing it. But that is a minor point in the history of the AgnosticWeb compared to your acceptance that my theory might be true. If so, it resolves all the issues and contradictions we have been discussing on so many threads. (See “Introducing the brain”).

DAVID: I admit I can see the possibility that either mechanism for the arrival of consciousness is possible, but for me with an open mind, I must recognize the possibility of both. Since I believe in universal consciousness through God, I then must make a choice of which mechanism is most likely. So I side with the possibility that it is given by God to the brain. I note your idea is possible, but based on a material source in that it arises from the brain. I would think it more likely that consciousness exists in the universe and is always immaterial and never arising de novo from material sources.

dhw: Your recognition that both processes are possible is good enough for me, as it acknowledges that you can find no flaws in my reasoning. Unfortunately, the debate continues under “Introducing the brain”.

Keep an open mind about both possibilities.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by dhw, Monday, May 21, 2018, 14:14 (207 days ago) @ dhw

My attempt to reconcile dualism and materialism proposes that the so-called “soul” is the product of intelligent, cooperating cell communities. Whether this “soul” can continue to live on after the death of the body is left open, as is the question of how the whole mechanism came into being. As such, it clearly supports materialism in so far as it opposes the theistic claim that the “soul” is an inserted piece of God’s consciousness (Gilbert Ryle’s derogatory “ghost in the machine”). It might therefore be misconstrued as an atheistic proposal, and so Part Three is for theists only.

In my view, the most potent argument for the existence of a god is the sheer complexity of the cell itself, culminating perhaps in the community of cell communities that make up the human brain. I shan’t go into the equally compelling arguments against the concept of an eternal mind that has no source – the insoluble mystery that theists call on to solve the so far insoluble mysteries of life and consciousness. I simply want to knock on the head the view that my theory is in itself atheistic.

If the cell is too complex to have been the product of chance - and the cell is the material basis of all life – we are left with the proposal that a god designed the materials. Would any theist argue otherwise? I would therefore see any designing god as a scientist and not a magician. And I would take this to mean there is a material formula that leads to life. If this is true (and I can't see any objections to the proposal that God uses science), why would he not fashion materials into a producer of consciousness? (We humans are trying to find the formula in our efforts to create a conscious robot/computer, and you don't have to be an atheist to do so.). For a theist, materialism would therefore mean God’s material method of creating life and consciousness. Like Darwin - an odiously presumptuous comparison, I know! - I would protest that my theory should not “shock the religious feelings of anyone”. But unlike Darwin, I would not talk of the Creator "having breathed life" into a few forms. If God exists, I would talk of him moulding materials in such such a way that they produced both life and consciousness.

As a PS to my fellow agnostics and to atheists, I should reiterate the fact that without a guiding God I cannot see any alternative to the theory that cells/cell communities have an autonomous intelligence of their own. But perhaps someone will be kind enough to tell me how else the intelligent behaviour of cells/cell communities might be explained.

Tags:
for theists only

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by David Turell @, Monday, May 21, 2018, 15:39 (207 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My attempt to reconcile dualism and materialism proposes that the so-called “soul” is the product of intelligent, cooperating cell communities. Whether this “soul” can continue to live on after the death of the body is left open, as is the question of how the whole mechanism came into being. As such, it clearly supports materialism in so far as it opposes the theistic claim that the “soul” is an inserted piece of God’s consciousness (Gilbert Ryle’s derogatory “ghost in the machine”). It might therefore be misconstrued as an atheistic proposal, and so Part Three is for theists only.

In my view, the most potent argument for the existence of a god is the sheer complexity of the cell itself, culminating perhaps in the community of cell communities that make up the human brain. I shan’t go into the equally compelling arguments against the concept of an eternal mind that has no source – the insoluble mystery that theists call on to solve the so far insoluble mysteries of life and consciousness. I simply want to knock on the head the view that my theory is in itself atheistic.

If the cell is too complex to have been the product of chance - and the cell is the material basis of all life – we are left with the proposal that a god designed the materials. Would any theist argue otherwise? I would therefore see any designing god as a scientist and not a magician. And I would take this to mean there is a material formula that leads to life. If this is true (and I can't see any objections to the proposal that God uses science), why would he not fashion materials into a producer of consciousness? (We humans are trying to find the formula in our efforts to create a conscious robot/computer, and you don't have to be an atheist to do so.). For a theist, materialism would therefore mean God’s material method of creating life and consciousness. Like Darwin - an odiously presumptuous comparison, I know! - I would protest that my theory should not “shock the religious feelings of anyone”. But unlike Darwin, I would not talk of the Creator "having breathed life" into a few forms. If God exists, I would talk of him moulding materials in such such a way that they produced both life and consciousness.

As a PS to my fellow agnostics and to atheists, I should reiterate the fact that without a guiding God I cannot see any alternative to the theory that cells/cell communities have an autonomous intelligence of their own. But perhaps someone will be kind enough to tell me how else the intelligent behaviour of cells/cell communities might be explained.

Excellent summary of your thinking. There should not be life in an inorganic universe but it appeared in all its complexity. And your final puzzle as to why there is intelligence can have only one answer. Intelligence preexisted the appearance of the Big Bang.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by dhw, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 12:35 (206 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Excellent summary of your thinking. There should not be life in an inorganic universe but it appeared in all its complexity. And your final puzzle as to why there is intelligence can have only one answer. Intelligence preexisted the appearance of the Big Bang.

Thank you, but as always I’d be interested to hear your response to my thinking. Do you regard life and consciousness to be the work of a divine scientist or a divine magician? When you quite rightly emphasize the complexity of design, do you think it has nothing to do with the ultimate products, which are life and consciousness, and these have to be magically “breathed into” the lifeless materials instead of being produced by the application of science to those materials?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 18:25 (206 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Excellent summary of your thinking. There should not be life in an inorganic universe but it appeared in all its complexity. And your final puzzle as to why there is intelligence can have only one answer. Intelligence preexisted the appearance of the Big Bang.

dhw: Thank you, but as always I’d be interested to hear your response to my thinking. Do you regard life and consciousness to be the work of a divine scientist or a divine magician? When you quite rightly emphasize the complexity of design, do you think it has nothing to do with the ultimate products, which are life and consciousness, and these have to be magically “breathed into” the lifeless materials instead of being produced by the application of science to those materials?

The complexity of the biochemistry of life creates life as an emergent property. But the cleverness of the design of all the biochemical interlocking reactions requires a designer. In other words, except for human consciousness and conscious animals, if all those organic molecules are formed and come together life will appear from the combination, but can never come by chance formulation. Being conscious may arise from the brain but may arise from universal consciousness, based on the Jewish tradition that animals have their special kind of soul. Human consciousness, being so unusual it must be at a quantum level and part of universal consciousness, i.e., part of God's consciousness.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by dhw, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 13:03 (205 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Excellent summary of your thinking. There should not be life in an inorganic universe but it appeared in all its complexity. And your final puzzle as to why there is intelligence can have only one answer. Intelligence preexisted the appearance of the Big Bang.

dhw: Thank you, but as always I’d be interested to hear your response to my thinking. Do you regard life and consciousness to be the work of a divine scientist or a divine magician? When you quite rightly emphasize the complexity of design, do you think it has nothing to do with the ultimate products, which are life and consciousness, and these have to be magically “breathed into” the lifeless materials instead of being produced by the application of science to those materials?

DAVID: The complexity of the biochemistry of life creates life as an emergent property. But the cleverness of the design of all the biochemical interlocking reactions requires a designer. In other words, except for human consciousness and conscious animals, if all those organic molecules are formed and come together life will appear from the combination, but can never come by chance formulation. Being conscious may arise from the brain but may arise from universal consciousness, based on the Jewish tradition that animals have their special kind of soul. Human consciousness, being so unusual it must be at a quantum level and part of universal consciousness, i.e., part of God's consciousness.

My Part Three was specifically written for theists like yourself, so you needn’t bother with chance. The question I asked was whether you thought your God used magic or science to create life and consciousness. You have given a straight answer concerning life: it “emerges” from the biochemistry. You acknowledge that the same may be true of consciousness. I don’t understand your reasoning after that. As you never tire of telling us, the human brain has many similarities to the animal brain, but has certain significant differences, so why shouldn’t that mean that human and animal forms of consciousness have both emerged, like life, from the manner in which your God has assembled the materials? Any flaws in the logic?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 21:56 (204 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Excellent summary of your thinking. There should not be life in an inorganic universe but it appeared in all its complexity. And your final puzzle as to why there is intelligence can have only one answer. Intelligence preexisted the appearance of the Big Bang.

dhw: Thank you, but as always I’d be interested to hear your response to my thinking. Do you regard life and consciousness to be the work of a divine scientist or a divine magician? When you quite rightly emphasize the complexity of design, do you think it has nothing to do with the ultimate products, which are life and consciousness, and these have to be magically “breathed into” the lifeless materials instead of being produced by the application of science to those materials?

DAVID: The complexity of the biochemistry of life creates life as an emergent property. But the cleverness of the design of all the biochemical interlocking reactions requires a designer. In other words, except for human consciousness and conscious animals, if all those organic molecules are formed and come together life will appear from the combination, but can never come by chance formulation. Being conscious may arise from the brain but may arise from universal consciousness, based on the Jewish tradition that animals have their special kind of soul. Human consciousness, being so unusual it must be at a quantum level and part of universal consciousness, i.e., part of God's consciousness.

dhw: My Part Three was specifically written for theists like yourself, so you needn’t bother with chance. The question I asked was whether you thought your God used magic or science to create life and consciousness. You have given a straight answer concerning life: it “emerges” from the biochemistry. You acknowledge that the same may be true of consciousness. I don’t understand your reasoning after that. As you never tire of telling us, the human brain has many similarities to the animal brain, but has certain significant differences, so why shouldn’t that mean that human and animal forms of consciousness have both emerged, like life, from the manner in which your God has assembled the materials? Any flaws in the logic?

That is pure materialism and logical from that standpoint. Life and living matter are pure materialism. Consciousness is not material in any way as I stated above, and is related to the conscious universe or part of universal consciousness.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by dhw, Thursday, May 24, 2018, 19:10 (204 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My Part Three was specifically written for theists like yourself, so you needn’t bother with chance. The question I asked was whether you thought your God used magic or science to create life and consciousness. You have given a straight answer concerning life: it “emerges” from the biochemistry. You acknowledge that the same may be true of consciousness. I don’t understand your reasoning after that. As you never tire of telling us, the human brain has many similarities to the animal brain, but has certain significant differences, so why shouldn’t that mean that human and animal forms of consciousness have both emerged, like life, from the manner in which your God has assembled the materials? Any flaws in the logic?

DAVID: That is pure materialism and logical from that standpoint. Life and living matter are pure materialism. Consciousness is not material in any way as I stated above, and is related to the conscious universe or part of universal consciousness.

If consciousness is not material in any way, why do you keep insisting that the soul cannot think without the brain (except when it hasn’t got a brain to think with)?

Of course living matter is material, but if I were a dualist I would say life is as immaterial as consciousness. No human has yet been able to create it, and even Darwin talked of the Creator “breathing” life into a few forms or one. Do you think your immaterial soul in heaven is dead? I thought it was integral to your form of dualism that although the body dies, “you” live on and, more relevant to this context, “you” think on. And so if your God made immaterial life emerge from materials, would you not agree that he might also have made immaterial consciousness emerge from materials? That doesn’t stop it from being “related to the conscious universe”, and if you believe in theistic panpsychism it will also be part of universal consciousness.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 24, 2018, 23:52 (203 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My Part Three was specifically written for theists like yourself, so you needn’t bother with chance. The question I asked was whether you thought your God used magic or science to create life and consciousness. You have given a straight answer concerning life: it “emerges” from the biochemistry. You acknowledge that the same may be true of consciousness. I don’t understand your reasoning after that. As you never tire of telling us, the human brain has many similarities to the animal brain, but has certain significant differences, so why shouldn’t that mean that human and animal forms of consciousness have both emerged, like life, from the manner in which your God has assembled the materials? Any flaws in the logic?

DAVID: That is pure materialism and logical from that standpoint. Life and living matter are pure materialism. Consciousness is not material in any way as I stated above, and is related to the conscious universe or part of universal consciousness.

dhw: If consciousness is not material in any way, why do you keep insisting that the soul cannot think without the brain (except when it hasn’t got a brain to think with)?

Because that arrangement is entirely possible, based on what we know how the soul must interlock with definitive areas of the brain. The two possibilities, yours and mine exist. You insist an independent soul dictates to the brain, and what is seen in brain research doesn't show that. Yours is pure theory which you want to like as it seems to challenge my thought about God enlarging the brain. I view my interlocking thoughts As entirely logical from my starting point.


dhw: Of course living matter is material, but if I were a dualist I would say life is as immaterial as consciousness. No human has yet been able to create it, and even Darwin talked of the Creator “breathing” life into a few forms or one. Do you think your immaterial soul in heaven is dead? I thought it was integral to your form of dualism that although the body dies, “you” live on and, more relevant to this context, “you” think on. And so if your God made immaterial life emerge from materials, would you not agree that he might also have made immaterial consciousness emerge from materials? That doesn’t stop it from being “related to the conscious universe”, and if you believe in theistic panpsychism it will also be part of universal consciousness.

You are invoking God's unlimited powers to do anything He wants. That could be. I just view it differently. I feel God's consciousness pervades the universe but I doubt the strict tenets of panpsychism.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by dhw, Friday, May 25, 2018, 11:10 (203 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Life and living matter are pure materialism. Consciousness is not material in any way as I stated above, and is related to the conscious universe or part of universal consciousness.

dhw: If consciousness is not material in any way, why do you keep insisting that the soul cannot think without the brain (except when it hasn’t got a brain to think with)?

DAVID: Because that arrangement is entirely possible, based on what we know how the soul must interlock with definitive areas of the brain. The two possibilities, yours and mine exist. You insist an independent soul dictates to the brain, and what is seen in brain research doesn't show that. Yours is pure theory which you want to like as it seems to challenge my thought about God enlarging the brain. I view my interlocking thoughts As entirely logical from my starting point.

The arrangement that the soul interlocks with definitive areas is entirely logical. What is not logical is your hypothesis that consciousness is not material in any way and yet is incapable of thinking unless it has a material brain, except when it does not have a material brain. The concept of an independent thinking soul giving instructions to the implementing brain (which could be called “interlocking” with the brain, since they work together) is not mine – it is that of dualism. The concept of the brain producing the ability to think is that of materialism. Both concepts are “pure theory”, as is my own reconciliation proposal, because nobody knows the truth. What is seen in brain research is that thought changes the brain (musicians, taxi drivers, illiterates learning to read and to write), thereby supporting dualism, and that the brain changes thought (diseases, drugs, alcohol, accidents), thereby supporting materialism. My attempt at reconciliation encompasses both approaches, removes all the contradictions arising out of your own illogical theory summarized above, and is compatible with theism and with atheism. I would still like to know if there are any flaws in its logic.

dhw: I thought it was integral to your form of dualism that although the body dies, “you” live on and, more relevant to this context, “you” think on. And so if your God made immaterial life emerge from materials, would you not agree that he might also have made immaterial consciousness emerge from materials? That doesn’t stop it from being “related to the conscious universe”, and if you believe in theistic panpsychism it will also be part of universal consciousness.

DAVID: You are invoking God's unlimited powers to do anything He wants. That could be. I just view it differently. I feel God's consciousness pervades the universe but I doubt the strict tenets of panpsychism.

I do not see why a God who can create life out of materials should be incapable of creating consciousness out of materials. Nor do I see how this means his consciousness does NOT pervade the universe. Nor do I know what you mean by the “strict tenets” of panpsychism. Theistic panpsychism means that God’s consciousness pervades the universe.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by David Turell @, Friday, May 25, 2018, 20:16 (203 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Because that arrangement is entirely possible, based on what we know how the soul must interlock with definitive areas of the brain. The two possibilities, yours and mine exist. You insist an independent soul dictates to the brain, and what is seen in brain research doesn't show that. Yours is pure theory which you want to like as it seems to challenge my thought about God enlarging the brain. I view my interlocking thoughts As entirely logical from my starting point.

dhw: The arrangement that the soul interlocks with definitive areas is entirely logical. What is not logical is your hypothesis that consciousness is not material in any way and yet is incapable of thinking unless it has a material brain, except when it does not have a material brain. The concept of an independent thinking soul giving instructions to the implementing brain (which could be called “interlocking” with the brain, since they work together) is not mine – it is that of dualism. The concept of the brain producing the ability to think is that of materialism. Both concepts are “pure theory”, as is my own reconciliation proposal, because nobody knows the truth. What is seen in brain research is that thought changes the brain (musicians, taxi drivers, illiterates learning to read and to write), thereby supporting dualism, and that the brain changes thought (diseases, drugs, alcohol, accidents), thereby supporting materialism. My attempt at reconciliation encompasses both approaches, removes all the contradictions arising out of your own illogical theory summarized above, and is compatible with theism and with atheism. I would still like to know if there are any flaws in its logic.

I keep repeating your static soul as as starting point keeps your thoughts logical. Since the soul exists in two situations that are totally different, I disagree with your starting point of a static soul, unchanging in form in life and death. Your grudging admission that it works slightly differently in death is not the sort of difference I'm proposing. You keep repeating my thoughts are illogical as if that makes the point true. They are only illogical if only your basic starting assumptions are true and no one knows if they are. You insist upon our assumptions because mine lead to my explanation about the larger frontal lobes in evolution of humans.


dhw: I thought it was integral to your form of dualism that although the body dies, “you” live on and, more relevant to this context, “you” think on. And so if your God made immaterial life emerge from materials, would you not agree that he might also have made immaterial consciousness emerge from materials? That doesn’t stop it from being “related to the conscious universe”, and if you believe in theistic panpsychism it will also be part of universal consciousness.

DAVID: You are invoking God's unlimited powers to do anything He wants. That could be. I just view it differently. I feel God's consciousness pervades the universe but I doubt the strict tenets of panpsychism.

dhw: I do not see why a God who can create life out of materials should be incapable of creating consciousness out of materials. Nor do I see how this means his consciousness does NOT pervade the universe. Nor do I know what you mean by the “strict tenets” of panpsychism. Theistic panpsychism means that God’s consciousness pervades the universe.

I'll accept your statements

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by dhw, Saturday, May 26, 2018, 11:27 (202 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My attempt at reconciliation [between materialism and dualism] encompasses both approaches, removes all the contradictions arising out of your own illogical theory summarized above, and is compatible with theism and with atheism. I would still like to know if there are any flaws in its logic.
DAVID: I keep repeating your static soul as as starting point keeps your thoughts logical. Since the soul exists in two situations that are totally different, I disagree with your starting point of a static soul, unchanging in form in life and death. Your grudging admission that it works slightly differently in death is not the sort of difference I'm proposing.

But you haven’t proposed a different form, although I keep asking you to do so. I have accepted that methods of observation and communication must be different, and I have vehemently denied that the soul is static, because even in life it continually changes with experience, and so of course if it leaves the material world and enters an immaterial world it will exist in two totally different situations and will be subjected to new experiences. But you keep agreeing that it is the SAME thinking soul, i.e. it is the immaterial you or me. So what “difference” are you proposing?

DAVID: You keep repeating my thoughts are illogical as if that makes the point true. They are only illogical if only your basic starting assumptions are true and no one knows if they are. You insist upon your assumptions because mine lead to my explanation about the larger frontal lobes in evolution of humans.

Firstly, they are not basic starting assumptions. They are conclusions drawn from conflicting facts, some of which support materialism while others support dualism. I can find no logic in your belief that the same immaterial soul (your immaterial self/soul/consciousness) cannot THINK without a material brain in life but can go on THINKING without a material brain in death. I accept the possibility that if your God exists, he may have expanded the frontal lobe to enable humans to think new thoughts, but the idea that the brain is the source of thought is pure materialism, and so directly contradicts your dualistic belief in an s/s/c (a conscious, thinking soul) which remains its conscious thinking self without the brain. I have offered a theistic way out of this illogicality by proposing (theistic version) that your God designed a mechanism whereby the immaterial soul may emerge from materials and may survive, just as images can survive the disappearance of the materials that gave rise to them. I do not insist on it, but I offer it for discussion. And so far you have failed to come up with any criticism of its logic.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 26, 2018, 15:37 (202 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I keep repeating your static soul as as starting point keeps your thoughts logical. Since the soul exists in two situations that are totally different, I disagree with your starting point of a static soul, unchanging in form in life and death. Your grudging admission that it works slightly differently in death is not the sort of difference I'm proposing.

dhw: But you haven’t proposed a different form, although I keep asking you to do so. I have accepted that methods of observation and communication must be different, and I have vehemently denied that the soul is static, because even in life it continually changes with experience, and so of course if it leaves the material world and enters an immaterial world it will exist in two totally different situations and will be subjected to new experiences. But you keep agreeing that it is the SAME thinking soul, i.e. it is the immaterial you or me. So what “difference” are you proposing?

I am stating that the functional form of the soul is malleable in life and in death, as the personage remains the same. I am sure quantum strangeness allow for my thought.


DAVID: You keep repeating my thoughts are illogical as if that makes the point true. They are only illogical if only your basic starting assumptions are true and no one knows if they are. You insist upon your assumptions because mine lead to my explanation about the larger frontal lobes in evolution of humans.

dhw: Firstly, they are not basic starting assumptions. They are conclusions drawn from conflicting facts, some of which support materialism while others support dualism. I can find no logic in your belief that the same immaterial soul (your immaterial self/soul/consciousness) cannot THINK without a material brain in life but can go on THINKING without a material brain in death. I accept the possibility that if your God exists, he may have expanded the frontal lobe to enable humans to think new thoughts, but the idea that the brain is the source of thought is pure materialism, and so directly contradicts your dualistic belief in an s/s/c (a conscious, thinking soul) which remains its conscious thinking self without the brain. I have offered a theistic way out of this illogicality by proposing (theistic version) that your God designed a mechanism whereby the immaterial soul may emerge from materials and may survive, just as images can survive the disappearance of the materials that gave rise to them. I do not insist on it, but I offer it for discussion. And so far you have failed to come up with any criticism of its logic.

I have agreed over and over that your thought pattern is logical if we accept the starting point of a static soul mechanism. I don't. Understanding that the universe is based on quantum mechanics I think the soul is also and malleable in its functional from between life and death.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by dhw, Sunday, May 27, 2018, 10:58 (201 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: [..] what “difference” are you proposing?

DAVID: I am stating that the functional form of the soul is malleable in life and in death, as the personage remains the same. I am sure quantum strangeness allow for my thought.

And I keep asking you what you mean by the functional form if you are not referring to the soul’s modes of observation and communication, or to changes in the content (our immaterial attributes). So once more, please explain what other “difference” you are proposing. According to you, the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness which is inserted into the brain, can’t think without the brain, but can think without the brain. “Quantum strangeness” explains nothing, and does not remove the illogicality of your argument.

DAVID: I have agreed over and over that your thought pattern is logical if we accept the starting point of a static soul mechanism. I don't. Understanding that the universe is based on quantum mechanics I think the soul is also and malleable in its functional from between life and death.

I have no idea what you mean by a static soul mechanism. My starting point is the dichotomy between dualism and materialism which leads to all the contradictions in your arguments, as – apologies for the repetition! – you claim to be a dualist (mind and body are separate entities that work together in life), but subscribe to materialism (the mind cannot think without the body) and then revert back to dualism (the mind CAN think without the body). Furthermore, you agree to the one “static” element I have mentioned, which is that if dualism is true, the mind remains the same mind – i.e. yours or mine – when the body dies. The theory I have offered resolves these contradictions, and incorporates “malleability” (if the soul lives on after death, it must change its modes of observation and communication, and will remain open to new experiences). I do not see how vague references to static souls and quantum mechanics in any way contradict the logic of my proposal, or resolve the illogicality of your own.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 27, 2018, 21:06 (201 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I am stating that the functional form of the soul is malleable in life and in death, as the personage remains the same. I am sure quantum strangeness allow for my thought.

dhw:And I keep asking you what you mean by the functional form if you are not referring to the soul’s modes of observation and communication, or to changes in the content (our immaterial attributes). So once more, please explain what other “difference” you are proposing. According to you, the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness which is inserted into the brain, can’t think without the brain, but can think without the brain. “Quantum strangeness” explains nothing, and does not remove the illogicality of your argument.

You obviously do not understand my theory. I view the soul as having a thought mechanism which is different in life and in death and is a quantum immaterial entity as its basis. Software is a mechanism which transmits thought. I'm sorry you find it so illogical. It fits everything I have studied. I keep pointing you that you want a fixed thought mechanism. I have my theory. You have yours. It is like cell intelligence. Take your pick.


DAVID: I have agreed over and over that your thought pattern is logical if we accept the starting point of a static soul mechanism. I don't. Understanding that the universe is based on quantum mechanics I think the soul is also and malleable in its functional from between life and death.

dhw: I have no idea what you mean by a static soul mechanism. My starting point is the dichotomy between dualism and materialism which leads to all the contradictions in your arguments, as – apologies for the repetition! – you claim to be a dualist (mind and body are separate entities that work together in life), but subscribe to materialism (the mind cannot think without the body) and then revert back to dualism (the mind CAN think without the body).

And I keep pointing out an immaterial quantum software soul can use a material brain to think and I have just described a form of dualism that you don't want to accept as a dualism theory.

dhw: Furthermore, you agree to the one “static” element I have mentioned, which is that if dualism is true, the mind remains the same mind – i.e. yours or mine – when the body dies.

But the constant personage must operate its soul's thought by different mechanism in life and death.

dhw: The theory I have offered resolves these contradictions, and incorporates “malleability” (if the soul lives on after death, it must change its modes of observation and communication, and will remain open to new experiences). I do not see how vague references to static souls and quantum mechanics in any way contradict the logic of my proposal, or resolve the illogicality of your own.

And it must operate without a brain, to which it is interlocked in life. And yes, in NDE's it observes and picks up new information which it remembers when it comes back to the living brain. You do not know that its functional mechanism stays the same. My theory is as valid as yours. Throwing around the words 'inconsistent and illogical' doesn't help the discussion.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by dhw, Monday, May 28, 2018, 10:39 (200 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You obviously do not understand my theory. I view the soul as having a thought mechanism which is different in life and in death and is a quantum immaterial entity as its basis.

No, I don’t understand your theory. I keep asking you what is the difference between an immaterial thinking soul (or piece of your God’s consciousness) in life and an immaterial thinking soul in death, apart from the fact that in life it uses the material brain to provide information and to express/implement its immaterial thoughts materially, whereas in death (a different world) it will have to observe and communicate by different (psychic) means. Please explain what other form of “thought mechanism” you are referring to. The word “quantum” explains nothing, and in any case I presume it would apply to the soul in both situations.

The rest of your post revolves around the same question.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three

by David Turell @, Monday, May 28, 2018, 15:10 (200 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You obviously do not understand my theory. I view the soul as having a thought mechanism which is different in life and in death and is a quantum immaterial entity as its basis.

dhw: No, I don’t understand your theory. I keep asking you what is the difference between an immaterial thinking soul (or piece of your God’s consciousness) in life and an immaterial thinking soul in death, apart from the fact that in life it uses the material brain to provide information and to express/implement its immaterial thoughts materially, whereas in death (a different world) it will have to observe and communicate by different (psychic) means. Please explain what other form of “thought mechanism” you are referring to. The word “quantum” explains nothing, and in any case I presume it would apply to the soul in both situations.

The rest of your post revolves around the same question.

What not to understand? I propose the soul has two operating mechanisms, one in life, one in death. Alternative software. In leaving the body it joins God's universal consciousness and changes its operative mode. You want a static soul mechanism in life and death. I let God in, you don't. My soul in theory remains the same personality just as yours does.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, June 07, 2018, 13:51 (190 days ago) @ dhw

I have transferred this from “...where the spiritual happens/appendix”, as it comments on the “theory” itself, and I have linked it to Part Two for further clarification.

dhw: Light is energy, and theoretically the visual image generated by a material event goes on for ever. The source is material (the actual crucifixion), but the image in the form of energy is not. It survives the death of the material source.
DAVID: Problem: there is no image until a consciousness sees it. It is all a potential image before that, photons which carry information.

This of course is your quantum theory. I believe the photons carrying the image, just like the sun and stars, are there, but we are not aware of them until we are aware of them. However, if you believe that reality is nothing but a potential until “a consciousness sees it”, and since the only consciousness we know is our own, then until you “saw” him, there was no God, and until you “saw” me, there was no me, and – a neat twist of subjectivity for you to ponder – until little Mary Jane “saw” them, there were no fairies at the bottom of her garden. Perhaps we should also mention the bus which the quantum philosopher never "saw". Lucky him, only to be killed by a potential reality.

dhw: Once we think of consciousness in terms of energy produced by materials, and we link it to the analogy of the image produced by light, it seems to me that we have a reconciliation between materialism (materials are the source of consciousness) and dualism (the energy exists independently of the source).
DAVID: The energy of the brain which allows us to see the image is ions generated by the brain. No dualism in your statement. I view dualism as requiring a separate consciousness mechanism which is malleable and operates by a different form in life and death.

You now see consciousness as a separate mechanism, whereas previously you have insisted that it is NOT separate, because you say the soul in life is incapable of thinking without the brain. (Please remember that there is no dualism in death.) You have even rebuked me for separating the two, although I have never done so. And I have agreed over and over again that if the soul exists and survives death, it must operate (observe and communicate) differently. (See "Introducing the brain".)

dhw: My “energy”, Penrose’s “quantum information”, and Sheldrake’s “morphic field” are all immaterial products of the material being, and they may survive the death of the individual body in the sense that their already formed information can be accessed by others (like the image of the crucifixion). But that does not necessarily mean that the immaterial information/ energy/ morphic field is capable of undergoing any change once its source is extinguished.
DAVID: But you don't know that. The soul appears to be active, operative, in NDE's when information is added.

Of course I don’t know. My theory allows for all possibilities. Meanwhile, you are still stuck with your contradictory belief that the soul depends on the brain for its active, operative ability to think, feel, learn, remember etc., but the same active, operative soul does not depend on the brain for the same ability when there is no brain. (It just needs different modes of observation and communication.)The only way that I can see for you to remove this illogicality is if the soul depends on the brain for its generation, as described in my “theory”, but can go on existing independently of its source, just as the image survives the disappearance of the materials that gave rise to it.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Friday, June 08, 2018, 00:21 (189 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Problem: there is no image until a consciousness sees it. It is all a potential image before that, photons which carry information.

dhw: This of course is your quantum theory. I believe the photons carrying the image, just like the sun and stars, are there, but we are not aware of them until we are aware of them. However, if you believe that reality is nothing but a potential until “a consciousness sees it”, and since the only consciousness we know is our own, then until you “saw” him, there was no God, and until you “saw” me, there was no me, and – a neat twist of subjectivity for you to ponder –

This is why we have consciousness. We can review facts and decide on theories to explain them. I don't have to see God to understand that He is the best explanation for our reality.

DAVID: The energy of the brain which allows us to see the image is ions generated by the brain. No dualism in your statement. I view dualism as requiring a separate consciousness mechanism which is malleable and operates by a different form in life and death.

dhw: You now see consciousness as a separate mechanism, whereas previously you have insisted that it is NOT separate, because you say the soul in life is incapable of thinking without the brain. (Please remember that there is no dualism in death.) You have even rebuked me for separating the two, although I have never done so. And I have agreed over and over again that if the soul exists and survives death, it must operate (observe and communicate) differently. (See "Introducing the brain".)

What I have always said is the brain receives consciousness from the universal consciousness of God. Of course it is a separate quantum mechanism interlocked with the brain but it is a separate quantum entity that works on its own in death as it rejoins the universal consciousness.


dhw: My “energy”, Penrose’s “quantum information”, and Sheldrake’s “morphic field” are all immaterial products of the material being, and they may survive the death of the individual body in the sense that their already formed information can be accessed by others (like the image of the crucifixion). But that does not necessarily mean that the immaterial information/ energy/ morphic field is capable of undergoing any change once its source is extinguished.
DAVID: But you don't know that. The soul appears to be active, operative, in NDE's when information is added.

dhw: Of course I don’t know. My theory allows for all possibilities. Meanwhile, you are still stuck with your contradictory belief that the soul depends on the brain for its active, operative ability to think, feel, learn, remember etc., but the same active, operative soul does not depend on the brain for the same ability when there is no brain. (It just needs different modes of observation and communication.)The only way that I can see for you to remove this illogicality is if the soul depends on the brain for its generation, as described in my “theory”, but can go on existing independently of its source, just as the image survives the disappearance of the materials that gave rise to it.

You are still wedded to a static unchanging consciousness in life and in death. The soul receives observations, sensations, facts; it then must analyze and order responses. This is the thinking part of the process in life which uses the brain circuits. In death the soul does all of that without the brain circuits. In life it is dual: material brain and immaterial soul. Why won't you let me have that theory? We can only theorize. I have mine, you have yours.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Friday, June 08, 2018, 13:02 (189 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Problem: there is no image until a consciousness sees it. It is all a potential image before that, photons which carry information.

dhw: This of course is your quantum theory. I believe the photons carrying the image, just like the sun and stars, are there, but we are not aware of them until we are aware of them. […]

DAVID: This is why we have consciousness. We can review facts and decide on theories to explain them. I don't have to see God to understand that He is the best explanation for our reality.

The question is whether things exist independently of our consciousness. Your quantum theory maintains that they do not. If the image doesn’t exist without my seeing it, then your God, you and the bus don’t exist either without my seeing them. And conversely, if Mary Jane sees fairies at the bottom of her garden, the fairies exist – though only because she sees them.

DAVID: […] I view dualism as requiring a separate consciousness mechanism which is malleable and operates by a different form in life and death.

dhw: You now see consciousness as a separate mechanism, whereas previously you have insisted that it is NOT separate, because you say the soul in life is incapable of thinking without the brain. […]

DAVID: What I have always said is the brain receives consciousness from the universal consciousness of God. Of course it is a separate quantum mechanism interlocked with the brain but it is a separate quantum entity that works on its own in death as it rejoins the universal consciousness.

Yes, the dualist’s soul is the conscious, thinking part of the self, which works together with the information-gathering, implementing brain in life, and then continues to be the same conscious, thinking self in death. We seem to be in agreement.

dhw: Meanwhile, you are still stuck with your contradictory belief that the soul depends on the brain for its active, operative ability to think, feel, learn, remember etc., but the same active, operative soul does not depend on the brain for the same ability when there is no brain. […]

DAVID: You are still wedded to a static unchanging consciousness in life and in death. The soul receives observations, sensations, facts; it then must analyze and order responses. This is the thinking part of the process in life which uses the brain circuits. In death the soul does all of that without the brain circuits. In life it is dual: material brain and immaterial soul. Why won't you let me have that theory? We can only theorize. I have mine, you have yours.

That is precisely the theory of dualism that I have been trying to put across to you! The dualist’s soul is the THINKING part of the duality in life. It receives information from the brain, processes (analyzes) it, and “uses the brain circuits” to express or implement its thoughts materially (“order responses”). And it continues to be the same thinking self (“does all of that”) when the brain dies. It does not depend on the brain for its ability to THINK (to “analyze and order responses”). Consequently, to go back to the starting point of this whole discussion, the claim that pre-sapiens’ THINKING soul was unable to THINK new thoughts until your God had expanded his brain only makes sense if you accept the idea that the thinking soul is produced by the cooperating cell communities of the brain (materialism) which create a form of energy (dualism) that survives its material source, just as images survive theirs. (Discussion continued under “Introducing the brain”.) NB This theory does not in any way exclude the possibility that your God invented the means of production!

DAVID: Your 'autonomous intelligence' is just as nebulous a concept as your view of my faith that God supplies the intelligent information is nebulous. Both of your feet are in midair split by the fence you sit on. You have invented auto-intel as your God.

dhw: I have not invented auto-intel as my God! Do you regard your own auto-intel (free will) as your God? I even recognize the possibility that your God may have been the inventor of “auto-intel”.

DAVID: How do you explain the appearance 'autonomous intelligence' appearing in an inorganic universe? How do you explain life appearing? There must be an initiating force to create them.

Your question does not in any way invalidate the theory that organisms have autonomous intelligence. How often do you want me to repeat the three alternative explanations for the origin of life and consciousness: 1) top-down God, 2) chance, 3) atheistic, bottom-up panpsychism – all of which I find equally difficult to believe in.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Friday, June 08, 2018, 18:02 (189 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: This of course is your quantum theory. I believe the photons carrying the image, just like the sun and stars, are there, but we are not aware of them until we are aware of them. […]

DAVID: This is why we have consciousness. We can review facts and decide on theories to explain them. I don't have to see God to understand that He is the best explanation for our reality.

dhw: The question is whether things exist independently of our consciousness. Your quantum theory maintains that they do not. If the image doesn’t exist without my seeing it, then your God, you and the bus don’t exist either without my seeing them.

Of course the photons exist, and are real. But it takes reception of them to interpret their carried information.

DAVID: You are still wedded to a static unchanging consciousness in life and in death. The soul receives observations, sensations, facts; it then must analyze and order responses. This is the thinking part of the process in life which uses the brain circuits. In death the soul does all of that without the brain circuits. In life it is dual: material brain and immaterial soul. Why won't you let me have that theory? We can only theorize. I have mine, you have yours.

dhw: That is precisely the theory of dualism that I have been trying to put across to you! The dualist’s soul is the THINKING part of the duality in life. It receives information from the brain, processes (analyzes) it, and “uses the brain circuits” to express or implement its thoughts materially (“order responses”). And it continues to be the same thinking self (“does all of that”) when the brain dies. It does not depend on the brain for its ability to THINK (to “analyze and order responses”). Consequently, to go back to the starting point of this whole discussion, the claim that pre-sapiens’ THINKING soul was unable to THINK new thoughts until your God had expanded his brain only makes sense if you accept the idea that the thinking soul is produced by the cooperating cell communities of the brain (materialism) which create a form of energy (dualism) that survives its material source, just as images survive theirs. (Discussion continued under “Introducing the brain”.) NB This theory does not in any way exclude the possibility that your God invented the means of production!

You are simply back to a static soul mechanism. I see the soul in two forms for thinking. One is life using the brain and a diffeernt one in death.


DAVID: How do you explain the appearance 'autonomous intelligence' appearing in an inorganic universe? How do you explain life appearing? There must be an initiating force to create them.

dhw: Your question does not in any way invalidate the theory that organisms have autonomous intelligence. How often do you want me to repeat the three alternative explanations for the origin of life and consciousness: 1) top-down God, 2) chance, 3) atheistic, bottom-up panpsychism – all of which I find equally difficult to believe in.

I am fully aware of your difficulties.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, June 09, 2018, 10:49 (188 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The question is whether things exist independently of our consciousness. Your quantum theory maintains that they do not. If the image doesn’t exist without my seeing it, then your God, you and the bus don’t exist either without my seeing them.

DAVID: Of course the photons exist, and are real. But it takes reception of them to interpret their carried information.

My reconciliation between materialism and dualism is that something immaterial can survive its material source, as we know from images surviving the materials that produce them. You replied: “Problem: there is no image until a consciousness sees it. It is all a potential image before that, photons which carry information.”

You said there was no image, so my analogy didn’t work. Do you or do you not believe that things exist independently of our observation of them? If the photons containing the image are real, then the image they contain is real, whether I observe it or not. I don't see the relevance of your quantum theory, let alone how it invalidates the analogy. However, I'd better repeat that I am not championing the theory of an immortal soul. I am simply offering a way in which materialism CAN be reconciled with dualism.

I have transferred the second part of your post to “Introducing the brain”.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 09, 2018, 15:10 (188 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The question is whether things exist independently of our consciousness. Your quantum theory maintains that they do not. If the image doesn’t exist without my seeing it, then your God, you and the bus don’t exist either without my seeing them.

DAVID: Of course the photons exist, and are real. But it takes reception of them to interpret their carried information.

dhw: My reconciliation between materialism and dualism is that something immaterial can survive its material source, as we know from images surviving the materials that produce them. You replied: “Problem: there is no image until a consciousness sees it. It is all a potential image before that, photons which carry information.”

You said there was no image, so my analogy didn’t work. Do you or do you not believe that things exist independently of our observation of them? If the photons containing the image are real, then the image they contain is real, whether I observe it or not.

Of course things exist even if not observed. The photons carry the image as information, and it becomes an image only upon observation.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Sunday, June 10, 2018, 10:54 (187 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My reconciliation between materialism and dualism is that something immaterial can survive its material source, as we know from images surviving the materials that produce them. You replied: “Problem: there is no image until a consciousness sees it. It is all a potential image before that, photons which carry information.” […]
You said there was no image, so my analogy didn’t work. Do you or do you not believe that things exist independently of our observation of them? If the photons containing the image are real, then the image they contain is real, whether I observe it or not.

DAVID: Of course things exist even if not observed. The photons carry the image as information, and it becomes an image only upon observation.

So if I didn’t see the sun, the stars, the bus, they would only be a potential image? We agree that they exist, and so all you are saying is that we are only aware of them when we are aware of them – not that they don’t exist until we are aware of them. This is all irrelevant to the theory that I am proposing, which suggests that if there is such a thing as an immaterial soul, it exists as the product of materials, just as the immaterial image of materials continues to exist even when their material source is no longer there. And I suggest that this would explain such psychic phenomena as ghosts and déjà vu, but of course it does not mean that the soul would live on as a thinking being – that is a matter of faith.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 10, 2018, 18:35 (187 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My reconciliation between materialism and dualism is that something immaterial can survive its material source, as we know from images surviving the materials that produce them. You replied: “Problem: there is no image until a consciousness sees it. It is all a potential image before that, photons which carry information.” […]
You said there was no image, so my analogy didn’t work. Do you or do you not believe that things exist independently of our observation of them? If the photons containing the image are real, then the image they contain is real, whether I observe it or not.

DAVID: Of course things exist even if not observed. The photons carry the image as information, and it becomes an image only upon observation.

dhw: So if I didn’t see the sun, the stars, the bus, they would only be a potential image? We agree that they exist, and so all you are saying is that we are only aware of them when we are aware of them – not that they don’t exist until we are aware of them. This is all irrelevant to the theory that I am proposing, which suggests that if there is such a thing as an immaterial soul, it exists as the product of materials, just as the immaterial image of materials continues to exist even when their material source is no longer there. And I suggest that this would explain such psychic phenomena as ghosts and déjà vu, but of course it does not mean that the soul would live on as a thinking being – that is a matter of faith.

Still smells like pure materialism to me. Photon light waves carry immaterial information but photon light waves themselves are something real.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Monday, June 11, 2018, 10:12 (186 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Of course things exist even if not observed. The photons carry the image as information, and it becomes an image only upon observation.

dhw: So if I didn’t see the sun, the stars, the bus, they would only be a potential image? We agree that they exist, and so all you are saying is that we are only aware of them when we are aware of them – not that they don’t exist until we are aware of them. This is all irrelevant to the theory that I am proposing, which suggests that if there is such a thing as an immaterial soul, it exists as the product of materials, just as the immaterial image of materials continues to exist even when their material source is no longer there. And I suggest that this would explain such psychic phenomena as ghosts and déjà vu, but of course it does not mean that the soul would live on as a thinking being – that is a matter of faith.

DAVID: Still smells like pure materialism to me. Photon light waves carry immaterial information but photon light waves themselves are something real.

A theory that allows for the existence of God and for the survival of an immaterial form of conscious energy can hardly be called “pure materialism”. You seem to have almost cottoned on to the dualistic analogy I have offered, except that I am referring to the material realities (sun, stars, bus) that have produced the photons that carry the immaterial information.The bus and the theoretical physicist were real. Millions of years later, the accident can still be seen. The immaterial image survives the disappearance of the material reality that produced it, and this may be the case with the soul (hence ghosts and déjà vu), possibly extending to the soul continuing to think (but that is a matter of faith).

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Monday, June 11, 2018, 15:49 (186 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Of course things exist even if not observed. The photons carry the image as information, and it becomes an image only upon observation.

dhw: So if I didn’t see the sun, the stars, the bus, they would only be a potential image? We agree that they exist, and so all you are saying is that we are only aware of them when we are aware of them – not that they don’t exist until we are aware of them. This is all irrelevant to the theory that I am proposing, which suggests that if there is such a thing as an immaterial soul, it exists as the product of materials, just as the immaterial image of materials continues to exist even when their material source is no longer there. And I suggest that this would explain such psychic phenomena as ghosts and déjà vu, but of course it does not mean that the soul would live on as a thinking being – that is a matter of faith.

DAVID: Still smells like pure materialism to me. Photon light waves carry immaterial information but photon light waves themselves are something real.

dhw: A theory that allows for the existence of God and for the survival of an immaterial form of conscious energy can hardly be called “pure materialism”. You seem to have almost cottoned on to the dualistic analogy I have offered, except that I am referring to the material realities (sun, stars, bus) that have produced the photons that carry the immaterial information.The bus and the theoretical physicist were real. Millions of years later, the accident can still be seen. The immaterial image survives the disappearance of the material reality that produced it, and this may be the case with the soul (hence ghosts and déjà vu), possibly extending to the soul continuing to think (but that is a matter of faith).

I see the sun nine minutes after the light left it. I make the assumption it is still there when I see it. You theory is still having immaterial information produced by a material object, the sun. No real explanation for consciousness except pure materialism.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 12:30 (185 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Still smells like pure materialism to me. Photon light waves carry immaterial information but photon light waves themselves are something real.

dhw: A theory that allows for the existence of God and for the survival of an immaterial form of conscious energy can hardly be called “pure materialism”. You seem to have almost cottoned on to the dualistic analogy I have offered, except that I am referring to the material realities (sun, stars, bus) that have produced the photons that carry the immaterial information.The bus and the theoretical physicist were real. Millions of years later, the accident can still be seen. The immaterial image survives the disappearance of the material reality that produced it, and this may be the case with the soul (hence ghosts and déjà vu), possibly extending to the soul continuing to think (but that is a matter of faith).

DAVID: I see the sun nine minutes after the light left it. I make the assumption it is still there when I see it. You theory is still having immaterial information produced by a material object, the sun. No real explanation for consciousness except pure materialism.

That is precisely the point of my analogy! Just as the material sun produces immaterial information which (theoretically) can go on existing indefinitely, the material brain produces the immaterial soul which (theoretically) can go on existing indefinitely. I am not trying to explain consciousness. I am trying to reconcile materialism and dualism!

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 17:55 (185 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Still smells like pure materialism to me. Photon light waves carry immaterial information but photon light waves themselves are something real.

dhw: A theory that allows for the existence of God and for the survival of an immaterial form of conscious energy can hardly be called “pure materialism”. You seem to have almost cottoned on to the dualistic analogy I have offered, except that I am referring to the material realities (sun, stars, bus) that have produced the photons that carry the immaterial information.The bus and the theoretical physicist were real. Millions of years later, the accident can still be seen. The immaterial image survives the disappearance of the material reality that produced it, and this may be the case with the soul (hence ghosts and déjà vu), possibly extending to the soul continuing to think (but that is a matter of faith).

DAVID: I see the sun nine minutes after the light left it. I make the assumption it is still there when I see it. You theory is still having immaterial information produced by a material object, the sun. No real explanation for consciousness except pure materialism.

dhw: That is precisely the point of my analogy! Just as the material sun produces immaterial information which (theoretically) can go on existing indefinitely, the material brain produces the immaterial soul which (theoretically) can go on existing indefinitely. I am not trying to explain consciousness. I am trying to reconcile materialism and dualism!

All you are presenting is pure materialism, not a reconciliation.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, June 14, 2018, 18:28 (183 days ago) @ David Turell

I wrote this yesterday, but for some unknown reason, failed to post it!

DAVID: I see the sun nine minutes after the light left it. I make the assumption it is still there when I see it. You theory is still having immaterial information produced by a material object, the sun. No real explanation for consciousness except pure materialism.

dhw: That is precisely the point of my analogy! Just as the material sun produces immaterial information which (theoretically) can go on existing indefinitely, the material brain produces the immaterial soul which (theoretically) can go on existing indefinitely. I am not trying to explain consciousness. I am trying to reconcile materialism and dualism!

DAVID: All you are presenting is pure materialism, not a reconciliation.

I’ll stick to the theistic version of my theory: if your God has created a material mechanism which produces a soul, i.e. a form of consciousness like his own, and this soul survives the material mechanism that produced it, maintaining its individual identity while “returning to God” (the scenario you envisage), would you call that “pure materialism”?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 14, 2018, 20:49 (183 days ago) @ dhw

I wrote this yesterday, but for some unknown reason, failed to post it!

DAVID: I see the sun nine minutes after the light left it. I make the assumption it is still there when I see it. You theory is still having immaterial information produced by a material object, the sun. No real explanation for consciousness except pure materialism.

dhw: That is precisely the point of my analogy! Just as the material sun produces immaterial information which (theoretically) can go on existing indefinitely, the material brain produces the immaterial soul which (theoretically) can go on existing indefinitely. I am not trying to explain consciousness. I am trying to reconcile materialism and dualism!

DAVID: All you are presenting is pure materialism, not a reconciliation.

dhw: I’ll stick to the theistic version of my theory: if your God has created a material mechanism which produces a soul, i.e. a form of consciousness like his own, and this soul survives the material mechanism that produced it, maintaining its individual identity while “returning to God” (the scenario you envisage), would you call that “pure materialism”?

I've admitted that this is a possible theory. I've never rejected it out of hand. Note my entry from yesterday describing the gap between Lucy and Erectus. If that is a real gap, and no intermediate fossils are ever found, it is good evidence for you thought. My thought is Lucy was conscious but Erectus had consciousness, following the idea that bigger brains had deeper thought

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, June 16, 2018, 11:27 (181 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: All you are presenting is pure materialism, not a reconciliation.

dhw: I’ll stick to the theistic version of my theory: if your God has created a material mechanism which produces a soul, i.e. a form of consciousness like his own, and this soul survives the material mechanism that produced it, maintaining its individual identity while “returning to God” (the scenario you envisage), would you call that “pure materialism”?

DAVID: I've admitted that this is a possible theory. I've never rejected it out of hand. Note my entry from yesterday describing the gap between Lucy and Erectus. If that is a real gap, and no intermediate fossils are ever found, it is good evidence for you thought. My thought is Lucy was conscious but Erectus had consciousness, following the idea that bigger brains had deeper thought.

Thank you. Yes, all our theories are “possible”, but some are more cohesive than others. You have never explained the difference between being conscious and having consciousness. I would say Lucy had a lesser degree of consciousness than Erectus. The idea that bigger brains have deeper thought is outright materialism, and again fits in with my reconciliation theory but contradicts the theory that there is a separate, immaterial consciousness mechanism (soul) which your God somehow inserts into the brain. Why would something immaterial (a piece of your God’s consciousness) require more spacious accommodation to THINK? But it would certainly require more material cells to express/implement its deeper thoughts materially.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 16, 2018, 15:17 (181 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: All you are presenting is pure materialism, not a reconciliation.

dhw: I’ll stick to the theistic version of my theory: if your God has created a material mechanism which produces a soul, i.e. a form of consciousness like his own, and this soul survives the material mechanism that produced it, maintaining its individual identity while “returning to God” (the scenario you envisage), would you call that “pure materialism”?

DAVID: I've admitted that this is a possible theory. I've never rejected it out of hand. Note my entry from yesterday describing the gap between Lucy and Erectus. If that is a real gap, and no intermediate fossils are ever found, it is good evidence for your thought. My thought is Lucy was conscious but Erectus had consciousness, following the idea that bigger brains had deeper thought.

dhw: Thank you. Yes, all our theories are “possible”, but some are more cohesive than others. You have never explained the difference between being conscious and having consciousness. I would say Lucy had a lesser degree of consciousness than Erectus. The idea that bigger brains have deeper thought is outright materialism, and again fits in with my reconciliation theory but contradicts the theory that there is a separate, immaterial consciousness mechanism (soul) which your God somehow inserts into the brain. Why would something immaterial (a piece of your God’s consciousness) require more spacious accommodation to THINK? But it would certainly require more material cells to express/implement its deeper thoughts materially.

You are again skipping over my explanations of how consciousness might work as software/hardware, and my contention that the soul is interlocked in the initial creation thought and uses the brain to develop thought and implement it

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Sunday, June 17, 2018, 12:22 (180 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: All you are presenting is pure materialism, not a reconciliation.

dhw: I’ll stick to the theistic version of my theory: if your God has created a material mechanism which produces a soul, i.e. a form of consciousness like his own, and this soul survives the material mechanism that produced it, maintaining its individual identity while “returning to God” (the scenario you envisage), would you call that “pure materialism”?

DAVID: I've admitted that this is a possible theory. I've never rejected it out of hand. Note my entry from yesterday describing the gap between Lucy and Erectus. If that is a real gap, and no intermediate fossils are ever found, it is good evidence for your thought. My thought is Lucy was conscious but Erectus had consciousness, following the idea that bigger brains had deeper thought.

dhw: Thank you. Yes, all our theories are “possible”, but some are more cohesive than others. You have never explained the difference between being conscious and having consciousness. I would say Lucy had a lesser degree of consciousness than Erectus. The idea that bigger brains have deeper thought is outright materialism, and again fits in with my reconciliation theory but contradicts the theory that there is a separate, immaterial consciousness mechanism (soul) which your God somehow inserts into the brain. Why would something immaterial (a piece of your God’s consciousness) require more spacious accommodation to THINK? But it would certainly require more material cells to express/implement its deeper thoughts materially.

DAVID: You are again skipping over my explanations of how consciousness might work as software/hardware, and my contention that the soul is interlocked in the initial creation thought and uses the brain to develop thought and implement it.

I accept that in dualistic life the software soul uses the information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts, and uses the hardware brain to express/implement the thoughts. But I do not know the difference between being conscious and having consciousness, and I do not know why an immaterial “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” should depend on the size of the brain to do its thinking. The size of the brain would only be relevant if the ability to think depended on the brain (= materialism) – which is part of the reconciliation theory you have admitted is possible.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 17, 2018, 15:06 (180 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: All you are presenting is pure materialism, not a reconciliation.

dhw: I’ll stick to the theistic version of my theory: if your God has created a material mechanism which produces a soul, i.e. a form of consciousness like his own, and this soul survives the material mechanism that produced it, maintaining its individual identity while “returning to God” (the scenario you envisage), would you call that “pure materialism”?

DAVID: I've admitted that this is a possible theory. I've never rejected it out of hand. Note my entry from yesterday describing the gap between Lucy and Erectus. If that is a real gap, and no intermediate fossils are ever found, it is good evidence for your thought. My thought is Lucy was conscious but Erectus had consciousness, following the idea that bigger brains had deeper thought.

dhw: Thank you. Yes, all our theories are “possible”, but some are more cohesive than others. You have never explained the difference between being conscious and having consciousness. I would say Lucy had a lesser degree of consciousness than Erectus. The idea that bigger brains have deeper thought is outright materialism, and again fits in with my reconciliation theory but contradicts the theory that there is a separate, immaterial consciousness mechanism (soul) which your God somehow inserts into the brain. Why would something immaterial (a piece of your God’s consciousness) require more spacious accommodation to THINK? But it would certainly require more material cells to express/implement its deeper thoughts materially.

DAVID: You are again skipping over my explanations of how consciousness might work as software/hardware, and my contention that the soul is interlocked in the initial creation thought and uses the brain to develop thought and implement it.

dhw: I accept that in dualistic life the software soul uses the information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts, and uses the hardware brain to express/implement the thoughts. But I do not know the difference between being conscious and having consciousness, and I do not know why an immaterial “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” should depend on the size of the brain to do its thinking. The size of the brain would only be relevant if the ability to think depended on the brain (= materialism) – which is part of the reconciliation theory you have admitted is possible.

If the soul is a software taht uses the brain s hardware to think in life, THAT is a form of dualism, which you refuse to accept. If thought requires two parts that is obviously dualism!

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Monday, June 18, 2018, 14:10 (179 days ago) @ David Turell

Once again I am telescoping threads, as the subject is the same.

dhw: […] I do not know why an immaterial “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” should depend on the size of the brain to do its thinking. The size of the brain would only be relevant if the ability to think depended on the brain (= materialism) – which is part of the reconciliation theory you have admitted is possible.

DAVID: If the soul is a software that uses the brain s hardware to think in life, THAT is a form of dualism, which you refuse to accept. If thought requires two parts that is obviously dualism!

“Uses to think” is the expression that causes so many problems. I equate consciousness with the ability to think, i.e. I don’t know how we can be conscious without being able to think. Do you disagree? If the ability to think is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (your expression), and survives the death of the brain (your belief), then clearly it does not NEED the brain to think. It needs and "uses the brain" to provide the information it thinks about, and to give material expression/implementation to its thoughts. However, if the ability to think depends on the brain, AND survives the death of the brain, you have agreed it is possible that the brain has produced it and the product survives in the manner described by my theory. The alternative that you offer is that the ability to think is a separate piece of your God’s consciousness which is inserted into and lives in the brain, but is somehow incomplete (it can’t think independently) and therefore when it leaves the brain it has to have a brain equivalent inserted into its immateriality (what you call a “hardening”):

DAVID: What 'hardened' means is what was a software/hardware setup in life with soul (soft) and brain (hard) become a solo mechanism in death when the soul operates solely on its own (hardened).

The hardware brain is required to give material implementation/expression to the software thoughts, as exemplified by your excellent example with its three exclamation marks:
dhw: Your soul (you) “uses the computer to generate the thoughts.”

DAVID: In material form!!! But my soul has to use my brain to direct my fingers to respond appropriately as the thoughts in my brain appear!!

Yes, your soul uses your brain to give material form to its thoughts. And if the thoughts are NOT generated by the computer (brain), they must be generated by the software (soul) that sits inside the brain. And so if the soul survives, it only needs a hardware equivalent for observation and expression. Why do you keep insisting that a SEPARATE consciousness mechanism can only be conscious if it is not separate, and has to have a brain or a brain equivalent before it can think? Why do you NEED such convolutions when your software/hardware image describes a perfectly straightforward, interlocking relationship: software = the thinking soul, and hardware = the implementing/expressing brain?

dhw: We have agreed that in death the dualist's soul must fulfill the expressing/implementing function of hardware by using psychic methods, but its software function of providing the thoughts that require expression/implementation will remain unchanged.

DAVID: How do you KNOW that the software in life and death MUST remain the same? It is a great example of your rigid thinking about the possible mechanisms of the soul in life and death.

I don’t even KNOW if there is such a thing as a surviving soul, and nor do you! We are discussing the meaning of dualism, and I said we had agreed that in death the soul MUST use psychic methods of expression/implementation but its function of providing the thoughts WILL remain unchanged. Last Thursday yet again you agreed that it was the SAME separate consciousness mechanism in life and in death (you bolded the statements you accepted). Over and over again, you have agreed that if the soul survives, its identity remains the same, so once more: why do you NEED a new “separate consciousness mechanism” in death, other than for modes of observation and expression?

DAVID: I recognize your rigidity is to try and defend against my theory that bigger brains bring better artifacts by using thought more complex than before which is allowed by more complex brain circuits, a perfect explanation of the Lucy/Erectus difference in artifacts. God explains the gap in brain size. chance evolution won't.

I recognize that your rigidity is to try and defend your illogical theory that dualism means you have to have a larger brain in order to think more complex thoughts. I have no problem understanding this, but if bigger brains produce more complex thoughts, this means the brain is the producer of thought, and that is the materialistic opposite of dualism, in which it is the soul that produces thought. A divine dabble can explain the expansion. So can the process of new thoughts requiring new cells and connections for their implementation. My reconciliation theory allows for the brain to produce thought, to expand itself, and to produce a form of energy (soul) that might possibly survive the death of the brain; it also allows for your God as the possible inventor of the whole system, and even for him to do a dabble. I am still waiting for you to find a flaw in it.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Monday, June 18, 2018, 18:22 (179 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: If the soul is a software that uses the brain s hardware to think in life, THAT is a form of dualism, which you refuse to accept. If thought requires two parts that is obviously dualism!

dhw: “Uses to think” is the expression that causes so many problems. I equate consciousness with the ability to think, i.e. I don’t know how we can be conscious without being able to think. Do you disagree?

I disagree insofar as you confuse being conscious and consciousness. We came from conscious animals, but we can be introspective about every decision we make. They can't. The difference is the presence of our big brain. That creates the difference. There is no other explanation.

dhw: If the ability to think is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (your expression), and survives the death of the brain (your belief), then clearly it does not NEED the brain to think.

I have said it requires a different mechanism and gains that by rejoining the universal consciousness. How do you know the soul is only one rigid form? You've never answered that point

dhw: It needs and "uses the brain" to provide the information it thinks about, and to give material expression/implementation to its thoughts. However, if the ability to think depends on the brain, AND survives the death of the brain, you have agreed it is possible that the brain has produced it and the product survives in the manner described by my theory.

What is all I have accepted is God possibly gave the brain the ability to expand, when needed. That is my consistent 'dabble' approach.

DAVID: What 'hardened' means is what was a software/hardware setup in life with soul (soft) and brain (hard) become a solo mechanism in death when the soul operates solely on its own (hardened).

And I add joined with the universal consciousness.

dhw: Yes, your soul uses your brain to give material form to its thoughts. And if the thoughts are NOT generated by the computer (brain), they must be generated by the software (soul) that sits inside the brain. And so if the soul survives, it only needs a hardware equivalent for observation and expression.

And where does that hardware equivalent come from? I have given my explanation.

dhw: We have agreed that in death the dualist's soul must fulfill the expressing/implementing function of hardware by using psychic methods, but its software function of providing the thoughts that require expression/implementation will remain unchanged.

DAVID: How do you KNOW that the software in life and death MUST remain the same? It is a great example of your rigid thinking about the possible mechanisms of the soul in life and death.

dhw: Last Thursday yet again you agreed that it was the SAME separate consciousness mechanism in life and in death (you bolded the statements you accepted). Over and over again, you have agreed that if the soul survives, its identity remains the same,

I've always said the soul has two forms for thought. The personality structure within it remains the same in life and death, uniting the two different mechanisms. I view the soul as itself dual: a thought software and a personality structure, its core.


DAVID: I recognize your rigidity is to try and defend against my theory that bigger brains bring better artifacts by using thought more complex than before which is allowed by more complex brain circuits, a perfect explanation of the Lucy/Erectus difference in artifacts. God explains the gap in brain size. chance evolution won't.

dhw: if bigger brains produce more complex thoughts, this means the brain is the producer of thought, and that is the materialistic opposite of dualism, in which it is the soul that produces thought. A divine dabble can explain the expansion. So can the process of new thoughts requiring new cells and connections for their implementation. My reconciliation theory allows for the brain to produce thought, to expand itself, and to produce a form of energy (soul) that might possibly survive the death of the brain; it also allows for your God as the possible inventor of the whole system, and even for him to do a dabble. I am still waiting for you to find a flaw in it.

What I agree with ONLY, is God produces the big brain or dabbles to give the brain the ability to do it. The soul is the software that enables introspection and conceptualization.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 12:55 (178 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: “Uses to think” is the expression that causes so many problems. I equate consciousness with the ability to think, i.e. I don’t know how we can be conscious without being able to think. Do you disagree?

DAVID: I disagree insofar as you confuse being conscious and consciousness. We came from conscious animals, but we can be introspective about every decision we make. They can't. The difference is the presence of our big brain. That creates the difference. There is no other explanation.

I asked you several times to explain the difference between being conscious and having consciousness, and it now turns out that by consciousness you mean human introspection! As I keep saying, there are degrees of consciousness, and the highest degree we know of is human self-awareness. If you attribute this to our big brain, you are a materialist. Nothing wrong with that, except that you claim to be a dualist. If you wish to confine this part of the discussion to humans, do you agree that we cannot be conscious without being able to think? My next comment follows on from your answer.

dhw: If the ability to think is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (your expression), and survives the death of the brain (your belief), then clearly it does not NEED the brain to think.
DAVID: I have said it requires a different mechanism and gains that by rejoining the universal consciousness. How do you know the soul is only one rigid form? You've never answered that point.

I don’t even “know” if there is such a thing as a soul that survives death, let alone what form it has. In the context of dualism, I am asking why you think an already “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (soul) NEEDS to have two different forms, if we simply accept your analogy that the software soul does the thinking and the hardware brain does the expressing/implementing. You’ve never answered that point.

dhw: Yes, your soul uses your brain to give material form to its thoughts. And if the thoughts are NOT generated by the computer (brain), they must be generated by the software (soul) that sits inside the brain. And so if the soul survives, it only needs a hardware equivalent for observation and expression.

DAVID: And where does that hardware equivalent come from? I have given my explanation.

I’m delighted to see that you are now accepting your own example, which vividly illustrates the point that the software soul provides the thought and the hardware brain implements/expresses it. If I were a dualist, I would say that the immaterial equivalent for hardware material observation and expression is already present in the soul we have in life, and is manifested by the long history of psychic phenomena in which living people undergo experiences that appear to defy material explanation. If I were a dualist, I would say that in death, these already existing psychic powers take over completely as our means of observation and expression. They do not NEED an additional mechanism to observe/express, any more than the separate consciousness mechanism of the soul in life NEEDS a new separate consciousness mechanism in death to be able to think.

dhw: Last Thursday yet again you agreed that it was the SAME separate consciousness mechanism in life and in death (you bolded the statements you accepted). Over and over again, you have agreed that if the soul survives, its identity remains the same,

DAVID: I've always said the soul has two forms for thought. The personality structure within it remains the same in life and death, uniting the two different mechanisms. I view the soul as itself dual: a thought software and a personality structure, its core.

WHAT two different mechanisms? One day you agree that it is the SAME separate consciousness mechanism, and the next it is different because it has to be “hardened”. But congratulations on your new trialism: now instead of soul and body, we have two souls and body.

dhw: ...if bigger brains produce more complex thoughts, this means the brain is the producer of thought, and that is the materialistic opposite of dualism, in which it is the soul that produces thought. A divine dabble can explain the expansion. So can the process of new thoughts requiring new cells and connections for their implementation. My reconciliation theory allows for the brain to produce thought, to expand itself, and to produce a form of energy (soul) that might possibly survive the death of the brain; it also allows for your God as the possible inventor of the whole system, and even for him to do a dabble. I am still waiting for you to find a flaw in it.

DAVID: What I agree with ONLY, is God produces the big brain or dabbles to give the brain the ability to do it. The soul is the software that enables introspection and conceptualization.

You last comment is the essence of dualism: the soul does the thinking. And in that case, the hardware brain does the implementing. I have not asked you to agree with my theory. A few days ago you accepted that it was possible, and you have not yet offered a single argument to explain why it is not possible.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 18:21 (178 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: I disagree insofar as you confuse being conscious and consciousness. We came from conscious animals, but we can be introspective about every decision we make. They can't. The difference is the presence of our big brain. That creates the difference. There is no other explanation.

dhw: I asked you several times to explain the difference between being conscious and having consciousness, and it now turns out that by consciousness you mean human introspection!

Your surprise is confusing. I've made that difference over and over for years.

dhw: do you agree that we cannot be conscious without being able to think?

Thinking about purposeful action is not introspection. Animals are consciously purposeful, no more.

dhw: I don’t even “know” if there is such a thing as a soul that survives death, let alone what form it has. In the context of dualism, I am asking why you think an already “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (soul) NEEDS to have two different forms, if we simply accept your analogy that the software soul does the thinking and the hardware brain does the expressing/implementing. You’ve never answered that point.

Don't you read what I write? From yesterday your entry and mine:

dhw: If the ability to think is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (your expression), and survives the death of the brain (your belief), then clearly it does not NEED the brain to think.

David: I have said it requires a different mechanism and gains that by rejoining the universal consciousness. How do you know the soul is only one rigid form? You've never answered that point.


dhw: ...if bigger brains produce more complex thoughts, this means the brain is the producer of thought, and that is the materialistic opposite of dualism, in which it is the soul that produces thought. A divine dabble can explain the expansion. So can the process of new thoughts requiring new cells and connections for their implementation. My reconciliation theory allows for the brain to produce thought, to expand itself, and to produce a form of energy (soul) that might possibly survive the death of the brain; it also allows for your God as the possible inventor of the whole system, and even for him to do a dabble. I am still waiting for you to find a flaw in it.

DAVID: What I agree with ONLY, is God produces the big brain or dabbles to give the brain the ability to do it. The soul is the software that enables introspection and conceptualization.

dhw: You last comment is the essence of dualism: the soul does the thinking. And in that case, the hardware brain does the implementing. I have not asked you to agree with my theory. A few days ago you accepted that it was possible, and you have not yet offered a single argument to explain why it is not possible.

Of course yours is possible. So is mine. I see more reason to choose mine.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 13:14 (177 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: do you agree that we cannot be conscious without being able to think?

DAVID: Thinking about purposeful action is not introspection. Animals are consciously purposeful, no more.

As I keep repeating, there are degrees of consciousness/awareness. Human introspection is at the peak. That doesn’t mean that a consciously purposeful animal doesn’t think about how to achieve its purpose. But that is not the issue here. To avoid confusion, we can confine our discussion to human self-awareness, which is your definition of consciousness. According to you, the soul is A SEPARATE consciousness mechanism.

dhw: I don’t even “know” if there is such a thing as a soul that survives death, let alone what form it has. In the context of dualism, I am asking why you think an already “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (soul) NEEDS to have two different forms, if we simply accept your analogy that the software soul does the thinking and the hardware brain does the expressing/implementing. You’ve never answered that point.

DAVID: Don't you read what I write? From yesterday your entry and mine:
dhw: If the ability to think is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (your expression), and survives the death of the brain (your belief), then clearly it does not NEED the brain to think.

DAVID: I have said it requires a different mechanism and gains that by rejoining the universal consciousness. How do you know the soul is only one rigid form? You've never answered that point.

You have juxtaposed my post from yesterday! The quote in bold above WAS my answer. Of course I don’t know. I don’t even know if there is such a thing as a separate soul. How do YOU know the soul has two different forms? In fact it is you who refuse to answer my straightforward question, which concerns the nature of dualism. You claim that in death the soul requires a different mechanism in order to be able to THINK. I have asked you why you believe it NEEDS a different mechanism if in life the soul is already what you call a “SEPARATE CONSCIOUSNESS MECHANISM”. This is exemplified by your dualistic image of software and hardware, in which as you specified on Monday: “the soul is the software that enables introspection and conceptualization”. If it enables thought in life, why can’t it go on enabling thought in death? WHY does the separate consciousness mechanism have to be different? Last Thursday you even bolded your agreement that it was the SAME separate consciousness mechanism in death as in life, but used different methods to acquire information and to express/implement its thoughts. On Monday you seemed to accept this again, because you only asked me where these different methods (the “hardware equivalent”) came from, and I gave you a detailed answer, which you have not commented on. So once more: if in life the soul is a separate consciousness mechanism enabling thought (e.g. introspection and conceptualization), why should it NEED to change in death, other than in its means of observation and expression?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 18:29 (177 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: do you agree that we cannot be conscious without being able to think?

DAVID: Thinking about purposeful action is not introspection. Animals are consciously purposeful, no more.

dhw: As I keep repeating, there are degrees of consciousness/awareness. Human introspection is at the peak. That doesn’t mean that a consciously purposeful animal doesn’t think about how to achieve its purpose. But that is not the issue here. To avoid confusion, we can confine our discussion to human self-awareness, which is your definition of consciousness. According to you, the soul is A SEPARATE consciousness mechanism.

dhw: I don’t even “know” if there is such a thing as a soul that survives death, let alone what form it has. In the context of dualism, I am asking why you think an already “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (soul) NEEDS to have two different forms, if we simply accept your analogy that the software soul does the thinking and the hardware brain does the expressing/implementing. You’ve never answered that point.

DAVID: Don't you read what I write? From yesterday your entry and mine:
dhw: If the ability to think is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (your expression), and survives the death of the brain (your belief), then clearly it does not NEED the brain to think.

DAVID: I have said it requires a different mechanism and gains that by rejoining the universal consciousness. How do you know the soul is only one rigid form? You've never answered that point.

You have juxtaposed my post from yesterday! The quote in bold above WAS my answer. Of course I don’t know. I don’t even know if there is such a thing as a separate soul. How do YOU know the soul has two different forms? In fact it is you who refuse to answer my straightforward question, which concerns the nature of dualism. You claim that in death the soul requires a different mechanism in order to be able to THINK. I have asked you why you believe it NEEDS a different mechanism if in life the soul is already what you call a “SEPARATE CONSCIOUSNESS MECHANISM”. This is exemplified by your dualistic image of software and hardware, in which as you specified on Monday: “the soul is the software that enables introspection and conceptualization”. If it enables thought in life, why can’t it go on enabling thought in death? WHY does the separate consciousness mechanism have to be different? Last Thursday you even bolded your agreement that it was the SAME separate consciousness mechanism in death as in life, but used different methods to acquire information and to express/implement its thoughts. On Monday you seemed to accept this again, because you only asked me where these different methods (the “hardware equivalent”) came from, and I gave you a detailed answer, which you have not commented on. So once more: if in life the soul is a separate consciousness mechanism enabling thought (e.g. introspection and conceptualization), why should it NEED to change in death, other than in its means of observation and expression?

I still think you do not read what I write. It is my belief that the soul uses the brain networks in developing its thoughts during life following my software/hardware analogy. Since the brain is not present in death or functional in NDE's, it uses another method, presumably by attaching to the universal consciousness which would permit the 'telepathy' described by NDE'rs. I'll ask you a question just as you question me: is not that a coherent theory? I'm not asking you to accept it.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, June 21, 2018, 13:07 (176 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So once more: if in life the soul is a separate consciousness mechanism enabling thought (e.g. introspection and conceptualization), why should it NEED to change in death, other than in its means of observation and expression?

DAVID: I still think you do not read what I write. It is my belief that the soul uses the brain networks in developing its thoughts during life following my software/hardware analogy.

I keep quoting your own remarks about the software/hardware analogy, e.g. that the soul is a "separate consciousness mechanism" and “is the software that enables introspection and conceptualization”. The hardware expresses/implements those thoughts as exemplified by your image of your mind using the computer to give them a material form. Dualism therefore = thinking software soul and expressing/implementing hardware brain. Perhaps you prefer not to read what you write.

DAVID: Since the brain is not present in death or functional in NDE's, it uses another method, presumably by attaching to the universal consciousness which would permit the 'telepathy' described by NDE'rs. I'll ask you a question just as you question me: is not that a coherent theory? I'm not asking you to accept it.

Another method to do what? Telepathy is a means of communicating thoughts, not of thinking them! And that is what I keep asking you: what new “separate consciousness mechanism” is required other than that of observation and communication? Here is what I see as a “coherent theory” (theistic version): your God gave us a separate consciousness mechanism with which to think. As you keep acknowledging and then forgetting, the SAME separate consciousness mechanism survives the death of the brain and continues to think, but using psychic instead of material powers to observe and communicate. And so yet again I ask you: if your God supplied us with a “separate consciousness mechanism” which creates thought (“enables introspection and conceptualization”), why do you then NEED a different mechanism to create thought?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 21, 2018, 15:45 (176 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So once more: if in life the soul is a separate consciousness mechanism enabling thought (e.g. introspection and conceptualization), why should it NEED to change in death, other than in its means of observation and expression?

DAVID: I still think you do not read what I write. It is my belief that the soul uses the brain networks in developing its thoughts during life following my software/hardware analogy.

dhw: I keep quoting your own remarks about the software/hardware analogy, e.g. that the soul is a "separate consciousness mechanism" and “is the software that enables introspection and conceptualization”. The hardware expresses/implements those thoughts as exemplified by your image of your mind using the computer to give them a material form. Dualism therefore = thinking software soul and expressing/implementing hardware brain. Perhaps you prefer not to read what you write.

What you quote includes your persistent misinterpretation of my theory. I view the soul in life as interfaced with the brain's networks and REQUIRED to use those networks in developing thought, just as the software of a computer enters the actual transistors to produce its work.


DAVID: Since the brain is not present in death or functional in NDE's, it uses another method, presumably by attaching to the universal consciousness which would permit the 'telepathy' described by NDE'rs. I'll ask you a question just as you question me: is not that a coherent theory? I'm not asking you to accept it.

dhw: Here is what I see as a “coherent theory” (theistic version): your God gave us a separate consciousness mechanism with which to think. As you keep acknowledging and then forgetting, the SAME separate consciousness mechanism survives the death of the brain and continues to think, but using psychic instead of material powers to observe and communicate. And so yet again I ask you: if your God supplied us with a “separate consciousness mechanism” which creates thought (“enables introspection and conceptualization”), why do you then NEED a different mechanism to create thought?

Because in death the soul has lost its necessary connection to the brain's networks to produce thought. Before a fresh new thought appears, where is it? It doesn't exist. It has to be created and expressed. I view my soul as an immaterial mirror image of the real me. In Death that image of me joins the universal consciousness which gives me the ability to actually think in the afterlife. Two different thought mechanisms for the soul

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Friday, June 22, 2018, 13:20 (175 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I keep quoting your own remarks about the software/hardware analogy, e.g. that the soul is a "separate consciousness mechanism" and “is the software that enables introspection and conceptualization”. The hardware expresses/implements those thoughts as exemplified by your image of your mind using the computer to give them a material form. Dualism therefore = thinking software soul and expressing/implementing hardware brain. Perhaps you prefer not to read what you write.

DAVID: What you quote includes your persistent misinterpretation of my theory. I view the soul in life as interfaced with the brain's networks and REQUIRED to use those networks in developing thought, just as the software of a computer enters the actual transistors to produce its work.

It is not a misinterpretation of your theory, but an argument against the logic of your theory, which purports to be dualistic but in fact is materialistic! (I remain neutral on the subject, but have offered a form of reconciliation.) I use your own quotes to point out how you contradict yourself. And so I keep asking you WHY a “separate consciousness mechanism” REQUIRES or NEEDS the brain to perform its function of thinking, and your only answer is that it does! I have no problem with the software/soul entering the computer/brain, but you know as well as I do that the transistors do not CREATE the programme/thought: they help to give it material implementation/expression. Hence the relevance of software/hardware as an analogy to the dualist concept of mind/body.

dhw: Here is what I see as a “coherent theory” (theistic version): your God gave us a separate consciousness mechanism with which to think. As you keep acknowledging and then forgetting, the SAME separate consciousness mechanism survives the death of the brain and continues to think, but using psychic instead of material powers to observe and communicate. And so yet again I ask you: if your God supplied us with a “separate consciousness mechanism” which creates thought (“enables introspection and conceptualization”), why do you then NEED a different mechanism to create thought?

DAVID: Because in death the soul has lost its necessary connection to the brain's networks to produce thought.

Once again you simply reiterate your fixed belief that the “separate conscious mechanism” is not separate at all, and necessarily depends on the material brain to produce its thoughts.

DAVID: Before a fresh new thought appears, where is it? It doesn't exist. It has to be created and expressed. I view my soul as an immaterial mirror image of the real me. In Death that image of me joins the universal consciousness which gives me the ability to actually think in the afterlife. Two different thought mechanisms for the soul.

Of course the new thought doesn’t exist until it is thought. And the creation and expression of thought are two different processes. If there is such a thing as a soul or “separate consciousness mechanism” or “piece of your God’s consciousness” (your terms) which he has inserted into the brain, WHY do you believe it is NECESSARY for it to be connected to the brain before it can think (as opposed to absorbing information and expressing thought materially, which DOES require connection to the brain)? WHY do you deem it impossible for the dualist’s soul to do the thinking in life, while the dualist’s brain does the expressing/implementing, and then for the same dualist’s soul to go on thinking in death (though changing its mode of observation and communication)?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Friday, June 22, 2018, 19:01 (175 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: What you quote includes your persistent misinterpretation of my theory. I view the soul in life as interfaced with the brain's networks and REQUIRED to use those networks in developing thought, just as the software of a computer enters the actual transistors to produce its work.

dhw: It is not a misinterpretation of your theory, but an argument against the logic of your theory, which purports to be dualistic but in fact is materialistic! (I remain neutral on the subject, but have offered a form of reconciliation.) I use your own quotes to point out how you contradict yourself. And so I keep asking you WHY a “separate consciousness mechanism” REQUIRES or NEEDS the brain to perform its function of thinking, and your only answer is that it does! I have no problem with the software/soul entering the computer/brain, but you know as well as I do that the transistors do not CREATE the programme/thought: they help to give it material implementation/expression. Hence the relevance of software/hardware as an analogy to the dualist concept of mind/body.

Of course the transistors express the thought. But since I own my brain and use it to express thought I think it requires more than the complex brain networks to do it. It requires a consciousness software which is part of the universal consciousness. Once again you have ignored my full theory, in order to claim it is materialism!


DAVID: Before a fresh new thought appears, where is it? It doesn't exist. It has to be created and expressed. I view my soul as an immaterial mirror image of the real me. In Death that image of me joins the universal consciousness which gives me the ability to actually think in the afterlife. Two different thought mechanisms for the soul.

dhw: Of course the new thought doesn’t exist until it is thought. And the creation and expression of thought are two different processes. If there is such a thing as a soul or “separate consciousness mechanism” or “piece of your God’s consciousness” (your terms) which he has inserted into the brain, WHY do you believe it is NECESSARY for it to be connected to the brain before it can think (as opposed to absorbing information and expressing thought materially, which DOES require connection to the brain)? WHY do you deem it impossible for the dualist’s soul to do the thinking in life, while the dualist’s brain does the expressing/implementing, and then for the same dualist’s soul to go on thinking in death (though changing its mode of observation and communication)?

You persist in presenting a static soul thinking mechanism, unchanged in life and death insofar as it thinks. I'm not arguing the reception of information which definitely requires the brain's input in life. But in death we both agree the telepathic reception of information and thought requires a different mechanism. So why can't thought operate differently in death, using a part of the universal consciousness? I see my theories as equal to your theories, which you present as a defense against my bigger brain produces more advanced thought theory about the evolution of the human brain.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, June 23, 2018, 10:45 (174 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I have no problem with the software/soul entering the computer/brain, but you know as well as I do that the transistors do not CREATE the programme/thought: they help to give it material implementation/expression. Hence the relevance of software/hardware as an analogy to the dualist concept of mind/body.

DAVID: Of course the transistors express the thought. But since I own my brain and use it to express thought I think it requires more than the complex brain networks to do it. It requires a consciousness software which is part of the universal consciousness. Once again you have ignored my full theory, in order to claim it is materialism!

“I” = your dualist’s soul. Yes, your dualist’s soul uses your brain to express thought. In your next sentence what requires more than the brain to do what? All your references to “it” are very confusing. However, you keep telling us that the soul requires the brain to do its thinking. So what requires the consciousness software (soul) to do what? Let’s start again: the consciousness software, which you believe to be part of the universal consciousness - also known as a separate consciousness mechanism or a piece of God’s consciousness – does the thinking, as you agreed when telling us that it was responsible for “introspection and conceptualization”, and it requires the brain to do the expressing and implementing, as you agreed when telling us that your software mind uses the hardware computer to give its thoughts a material form. What could be clearer?

dhw: WHY do you deem it impossible for the dualist’s soul to do the thinking in life, while the dualist’s brain does the expressing/implementing, and then for the same dualist’s soul to go on thinking in death (though changing its mode of observation and communication)?

DAVID: You persist in presenting a static soul thinking mechanism, unchanged in life and death insofar as it thinks. I'm not arguing the reception of information which definitely requires the brain's input in life. But in death we both agree the telepathic reception of information and thought requires a different mechanism. So why can't thought operate differently in death, using a part of the universal consciousness?

You persist in telling us the mechanism HAS to change because the soul HAS to depend on the brain for its ability to think, and I keep asking you WHY, but you never answer. According to you the soul, the SEPARATE consciousness mechanism, is ALREADY a part of the universal consciousness, or a piece of God’s consciousness which he inserts into the brain. What purpose can it have, if not to think? WHY should a piece of God’s consciousness only be able to think when it is attached to a brain, and yet the same “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” or part of the universal consciousness or piece of God’s consciousness can continue to think when it leaves the brain? Leaving the brain would only mean leaving its material means of observing and expressing, which we have agreed.

DAVID: I see my theories as equal to your theories, which you present as a defense against my bigger brain produces more advanced thought theory about the evolution of the human brain.

It is not a defence of anything. It is an attack on the idea that a duality of mind/soul and body/brain depends on the brain for its capacity to think. If the brain produces thought, you have materialism, but I have offered you a compromise which removes this discrepancy! I’m reluctant to let this get lost in all the fluff, so here it is again, and again I invite you to find fault with it. Logically the expanding cell communities of the bigger brain can only “produce more advanced thought” if they are the source of thought. And so what we call the soul may be a form of energy that emerges from the thinking brain and not only transcends the thought powers of each individual cell/cell community (as we see in other forms of communal intelligence) but may also survive its source (as we see with images that survive their source). Hence such psychic phenomena as ghosts and déjà vu, and possibly even ongoing survival in an afterlife, though that remains a matter of faith. All perfectly compatible with theism, if one attributes the design of the mechanism to your God.

However, in fairness to “pure” dualism, I find no logical discrepancy in the theistic theory that your God puts a piece of his consciousness into the brain to do the thinking – i.e. to absorb and process information delivered by the brain, and to instruct the brain to give material expression to its thoughts – and the same separate consciousness mechanism or piece of your God’s consciousness continues to be its thinking self when the brain dies. Can you, as a dualist and theist, find any logical flaw in that theory? If not, why do you see any logical NEED for the soul first to depend on the brain for its ability to think, and then to develop some vaguely different kind of ability to think in death?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 23, 2018, 18:41 (174 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Of course the transistors express the thought. But since I own my brain and use it to express thought I think it requires more than the complex brain networks to do it. It requires a consciousness software which is part of the universal consciousness. Once again you have ignored my full theory, in order to claim it is materialism!

dhw: “I” = your dualist’s soul. Yes, your dualist’s soul uses your brain to express thought. In your next sentence what requires more than the brain to do what? All your references to “it” are very confusing. However, you keep telling us that the soul requires the brain to do its thinking. So what requires the consciousness software (soul) to do what?

I don't understand why you cannot follow my reasoning. I view my soul software as initiating the process of thought, but to complete the entire formation of the thought requires use by the soul of the brain's frontal cortex networks, where it obviously is interfaced.

dhw: You persist in telling us the mechanism HAS to change because the soul HAS to depend on the brain for its ability to think, and I keep asking you WHY, but you never answer.

In theory, my reason is the obvious interface with the brain's networks to initiate thought as well as express it.

dhw: According to you the soul, the SEPARATE consciousness mechanism, is ALREADY a part of the universal consciousness, or a piece of God’s consciousness which he inserts into the brain. What purpose can it have, if not to think? WHY should a piece of God’s consciousness only be able to think when it is attached to a brain, and yet the same “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” or part of the universal consciousness or piece of God’s consciousness can continue to think when it leaves the brain? Leaving the brain would only mean leaving its material means of observing and expressing, which we have agreed.

Again you want a single static mechanism for the soul to think in life and death. I see it working with the brain in life and without the brain in death, and therefore thinking with a different mechanism.


DAVID: I see my theories as equal to your theories, which you present as a defense against my bigger brain produces more advanced thought theory about the evolution of the human brain.

dhw: It is not a defence of anything. It is an attack on the idea that a duality of mind/soul and body/brain depends on the brain for its capacity to think. If the brain produces thought, you have materialism, but I have offered you a compromise which removes this discrepancy!

Your usual distortion of my thoughts. The soul uses the brain to produce thought. The brain is not initiating thought all by itself, which is true materialism. You remain blind to my difference in my theory!

dhw: I’m reluctant to let this get lost in all the fluff, so here it is again, and again I invite you to find fault with it. Logically the expanding cell communities of the bigger brain can only “produce more advanced thought” if they are the source of thought.

The brain cells are not the source of thought. The soul is the initiator using the brain's networks for creation of the thought. You are certainly lost as you refuse to recognize the nuance of my theory.

dhw: However, in fairness to “pure” dualism, I find no logical discrepancy in the theistic theory that your God puts a piece of his consciousness into the brain to do the thinking – i.e. to absorb and process information delivered by the brain, and to instruct the brain to give material expression to its thoughts – and the same separate consciousness mechanism or piece of your God’s consciousness continues to be its thinking self when the brain dies. Can you, as a dualist and theist, find any logical flaw in that theory?

Your statement dos not include my theory that the soul is the initiator of thought by using the brain networks, to repeat over and over. Note you accept the soul relies on the brain to receive information in order to form thought. Why then not accept the soul uses the brain to form thought, all in one relationship with the brain?

dhw: If not, why do you see any logical NEED for the soul first to depend on the brain for its ability to think, and then to develop some vaguely different kind of ability to think in death?

It is logical in the way we see the soul interface with the brain. The vagueness is always present in all theories where science has not provided a clear picture. I view your cell community theory as equally vague, a stretch beyond any science I understand.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Sunday, June 24, 2018, 16:07 (173 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID (from: “How plasticity works”) A soul which is the software using expanded brain size and complexity hardware to produce thought which is more complex than in previous species of homo. TWO parts, hardware and software are required for the thought to be originated.

Here you have the brain and the soul both being necessary for the origin of the thought, but...

DAVID: I view my soul software as initiating the process of thought, but to complete the entire formation of the thought requires use by the soul of the brain's frontal cortex networks, where it obviously is interfaced.

...here you have only the soul software initiating the process of thought. Which is it? And what exactly do you mean by the formation of the thought being completed by the soul’s "use" of the frontal cortex? Of course the concept will develop as the soul processes new information from the brain and gives further instructions in its efforts to give the concept material form, and that is the conventional interactive duality which you yourself have illustrated with your references to the soul enabling introspection and conceptualization and instructing the brain to use your fingers and computer. But you seem to be saying that as well as helping 50/50 to initiate the concept (statement one) the brain also helps out 50/50 in deciding what to do next (“to complete the formation of the THOUGHT”). This leaves us with the soul AND the brain as two separate consciousness mechanisms that must work together to initiate and develop thought, and so when the brain dies, the soul has to find another separate consciousness mechanism because…and this gets really confusing…although it initiates the thought process (statement two), it can’t think of any new thoughts (= initiating the thought process) unless it is coupled with a brain that also thinks (statement one). Once more, what is your objection to the clear dualistic split into thinking soul (initiating and developing thought) and information-supplying, materially expressing/implementing body/brain? And I still await objections to my reconciliation theory.

The rest of your post deals with the same problem.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 24, 2018, 19:44 (173 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID (from: “How plasticity works”) A soul which is the software using expanded brain size and complexity hardware to produce thought which is more complex than in previous species of homo. TWO parts, hardware and software are required for the thought to be originated.

dhw:Here you have the brain and the soul both being necessary for the origin of the thought, but...

DAVID: I view my soul software as initiating the process of thought, but to complete the entire formation of the thought requires use by the soul of the brain's frontal cortex networks, where it obviously is interfaced.

dhw: ...here you have only the soul software initiating the process of thought. Which is it? And what exactly do you mean by the formation of the thought being completed by the soul’s "use" of the frontal cortex? Of course the concept will develop as the soul processes new information from the brain and gives further instructions in its efforts to give the concept material form, and that is the conventional interactive duality which you yourself have illustrated with your references to the soul enabling introspection and conceptualization and instructing the brain to use your fingers and computer. But you seem to be saying that as well as helping 50/50 to initiate the concept (statement one) the brain also helps out 50/50 in deciding what to do next (“to complete the formation of the THOUGHT”).

I am not saying what you seem to want to interpret. The soul drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul's output. This what I feel as I (soul) think and receive the thought.

dhw: This leaves us with the soul AND the brain as two separate consciousness mechanisms that must work together to initiate and develop thought, and so when the brain dies, the soul has to find another separate consciousness mechanism because…and this gets really confusing…although it initiates the thought process (statement two), it can’t think of any new thoughts (= initiating the thought process) unless it is coupled with a brain that also thinks (statement one).

You are repeating my idea that in the afterlife, the soul is connected with the universal consciousness in order to originate thought.

dhw: Once more, what is your objection to the clear dualistic split into thinking soul (initiating and developing thought) and information-supplying, materially expressing/implementing body/brain?

And I add that the process involves the soul using the brain networks initiates and completes the thought.

dhw: And I still await objections to my reconciliation theory.

And my objection is still the same. You have the soul arising from the material brain through God's work, and I've agreed that it is possible God did it that way, but it becomes a material source of the soul and I don't view it as dualism but an extended form of materialism.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Monday, June 25, 2018, 14:22 (172 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: (under “how plasticity works”): In my view the soul is a software, immaterial mechanism that interfaces with the brain's hardware networks and uses those networks to produce original thought. True dualism.

Agreed, except that “uses those networks to produce original thought” requires clarification, as below:

dhw: […] what exactly do you mean by the formation of the thought being completed by the soul’s "use" of the frontal cortex? Of course the concept will develop as the soul processes new information from the brain and gives further instructions in its efforts to give the concept material form, and that is the conventional interactive duality which you yourself have illustrated with your references to the soul enabling introspection and conceptualization and instructing the brain to use your fingers and computer. But you seem to be saying that as well as helping 50/50 to initiate the concept (statement one) the brain also helps out 50/50 in deciding what to do next (“to complete the formation of the THOUGHT”).

DAVID: I am not saying what you seem to want to interpret. The soul drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul's output. This what I feel as I (soul) think and receive the thought.

(Presumably you mean that in your dualistic self your soul thinks and your brain receives.) You are at last saying what I have said for many months, and I shall keep this paragraph in a safe place for future reference. You have withdrawn your earlier statement that “TWO parts, hardware and software are required for the thought to be originated”, and stand by your later statement that the soul initiates the process of thought. And now the hardware brain does not contribute thought but is “used” by the software soul for information and material implementation. That indeed is “true dualism”.

dhw: [Your original theory] leaves us with the soul AND the brain as two separate consciousness mechanisms that must work together to initiate and develop thought, and so when the brain dies, the soul has to find another separate consciousness mechanism because…and this gets really confusing…although it initiates the thought process (statement two), it can’t think of any new thoughts (= initiating the thought process) unless it is coupled with a brain that also thinks (statement one).

DAVID: You are repeating my idea that in the afterlife, the soul is connected with the universal consciousness in order to originate thought.

I am repeating your original theory, which I find illogical. You have told us that the “separate consciousness mechanism” is ALREADY a piece of God’s consciousness, and you now agree that this is what originates thought in life. Why, then, would it not continue to originate thought in the afterlife? It wouldn’t need a new “separate consciousness mechanism” – only a different (psychic) mechanism for observation and communication (which may already be present, according to the vast number of psychic experiences undergone by live humans).

dhw: Once more, what is your objection to the clear dualistic split into thinking soul (initiating and developing thought) and information-supplying, materially expressing/implementing body/brain?

DAVID: And I add that the process involves the soul using the brain networks initiates and completes the thought.

You have now agreed that in dualism the brain plays no part in initiating thought (other than providing information), and I hope you will also agree that in dualism the soul “uses” information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts in the ongoing process described in the first quote above. The thinking soul therefore does not require the recipient brain in order to think its new thoughts (= initiate), but only to provide information and to give its thoughts material implementation. (NB all this concerns the nature of dualism – it is not an expression of my beliefs!)

dhw: And I still await objections to my reconciliation theory.

DAVID: And my objection is still the same. You have the soul arising from the material brain through God's work, and I've agreed that it is possible God did it that way, but it becomes a material source of the soul and I don't view it as dualism but an extended form of materialism.

No problem. I remain neutral in the materialism v dualism debate, and my theory is simply an attempt to reconcile the two approaches. I am pleased that you can find no flaw in the reasoning, and am doubly pleased that we seem to be approaching agreement on a logical version of dualism.

To sum it up: Until now you have insisted that the dualist’s “separate consciousness mechanism” cannot think separately from the brain. You have now agreed that the soul alone initiates thought; I hope you will also agree that thought is an ongoing process in which the thinking soul uses the information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts and give them their material form as described above. The soul or piece of God’s consciousness does not depend on the brain for its ability to think, and therefore there is no reason why it should not remain the same “separate consciousness mechanism” in an afterlife, except that it now observes and communicates through its psychic powers. What could be clearer?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Monday, June 25, 2018, 17:54 (172 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I am not saying what you seem to want to interpret. The soul drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul's output. This what I feel as I (soul) think and receive the thought.

dhw: (Presumably you mean that in your dualistic self your soul thinks and your brain receives.) You are at last saying what I have said for many months, and I shall keep this paragraph in a safe place for future reference. You have withdrawn your earlier statement that “TWO parts, hardware and software are required for the thought to be originated”, and stand by your later statement that the soul initiates the process of thought. And now the hardware brain does not contribute thought but is “used” by the software soul for information and material implementation. That indeed is “true dualism”.

Do not keep 'presuming' from your rigid point of view. In my view the immaterial soul/software ( probably quantum in nature) initiates the thought but MUST use the networks of the material brain with which it is totally interlocked in fully completing the thought and offering its final expression. The brain contributes the network hardware in this process and therefore can be viewed as a passive participant. This is my initial and continuous view which you have constantly tried to twist into your viewpoint.

dhw: Once more, what is your objection to the clear dualistic split into thinking soul (initiating and developing thought) and information-supplying, materially expressing/implementing body/brain?


DAVID: And I add that the process involves the soul using the brain networks initiates and completes the thought.

dhw: You have now agreed that in dualism the brain plays no part in initiating thought (other than providing information), and I hope you will also agree that in dualism the soul “uses” information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts in the ongoing process described in the first quote above. The thinking soul therefore does not require the recipient brain in order to think its new thoughts (= initiate), but only to provide information and to give its thoughts material implementation. (NB all this concerns the nature of dualism – it is not an expression of my beliefs!)

Again, a total misrepresentation of my theory. See above.


dhw: And I still await objections to my reconciliation theory.

DAVID: And my objection is still the same. You have the soul arising from the material brain through God's work, and I've agreed that it is possible God did it that way, but it becomes a material source of the soul and I don't view it as dualism but an extended form of materialism.

dhw: No problem. I remain neutral in the materialism v dualism debate, and my theory is simply an attempt to reconcile the two approaches. I am pleased that you can find no flaw in the reasoning, and am doubly pleased that we seem to be approaching agreement on a logical version of dualism.

To sum it up: Until now you have insisted that the dualist’s “separate consciousness mechanism” cannot think separately from the brain. You have now agreed that the soul alone initiates thought; I hope you will also agree that thought is an ongoing process in which the thinking soul uses the information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts and give them their material form as described above. The soul or piece of God’s consciousness does not depend on the brain for its ability to think, and therefore there is no reason why it should not remain the same “separate consciousness mechanism” in an afterlife, except that it now observes and communicates through its psychic powers. What could be clearer?

I'm glad your view, which does not accept mine is clear to you.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 12:57 (171 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am not saying what you seem to want to interpret. The soul drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul's output. This what I feel as I (soul) think and receive the thought.

dhw: (Presumably you mean that in your dualistic self your soul thinks and your brain receives.) You are at last saying what I have said for many months, and I shall keep this paragraph in a safe place for future reference. You have withdrawn your earlier statement that “TWO parts, hardware and software are required for the thought to be originated”, and stand by your later statement that the soul initiates the process of thought. And now the hardware brain does not contribute thought but is “used” by the software soul for information and material implementation. That indeed is “true dualism”.

DAVID: Do not keep 'presuming' from your rigid point of view. In my view the immaterial soul/software ( probably quantum in nature) initiates the thought but MUST use the networks of the material brain with which it is totally interlocked in fully completing the thought and offering its final expression. The brain contributes the network hardware in this process and therefore can be viewed as a passive participant. This is my initial and continuous view which you have constantly tried to twist into your viewpoint.

I see absolutely no difference between our versions! Of course the thinking soul MUST use the brain in this material world, but what does it use the brain for? Thought is an ongoing process. In your own terms: The soul “initiates the thought” of the spear, USING the brain to provide information (need for food, animal, distance); the actively thinking soul then carries on USING the “passive participant” “receiving” brain for ongoing information relating to the now developing concept together with the means to implement the thought materially. It is the soul that is in charge of the thinking and processing and immaterial development, and it USES the information from the brain to complete the concept and achieve “final expression”. What have I “twisted”?

dhw: Once more, what is your objection to the clear dualistic split into thinking soul (initiating and developing thought) and information-supplying, materially expressing/implementing body/brain?

DAVID: And I add that the process involves the soul using the brain networks initiates and completes the thought.

Agreed, in the manner explained above. What is your objection?

dhw: And I still await objections to my reconciliation theory.

DAVID: And my objection is still the same. You have the soul arising from the material brain through God's work, and I've agreed that it is possible God did it that way, but it becomes a material source of the soul and I don't view it as dualism but an extended form of materialism.

dhw: No problem. I remain neutral in the materialism v dualism debate, and my theory is simply an attempt to reconcile the two approaches. I am pleased that you can find no flaw in the reasoning, and am doubly pleased that we seem to be approaching agreement on a logical version of dualism.

To sum it up: Until now you have insisted that the dualist’s “separate consciousness mechanism” cannot think separately from the brain. You have now agreed that the soul alone initiates thought; I hope you will also agree that thought is an ongoing process in which the thinking soul uses the information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts and give them their material form as described above. The soul or piece of God’s consciousness does not depend on the brain for its ability to think, and therefore there is no reason why it should not remain the same “separate consciousness mechanism” in an afterlife, except that it now observes and communicates through its psychic powers. What could be clearer?

DAVID: I'm glad your view, which does not accept mine is clear to you.

In this analysis of what constitutes dualism, the only difference I can see is that although you agree the active SEPARATE consciousness mechanism does the thinking in life, and uses the passive brain for information and material expression to help it finalize its thoughts and realize them materially, you say it requires an ADDITIONAL consciousness mechanism to be able to think in death. Why can’t the same separate consciousness mechanism initiate and develop thought using psychic means to replace the above functions of the brain ?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 17:57 (171 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Do not keep 'presuming' from your rigid point of view. In my view the immaterial soul/software ( probably quantum in nature) initiates the thought but MUST use the networks of the material brain with which it is totally interlocked in fully completing the thought and offering its final expression. The brain contributes the network hardware in this process and therefore can be viewed as a passive participant. This is my initial and continuous view which you have constantly tried to twist into your viewpoint.

dhw: I see absolutely no difference between our versions! Of course the thinking soul MUST use the brain in this material world, but what does it use the brain for? Thought is an ongoing process. In your own terms: The soul “initiates the thought” of the spear, USING the brain to provide information (need for food, animal, distance); the actively thinking soul then carries on USING the “passive participant” “receiving” brain for ongoing information relating to the now developing concept together with the means to implement the thought materially. It is the soul that is in charge of the thinking and processing and immaterial development, and it USES the information from the brain to complete the concept and achieve “final expression”. What have I “twisted”?

The difference is that I view the soul/me as unable to initiate a thought unless it is attached and uses the brain's networks in the initiation process. Your proposal does not recognize this relationship. You seem to have the soul, at a distance (however tiny a gap) dictating to the brain as a recipient.


dhw: Once more, what is your objection to the clear dualistic split into thinking soul (initiating and developing thought) and information-supplying, materially expressing/implementing body/brain?

DAVID: And I add that the process involves the soul using the brain networks initiates and completes the thought.

dhw: Agreed, in the manner explained above. What is your objection?

See the comment above about your 'gap' in theory.


dhw: And I still await objections to my reconciliation theory.

DAVID: And my objection is still the same. You have the soul arising from the material brain through God's work, and I've agreed that it is possible God did it that way, but it becomes a material source of the soul and I don't view it as dualism but an extended form of materialism.

dhw: No problem. I remain neutral in the materialism v dualism debate, and my theory is simply an attempt to reconcile the two approaches. I am pleased that you can find no flaw in the reasoning, and am doubly pleased that we seem to be approaching agreement on a logical version of dualism.

To sum it up: Until now you have insisted that the dualist’s “separate consciousness mechanism” cannot think separately from the brain. You have now agreed that the soul alone initiates thought; I hope you will also agree that thought is an ongoing process in which the thinking soul uses the information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts and give them their material form as described above. The soul or piece of God’s consciousness does not depend on the brain for its ability to think, and therefore there is no reason why it should not remain the same “separate consciousness mechanism” in an afterlife, except that it now observes and communicates through its psychic powers. What could be clearer?

DAVID: I'm glad your view, which does not accept mine is clear to you.

dhw: In this analysis of what constitutes dualism, the only difference I can see is that although you agree the active SEPARATE consciousness mechanism does the thinking in life, and uses the passive brain for information and material expression to help it finalize its thoughts and realize them materially, you say it requires an ADDITIONAL consciousness mechanism to be able to think in death. Why can’t the same separate consciousness mechanism initiate and develop thought using psychic means to replace the above functions of the brain?

The difference is I see no separation. The soul is tightly interlocked with the brain networks, and initiates those thoughts using the brain networks.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 11:25 (170 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I see absolutely no difference between our versions! […] It is the soul that is in charge of the thinking and processing and immaterial development, and it USES the information from the brain to complete the concept and achieve “final expression”. What have I “twisted”?

DAVID: The difference is that I view the soul/me as unable to initiate a thought unless it is attached and uses the brain's networks in the initiation process. Your proposal does not recognize this relationship. You seem to have the soul, at a distance (however tiny a gap) dictating to the brain as a recipient.

The term “recipient brain” was yours, not mine! The soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul’s output.” (Your post of Sunday June 24). The thinking soul and the recipient brain are the two parts of the dualistic self! But of course the active soul uses the “passive participant” brain (your term) in the initiation process: if it didn’t have the information provided by the brain, it would have nothing to think about! There is no gap. In our efforts to define dualism, I have never opposed your idea that in life the soul works from inside the brain and the two different parts of the dualistic self are interlocked. (And in my “theory” they are not just interlocked but are initially a single unit!)

dhw: In this analysis of what constitutes dualism, the only difference I can see is that although you agree the active SEPARATE consciousness mechanism does the thinking in life, and uses the passive brain for information and material expression to help it finalize its thoughts and realize them materially, you say it requires an ADDITIONAL consciousness mechanism to be able to think in death. Why can’t the same separate consciousness mechanism initiate and develop thought using psychic means to replace the above functions of the brain?

DAVID: The difference is I see no separation. The soul is tightly interlocked with the brain networks, and initiates those thoughts using the brain networks.

Agreed, as explained above, and in death the “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (again this is your coinage, not mine) is no longer interlocked with the brain. That is why it must use psychic means of observation (i.e. obtaining information) and communication as a substitute for the material means. But you keep insisting that in death this same separate consciousness mechanism, or “piece of God’s consciousness” – the mechanism that “enables introspection and conceptualization” (your term) – requires a different mechanism to fulfil exactly the same function as it performed in life! Why?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 18:23 (170 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I see absolutely no difference between our versions! […] It is the soul that is in charge of the thinking and processing and immaterial development, and it USES the information from the brain to complete the concept and achieve “final expression”. What have I “twisted”?

DAVID: The difference is that I view the soul/me as unable to initiate a thought unless it is attached and uses the brain's networks in the initiation process. Your proposal does not recognize this relationship. You seem to have the soul, at a distance (however tiny a gap) dictating to the brain as a recipient.

dhw:The term “recipient brain” was yours, not mine! The soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul’s output.” (Your post of Sunday June 24). The thinking soul and the recipient brain are the two parts of the dualistic self! But of course the active soul uses the “passive participant” brain (your term) in the initiation process: if it didn’t have the information provided by the brain, it would have nothing to think about! There is no gap. In our efforts to define dualism, I have never opposed your idea that in life the soul works from inside the brain and the two different parts of the dualistic self are interlocked. (And in my “theory” they are not just interlocked but are initially a single unit!)

It seems as if you have finally accepted my ideas.


dhw: In this analysis of what constitutes dualism, the only difference I can see is that although you agree the active SEPARATE consciousness mechanism does the thinking in life, and uses the passive brain for information and material expression to help it finalize its thoughts and realize them materially, you say it requires an ADDITIONAL consciousness mechanism to be able to think in death. Why can’t the same separate consciousness mechanism initiate and develop thought using psychic means to replace the above functions of the brain?

DAVID: The difference is I see no separation. The soul is tightly interlocked with the brain networks, and initiates those thoughts using the brain networks.

dhw: Agreed, as explained above, and in death the “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (again this is your coinage, not mine) is no longer interlocked with the brain. That is why it must use psychic means of observation (i.e. obtaining information) and communication as a substitute for the material means. But you keep insisting that in death this same separate consciousness mechanism, or “piece of God’s consciousness” – the mechanism that “enables introspection and conceptualization” (your term) – requires a different mechanism to fulfil exactly the same function as it performed in life! Why?

You've raised the issue of psychic means in death. That is not the brain networks which you've agreed in life must be used. You've just admitted the mechanism of thought is different in death. I see the difference that requires a difference in mechanism: in life our consciousness may be a portion of the universal consciousness in a form that requires the brain networks, but in death it must operate in a different way. That is logical.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, June 28, 2018, 13:55 (169 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I see absolutely no difference between our versions! […] It is the soul that is in charge of the thinking and processing and immaterial development, and it USES the information from the brain to complete the concept and achieve “final expression”. What have I “twisted”?

DAVID: The difference is that I view the soul/me as unable to initiate a thought unless it is attached and uses the brain's networks in the initiation process. Your proposal does not recognize this relationship. You seem to have the soul, at a distance (however tiny a gap) dictating to the brain as a recipient.

dhw:The term “recipient brain” was yours, not mine! The soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul’s output.” (Your post of Sunday June 24). The thinking soul and the recipient brain are the two parts of the dualistic self! But of course the active soul uses the “passive participant” brain (your term) in the initiation process: if it didn’t have the information provided by the brain, it would have nothing to think about! There is no gap. In our efforts to define dualism, I have never opposed your idea that in life the soul works from inside the brain and the two different parts of the dualistic self are interlocked. (And in my “theory” they are not just interlocked but are initially a single unit!)

DAVID:It seems as if you have finally accepted my ideas.

It seems as if you have finally agreed that there is no "twisting" and no difference between our versions of the nature of dualism, in which the soul, or “separate consciousness mechanism”, or “piece of God’s consciousness”, does the thinking and uses the passive, non-contributing brain to acquire information and to give material expression and implementation to its thoughts. Since you agree that the passive recipient brain does not initiate new thoughts, it is therefore illogical to argue that your God had to expand the pre-sapiens passive recipient brain before the “separate consciousness mechanism” could initiate new thoughts! It is equally illogical to argue that the same “separate consciousness mechanism” used in life requires a different consciousness mechanism in an afterlife. See below.

However, in our joint quest for “truth”, it is important to stress that the illogicality of your argument concerning the enlargement of the brain only relates to your concept of dualism. The enlarged brain as the source of increased intelligence is the materialist view, which is why I have been trying to reconcile the two approaches through my “theory”.

dhw: [..] in death the “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (again this is your coinage, not mine) is no longer interlocked with the brain. That is why it must use psychic means of observation (i.e. obtaining information) and communication as a substitute for the material means. But you keep insisting that in death this same separate consciousness mechanism, or “piece of God’s consciousness” – the mechanism that “enables introspection and conceptualization” (your term) – requires a different mechanism to fulfil exactly the same function as it performed in life! Why?

DAVID: You've raised the issue of psychic means in death. That is not the brain networks which you've agreed in life must be used. You've just admitted the mechanism of thought is different in death. I see the difference that requires a difference in mechanism: in life our consciousness may be a portion of the universal consciousness in a form that requires the brain networks, but in death it must operate in a different way. That is logical.

In dualism the “mechanism of thought” is the soul! In death the mechanism of thought is still the soul. There are not two different mechanisms of thought. There are two different mechanisms for observation and expression, one material (the “separate consciousness mechanism” uses the recipient brain for information and material expression) and the other psychic. That is the logical distinction you have agreed to above. And I think most dualists would believe that those psychic powers are already present during life, but in the majority of cases stay unused because the material world is dominant.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 28, 2018, 18:01 (169 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: It seems as if you have finally agreed that there is no "twisting" and no difference between our versions of the nature of dualism, in which the soul, or “separate consciousness mechanism”, or “piece of God’s consciousness”, does the thinking and uses the passive, non-contributing brain to acquire information and to give material expression and implementation to its thoughts.

Your summary of my point of view is not complete. The soul is interlocked with the networks, which means it initiates the thought, accepts information, refines the thought and broadcasts the completed thought through those networks, nothing psychic in life. The networks are required for the whole process. And this is a true dualism concept requiring two parts.

dhw: Since you agree that the passive recipient brain does not initiate new thoughts, it is therefore illogical to argue that your God had to expand the pre-sapiens passive recipient brain before the “separate consciousness mechanism” could initiate new thoughts! It is equally illogical to argue that the same “separate consciousness mechanism” used in life requires a different consciousness mechanism in an afterlife. See below.

In view of my response above, your objections do not apply.


dhw: However, in our joint quest for “truth”, it is important to stress that the illogicality of your argument concerning the enlargement of the brain only relates to your concept of dualism. The enlarged brain as the source of increased intelligence is the materialist view, which is why I have been trying to reconcile the two approaches through my “theory”.

'
In view of my response above, your objections do not apply.

DAVID: You've raised the issue of psychic means in death. That is not the brain networks which you've agreed in life must be used. You've just admitted the mechanism of thought is different in death. I see the difference that requires a difference in mechanism: in life our consciousness may be a portion of the universal consciousness in a form that requires the brain networks, but in death it must operate in a different way. That is logical.

dhw: In dualism the “mechanism of thought” is the soul! In death the mechanism of thought is still the soul. There are not two different mechanisms of thought. There are two different mechanisms for observation and expression, one material (the “separate consciousness mechanism” uses the recipient brain for information and material expression) and the other psychic. That is the logical distinction you have agreed to above. And I think most dualists would believe that those psychic powers are already present during life, but in the majority of cases stay unused because the material world is dominant.

Again, you want a static form of soul separate from the brain, and dictating to it. And please, don't tell me what I must believe as a dualist. I am my own dualist with my own concepts. And you have admitted to two different mechanisms in life and death, although you keep detaching the soul and brain in the thought process..

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Friday, June 29, 2018, 13:21 (168 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: It seems as if you have finally agreed that there is no "twisting" and no difference between our versions of the nature of dualism, in which the soul, or “separate consciousness mechanism”, or “piece of God’s consciousness”, does the thinking and uses the passive, non-contributing brain to acquire information and to give material expression and implementation to its thoughts.

DAVID: Your summary of my point of view is not complete. The soul is interlocked with the networks, which means it initiates the thought, accepts information, refines the thought and broadcasts the completed thought through those networks, nothing psychic in life. The networks are required for the whole process. And this is a true dualism concept requiring two parts.

Absolutely no difference here, since I have never disputed the interlocking. You have simply put my version of dualism into different words, but have now confused the issue by saying there is “nothing psychic in life”. My “psychic” reference relates to the afterlife, when there are no material means of observation and communication, but I pointed out in passing that these psychic powers may already be present during life.

dhw: Since you agree that the passive recipient brain does not initiate new thoughts, it is therefore illogical to argue that your God had to expand the pre-sapiens passive recipient brain before the “separate consciousness mechanism” could initiate new thoughts! It is equally illogical to argue that the same “separate consciousness mechanism” used in life requires a different consciousness mechanism in an afterlife. See below.

DAVID: In view of my response above, your objections do not apply.

Of course they apply! You say yourself that it is the soul and not the brain that does the initiating and refining of the thoughts. So you don’t need a bigger brain to initiate thoughts! But of course the soul would not be able to initiate thoughts if it didn’t have the information on which its thoughts are based. Pre-sapiens did not need a bigger brain to know he was hungry, there was meat standing 50 feet away, and he wanted to have it, and since in dualism the brain does not initiate thoughts, it therefore makes no sense to say that only a bigger brain could have initiated the new thought of “spear”.

dhw: In dualism the “mechanism of thought” is the soul! In death the mechanism of thought is still the soul. There are not two different mechanisms of thought. There are two different mechanisms for observation and expression, one material (the “separate consciousness mechanism” uses the recipient brain for information and material expression) and the other psychic. That is the logical distinction you have agreed to above. [..]

DAVID: Again, you want a static form of soul separate from the brain, and dictating to it. And please, don't tell me what I must believe as a dualist.

I am not telling you what you must believe. On Wednesday, when I offered you the same summary in your own words, you wrote: “It seems as if you have finally accepted my ideas”. The term “SEPARATE conscious mechanism” is yours, and it is you who wrote that the brain is “passive” and is the recipient: “The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul’s output.” (Sunday June 24) How does the passive brain receive the soul’s output (or its instructions) if the soul doesn’t dictate to it?

DAVID: I am my own dualist with my own concepts. And you have admitted to two different mechanisms in life and death, although you keep detaching the soul and brain in the thought process.

And we have agreed on those concepts, and at various times you have agreed that the “two different mechanisms” refer to the means of observation and communication, not to the “separate consciousness mechanism”. In life the soul and brain are interlocked, but in your own words the soul is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” which resides in and works with the material brain. I keep reproducing your own words which present precisely the same concept of dualism as my own, so why do you keep disagreeing with yourself?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Friday, June 29, 2018, 19:44 (168 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your summary of my point of view is not complete. The soul is interlocked with the networks, which means it initiates the thought, accepts information, refines the thought and broadcasts the completed thought through those networks, nothing psychic in life. The networks are required for the whole process. And this is a true dualism concept requiring two parts.

dhw: Absolutely no difference here, since I have never disputed the interlocking. You have simply put my version of dualism into different words, but have now confused the issue by saying there is “nothing psychic in life”. My “psychic” reference relates to the afterlife, when there are no material means of observation and communication, but I pointed out in passing that these psychic powers may already be present during life.

dhw: Since you agree that the passive recipient brain does not initiate new thoughts, it is therefore illogical to argue that your God had to expand the pre-sapiens passive recipient brain before the “separate consciousness mechanism” could initiate new thoughts! It is equally illogical to argue that the same “separate consciousness mechanism” used in life requires a different consciousness mechanism in an afterlife. See below.

DAVID: In view of my response above, your objections do not apply.

dhw: Of course they apply! You say yourself that it is the soul and not the brain that does the initiating and refining of the thoughts. So you don’t need a bigger brain to initiate thoughts!

In my view the larger complex networks in each stage of larger brain allows the soul to develop more complex thought. That is our difference in the theory.

dhw: I am not telling you what you must believe. On Wednesday, when I offered you the same summary in y> our own words, you wrote: “It seems as if you have finally accepted my ideas”. The term “SEPARATE conscious mechanism” is yours, and it is you who wrote that the brain is “passive” and is the recipient: “The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul’s output.” (Sunday June 24) How does the passive brain receive the soul’s output (or its instructions) if the soul doesn’t dictate to it?

When I type on my computer I initiate all thoughts, and the computer is passive. Same with soul and brain, but the more complex the computer the more complex operations I can perform on it. Same with soul and brain.


DAVID: I am my own dualist with my own concepts. And you have admitted to two different mechanisms in life and death, although you keep detaching the soul and brain in the thought process.

dhw: And we have agreed on those concepts, and at various times you have agreed that the “two different mechanisms” refer to the means of observation and communication, not to the “separate consciousness mechanism”. In life the soul and brain are interlocked, but in your own words the soul is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” which resides in and works with the material brain. I keep reproducing your own words which present precisely the same concept of dualism as my own, so why do you keep disagreeing with yourself?

You keep missing the points I've made above about the soul brain relationship. My thoughts are unchanged. Since no brain is present in death, the soul uses telepathy by being joined to the universal consciousness of God.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, June 30, 2018, 10:54 (167 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You say yourself that it is the soul and not the brain that does the initiating and refining of the thoughts. So you don’t need a bigger brain to initiate thoughts!

DAVID: In my view the larger complex networks in each stage of larger brain allows the soul to develop more complex thought. That is our difference in the theory.

Our argument over dualism revolves round the initiation of thought. Of course once the new thought has become old, and the brain has already expanded in order to implement/express that thought, the soul will initiate more new thoughts building on the old thoughts (that’s progress for you!) and in due course they too may require more enlargement. To continue yesterday’s example: pre-sapiens no need bigger brain to know he hungry and want kill living meat. Soul initiate idea: “spear”. Brain no grow bigger BEFORE he initiate “spear” thought. Soul instruct brain and body to make spear. Spear made, an’ NOW brain be bigger through need for new cells implementing new concept. Next: bigger-brained pre-sapiens hungry and want kill living meat. Spear OK but same soul initiate better idea: bow ‘n’ arrow. New idea require more changes to brain – maybe expansion.

New thought results in brain change, as proven by modern science. (See “pitch control”). But you keep claiming that the dualist’s brain has to be changed/enlarged each time BEFORE new thoughts can be initiated. If the dualist’s soul is the only initiator of the thought, the initiation of the thought does not depend on the size of the brain! If it does, you have materialism, which may well be true. Hence my reconciliation theory.

dhw: How does the passive brain receive the soul’s output (or its instructions) if the soul doesn’t dictate to it?

DAVID: When I type on my computer I initiate all thoughts, and the computer is passive. Same with soul and brain, but the more complex the computer the more complex operations I can perform on it. Same with soul and brain.

Precisely. Your dualist’s soul initiates your thoughts and dictates them to your computer/brain, which expresses them materially. If your computer/brain is already equipped to express your thoughts, it doesn’t need to change. If your soul has new thoughts which are beyond the capacity of your existing computer/brain to express, you need a more complex or, in the good old days, a larger computer/brain. The initiation of your thoughts does not depend on the complexity/capacity of your computer/brain. The computer/brain has to increase its complexity/capacity in order to accommodate the thoughts initiated by your soul. Thank you for this clear example.

dhw: ...at various times you have agreed that the “two different mechanisms” refer to the means of observation and communication, not to the “separate consciousness mechanism”. In life the soul and brain are interlocked, but in your own words the soul is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” which resides in and works with the material brain. I keep reproducing your own words which present precisely the same concept of dualism as my own, so why do you keep disagreeing with yourself?

DAVID: You keep missing the points I've made above about the soul brain relationship. My thoughts are unchanged. Since no brain is present in death, the soul uses telepathy by being joined to the universal consciousness of God.

That is what I keep telling you! Your “separate consciousness mechanism” remains unchanged, but without a brain the soul has to use psychic powers (e.g. telepathy) in order to observe and communicate. According to you, the soul is already a piece of your God’s consciousness when it’s inside the brain, and that is the unchanging mechanism for thought. I don’t understand why you keep agreeing and making it sound as if you disagree.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 30, 2018, 17:57 (167 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: New thought results in brain change, as proven by modern science. (See “pitch control”). But you keep claiming that the dualist’s brain has to be changed/enlarged each time BEFORE new thoughts can be initiated. If the dualist’s soul is the only initiator of the thought, the initiation of the thought does not depend on the size of the brain! If it does, you have materialism, which may well be true. Hence my reconciliation theory.

You keep ignoring or missing the main thrust of my theory. The soul/consciousness/I initiate a thought, but the start of a thought is never a complete thought. To initiate is to begin. The soul then refines the thought using the brain networks Which are passively used in the process. The completed thought is then announced through the brain. To repeat, initiation is only part of the process of thought.


dhw: How does the passive brain receive the soul’s output (or its instructions) if the soul doesn’t dictate to it?

DAVID: When I type on my computer I initiate all thoughts, and the computer is passive. Same with soul and brain, but the more complex the computer the more complex operations I can perform on it. Same with soul and brain.

dhw: Precisely. Your dualist’s soul initiates your thoughts and dictates them to your computer/brain, which expresses them materially. If your computer/brain is already equipped to express your thoughts, it doesn’t need to change. If your soul has new thoughts which are beyond the capacity of your existing computer/brain to express, you need a more complex or, in the good old days, a larger computer/brain. The initiation of your thoughts does not depend on the complexity/capacity of your computer/brain. The computer/brain has to increase its complexity/capacity in order to accommodate the thoughts initiated by your soul. Thank you for this clear example.

See my thoughts above for a more complete discussion of the whole process of thought. It is more than just initiation but refinement and completion. Refinement and completion must have a more complex network for more complex thought, and can not have that complexity without a more complex network available. Think genius brain like Hawking or Einstein as obvious examples. The more complex computer producing a more complex output is a perfect example.


dhw: ...at various times you have agreed that the “two different mechanisms” refer to the means of observation and communication, not to the “separate consciousness mechanism”. In life the soul and brain are interlocked, but in your own words the soul is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” which resides in and works with the material brain. I keep reproducing your own words which present precisely the same concept of dualism as my own, so why do you keep disagreeing with yourself?

DAVID: You keep missing the points I've made above about the soul brain relationship. My thoughts are unchanged. Since no brain is present in death, the soul uses telepathy by being joined to the universal consciousness of God.

dhw: That is what I keep telling you! Your “separate consciousness mechanism” remains unchanged, but without a brain the soul has to use psychic powers (e.g. telepathy) in order to observe and communicate. According to you, the soul is already a piece of your God’s consciousness when it’s inside the brain, and that is the unchanging mechanism for thought. I don’t understand why you keep agreeing and making it sound as if you disagree.

The use of brain's networks to initiate and refine thought is not the same as initiating a refining thought by psychic mechanisms. I do not view the soul as to be a complete thought mechanism in life: it needs the brain networks; in death it needs God's universal consciousness for complete operation. But since the soul is the initiator at all times it has free will.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Sunday, July 01, 2018, 13:56 (166 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You keep ignoring or missing the main thrust of my theory. The soul/consciousness/I initiate a thought, but the start of a thought is never a complete thought. To initiate is to begin. The soul then refines the thought using the brain networks Which are passively used in the process. The completed thought is then announced through the brain. To repeat, initiation is only part of the process of thought.

The “main thrust” of your theory changes from week to week, but the starting point of this whole discussion was your insistence that only after your God had enlarged the brain was pre-sapiens capable of thinking new thoughts. Of course thought is ongoing, and the “separate consciousness mechanism” doesn’t stop using the brain to supply information and to implement/express its thoughts. The concept of the spear is initiated by the dualist’s soul. It doesn’t come complete. The soul goes on issuing instructions to the brain, which goes on supplying information and giving material expression to the developing concept until pre-sapiens has a spear that will actually kill the live chunk of meat. (I have suggested that this process is what actually caused the expansion of the brain.) None of this even remotely changes the dualist’s contention that the soul does the thinking and the brain does the information-gathering and the expressing/implementing. And it doesn’t remotely unravel the tangled logic of your insistence that the soul initiates new thoughts but new thoughts are only possible once the brain has already been enlarged.

DAVID: When I type on my computer I initiate all thoughts, and the computer is passive. Same with soul and brain, but the more complex the computer the more complex operations I can perform on it. Same with soul and brain.

dhw: Precisely. Your dualist’s soul initiates your thoughts and dictates them to your computer/brain, which expresses them materially. If your computer/brain is already equipped to express your thoughts, it doesn’t need to change. If your soul has new thoughts which are beyond the capacity of your existing computer/brain to express, you need a more complex or, in the good old days, a larger computer/brain. The initiation of your thoughts does not depend on the complexity/capacity of your computer/brain. The computer/brain has to increase its complexity/capacity in order to accommodate the thoughts initiated by your soul. Thank you for this clear example.

DAVID: Refinement and completion must have a more complex network for more complex thought, and can not have that complexity without a more complex network available.

Refinement and completion of thought are carried out by the dualist’s soul, which uses the information and means of material expression provided by the brain. Your computer example illustrates dualism perfectly, as above: the soul provides the thought, and if the computer can’t express it, you need a more complex computer.

DAVID: Think genius brain like Hawking or Einstein as obvious examples. The more complex computer producing a more complex output is a perfect example.

According to dualists, the complex computer/brain produces the material expression of the complex thoughts of the soul. If you believe the complex thoughts are the “output” of the complex computer/genius brain, you are a materialist, which is fine, but is the cause of all the contradictions I keep pointing out to you.

DAVID: You keep missing the points I've made above about the soul brain relationship. My thoughts are unchanged. Since no brain is present in death, the soul uses telepathy by being joined to the universal consciousness of God.

dhw: That is what I keep telling you! Your “separate consciousness mechanism” remains unchanged, but without a brain the soul has to use psychic powers (e.g. telepathy) in order to observe and communicate.

DAVID: The use of brain's networks to initiate and refine thought is not the same as initiating a refining thought by psychic mechanisms.

I don’t know what you mean by “initiating a refining thought”, but of course vibrating my vocal chords is different from passing on my thoughts by telepathy. That doesn’t mean the thoughts are generated by a different “separate consciousness mechanism”.

DAVID: I do not view the soul as to be a complete thought mechanism in life: it needs the brain networks….

What does the SEPARATE consciousness mechanism need them for? For the provision of information and the means of expression.

DAVID:… in death it needs God's universal consciousness for complete operation. But since the soul is the initiator at all times it has free will.

According to you, the soul IS part of God’s universal consciousness. Free will is a different subject altogether. Since you keep agreeing and then disagreeing on what dualism means, please make a decision:
1) In life the soul (“piece of God’s consciousness”, “separate consciousness mechanism”) conducts the thinking process while the brain provides information and means of material expression/implementation. Yes or no?
2) In death the same soul (“piece of God's consciousness”, “separate consciousness mechanism”) conducts the thinking process, while information and means of expression are provided by psychic powers such as telepathy? Yes or no?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 01, 2018, 18:26 (166 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You keep ignoring or missing the main thrust of my theory. The soul/consciousness/I initiate a thought, but the start of a thought is never a complete thought. To initiate is to begin. The soul then refines the thought using the brain networks Which are passively used in the process. The completed thought is then announced through the brain. To repeat, initiation is only part of the process of thought.

dhw: The “main thrust” of your theory changes from week to week, but the starting point of this whole discussion was your insistence that only after your God had enlarged the brain was pre-sapiens capable of thinking new thoughts.....And it doesn’t remotely unravel the tangled logic of your insistence that the soul initiates new thoughts but new thoughts are only possible once the brain has already been enlarged.

As usual you have ignored my statement that the soul MUST use the brain's networks to process new thought. If you accepted that, your whole position would fall apart. Continue your non-recognition if you wish, but I haven't changed, ever, in this view.


DAVID: Refinement and completion must have a more complex network for more complex thought, and can not have that complexity without a more complex network available.

dhw: Refinement and completion of thought are carried out by the dualist’s soul, which uses the information and means of material expression provided by the brain. Your computer example illustrates dualism perfectly, as above: the soul provides the thought, and if the computer can’t express it, you need a more complex computer.

Twisted my point as usual.


DAVID: Think genius brain like Hawking or Einstein as obvious examples. The more complex computer producing a more complex output is a perfect example.

dhw: According to dualists, the complex computer/brain produces the material expression of the complex thoughts of the soul. If you believe the complex thoughts are the “output” of the complex computer/genius brain, you are a materialist, which is fine, but is the cause of all the contradictions I keep pointing out to you.

Ignoring my theory as usual. An immaterial soul uses a material brain network to initiate and form thought.


DAVID: The use of brain's networks to initiate and refine thought is not the same as initiating a refining thought by psychic mechanisms.

I don’t know what you mean by “initiating a refining thought”, but of course vibrating my vocal chords is different from passing on my thoughts by telepathy. That doesn’t mean the thoughts are generated by a different “separate consciousness mechanism”.

I meant 'initiating AND refining'. Again, I view the soul using the brain's networks to initiate and refine thought in life and God's universal consciousness in death. Again you want a static soul mechanism.


DAVID: I do not view the soul as to be a complete thought mechanism in life: it needs the brain networks….

dhw: What does the SEPARATE consciousness mechanism need them for? For the provision of information and the means of expression.

Your view only, not mine.


DAVID:… in death it needs God's universal consciousness for complete operation. But since the soul is the initiator at all times it has free will.

dhw: According to you, the soul IS part of God’s universal consciousness. Free will is a different subject altogether. Since you keep agreeing and then disagreeing on what dualism means, please make a decision:
1) In life the soul (“piece of God’s consciousness”, “separate consciousness mechanism”) conducts the thinking process while the brain provides information and means of material expression/implementation. Yes or no?

No and explained fully above. Requires use of the networks.

dhw: In death the same soul (“piece of God's consciousness”, “separate consciousness mechanism”) conducts the thinking process, while information and means of expression are provided by psychic powers such as telepathy? Yes or no?

Yes using God's universal consciousness. Your inability to understand my written explanation of my theory is amazing. but if you accepted even a portion of it, it would destroy your approach to my big brain enlargement need theory. No wonder you wander around claiming to be confused by what I write.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Monday, July 02, 2018, 13:46 (165 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] the starting point of this whole discussion was your insistence that only after your God had enlarged the brain was pre-sapiens capable of thinking new thoughts.....And it doesn’t remotely unravel the tangled logic of your insistence that the soul initiates new thoughts but new thoughts are only possible once the brain has already been enlarged.

DAVID: As usual you have ignored my statement that the soul MUST use the brain's networks to process new thought. If you accepted that, your whole position would fall apart. Continue your non-recognition if you wish, but I haven't changed, ever, in this view.

I keep agreeing that the soul must use the brain’s networks to process new thought. You have simply left out the section of my answer that actually acknowledges and describes the ongoing process. Here it is again:

Of course thought is ongoing, and the “separate consciousness mechanism” doesn’t stop using the brain to supply information and to implement/express its thoughts. The concept of the spear is initiated by the dualist’s soul. It doesn’t come complete. The soul goes on issuing instructions to the brain, which goes on supplying information and giving material expression to the developing concept until pre-sapiens has a spear that will actually kill the live chunk of meat. (I have suggested that this process is what actually caused the expansion of the brain.) None of this even remotely changes the dualist’s contention that the soul does the thinking and the brain does the information-gathering and the expressing/implementing.” Or to put it another way, we continue to agree on how dualism works, and it is only your insistence on prior brain enlargement that falls apart, as explained in my conclusion.

DAVID: Think genius brain like Hawking or Einstein as obvious examples. The more complex computer producing a more complex output is a perfect example.

dhw: According to dualists, the complex computer/brain produces the material expression of the complex thoughts of the soul. If you believe the complex thoughts are the “output” of the complex computer/genius brain, you are a materialist, which is fine, but is the cause of all the contradictions I keep pointing out to you.

DAVID: Ignoring my theory as usual. An immaterial soul uses a material brain network to initiate and form thought.

Yes indeed, but you continue to ignore the question of HOW the soul or “separate consciousness mechanism”, as you have called it, uses the brain, and this is dealt with below.

dhw: Since you keep agreeing and then disagreeing on what dualism means, please make a decision:
1) In life the soul (“piece of God’s consciousness”, “separate consciousness mechanism”) conducts the thinking process while the brain provides information and means of material expression/implementation. Yes or no?

DAVID: No and explained fully above. Requires use of the networks.

Yes, as explained fully above, the soul uses the networks as it initiates/processes/ refines/completes thought. Now please tell us what the separate consciousness mechanism (soul) uses the networks FOR, apart from gathering information and giving material expression to its thoughts.

dhw: In death the same soul (“piece of God's consciousness”, “separate consciousness mechanism”) conducts the thinking process, while information and means of expression are provided by psychic powers such as telepathy? Yes or no?

DAVID: Yes using God's universal consciousness.

OK, so the piece of God’s universal consciousness uses God’s universal consciousness.

DAVID: Your inability to understand my written explanation of my theory is amazing. but if you accepted even a portion of it, it would destroy your approach to my big brain enlargement need theory. No wonder you wander around claiming to be confused by what I write.

There are two issues: the nature of dualism, and whether dualism is true. The former is what we are discussing here, and means the separation of the self into mind and body, soul and brain if you like, which work together in life. I accept your own statement that the soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is the recipient of the working soul’s output.” (June 24). Let’s modify that slightly by observing that even in initiating the thought, the dualist’s soul uses information provided by the brain (which is a contribution, but not an active one). It continues to use the brain throughout the process of completion, and I have described this ongoing process above with the example of the spear. In initiating the idea, the soul uses existing information (hunger, meat, need to kill). It then uses the brain to develop and implement the idea. And so you are right. I am confused by the theory that the soul, or "SEPARATE consciousness mechanism", which initiates ideas using existing information (it can hardly use information it doesn’t have), cannot initiate ideas until the brain, which does not initiate ideas, has already expanded.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Monday, July 02, 2018, 15:47 (165 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: As usual you have ignored my statement that the soul MUST use the brain's networks to process new thought. If you accepted that, your whole position would fall apart. Continue your non-recognition if you wish, but I haven't changed, ever, in this view.

dhw: I keep agreeing that the soul must use the brain’s networks to process new thought. You have simply left out the section of my answer that actually acknowledges and describes the ongoing process. Here it is again:

Of course thought is ongoing, and the “separate consciousness mechanism” doesn’t stop using the brain to supply information and to implement/express its thoughts. The concept of the spear is initiated by the dualist’s soul. It doesn’t come complete. The soul goes on issuing instructions to the brain, which goes on supplying information and giving material expression to the developing concept until pre-sapiens has a spear that will actually kill the live chunk of meat.

DAVID: Think genius brain like Hawking or Einstein as obvious examples. The more complex computer producing a more complex output is a perfect example.

I've bolded the incomplete part of your concept. Concentrate on 'David' just above. Clear thinking cannot avoid what our sapiens brains can allowed to be produced as modern artifacts. The soul has a much more complex computer with which to work, so the thought output is much more complex.


dhw: According to dualists, the complex computer/brain produces the material expression of the complex thoughts of the soul. If you believe the complex thoughts are the “output” of the complex computer/genius brain, you are a materialist, which is fine, but is the cause of all the contradictions I keep pointing out to you.

DAVID: Ignoring my theory as usual. An immaterial soul uses a material brain network to initiate and form thought.

dhw: Yes indeed, but you continue to ignore the question of HOW the soul or “separate consciousness mechanism”, as you have called it, uses the brain, and this is dealt with below.

DAVID: Your inability to understand my written explanation of my theory is amazing. but if you accepted even a portion of it, it would destroy your approach to my big brain enlargement need theory. No wonder you wander around claiming to be confused by what I write.

dhw: There are two issues: the nature of dualism, and whether dualism is true. The former is what we are discussing here, and means the separation of the self into mind and body, soul and brain if you like, which work together in life. I accept your own statement that the soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is the recipient of the working soul’s output.” (June 24). Let’s modify that slightly by observing that even in initiating the thought, the dualist’s soul uses information provided by the brain (which is a contribution, but not an active one). It continues to use the brain throughout the process of completion, and I have described this ongoing process above with the example of the spear. In initiating the idea, the soul uses existing information (hunger, meat, need to kill). It then uses the brain to develop and implement the idea. And so you are right. I am confused by the theory that the soul, or "SEPARATE consciousness mechanism", which initiates ideas using existing information (it can hardly use information it doesn’t have), cannot initiate ideas until the brain, which does not initiate ideas, has already expanded.

Progress. Simple, and repeated over and over. In being required to use the brain, the soul cannot develop advanced thinking unless the brain network is advanced enough to allow the appearance of advanced thought. And it not primarily expansion. Elephant brains are huge. Erectus brains are only 150 cc smaller, but the presumption is the Erectus frontal cortex did not have five layers of network as we do. And look at our artifacts compared to Erectus as evidence of what the physical state of brains allow in complex thought. My view is the complexity of the brain allows the degree of complexity of thought the soul can create.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Tuesday, July 03, 2018, 11:14 (164 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: As usual you have ignored my statement that the soul MUST use the brain's networks to process new thought. If you accepted that, your whole position would fall apart. Continue your non-recognition if you wish, but I haven't changed, ever, in this view.

dhw: I keep agreeing that the soul must use the brain’s networks to process new thought. You have simply left out the section of my answer that actually acknowledges and describes the ongoing process. Here it is again:

“Of course thought is ongoing, and the “separate consciousness mechanism” doesn’t stop using the brain to supply information and to implement/express its thoughts. The concept of the spear is initiated by the dualist’s soul. It doesn’t come complete. The soul goes on issuing instructions to the brain, which goes on supplying information and giving material expression to the developing concept until pre-sapiens has a spear that will actually kill the live chunk of meat."

DAVID: Think genius brain like Hawking or Einstein as obvious examples. The more complex computer producing a more complex output is a perfect example.

DAVID: I've bolded the incomplete part of your concept. Concentrate on 'David' just above. Clear thinking cannot avoid what our sapiens brains can allowed to be produced as modern artifacts. The soul has a much more complex computer with which to work, so the thought output is much more complex.

But you tell us that “the brain is the recipient of the working soul’s output”! The receiving, passive complex computer does not “allow” the working, active soul to think its complex thoughts – the complexity of thought comes from the soul, and the brain/computer receives the thoughts and gives them material expression. In your own words: the soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute.” The sapiens soul has a vastly increased amount of information with which to work, and each new modern artefact is the product (output) resulting from the process that you have described above: active soul initiates and develops thought, and uses passive brain for information and expression. Furthermore, modern science has demonstrated that the initiation of thought changes the brain, not vice versa. However, many modern scientists are convinced that it is the brain that produces the thought. Hence the dichotomy between the two theories of materialism and dualism, and my attempt to reconcile them.

dhw: And so you are right. I am confused by the theory that the soul, or "SEPARATE consciousness mechanism", which initiates ideas using existing information (it can hardly use information it doesn’t have), cannot initiate ideas until the brain, which does not initiate ideas, has already expanded.

DAVID: Progress. Simple, and repeated over and over. In being required to use the brain, the soul cannot develop advanced thinking unless the brain network is advanced enough to allow the appearance of advanced thought.

The brain network has to be advanced enough to “allow” the material appearance (i.e. expression or implementation) of the thoughts initiated by the dualist’s soul. Your view of how thought develops might become clearer if only you would respond to my constant plea, which again you have ignored: “Please tell us what the separate consciousness mechanism (soul) uses the networks FOR, apart from gathering information and giving material expression to its thoughts.”

DAVID: And it not primarily expansion. Elephant brains are huge. Erectus brains are only 150 cc smaller, but the presumption is the Erectus frontal cortex did not have five layers of network as we do. And look at our artifacts compared to Erectus as evidence of what the physical state of brains allow in complex thought. My view is the complexity of the brain allows the degree of complexity of thought the soul can create.

Of course it’s not primarily expansion, since the modern brain has stopped expanding. But our starting point was your insistence that the pre-sapiens brain had to expand before he/she could think new thoughts. You are also insisting that the modern brain has to become more complex before we can think new thoughts (= materialism), even though you believe it is the active soul that initiates and develops thoughts (= dualism), using the passive brain for information and material expression. But perhaps you will now come up with other “uses” to bolster your materialism at the expense of your dualism.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 03, 2018, 17:49 (164 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I keep agreeing that the soul must use the brain’s networks to process new thought. You have simply left out the section of my answer that actually acknowledges and describes the ongoing process. Here it is again:

dhw: “Of course thought is ongoing, and the “separate consciousness mechanism” doesn’t stop using the brain to supply information and to implement/express its thoughts. The concept of the spear is initiated by the dualist’s soul. It doesn’t come complete. The soul goes on issuing instructions to the brain, which goes on supplying information and giving material expression to the developing concept until pre-sapiens has a spear that will actually kill the live chunk of meat."

What this leaves out is my thought that 'expression of developing concept' achieves the necessary level of complexity because of the available complexity of the brains networks with which to refine the thought.


DAVID: Think genius brain like Hawking or Einstein as obvious examples. The more complex computer producing a more complex output is a perfect example.

DAVID: I've bolded the incomplete part of your concept. Concentrate on 'David' just above. Clear thinking cannot avoid what our sapiens brains can allowed to be produced as modern artifacts. The soul has a much more complex computer with which to work, so the thought output is much more complex.

dhw: But you tell us that “the brain is the recipient of the working soul’s output”! The receiving, passive complex computer does not “allow” the working, active soul to think its complex thoughts – the complexity of thought comes from the soul, and the brain/computer receives the thoughts and gives them material expression. In your own words: the soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute.

What you refuse to see is that complex thought initiated by the soul must use complex brain networks to refine and complete the thought. The networks are passive recipients, but contribute much more than 'receive thought and give them material expression' which is all you accept.


dhw: The brain network has to be advanced enough to “allow” the material appearance (i.e. expression or implementation) of the thoughts initiated by the dualist’s soul. Your view of how thought develops might become clearer if only you would respond to my constant plea, which again you have ignored: “Please tell us what the separate consciousness mechanism (soul) uses the networks FOR, apart from gathering information and giving material expression to its thoughts.”

Explained above. Not just giving expression. The networks must be used to refine an initiated thought until it is completed and then expressed.


DAVID: And it not primarily expansion. Elephant brains are huge. Erectus brains are only 150 cc smaller, but the presumption is the Erectus frontal cortex did not have five layers of network as we do. And look at our artifacts compared to Erectus as evidence of what the physical state of brains allow in complex thought. My view is the complexity of the brain allows the degree of complexity of thought the soul can create.

dhw: Of course it’s not primarily expansion, since the modern brain has stopped expanding. But our starting point was your insistence that the pre-sapiens brain had to expand before he/she could think new thoughts. You are also insisting that the modern brain has to become more complex before we can think new thoughts (= materialism), even though you believe it is the active soul that initiates and develops thoughts (= dualism), using the passive brain for information and material expression. But perhaps you will now come up with other “uses” to bolster your materialism at the expense of your dualism.

Total confusion: Each stage of pre-sapiens could think to the level of its brain's complexity, no more. An immaterial soul can use a material brain for complex thought only so far as the complexity of that level of brain development allows. That is my dualism. I am not a materialist. You are inventing materialism where there is none, mostly because if you accepted my approach it would destroy your pet theories. Once again the immaterial soul initiates the start of thought but must continue to refine it by using the material brain networks to refine it and to reach its completion and then expression.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE: bird brain networks

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 03, 2018, 18:47 (164 days ago) @ David Turell

A new study on parrots, which are bright bird, demonstrates:

https://phys.org/news/2018-07-neuroscientists-uncover-secret-intelligence-parrots.html

"An area of the brain that plays a major role in primate intelligence is called the pontine nuclei," explained Cristian Gutierrez-Ibanez, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology. "This structure transfers information between the two largest areas of the brain, the cortex and cerebellum, which allows for higher-order processing and more sophisticated behaviour. In humans and primates, the pontine nuclei are large compared to other mammals. This makes sense given our cognitive abilities."'

"Birds have very small pontine nuclei. Instead, they have a similar structure called the medial spiriform nucleus (SpM) that has similar connectivity. Located in a different part of the brain, the SpM does the same thing as the pontine nuclei, circulating information between the cortex and the cerebellum. "This loop between the cortex and the cerebellum is important for the planning and execution of sophisticated behaviours," said Doug Wylie, professor of psychology and co-author on the new study.

"Using samples from 98 birds from the largest collection of bird brains in the world, including everything from chickens and waterfowl to parrots and owls, the scientists studied the brains of birds, comparing the relative size of the SpM to the rest of the brain. They determined that parrots have a SpM that is much larger than that of other birds.

"'The SpM is very large in parrots. It's actually two to five times larger in parrots than in other birds, like chickens," said Gutierrez. "Independently, parrots have evolved an enlarged area that connects the cortex and the cerebellum, similar to primates. This is another fascinating example of convergence between parrots and primates. It starts with sophisticated behaviours, like tool use and self-awareness, and can also be seen in the brain. The more we look at the brains, the more similarities we see."

"Next, the research team hopes to study the SpM in parrots more closely, to understand what types of information go there and why.

"'This could present an excellent way to study how the similar, pontine-based, process occurs in humans," added Gutierrez. "It might give us a way to better understand how our human brains work.'"

Comment: this illustrates my point. What the animal soul is capable of accomplishing in coordinating activity definitely depends on the networks available.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE: vision and action in mice

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 03, 2018, 19:04 (164 days ago) @ David Turell

Another study in brain networks, this time in mice seeing patterns and licking:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-07-brain.html

"in a new study in Nature Communications, a team at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory provides evidence that one crucial brain region called the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays an important role in converting vision into action.

"'Vision in the service of action begins with the eyes, but then that information has to be transformed into motor commands," said senior author Mriganka Sur, Paul E. and Lilah Newton Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. "This is the place where that planning begins."

"In the new study, the research team pinpointed the exact role of the PPC in mice and showed that it contains a mix of neurons attuned to visual processing, decision-making and action.

"'This makes the PPC an ideal conduit for flexible mapping of sensory signals onto motor actions," said Gerald Pho,

***

"Neurons in the PPC showed more varied responses. Some acted like the visual cortex neurons but most (about 70 percent) were active based on whether the pattern was moving the right way for licking (upward) and only if the nozzle was available. In other words, most PPC neurons were selectively responsive not merely to seeing something, but to the rules of the task and the opportunity to act on the correct visual cue.

"'Many neurons in the PPC seemed to be active only during particular combinations of visual input and motor action," Goard said. "This suggests that rather than playing a specified role in sensory or motor processing, they can flexibly link sensory and motor information to help the mouse respond to their environment appropriately."

"But even the occasional error was instructive. Consider the case when the nozzle was available and the stripes were moving sideways. In that case, a mouse should not lick even though it could. Visual cortex neurons behaved the same way regardless of the mouse's decision, but PPC neurons were more active just before a mouse licked by mistake, than just before a mouse didn't lick. This suggested that many PPC neurons are oriented toward acting.

"Not yet fully convinced that the PPC encoded the decision to lick based on seeing the correct stripe movement, the researchers switched the rules of the task. Now, the nozzle would drip out the reward upon licking to the sideways stripe pattern and emit the bitter liquid when the stripes moved up. In other words, the mouse still saw the same things, but what they meant for action had reversed.

"With the same mice re-trained, the researchers then looked again at the same neurons in the same regions. Visual cortex neurons didn't change their activity at all. Those that followed the upward pattern or sideways pattern still did as before. What the mice were seeing, after all, hadn't changed.

"However, the neural responses in PPC changed along with the rules for action. Neurons that had been activated selectively for upward visual patterns now responded instead to sideways patterns. In other words, learning of the new rules was directly evident in the changed activity of neurons in the PPC. The researchers therefore observed a direct correlate of learning at the cellular level, strongly implicating the PPC as a critical node for where seeing meets acting on that information.

"'If you flipped the rules of traffic lights so that red means go, the visual input would still be driven by the colors, but the linkage to motor output neurons would switch, and that happens in the PPC," Sur said.

"The findings extend earlier results made by other researchers in primates, the researchers wrote, suggesting that mice bear the needed similarity to aid further studies of the PPC.

"'Our understanding of how decisions are computed and visuomotor transformations are made, will be greatly aided by future circuit-level analyses of PPC function in this powerful model system," they concluded."

Comment: More evidence of available network usage. This is a study on the material brain networks, but what is to understood is the immaterial animal conscious soul is hidden in the background running the show.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE: active memory human pattterns

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 03, 2018, 19:21 (164 days ago) @ David Turell

Using fMRI when studying humans in memory tasks:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-07-uncover-hidden-brain-states-decision.html

"Brain activity is driven by encounters with external stimuli and situations, simultaneously occurring with internal mental processes. A team of researchers from Stanford University, with funding from the NIH BRAIN Initiative, in part through the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), has discovered how the brain dynamically handles cognitive tasks while it also is engaged in internal mental processes.

***

"'The team developed a computational model to make fundamental findings that have never before been revealed about how our brain processes information at various levels during daily decision making."

***

"'We now think that a whole set of internal, or hidden, brain states can influence how you process tasks. Here, we identify hidden brain states and demonstrate for the first time that they influence human cognition and decision making in profound ways."

***

"The working memory exercise consisted of recalling pictures of faces, places, tools and body parts that appeared sequentially on a monitor. In the most difficult challenge—a two-back working memory task—the participant was required to recall what had been displayed two images prior to the current image. In an easier challenge—a zero-back task—the participant was shown an image as a cue and asked to indicate when that cue appeared amongst different consecutively displayed images. Researchers also conducted scans while participants viewed a blank frame, to establish a baseline.

***

"During the two-back working memory exercise, researchers identified dominant brain patterns that they called a high cognitive-load state. "The 2-back working memory condition is the most challenging," Menon said. "You have to keep the information in mind and constantly refresh, and update, and respond." said Menon.

***

"'When you are doing the two-back task, you must engage a particular configuration of brain circuits," he said. "If you don't engage it, or if you don't engage it at the right time, your performance suffers. The way states are engaged has a big impact on how well a subject does the working memory task."

"A further novel finding of the study is the indication of a transition state that the researchers inferred from the data. The team showed that the transition state plays an important role in working memory.

"'We know that when you go from one task condition to another your brain state is not changing instantaneously; it takes time for systems to come online as you go from a low cognitive load to a high cognitive load," explained Menon. "The strength of the study is that we showed that the states we identify, the transitions between states, and the relationships of these same states to behavior is very consistent across multiple datasets."

"The researchers also wanted to know whether the hidden brain states impact how well a participant will perform tasks. "For example, we asked whether performance would be negatively affected if you get distracted because you are thinking about something, and don't engage the brain systems and networks optimally."

"Menon explained that there is an optimal brain state for each task condition and that failure to engage these states in a timely manner is associated with poorer working memory performance."

Comment: Another example of how the soul uses brain networks.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Wednesday, July 04, 2018, 11:17 (163 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I keep agreeing that the soul must use the brain’s networks to process new thought. You have simply left out the section of my answer that actually acknowledges and describes the ongoing process. Here it is again:
dhw: “Of course thought is ongoing, and the “separate consciousness mechanism” doesn’t stop using the brain to supply information and to implement/express its thoughts. The concept of the spear is initiated by the dualist’s soul. It doesn’t come complete. The soul goes on issuing instructions to the brain, which goes on supplying information and giving material expression to the developing concept until pre-sapiens has a spear that will actually kill the live chunk of meat."

DAVID: What this leaves out is my thought that 'expression of developing concept' achieves the necessary level of complexity because of the available complexity of the brains networks with which to refine the thought.

If the soul does the thinking, how does the brain refine the thought? The brain provides the information in an ongoing process as the soul instructs it to give material expression to the thought. See below.

DAVID: What you refuse to see is that complex thought initiated by the soul must use complex brain networks to refine and complete the thought. The networks are passive recipients, but contribute much more than 'receive thought and give them material expression' which is all you accept.

I accept that the dualist’s soul uses the brain to provide information and to carry out the soul’s instructions by materially expressing/implementing those thoughts in an ongoing process, during which more and more information will be provided until the thought is refined and completed. The soul does the thinking, and the brain provides ongoing information and material expression/implementation. Would you now please tell us at last what “much more” the brain contributes, especially bearing in mind your very own statement that the soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute.

DAVID: Once again the immaterial soul initiates the start of thought but must continue to refine it by using the material brain networks to refine it and to reach its completion and then expression.

Once again, yes, the separate immaterial consciousness mechanism uses the material brain in order to refine and complete its thoughts through the provision of information and material expression. So once again, what is the “much more” that the brain contributes?

DAVID’s comment (on parrots): this illustrates my point. What the animal soul is capable of accomplishing in coordinating activity definitely depends on the networks available.

The article makes no mention of the parrot’s soul! Can’t you see that this is a MATERIALIST view of intelligence?

DAVID’s comment (on mice): More evidence of available network usage. This is a study on the material brain networks, but what is to understood is the immaterial animal conscious soul is hidden in the background running the show.

It is not understood at all. All the emphasis is on the material workings of the brain.
Your final example (concerning the human brain), however, is much more complex and relevant to our discussion:

QUOTE: [The team] has discovered how the brain dynamically handles cognitive tasks while it also is engaged in internal mental processes.

This seems to suggest a materialist view, very much along the lines of the materialist section of my own “theory”, with the different brain cell communities responsible for all the processes.

QUOTE: "'We now think that a whole set of internal, or hidden, brain states can influence how you process tasks. Here, we identify hidden brain states and demonstrate for the first time that they influence human cognition and decision making in profound ways."

DAVID's comment: Another example of how the soul uses brain networks.

In dualism, yes indeed, the soul uses the brain, but if there is such a thing as a soul, this article focuses on how the brain influences it – a totally different subject. It harks back to our observation that thought changes the brain (the illiterate women) and yet the brain changes thought (drugs, diseases etc.). This is part of the great dichotomy between dualism and materialism, mirrored by your own insistence that the dualist has a separate consciousness mechanism or immaterial thinking soul and yet cannot think new thoughts until it has been given a bigger brain. I have attempted to resolve this dichotomy, whereas you still don’t seem to recognize it.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 04, 2018, 17:51 (163 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: What this leaves out is my thought that 'expression of developing concept' achieves the necessary level of complexity because of the available complexity of the brains networks with which to refine the thought.

dhw: If the soul does the thinking, how does the brain refine the thought? The brain provides the information in an ongoing process as the soul instructs it to give material expression to the thought. See below.

The brain does not refine thought. The soul does it using the complex networks of the brain


DAVID: What you refuse to see is that complex thought initiated by the soul must use complex brain networks to refine and complete the thought. The networks are passive recipients, but contribute much more than 'receive thought and give them material expression' which is all you accept.

dhw: I accept that the dualist’s soul uses the brain to provide information and to carry out the soul’s instructions by materially expressing/implementing those thoughts in an ongoing process, during which more and more information will be provided until the thought is refined and completed. The soul does the thinking, and the brain provides ongoing information and material expression/implementation. Would you now please tell us at last what “much more” the brain contributes, especially bearing in mind your very own statement that the soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute.

To repeat: the brain supplies complex networks for the soul to use in refining and completing thought. The networks allow for collating all the various factors that will contribute to a final conclusion, refining the thought and expressing it. Complexity of network is required for increased complexity of concept.

DAVID’s comment (on parrots): this illustrates my point. What the animal soul is capable of accomplishing in coordinating activity definitely depends on the networks available.

dhw: The article makes no mention of the parrot’s soul! Can’t you see that this is a MATERIALIST view of intelligence?

DAVID’s comment (on mice): More evidence of available network usage. This is a study on the material brain networks, but what is to understood is the immaterial animal conscious soul is hidden in the background running the show.

dhw: It is not understood at all. All the emphasis is on the material workings of the brain.
Your final example (concerning the human brain), however, is much more complex and relevant to our discussion:

QUOTE: [The team] has discovered how the brain dynamically handles cognitive tasks while it also is engaged in internal mental processes.

dhw: This seems to suggest a materialist view, very much along the lines of the materialist section of my own “theory”, with the different brain cell communities responsible for all the processes.

QUOTE: "'We now think that a whole set of internal, or hidden, brain states can influence how you process tasks. Here, we identify hidden brain states and demonstrate for the first time that they influence human cognition and decision making in profound ways."

DAVID's comment: Another example of how the soul uses brain networks.

dhw: In dualism, yes indeed, the soul uses the brain, but if there is such a thing as a soul, this article focuses on how the brain influences it – a totally different subject. It harks back to our observation that thought changes the brain (the illiterate women) and yet the brain changes thought (drugs, diseases etc.). This is part of the great dichotomy between dualism and materialism, mirrored by your own insistence that the dualist has a separate consciousness mechanism or immaterial thinking soul and yet cannot think new thoughts until it has been given a bigger brain. I have attempted to resolve this dichotomy, whereas you still don’t seem to recognize it.

I don't see a dichotomy, if one accepts the theory that an immaterial soul must use a material brain to refine thought, at the animal and the human level. Clearly a dualistic view.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, July 05, 2018, 09:06 (162 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: What this leaves out is my thought that 'expression of developing concept' achieves the necessary level of complexity because of the available complexity of the brains networks with which to refine the thought.

dhw: If the soul does the thinking, how does the brain refine the thought? The brain provides the information in an ongoing process as the soul instructs it to give material expression to the thought. See below.

DAVID: The brain does not refine thought. The soul does it using the complex networks of the brain.

100% agreed. But what does it use the brain FOR?

dhw: The soul does the thinking, and the brain provides ongoing information and material expression/implementation. Would you now please tell us at last what “much more” the brain contributes, especially bearing in mind your very own statement that the soul “drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute.

DAVID: To repeat: the brain supplies complex networks for the soul to use in refining and completing thought. The networks allow for collating all the various factors that will contribute to a final conclusion, refining the thought and expressing it. Complexity of network is required for increased complexity of concept.

Yes, the networks provide ongoing information for the soul to collate and refine the thought, and the networks enable the thought to be materially expressed and implemented. Your last sentence is at best ambiguous, so let’s clarify: increased complexity of network is required to express increased complexity of concept. Here’s the process: first we have the soul initiating the thought (you have agreed). This requires material expression. New information comes from the material expression, as a result of which the soul complexifies the thought, and this in turn demands increased complexification of the network for its implementation. The complexification of the concept must precede the complexification of the networks which are to express the concept. It makes no sense for the networks to complexify themselves in advance of the concept they have to express!

dhw: Your final example (concerning the human brain), however, is much more complex and relevant to our discussion:

QUOTE: [The team] has discovered how the brain dynamically handles cognitive tasks while it also is engaged in internal mental processes.

dhw: This seems to suggest a materialist view, very much along the lines of the materialist section of my own “theory”, with the different brain cell communities responsible for all the processes.

QUOTE: "'We now think that a whole set of internal, or hidden, brain states can influence how you process tasks. Here, we identify hidden brain states and demonstrate for the first time that they influence human cognition and decision making in profound ways."

DAVID's comment: Another example of how the soul uses brain networks.

dhw: In dualism, yes indeed, the soul uses the brain, but if there is such a thing as a soul, this article focuses on how the brain influences it – a totally different subject. It harks back to our observation that thought changes the brain (the illiterate women) and yet the brain changes thought (drugs, diseases etc.). This is part of the great dichotomy between dualism and materialism, mirrored by your own insistence that the dualist has a separate consciousness mechanism or immaterial thinking soul and yet cannot think new thoughts until it has been given a bigger brain. I have attempted to resolve this dichotomy, whereas you still don’t seem to recognize it.

DAVID: I don't see a dichotomy, if one accepts the theory that an immaterial soul must use a material brain to refine thought, at the animal and the human level. Clearly a dualistic view.

That is not in dispute as a description of the process! What is in dispute is your insistence that the expansion or complexification of the brain must precede the thoughts that require expansion or complexification. The moment you make the thinking process itself dependent on the brain (as opposed to its being dependent on information provided by the brain – otherwise it would have nothing to think about), you embrace materialism. The dualist’s soul is what you have described as a SEPARATE consciousness mechanism, which is interlocked with the brain. It does all the thinking, which is why dualists believe that it constitutes the thinking self which survives the death of the brain. In life, expansion/complexification are the consequence of its thinking, as illustrated by modern science. This supports your dualism. But modern science also shows that the brain affects the thinking (e.g. through drugs and diseases), which supports your materialistic theory that the brain changes before thoughts are initiated. I’m sorry you can’t see the dichotomy.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 05, 2018, 21:29 (162 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: To repeat: the brain supplies complex networks for the soul to use in refining and completing thought. The networks allow for collating all the various factors that will contribute to a final conclusion, refining the thought and expressing it. Complexity of network is required for increased complexity of concept.

dhw: Yes, the networks provide ongoing information for the soul to collate and refine the thought, and the networks enable the thought to be materially expressed and implemented. Your last sentence is at best ambiguous, so let’s clarify: increased complexity of network is required to express increased complexity of concept. Here’s the process: first we have the soul initiating the thought (you have agreed). This requires material expression. New information comes from the material expression, as a result of which the soul complexifies the thought, and this in turn demands increased complexification of the network for its implementation. The complexification of the concept must precede the complexification of the networks which are to express the concept. It makes no sense for the networks to complexify themselves in advance of the concept they have to express!

This is totally backward. I view my relationship to my brain as if I am siting at my computer creating a more complex output than I could with my last, less complex computer. Let's take your early memories. Do your childhood memories go back beyond 2 1/2 years? Most don't because the memory circuits aren't built yet. Your soul uses and recognizes those immaterial memories by using the brain memory networks. Your soul is filled with immaterial memories of your life. As I type at the computer I must spell from memory or use the spell check the computer supplies. The only material appearance is on the screen or printed paper. Further we find that only certain brains are of a genius quality. Why the difference unless their brains are different from the low IQ folks? Soul/I/you drives thought which it makes in the brain networks and it appears as immaterial thought to you/I. The soul is an immaterial mechanism which makes thought appear to us immaterially from wet ion filled neurons connected by wet dendrites, all of which are material.

***

dhw:I have attempted to resolve this dichotomy, whereas you still don’t seem to recognize it.[/i]

DAVID: I don't see a dichotomy, if one accepts the theory that an immaterial soul must use a material brain to refine thought, at the animal and the human level. Clearly a dualistic view.

dhw: That is not in dispute as a description of the process! What is in dispute is your insistence that the expansion or complexification of the brain must precede the thoughts that require expansion or complexification. The moment you make the thinking process itself dependent on the brain (as opposed to its being dependent on information provided by the brain – otherwise it would have nothing to think about), you embrace materialism.

As explained above soul drives the thought process by using the brain networks as its tool, but what it also does is makes it appear as immaterial thought to us in a way we don't understand.

dhw: The dualist’s soul is what you have described as a SEPARATE consciousness mechanism, which is interlocked with the brain. It does all the thinking, which is why dualists believe that it constitutes the thinking self which survives the death of the brain.

That is not the way I view the soul and I've stated that over and over. That is YOUR dualism concept. My view of the soul is that it drives thinking using the brain networks and makes it appear as immaterial thought.

dhw: In life, expansion/complexification are the consequence of its thinking, as illustrated by modern science.

Only in the completely enlarged sapiens brain, the only one we have to study. Do you think erectus could do differential calculus or even think to invent it? The concept existed at their time of evolution. All those complex concepts existed before some bright mind found them.

dhw: This supports your dualism. But modern science also shows that the brain affects the thinking (e.g. through drugs and diseases), which supports your materialistic theory that the brain changes before thoughts are initiated. I’m sorry you can’t see the dichotomy.

No dichotomy. A sick brain makes the soul have sick thoughts, when recognizing the brain networks are used by the soul to think. The soul initiates thoughts which is it then fully creates using the networks, and then acts as a bridge to allow immaterial thoughts to appear, normal or sick.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Friday, July 06, 2018, 10:38 (161 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: The complexification of the concept must precede the complexification of the networks which are to express the concept. It makes no sense for the networks to complexify themselves in advance of the concept they have to express!

DAVID: This is totally backward. I view my relationship to my brain as if I am siting at my computer creating a more complex output than I could with my last, less complex computer.

“I” is your thinking soul, and you use your computer to express your thoughts materially.
Your more complex computer does not think the more complex thoughts you express when using it, although it will provide you with information to think about if you ask it to, and it will provide the material “appearance” you describe below.

DAVID: […] Your soul is filled with immaterial memories of your life. As I type at the computer I must spell from memory or use the spell check the computer supplies. The only material appearance is on the screen or printed paper.

Yes, your soul uses the computer to give material expression to its immaterial thoughts, memories, imaginings, concepts. You keep repeating my own arguments, and making it seem that you disagree with me!

DAVID: Further we find that only certain brains are of a genius quality. Why the difference unless their brains are different from the low IQ folks?

You still can’t see that if the different brain is the cause of the genius, that is evidence for materialism, not dualism.

DAVID: Soul/I/you drives thought which it makes in the brain networks and it appears as immaterial thought to you/I. The soul is an immaterial mechanism which makes thought appear to us immaterially from wet ion filled neurons connected by wet dendrites, all of which are material.

If immaterial thoughts “appear from” material neurons and dendrites, we have materialism. If the latter are the means by which we give the “soul’s” immaterial thoughts material expression, we have dualism.


***
DAVID: As explained above soul drives the thought process by using the brain networks as its tool, but what it also does is makes it appear as immaterial thought to us in a way we don't understand.

Agreed. Nobody understands how thought “appears”. Dualists believe in a soul that uses the brain to gather information and give its thoughts material expression, as you describe with your computer image, whereas materialists believe the brain is the source of thought, as you suggest with your references to Einstein and to neurons and ions.

dhw: The dualist’s soul is what you have described as a SEPARATE consciousness mechanism, which is interlocked with the brain. It does all the thinking, which is why dualists believe that it constitutes the thinking self which survives the death of the brain.

DAVID: That is not the way I view the soul and I've stated that over and over. That is YOUR dualism concept. My view of the soul is that it drives thinking using the brain networks and makes it appear as immaterial thought.

No difference at all. The soul does indeed use the information provided by the brain to come up with its immaterial thoughts, and you will not deny that it also uses the brain for material expression. You have never been able to describe any other function that the brain performs in the thought process.

dhw: In life, expansion/complexification are the consequence of its thinking, as illustrated by modern science.

DAVID: Only in the completely enlarged sapiens brain, the only one we have to study. Do you think erectus could do differential calculus or even think to invent it? The concept existed at their time of evolution. All those complex concepts existed before some bright mind found them.

Ah, so Shakespeare’s plays existed before Shakespeare wrote them. Believe that if you will. But to answer your question: no, I don’t think erectus could do differential calculus. I think pre-sapiens and sapiens have undergone a process of ever increasing learning, as one generation builds upon the discoveries and inventions of its predecessors. The soul, if it exists, has a great capacity for learning, and uses the brain to provide information and to implement its thoughts.

dhw: This supports your dualism. But modern science also shows that the brain affects the thinking (e.g. through drugs and diseases), which supports your materialistic theory that the brain changes before thoughts are initiated. I’m sorry you can’t see the dichotomy.

DAVID: No dichotomy. A sick brain makes the soul have sick thoughts, when recognizing the brain networks are used by the soul to think.

If the brain engenders sick thoughts, that is evidence that the brain engenders thoughts (materialism).

DAVID: The soul initiates thoughts which is it then fully creates using the networks, and then acts as a bridge to allow immaterial thoughts to appear, normal or sick.

Yes, in dualism, the brain is the bridge from the soul’s immaterial thoughts to their material expression. I do not believe for one second that your faulty computer makes you think sick thoughts. But that is where the dichotomy arises and the analogy breaks down: there is evidence that the bridge goes two ways, because faults in the brain DO cause people to think sick thoughts. Hence my attempt to explain how the two-way process might work, i.e. to remove the dichotomy which you refuse to recognize.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Friday, July 06, 2018, 21:58 (160 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Further we find that only certain brains are of a genius quality. Why the difference unless their brains are different from the low IQ folks?

dhw: You still can’t see that if the different brain is the cause of the genius, that is evidence for materialism, not dualism.

You keep forgetting that in my concept the soul must use those complex genius networks to produce genius thought


DAVID: Soul/I/you drives thought which it makes in the brain networks and it appears as immaterial thought to you/I. The soul is an immaterial mechanism which makes thought appear to us immaterially from wet ion filled neurons connected by wet dendrites, all of which are material.

dhw: If immaterial thoughts “appear from” material neurons and dendrites, we have materialism. If the latter are the means by which we give the “soul’s” immaterial thoughts material expression, we have dualism.

Again you have a separatist view; the soul does not dictate to the networks. it uses them to think.

***
DAVID: As explained above soul drives the thought process by using the brain networks as its tool, but what it also does is makes it appear as immaterial thought to us in a way we don't understand.

dhw: Agreed. Nobody understands how thought “appears”. Dualists believe in a soul that uses the brain to gather information and give its thoughts material expression, as you describe with your computer image, whereas materialists believe the brain is the source of thought, as you suggest with your references to Einstein and to neurons and ions.

Again ignoring my point that the soul must use the brain networks to actually think.


DAVID: That is not the way I view the soul and I've stated that over and over. That is YOUR dualism concept. My view of the soul is that it drives thinking using the brain networks and makes it appear as immaterial thought.

dhw: No difference at all. The soul does indeed use the information provided by the brain to come up with its immaterial thoughts, and you will not deny that it also uses the brain for material expression. You have never been able to describe any other function that the brain performs in the thought process.

Totally different: your separate soul dictates to the brain and I view the soul as using the brain networks to form thought.


dhw: In life, expansion/complexification are the consequence of its thinking, as illustrated by modern science.

DAVID: Only in the completely enlarged sapiens brain, the only one we have to study. Do you think erectus could do differential calculus or even think to invent it? The concept existed at their time of evolution. All those complex concepts existed before some bright mind found them.

dhw: Ah, so Shakespeare’s plays existed before Shakespeare wrote them. Believe that if you will. But to answer your question: no, I don’t think erectus could do differential calculus.

Silly! Math concepts are actually rigid, and simply must be found. Will's plays are inventions.

dhw: I think pre-sapiens and sapiens have undergone a process of ever increasing learning, as one generation builds upon the discoveries and inventions of its predecessors.

To the limits of the complexity of its brain networks

DAVID: The soul initiates thoughts which is it then fully creates using the networks, and then acts as a bridge to allow immaterial thoughts to appear, normal or sick.

dhw: Yes, in dualism, the brain is the bridge from the soul’s immaterial thoughts to their material expression. I do not believe for one second that your faulty computer makes you think sick thoughts. But that is where the dichotomy arises and the analogy breaks down: there is evidence that the bridge goes two ways, because faults in the brain DO cause people to think sick thoughts. Hence my attempt to explain how the two-way process might work, i.e. to remove the dichotomy which you refuse to recognize.

My computer has and does produce bad results when it is sick and I have to get the IT guy on the phone to straighten it out. I know you've called Neil for help! I do not accept how you relate the soul to the brain because you are approaching dualism in an entirely different way. The soul having to use the material brain is not materialism. The brain thinking totally on its own is materialism, no soul involved.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Saturday, July 07, 2018, 04:09 (160 days ago) @ David Turell

I think perhaps this discussion could use a dose of computing knowledge.

If we consider the body, including the brain, to be a machine of sorts, with a vast array of sensors, signal processing software, a hard disk for long term data storage, RAM (short term memory), an internal power supply, and a fully kinematic frame that allows the external world to be explored and manipulated, then we must also consider how the composition of that machine will impact how the sensory signals are processed and interpreted, and how that would impact the decisions the user would make.

As importantly, the User Interface design, which includes all the many facets of the brains design, would also impact how the end user could interact with the machine. It is the combination in each of these elements that give humans their variety of experience and perspective. They are literally receiving the same stimuli differently, pre-processing it differently, processing it differently, post-processing it differently, storing it differently, and accessing it differently.

It's been proven that neural wiring differences (dopamine response and grey matter thickness) lead to introverted and extroverted personality types. Imagine having one computer that was good at abstract problem solving, a task that uses up a lot of CPU time, versus one that was good at real-time reaction and logic. The hardware would be different, the capabilities would be different, the response times would be different. Yet, the user only gets the machine they get. There are no exchanges. Like any good game, the user can increase certain attributes through activity (training, learning, eating, etc), and also like any good game, some attributes could not be altered. The machine is wired the way it is wired and built the way it is built.

All of this analogy is but a preface to asking two questions: In what ways would the wiring of the machine shape the end user experience? And, what predictive power does this line of thought offer, that it might be verified instead of merely endlessly speculated upon?

Could we tell, perhaps by use annual brain scans, what psychological disorders a person may either be struggling with or susceptible to? Could we council individuals, pointing them to more fulfilling roles in society? Could we analyse the wiring and response of the machine during early infancy in order to identify strengths and weakness that could be encouraged to flourish or protected against?

How could this argument enrich humanity? What are the pitfalls of it? Would following this thinking to its logical conclusion ultimately lead to a dystopian caste society that discriminates from birth based on the machine wiring? (And in truth, this DOES happen in some ways) I've watched David and DHW dance around this topic in various forms for several years now. I've seen a lot of 'we can never know..' type statements, which, unfortunately is not really true. In an abstract sense it is, but in a practical sense it is not. We can test for everything I've talked about here. We have the technology. So to the extent that it can be known for certain (And I acknowledge there are limits) we can test for it.

You two are brilliant debaters and your debates have raised very interesting questions over the years that have viable venues for research. It would be great to get some research scientists, or perhaps current college professors in on these discussions? You never know how a question asked in innocence or spite can change the world.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, July 07, 2018, 12:01 (160 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: I think perhaps this discussion could use a dose of computing knowledge.

Although as usual the vocabulary is foreign to me, I love the intricacies of the argument. In my terms it all means that there is no such thing as a soul, and all organisms consist solely of materials, but these are individually “wired” to give us our individual personalities. There is therefore no limit to what science may be able to discover and accomplish since all materials are accessible to science. In the context of dualism versus materialism, you are a materialist, and your God has constructed mechanisms that enable his machines to think autonomously and individually. This fits in perfectly with the first, materialist section of my theory. (The second part of my theory attempts to reconcile this view with psychic experiences and the concept of the immaterial soul.) But I can understand perfectly well if a theist who believes in an immaterial reality (God) regards the mystery of consciousness and the countless psychic experiences that have been verified by events as a sign that the material world we know is NOT the only reality. Hence the agreement between David and myself that there are things “we can never know”. We can only hope to know them IF your materialism is correct (and science can give us the answers) or IF David’s version of theism is correct and there IS such a thing as an immortal soul!

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Saturday, July 07, 2018, 14:02 (160 days ago) @ dhw

TONY: I think perhaps this discussion could use a dose of computing knowledge.

DHW Although as usual the vocabulary is foreign to me, I love the intricacies of the argument. In my terms it all means that there is no such thing as a soul, and all organisms consist solely of materials, but these are individually “wired” to give us our individual personalities.

Erm, not really. Saying that the body is a machine does not preclude there being a user(soul). Rather, my point was that the unique capabilities of the machine would directly effect what information was available to the soul and how it is presented to the soul, thus altering how the soul responds.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 07, 2018, 19:41 (160 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: I think perhaps this discussion could use a dose of computing knowledge.

DHW Although as usual the vocabulary is foreign to me, I love the intricacies of the argument. In my terms it all means that there is no such thing as a soul, and all organisms consist solely of materials, but these are individually “wired” to give us our individual personalities.


Tony: Erm, not really. Saying that the body is a machine does not preclude there being a user(soul). Rather, my point was that the unique capabilities of the machine would directly effect what information was available to the soul and how it is presented to the soul, thus altering how the soul responds.

As I fully understood. dhw was confused.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE: How much brain needed?

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 07, 2018, 23:18 (159 days ago) @ David Turell

It turns out from patient's examples only a partial brain is needed for excellent intelligence, but some folks are not as fortunate and don't function well. Egnor makes great case for the existence of the soul:

https://www.plough.com/en/topics/justice/reconciliation/science-and-the-soul

" How does the mind relate to the brain? This question is central to my professional life. I thought I had it answered. Yet a century of research and thirty years of my own neurosurgical practice have challenged everything I thought I knew.

"The view assumed by those who taught me is that the mind is wholly a product of the brain, which is itself understood as something like a machine. Francis Crick, wrote that “a person’s mental activities are entirely due to the behavior of nerve cells, glial cells, and the atoms, ions, and molecules that make them up and influence them.”

"This mechanical philosophy is the result of two steps. It began with Rene Descartes, who argued that the mind and the brain were separate substances, immaterial and material. Somehow (how, neither Descartes nor anyone else can say) the mind is linked to the brain – it’s the ghost in the machine.

***

"Computer functionalism came next: the brain is hardware and mind is software. But this too has problems. Nineteenth-century German philosopher Franz Brentano pointed out that the one thing that absolutely distinguishes thoughts from matter is that thoughts are always about something, and matter is never about anything. This aboutness is the hallmark of the mind. Every thought has a meaning. No material thing has meaning.

***

"Remarkably, neuroscience tells us three things about the mind: the mind is metaphysically simple, the intellect and will are immaterial, and free will is real.

***

"The neuroscientist Roger Sperry studied scores of split-brain patients. He found, surprisingly, that in ordinary life the patients showed little effect. Each patient was still one person...The most remarkable result of Sperry’s Nobel Prize­–winning work was that the person’s intellect and will – what we might call the soul – remained undivided.

***

"First, he noticed something about seizures. He could cause seizures by stimulating the brain. A patient would jerk his arm, or feel tingling, or see flashes of light, or even have memories. But what he could never do was cause an intellectual seizure: the patient would never reason when his brain was stimulated. The patient never contemplated mercy or bemoaned injustice or calculated second derivatives in response to brain stimulation. If the brain wholly gives rise to the mind, why are there no intellectual seizures?

"Libet began by choosing a very simple thought: the decision to press a button. He modified an oscilloscope so that a dot circled the screen once each second, and when the subject decided to push the button, he or she noted the location of the dot at the time of the decision. Consistently he found that the conscious decision to push the button was preceded by about half a second by a brain wave, which he called the readiness potential. Then a half-second later the subject became aware of his decision. It appeared at first that the subjects were not free; their brains made the decision to move and they followed it.

"But Libet looked deeper. He asked his subjects to veto their decision immediately after they made it – to not push the button. Again, the readiness potential appeared a half-second before conscious awareness of the decision to push the button, but Libet found that the veto – he called it “free won’t” – had no brain wave corresponding to it.

"The brain, then, has activity that corresponds to a pre-conscious urge to do something. But we are free to veto or accept this urge. The motives are material. The veto, and implicitly the acceptance, is an immaterial act of the will.


***

"Aquinas wrote that the human soul has distinct kinds of abilities. Vegetative powers, shared by plants and animals, serve growth, nourishment, and metabolism. Sensitive powers, shared with animals, include perception, passions, and locomotion. The vegetative and sensitive powers are material abilities of the brain.

"Yet human beings have two powers of the soul that are not material – intellect and will. These transcend matter. They are the means by which we reason, and by which we choose based on reason. We are composites of matter and spirit. We have spiritual souls.

***

"Philosopher Roger Scruton has written that contemporary neuroscience is “a vast collection of answers with no memory of the questions.” Materialism has limited the kinds of questions that we’re allowed to ask, but neuroscience, pursued without a materialist bias, points towards the reality that we are chimeras: material beings with immaterial souls."

Comment: As far as I am cencerned the soul exists.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 07, 2018, 19:27 (160 days ago) @ dhw

TONY: I think perhaps this discussion could use a dose of computing knowledge.

dhw: Although as usual the vocabulary is foreign to me, I love the intricacies of the argument. In my terms it all means that there is no such thing as a soul, and all organisms consist solely of materials, but these are individually “wired” to give us our individual personalities. There is therefore no limit to what science may be able to discover and accomplish since all materials are accessible to science. In the context of dualism versus materialism, you are a materialist, and your God has constructed mechanisms that enable his machines to think autonomously and individually. This fits in perfectly with the first, materialist section of my theory. (The second part of my theory attempts to reconcile this view with psychic experiences and the concept of the immaterial soul.) But I can understand perfectly well if a theist who believes in an immaterial reality (God) regards the mystery of consciousness and the countless psychic experiences that have been verified by events as a sign that the material world we know is NOT the only reality. Hence the agreement between David and myself that there are things “we can never know”. We can only hope to know them IF your materialism is correct (and science can give us the answers) or IF David’s version of theism is correct and there IS such a thing as an immortal soul!

Speaking for Tony, he is not a materialist.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 07, 2018, 18:57 (160 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Tony: It's been proven that neural wiring differences (dopamine response and grey matter thickness) lead to introverted and extroverted personality types. Imagine having one computer that was good at abstract problem solving, a task that uses up a lot of CPU time, versus one that was good at real-time reaction and logic. The hardware would be different, the capabilities would be different, the response times would be different. Yet, the user only gets the machine they get. There are no exchanges. Like any good game, the user can increase certain attributes through activity (training, learning, eating, etc), and also like any good game, some attributes could not be altered. The machine is wired the way it is wired and built the way it is built.

You have taken up my side of the discussion in that a genius brain certainly supplies the ability/substrate for advanced intelligence for the soul to work with. And you correctly point out the ability to alter that ability. The soul can only work with the brain it is given. And it has to work with that specific brain. In that sense, the newborn 'blank slate' has a definite starting point, different in each individual.


Tony: You two are brilliant debaters and your debates have raised very interesting questions over the years that have viable venues for research. It would be great to get some research scientists, or perhaps current college professors in on these discussions? You never know how a question asked in innocence or spite can change the world.

Not that brilliant. The brain research is hampered by certain obvious limitations. Open brain studies can occur only during neurosurgery, but scalp sensors are being refined all the time. and mini-brains grown in cultures can give some insights.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Sunday, July 08, 2018, 12:07 (159 days ago) @ David Turell

I am telescoping posts again.
TONY: I think perhaps this discussion could use a dose of computing knowledge.

dhw: Although as usual the vocabulary is foreign to me, I love the intricacies of the argument. In my terms it all means that there is no such thing as a soul, and all organisms consist solely of materials, but these are individually “wired” to give us our individual personalities.

TONY: Erm, not really. Saying that the body is a machine does not preclude there being a user(soul). Rather, my point was that the unique capabilities of the machine would directly effect what information was available to the soul and how it is presented to the soul, thus altering how the soul responds.

This is one of the points I keep reiterating about dualism: the soul uses the brain to acquire information. Clearly the soul will be influenced by the information it is given, but the dualist’s soul does the processing of the information. The machine/brain/body does not do the actual thinking. (Furthermore, it uses the brain to give material expression/ implementation to its thoughts.) See the following comments to understand why I consider your analogy to be materialistic.

Tony: It's been proven that neural wiring differences (dopamine response and grey matter thickness) lead to introverted and extroverted personality types. Imagine having one computer that was good at abstract problem solving, a task that uses up a lot of CPU time, versus one that was good at real-time reaction and logic. The hardware would be different, the capabilities would be different, the response times would be different. Yet, the user only gets the machine they get. There are no exchanges. Like any good game, the user can increase certain attributes through activity (training, learning, eating, etc), and also like any good game, some attributes could not be altered. The machine is wired the way it is wired and built the way it is built.

DAVID: You have taken up my side of the discussion in that a genius brain certainly supplies the ability/substrate for advanced intelligence for the soul to work with. And you correctly point out the ability to alter that ability. The soul can only work with the brain it is given. And it has to work with that specific brain. In that sense, the newborn 'blank slate' has a definite starting point, different in each individual.

How can the newborn be a blank slate if it starts off with a brain which determines not only a vast number of physical characteristics, but also, according to Tony, the very nature of our personality (which in turn determines the way we think)? In fact, nobody knows the extent to which the physical gives rise to the mental. Materialists claim it is 100%. The excellent Egnor article sums it up, and also offers (and favours) the alternative:

QUOTE: “The view assumed by those who taught me is that the mind is wholly a product of the brain, which is itself understood as something like a machine. Francis Crick, wrote that “a person’s mental activities are entirely due to the behavior of nerve cells, glial cells, and the atoms, ions, and molecules that make them up and influence them.”
"René Descartes […] argued that the mind and the brain were separate substances, immaterial and material. Somehow (how, neither Descartes nor anyone else can say) the mind is linked to the brain – it’s the ghost in the machine.

In all honesty, if “neural wiring” creates the different personality types, I can see very little difference between Tony’s machine and Crick’s.

dhw: If, as you constantly agree, the soul initiates thought, the limits of the brain relate only to the amount of information it can supply (e.g. we cannot see the boundaries of our universe) and the extent to which it can implement our thoughts (I can imagine flying unaided, but my brain/body can’t implement the concept). What other limitations does the passive, recipient brain impose?

DAVID: It is limited by the complexity of its networks, as shown by genius brains.

WHAT is limited, apart from the amount of information and the extent to which thought can be expressed/implemented?

dhw: Of course the soul having to use the material brain is not materialism! The concept of the soul is dualistic! The dualist’s soul uses the brain for information and for expression, and you continue to ignore my question: what other functions does the brain perform in the thought process?

DAVID: It provides information from its sensory inputs, as you know, and it provides the complexity of networks for advanced thought.

What does "networks for thought" mean, if not that the networks are responsible for advanced thought (= materialism)? You still haven’t offered us any function in addition to information and expression..

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 08, 2018, 15:36 (159 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You have taken up my side of the discussion in that a genius brain certainly supplies the ability/substrate for advanced intelligence for the soul to work with. And you correctly point out the ability to alter that ability. The soul can only work with the brain it is given. And it has to work with that specific brain. In that sense, the newborn 'blank slate' has a definite starting point, different in each individual.

dhw: How can the newborn be a blank slate if it starts off with a brain which determines not only a vast number of physical characteristics, but also, according to Tony, the very nature of our personality (which in turn determines the way we think)? In fact, nobody knows the extent to which the physical gives rise to the mental. Materialists claim it is 100%.

A baby when born does not have the circuits to think. All its reactions are instinctual. Its eventual personality is a construct that has to be developed from zero. You are looking at this in a different way than I do. You are correct that its development will be guided by pre-existing controls over what type of brain it is given. Thus a genius brain produces a genius if that person allows it. A person has choices in how his personality is shaped all during life from birth, but can only shape personalty when he has the ability to think and analyze. A role of psychiatry is to point out bad choices, some of which were developed without thought or analysis.


dhw: If, as you constantly agree, the soul initiates thought, the limits of the brain relate only to the amount of information it can supply (e.g. we cannot see the boundaries of our universe) and the extent to which it can implement our thoughts (I can imagine flying unaided, but my brain/body can’t implement the concept). What other limitations does the passive, recipient brain impose?

DAVID: It is limited by the complexity of its networks, as shown by genius brains.

WHAT is limited, apart from the amount of information and the extent to which thought can be expressed/implemented?

dhw: Of course the soul having to use the material brain is not materialism! The concept of the soul is dualistic! The dualist’s soul uses the brain for information and for expression, and you continue to ignore my question: what other functions does the brain perform in the thought process?

DAVID: It provides information from its sensory inputs, as you know, and it provides the complexity of networks for advanced thought.

dhw: What does "networks for thought" mean, if not that the networks are responsible for advanced thought (= materialism)? You still haven’t offered us any function in addition to information and expression..

'Expression' has two meanings: announcing the thought and also developing the thought. Newton and Leibniz both had to recognize the concept of calculus and then work out the details of its construct with their souls using their frontal lobe networks.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Monday, July 09, 2018, 12:16 (158 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The soul can only work with the brain it is given. And it has to work with that specific brain. In that sense, the newborn 'blank slate' has a definite starting point, different in each individual.

dhw: How can the newborn be a blank slate if it starts off with a brain which determines not only a vast number of physical characteristics, but also, according to Tony, the very nature of our personality (which in turn determines the way we think)? In fact, nobody knows the extent to which the physical gives rise to the mental. Materialists claim it is 100%.

DAVID: A baby when born does not have the circuits to think.

Straight away you are claiming that it cannot think without the circuits. This fits in nicely with materialism.

DAVID: All its reactions are instinctual. Its eventual personality is a construct that has to be developed from zero.

We have had this discussion before. Try telling my daughter-in-law, mother of twins, that both babies had identical zero personalities from the moment they were born. (She laughed when I told her!) Do you think instincts are not part of a human’s personality? Of course the personality develops with time, but there are inbuilt characteristics right from the start, even if the baby can’t express them in words (because the circuits aren’t properly formed).

DAVID: You are looking at this in a different way than I do. You are correct that its development will be guided by pre-existing controls over what type of brain it is given. Thus a genius brain produces a genius if that person allows it. A person has choices in how his personality is shaped all during life from birth, but can only shape personalty when he has the ability to think and analyze. A role of psychiatry is to point out bad choices, some of which were developed without thought or analysis.

The degree to which a person can shape his/her own personality is the whole open question. Crick said no. You say yes. Nobody knows. Experience may well change personality, but it can be argued that the way different people respond to their experiences (or are “changed” by them) is also preprogrammed by their materials! Tony’s machine leans towards Crick, with different wiring determining the type of personality, capabilities, response times, and with no exchanges, you get what you get, attributes that can’t be altered. But he says there is still room for a soul, so perhaps he could tell us what powers his version of the soul has.

Dhw: The dualist’s soul uses the brain for information and for expression, and you continue to ignore my question: what other functions does the brain perform in the thought process?

DAVID: It provides information from its sensory inputs, as you know, and it provides the complexity of networks for advanced thought.

dhw: What does "networks for thought" mean, if not that the networks are responsible for advanced thought (= materialism)? You still haven’t offered us any function in addition to information and expression..

DAVID: 'Expression' has two meanings: announcing the thought and also developing the thought. Newton and Leibniz both had to recognize the concept of calculus and then work out the details of its construct with their souls using their frontal lobe networks.

Since when did expression of thought mean developing thought? It may well be that giving material expression to the thought brings out possible flaws (especially when you discuss it with other people!;-) ), but the dualist’s frontal lobes will not say to the dualist’s soul: “Hey, you’ve missed something out, you're confused, you've just contradicted yourself.” So please tell us what the dualist’s soul uses the frontal lobe networks FOR, apart from providing information and enabling the soul to give material expression to its thought.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Monday, July 09, 2018, 15:15 (158 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: We have had this discussion before. Try telling my daughter-in-law, mother of twins, that both babies had identical zero personalities from the moment they were born. (She laughed when I told her!) Do you think instincts are not part of a human’s personality? Of course the personality develops with time, but there are inbuilt characteristics right from the start, even if the baby can’t express them in words (because the circuits aren’t properly formed).


DAVID: You are looking at this in a different way than I do. You are correct that its development will be guided by pre-existing controls over what type of brain it is given. Thus a genius brain produces a genius if that person allows it. A person has choices in how his personality is shaped all during life from birth, but can only shape personalty when he has the ability to think and analyze. A role of psychiatry is to point out bad choices, some of which were developed without thought or analysis.

dhw: The degree to which a person can shape his/her own personality is the whole open question. Crick said no. You say yes. Nobody knows.

Bad example of expert. I'm quoting psychiatric theory. Crick is far from it. And was very wrong about what DNA really does in his initial pronouncements.

dhw: Experience may well change personality, but it can be argued that the way different people respond to their experiences (or are “changed” by them) is also preprogrammed by their materials!

Ah, no free will for you!

dhw: Tony’s machine leans towards Crick, with different wiring determining the type of personality, capabilities, response times, and with no exchanges, you get what you get, attributes that can’t be altered. But he says there is still room for a soul, so perhaps he could tell us what powers his version of the soul has.

I'm unconvinced you understand Tony's approach


dhw: What does "networks for thought" mean, if not that the networks are responsible for advanced thought (= materialism)? You still haven’t offered us any function in addition to information and expression..

DAVID: 'Expression' has two meanings: announcing the thought and also developing the thought. Newton and Leibniz both had to recognize the concept of calculus and then work out the details of its construct with their souls using their frontal lobe networks.

dhw: Since when did expression of thought mean developing thought? It may well be that giving material expression to the thought brings out possible flaws (especially when you discuss it with other people!;-) ), but the dualist’s frontal lobes will not say to the dualist’s soul: “Hey, you’ve missed something out, you're confused, you've just contradicted yourself.” So please tell us what the dualist’s soul uses the frontal lobe networks FOR, apart from providing information and enabling the soul to give material expression to its thought.

Do you think the development of a concept simply springs into existence as only a 'eureka' moment. Thinking through a puzzle requires contemplation over time. There may well be the thought I'm confused. Have you forgotten my self is my immaterial me using my material brain networks to think and produce immaterial thought.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two: brain patterns

by David Turell @, Monday, July 09, 2018, 20:43 (158 days ago) @ David Turell

More proof you have to work with the brain you/soul are given. Autistic children of different types have two different patterns of cortical folds:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/brains-of-children-with-autism-show-unusual-...

"The brains of children with autism fold differently than those of their typical peers, two new studies suggest. But whether they are unusually smooth or convoluted depends on location and age.

"Certain regions of the brain’s outer layer, the cerebral cortex, are more intricately folded in school-age children and adolescents with autism than they are in controls, according to one of the studies.

"In young people, this folding difference may be the most obvious structural feature of the autism brain,

***

"By contrast, preschoolers with autism do not show exaggerated folding unless they have enlarged brains, according to a second study. And one brain region is atypically smooth in preschoolers with autism.

Together, the studies add to evidence that folding follows a different developmental path in autism brains than in controls.

***

"Young people with autism show a lot of folding in patches of the left temporal and parietal lobes—regions responsible for processing sound and spatial information respectively, the study found. They also show excessive folding in temporal and frontal regions on the right side of the brain, including areas that govern decision-making and motor skills.

"They have less folding in one spot on the occipital cortex, the brain’s visual hub.

"The researchers also studied scans from 31 children with autism and 31 controls, aged 7 to 18 years, from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE), an open-access data repository. They found pronounced folding in temporal and frontal areas close to those in their original sample.

***

"In the other study, researchers scanned the brains of 105 boys with autism and 49 controls at age 3. They found that the brains of children with autism are atypically smooth in a brain region responsible for recognizing faces. But otherwise, there are no unusual folding patterns in the brains of the children with autism.

"In a subgroup of 17 boys with autism who have enlarged brains, however, the researchers found increased folding in five areas of the cortex that sit along a line dividing the hemispheres.

"This finding suggests that the children with enlarged brains have a specific subtype of autism, says lead investigator Christine Nordahl, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California, Davis. “We, more and more, are convinced that they really represent a distinct subgroup not only in terms of their brain size but their pattern of brain differences,” associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California, Davis. “We, more and more, are convinced that they really represent a distinct subgroup not only in terms of their brain size but their pattern of brain differences.”

***

"Together, the two studies suggest that the cortex both folds and unfolds differently in autism. But exactly how this story unfolds must await new data from both teams: Müller and his team plan to study toddlers and middle-aged adults with autism, and Nordahl’s group aims to follow the same children into adolescence."

Comment: More evidence, one can only produce the type of thought from the specific brain you are given, but with plasticity the brain can be altered in its capacities.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 10:40 (157 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The degree to which a person can shape his/her own personality is the whole open question. Crick said no. You say yes. Nobody knows.

DAVID: Bad example of expert. I'm quoting psychiatric theory. Crick is far from it. And was very wrong about what DNA really does in his initial pronouncements.

Egnor quoted Crick, whose view summarizes the materialistic viewpoint. Nobody knows the truth, “expert” or not.

dhw: Experience may well change personality, but it can be argued that the way different people respond to their experiences (or are “changed” by them) is also preprogrammed by their materials!
DAVID: Ah, no free will for you!

I am summarizing the materialistic view! I am not giving an opinion.

dhw: Tony’s machine leans towards Crick, with different wiring determining the type of personality, capabilities, response times, and with no exchanges, you get what you get, attributes that can’t be altered. But he says there is still room for a soul, so perhaps he could tell us what powers his version of the soul has.
DAVID: I'm unconvinced you understand Tony's approach.

So am I. That is why I have asked for clarification.

dhw: What does "networks for thought" mean, if not that the networks are responsible for advanced thought (= materialism)? You still haven’t offered us any function in addition to information and expression..

DAVID: 'Expression' has two meanings: announcing the thought and also developing the thought. Newton and Leibniz both had to recognize the concept of calculus and then work out the details of its construct with their souls using their frontal lobe networks.

dhw: Since when did expression of thought mean developing thought? It may well be that giving material expression to the thought brings out possible flaws (especially when you discuss it with other people! ), but the dualist’s frontal lobes will not say to the dualist’s soul: “Hey, you’ve missed something out, you're confused, you've just contradicted yourself.” So please tell us what the dualist’s soul uses the frontal lobe networks FOR, apart from providing information and enabling the soul to give material expression to its thought.

DAVID: Do you think the development of a concept simply springs into existence as only a 'eureka' moment. Thinking through a puzzle requires contemplation over time.

Another straw man. By definition, how can the "development" of a concept “spring into existence”? The “eureka” moment is what you have called the initiation of the thought (e.g. the spear), but the development and completion of the thought depend on an ongoing process, in which the dualist’s brain provides information and material expression, while the dualist’s soul does the continual processing. And once again, “expression of thought” does not mean “development of thought” – which is the point you have tried to avoid.

DAVID: There may well be the thought I'm confused. Have you forgotten my self is my immaterial me using my material brain networks to think and produce immaterial thought.

You may well be confused if you have forgotten that I keep telling you the dualist’s soul produces immaterial thought, using the material brain for information and material expression, and that I keep asking you what other functions the brain performs during the thought process and you can’t offer any.

DAVID (article on autism): More proof you have to work with the brain you/soul are given.

Yes of course you do! Nobody ever said that a dualist can swap brains! But if the brain determines how you behave and how you think, you have a good case for materialism.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 16:03 (157 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Do you think the development of a concept simply springs into existence as only a 'eureka' moment. Thinking through a puzzle requires contemplation over time.

dhw: Another straw man. By definition, how can the "development" of a concept “spring into existence”? The “eureka” moment is what you have called the initiation of the thought (e.g. the spear), but the development and completion of the thought depend on an ongoing process, in which the dualist’s brain provides information and material expression, while the dualist’s soul does the continual processing. And once again, “expression of thought” does not mean “development of thought” – which is the point you have tried to avoid.

But the point I am making to use your words, "the dualist's soul does the continual processing" BY USING the brains networks! That is the brain's contribution that you keep looking for.


DAVID: There may well be the thought I'm confused. Have you forgotten my self is my immaterial me using my material brain networks to think and produce immaterial thought.

dhw: You may well be confused if you have forgotten that I keep telling you the dualist’s soul produces immaterial thought, using the material brain for information and material expression, and that I keep asking you wha

Answered above.


DAVID (article on autism): More proof you have to work with the brain you/soul are given.

dhw: Yes of course you do! Nobody ever said that a dualist can swap brains! But if the brain determines how you behave and how you think, you have a good case for materialism.

The brain can only transmit proper thought if it is well. A sick brain transmits sick thought, which shows a soul must use the brain to create the thought that is to be expressed..

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 12:18 (156 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Do you think the development of a concept simply springs into existence as only a 'eureka' moment. Thinking through a puzzle requires contemplation over time.

dhw: Another straw man. By definition, how can the "development" of a concept “spring into existence”? The “eureka” moment is what you have called the initiation of the thought (e.g. the spear), but the development and completion of the thought depend on an ongoing process, in which the dualist’s brain provides information and material expression, while the dualist’s soul does the continual processing. And once again, “expression of thought” does not mean “development of thought” – which is the point you have tried to avoid.

DAVID: But the point I am making to use your words, "the dualist's soul does the continual processing" BY USING the brains networks! That is the brain's contribution that you keep looking for.

In dualism, the soul USES the brain to acquire information and to give its thoughts material expression. That is the brain’s contribution, and you still haven’t come up with any other “contributions”, despite my repeated request for you to do so.

DAVID (article on autism): More proof you have to work with the brain you/soul are given.

dhw: Yes of course you do! Nobody ever said that a dualist can swap brains! But if the brain determines how you behave and how you think, you have a good case for materialism.

DAVID: The brain can only transmit proper thought if it is well. A sick brain transmits sick thought, which shows a soul must use the brain to create the thought that is to be expressed.

According to you the brain is a passive receiver. Why have you suddenly introduced the word “transmit”? Until now the difference has been clear. The soul thinks the thought and transmits it to the receiver brain, which then gives it material expression or implementation. If the sick brain results in sick thought, you have evidence for materialism.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 18:43 (156 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: But the point I am making to use your words, "the dualist's soul does the continual processing" BY USING the brains networks! That is the brain's contribution that you keep looking for.

dhw: In dualism, the soul USES the brain to acquire information and to give its thoughts material expression. That is the brain’s contribution, and you still haven’t come up with any other “contributions”, despite my repeated request for you to do so.

I keep repeating the brain contributes its networks which the soul uses to process/create thought. The soul is me. The soul is you. Without question We use our brain networks to produce thought. I view the soul as containing a mechanism to translate the wet charged ions running around those networks into recognizable thought in the words of my language. It is from this viewpoint that I debate you. You seem to view it differently. Explain please.


DAVID (article on autism): More proof you have to work with the brain you/soul are given.

dhw: Yes of course you do! Nobody ever said that a dualist can swap brains! But if the brain determines how you behave and how you think, you have a good case for materialism.

DAVID: The brain can only transmit proper thought if it is well. A sick brain transmits sick thought, which shows a soul must use the brain to create the thought that is to be expressed.

dhw: According to you the brain is a passive receiver. Why have you suddenly introduced the word “transmit”? Until now the difference has been clear. The soul thinks the thought and transmits it to the receiver brain, which then gives it material expression or implementation. If the sick brain results in sick thought, you have evidence for materialism.

Yes the brain receives the thoughts the soul/I create, but as above the soul/I contains an ability (no understood) to create immaterial thought out of wet electricity, which is the material brain.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, July 12, 2018, 13:17 (155 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: In dualism, the soul USES the brain to acquire information and to give its thoughts material expression. That is the brain’s contribution, and you still haven’t come up with any other “contributions”, despite my repeated request for you to do so.

DAVID: I keep repeating the brain contributes its networks which the soul uses to process/create thought. The soul is me. The soul is you. Without question We use our brain networks to produce thought. I view the soul as containing a mechanism to translate the wet charged ions running around those networks into recognizable thought in the words of my language. It is from this viewpoint that I debate you. You seem to view it differently. Explain please.

The wet charged ions are a very recent addition to your vocabulary in this discussion (like your use of “transmit!” below), and simply add another convolution to the discussion. You have acknowledged repeatedly that the soul initiates and develops thoughts, using the brain. I have pointed out to you that it uses the brain for information and expression. Now you have the soul translating the ions into “recognizable thought”. That makes the ions into the carriers of the thought (presumably carrying it from the brain since they must be carrying it TO the soul), and the soul is merely the receiver and translator, because the ions don’t speak English but your soul does. Curiouser and curiouser. May I suggest that in an ongoing process, your dualist’s soul uses the information it gets from the brain, thinks about it,and transmits its thoughts to the brain, which then sends its messengers all over the place to ensure that the soul’s thoughts are given material expression by the voice speaking, the fingers typing etc.

dhw: According to you the brain is a passive receiver. Why have you suddenly introduced the word “transmit”? Until now the difference has been clear. The soul thinks the thought and transmits it to the receiver brain, which then gives it material expression or implementation. If the sick brain results in sick thought, you have evidence for materialism.

DAVID: Yes the brain receives the thoughts the soul/I create, but as above the soul/I contains an ability (no understood) to create immaterial thought out of wet electricity, which is the material brain.

Right, you’ve now dropped the idea of the brain as the transmitter of thought, except that you haven’t, because now the material brain sends out a load of gibberish electricity which the ions carry to the soul, and somehow the soul translates the gibberish into recognizable thought. What in your dualism initiates the thought? The soul or the brain? What sends the thought to what? Soul to brain or brain to soul? If the thought comes from electricity provided by the brain, then the brain is doing the thinking. That’s fine with me – it is the materialistic part one of my theory.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 12, 2018, 15:39 (155 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: According to you the brain is a passive receiver. Why have you suddenly introduced the word “transmit”? Until now the difference has been clear. The soul thinks the thought and transmits it to the receiver brain, which then gives it material expression or implementation. If the sick brain results in sick thought, you have evidence for materialism.

DAVID: Yes the brain receives the thoughts the soul/I create, but as above the soul/I contains an ability (no understood) to create immaterial thought out of wet electricity, which is the material brain.

dhw: Right, you’ve now dropped the idea of the brain as the transmitter of thought, except that you haven’t, because now the material brain sends out a load of gibberish electricity which the ions carry to the soul, and somehow the soul translates the gibberish into recognizable thought. What in your dualism initiates the thought? The soul or the brain? What sends the thought to what? Soul to brain or brain to soul? If the thought comes from electricity provided by the brain, then the brain is doing the thinking. That’s fine with me – it is the materialistic part one of my theory.

In using 'wet ions' I am only describing the brain as it exists. And the soul contains a mechanism which uses the brain's networks to create thought from those ions, translate it into English for me and to transmit it to me. Thus the soul initiates thought, completes thought in the networks, and translates it from the material to the immaterial form.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 12, 2018, 19:01 (155 days ago) @ David Turell

Whenever I bring up the role of the brain in thought, you scream materialism. Well, welcome to the truth, the brain is used in thought. I view my soul as an immaterial representation of me, and as such when I/soul initiate thought I use the wet ions of the brain's networks to formulate the thought, but I believe the soul contains a translation mechanism that changes the material representation of thought into understandable English I recognize in my head. That same mechanism is used in NDE's and death to transmit, translate to receive telepathic thought.

Your view seems to me to represent a form of separatism: the soul dictates thought to the brain and receives from the brain sensory information, and the brain expresses thought for the soul. Do you really recognize how the brain networks have to be in play throughout the whole process, but that does not imply the brain is totally in control which would be true materialism. I/soul control the brain. Control of the process is the real issue.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE: the material side

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 12, 2018, 21:16 (155 days ago) @ David Turell

What consciousness looks like in the brain. Look at the illustrations:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431290-400-brain-images-display-the-beauty-and...

Comment: No sense of simplicity

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Friday, July 13, 2018, 11:21 (154 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Right, you’ve now dropped the idea of the brain as the transmitter of thought, except that you haven’t, because now the material brain sends out a load of gibberish electricity which the ions carry to the soul, and somehow the soul translates the gibberish into recognizable thought. What in your dualism initiates the thought? The soul or the brain? What sends the thought to what? Soul to brain or brain to soul? If the thought comes from electricity provided by the brain, then the brain is doing the thinking. That’s fine with me – it is the materialistic part one of my theory.

DAVID: In using 'wet ions' I am only describing the brain as it exists. And the soul contains a mechanism which uses the brain's networks to create thought from those ions, translate it into English for me and to transmit it to me. Thus the soul initiates thought, completes thought in the networks, and translates it from the material to the immaterial form.

You ARE your soul, and the ions ARE your brain. So now you have your soul using your brain to create a gibberish thought which is carried from your brain to your soul, which translates the thought into English for your soul to transmit to your soul. The weaverbird’s knots are nothing compared to yours.

Try this for a dualistic alternative: the soul thinks the thought in English, using the brain for information, and in an ongoing process of development uses the brain to give the thought material expression, thereby providing further information (e.g. through experiments in the making of a spear), until the thought is complete and ready for material expression through the brain (spear fit for action).

DAVID: Whenever I bring up the role of the brain in thought, you scream materialism. Well, welcome to the truth, the brain is used in thought.

Of course it is. To acquire information and to give thought material expression, though you tried above to manufacture an incomprehensible new function for the brain.

DAVID: I believe the soul contains a translation mechanism that changes the material representation of thought into understandable English I recognize in my head. That same mechanism is used in NDE's and death to transmit, translate to receive telepathic thought.

Dealt with above, except that the same mechanism cannot possibly be used in death, because there is no “material representation of thought” to be translated! In death it can only be the soul that thinks the thoughts! And that is regarded as evidence for dualism in life, i.e. that there is a soul that does the thinking!

DAVID: Your view seems to me to represent a form of separatism: the soul dictates thought to the brain and receives from the brain sensory information, and the brain expresses thought for the soul.

Yes – the soul is what you called the “separate consciousness mechanism”, but in life the soul and brain are interlocked as they perform their different functions.

DAVID Do you really recognize how the brain networks have to be in play throughout the whole process…

Yes, as described above.

DAVID: …but that does not imply the brain is totally in control which would be true materialism. I/soul control the brain. Control of the process is the real issue.

Of course the dualist’s soul is in control. It is the soul that initiates the thought, uses the brain to develop the thought, and continually issues instructions to what you call the passive, recipient brain, which gives them material expression. That is the nature of dualism. No disagreement.

DAVID: What consciousness looks like in the brain. Look at the illustrations:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431290-400-brain-images-display-the-beauty-and...

DAVID’s comment: No sense of simplicity

Whoever said it was simple? Very beautiful. No mention of a soul in the text.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Friday, July 13, 2018, 19:12 (154 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: In using 'wet ions' I am only describing the brain as it exists. And the soul contains a mechanism which uses the brain's networks to create thought from those ions, translate it into English for me and to transmit it to me. Thus the soul initiates thought, completes thought in the networks, and translates it from the material to the immaterial form.

dhw: You ARE your soul, and the ions ARE your brain. So now you have your soul using your brain to create a gibberish thought which is carried from your brain to your soul, which translates the thought into English for your soul to transmit to your soul. The weaverbird’s knots are nothing compared to yours.

I didn't say the soul/brain relationship was not very complex. Weaverbird knots are simple in comparison. Where does gibberish fit in? Gibberish is only with a sick brain, which proves my point that the I/soul uses the brain in creating thought.


dhw: Try this for a dualistic alternative: the soul thinks the thought in English, using the brain for information, and in an ongoing process of development uses the brain to give the thought material expression, thereby providing further information (e.g. through experiments in the making of a spear), until the thought is complete and ready for material expression through the brain (spear fit for action).

Of course I/soul think in English. My brain is trained that way! You still have the soul separated from the brain. Can you tell me where you think it is kept?


DAVID: I believe the soul contains a translation mechanism that changes the material representation of thought into understandable English I recognize in my head. That same mechanism is used in NDE's and death to transmit, translate to receive telepathic thought.

dhw: Dealt with above, except that the same mechanism cannot possibly be used in death, because there is no “material representation of thought” to be translated! In death it can only be the soul that thinks the thoughts! And that is regarded as evidence for dualism in life, i.e. that there is a soul that does the thinking!

No, I said telepathic. I've told you my form of dualism includes dual forms of soul in life and death, but maintaining the same me/personality. You keep forgetting this, because you only like your view of dualism.


DAVID: …but that does not imply the brain is totally in control which would be true materialism. I/soul control the brain. Control of the process is the real issue.

dhw: Of course the dualist’s soul is in control. It is the soul that initiates the thought, uses the brain to develop the thought, and continually issues instructions to what you call the passive, recipient brain, which gives them material expression. That is the nature of dualism. No disagreement.

Do you really mean the 'soul uses the brain to develop thought', that means it uses the networks to construct/form thought, or will you scurry back to 'express' thought, your usual refuge. Thought I'd use your debate terminology


DAVID: What consciousness looks like in the brain. Look at the illustrations:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431290-400-brain-images-display-the-beauty-and...

DAVID’s comment: No sense of simplicity

dhw: Whoever said it was simple? Very beautiful. No mention of a soul in the text.

Glad you enjoyed it. Beautiful and highly complex.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Saturday, July 14, 2018, 12:10 (153 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: In using 'wet ions' I am only describing the brain as it exists. And the soul contains a mechanism which uses the brain's networks to create thought from those ions, translate it into English for me and to transmit it to me. Thus the soul initiates thought, completes thought in the networks, and translates it from the material to the immaterial form.

dhw: You ARE your soul, and the ions ARE your brain. So now you have your soul using your brain to create a gibberish thought which is carried from your brain to your soul, which translates the thought into English for your soul to transmit to your soul. The weaverbird’s knots are nothing compared to yours.

DAVID: I didn't say the soul/brain relationship was not very complex. […]

I didn’t say you said it wasn’t complex. I’m suggesting that the complexities you have introduced above make no sense!

DAVID: Where does gibberish fit in?

If the ions bring material thoughts from your material brain to your immaterial soul (which is supposed to have initiated them in English anyway!), and the soul has to translate them into English before your soul can understand the material thoughts in order to make them immaterial, the thoughts carried by the ions must be gibberish, i.e. incomprehensible in their wet “material” form. If I were a dualist, I would believe that the soul thinks its immaterial thoughts in English and sends them to the brain in order to give them material expression.

DAVID: Of course I/soul think in English. My brain is trained that way! You still have the soul separated from the brain. Can you tell me where you think it is kept?

YOU have the soul separated from the brain! You called it a “separate consciousness mechanism”. We have long since agreed that if there is such a thing as a soul, it is housed in the brain and is “interlocked” with it. But the soul and the brain perform different functions - that is the sense in which they are separate.

DAVID: I believe the soul contains a translation mechanism that changes the material representation of thought into understandable English I recognize in my head. That same mechanism is used in NDE's and death to transmit, translate to receive telepathic thought.

dhw: Dealt with above, except that the same mechanism cannot possibly be used in death, because there is no “material representation of thought” to be translated! In death it can only be the soul that thinks the thoughts! And that is regarded as evidence for dualism in life, i.e. that there is a soul that does the thinking!

DAVID: No, I said telepathic. I've told you my form of dualism includes dual forms of soul in life and death, but maintaining the same me/personality. You keep forgetting this, because you only like your view of dualism.

You have said that your soul thinks in English. So when your soul passes into the Great Beyond, why does it need the SAME translation mechanism? The English-speaking soul will think its thoughts in English and will transmit and receive thoughts telepathically. There is nothing to translate. (I don't what NDE patients do, though, if they communicate with non-English speaking souls.)

DAVID: …but that does not imply the brain is totally in control which would be true materialism. I/soul control the brain. Control of the process is the real issue.

dhw: Of course the dualist’s soul is in control. It is the soul that initiates the thought, uses the brain to develop the thought, and continually issues instructions to what you call the passive, recipient brain, which gives them material expression. That is the nature of dualism. No disagreement.

DAVID: Do you really mean the 'soul uses the brain to develop thought', that means it uses the networks to construct/form thought, or will you scurry back to 'express' thought, your usual refuge. Thought I'd use your debate terminology.

I have spelt this out a hundred times in analysing YOUR terminology. The dualist’s soul uses the brain to provide the information it thinks about (why have you left that out?). Example of information provided by brain: me hungry, me see living meat. The soul initiates the concept of a spear. It therefore uses the brain and body to construct a spear, but then the brain supplies more information (spear no kill living meat; something wrong with concept), and so the soul does some more thinking (i.e. develops the thought: need sharper stone, longer shaft, better aim) and sends more instructions to the brain to do more implementing, and so on until the thought or concept is complete and the material implementation is complete (spear kill animal). That is how the dualist’s soul “uses the dualist’s brain to develop thought”: two parts of the self – the thinking part (soul) and the information-gathering, expressing/implementing part (brain) working in harmony.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 14, 2018, 19:07 (153 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Where does gibberish fit in?

dhw: If the ions bring material thoughts from your material brain to your immaterial soul (which is supposed to have initiated them in English anyway!), and the soul has to translate them into English before your soul can understand the material thoughts in order to make them immaterial, the thoughts carried by the ions must be gibberish, i.e. incomprehensible in their wet “material” form. If I were a dualist, I would believe that the soul thinks its immaterial thoughts in English and sends them to the brain in order to give them material expression.

I/soul initiate thought into wet ions, where they become electrical charges. They come out from the wet ions as intelligible thought. This is the process you keep skipping in your separatist approach to soul/brain mechanisms. This is what we don't understand, but we know it haoppens.

dhw: We have long since agreed that if there is such a thing as a soul, it is housed in the brain and is “interlocked” with it. But the soul and the brain perform different functions - that is the sense in which they are separate.

They function together as described above and are not separate as they work.

DAVID: …but that does not imply the brain is totally in control which would be true materialism. I/soul control the brain. Control of the process is the real issue.


dhw: Of course the dualist’s soul is in control. It is the soul that initiates the thought, uses the brain to develop the thought, and continually issues instructions to what you call the passive, recipient brain, which gives them material expression. That is the nature of dualism. No disagreement.

DAVID: Do you really mean the 'soul uses the brain to develop thought', that means it uses the networks to construct/form thought, or will you scurry back to 'express' thought, your usual refuge. Thought I'd use your debate terminology.

dhw: I have spelt this out a hundred times in analysing YOUR terminology. The dualist’s soul uses the brain to provide the information it thinks about (why have you left that out?). Example of information provided by brain: me hungry, me see living meat. The soul initiates the concept of a spear. It therefore uses the brain and body to construct a spear, but then the brain supplies more information (spear no kill living meat; something wrong with concept), and so the soul does some more thinking (i.e. develops the thought: need sharper stone, longer shaft, better aim) and sends more instructions to the brain to do more implementing, and so on until the thought or concept is complete and the material implementation is complete (spear kill animal). That is how the dualist’s soul “uses the dualist’s brain to develop thought”: two parts of the self – the thinking part (soul) and the information-gathering, expressing/implementing part (brain) working in harmony.

In all of this hominin exposition you have not said the soul uses the brain's networks to produce and think the thoughts about the spear. You have the soul imparting thought to the brain. That is your 'interlock' concept. As for the source of information, I've said over and over the brain supplies all of the five sensory details needed.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Sunday, July 15, 2018, 13:33 (152 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Where does gibberish fit in?

dhw: If the ions bring material thoughts from your material brain to your immaterial soul (which is supposed to have initiated them in English anyway!), and the soul has to translate them into English before your soul can understand the material thoughts in order to make them immaterial, the thoughts carried by the ions must be gibberish, i.e. incomprehensible in their wet “material” form. If I were a dualist, I would believe that the soul thinks its immaterial thoughts in English and sends them to the brain in order to give them material expression.

DAVID: I/soul initiate thought into wet ions, where they become electrical charges. They come out from the wet ions as intelligible thought. This is the process you keep skipping in your separatist approach to soul/brain mechanisms. This is what we don't understand, but we know it haoppens.

And there was me believing that your dualist’s English-speaking soul came up with perfectly intelligible thoughts which it transported to the brain, which in turn sent the thoughts to the voice or fingers or hands or other parts of the body to turn the perfectly intelligible thoughts into sounds, movements etc. that would give them material expression/implementation.

I had no idea that your English-speaking thoughts were unintelligible to your English-speaking soul until your English-speaking soul had "initiated them into wet ions" (no chance then of the afterlife soul thinking intelligible thoughts), which then brought them back to your English-speaking soul to translate them back into the English in which they started (though since last week apparently the thoughts coming out of the wet ions are intelligible, in which case they don’t need to be translated after all). I do wish your soul would withhold this theory from your wet ions!

dhw: We have long since agreed that if there is such a thing as a soul, it is housed in the brain and is “interlocked” with it. But the soul and the brain perform different functions - that is the sense in which they are separate.

DAVID: They function together as described above and are not separate as they work.

Agreed. Two parts with different functions which work together are two parts with different functions that work together.

dhw: The dualist’s soul uses the brain to provide the information it thinks about (why have you left that out?). Example of information provided by brain: me hungry, me see living meat. The soul initiates the concept of a spear. It therefore uses the brain and body to construct a spear, but then the brain supplies more information (spear no kill living meat; something wrong with concept), and so the soul does some more thinking (i.e. develops the thought: need sharper stone, longer shaft, better aim) and sends more instructions to the brain to do more implementing, and so on until the thought or concept is complete and the material implementation is complete (spear kill animal). That is how the dualist’s soul “uses the dualist’s brain to develop thought”: two parts of the self – the thinking part (soul) and the information-gathering, expressing/implementing part (brain) working in harmony.

DAVID:In all of this hominin exposition you have not said the soul uses the brain's networks to produce and think the thoughts about the spear.

Yes I have, and I have told you HOW the soul uses the brain.

DAVID: You have the soul imparting thought to the brain.

Yes, and I also have the brain supplying the soul with the information it thinks about.

DAVID: That is your 'interlock' concept. As for the source of information, I've said over and over the brain supplies all of the five sensory details needed.

Yes. So what’s the problem? The soul gathers information from the brain and then sends instructions to the brain to express/implement its thoughts. What other use does the soul make of the brain (apart from your new and unintelligible wet ion translation theory)?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 15, 2018, 17:16 (152 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I/soul initiate thought into wet ions, where they become electrical charges. They come out from the wet ions as intelligible thought. This is the process you keep skipping in your separatist approach to soul/brain mechanisms. This is what we don't understand, but we know it haoppens.

dhw: I had no idea that your English-speaking thoughts were unintelligible to your English-speaking soul until your English-speaking soul had "initiated them into wet ions" (no chance then of the afterlife soul thinking intelligible thoughts), which then brought them back to your English-speaking soul to translate them back into the English in which they started (though since last week apparently the thoughts coming out of the wet ions are intelligible, in which case they don’t need to be translated after all).

Finally. Welcome to my thinking for the first time. We know full well we think with our brain. The hard issue has always been how are wet ions running round between neurons translatable into understandable immaterial thought. I have always proposed the soul has a mechanism for doing that. It develops the thought using the wet ions and then at the finish it brings the thought out into our minds which also are immaterial, but which we can reach through the soul. In death, rejoining the universal consciousness, it has the new mechanism of telepathy to handle thought translation.

dhw: The dualist’s soul uses the brain to provide the information it thinks about (why have you left that out?). Example of information provided by brain: me hungry, me see living meat. The soul initiates the concept of a spear. It therefore uses the brain and body to construct a spear, but then the brain supplies more information (spear no kill living meat; something wrong with concept), and so the soul does some more thinking (i.e. develops the thought: need sharper stone, longer shaft, better aim) and sends more instructions to the brain to do more implementing, and so on until the thought or concept is complete and the material implementation is complete (spear kill animal). That is how the dualist’s soul “uses the dualist’s brain to develop thought”: two parts of the self – the thinking part (soul) and the information-gathering, expressing/implementing part (brain) working in harmony.

DAVID:In all of this hominin exposition you have not said the soul uses the brain's networks to produce and think the thoughts about the spear.

Yes I have, and I have told you HOW the soul uses the brain.

DAVID: You have the soul imparting thought to the brain.

Yes, and I also have the brain supplying the soul with the information it thinks about.

DAVID: That is your 'interlock' concept. As for the source of information, I've said over and over the brain supplies all of the five sensory details needed.

dhw: Yes. So what’s the problem? The soul gathers information from the brain and then sends instructions to the brain to express/implement its thoughts. What other use does the soul make of the brain (apart from your new and unintelligible wet ion translation theory)?

My wet ions are reality. The soul uses those wet ion to create and produce thought. That is the material side of dualism

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Monday, July 16, 2018, 12:19 (151 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I/soul initiate thought into wet ions, where they become electrical charges. They come out from the wet ions as intelligible thought. This is the process you keep skipping in your separatist approach to soul/brain mechanisms. This is what we don't understand, but we know it happens.

dhw: I had no idea that your English-speaking thoughts were unintelligible to your English-speaking soul until your English-speaking soul had "initiated them into wet ions" (no chance then of the afterlife soul thinking intelligible thoughts), which then brought them back to your English-speaking soul to translate them back into the English in which they started (though since last week apparently the thoughts coming out of the wet ions are intelligible, in which case they don’t need to be translated after all).

DAVID: Finally. Welcome to my thinking for the first time. We know full well we think with our brain. The hard issue has always been how are wet ions running round between neurons translatable into understandable immaterial thought.

I’m flabbergasted and rather depressed that you regard the above as an accurate account of your thinking! And I’m astonished that someone who claims to be a dualist believes that thought is sent to the soul in electrical discharges by what used to be the passive recipient brain, and that what used to be the active thinking soul is now the passive receiver whose job is to translate the unintelligible thoughts electrically discharged from the now thinking brain into English. Why don’t you just have the brain thinking in English and forget about the soul? Ah, but then there’s your afterlife, as below…


DAVID: I have always proposed the soul has a mechanism for doing that. It develops the thought using the wet ions and then at the finish it brings the thought out into our minds which also are immaterial, but which we can reach through the soul. In death, rejoining the universal consciousness, it has the new mechanism of telepathy to handle thought translation.

Dualism = the self consists of soul and body/brain. We and the mind and the soul are one, and the wet ions are produced by the brain. So apparently you have always proposed that the soul develops thought out of the brain and then the soul brings the thought into the soul so that our soul can reach the thought through the soul. And in death the soul uses telepathy to translate into English the thoughts which the now non-existent wet ions carry from the now non-existent brain to the soul.

dhw: The soul gathers information from the brain and then sends instructions to the brain to express/implement its thoughts. What other use does the soul make of the brain (apart from your new and unintelligible wet ion translation theory)?

DAVID: My wet ions are reality. The soul uses those wet ion to create and produce thought. That is the material side of dualism.

Of course they are reality. And the thinking soul uses them as stated above. But your account of the process does not show the soul using them to create and produce thought. It shows the brain creating and producing thought and sending its wet ions to the soul, which translates the thought into English. And you have forgotten everything you wrote before about the soul being the initiator of thought, and the brain “does not initiate or contribute” because it is the passive “recipient of the working soul’s output”. Do you really think your English-speaking soul initiates its thoughts unintelligibly, and needs to have them transformed into unintelligible electrical signals which it then translates back into the English they started in? And ditto with each subsequent development? Once more, I beg of your soul to stop putting this theory into your wet ions, or I beg of your wet ions to stop carrying this theory to your soul.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Monday, July 16, 2018, 18:27 (151 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Finally. Welcome to my thinking for the first time. We know full well we think with our brain. The hard issue has always been how are wet ions running round between neurons translatable into understandable immaterial thought.

dhw: I’m flabbergasted and rather depressed that you regard the above as an accurate account of your thinking! And I’m astonished that someone who claims to be a dualist believes that thought is sent to the soul in electrical discharges by what used to be the passive recipient brain, and that what used to be the active thinking soul is now the passive receiver whose job is to translate the unintelligible thoughts electrically discharged from the now thinking brain into English. Why don’t you just have the brain thinking in English and forget about the soul? Ah, but then there’s your afterlife, as below…

I've never changed my view. Of course I/soul think with my brain, and I/soul use those wet ions in the creation of thought. My brain doesn't tell me what to think, I/soul tell the brain what to think. We have no explanation how wet ions produce intelligible thought, which is why I think the soul provides the mechanism. I think the soul is a companion quantum representation of me. If the brain thought in English and not in electricity there would be no problem. You don't like my rubbing your nose into the real issue.

DAVID: I have always proposed the soul has a mechanism for doing that. It develops the thought using the wet ions and then at the finish it brings the thought out into our minds which also are immaterial, but which we can reach through the soul. In death, rejoining the universal consciousness, it has the new mechanism of telepathy to handle thought translation.

dhw: Dualism = the self consists of soul and body/brain.

No the soul uses the brain. the souk is not the brain

dhw: We and the mind and the soul are one, and the wet ions are produced by the brain. So apparently you have always proposed that the soul develops thought out of the brain and then the soul brings the thought into the soul so that our soul can reach the thought through the soul.

You are making it sound more complex than I view it. Simply the soul uses the brain networks to create and broadcast in the mind the thought.

. dhw: And in death the soul uses telepathy to translate into English the thoughts which the now non-existent wet ions carry from the now non-existent brain to the soul.

Has to be if the brain is gone.


dhw: The soul gathers information from the brain and then sends instructions to the brain to express/implement its thoughts. What other use does the soul make of the brain (apart from your new and unintelligible wet ion translation theory)?

DAVID: My wet ions are reality. The soul uses those wet ion to create and produce thought. That is the material side of dualism.

dhw: Of course they are reality. And the thinking soul uses them as stated above. But your account of the process does not show the soul using them to create and produce thought.

You have misinterpreted my thought. Clearly the soul actively uses the passive wet ions in the production and broadcasting the thought.

dhw: Once more, I beg of your soul to stop putting this theory into your wet ions, or I beg of your wet ions to stop carrying this theory to your soul.

Sorry you are so disturbed, but this is my theory from the beginning of our discussions. Nothing has changed in my viewpoint. All I've added is the actual description of how the brain works, passively, in working with me/soul. The hard problem of consciousness is what my conversation with you represents. I/soul initiates a thought which ends up as wet ions, and must come back out to my mind as intelligible words. My soul as my quantum companion does all of that, in my proposal to solve the hard problem.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 12:13 (150 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: I had no idea that your English-speaking thoughts were unintelligible to your English-speaking soul until your English-speaking soul had "initiated them into wet ions" (no chance then of the afterlife soul thinking intelligible thoughts), which then brought them back to your English-speaking soul to translate them back into the English in which they started (though since last week apparently the thoughts coming out of the wet ions are intelligible, in which case they don’t need to be translated after all).

DAVID: Finally. Welcome to my thinking for the first time. We know full well we think with our brain. The hard issue has always been how are wet ions running round between neurons translatable into understandable immaterial thought.

dhw: I’m flabbergasted and rather depressed that you regard the above as an accurate account of your thinking! And I’m astonished that someone who claims to be a dualist believes that thought is sent to the soul in electrical discharges by what used to be the passive recipient brain, and that what used to be the active thinking soul is now the passive receiver whose job is to translate the unintelligible thoughts electrically discharged from the now thinking brain into English. Why don’t you just have the brain thinking in English and forget about the soul? Ah, but then there’s your afterlife, as below…

DAVID: I've never changed my view. Of course I/soul think with my brain, and I/soul use those wet ions in the creation of thought. My brain doesn't tell me what to think, I/soul tell the brain what to think. We have no explanation how wet ions produce intelligible thought, which is why I think the soul provides the mechanism. I think the soul is a companion quantum representation of me. If the brain thought in English and not in electricity there would be no problem. You don't like my rubbing your nose into the real issue.

I’m afraid your view changes from one week to the next, and becomes ever more confusing. Look at what you are saying! “Me” = my soul. My brain doesn’t tell my soul what to think. My soul tells my brain what to think. But: “If the brain thought in English and not in electricity...” Stop there! You keep agreeing that the soul initiates thought in English. (Friday July 12 you wrote: Of course I/soul think in English). And don’t all the soul’s subsequent thoughts come in English? But all of a sudden we have the brain thinking unintelligibly in electricity, and it is wet ions – not the soul – that “produce INTELLIGIBLE thought”, although a few days ago the thoughts of the ions were UNINTELLIGIBLE and had to be carried back to the soul to be translated into English: “I view the soul as containing a mechanism to translate the wet charged ions…into recognizable thought in the words of my language.”

The concept of dualism itself is perfectly straightforward:

dhw: Dualism = the self consists of soul and body/brain.
DAVID: No the soul uses the brain. the soul is not the brain.

Why “no”? Of course the soul is not the brain. Dualism = the self which comprises soul and brain/body, and yes, the thinking soul uses the brain to provide information and material expression. Moving into the afterlife, I summarized your new theory as follows:
dhw: And in death the soul uses telepathy to translate into English the thoughts which the now non-existent wet ions carry from the now non-existent brain to the soul.

DAVID: Has to be if the brain is gone.

But where do the thoughts come from if there is no brain? The soul does the thinking in English. There is no translating. And that can be used as evidence that in life the soul does the thinking in English. Telepathy is the method by which the soul communicates with other souls.

DAVID: I/soul initiates a thought which ends up as wet ions, and must come back out to my mind as intelligible words.

If, as you have agreed, your soul speaks English, then it initiates thought in English. It doesn’t need to change it into wet ions which return to the soul to be translated into the English in which it originated (first version). Your second version has the soul thinking unintelligible thoughts (so it doesn’t speak English), which apparently the wet ions translate into English so that the soul can understand what it was thinking – which means that now the soul does speak English!

Let’s start again. The dualistic process I propose to you is this: soul initiates thought in English using information provided by brain; sends message to brain to give material expression to thought; ongoing process whereby brain sends information to soul, and soul develops thought in English according to whatever information it is given to think about. In death, English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, but uses psychic means to gather information and uses telepathy instead of brain in order to communicate with others.

Materialism: the brain thinks. Mystery, as described in your post: we have no idea how electrical charges from within the brain create thought.

Now without going through the wet ions/translation theory again, please simply tell me which of the above points you disagree with.

--

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 18:06 (150 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The concept of dualism itself is perfectly straightforward:

dhw: Dualism = the self consists of soul and body/brain.
DAVID: No the soul uses the brain. the soul is not the brain.

dhw: Why “no”? Of course the soul is not the brain. Dualism = the self which comprises soul and brain/body, and yes, the thinking soul uses the brain to provide information and material expression. Moving into the afterlife, I summarized your new theory as follows:
dhw: And in death the soul uses telepathy to translate into English the thoughts which the now non-existent wet ions carry from the now non-existent brain to the soul.

DAVID: Has to be if the brain is gone.

dhw: But where do the thoughts come from if there is no brain? The soul does the thinking in English. There is no translating. And that can be used as evidence that in life the soul does the thinking in English. Telepathy is the method by which the soul communicates with other souls.

DAVID: I/soul initiates a thought which ends up as wet ions, and must come back out to my mind as intelligible words.

dhw: If, as you have agreed, your soul speaks English, then it initiates thought in English. It doesn’t need to change it into wet ions which return to the soul to be translated into the English in which it originated (first version).

I'll chop up your thoughts/interpretations to reply: my point is my soul must use the wet ions to think. you refuse to entertain the idea of the reality that exists.

dhw: Your second version has the soul thinking unintelligible thoughts (so it doesn’t speak English), which apparently the wet ions translate into English so that the soul can understand what it was thinking – which means that now the soul does speak English!

Foolish response. Of course my soul thinks in English thru the agency of the wet ions


dhw: Let’s start again. The dualistic process I propose to you is this: soul initiates thought in English using information provided by brain; sends message to brain to give material expression to thought; ongoing process whereby brain sends information to soul, and soul develops thought in English according to whatever information it is given to think about.

Once again in your view a separate soul uses a distinctly separate brain. I view my soul as my immaterial doppelganger which uses the wet ions to process its thoughts and translate them as they are completed.

dhw: In death, English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, but uses psychic means to gather information and uses telepathy instead of brain in order to communicate with others.

That is the only part you have gotten correct about my views.


Materialism: the brain thinks. Mystery, as described in your post: we have no idea how electrical charges from within the brain create thought.

dhw Now without going through the wet ions/translation theory again, please simply tell me which of the above points you disagree with.

Most of it.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 11:53 (149 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] Moving into the afterlife, I summarized your new theory as follows:
dhw: And in death the soul uses telepathy to translate into English the thoughts which the now non-existent wet ions carry from the now non-existent brain to the soul.

DAVID: Has to be if the brain is gone.

dhw: But where do the thoughts come from if there is no brain? The soul does the thinking in English. There is no translating. And that can be used as evidence that in life the soul does the thinking in English. Telepathy is the method by which the soul communicates with other souls.

DAVID: I/soul initiates a thought which ends up as wet ions, and must come back out to my mind as intelligible words.

dhw: If, as you have agreed, your soul speaks English, then it initiates thought in English. It doesn’t need to change it into wet ions which return to the soul to be translated into the English in which it originated (first version).

DAVID: I'll chop up your thoughts/interpretations to reply: my point is my soul must use the wet ions to think. you refuse to entertain the idea of the reality that exists.

You have not “chopped up” my interpretations. You have ignored all the inconsistencies that I have pointed out in your own account of the process. I do not reject the existence of wet ions. I reject the – for me unintelligible – argument that the soul, which thinks in English, has to transfer its thoughts to wet ions before the wet ions bring them back to the soul to have them translated into English (first version), and I reject the idea that the English-speaking soul’s thoughts turn into wet ions, and the wet ions translate them into English so that the English-speaking soul can understand them (second version).

dhw: Your second version has the soul thinking unintelligible thoughts (so it doesn’t speak English), which apparently the wet ions translate into English so that the soul can understand what it was thinking – which means that now the soul does speak English!

DAVID: Foolish response. Of course my soul thinks in English thru the agency of the wet ions.

What does “thru the agency” mean? Is your dualist’s soul, which initiates and develops thought, only able to think in English because of electrical charges? How does it manage to think in English in the afterlife without its electrical charges? Or do you mean it’s only able to think through wet ions? So how does it think in the afterlife without its wet ions?
Look at what you agree to below: “In death, English speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English.” It continues to do in death what it did in life.

dhw: Let’s start again. The dualistic process I propose to you is this: soul initiates thought in English using information provided by brain; sends message to brain to give material expression to thought; ongoing process whereby brain sends information to soul, and soul develops thought in English according to whatever information it is given to think about.

DAVID: Once again in your view a separate soul uses a distinctly separate brain. I view my soul as my immaterial doppelganger which uses the wet ions to process its thoughts and translate them as they are completed.

The dualist’s soul and brain are housed together and work together, each fulfilling its own functions. See below for the rest.

dhw: In death, English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, but uses psychic means to gather information and uses telepathy instead of brain in order to communicate with others.

DAVID: That is the only part you have gotten correct about my views.

If you accept that the English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, we can do away with the idea that in life it is incapable of thinking intelligible thoughts in English unless it puts them into wet ions which either translate them back into English (one version) or bring them back to the soul to get the soul to translate them back into English (the other version).

dhw: Materialism: the brain thinks. Mystery, as described in your post: we have no idea how electrical charges from within the brain create thought.

I’m sorry you didn’t comment on this, since you actually claim in one of your versions that “wet ions produce intelligible thought”.

dhw: Now without going through the wet ions/translation theory again, please simply tell me which of the above points you disagree with.

DAVID: Most of it.

So you reject the proposal that the dualist’s English-speaking soul uses information from the brain, initiates thoughts in English, and sends messages to the brain to give its thoughts material expression.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 19:25 (149 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I reject the – for me unintelligible – argument that the soul, which thinks in English, has to transfer its thoughts to wet ions before the wet ions bring them back to the soul to have them translated into English (first version), and I reject the idea that the English-speaking soul’s thoughts turn into wet ions, and the wet ions translate them into English so that the English-speaking soul can understand them (second version).

You keep forgetting there is a material and an immaterial side to this. I am describing what must happen on the material side: I/soul think with my brain. Somehow the wet ions (not really wet but surrounded by fat which keeps them dry) handle that thought and produce mental words I 'hear'. That must happen somehow, because if we study the brain all we see is EEG electric waves. I'm simply proposing that my immaterial doppelganger soul has a mechanism that does all that translating from thought to ions to thought. In death, which is certainly a change, the soul changes its mechanism to telepathy for handling thought. You keep seeing the soul as something totally separate in working with the brain.


dhw: Your second version has the soul thinking unintelligible thoughts (so it doesn’t speak English), which apparently the wet ions translate into English so that the soul can understand what it was thinking – which means that now the soul does speak English!

DAVID: Foolish response. Of course my soul thinks in English thru the agency of the wet ions.

dhw: What does “thru the agency” mean?

You are acting like the definition complaint Tony has. Agency means mechanism. The soul translates from the electrical waves.

dhw: Let’s start again. The dualistic process I propose to you is this: soul initiates thought in English using information provided by brain; sends message to brain to give material expression to thought; ongoing process whereby brain sends information to soul, and soul develops thought in English according to whatever information it is given to think about.

DAVID: Once again in your view a separate soul uses a distinctly separate brain. I view my soul as my immaterial doppelganger which uses the wet ions to process its thoughts and translate them as they are completed.

dhw: The dualist’s soul and brain are housed together and work together, each fulfilling its own functions. See below for the rest.

dhw: In death, English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, but uses psychic means to gather information and uses telepathy instead of brain in order to communicate with others.

DAVID: That is the only part you have gotten correct about my views.

dhw: If you accept that the English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, we can do away with the idea that in life it is incapable of thinking intelligible thoughts in English unless it puts them into wet ions which either translate them back into English (one version) or bring them back to the soul to get the soul to translate them back into English (the other version).

I/soul has to think with my material brain. The thoughts go into ions and come back as thoughts. We KNOW this. You know it. The soul simply arranges the translations. That is a simple theory to understand.


dhw: Materialism: the brain thinks. Mystery, as described in your post: we have no idea how electrical charges from within the brain create thought.

I’m sorry you didn’t comment on this, since you actually claim in one of your versions that “wet ions produce intelligible thought”.

By the working soul's translation.


dhw: Now without going through the wet ions/translation theory again, please simply tell me which of the above points you disagree with.

DAVID: Most of it.

dhw: So you reject the proposal that the dualist’s English-speaking soul uses information from the brain, initiates thoughts in English, and sends messages to the brain to give its thoughts material expression.

You won't accept my translation theory.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Thursday, July 19, 2018, 12:33 (148 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You keep forgetting there is a material and an immaterial side to this. I am describing what must happen on the material side: I/soul think with my brain. Somehow the wet ions (not really wet but surrounded by fat which keeps them dry) handle that thought and produce mental words I 'hear'.

You keep agreeing that your soul thinks in English, but now it is incapable of thinking in English and it is the electrical charges from your brain that “somehow” translate (“produce mental words”) the thought into English.

DAVID: That must happen somehow, because if we study the brain all we see is EEG electric waves. I'm simply proposing that my immaterial doppelganger soul has a mechanism that does all that translating from thought to ions to thought.

Simply? The electric waves take place in the brain. If an immaterial soul exists, then it does the thinking in English and the electric waves are the brain’s response to the thought. If it doesn’t exist, then the electric waves are the product of the brain’s English-speaking thinking activity. I’d call that “simple”, and there is no need for any “somehow” translation process.

DAVID: In death, which is certainly a change, the soul changes its mechanism to telepathy for handling thought.

Telepathy doesn’t “handle” thought. It sends thought from one person to another. On Tuesday you agreed with this:
dhw: In death, English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, but uses psychic means to gather information and uses telepathy instead of brain in order to communicate with others.
It’s all change on a Wednesday.

DAVID: Of course my soul thinks in English thru the agency of the wet ions.
dhw: What does “thru the agency” mean?
DAVID: […]Agency means mechanism. The soul translates from the electrical waves.

So here we have the English-speaking soul thinking its thought in English, and the electrical waves from the brain carry the thought to the soul so that the soul can translate it into English. Does this make any sense?

dhw: If you accept that the English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, we can do away with the idea that in life it is incapable of thinking intelligible thoughts in English unless it puts them into wet ions which either translate them back into English (one version) or bring them back to the soul to get the soul to translate them back into English (the other version).

DAVID: I/soul has to think with my material brain. The thoughts go into ions and come back as thoughts. We KNOW this. You know it. The soul simply arranges the translations. That is a simple theory to understand.

I don’t know any such thing. I only know that there is a link between thought and electric waves. You believe you have a soul which in death is able to think without a brain. NDEs are regarded as evidence for this. Hence the belief that in life the soul does the thinking and uses the brain for information and material expression. THAT is a simple theory to understand. Now in your new theory you have the soul incapable of thinking without the brain, and so we have the various convolutions in which the soul thinks its thought in English, the thought becomes ions, and the ions become thought, which the soul translates into the English in which it started. Why don’t you go back to the simple process we began with: the dualist’s English-speaking soul (which lives inside the brain) thinks its English thought, and activates the brain (electrical waves) so that the brain can give the thought material expression? But if you believe that “wet ions produce intelligible thought” (your exact words), then you are a materialist. But see the next exchange for further confusion:

dhw: Materialism: the brain thinks. Mystery, as described in your post: we have no idea how electrical charges from within the brain create thought.

dhw: I’m sorry you didn’t comment on this, since you actually claim in one of your versions that “wet ions produce intelligible thought”.

DAVID: By the working soul’s translation.

So in this version it’s goodbye to the English-speaking soul as the initiator of thought, and it’s hello to the wet ions as thought producers, but if their thought only becomes intelligible through the soul’s translation of it, then the wet ions have produced UNintelligible thought. Do we really need any of this?

dhw: Now without going through the wet ions/translation theory again, please simply tell me which of the above points you disagree with.
DAVID: Most of it.
dhw: So you reject the proposal that the dualist’s English-speaking soul uses information from the brain, initiates thoughts in English, and sends messages to the brain to give its thoughts material expression.
DAVID: You won't accept my translation theory.

Neither version of your translation theory makes any sense at all to me. Meanwhile, do you reject the above proposal?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 19, 2018, 18:47 (148 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You keep agreeing that your soul thinks in English, but now it is incapable of thinking in English and it is the electrical charges from your brain that “somehow” translate (“produce mental words”) the thought into English.

Soul/I thoughts become electrical in the brain and then come out as thoughts again. Please read carefully: I am proposing a soul mechanism which does all of that working with the brain.


DAVID: That must happen somehow, because if we study the brain all we see is EEG electric waves. I'm simply proposing that my immaterial doppelganger soul has a mechanism that does all that translating from thought to ions to thought.

dhw: Simply? The electric waves take place in the brain. If an immaterial soul exists, then it does the thinking in English and the electric waves are the brain’s response to the thought. If it doesn’t exist, then the electric waves are the product of the brain’s English-speaking thinking activity. I’d call that “simple”, and there is no need for any “somehow” translation process.

Why won't you accept the complexity of the hard problem of consciousness? I'm offering an explanation. We know the brain is operative in electric ions in the process.


DAVID: In death, which is certainly a change, the soul changes its mechanism to telepathy for handling thought.

dhw: Telepathy doesn’t “handle” thought. It sends thought from one person to another. On Tuesday you agreed with this:
dhw: In death, English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, but uses psychic means to gather information and uses telepathy instead of brain in order to communicate with others.
It’s all change on a Wednesday.

Telepathy has to come from a thought that is originated. You've ignored that process in your comment.

DAVID: I/soul has to think with my material brain. The thoughts go into ions and come back as thoughts. We KNOW this. You know it. The soul simply arranges the translations. That is a simple theory to understand.

dhw: I don’t know any such thing. I only know that there is a link between thought and electric waves. You believe you have a soul which in death is able to think without a brain. NDEs are regarded as evidence for this. Hence the belief that in life the soul does the thinking and uses the brain for information and material expression. THAT is a simple theory to understand.

You are simply repeating your desired understanding of thought processes. I don't view it that way.

dhw: Now in your new theory you have the soul incapable of thinking without the brain, and so we have the various convolutions in which the soul thinks its thought in English, the thought becomes ions, and the ions become thought, which the soul translates into the English in which it started.

Because as you think that is exactly what happens. it is not a new theory to me because it is exactly know I view the process to work. All I've added is an answer to the hard problem of consciousness in how immaterial thought becomes electricity and then again becomes thought.

dhW: Why don’t you go back to the simple process we began with: the dualist’s English-speaking soul (which lives inside the brain) thinks its English thought, and activates the brain (electrical waves) so that the brain can give the thought material expression? But if you believe that “wet ions produce intelligible thought” (your exact words), then you are a materialist.

Because the process is not simple and I had to point it out to you.

dhw: Now without going through the wet ions/translation theory again, please simply tell me which of the above points you disagree with.

DAVID: Most of it.
dhw: So you reject the proposal that the dualist’s English-speaking soul uses information from the brain, initiates thoughts in English, and sends messages to the brain to give its thoughts material expression.
DAVID: You won't accept my translation theory.

dhw: Neither version of your translation theory makes any sense at all to me. Meanwhile, do you reject the above proposal?

All correct except you persist in not noting the whole process has to enter neurons, be represented as electricity and come out at the other end to be recognizable thought. I'm simply noting that the soul provides the translation mechanism into and from ions to recognizable English. You and I think with our brains. Our souls are the immaterial partner in the process.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Friday, July 20, 2018, 10:53 (147 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You keep agreeing that your soul thinks in English, but now it is incapable of thinking in English and it is the electrical charges from your brain that “somehow” translate (“produce mental words”) the thought into English.

DAVID: Soul/I thoughts become electrical in the brain and then come out as thoughts again.

They only “come out” if they are given material expression! Otherwise they remain within the dualist’s soul. And when the dualist dies, they “come out” through telepathy.

DAVID: That must happen somehow, because if we study the brain all we see is EEG electric waves. I'm simply proposing that my immaterial doppelganger soul has a mechanism that does all that translating from thought to ions to thought.

dhw: Simply? The electric waves take place in the brain. If an immaterial soul exists, then it does the thinking in English and the electric waves are the brain’s response to the thought. If it doesn’t exist, then the electric waves are the product of the brain’s English-speaking thinking activity. I’d call that “simple”, and there is no need for any “somehow” translation process.

DAVID: Why won't you accept the complexity of the hard problem of consciousness? I'm offering an explanation. We know the brain is operative in electric ions in the process.

Nobody has solved the hard problem of consciousness, and of course I accept its complexity! Why do you think I made the effort to work out the theory that forms the subject of this thread? The fact that the brain is operative in electric ions is not an explanation! Materialists believe that the brain and its ions are the SOURCE of consciousness. According to you, though, our consciousness in life is a piece of your God’s consciousness, and in death it remains a piece of your God’s consciousness. Or had you forgotten that? It doesn’t need ions, except for information gathering and material expression.

DAVID: In death, which is certainly a change, the soul changes its mechanism to telepathy for handling thought.

dhw: Telepathy doesn’t “handle” thought. It sends thought from one person to another. On Tuesday you agreed with this:
dhw: In death, English-speaking soul continues to think intelligible thoughts in English, but uses psychic means to gather information and uses telepathy instead of brain in order to communicate with others.
It’s all change on a Wednesday.

DAVID: Telepathy has to come from a thought that is originated. You've ignored that process in your comment.

If there is such a thing as a soul, the soul originates the thought, both in life and in death. In life the soul uses the brain in order to express its thought to others, and in death it uses telepathy. It does not use telepathy to originate its thought.

dhw: Now in your new theory you have the soul incapable of thinking without the brain, and so we have the various convolutions in which the soul thinks its thought in English, the thought becomes ions, and the ions become thought, which the soul translates into the English in which it started.

DAVID: Because as you think that is exactly what happens. it is not a new theory to me because it is exactly know I view the process to work. All I've added is an answer to the hard problem of consciousness in how immaterial thought becomes electricity and then again becomes thought.

It is not an answer to the hard problem of consciousness (see above), and there is no need for thought to become electricity and then become thought again. Thought can use electricity so that it can be communicated to others. In death, it doesn’t use electricity, but telepathy. However, if electrical activity in the brain is the source of thought, we are back to materialism, and in my own theory I have attempted to reconcile the two hypotheses.

dhw: So you reject the proposal that the dualist’s English-speaking soul uses information from the brain, initiates thoughts in English, and sends messages to the brain to give its thoughts material expression.

DAVID: You won't accept my translation theory.

dhw: Neither version of your translation theory makes any sense at all to me. Meanwhile, do you reject the above proposal?

DAVID: All correct except you persist in not noting the whole process has to enter neurons, be represented as electricity and come out at the other end to be recognizable thought. I'm simply noting that the soul provides the translation mechanism into and from ions to recognizable English.

Which means the soul thinks in English, translates its thoughts into electricity, and then translates the electricity back into English. So why does it bother to translate its thoughts into electricity?

DAVID: You and I think with our brains.

Welcome to materialism.

DAVID: Our souls are the immaterial partner in the process.

According to your latest theory, all they do is translate the brain’s thoughts ("wet ions produce intelligible thought") into English. In the good old days, a week or two ago, the English-speaking soul was the initiator of thought and the brain did not contribute.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 21, 2018, 02:06 (146 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Now in your new theory you have the soul incapable of thinking without the brain, and so we have the various convolutions in which the soul thinks its thought in English, the thought becomes ions, and the ions become thought, which the soul translates into the English in which it started.

DAVID: Because as you think that is exactly what happens. it is not a new theory to me because it is exactly know I view the process to work. All I've added is an answer to the hard problem of consciousness in how immaterial thought becomes electricity and then again becomes thought.

dhw: It is not an answer to the hard problem of consciousness (see above), and there is no need for thought to become electricity and then become thought again. Thought can use electricity so that it can be communicated to others. In death, it doesn’t use electricity, but telepathy. However, if electrical activity in the brain is the source of thought, we are back to materialism, and in my own theory I have attempted to reconcile the two hypotheses.

dhw: So you reject the proposal that the dualist’s English-speaking soul uses information from the brain, initiates thoughts in English, and sends messages to the brain to give its thoughts material expression.

DAVID: You won't accept my translation theory.

dhw: Neither version of your translation theory makes any sense at all to me. Meanwhile, do you reject the above proposal?

DAVID: All correct except you persist in not noting the whole process has to enter neurons, be represented as electricity and come out at the other end to be recognizable thought. I'm simply noting that the soul provides the translation mechanism into and from ions to recognizable English.

Which means the soul thinks in English, translates its thoughts into electricity, and then translates the electricity back into English. So why does it bother to translate its thoughts into electricity?

DAVID: You and I think with our brains.

Welcome to materialism.

DAVID: Our souls are the immaterial partner in the process.

dhw: According to your latest theory, all they do is translate the brain’s thoughts ("wet ions produce intelligible thought") into English. In the good old days, a week or two ago, the English-speaking soul was the initiator of thought and the brain did not contribute.

That is your interpretation of my thoughts, totally twisted as usual. In your view the soul seems to be a separate mechanism from you or me. This has always been my theory: My soul is an exact immaterial image of me. It works just like I do. I think with my brain in material life, and the soul think right along with me ( because it is me!) using the brain, except in my view the soul solves the problem of translating thought into electrical pulses over networks of neurons from thought into electricity and back to thought, and it does this because it is part of universal consciousness. My soul contains my immaterial memories, my knowledge, my ego defense mechanisms in exactly the way that in my material life those attributes of consciousness exist as immaterial yet in words material descriptions of who I am. In death the soul is more connected to the universal consciousness, and can now observe and think and telepathically transmit thought. This theory recognizes the duality of the problem. And it is not a change in belief; it is a deeper recognition of the consciousness problem in attempting to debate the issue where you keep separating me/soul from my brain.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Saturday, July 21, 2018, 11:38 (146 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] you have the soul incapable of thinking without the brain, and so we have the various convolutions in which the soul thinks its thought in English, the thought becomes ions, and the ions become thought, which the soul translates into the English in which it started.

DAVID: All I've added is an answer to the hard problem of consciousness in how immaterial thought becomes electricity and then again becomes thought.

dhw: It is not an answer to the hard problem of consciousness (see above), and there is no need for thought to become electricity and then become thought again. Thought can use electricity so that it can be communicated to others. In death, it doesn’t use electricity, but telepathy. However, if electrical activity in the brain is the source of thought, we are back to materialism […]

dhw: So you reject the proposal that the dualist’s English-speaking soul uses information from the brain, initiates thoughts in English, and sends messages to the brain to give its thoughts material expression.

DAVID: All correct except you persist in not noting the whole process has to enter neurons, be represented as electricity and come out at the other end to be recognizable thought. I'm simply noting that the soul provides the translation mechanism into and from ions to recognizable English.

dhw: Which means the soul thinks in English, translates its thoughts into electricity, and then translates the electricity back into English. So why does it bother to translate its thoughts into electricity?

DAVID: You and I think with our brains.

dhw: Welcome to materialism.

DAVID: Our souls are the immaterial partner in the process.

dhw: According to your latest theory, all they do is translate the brain’s thoughts ("wet ions produce intelligible thought") into English. In the good old days, a week or two ago, the English-speaking soul was the initiator of thought and the brain did not contribute.

DAVID: That is your interpretation of my thoughts, totally twisted as usual.

I have left the original exchanges, in which I repeat your ideas and challenge their logic. I don’t know where you find the “twists”, but the process is repeated below.

DAVID: In your view the soul seems to be a separate mechanism from you or me.

I keep repeating that in dualism the self consists of two parts: mind/soul and body/brain. In life they are inseparable, but they have different functions.

DAVID: This has always been my theory: My soul is an exact immaterial image of me.

Your soul IS you!

DAVID: It works just like I do. I think with my brain in material life, and the soul think right along with me ( because it is me!) using the brain…

So why do you keep distinguishing between your soul and you? You keep agreeing that the soul part of “you” initiates thought. You keep saying it uses the brain, and I keep repeating that it uses the brain to acquire information and give thought material expression. You have never found any other functions it performs, except for this new “translation” idea, as below.

DAVID: ….except in my view the soul solves the problem of translating thought into electrical pulses over networks of neurons from thought into electricity and back to thought, and it does this because it is part of universal consciousness.

What problem? If the English-speaking soul is the initiator of thought, and thinks its thought in English, why must it translate it into neurons, and then translate the neurons back into the English of the thought it initiated “because it is part of universal consciousness”? Why can’t the part of universal consciousness simply think in English (as it does in death), and use the neurons for material expression (which it can't do in death)?

DAVID: My soul contains my immaterial memories, my knowledge, my ego defense mechanisms in exactly the way that in my material life those attributes of consciousness exist as immaterial yet in words material descriptions of who I am.

Yes, your soul contains all those attributes of consciousness, and you agree that it thinks in English. The material expression is what it uses the brain for.

DAVID: In death the soul is more connected to the universal consciousness, and can now observe and think and telepathically transmit thought.

In dualistic life it is the body and brain that observe and pass the information to the soul, which initiates and develops thought and which uses the brain to express thought materially. In death there is no dualism, and the soul uses psychic means to observe and communicate. You have agreed to all of this in the past.

DAVID: This theory recognizes the duality of the problem. And it is not a change in belief; it is a deeper recognition of the consciousness problem in attempting to debate the issue where you keep separating me/soul from my brain.

They are not separated. If the soul exists, it resides within the brain, and the two work together exercising their different functions. Nobody has ever solved the “consciousness problem”. Hence the continued debate between materialism and dualism, and my attempt to reconcile the two approaches. I can find no logic in your repeated acknowledgement that the soul initiates thoughts in English and yet has to translate them into wet ions so that it can translate them back again into English.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 21, 2018, 20:31 (146 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: In your view the soul seems to be a separate mechanism from you or me.

dhw: I keep repeating that in dualism the self consists of two parts: mind/soul and body/brain. In life they are inseparable, but they have different functions.

DAVID: This has always been my theory: My soul is an exact immaterial image of me.

dhw:Your soul IS you!

Of course it is. And it works with the brain just as material me does.


DAVID: It works just like I do. I think with my brain in material life, and the soul think right along with me ( because it is me!) using the brain…

dhw: So why do you keep distinguishing between your soul and you? You keep agreeing that the soul part of “you” initiates thought. You keep saying it uses the brain, and I keep repeating that it uses the brain to acquire information and give thought material expression. You have never found any other functions it performs, except for this new “translation” idea, as below.

You seem surprised as what happens in the brain when thought occurs! It is represented by electric waves running around the networks!


DAVID: ….except in my view the soul solves the problem of translating thought into electrical pulses over networks of neurons from thought into electricity and back to thought, and it does this because it is part of universal consciousness.

dhw: What problem? If the English-speaking soul is the initiator of thought, and thinks its thought in English, why must it translate it into neurons, and then translate the neurons back into the English of the thought it initiated “because it is part of universal consciousness”?

Because we all know that on the material side all thought is represented by ions.

DAVID: My soul contains my immaterial memories, my knowledge, my ego defense mechanisms in exactly the way that in my material life those attributes of consciousness exist as immaterial yet in words material descriptions of who I am.

dhw: Yes, your soul contains all those attributes of consciousness, and you agree that it thinks in English. The material expression is what it uses the brain for.

And I say as me, the soul uses the brain just as I do, for creation of thought.


DAVID: In death the soul is more connected to the universal consciousness, and can now observe and think and telepathically transmit thought.

dhw: In dualistic life it is the body and brain that observe and pass the information to the soul, which initiates and develops thought and which uses the brain to express thought materially. In death there is no dualism, and the soul uses psychic means to observe and communicate. You have agreed to all of this in the past.

Forget the past. What I present has always been my view. I've brought out the ions because of what I think of your garbled view of the role of the soul. The soul is me and we both use the brain to think as one.


DAVID: This theory recognizes the duality of the problem. And it is not a change in belief; it is a deeper recognition of the consciousness problem in attempting to debate the issue where you keep separating me/soul from my brain.

dhw: They are not separated. If the soul exists, it resides within the brain, and the two work together exercising their different functions. Nobody has ever solved the “consciousness problem”. Hence the continued debate between materialism and dualism, and my attempt to reconcile the two approaches. I can find no logic in your repeated acknowledgement that the soul initiates thoughts in English and yet has to translate them into wet ions so that it can translate them back again into English.

I might ask: is your soul an exact representation of your mind, personality structure and consciousness? I view my soul as just that, an immaterial me which I contain in life. and since I contain it, it works just like me with the brain because it is me, and the brain is where thoughts originate when I put them there. In other words my soul is me, just as you have pointed out.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Sunday, July 22, 2018, 09:06 (145 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I think with my brain in material life, and the soul think right along with me ( because it is me!) using the brain…

dhw: So why do you keep distinguishing between your soul and you? You keep agreeing that the soul part of “you” initiates thought. You keep saying it uses the brain, and I keep repeating that it uses the brain to acquire information and give thought material expression. You have never found any other functions it performs, except for this new “translation” idea, as below.

DAVID: You seem surprised as what happens in the brain when thought occurs! It is represented by electric waves running around the networks!

Delighted to see you slide away from the “translation” theme. Now we have a new term. What do you mean by thought is “represented”? We know that thought is accompanied by electrical waves in the brain. If you believe in an immaterial soul that thinks in English, you are a dualist. The electrical waves in the brain must therefore be a material RESPONSE to the thought. If you believe the thoughts are ENGENDERED by electrical waves in the brain, you are a materialist.

DAVID: ….except in my view the soul solves the problem of translating thought into electrical pulses over networks of neurons from thought into electricity and back to thought, and it does this because it is part of universal consciousness.

dhw: What problem? If the English-speaking soul is the initiator of thought, and thinks its thought in English, why must it translate it into neurons, and then translate the neurons back into the English of the thought it initiated “because it is part of universal consciousness”?

DAVID: Because we all know that on the material side all thought is represented by ions.

Again your new term “represented”. What does it mean? We know that there are electrical waves in the brain when we think. Your belief in an afterlife has your soul thinking without electrical waves. The clear inference for a dualist is that electrical waves are a material response to thought.

DAVID: My soul contains my immaterial memories, my knowledge, my ego defense mechanisms in exactly the way that in my material life those attributes of consciousness exist as immaterial yet in words material descriptions of who I am.

dhw: Yes, your soul contains all those attributes of consciousness, and you agree that it thinks in English. The material expression is what it uses the brain for.

DAVID: And I say as me, the soul uses the brain just as I do, for creation of thought.

But you cannot come up with any “use” other than the provision of information and of material expression, other than translating English thought into ions which have to be translated into English.

dhw: In dualistic life it is the body and brain that observe and pass the information to the soul, which initiates and develops thought and which uses the brain to express thought materially. In death there is no dualism, and the soul uses psychic means to observe and communicate. You have agreed to all of this in the past.

DAVID: Forget the past. What I present has always been my view.

If I am to forget what you have agreed to in the past, I might as well forget what you are telling me now, since that will also become past.

DAVID: I've brought out the ions because of what I think of your garbled view of the role of the soul. The soul is me and we both use the brain to think as one.

The ions don’t make the slightest difference, since they are part of the brain’s activity. And yes, in dualism you/your soul and you/your brain are one in life, but they have different functions, as supported by NDEs in which the patient is able to remain his/her thinking, remembering, feeling, decision-making self without a brain.

dhw: I can find no logic in your repeated acknowledgement that the soul initiates thoughts in English and yet has to translate them into wet ions so that it can translate them back again into English.

DAVID: I might ask: is your soul an exact representation of your mind, personality structure and consciousness?

“Representation” again. No, in dualism it is not a representation. It IS your mind etc. And I still can’t find any logic in the above “translation” theory.

DAVID: I view my soul as just that, an immaterial me which I contain in life. and since I contain it, it works just like me with the brain because it is me, and the brain is where thoughts originate when I put them there. In other words my soul is me, just as you have pointed out.

Yes, it is you, so why do you keep trying to make it a representation of you, or making it just like you? Yes, it works with the brain, and since you believe it is housed in the brain, of course the brain is the location in which thoughts originate. But it is the soul that originates them. DUALISM = two things (soul and brain/body) and NDEs are used as evidence that when the location disappears, only one thing is left: the thinking, feeling etc. soul. Therefore it must be the soul does the thinking and feeling etc.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 22, 2018, 15:22 (145 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You seem surprised as what happens in the brain when thought occurs! It is represented by electric waves running around the networks!

dhw: Delighted to see you slide away from the “translation” theme. Now we have a new term. What do you mean by thought is “represented”? We know that thought is accompanied by electrical waves in the brain.

Accompanied? In material life thought is created by electric activity in the brain.

dhw: If you believe in an immaterial soul that thinks in English, you are a dualist. The electrical waves in the brain must therefore be a material RESPONSE to the thought. If you believe the thoughts are ENGENDERED by electrical waves in the brain, you are a materialist.

I'm simple accepting there is a material side.


DAVID: Because we all know that on the material side all thought is represented by ions.

dhw: Again your new term “represented”. What does it mean? We know that there are electrical waves in the brain when we think.

They are creating thought.

dhw: Your belief in an afterlife has your soul thinking without electrical waves. The clear inference for a dualist is that electrical waves are a material response to thought.

Your separatist view that the soul dictates to the brain. i know as I/soul use the brain to create thought. I view my soul as translating into ions and back out from the ions the thought I/soul created using the ions.

DAVID: And I say as me, the soul uses the brain just as I do, for creation of thought.

dhw: But you cannot come up with any “use” other than the provision of information and of material expression, other than translating English thought into ions which have to be translated into English.

Isn't that 'use' enough, to think/have consciousness because of the complexity of the ions in the brain's networks? That is material initiation and expression. And we can't explain it.

DAVID: I've brought out the ions because of what I think of your garbled view of the role of the soul. The soul is me and we both use the brain to think as one.

dhw: The ions don’t make the slightest difference, since they are part of the brain’s activity. And yes, in dualism you/your soul and you/your brain are one in life, but they have different functions, as supported by NDEs in which the patient is able to remain his/her thinking, remembering, feeling, decision-making self without a brain.

You seem to be accepting my view that the soul functions differently in life and in death.


dhw: I can find no logic in your repeated acknowledgement that the soul initiates thoughts in English and yet has to translate them into wet ions so that it can translate them back again into English.

DAVID: I might ask: is your soul an exact representation of your mind, personality structure and consciousness?

dhw: “Representation” again. No, in dualism it is not a representation. It IS your mind etc. And I still can’t find any logic in the above “translation” theory.

Simple: you and I think using the brain's ions. We can't have thoughts without the ions. But what you hear in your mind is English words. Somehow the thought created electricity is translated back into English. I say the soul provides that immaterial mechanism.


DAVID: I view my soul as just that, an immaterial me which I contain in life. and since I contain it, it works just like me with the brain because it is me, and the brain is where thoughts originate when I put them there. In other words my soul is me, just as you have pointed out.

dhw: Yes, it is you, so why do you keep trying to make it a representation of you, or making it just like you? Yes, it works with the brain, and since you believe it is housed in the brain, of course the brain is the location in which thoughts originate. But it is the soul that originates them. DUALISM = two things (soul and brain/body) and NDEs are used as evidence that when the location disappears, only one thing is left: the thinking, feeling etc. soul. Therefore it must be the soul does the thinking and feeling etc.

Once again you are separating yourself from your soul. My soul is me. Dualism = two things (soul/me and brain/body). My soul is the God-given mechanism that creates consciousness from electrical activity and is my immaterial image that enters the afterlife.

According to Eben Alexander in afterlife the souls have human recognizable forms and can be identified.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Monday, July 23, 2018, 09:49 (144 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: We know that thought is accompanied by electrical waves in the brain.

DAVID: Accompanied? In material life thought is created by electric activity in the brain.

A week or so ago it was the soul that initiated thought. I am of course pleased to hear that you have now been converted to the materialism that forms the first part of my “theory”.

DAVID: […] we all know that on the material side all thought is represented by ions.

dhw: Again your new term “represented”. What does it mean? We know that there are electrical waves in the brain when we think.

DAVID: They are creating thought.

I’ve kept this in, just to confirm your conversion to materialism. The soul no longer creates thought. It is created by the brain.

dhw: Your belief in an afterlife has your soul thinking without electrical waves. The clear inference for a dualist is that electrical waves are a material response to thought.

DAVID: Your separatist view that the soul dictates to the brain. i know as I/soul use the brain to create thought. I view my soul as translating into ions and back out from the ions the thought I/soul created using the ions.

Above, it was the electrical waves of the brain that created thought. But now we have the English-speaking soul translating thought into electrical waves, and then translating them back again into English. Bewildering.

DAVID We can't have thoughts without the ions. But what you hear in your mind is English words. Somehow the thought created electricity is translated back into English. I say the soul provides that immaterial mechanism.

First we had the soul creating thought,and now the electrical waves from the brain create it, but apparently the brain doesn’t think in English. So why do you say the thought is translated BACK into English (in which case it must have been in English originally). This is getting silly. Either our soul (dualism) or our brain (materialism) creates the thought, and whichever it is will create the thought in English, because that is what you and I think in.

DAVID: And I say as me, the soul uses the brain just as I do, for creation of thought.

dhw: But you cannot come up with any “use” other than the provision of information and of material expression, other than translating English thought into ions which have to be translated into English.

DAVID: Isn't that 'use' enough, to think/have consciousness because of the complexity of the ions in the brain's networks? That is material initiation and expression. And we can't explain it.

Wonderful. You really are embracing the theory I offered you in the first place: that the brain is the source of thought and is also the means of material expression. Pure materialism. I then go on to suggest that the form of energy created by the brain may live on (hence psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu), just as we can view the immaterial image of real events that happened long ago, but whether it can live on as an independent source of thought is a matter of faith.

dhw: […] in dualism you/your soul and you/your brain are one in life, but they have different functions, as supported by NDEs in which the patient is able to remain his/her thinking, remembering, feeling, decision-making self without a brain.

DAVID: You seem to be accepting my view that the soul functions differently in life and in death.

The dualist’s soul and brain have different functions in life, the soul being the source and container of thoughts, feelings etc., just as it is in death. However, in death it clearly cannot gather information or express itself by using the material brain, and so it uses psychic means.

DAVID: I view my soul as just that, an immaterial me which I contain in life. and since I contain it, it works just like me with the brain because it is me, and the brain is where thoughts originate when I put them there. In other words my soul is me, just as you have pointed out.

dhw: Yes, it is you, so why do you keep trying to make it a representation of you, or making it just like you? Yes, it works with the brain, and since you believe it is housed in the brain, of course the brain is the location in which thoughts originate. But it is the soul that originates them. DUALISM = two things (soul and brain/body) and NDEs are used as evidence that when the location disappears, only one thing is left: the thinking, feeling etc. soul. Therefore it must be the soul does the thinking and feeling etc.

DAVID: Once again you are separating yourself from your soul. My soul is me. Dualism = two things (soul/me and brain/body). My soul is the God-given mechanism that creates consciousness from electrical activity and is my immaterial image that enters the afterlife.

Firstly, it is you who keep separating yourself from your soul, and secondly you have repeated the theistic version of my theory: that your God created a mechanism whereby the brain produces consciousness (materialism). See above for the continuation. Thank you for supporting my theory.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Monday, July 23, 2018, 17:59 (144 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Again your new term “represented”. What does it mean? We know that there are electrical waves in the brain when we think.

DAVID: They are creating thought.

dhw: I’ve kept this in, just to confirm your conversion to materialism. The soul no longer creates thought. It is created by the brain.

You are unrealistic. In life I know I think with my brain. That is the material side of dualism. But I am my soul and if I think with my brain my soul (an immaterial twin image of me) does also. This issue is why I am so interested in quantum mechanisms, in which experiments show that quantum results depends upon conscious choices by the experimenters themselves. In my view the quantum layer of reality is the basis of the universe and universal consciousness of which I have a tiny part.

dhw: But you cannot come up with any “use” other than the provision of information and of material expression, other than translating English thought into ions which have to be translated into English.

DAVID: Isn't that 'use' enough, to think/have consciousness because of the complexity of the ions in the brain's networks? That is material initiation and expression. And we can't explain it.

dhw: Wonderful. You really are embracing the theory I offered you in the first place: that the brain is the source of thought and is also the means of material expression. Pure materialism. I then go on to suggest that the form of energy created by the brain may live on (hence psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu), just as we can view the immaterial image of real events that happened long ago, but whether it can live on as an independent source of thought is a matter of faith.

I don't think the brain produces the soul, which is a strict interpretation of your theory. The soul is a gift from God at birth, and is my immaterial twin image.


dhw: […] in dualism you/your soul and you/your brain are one in life, but they have different functions, as supported by NDEs in which the patient is able to remain his/her thinking, remembering, feeling, decision-making self without a brain.

DAVID: You seem to be accepting my view that the soul functions differently in life and in death.

dhw: The dualist’s soul and brain have different functions in life, the soul being the source and container of thoughts, feelings etc., just as it is in death. However, in death it clearly cannot gather information or express itself by using the material brain, and so it uses psychic means.

DAVID: I view my soul as just that, an immaterial me which I contain in life. and since I contain it, it works just like me with the brain because it is me, and the brain is where thoughts originate when I put them there. In other words my soul is me, just as you have pointed out.

dhw: Yes, it is you, so why do you keep trying to make it a representation of you, or making it just like you? Yes, it works with the brain, and since you believe it is housed in the brain, of course the brain is the location in which thoughts originate. But it is the soul that originates them. DUALISM = two things (soul and brain/body) and NDEs are used as evidence that when the location disappears, only one thing is left: the thinking, feeling etc. soul. Therefore it must be the soul does the thinking and feeling etc.

DAVID: Once again you are separating yourself from your soul. My soul is me. Dualism = two things (soul/me and brain/body). My soul is the God-given mechanism that creates consciousness from electrical activity and is my immaterial image that enters the afterlife.

dhw:Firstly, it is you who keep separating yourself from your soul, and secondly you have repeated the theistic version of my theory: that your God created a mechanism whereby the brain produces consciousness (materialism). See above for the continuation. Thank you for supporting my theory.

No support. See above. And I am not separated from my soul. It is me, but has the ability to leave me in death and remain mentally active.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 13:49 (143 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Again your new term “represented”. What does it mean? We know that there are electrical waves in the brain when we think.

DAVID: They are creating thought.

dhw: I’ve kept this in, just to confirm your conversion to materialism. The soul no longer creates thought. It is created by the brain.

DAVID: You are unrealistic. In life I know I think with my brain. That is the material side of dualism. But I am my soul and if I think with my brain my soul (an immaterial twin image of me) does also.

You are your soul, and so if your soul thinks with your brain, your soul thinks with your brain, but that is an “if”, and you have just said that it is your brain that creates the thoughts. So it is not your soul. That didn’t get us very far. But now let’s welcome another astonishing new idea, to match that of the English-speaking soul which is there to translate the ions’ thoughts into English, or maybe to translate its own English thoughts into ions and then back again into English. Now your soul is apparently not you but a twin image of you, although it IS you, and although the brain creates the thought, so does the twin image. I have no more understanding of what this theory means than I have of your “representation” and “translation” theories. Dualism quite simply divides your self into body/brain and soul. Not into your body/brain and you and a twin image of “you” which is you. There is no need for all this twisting and turning. You have stated explicitly that it is the brain that creates thought. That’s fine. You have espoused materialism.

dhw: You really are embracing the theory I offered you in the first place: that the brain is the source of thought and is also the means of material expression. Pure materialism. I then go on to suggest that the form of energy created by the brain may live on (hence psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu), just as we can view the immaterial image of real events that happened long ago, but whether it can live on as an independent source of thought is a matter of faith.

DAVID: I don't think the brain produces the soul, which is a strict interpretation of your theory. The soul is a gift from God at birth, and is my immaterial twin image.

The follow-up to the materialistic section of my theory is a “may”. It allows for the possibility. The sudden arrival of your mysterious twin image is dealt with above.

DAVID: I view my soul as just that, an immaterial me which I contain in life. and since I contain it, it works just like me with the brain because it is me, and the brain is where thoughts originate when I put them there. In other words my soul is me, just as you have pointed out.

dhw: Yes, it is you, so why do you keep trying to make it a representation of you [to which we must now add a “twin image” of you!], or making it just like you? Yes, it works with the brain, and since you believe it is housed in the brain, of course the brain is the location in which thoughts originate. But it is the soul that originates them. DUALISM = two things (soul and brain/body) and NDEs are used as evidence that when the location disappears, only one thing is left: the thinking, feeling etc. soul. Therefore it must be the soul does the thinking and feeling etc.

DAVID: Once again you are separating yourself from your soul. My soul is me. Dualism = two things (soul/me and brain/body). My soul is the God-given mechanism that creates consciousness from electrical activity and is my immaterial image that enters the afterlife.

dhw: Firstly, it is you who keep separating yourself from your soul, and secondly you have repeated the theistic version of my theory: that your God created a mechanism whereby the brain produces consciousness (materialism). See above for the continuation. Thank you for supporting my theory.

DAVID: No support. See above. And I am not separated from my soul. It is me, but has the ability to leave me in death and remain mentally active.

A God-given mechanism that creates consciousness from the electrical activity of the brain is precisely what I have suggested in the theistic version of my theory. The mechanism IS the brain and its ions, since you say they create thought, and so why do you need a soul (apart from your half-baked idea of it being a translator)? The dualist’s faith that the soul remains “mentally active” in death without the brain is regarded as evidence that in life there is such a thing as a “mentally active” soul, which means that the brain is NOT the source of thought. Hence dualism. However, now that you have insisted that the brain creates thought, I challenge you to find an alternative to my proposed way of reconciling your materialism with your dualism.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 18:27 (143 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You are unrealistic. In life I know I think with my brain. That is the material side of dualism. But I am my soul and if I think with my brain my soul (an immaterial twin image of me) does also.

You are your soul, and so if your soul thinks with your brain, your soul thinks with your brain, but that is an “if”, and you have just said that it is your brain that creates the thoughts. So it is not your soul.

I did not say my brain creates thoughts on its own. I/soul use my brain to create thoughts, and you know it.

dhw: Dualism quite simply divides your self into body/brain and soul. Not into your body/brain and you and a twin image of “you” which is you. There is no need for all this twisting and turning. You have stated explicitly that it is the brain that creates thought. That’s fine. You have espoused materialism.

You keep using your definition of dualism to accuse me of materialism. I/soul use my brain to create thoughts, and you know it.

DAVID: Once again you are separating yourself from your soul. My soul is me. Dualism = two things (soul/me and brain/body). My soul is the God-given mechanism that creates consciousness from electrical activity and is my immaterial image that enters the afterlife.

dhw: Firstly, it is you who keep separating yourself from your soul, and secondly you have repeated the theistic version of my theory: that your God created a mechanism whereby the brain produces consciousness (materialism). See above for the continuation. Thank you for supporting my theory.

DAVID: No support. See above. And I am not separated from my soul. It is me, but has the ability to leave me in death and remain mentally active.

dhw: A God-given mechanism that creates consciousness from the electrical activity of the brain is precisely what I have suggested in the theistic version of my theory. The mechanism IS the brain and its ions, since you say they create thought, and so why do you need a soul (apart from your half-baked idea of it being a translator)? The dualist’s faith that the soul remains “mentally active” in death without the brain is regarded as evidence that in life there is such a thing as a “mentally active” soul, which means that the brain is NOT the source of thought. Hence dualism. However, now that you have insisted that the brain creates thought, I challenge you to find an alternative to my proposed way of reconciling your materialism with your dualism.

As usual you have totally twisted my theory to criticize it by using your definition of dualism, which is not my definition. At first we used soul/self/consciousness (s/s/c) in discussion, and then shortened it to soul, which I think has confused the discussion. The first point is we know consciousness arises from electric currents made from ions running around brain networks. Therefore thought develops that way when I/soul originate it, by using the brain, which in life is the mechanism we have. In using the immaterial image of me as 'soul' is just an attempt to define a soul as that which exists and can leave my dead body to enter an afterlife. In the Bible God breathed a soul into Adam's body, after He created the body. The soul is not the body in current belief, but belongs to the body. My belief mirrors that. As an agnostic you don't know what to believe, so stop telling me what dualists believe. I believe what I believe without reference to specific required constructs of dualism according to you.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 13:14 (142 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] you have just said that it is your brain that creates the thoughts. So it is not your soul.

DAVID: I did not say my brain creates thoughts on its own. I/soul use my brain to create thoughts, and you know it.

You keep repeating the mantra “the soul uses the brain to think”, but you can never add any uses beyond those of information and material expression. A couple of days ago you wrote: “In material life thought is created by electrical activity in the brain.” You confirmed this by repeating that the electrical waves “are creating thought”. A couple of weeks ago, it was the soul that “initiated thought” and the brain made no contribution. At one moment your soul is the thinking, feeling, remembering part of yourself (which continues to be the same after death), and the next moment it is playing nebulous new roles, such as translating, representing, and even becoming a twin image of itself although it is itself, all of which seem to disappear when challenged.

DAVID: My soul is me. Dualism = two things (soul/me and brain/body). My soul is the God-given mechanism that creates consciousness from electrical activity and is my immaterial image that enters the afterlife.

dhw: A God-given mechanism that creates consciousness from the electrical activity of the brain is precisely what I have suggested in the theistic version of my theory. The mechanism IS the brain and its ions, since you say they create thought, and so why do you need a soul (apart from your half-baked idea of it being a translator)? The dualist’s faith that the soul remains “mentally active” in death without the brain is regarded as evidence that in life there is such a thing as a “mentally active” soul, which means that the brain is NOT the source of thought. Hence dualism. However, now that you have insisted that the brain creates thought, I challenge you to find an alternative to my proposed way of reconciling your materialism with your dualism.

DAVID: As usual you have totally twisted my theory to criticize it by using your definition of dualism, which is not my definition.

As above, I find myself constantly trying to UNtwist the different theories. You actually repeat my definition that “dualism = two things (soul/me and brain/body)". I have tried straightforwardly to explain the different functions they would perform if there is a soul, whereas your version of their functions seems to become ever more convoluted, with all the nebulous concepts listed above.

DAVID: The first point is we know consciousness arises from electric currents made from ions running around brain networks.

That is materialism, and fits the first part of my theory, the theistic version being that your God created this mechanism. However, in another of your theories, the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness. I doubt if God’s consciousness arises from electric currents made from ions running round brain networks, so why can’t your God’s consciousness be conscious in life and in death?

DAVID: Therefore thought develops that way when I/soul originate it, by using the brain, which in life is the mechanism we have. In using the immaterial image of me as 'soul' is just an attempt to define a soul as that which exists and can leave my dead body to enter an afterlife.

If thought is created by electrical activity in the brain, it is not created (originated) by the immaterial soul! But I keep agreeing that the dualist’s soul uses the brain network to develop its thoughts through information and material expression. I have never heard the soul defined as “that which exists”, but we have agreed umpteen times that if it does exist, it is the part of you that thinks, feels etc. There wouldn’t be much point in it surviving if it didn’t think and feel.

DAVID: In the Bible God breathed a soul into Adam's body, after He created the body. The soul is not the body in current belief, but belongs to the body. My belief mirrors that.

I never knew of any dualist who thought the soul was the body, and I don’t understand what you mean by “belongs” to the body. We agree that if it exists, it resides in the body/brain. The biblical story coincides with your belief that the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness. It does not coincide with your belief that thought is created by electrical waves in the brain. See above re God’s consciousness and the brain.

DAVID: As an agnostic you don't know what to believe, so stop telling me what dualists believe. I believe what I believe without reference to specific required constructs of dualism according to you.

My agnosticism is irrelevant, and our problem is not different concepts of dualism but the seemingly irreconcilable clash between your belief in a conscious soul as the initiator of thought and your belief, here called knowledge, that consciousness and thought arise from electric currents in the brain. You cannot see that this contradiction lies at the very heart of the debate between dualism and materialism, and the object of our discussions is to find a coherent explanation for the mystery. I have tried to do that, but I can’t find any coherence in all your contradictions and nebulous, transient concepts mentioned above.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 18:48 (142 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: I did not say my brain creates thoughts on its own. I/soul use my brain to create thoughts, and you know it.

dhw: You keep repeating the mantra “the soul uses the brain to think”, but you can never add any uses beyond those of information and material expression.

I'll repeat it again. My soul is me. I know that I create thought in life by using the brain networks. Therefore the soul uses the brain networks to create its/my thoughts. Why do you try to separate your soul from you?

DAVID: As usual you have totally twisted my theory to criticize it by using your definition of dualism, which is not my definition.

dhw: As above, I find myself constantly trying to UNtwist the different theories. You actually repeat my definition that “dualism = two things (soul/me and brain/body)". I have tried straightforwardly to explain the different functions they would perform if there is a soul, whereas your version of their functions seems to become ever more convoluted, with all the nebulous concepts listed above.

What I describe is quite clear to me. I'm simply recognizing the material side of the issue.


DAVID: The first point is we know consciousness arises from electric currents made from ions running around brain networks.

dhw:That is materialism, and fits the first part of my theory, the theistic version being that your God created this mechanism. However, in another of your theories, the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness. I doubt if God’s consciousness arises from electric currents made from ions running round brain networks, so why can’t your God’s consciousness be conscious in life and in death?

My brain networks allow me to receive God's consciousness. It is his gift to us.


DAVID: Therefore thought develops that way when I/soul originate it, by using the brain, which in life is the mechanism we have. In using the immaterial image of me as 'soul' is just an attempt to define a soul as that which exists and can leave my dead body to enter an afterlife.

dhw: If thought is created by electrical activity in the brain, it is not created (originated) by the immaterial soul! But I keep agreeing that the dualist’s soul uses the brain network to develop its thoughts through information and material expression. I have never heard the soul defined as “that which exists”, but we have agreed umpteen times that if it does exist, it is the part of you that thinks, feels etc. There wouldn’t be much point in it surviving if it didn’t think and feel.

I'll repeat: I/soul drive/originate the thoughts created through the electricity in the brain networks. The networks never can do it on their own as you try to imply about my theory.


DAVID: In the Bible God breathed a soul into Adam's body, after He created the body. The soul is not the body in current belief, but belongs to the body. My belief mirrors that.

dhw: I never knew of any dualist who thought the soul was the body, and I don’t understand what you mean by “belongs” to the body.

Belongs means the soul resides in my body until death when it leaves.

dhw: We agree that if it exists, it resides in the body/brain. The biblical story coincides with your belief that the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness. It does not coincide with your belief that thought is created by electrical waves in the brain.

The bible didn't know about electricity.


dhw: our problem is not different concepts of dualism but the seemingly irreconcilable clash between your belief in a conscious soul as the initiator of thought and your belief, here called knowledge, that consciousness and thought arise from electric currents in the brain.

Repeated for the umpteenth time: The soul/I use the electrical networks to initiate and to create thought. My soul is me!

dhw: You cannot see that this contradiction lies at the very heart of the debate between dualism and materialism, and the object of our discussions is to find a coherent explanation for the mystery. I have tried to do that, but I can’t find any coherence in all your contradictions and nebulous, transient concepts mentioned above.

I may have difficulty turning my theories into something you can understand, but all you do is keep using rigid forms of dualism I don't accept. I start from the point that I know I use my brain to be conscious and think. There has to be a material side to thinking. I think it is the soul that allows consciousness to appear from the material side, as you know.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Thursday, July 26, 2018, 12:49 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I did not say my brain creates thoughts on its own. I/soul use my brain to create thoughts, and you know it.

dhw: You keep repeating the mantra “the soul uses the brain to think”, but you can never add any uses beyond those of information and material expression.

DAVID: I'll repeat it again. My soul is me. I know that I create thought in life by using the brain networks. Therefore the soul uses the brain networks to create its/my thoughts. Why do you try to separate your soul from you?

I don’t. I keep asking you the same question! And I also keep asking you what other “uses” the soul makes of the brain besides information and material expression. And then you tell me that “thought is created by electrical activity in the brain”, and the waves are translated into English by the soul, although elsewhere you have told me that the English-speaking soul initiates the thoughts and the brain makes no contribution.

DAVID: The first point is we know consciousness arises from electric currents made from ions running around brain networks.

dhw:That is materialism, and fits the first part of my theory, the theistic version being that your God created this mechanism. However, in another of your theories, the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness. I doubt if God’s consciousness arises from electric currents made from ions running round brain networks, so why can’t your God’s consciousness be conscious in life and in death?

DAVID: My brain networks allow me to receive God's consciousness. It is his gift to us.

A moment ago you accused me of separating “me” and the soul. Now you have your soul “receiving” your soul (a piece of God’s consciousness) thanks to the brain networks. What does that mean? See later for your use of “allow”. And you haven’t answered my question. Why can’t God’s consciousness be conscious in life and death? Also see below.

DAVID: I'll repeat: I/soul drive/originate the thoughts created through the electricity in the brain networks. The networks never can do it on their own as you try to imply about my theory.

If your soul “originates” the thoughts, in what way are they “created” by the electricity in the brain? If you/your soul has a thought, is it not a thought until it’s been “translated” into electricity? One of your theories was that the soul then translated the thought back into English, so that the soul could presumably understand the English thought that was translated into electricity. Does this make any sense to you?

dhw: ...our problem is not different concepts of dualism but the seemingly irreconcilable clash between your belief in a conscious soul as the initiator of thought and your belief, here called knowledge, that consciousness and thought arise from electric currents in the brain.

DAVID: Repeated for the umpteenth time: The soul/I use the electrical networks to initiate and to create thought. My soul is me!

Yes, your dualist’s soul is the thinking you that you believe will go on being the thinking you when there are no electrical networks. You keep repeating for the umpteenth time that it “uses” the networks to initiate/create thought, and for the umpteenth time I ask HOW it uses them. I have summarized your last bewildering answer (the translation theory) above.

dhw: You cannot see that this contradiction lies at the very heart of the debate between dualism and materialism, and the object of our discussions is to find a coherent explanation for the mystery. I have tried to do that, but I can’t find any coherence in all your contradictions and nebulous, transient concepts mentioned above.

DAVID: I may have difficulty turning my theories into something you can understand, but all you do is keep using rigid forms of dualism I don't accept. I start from the point that I know I use my brain to be conscious and think. There has to be a material side to thinking. I think it is the soul that allows consciousness to appear from the material side, as you know.

I have immense difficulty understanding your theories, because firstly they keep changing, and secondly you use terms that cry out for explanation. What do you mean by the soul “allows consciousness to appear from the material side”? The soul, by your definition, IS consciousness – you call it a piece of God’s consciousness – and so if it is housed in the brain, yes, it “appears” from the brain when given material expression, but until then it stays in the brain. How does this mean that the brain creates thought? Back we go to the question you didn’t answer: why, in YOUR concept of dualism, can’t your God’s consciousness be conscious inside the brain in life (using the brain for information and material expression), and outside the brain in death?


--

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 26, 2018, 18:14 (141 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'll repeat it again. My soul is me. I know that I create thought in life by using the brain networks. Therefore the soul uses the brain networks to create its/my thoughts. Why do you try to separate your soul from you?

dhw: I don’t. I keep asking you the same question! And I also keep asking you what other “uses” the soul makes of the brain besides information and material expression. And then you tell me that “thought is created by electrical activity in the brain”, and the waves are translated into English by the soul, although elsewhere you have told me that the English-speaking soul initiates the thoughts and the brain makes no contribution.

I have always thought the brain contributes its networks for I/soul to use to create/form thoughts, despite how you have tried to interpret what I write.

DAVID: My brain networks allow me to receive God's consciousness. It is his gift to us.

dhw: A moment ago you accused me of separating “me” and the soul. Now you have your soul “receiving” your soul (a piece of God’s consciousness) thanks to the brain networks.

That doesn't separate the soul from me.

dhw: And you haven’t answered my question. Why can’t God’s consciousness be conscious in life and death? Also see below.

I don't see why it can't be.


DAVID: I'll repeat: I/soul drive/originate the thoughts created through the electricity in the brain networks. The networks never can do it on their own as you try to imply about my theory.

dhw: If your soul “originates” the thoughts, in what way are they “created” by the electricity in the brain?

Because the soul initiates and uses the networks to create the thought just as I do in life. I know I can't originate a thought without the networks in action. I am my soul. The logic is obvious.

dhw: If you/your soul has a thought, is it not a thought until it’s been “translated” into electricity? One of your theories was that the soul then translated the thought back into English, so that the soul could presumably understand the English thought that was translated into electricity. Does this make any sense to you?

I'm sorry you are so confused. Introspection will show you you and your soul uses those network ions to think.

DAVID: I may have difficulty turning my theories into something you can understand, but all you do is keep using rigid forms of dualism I don't accept. I start from the point that I know I use my brain to be conscious and think. There has to be a material side to thinking. I think it is the soul that allows consciousness to appear from the material side, as you know.

dhw: I have immense difficulty understanding your theories, because firstly they keep changing, and secondly you use terms that cry out for explanation. What do you mean by the soul “allows consciousness to appear from the material side”? The soul, by your definition, IS consciousness – you call it a piece of God’s consciousness – and so if it is housed in the brain, yes, it “appears” from the brain when given material expression, but until then it stays in the brain.

Because the soul, coming from God, contains the mechanism that creates consciousness from electricity in the brain networks.

dhw: How does this mean that the brain creates thought?

The brain doesn't by itself. It simply responds to what the I/soul wish to create. I/soul must use the brain networks/ions to create thought.

dhw:Back we go to the question you didn’t answer: why, in YOUR concept of dualism, can’t your God’s consciousness be conscious inside the brain in life (using the brain for information and material expression), and outside the brain in death?

As above it can and does. You stay confused because you have a rigid concept of dualism, not looking at how we know the brain works on the material side of the issue, and then analyzing how dualism can work.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Friday, July 27, 2018, 11:58 (140 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'll repeat it again. My soul is me. I know that I create thought in life by using the brain networks. Therefore the soul uses the brain networks to create its/my thoughts. Why do you try to separate your soul from you?

dhw: I don’t. I keep asking you the same question! And I also keep asking you what other “uses” the soul makes of the brain besides information and material expression. And then you tell me that “thought is created by electrical activity in the brain”, and the waves are translated into English by the soul, although elsewhere you have told me that the English-speaking soul initiates the thoughts and the brain makes no contribution.

DAVID: I have always thought the brain contributes its networks for I/soul to use to create/form thoughts, despite how you have tried to interpret what I write.

Back you go to “use”, and back I go to asking, as above: what other uses?

DAVID: My brain networks allow me to receive God's consciousness. It is his gift to us.

dhw: A moment ago you accused me of separating “me” and the soul. Now you have your soul “receiving” your soul (a piece of God’s consciousness) thanks to the brain networks.

DAVID: That doesn't separate the soul from me.

If you are your soul, and your God’s consciousness is your soul, how can your soul receive your soul? Or are you now separating your soul from your God’s consciousness?

dhw: And you haven’t answered my question. Why can’t God’s consciousness be conscious in life and death? Also see below.

DAVID: I don't see why it can't be.

Thank you. So if the soul is conscious in life and in death, why do we need all this rigmarole about it having to translate its thoughts into electrical waves and then translate them back again into English in order to be conscious in life?

DAVID: I'll repeat: I/soul drive/originate the thoughts created through the electricity in the brain networks. The networks never can do it on their own as you try to imply about my theory.

dhw: If your soul “originates” the thoughts, in what way are they “created” by the electricity in the brain?

DAVID: Because the soul initiates and uses the networks to create the thought just as I do in life. I know I can't originate a thought without the networks in action. I am my soul. The logic is obvious.

Why are you comparing what your soul does to what you do? You ARE your soul, as you keep forgetting and then remembering. So back we go: the same piece of God’s consciousness can’t think without a brain (life) until it can think without a brain (death), though above you can’t see why it shouldn’t be conscious in life and in death.

dhw: If you/your soul has a thought, is it not a thought until it’s been “translated” into electricity? One of your theories was that the soul then translated the thought back into English, so that the soul could presumably understand the English thought that was translated into electricity. Does this make any sense to you?

DAVID: I'm sorry you are so confused. Introspection will show you and your soul uses those network ions to think.

I agree that if there is such a thing as a soul, it uses the brain, but I keep asking what other “uses” there are besides information and material expression. All you can offer is your translation theory, which I’m afraid I do find utterly confusing.

DAVID: There has to be a material side to thinking. I think it is the soul that allows consciousness to appear from the material side, as you know.

dhw: I have immense difficulty understanding your theories, because firstly they keep changing, and secondly you use terms that cry out for explanation. What do you mean by the soul “allows consciousness to appear from the material side”? The soul, by your definition, IS consciousness – you call it a piece of God’s consciousness – and so if it is housed in the brain, yes, it “appears” from the brain when given material expression, but until then it stays in the brain.

DAVID: Because the soul, coming from God, contains the mechanism that creates consciousness from electricity in the brain networks.

So the piece of God’s consciousness, which you agree is conscious, has a mechanism which creates consciousness from electricity. Why does consciousness need a mechanism to create consciousness? Of course it makes perfect sense that your God might invent a mechanism of brain networks and electricity which produces consciousness. But that is the theistic theory you reject.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Friday, July 27, 2018, 18:59 (140 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have always thought the brain contributes its networks for I/soul to use to create/form thoughts, despite how you have tried to interpret what I write.

Back you go to “use”, and back I go to asking, as above: what other uses?

The brain supplies stored memories and sensory information. You know that. To use means to employ. I am my soul. I know I think materially consciously with brain electrical networks. So does my soul which is my immaterial me, because it is me. I don't understand why you don't understand that thought of mine.


dhw: A moment ago you accused me of separating “me” and the soul. Now you have your soul “receiving” your soul (a piece of God’s consciousness) thanks to the brain networks.

DAVID: That doesn't separate the soul from me.

dhw: If you are your soul, and your God’s consciousness is your soul, how can your soul receive your soul? Or are you now separating your soul from your God’s consciousness?

I have only one soul which appears through God's activity when I am created by embryogenesis. It is an immaterial part of my material brain and it acts as a mechanism to translate thought into electricity and back again, just as I do in material life.


dhw: And you haven’t answered my question. Why can’t God’s consciousness be conscious in life and death? Also see below.

DAVID: I don't see why it can't be.

dhw: Thank you. So if the soul is conscious in life and in death, why do we need all this rigmarole about it having to translate its thoughts into electrical waves and then translate them back again into English in order to be conscious in life?

It is not rigmarole. It is what you and I do in material life as we think. I'm simply proposing the soul creates the conscious translation of the electric waves.


dhw: Why are you comparing what your soul does to what you do? You ARE your soul, as you keep forgetting and then remembering.

I've ignored your constant misinterpretation of me. I never forget that I am my soul and we both use the brain networks to think. My soul does not think without me initiating the thought. It is not separate from me as you keep implying. And I use my brain to think.

DAVID: Because the soul, coming from God, contains the mechanism that creates consciousness from electricity in the brain networks.

dhw: So the piece of God’s consciousness, which you agree is conscious, has a mechanism which creates consciousness from electricity. Why does consciousness need a mechanism to create consciousness? Of course it makes perfect sense that your God might invent a mechanism of brain networks and electricity which produces consciousness. But that is the theistic theory you reject.

I think that God-given mechanism is the immaterial soul, which embodies my entire personality structure and thought capacity. But in life I have to recognize how the brain plays its role in materially producing thought, and how the I/soul ties to the brain and then when released from the brain ends up functionally in the afterlife still thinking and observing. Therefore, in my view the soul has two mechanisms of thought, using the brain in life as I do and able to think without the brain in afterlife. A perfectly reasonable theory. Once again, I am my soul. It is not as separate as you seem to want it to be.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Saturday, July 28, 2018, 12:27 (139 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have always thought the brain contributes its networks for I/soul to use to create/form thoughts, despite how you have tried to interpret what I write.

Dhw: Back you go to “use”, and back I go to asking, as above: what other uses?

DAVID: The brain supplies stored memories and sensory information. You know that. To use means to employ. I am my soul. I know I think materially consciously with brain electrical networks. So does my soul which is my immaterial me, because it is me. I don't understand why you don't understand that thought of mine.

Yes, if the soul exists, it uses the information supplied by the brain. That is my use number one. What do you mean by “materially consciously”? Consciousness and thought are immaterial. (Remember your definition of the soul as a piece of God’s consciousness?) Material consciousness is the material expression of consciousness – my use number two. “I think…” and “so does my soul”. Why are you separating your soul from “I”? Yes, your dualist's immaterial soul does the thinking. I don’t understand why you don’t understand this.

DAVID: My brain networks allow me to receive God’s consciousness. It is his gift to us.

dhw: If you are your soul, and your God’s consciousness is your soul, how can your soul receive your soul? Or are you now separating your soul from your God’s consciousness?

DAVID: I have only one soul which appears through God's activity when I am created by embryogenesis. It is an immaterial part of my material brain and it acts as a mechanism to translate thought into electricity and back again, just as I do in material life.

Why “just as I do”? Your soul is you, remember? And we are only talking about material life, since there is no brain in the afterlife you believe in. So once again we have the English-speaking soul initiating a thought, the English-speaking soul translates its thought into electricity, and then it translates it back again into English. What for? Do you mean your soul can’t understand its own English thought without this rigmarole? There are two possibilities: either the brain and its electric waves produce the thought (materialism), or there is a soul whose thoughts direct the brain through electricity, using the brain to acquire information or to give thought material expression (dualism).

DAVID: I've ignored your constant misinterpretation of me. I never forget that I am my soul and we both use the brain networks to think. My soul does not think without me initiating the thought. It is not separate from me as you keep implying. And I use my brain to think.

I keep emphasizing that your soul IS you. And once again you are the one who keeps separating the two: “my soul does not think without me initiating the thought”. Don’t you mean your soul does not think without your soul initiating the thought, i.e. your soul (and not your brain) initiates the thought? And see above and below for your own confirmation of how the dualist’s thinking soul uses the brain (for information, material expression, plus a translation theory which I still find totally confusing). What has been misinterpreted?

DAVID: Because the soul, coming from God, contains the mechanism that creates consciousness from electricity in the brain networks.

dhw: So the piece of God’s consciousness, which you agree is conscious, has a mechanism which creates consciousness from electricity. Why does consciousness need a mechanism to create consciousness? Of course it makes perfect sense that your God might invent a mechanism of brain networks and electricity which produces consciousness. But that is the theistic theory you reject.

DAVID: I think that God-given mechanism is the immaterial soul, which embodies my entire personality structure and thought capacity. But in life I have to recognize how the brain plays its role in materially producing thought…

I agree with your description of the dualist’s soul, and I agree that the soul uses the brain to “materially produce”, i.e. give material expression to its immaterial thought. Thank you for confirming what I keep repeating.

DAVID: ...and how the I/soul ties to the brain and then when released from the brain ends up functionally in the afterlife still thinking and observing. Therefore, in my view the soul has two mechanisms of thought, using the brain in life as I do and able to think without the brain in afterlife. A perfectly reasonable theory. Once again, I am my soul. It is not as separate as you seem to want it to be.

How can the soul have two “mechanisms of THOUGHT”? It thinks in life as in death, because according to you the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness, and consciousness is conscious, i.e. it thinks. But as you have agreed in this post, in life it uses the mechanism of the brain to observe (gather information) and to “materially produce” its thoughts, whereas in death it must use psychic means (“mechanisms”) to gather information and to communicate its thoughts. Apart from your strange translation theory, everything in your post seems to confirm my interpretation of dualism, but of course it still leaves wide open the question of whether the brain is or is not the source of consciousness and thought.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 28, 2018, 15:33 (139 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The brain supplies stored memories and sensory information. You know that. To use means to employ. I am my soul. I know I think materially consciously with brain electrical networks. So does my soul which is my immaterial me, because it is me. I don't understand why you don't understand that thought of mine.

dhw: Yes, if the soul exists, it uses the information supplied by the brain. That is my use number one. What do you mean by “materially consciously”? Consciousness and thought are immaterial.

What don't you understand? In life I am material and think with a material brain. That is what I wrote.

dhw: (Remember your definition of the soul as a piece of God’s consciousness?) Material consciousness is the material expression of consciousness – my use number two. “I think…” and “so does my soul”. Why are you separating your soul from “I”? Yes, your dualist's immaterial soul does the thinking. I don’t understand why you don’t understand this.

I'm not separated. I am me and my soul is me. No separation. When I think my soul thinks, because in life we are one and the same. You are the separatist. For you only the soul thinks.

DAVID: I have only one soul which appears through God's activity when I am created by embryogenesis. It is an immaterial part of my material brain and it acts as a mechanism to translate thought into electricity and back again, just as I do in material life.

dhw: Why “just as I do”? Your soul is you, remember? And we are only talking about material life, since there is no brain in the afterlife you believe in.

I view the soul as an immaterial part/image of me in life. You don't seem to view it that way which I think leads to all the confusion. In life I am a material me, and I run everything. I view the soul as recording all of me as I live and develop and producing the immaterial consciousness we cannot otherwise explain. Note this bolded comment below:


DAVID: I've ignored your constant misinterpretation of me. I never forget that I am my soul and we both use the brain networks to think. My soul does not think without me initiating the thought. It is not separate from me as you keep implying. And I use my brain to think.

dhw: I keep emphasizing that your soul IS you. And once again you are the one who keeps separating the two: “my soul does not think without me initiating the thought”. Don’t you mean your soul does not think without your soul initiating the thought, i.e. your soul (and not your brain) initiates the thought?

Explained above.

DAVID: I think that God-given mechanism is the immaterial soul, which embodies my entire personality structure and thought capacity. But in life I have to recognize how the brain plays its role in materially producing thought…

dhw: I agree with your description of the dualist’s soul, and I agree that the soul uses the brain to “materially produce”, i.e. give material expression to its immaterial thought. Thank you for confirming what I keep repeating.

I've explained the differences in our thoughts.


DAVID: ...and how the I/soul ties to the brain and then when released from the brain ends up functionally in the afterlife still thinking and observing. Therefore, in my view the soul has two mechanisms of thought, using the brain in life as I do and able to think without the brain in afterlife. A perfectly reasonable theory. Once again, I am my soul. It is not as separate as you seem to want it to be.

dhw: How can the soul have two “mechanisms of THOUGHT”? It thinks in life as in death, because according to you the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness, and consciousness is conscious, i.e. it thinks. But as you have agreed in this post, in life it uses the mechanism of the brain to observe (gather information) and to “materially produce” its thoughts, whereas in death it must use psychic means (“mechanisms”) to gather information and to communicate its thoughts.

I've not agreed. In life I/soul uses the brain networks to think. You and I have never seen a soul, so we have to reason what it is and what it might be capable of being and doing. My theory is that it has two mechanisms of thought to fit two different mechanisms of existence in life and death. We both have the right to our own theories and our own versions of what a soul is. If we can reach the same definition of soul we agree to, the seas of disagreement will part.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Sunday, July 29, 2018, 10:12 (138 days ago) @ David Turell

We are going round in circles, so I will condense the argument to what seem to be the two main points on which we disagree.

DAVID: I am me and my soul is me. No separation. When I think my soul thinks, because in life we are one and the same. You are the separatist. For you only the soul thinks.

DAVID: In life I am a material me, and I run everything. I view the soul as recording all of me as I live and develop and producing the immaterial consciousness we cannot otherwise explain.

I am not separating me from my soul but am doing precisely what you have just done: distinguishing between the two parts of the dualist’s self (the “me”), which are the immaterial soul/mind and the material body/brain. So what “runs” what? You view the soul as producing the immaterial consciousness we cannot otherwise explain, and you define it as being part of your God’s consciousness, which by definition must be conscious, i.e. able to think. That would make perfect sense to me if I were a believer. And yet you go on to say that although your soul initiates thoughts (still part of your God’s consciousness, then), the thoughts are not thoughts until the soul has translated them into electrical brain waves which bring them back to the soul to be translated. I do not understand why this rigmarole is necessary. I can, however, understand why it is necessary for the soul’s thoughts to be translated into electrical waves in order for the brain to give them material expression.

So 1) please explain why your piece of God’s consciousness cannot think thoughts until its thoughts have been translated into electricity and then retranslated back into thoughts.

DAVID: My theory is that it [the soul] has two mechanisms of thought to fit two different mechanisms of existence in life and death.

2) Please explain what is wrong with the hypothesis that if the source of the self’s immaterial consciousness, i.e. the ability to think, is a piece of your immaterial God’s consciousness, it will be the same immaterial consciousness, i.e. ability to think, in life as in death, and the only new “mechanisms” will be those used for observation and communication.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 29, 2018, 19:07 (138 days ago) @ dhw

> DAVID: I am me and my soul is me. No separation. When I think my soul thinks, because in life we are one and the same. You are the separatist. For you only the soul thinks.
[quote]
DAVID: In life I am a material me, and I run everything. I view the soul as recording all of me as I live and develop and producing the immaterial consciousness we cannot otherwise explain.

dhw: I am not separating me from my soul but am doing precisely what you have just done: distinguishing between the two parts of the dualist’s self (the “me”), which are the immaterial soul/mind and the material body/brain. So what “runs” what? You view the soul as producing the immaterial consciousness we cannot otherwise explain, and you define it as being part of your God’s consciousness, which by definition must be conscious, i.e. able to think. That would make perfect sense to me if I were a believer. And yet you go on to say that although your soul initiates thoughts (still part of your God’s consciousness, then), the thoughts are not thoughts until the soul has translated them into electrical brain waves which bring them back to the soul to be translated. I do not understand why this rigmarole is necessary. I can, however, understand why it is necessary for the soul’s thoughts to be translated into electrical waves in order for the brain to give them material expression.

So 1) please explain why your piece of God’s consciousness cannot think thoughts until its thoughts have been translated into electricity and then retranslated back into thoughts.

DAVID: My theory is that it [the soul] has two mechanisms of thought to fit two different mechanisms of existence in life and death.

dhw: 2) Please explain what is wrong with the hypothesis that if the source of the self’s immaterial consciousness, i.e. the ability to think, is a piece of your immaterial God’s consciousness, it will be the same immaterial consciousness, i.e. ability to think, in life as in death, and the only new “mechanisms” will be those used for observation and communication.[/quote]

Please read the bolded statements above. You have missed the critical essence of them. As usual you have pushed me to delve deeper into what I intuitively sense. We have to start with fact. Materially I think with my brain and I am conscious. Beyond fact I believe I have a soul which is within me immaterially in life and leaves me in an immaterial form when I die. But in life I am in command, I decide what to think, how to shape my personality and my life. I am me. So what is my soul? It is an immaterial recording immaterial reflection of me, much like a CD in my computer as I create a file of my thoughts. But unlike a material CD it is a living immaterial copy of me. My soul, inseparable from me, uses the brain networks in thought. My soul is never separate from me in life. And my soul is the immaterial source of consciousness as it resides within me since it is connected to God's universal consciousness to which it returns in death.

My view of my soul in afterlife is that it is still a copy of me. There is no newly original part of me that is invented. In heaven, as described by Eben Alexander my soul observes, learns and operates telepathically. I doubt there are one on one or group deeply philosophical discussions which require a complex thinking mechanism.

I hope this clears up your confusion about my thoughts.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Monday, July 30, 2018, 10:05 (137 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am me and my soul is me. No separation. When I think my soul thinks, because in life we are one and the same. You are the separatist. For you only the soul thinks.

DAVID: In life I am a material me, and I run everything. I view the soul as recording all of me as I live and develop and producing the immaterial consciousness we cannot otherwise explain.

dhw: I am not separating me from my soul but am doing precisely what you have just done: distinguishing between the two parts of the dualist’s self (the “me”), which are the immaterial soul/mind and the material body/brain. […]
So 1) please explain why your piece of God’s consciousness cannot think thoughts until its thoughts have been translated into electricity and then retranslated back into thoughts.

DAVID: My theory is that it [the soul] has two mechanisms of thought to fit two different mechanisms of existence in life and death.

dhw: 2) Please explain what is wrong with the hypothesis that if the source of the self’s immaterial consciousness, i.e. the ability to think, is a piece of your immaterial God’s consciousness, it will be the same immaterial consciousness, i.e. ability to think, in life as in death, and the only new “mechanisms” will be those used for observation and communication.

DAVID: Please read the bolded statements above. You have missed the critical essence of them. As usual you have pushed me to delve deeper into what I intuitively sense.

But sadly I have not pushed you into giving direct responses to two straightforward requests. You go on to ignore your translation theory, and to ignore the proposal that your piece of God’s consciousness will be the same thinking mechanism in life as in death. Instead you go back to another jumbled-up theory:

DAVID: ….in life I am in command, I decide what to think, how to shape my personality and my life. I am me.

And what does this dualist’s “me” consist of? The soul and the brain/body. Which of them decides what to think etc.?

DAVID: So what is my soul? It is an immaterial recording immaterial reflection of me, much like a CD in my computer as I create a file of my thoughts. But unlike a material CD it is a living immaterial copy of me.

But you keep telling us that your soul IS you. Why does it have now to be a copy of you? Yes, it records what it and your material body experience in life. That is called memory. But doesn’t it also process information, feel emotions, make decisions? No, back we go to the same old mantra: “My soul, inseparable from me, uses the brain networks in thought.” And I ask you what these uses are, other than providing information and giving material expression to thought, and all you come up with is the translation theory which you have not even commented on here.

DAVID: And my soul is the immaterial source of consciousness as it resides within me since it is connected to God's universal consciousness to which it returns in death.

Thank you for this. Yes, the soul is the dualist’s source of consciousness, which is what I keep telling you. And there is no reason why it should have to translate its thoughts into electrical brain waves which bring the thoughts back for it to translate so that the soul can understand its own thought! If the soul is the source of consciousness, it is the source of thought: it is the immaterial thinking, feeling, decision-making you, which in life works together with the material information-gathering, materially expressing you.

DAVID: My view of my soul in afterlife is that it is still a copy of me. There is no newly original part of me that is invented.

I don’t understand why it has to be a copy of you. In life and in death it IS you. And I’m glad you agree that nothing new has to be invented. There is no new mechanism for thought. The soul continues to be the thinking, feeling you.

DAVID: In heaven, as described by Eben Alexander my soul observes, learns and operates telepathically.

Exactly. The thinking, feeling, remembering soul uses psychic means to replace the material means by which in life it gathered information and communicated.

DAVID: I hope this clears up your confusion about my thoughts.

I am pushing you to delve deeper because it seems to me that not only are your thoughts confused but, more importantly, that your intuition leads you to precisely the same concept of dualism as my own. These weird theories about “translation” and “copy” are very recent, and I think they have popped up because just like me, you are torn between the tenets of dualism and of materialism and are scrabbling around to find ways of reconciling them (or in your case, of ignoring the dichotomy). I don’t mean this to sound offensive. I think we are both struggling, and my criticism of your latest theories is made in the same spirit as your criticism of my own theory. We are looking for clarification of something that is anything but clear.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Monday, July 30, 2018, 15:13 (137 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I am me and my soul is me. No separation. When I think my soul thinks, because in life we are one and the same. You are the separatist. For you only the soul thinks.

DAVID: In life I am a material me, and I run everything. I view the soul as recording all of me as I live and develop and producing the immaterial consciousness we cannot otherwise explain.

dhw: I am not separating me from my soul but am doing precisely what you have just done: distinguishing between the two parts of the dualist’s self (the “me”), which are the immaterial soul/mind and the material body/brain. […]
So 1) please explain why your piece of God’s consciousness cannot think thoughts until its thoughts have been translated into electricity and then retranslated back into thoughts.

I start from the recognition of material existence and the obvious use of the brain by me. God's consciousness is also me when I use it to create conscious thought. Your theory makes God consciousness gift to me independent of the brain. It is inconsistent.

DAVID: Please read the bolded statements above. You have missed the critical essence of them. As usual you have pushed me to delve deeper into what I intuitively sense.

DAVID: ….in life I am in command, I decide what to think, how to shape my personality and my life. I am me.

dhw: And what does this dualist’s “me” consist of? The soul and the brain/body. Which of them decides what to think etc.?

The living "me" initiates all thought, as I have free will and my soul reflects it.


DAVID: So what is my soul? It is an immaterial recording immaterial reflection of me, much like a CD in my computer as I create a file of my thoughts. But unlike a material CD it is a living immaterial copy of me.

dhw: But you keep telling us that your soul IS you. Why does it have now to be a copy of you? Yes, it records what it and your material body experience in life. That is called memory. But doesn’t it also process information, feel emotions, make decisions?

You are fighting an old concept of mine. I've changed my theory to better express how I feel about how my soul represents me.


DAVID: And my soul is the immaterial source of consciousness as it resides within me since it is connected to God's universal consciousness to which it returns in death.

dhw: Thank you for this. Yes, the soul is the dualist’s source of consciousness, which is what I keep telling you. And there is no reason why it should have to translate its thoughts into electrical brain waves which bring the thoughts back for it to translate so that the soul can understand its own thought!

Don't thank me. I view the soul as creating consciousness for me from electricity I create as I think.

dhw: If the soul is the source of consciousness, it is the source of thought: it is the immaterial thinking, feeling, decision-making you, which in life works together with the material information-gathering, materially expressing you.

Not if it is just a reflection of me, my new view.


DAVID: My view of my soul in afterlife is that it is still a copy of me. There is no newly original part of me that is invented.

dhw: I don’t understand why it has to be a copy of you. In life and in death it IS you.

In life I am in charge. In death the soul exists as a represetation of me.


DAVID: In heaven, as described by Eben Alexander my soul observes, learns and operates telepathically.

Exactly. The thinking, feeling, remembering soul uses psychic means to replace the material means by which in life it gathered information and communicated.

DAVID: I hope this clears up your confusion about my thoughts.

dhw: I am pushing you to delve deeper because it seems to me that not only are your thoughts confused but, more importantly, that your intuition leads you to precisely the same concept of dualism as my own. ... I think we are both struggling, and my criticism of your latest theories is made in the same spirit as your criticism of my own theory. We are looking for clarification of something that is anything but clear.

Thank you. Our criticism of each other does produce deeper and perhaps more important considerations. We are still not close.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 10:25 (136 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am me and my soul is me. No separation. When I think my soul thinks, because in life we are one and the same. You are the separatist. For you only the soul thinks.

DAVID: In life I am a material me, and I run everything. I view the soul as recording all of me as I live and develop and producing the immaterial consciousness we cannot otherwise explain.

dhw: I am not separating me from my soul but am doing precisely what you have just done: distinguishing between the two parts of the dualist’s self (the “me”), which are the immaterial soul/mind and the material body/brain. […]

DAVID: I start from the recognition of material existence and the obvious use of the brain by me.

I think we all recognize our material existence. It’s the immaterial existence that’s problematical (materialism versus dualism). Your dualistic “me” consists of your soul and your material self, as you bolded above. And yes indeed, your soul uses your material self, as below.

DAVID: God's consciousness is also me when I use it to create conscious thought. Your theory makes God consciousness gift to me independent of the brain. It is inconsistent.

Your piece of God’s consciousness, according to you, is your soul, which is "you". Your soul doesn’t use your soul to create conscious thought. Your soul creates conscious thought. In life it is not “independent” of the brain, because it needs the brain to provide information and material expression, and you have offered no other “use” except a translation theory, which mercifully keeps disappearing.

DAVID: The living "me" initiates all thought, as I have free will and my soul reflects it.

Your living “me” consists of your soul and your brain/body. Now all of a sudden both your soul and your brain/body initiate thought, whereas previously the soul initiated thought. What does “reflects” mean? If the soul IS you, what does it “reflect”?

DAVID: So what is my soul? It is an immaterial recording immaterial reflection of me, much like a CD in my computer as I create a file of my thoughts. But unlike a material CD it is a living immaterial copy of me.

dhw: But you keep telling us that your soul IS you. Why does it have now to be a copy of you? Yes, it records what it and your material body experience in life. That is called memory. But doesn’t it also process information, feel emotions, make decisions?

DAVID: You are fighting an old concept of mine. I've changed my theory to better express how I feel about how my soul represents me.

You change your theory from day to day. My soul represents my soul and my brain/body, instead of processing information, feeling emotions etc. Meaning?

DAVID: And my soul is the immaterial source of consciousness as it resides within me since it is connected to God's universal consciousness to which it returns in death.

dhw: Thank you for this. Yes, the soul is the dualist’s source of consciousness, which is what I keep telling you.

DAVID: Don't thank me. I view the soul as creating consciousness for me from electricity I create as I think.

So now this representation or reflection of you creates consciousness. Why can’t the piece of God’s consciousness (your soul) simply BE conscious? And once again, you are separating your dualistic “I” from your soul. If the soul is the immaterial source of consciousness, then it is the immaterial source of thought. If the soul creates electricity as the soul thinks, the soul is already thinking, and so the electricity must be the product of the dualist’s conscious thought, not its creator.

dhw:… [the soul] is the immaterial thinking, feeling, decision-making you, which in life works together with the material information-gathering, materially expressing you.

DAVID: Not if it is just a reflection of me, my new view.

You keep saying your soul IS you, just as your material self is the other part of you – see the start of this post. But now your soul is not you, it’s a reflection of your soul and your body/brain. So it doesn’t actually do anything, but reflects what it is doing. Meaning?

DAVID: In life I am in charge. In death the soul exists as a representation of me.

So in life your soul and your brain are in charge, except that your soul only reflects your soul and your brain, and in death it represents the reflection of your soul and your brain. It doesn’t think, feel, remember…it just represents thinking, feeling, remembering. Meaning?

DAVID: Our criticism of each other does produce deeper and perhaps more important considerations. We are still not close.

I like the ambiguity of your last comment! Your theories leave us far apart, except that you keep confirming every statement I make about dualism. But then, as I noted last time, you scrabble around with theory after theory to find ways of reconciling or ignoring the dichotomy between dualism and materialism. On the other hand, we are still not “close” to solving the great mystery. However, at least my “theory of intelligence” offers an explanation in which you have so far failed to find any logical flaws.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 17:33 (136 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God's consciousness is also me when I use it to create conscious thought. Your theory makes God consciousness gift to me independent of the brain. It is inconsistent.

dhw: Your piece of God’s consciousness, according to you, is your soul, which is "you". Your soul doesn’t use your soul to create conscious thought. Your soul creates conscious thought. In life it is not “independent” of the brain, because it needs the brain to provide information and material expression, and you have offered no other “use” except a translation theory, which mercifully keeps disappearing.

Haven't you noticed I've changed my approach to the problem? I'm starting from recognizing the material side of the problem. I know with free will I initiate thought. And I now view my living soul as a immaterial portion of me that is a recording reflection of me which will move on to the afterlife.


DAVID: The living "me" initiates all thought, as I have free will and my soul reflects it.

dhw: Your living “me” consists of your soul and your brain/body. Now all of a sudden both your soul and your brain/body initiate thought, whereas previously the soul initiated thought. What does “reflects” mean? If the soul IS you, what does it “reflect”?

Me, as above.


DAVID: You are fighting an old concept of mine. I've changed my theory to better express how I feel about how my soul represents me.

dhw: You change your theory from day to day. My soul represents my soul and my brain/body, instead of processing information, feeling emotions etc. Meaning?

DAVID: And my soul is the immaterial source of consciousness as it resides within me since it is connected to God's universal consciousness to which it returns in death.

dhw: Thank you for this. Yes, the soul is the dualist’s source of consciousness, which is what I keep telling you.

DAVID: Don't thank me. I view the soul as creating consciousness for me from electricity I create as I think.

dhw: So now this representation or reflection of you creates consciousness. Why can’t the piece of God’s consciousness (your soul) simply BE conscious? And once again, you are separating your dualistic “I” from your soul. If the soul is the immaterial source of consciousness, then it is the immaterial source of thought. If the soul creates electricity as the soul thinks, the soul is already thinking, and so the electricity must be the product of the dualist’s conscious thought, not its creator.

The electricity in the brain is the living material mechanism for thought formation. I am material and I produce thought in the brain . My proposal remains my immaterial soul has a way of creating consciousness out of electricity.


dhw:… [the soul] is the immaterial thinking, feeling, decision-making you, which in life works together with the material information-gathering, materially expressing you.

DAVID: Not if it is just a reflection of me, my new view.

dhw: You keep saying your soul IS you, just as your material self is the other part of you – see the start of this post. But now your soul is not you, it’s a reflection of your soul and your body/brain. So it doesn’t actually do anything, but reflects what it is doing. Meaning?

DAVID: In life I am in charge. In death the soul exists as a representation of me.

dhw: So in life your soul and your brain are in charge, except that your soul only reflects your soul and your brain, and in death it represents the reflection of your soul and your brain. It doesn’t think, feel, remember…it just represents thinking, feeling, remembering. Meaning?

In life I am in charge and my soul reflects immaterially. My soul provides the essence of the homeostasis of life's molecules activities including consciousness. Those molecules don't think and are constantly in action to maintain life which though the soul emerges as a living me..


DAVID: Our criticism of each other does produce deeper and perhaps more important considerations. We are still not close.

dhw: I like the ambiguity of your last comment! Your theories leave us far apart, except that you keep confirming every statement I make about dualism. But then, as I noted last time, you scrabble around with theory after theory to find ways of reconciling or ignoring the dichotomy between dualism and materialism. On the other hand, we are still not “close” to solving the great mystery. However, at least my “theory of intelligence” offers an explanation in which you have so far failed to find any logical flaws.

And I keep digging deeper into what I know on the material side to find a consistent definition of what the soul is and does from its immaterial side.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Wednesday, August 01, 2018, 12:58 (135 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God's consciousness is also me when I use it to create conscious thought. Your theory makes God consciousness gift to me independent of the brain. It is inconsistent.

dhw: Your piece of God’s consciousness, according to you, is your soul, which is "you". Your soul doesn’t use your soul to create conscious thought. Your soul creates conscious thought. In life it is not “independent” of the brain, because it needs the brain to provide information and material expression, and you have offered no other “use” except a translation theory, which mercifully keeps disappearing.

DAVID: Haven't you noticed I've changed my approach to the problem?

I’ve noticed that you change your approach every time I challenge your theory of the moment.

DAVID: I'm starting from recognizing the material side of the problem. I know with free will I initiate thought. And I now view my living soul as a immaterial portion of me that is a recording reflection of me which will move on to the afterlife.

What is your dualist’s “I”? Is it or is it not a combination of your immaterial soul and your material body? This latest theory makes your soul into nothing but a memory bank, and so it no longer initiates thought, no longer translates thought into waves, no longer thinks, feels, makes decisions etc., because that is done by “I”. The soul just records what “I” do. And the piece of God’s consciousness isn’t conscious but reflects and records what the “I” does. (But see my final comment below.)

DAVID: The electricity in the brain is the living material mechanism for thought formation. I am material and I produce thought in the brain . My proposal remains my immaterial soul has a way of creating consciousness out of electricity.

So the material “you” produces electricity which produces thought, although your soul – which a moment ago was merely a recording device – now creates consciousness, although in the previous sentence it was the material "you" that produced thought (which I would regard as inseparable from consciousness). This theory is as confusing as all the others. How about this for dualism: the immaterial soul produces thought, using the brain to provide information and to give its thought material expression? Too clear for you?

DAVID: In life I am in charge and my soul reflects immaterially. My soul provides the essence of the homeostasis of life's molecules activities including consciousness. Those molecules don't think and are constantly in action to maintain life which though the soul emerges as a living me.

If your dualist’s “I” consists of soul and body/brain, and the soul is a recording device, that leaves the body/brain in charge. Now the molecules’ activities apparently include consciousness, and the recording device balances them. Meaning? But the molecules’ activities which include consciousness don’t include thinking. Weird. I agree that the molecules are constantly in action to maintain life, but if the soul is just a reflection and recording of the living you, it plays no role in the formation of you, let alone in the production of thought. And that, surprise, surprise, is fine with me. It is what I have proposed in my “theory of intelligence”: that the brain produces thought (materialism), and what we call the soul is the image produced by the energy of the thinking brain – what you call the recording. (Just as we could see the crucifixion if we were looking through a telescope billions of miles away.) This would explain psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu, but of course it will not allow for further development in an afterlife, which is where faith comes in. At the current rate of your theorizing, we should have a deal in about a week’s time.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 01, 2018, 23:25 (134 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Haven't you noticed I've changed my approach to the problem?

dhw: I’ve noticed that you change your approach every time I challenge your theory of the moment.

Under your questions I keep reexploring my thoughts about this subject. Wouldn't you want me to keep working on it? I'm n ot satisfied with myself.


DAVID: I'm starting from recognizing the material side of the problem. I know with free will I initiate thought. And I now view my living soul as a immaterial portion of me that is a recording reflection of me which will move on to the afterlife.

dhw: What is your dualist’s “I”? Is it or is it not a combination of your immaterial soul and your material body? This latest theory makes your soul into nothing but a memory bank, and so it no longer initiates thought, no longer translates thought into waves, no longer thinks, feels, makes decisions etc., because that is done by “I”. The soul just records what “I” do. And the piece of God’s consciousness isn’t conscious but reflects and records what the “I” does. (But see my final comment below.)

I am a combination of my immaterial mind, my immaterial soul, and my material me. In life as a material me I am in charge with free will. My soul is me but it is also my immaterial essence, so is me but at the same time a copy of me that can passes into the afterlife. Thus as I think using the brain networks the soul is doing the same.


DAVID: The electricity in the brain is the living material mechanism for thought formation. I am material and I produce thought in the brain . My proposal remains my immaterial soul has a way of creating consciousness out of electricity.

dhw: So the material “you” produces electricity which produces thought, although your soul – which a moment ago was merely a recording device – now creates consciousness, although in the previous sentence it was the material "you" that produced thought (which I would regard as inseparable from consciousness). This theory is as confusing as all the others. How about this for dualism: the immaterial soul produces thought, using the brain to provide information and to give its thought material expression? Too clear for you

To simplistic and incomplete for me. Electric impulses becoming immaterial thought need explanation. I still propose the soul part of me creates the consciousness needed


DAVID: In life I am in charge and my soul reflects immaterially. My soul provides the essence of the homeostasis of life's molecules activities including consciousness. Those molecules don't think and are constantly in action to maintain life which though the soul emerges as a living me.

dhw: If your dualist’s “I” consists of soul and body/brain, and the soul is a recording device, that leaves the body/brain in charge. Now the molecules’ activities apparently include consciousness, and the recording device balances them. Meaning? But the molecules’ activities which include consciousness don’t include thinking. Weird. I agree that the molecules are constantly in action to maintain life, but if the soul is just a reflection and recording of the living you, it plays no role in the formation of you, let alone in the production of thought. And that, surprise, surprise, is fine with me. It is what I have proposed in my “theory of intelligence”: that the brain produces thought (materialism), and what we call the soul is the image produced by the energy of the thinking brain – what you call the recording. (Just as we could see the crucifixion if we were looking through a telescope billions of miles away.) This would explain psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu, but of course it will not allow for further development in an afterlife, which is where faith comes in. At the current rate of your theorizing, we should have a deal in about a week’s time.

This comment was written by you before I inserted the thoughts above. Do you want to revise your thoughts of my current theory in which I am still approaching me/soul as a dualist combo, in my own special way. I know I think with my brain networks and since I am my soul also, my soul and I think with my brain networks. My soul is never separate from me, but differs from material me since it goes to the afterlife..

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Thursday, August 02, 2018, 09:54 (134 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Haven't you noticed I've changed my approach to the problem?

dhw: I’ve noticed that you change your approach every time I challenge your theory of the moment.

DAVID: Under your questions I keep reexploring my thoughts about this subject. Wouldn't you want me to keep working on it? I'm n ot satisfied with myself.

Thank you. I’m relieved to hear that my questions are proving constructive rather than frustrating. None of us can be satisfied with ourselves, because none of us know the answers. That is why I started this website!

DAVID: I am a combination of my immaterial mind, my immaterial soul, and my material me. In life as a material me I am in charge with free will. My soul is me but it is also my immaterial essence, so is me but at the same time a copy of me that can passes into the afterlife.

(1) I don’t know why you are separating your mind from your soul. (2) You have not made it clear which of your now three parts (trialism?) is in charge: your mind, your soul, or your material brain/body. (See also my final comment concerning the confusing separation of “I” from its component parts.) (3) Why must your immaterial essence be a copy? If your soul is you – containing the immaterial essence of you – why can’t it survive as itself rather than being a copy? In the past you have said it is a piece of your God’s consciousness that returns to God after death. No “copy”. Or is this one of the theories you have now abandoned?

DAVID: Thus as I think using the brain networks the soul is doing the same.

We have dealt with “using the brain” a hundred times. What does it use the brain for, apart from information and material expression? Now we have the “I” using the brain (you’ve forgotten about the mind) and the soul “I” also using the brain. If the "I" = soul and brain, that means the soul and the brain are using the brain. Again, see my final comment on the confusion.

DAVID: The electricity in the brain is the living material mechanism for thought formation. I am material and I produce thought in the brain . My proposal remains my immaterial soul has a way of creating consciousness out of electricity.

dhw: So the material “you” produces electricity which produces thought, although your soul – which a moment ago was merely a recording device – now creates consciousness, although in the previous sentence it was the material "you" that produced thought (which I would regard as inseparable from consciousness). This theory is as confusing as all the others. How about this for dualism: the immaterial soul produces thought, using the brain to provide information and to give its thought material expression? Too clear for you?

DAVID: To simplistic and incomplete for me. Electric impulses becoming immaterial thought need explanation. I still propose the soul part of me creates the consciousness needed.

Electric impulses are issued by the brain. If they become thought, it is the brain that is generating thought (materialism). If the soul creates thought, the electrical impulses are the RESULT of thought, not the generating cause.

dhw: […] if the soul is just a reflection and recording of the living you, it plays no role in the formation of you, let alone in the production of thought. And that, surprise, surprise, is fine with me. It is what I have proposed in my “theory of intelligence. […] At the current rate of your theorizing, we should have a deal in about a week’s time.

DAVID: This comment was written by you before I inserted the thoughts above. Do you want to revise your thoughts of my current theory in which I am still approaching me/soul as a dualist combo, in my own special way. I know I think with my brain networks and since I am my soul also, my soul and I think with my brain networks. My soul is never separate from me, but differs from material me since it goes to the afterlife.

I’m sorry but I find your new theory as confusing as all the old ones, largely because you have reverted to separating your “I” from its dualistic components of soul and brain/body. (Shall we agree to combine soul and mind, since you have already forgotten “mind”?) If we remove this confusing distinction, we are left with the following: Your soul thinks – not your soul and you – and it uses your brain in life for information and material expression, and it is the immaterial essence of you that goes into the afterlife. Classic dualism. If this is your current theory, you have done away with all the elements of your previous theories that supported my own, and so of course I will revise my thoughts about your current theory! Hasta mañana…

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 02, 2018, 19:43 (134 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I am a combination of my immaterial mind, my immaterial soul, and my material me. In life as a material me I am in charge with free will. My soul is me but it is also my immaterial essence, so is me but at the same time a copy of me that can passes into the afterlife.

dhw: (1) I don’t know why you are separating your mind from your soul.

I'm not. My mind is produced by my soul using my brain to think

dhw: Why must your immaterial essence be a copy? If your soul is you – containing the immaterial essence of you – why can’t it survive as itself rather than being a copy?

It does survive as itself. But I view it as an immaterial copy of the living me/mind/consciousness.


DAVID: Thus as I think using the brain networks the soul is doing the same.

dhw: We have dealt with “using the brain” a hundred times. What does it use the brain for, apart from information and material expression?

If my soul is me and I use the brain to think so does my soul as it is me in immaterial form.


DAVID: The electricity in the brain is the living material mechanism for thought formation. I am material and I produce thought in the brain . My proposal remains my immaterial soul has a way of creating consciousness out of electricity.

dhw: This theory is as confusing as all the others. How about this for dualism: the immaterial soul produces thought, using the brain to provide information and to give its thought material expression? Too clear for you?[/i]

Too simplistic. I/soul use my brain to create thought using the electric networks. I/soul cnn to create thought without those networks.


DAVID: To simplistic and incomplete for me. Electric impulses becoming immaterial thought need explanation. I still propose the soul part of me creates the consciousness needed.

dhw: Electric impulses are issued by the brain. If they become thought, it is the brain that is generating thought (materialism). If the soul creates thought, the electrical impulses are the RESULT of thought, not the generating cause.

Not what we know from the material side of this. I/soul cannot think without the brain during life.


dhw: […] if the soul is just a reflection and recording of the living you, it plays no role in the formation of you, let alone in the production of thought. And that, surprise, surprise, is fine with me. It is what I have proposed in my “theory of intelligence. […] At the current rate of your theorizing, we should have a deal in about a week’s time.

DAVID: This comment was written by you before I inserted the thoughts above. Do you want to revise your thoughts of my current theory in which I am still approaching me/soul as a dualist combo, in my own special way. I know I think with my brain networks and since I am my soul also, my soul and I think with my brain networks. My soul is never separate from me, but differs from material me since it goes to the afterlife.

dhw: I’m sorry but I find your new theory as confusing as all the old ones, largely because you have reverted to separating your “I” from its dualistic components of soul and brain/body. (Shall we agree to combine soul and mind, since you have already forgotten “mind”?)

I've not forgotten mind. My soul is the mechanism that creates mind/consciousness from the electric networks

dhw: If we remove this confusing distinction, we are left with the following: Your soul thinks – not your soul and you – and it uses your brain in life for information and material expression, and it is the immaterial essence of you that goes into the afterlife. Classic dualism.

Your same rigid concept of dualism. You have separated me and my soul as usual. I and my soul are me, but my soul is also an immaterial representative essence of me that is an exact copy of me that can survive into the afterlife. My soul and I use my brain to form thought and my soul provides the mechanism by which consciousness appears from electricity in the brain which contains the thought..

dhw: If this is your current theory, you have done away with all the elements of your previous theories that supported my own, and so of course I will revise my thoughts about your current theory! Hasta mañana…

You never revise from your rigid view of dualism. We view dualism totally differently in our definitions.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 02, 2018, 20:33 (134 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am a combination of my immaterial mind, my immaterial soul, and my material me. In life as a material me I am in charge with free will. My soul is me but it is also my immaterial essence, so is me but at the same time a copy of me that can passes into the afterlife.

dhw: (1) I don’t know why you are separating your mind from your soul.


I'm not. My mind is produced by my soul using my brain to think

dhw: Why must your immaterial essence be a copy? If your soul is you – containing the immaterial essence of you – why can’t it survive as itself rather than being a copy?


It does survive as itself. But I view it as also having an immaterial copy of the living me/mind/consciousness.


DAVID: Thus as I think using the brain networks the soul is doing the same.

dhw: We have dealt with “using the brain” a hundred times. What does it use the brain for, apart from information and material expression?


If my soul is me and I use the brain to think so does my soul as it is me in immaterial form.


DAVID: The electricity in the brain is the living material mechanism for thought formation. I am material and I produce thought in the brain . My proposal remains my immaterial soul has a way of creating consciousness out of electricity.

dhw: This theory is as confusing as all the others. How about this for dualism: the immaterial soul produces thought, using the brain to provide information and to give its thought material expression? Too clear for you?[/i]


Too simplistic. I/soul use my brain to create thought using the electric networks. I/soul cnn to create thought without those networks.


DAVID: To simplistic and incomplete for me. Electric impulses becoming immaterial thought need explanation. I still propose the soul part of me creates the consciousness needed.

dhw: Electric impulses are issued by the brain. If they become thought, it is the brain that is generating thought (materialism). If the soul creates thought, the electrical impulses are the RESULT of thought, not the generating cause.


Not what we know from the material side of this. I/soul cannot think without the brain during life.


dhw: […] if the soul is just a reflection and recording of the living you, it plays no role in the formation of you, let alone in the production of thought. And that, surprise, surprise, is fine with me. It is what I have proposed in my “theory of intelligence. […] At the current rate of your theorizing, we should have a deal in about a week’s time.

DAVID: This comment was written by you before I inserted the thoughts above. Do you want to revise your thoughts of my current theory in which I am still approaching me/soul as a dualist combo, in my own special way. I know I think with my brain networks and since I am my soul also, my soul and I think with my brain networks. My soul is never separate from me, but differs from material me since it goes to the afterlife.

dhw: I’m sorry but I find your new theory as confusing as all the old ones, largely because you have reverted to separating your “I” from its dualistic components of soul and brain/body. (Shall we agree to combine soul and mind, since you have already forgotten “mind”?)


I've not forgotten mind. My soul is the mechanism that creates mind/consciousness from the electric networks

dhw: If we remove this confusing distinction, we are left with the following: Your soul thinks – not your soul and you – and it uses your brain in life for information and material expression, and it is the immaterial essence of you that goes into the afterlife. Classic dualism.


Your same rigid concept of dualism. You have separated me and my soul as usual. I and my soul are me, but my soul is also an immaterial representative essence of me that is an exact copy of me that can survive into the afterlife. My soul and I use my brain to form thought and my soul provides the mechanism by which consciousness appears from electricity in the brain which contains the thought..

dhw: If this is your current theory, you have done away with all the elements of your previous theories that supported my own, and so of course I will revise my thoughts about your current theory! Hasta mañana…


You never revise from your rigid view of dualism. We view dualism totally differently in our definitions. Note what I have written: my soul is me but is also an immaterial copy of me that goes to the afterlife. My immaterial soul is also the mechanism that creates consciousness as the soul/I think with the brain. My soul can never think on its own separate from me, except when it arrives in the afterlife and doesn't have the material me hanging around. This fully separates material life from immaterial existence afterward. It is clearly a form of dualism, but certainly not yours.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Friday, August 03, 2018, 11:41 (133 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am a combination of my immaterial mind, my immaterial soul, and my material me.
dhw: (1) I don’t know why you are separating your mind from your soul.

DAVID: I'm not. My mind is produced by my soul using my brain to think.

You have also said that “my immaterial soul has a way of creating consciousness out of electricity “, and you bracket mind and consciousness together. So your now unconscious soul doesn’t think, but unconsciously uses the brain (which also doesn’t think) to create a conscious mind, which does think. Presumably then it is the conscious mind and not the soul that goes into the afterlife. I hereby christen this new form of dualism “trialism”.

dhw: Why must your immaterial essence be a copy? If your soul is you – containing the immaterial essence of you – why can’t it survive as itself rather than being a copy?

DAVID: It does survive as itself. But I view it as an immaterial copy of the living me/mind/consciousness.

I know you do. And I am asking why, if it survives as itself, it has to be a copy of itself.


Dhw: How about this for dualism: the immaterial soul produces thought, using the brain to provide information and to give its thought material expression? Too clear for you?

DAVID: Too simplistic. I/soul use my brain to create thought using the electric networks. I/soul cannot create thought without those networks. […] Electric impulses becoming immaterial thought need explanation. I still propose the soul part of me creates the consciousness needed.

dhw: Electric impulses are issued by the brain. If they become thought, it is the brain that is generating thought (materialism). If the soul creates thought, the electrical impulses are the RESULT of thought, not the generating cause.

DAVID: Not what we know from the material side of this. I/soul cannot think without the brain during life.

Of course you can’t. The brain provides the information and material expression that are absolutely necessary for our thoughts during and about material life. This can hardly be denied, but it doesn’t solve the problem of whether the brain generates thought (materialism) or responds to thought (dualism).

dhw: I’m sorry but I find your new theory as confusing as all the old ones, largely because you have reverted to separating your “I” from its dualistic components of soul and brain/body. (Shall we agree to combine soul and mind, since you have already forgotten “mind”?)

DAVID: I've not forgotten mind. My soul is the mechanism that creates mind/consciousness from the electric networks.

So you really have jettisoned your earlier theory that the soul is a part of your God’s consciousness which returns to God after death. And you are now separating the concept of soul from the concept of mind/consciousness, which certainly shatters every existing definition of the soul as “the part of the person that is not physical and that contains their character, thought and feelings” (Longman). Now it is just a mechanism that uses the electric brain waves to create mind/consciousness, in which case it has to be the mind/consciousness that survives the death of the brain, and not the soul.

DAVID: You have separated me and my soul as usual.

On the contrary, my concept has “me” being made up of soul and body/brain. As usual, it is you who separate them, with comments like “my soul and I think with my brain networks”, or as in your next comment:

DAVID: I and my soul are me, but my soul is also an immaterial representative essence of me that is an exact copy of me that can survive into the afterlife.

Of course I am me. “I and my soul” separates me and my soul! And as above, why does the soul have to be a representation or copy of you if it is already you? Why can’t the immaterial essence of you survive as the immaterial essence of you?

DAVID: My immaterial soul is also the mechanism that creates consciousness as the soul/I think with the brain.

dhw: Separation between soul and mind not mentioned here. If my soul thinks with the brain thereby creating consciousness, then the soul itself is not conscious although it thinks with the brain. What sort of thinking can it do if it’s not conscious?

DAVID: My soul can never think on its own separate from me, except when it arrives in the afterlife and doesn't have the material me hanging around. This fully separates material life from immaterial existence afterward. It is clearly a form of dualism, but certainly not yours.

Of course material life is separate from immaterial life, but your new concept of trialism, with an unconscious soul thinking together with an unconscious brain to produce a conscious mind is certainly not my concept of dualism!

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Friday, August 03, 2018, 18:56 (133 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'm not. My mind is produced by my soul using my brain to think.

dhw: You have also said that “my immaterial soul has a way of creating consciousness out of electricity “, and you bracket mind and consciousness together. So your now unconscious soul doesn’t think, but unconsciously uses the brain (which also doesn’t think) to create a conscious mind, which does think. Presumably then it is the conscious mind and not the soul that goes into the afterlife. I hereby christen this new form of dualism “trialism”.

Not what I've proposed at all. My soul is immaterially conscious and produces consciousness for me from the electricity I create when I think.


dhw: Why must your immaterial essence be a copy? If your soul is you – containing the immaterial essence of you – why can’t it survive as itself rather than being a copy?

DAVID: It does survive as itself. But I view it as an immaterial copy of the living me/mind/consciousness.

dhw:I know you do. And I am asking why, if it survives as itself, it has to be a copy of itself.

Because I have free will to form myself. Again you want my soul to dictate to me. I (material me) dictate to my soul. As I create my personage it is copied into an immaterial form to be prepared for the afterlife. My soul is my essence that I share during a lifetime.


dhw: Electric impulses are issued by the brain. If they become thought, it is the brain that is generating thought (materialism). If the soul creates thought, the electrical impulses are the RESULT of thought, not the generating cause.

DAVID: Not what we know from the material side of this. I/soul cannot think without the brain during life.

dhw: Of course you can’t. The brain provides the information and material expression that are absolutely necessary for our thoughts during and about material life. This can hardly be denied, but it doesn’t solve the problem of whether the brain generates thought (materialism) or responds to thought (dualism).

Again back to your rigid definition of dualism. Doesn't fit mine.


DAVID: I've not forgotten mind. My soul is the mechanism that creates mind/consciousness from the electric networks.

dhw: So you really have jettisoned your earlier theory that the soul is a part of your God’s consciousness which returns to God after death. And you are now separating the concept of soul from the concept of mind/consciousness, which certainly shatters every existing definition of the soul as “the part of the person that is not physical and that contains their character, thought and feelings” (Longman). Now it is just a mechanism that uses the electric brain waves to create mind/consciousness, in which case it has to be the mind/consciousness that survives the death of the brain, and not the soul.

I'm not limited to cut and dried definitions, which leads you to constant distortions of my thought because it doesn't fit your rigid learned concepts of dualism from 'authorities', who don't know any more than I do or you do. Can't you come up with your own independent definition of soul without Longman, although I generally agree with his description of what a soul is, but that doesn't imply possible mechanisms of soul actions, which is what I am thinking about.


DAVID: I and my soul are me, but my soul is also an immaterial representative essence of me that is an exact copy of me that can survive into the afterlife.

dhw: Of course I am me. “I and my soul” separates me and my soul! And as above, why does the soul have to be a representation or copy of you if it is already you? Why can’t the immaterial essence of you survive as the immaterial essence of you?

It does survive. But I am attempting to tie my relationship as material me to my immaterial soul from the view that I, as me, run the show with my living free will, and what I shape becomes the shape of soul that survives me.


DAVID: My immaterial soul is also the mechanism that creates consciousness as the soul/I think with the brain.

dhw: Separation between soul and mind not mentioned here. If my soul thinks with the brain thereby creating consciousness, then the soul itself is not conscious although it thinks with the brain. What sort of thinking can it do if it’s not conscious?

The soul embodies consciousness, but as me, it must use the brain to think, because that is what I know I do. You keep separating my soul from me


DAVID: My soul can never think on its own separate from me, except when it arrives in the afterlife and doesn't have the material me hanging around. This fully separates material life from immaterial existence afterward. It is clearly a form of dualism, but certainly not yours.

dhw: Of course material life is separate from immaterial life, but your new concept of trialism, with an unconscious soul thinking together with an unconscious brain to produce a conscious mind is certainly not my concept of dualism!

I'm glad you have your own concept. My conscious soul thinks using my brain. Tell us your concept and we can critically study it. How do you view your essence acting?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by dhw, Saturday, August 04, 2018, 09:54 (132 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My mind is produced by my soul using my brain to think.

dhw: Presumably then it is the conscious mind and not the soul that goes into the afterlife. I hereby christen this new form of dualism “trialism”.

DAVID: Not what I've proposed at all. My soul is immaterially conscious and produces consciousness for me from the electricity I create when I think.

You keep accusing me of separating the soul from "me", whereas this is precisely what you keep doing! If the soul IS you, you now have the soul BEING conscious and yet producing consciousness for the soul from the electricity the soul creates when the soul thinks? How can the soul think before consciousness has been produced?

dhw: Why must your immaterial essence be a copy? If your soul IS you – containing the immaterial essence of you – why can’t it survive as itself rather than being a copy?

DAVID: Because I have free will to form myself. Again you want my soul to dictate to me. I (material me) dictate to my soul.

Your dualist’s soul IS you and can’t be separated from you. Remember? I view the soul (the essential, immaterial me) as instructing the brain (the material me), but now you have your body/brain dictating to your soul, which can only mean it’s your brain that does the thinking! Your computer now tells you what to write! And you still haven’t explained why the surviving soul has to be a copy instead of just being itself.

DAVID: I/soul cannot think without the brain during life.

dhw: Of course you can’t. The brain provides the information and material expression that are absolutely necessary for our thoughts during and about material life.

DAVID: Again back to your rigid definition of dualism. Doesn't fit mine.

So are you denying that the brain provides information and material expression? What exactly is your definition of dualism? At the moment, we have a division into soul, mind, and brain (= 3, not 2). The brain now dictates to the soul, the conscious soul actually isn’t conscious but creates consciousness (= the mind and not the soul, which is just a mechanism for creating consciousness) by using the brain to make electric waves, and the mind makes a copy of itself which goes into the afterlife. I find this confusing.

DAVID: Can't you come up with your own independent definition of soul without Longman, although I generally agree with his description of what a soul is, but that doesn't imply possible mechanisms of soul actions, which is what I am thinking about.

And I’m sorry but the result of your thinking about possible mechanisms is that you lurch from one theory to another, the latest of which I’m afraid I find just as confused and confusing as the others.

DAVID: My immaterial soul is also the mechanism that creates consciousness as the soul/I think with the brain.

dhw: Separation between soul and mind not mentioned here. If my soul thinks with the brain thereby creating consciousness, then the soul itself is not conscious although it thinks with the brain. What sort of thinking can it do if it’s not conscious?

DAVID: You keep separating my soul from me.

I don't. See above for some fine examples of your doing just that.

dhw: […]your new concept of trialism, with an unconscious soul thinking together with an unconscious brain to produce a conscious mind is certainly not my concept of dualism!

DAVID: I'm glad you have your own concept. My conscious soul thinks using my brain.

A moment ago it was your soul and your brain that CREATED consciousness: "My soul is the mechanism that creates mind/consciousness from the electric networks."

DAVID: Tell us your concept and we can critically study it. How do you view your essence acting?

I’m surprised that you can’t remember my concept of dualism (not to be taken as belief in dualism). The self consists of two components: the immaterial soul and the material body/brain. The soul, or the “essence” of me, comprises all my immaterial attributes such as consciousness, thought, emotion, will, memory etc. In life it acts by using the body/brain to gather information and to give its thoughts material expression. When the body/brain dies, it survives as the same immaterial “essence” of me, but it uses psychic means to gather information and to communicate.


--

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 04, 2018, 18:28 (132 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Not what I've proposed at all. My soul is immaterially conscious and produces consciousness for me from the electricity I create when I think.

dhw: You keep accusing me of separating the soul from "me", whereas this is precisely what you keep doing! If the soul IS you, you now have the soul BEING conscious and yet producing consciousness for the soul from the electricity the soul creates when the soul thinks? How can the soul think before consciousness has been produced?

Doesn't conscious thought have a beginning? An analysis of the role of soul, if it exists, has to start by recognizing physical/material evidence. The material me thinks with the brain networks. Somehow conscious thought appears to me. Logically if the soul is the immaterial essence of me, the soul and material I initiate thought together. I view this relationship much as we have discussed quantum reality. Quantum mechanics is the basis of our reality, but somehow the quantum basis is on the other side of a wall of uncertainty so we live in reality but suspect there is another reality across the 'wall'. ( Remember Ruth Kastner) I view my soul in the same way, based on the discoveries that consciousness appears to control the results of quantum experiments as in the late choice findings. Yes, my soul is my essence, but there may well be a wall of separation as my soul may exist primarily in quantum reality but finds expression in this reality through its contact with my brain. In this concept my soul is part of the quantum reality, which is the mind of God, which under girds the universe. When you follow this pattern thought, my view of what a soul might be makes sense. The immaterial quantum soul goes to the afterlife across the 'wall' to he quantum layer of reality where the afterlife exists.

DAVID: Tell us your concept and we can critically study it. How do you view your essence acting?

dhw: I’m surprised that you can’t remember my concept of dualism (not to be taken as belief in dualism). The self consists of two components: the immaterial soul and the material body/brain. The soul, or the “essence” of me, comprises all my immaterial attributes such as consciousness, thought, emotion, will, memory etc. In life it acts by using the body/brain to gather information and to give its thoughts material expression. When the body/brain dies, it survives as the same immaterial “essence” of me, but it uses psychic means to gather information and to communicate.

I know your definition. It doesn't include my considerations of the quantum portion of reality, or of how the soul might be the mechanism that produces consciousness from electricity. Note that Penrose has a theory about quantum activity intrinsic in the brain. Thought occurs only in the brain in reality. All analyses of the possible existence of a soul and how it functions must begin with that fact.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 05, 2018, 06:04 (131 days ago) @ David Turell

In this study a chemical is found which appears to produce depression:

https://bigthink.com/matt-davis/study-links-depression-to-a-single-molecule

"A new study has uncovered a critical biomarker of depression and a promising treatment method based on the body’s levels of a single molecule called acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC). This molecule’s main job is to help transport fatty acids into mitochondria; in effect, it helps provide cells with energy. By comparing the blood levels of 71 depressed individuals and 45 healthy individuals, it was discovered that ALC levels were significantly lower in those suffering from depression. Not only that, but the more depressed the individual was, the lower their ALC levels.

***

"According to the researchers, about 25–30% of all depression sufferers have this type of severe depression. Because ALC levels correlated with the presence and severity of the patients’ depression, measuring ALC in the blood can help psychiatrists determine who is at the greatest risk and help develop a treatment plan. In fact, providing ALC supplements to depressed patients might represent a critical treatment method.

***

"According to Dr. Nasca’s studies, ALC supplementation would work in depressed individuals by regulating the expression of genes related to synaptic plasticity. Essentially, these genes produce molecules that help the brain strengthen, weaken, and generate new synapses. Depressed individuals aren’t able to do this as well as others, causing critical mood-regulating regions in their brain to perform poorly. By regulating these genes, the neural dysfunction normally seen in depression improved.

***

"The achievement of this study was in identifying that ALC levels are low in human beings, just as in rats. While this is a major milestone toward finding an effective treatment for depression, questions remain as to whether supplementation can help treat this deadly disease, whether ALC levels are low in at-risk but non-depressive patients, if it is a biomarker for depression only or for other affective disorders as well, and many more.'"

Comment: Another study which shows that a sick brain due to a missing chemical produces sick thoughts. The problem for dhw is if I or he uses the brain to think and the soul is I or he, why does dhw try to claim the soul thinks without the brain (as we in life don't) and thus the original thought is sick, not the expression of thought from a soul separated from the brain as dhw constantly tries to present. He doesn't seem to realize he is presenting his soul as separate from his actions with his own brain as if he is not his soul.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by dhw, Sunday, August 05, 2018, 12:43 (131 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You keep accusing me of separating the soul from "me", whereas this is precisely what you keep doing! If the soul IS you, you now have the soul BEING conscious and yet producing consciousness for the soul from the electricity the soul creates when the soul thinks? How can the soul think before consciousness has been produced?

DAVID: Doesn't conscious thought have a beginning? An analysis of the role of soul, if it exists, has to start by recognizing physical/material evidence. The material me thinks with the brain networks. Somehow conscious thought appears to me. Logically if the soul is the immaterial essence of me, the soul and material I initiate thought together.

There is no logic in this at all. Of course conscious thought has a beginning. And until a week or so ago, we agreed that if there was such a thing as the soul, the soul initiated it. The physical/material evidence of thought is its material expression. But you keep repeating the mantra that “you” think with or use the brain networks, and I keep asking you what function the brain performs besides information and expression, and you zoom all over the place with new theories about translation and copying and representing. Logically if the soul is the immaterial essence of you which survives the death of the brain, the soul must be the part of you that thinks, unless you believe that you stop thinking when you enter the afterlife.

DAVID: I view this relationship much as we have discussed quantum reality. Quantum mechanics is the basis of our reality, but somehow the quantum basis is on the other side of a wall of uncertainty so we live in reality but suspect there is another reality across the 'wall'. ( Remember Ruth Kastner) I view my soul in the same way, based on the discoveries that consciousness appears to control the results of quantum experiments as in the late choice findings. Yes, my soul is my essence, but there may well be a wall of separation as my soul may exist primarily in quantum reality but finds expression in this reality through its contact with my brain.

I wondered how long it would be before you wandered back to the murky quantum world. Of course your soul, if it exists, gives its thought material expression in this reality through its use of the brain. As for the “wall of separation”, you believe that when the brain dies, the soul will enter another reality, but by now calling this a “quantum reality” you change nothing in the argument!

DAVID: In this concept my soul is part of the quantum reality, which is the mind of God, which under girds the universe. When you follow this pattern thought, my view of what a soul might be makes sense. The immaterial quantum soul goes to the afterlife across the 'wall' to the quantum layer of reality where the afterlife exists.

Quantum this and quantum that tells us nothing about the role of the soul in life. On the assumption that your God’s mind is conscious, why can’t our part of his mind be conscious too? Why does it have to be a mechanism that works with the brain to produces electric waves before it can think? (Although you actually have it thinking with the brain in order to produce the waves, so it thinks before it can even produce thought!)

DAVID: Tell us your concept and we can critically study it. How do you view your essence acting?

dhw: I’m surprised that you can’t remember my concept of dualism (not to be taken as belief in dualism). The self consists of two components: the immaterial soul and the material body/brain. The soul, or the “essence” of me, comprises all my immaterial attributes such as consciousness, thought, emotion, will, memory etc. In life it acts by using the body/brain to gather information and to give its thoughts material expression. When the body/brain dies, it survives as the same immaterial “essence” of me, but it uses psychic means to gather information and to communicate.

DAVID: I know your definition. It doesn't include my considerations of the quantum portion of reality….

As above, your considerations of the quantum portion of reality do not explain the role of the soul in life, or offer us one single brain function beyond those of information and expression.

DAVID: ……or of how the soul might be the mechanism that produces consciousness from electricity.

Also as above, why can’t the piece of your God’s mind be conscious, just as it is when apparently it hops over the “wall of uncertainty” to rejoin its source?

DAVID: Note that Penrose has a theory about quantum activity intrinsic in the brain. Thought occurs only in the brain in reality. All analyses of the possible existence of a soul and how it functions must begin with that fact.

We have agreed that if the soul exists, it is situated “in the brain in reality”. That does not help us to understand its FUNCTION. The possible existence of a soul depends on your belief (a) that the brain is NOT a mechanism for consciousness, and (b) that there is an afterlife, or “quantum reality”, in which your immaterial, consciously thinking essence survives the death of the material you.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 05, 2018, 19:21 (131 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Doesn't conscious thought have a beginning? An analysis of the role of soul, if it exists, has to start by recognizing physical/material evidence. The material me thinks with the brain networks. Somehow conscious thought appears to me. Logically if the soul is the immaterial essence of me, the soul and material I initiate thought together.

dhw: There is no logic in this at all. Of course conscious thought has a beginning. Logically if the soul is the immaterial essence of you which survives the death of the brain, the soul must be the part of you that thinks, unless you believe that you stop thinking when you enter the afterlife.

Your presentation of logic starts from your view of what is the soul. As I wrote elsewhere, you are your soul. In material life which we know is real, we think with our brains. So your soul is doing the same!


dhw: I wondered how long it would be before you wandered back to the murky quantum world. Of course your soul, if it exists, gives its thought material expression in this reality through its use of the brain. As for the “wall of separation”, you believe that when the brain dies, the soul will enter another reality, but by now calling this a “quantum reality” you change nothing in the argument!

I'm simply adding back what must be considered. I'm sorry if you feel 'it murky'. We all share the same confusion about it, but it must be considered in theorizing.


DAVID: In this concept my soul is part of the quantum reality, which is the mind of God, which under girds the universe. When you follow this pattern thought, my view of what a soul might be makes sense. The immaterial quantum soul goes to the afterlife across the 'wall' to the quantum layer of reality where the afterlife exists.

dhw: Quantum this and quantum that tells us nothing about the role of the soul in life. On the assumption that your God’s mind is conscious, why can’t our part of his mind be conscious too? Why does it have to be a mechanism that works with the brain to produces electric waves before it can think? (Although you actually have it thinking with the brain in order to produce the waves, so it thinks before it can even produce thought!)

Once again separating soul from brain. You are your soul and you and your soul must think using the brain. Pure logic.


DAVID: I know your definition. It doesn't include my considerations of the quantum portion of reality….

dhw: As above, your considerations of the quantum portion of reality do not explain the role of the soul in life, or offer us one single brain function beyond those of information and expression.

Again ignoring that you/soul must think using the brain. The brain is used to create thought and express it.


DAVID: ……or of how the soul might be the mechanism that produces consciousness from electricity.

dhw: Also as above, why can’t the piece of your God’s mind be conscious, just as it is when apparently it hops over the “wall of uncertainty” to rejoin its source?

It is conscious considering that God 'breathes a soul into the body'.


DAVID: Note that Penrose has a theory about quantum activity intrinsic in the brain. Thought occurs only in the brain in reality. All analyses of the possible existence of a soul and how it functions must begin with that fact.

dhw: We have agreed that if the soul exists, it is situated “in the brain in reality”. That does not help us to understand its FUNCTION. The possible existence of a soul depends on your belief (a) that the brain is NOT a mechanism for consciousness, and (b) that there is an afterlife, or “quantum reality”, in which your immaterial, consciously thinking essence survives the death of the material you.

The brain is a basic material mechanism for supporting consciousness, but it has to have something added ( a soul) to have consciousness appear from the material side.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by dhw, Monday, August 06, 2018, 13:50 (130 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Logically if the soul is the immaterial essence of you which survives the death of the brain, the soul must be the part of you that thinks, unless you believe that you stop thinking when you enter the afterlife.
DAVID: Your presentation of logic starts from your view of what is the soul. As I wrote elsewhere, you are your soul. In material life which we know is real, we think with our brains. So your soul is doing the same!

I am my soul, I think with my brain, and so my soul thinks with my brain: this is as logical as saying a dog is an animal, an elephant is an animal, and therefore a dog is an elephant. First of all, I am my soul AND my brain, but this does not mean the soul and the brain do the same thing. Secondly, I am not asking what “is” the soul (it is the immaterial part of the self), but what do the soul and the brain DO. Thirdly, as I have complained ad nauseam, “thinks with the brain” (like your other mantra, “uses” the brain to think) has to be explained before you can talk of “logic”. Under “Egnor” you say explicitly that the brain produces thought; elsewhere you say explicitly that the soul initiates thought; and you also believe that the soul alone produces thought when there is no brain (after death). These contradictions lead to such absurdities as described at the very end of this post. But meanwhile, in answer to the question of what the soul and the brain DO, I keep repeating that the soul thinks (more below), and the brain provides it with information and material expression. And you still haven’t come up with any other function apart from those you appear to have jettisoned (translation, copy, representation, reflection). Why, then, do you still refuse to accept that in dualistic life you are your soul and brain, and your soul is the immaterial part of you responsible for all your immaterial attributes (consciousness, thought, will, emotion, memory etc.) while your brain provides the information it thinks about and the material expression necessary for life in a material world? I really don’t understand why you feel you have to keep scrabbling around with all the different theories you propose and then discard.

dhw: I wondered how long it would be before you wandered back to the murky quantum world. Of course your soul, if it exists, gives its thought material expression in this reality through its use of the brain. As for the “wall of separation”, you believe that when the brain dies, the soul will enter another reality, but by now calling this a “quantum reality” you change nothing in the argument!

DAVID: I'm simply adding back what must be considered. I'm sorry if you feel 'it murky'. We all share the same confusion about it, but it must be considered in theorizing.

If we all share the same confusion, it is murky, and the only thing it has added to your theorizing is that instead of the afterlife you now talk of quantum reality.

dhw: …why can’t your separate piece of God’s consciousness be conscious in life as you think it is in death? For “using the brain” see above.

DAVID: It is conscious considering that God 'breathes a soul into the body'.
And: The brain is a basic material mechanism for supporting consciousness, but it has to have something added (a soul) to have consciousness appear from the material side.

What do you mean by “supporting” consciousness? You keep telling us that the brain produces consciousness in the form of its electrical waves. Now the brain has to “have” consciousness (the conscious soul your God breathed into the body) before it can produce consciousness. Do you really find this logical? Might I suggest that if the soul is already conscious, it has to have the addition of a brain to give its consciousness material form? After all, if the soul is a piece of your God’s consciousness, it must have existed before the brain! (Don’t ask me how God pops it in – I’m only debating the meaning of dualism, not whether it’s true.)

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Monday, August 06, 2018, 20:27 (130 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: …why can’t your separate piece of God’s consciousness be conscious in life as you think it is in death? For “using the brain” see above.

DAVID: It is conscious considering that God 'breathes a soul into the body'.
And: The brain is a basic material mechanism for supporting consciousness, but it has to have something added (a soul) to have consciousness appear from the material side.

dhw" What do you mean by “supporting” consciousness? You keep telling us that the brain produces consciousness in the form of its electrical waves. Now the brain has to “have” consciousness (the conscious soul your God breathed into the body) before it can produce consciousness. Do you really find this logical? Might I suggest that if the soul is already conscious, it has to have the addition of a brain to give its consciousness material form? After all, if the soul is a piece of your God’s consciousness, it must have existed before the brain! (Don’t ask me how God pops it in – I’m only debating the meaning of dualism, not whether it’s true.)

Your paragraph above is the nubbin of our difference. We know that when we think the brain is producing electric waves that contain the thought. We don't know how consciousness appears from this material presentation of it. We both seem to agree the soul is somehow related to the physical appearance of consciousness. In life I do not think the soul, which is my essence, can develop thought without using the brain to accomplish it as I know I do. This is my version of dualism. I know it is not yours because you have a theory of dualism I do not recognize. As for my soul I don't think it appeared until I was born and developed conscious use of the brain as I developed. Remember I think we start as a blank slate and develop our personage over a lifetime as a material person and as a soul. I see me as a material me and an immaterial soul, but I experience material me as in change of me which is then represented by my immaterial soul.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by dhw, Tuesday, August 07, 2018, 09:52 (129 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: …why can’t your separate piece of God’s consciousness be conscious in life as you think it is in death?

DAVID: It is conscious considering that God 'breathes a soul into the body'.
And: The brain is a basic material mechanism for supporting consciousness, but it has to have something added (a soul) to have consciousness appear from the material side.

dhw" What do you mean by “supporting” consciousness? You keep telling us that the brain produces consciousness in the form of its electrical waves. Now the brain has to “have” consciousness (the conscious soul your God breathed into the body) before it can produce consciousness. Do you really find this logical? Might I suggest that if the soul is already conscious, it has to have the addition of a brain to give its consciousness material form? After all, if the soul is a piece of your God’s consciousness, it must have existed before the brain! (Don’t ask me how God pops it in – I’m only debating the meaning of dualism, not whether it’s true.)

DAVID: Your paragraph above is the nubbin of our difference. We know that when we think the brain is producing electric waves that contain the thought. We don't know how consciousness appears from this material presentation of it.

How can consciousness appear from the material presentation of consciousness? The material presentation of consciousness is its expression, not its source! That is why in the good old days you told us that the soul was the initiator of thought, which has now abruptly changed into the brain being the initiator of thought (“a sick brain produces sick thought”, “the immaterial output from the brain is thought”).

DAVID: We both seem to agree the soul is somehow related to the physical appearance of consciousness. In life I do not think the soul, which is my essence, can develop thought without using the brain to accomplish it as I know I do.

And back you go to the same old mantra: the soul uses the brain. And I keep asking you what use it makes of the brain other than to acquire information and to give its thoughts material expression. And you keep coming up with theories about translation and copy and representation, which you then discard. What other use does the soul make of the brain?

DAVID: This is my version of dualism. I know it is not yours because you have a theory of dualism I do not recognize.

What don’t you recognize? Do you reject the version of dualism that has the soul using the brain for information and material expression? Do you reject the version in which the soul contains all our immaterial attributes, such as consciousness, the ability to think, will, emotion, memory – all of which live on after the death of the brain?

DAVID: As for my soul I don't think it appeared until I was born and developed conscious use of the brain as I developed.

Agreed. Now once more we have a soul consciously using the brain. Not a conscious soul that can’t be conscious until the brain has produced electrical waves that contain consciousness.

DAVID: Remember I think we start as a blank slate and develop our personage over a lifetime as a material person and as a soul. I see me as a material me and an immaterial soul, but I experience material me as in change of me which is then represented by my immaterial soul.

Blank slate is debatable in the light of heredity, but that is not the point here. Dualism does indeed mean that you are a material body/brain and an immaterial soul, but I don’t understand the last part of your comment. Both your body and your soul experience change all through life, and it is your soul that is conscious of the changes, because your soul is your conscious mind (let’s forget your “trialism” theory). I don’t know why your “me” is “represented” by your soul. You soul IS your “me”. Apart from that, I see no difference between your concept of dualism and my own.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 07, 2018, 18:24 (129 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your paragraph above is the nubbin of our difference. We know that when we think the brain is producing electric waves that contain the thought. We don't know how consciousness appears from this material presentation of it.

dhw: How can consciousness appear from the material presentation of consciousness? The material presentation of consciousness is its expression, not its source! That is why in the good old days you told us that the soul was the initiator of thought, which has now abruptly changed into the brain being the initiator of thought (“a sick brain produces sick thought”, “the immaterial output from the brain is thought”).

I/soul think with my brain, but there is no thought that can be recognized until the electricity runs it course and a complete thought appears to me/soul. This is simply a recognition of the material side of the problem of consciousness. What you've missed is the sick brain is producing what it can do for me, even if I preferred it wouldn't do that. I'm/soul stuck with what the brain can do.


DAVID: We both seem to agree the soul is somehow related to the physical appearance of consciousness. In life I do not think the soul, which is my essence, can develop thought without using the brain to accomplish it as I know I do.

dhw: And back you go to the same old mantra: the soul uses the brain. And I keep asking you what use it makes of the brain other than to acquire information and to give its thoughts material expression. And you keep coming up with theories about translation and copy and representation, which you then discard. What other use does the soul make of the brain?

The soul/I uses the brain to create thought. Round and round we go on the material side of the problem.


DAVID: This is my version of dualism. I know it is not yours because you have a theory of dualism I do not recognize.

dhw: What don’t you recognize? Do you reject the version of dualism that has the soul using the brain for information and material expression? Do you reject the version in which the soul contains all our immaterial attributes, such as consciousness, the ability to think, will, emotion, memory – all of which live on after the death of the brain?

I don't recognize that your version of material expression of thought. I add create and express thought under an impetus from me/soul.


DAVID: As for my soul I don't think it appeared until I was born and developed conscious use of the brain as I developed.

Agreed. Now once more we have a soul consciously using the brain. Not a conscious soul that can’t be conscious until the brain has produced electrical waves that contain consciousness.

DAVID: Remember I think we start as a blank slate and develop our personage over a lifetime as a material person and as a soul. I see me as a material me and an immaterial soul, but I experience material me as in charge of me which is then represented by my immaterial soul.

dhw: Blank slate is debatable in the light of heredity, but that is not the point here. Dualism does indeed mean that you are a material body/brain and an immaterial soul, but I don’t understand the last part of your comment. Both your body and your soul experience change all through life, and it is your soul that is conscious of the changes, because your soul is your conscious mind (let’s forget your “trialism” theory). I don’t know why your “me” is “represented” by your soul. You soul IS your “me”. Apart from that, I see no difference between your concept of dualism and my own.

Well, we do have differences. I view my soul differently as an essence and immaterial me while in life I am a material me. In life I am in charge and changing. In life I believe the soul provides the consciousness I experience. Both the soul and I use the brain to create thought. In death my soul simply represents what I was at the end of my life.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by dhw, Wednesday, August 08, 2018, 09:46 (128 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We know that when we think the brain is producing electric waves that contain the thought. We don't know how consciousness appears from this material presentation of it.

dhw: How can consciousness appear from the material presentation of consciousness? The material presentation of consciousness is its expression, not its source! That is why in the good old days you told us that the soul was the initiator of thought, which has now abruptly changed into the brain being the initiator of thought (“a sick brain produces sick thought”, “the immaterial output from the brain is thought”).

DAVID: I/soul think with my brain, but there is no thought that can be recognized until the electricity runs it course and a complete thought appears to me/soul. This is simply a recognition of the material side of the problem of consciousness.

Same old mantra: my soul thinks with (or “uses”) my brain, but you won’t tell us what the use is, other than for information and material expression. Or you come up with new theories which you quickly abandon. What do you mean by thought being “recognized” and appearing to my soul? Is your translation theory making a comeback? (The conscious English-speaking soul thinks its thought but doesn’t know what it’s thinking until it’s been translated into electrical waves which the soul translates back into English.) If you believe the brain is the source of thought – as you keep saying, but then denying – then you have materialism. If you believe there is a soul which produces thoughts (and goes on doing so when there is no brain), you have dualism.

DAVID: What you've missed is the sick brain is producing what it can do for me, even if I preferred it wouldn't do that. I'm/soul stuck with what the brain can do.

This makes your soul into a helpless observer and not a producer. The addict or drunkard kills his wife, and the soul is standing by thinking, “Don’t do it!” And you accuse me of separating the soul from “me”!

DAVID: This is my version of dualism. I know it is not yours because you have a theory of dualism I do not recognize.

dhw: What don’t you recognize? Do you reject the version of dualism that has the soul using the brain for information and material expression? Do you reject the version in which the soul contains all our immaterial attributes, such as consciousness, the ability to think, will, emotion, memory – all of which live on after the death of the brain?

DAVID: I don't recognize that your version of material expression of thought. I add create and express thought under an impetus from me/soul.

Material expression of thought is the translation of thought into the spoken or written word, or into the material implementation of a concept. I can hardly disagree with you that in dualism you/your soul add, create and express thought under an impetus from you/your soul. The disagreement arises when you claim that in dualism the soul is a helpless observer (today’s theory), or the brain is the source of thought (a theory that comes and goes), or the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness that is not conscious until the brain creates consciousness with the use of electric waves, or the soul thinks but doesn’t know what its thoughts are until the brain translates them and/or sends them back to the soul to translate.

dhw: I don’t know why your “me” is “represented” by your soul. You soul IS your “me”. Apart from that, I see no difference between your concept of dualism and my own.

DAVID: Well, we do have differences. I view my soul differently as an essence and immaterial me while in life I am a material me.

I would say “I am ALSO a material me.” Otherwise agreed.

DAVID; In life I am in charge and changing.

In charge means free will, and if I believed in dualism I’d say that free will is an attribute of the immaterial soul, not of the material body. Do you agree? And of course I agree that we change.

DAVID: In life I believe the soul provides the consciousness I experience.

Good news. The soul is the source of consciousness again.

DAVID: Both the soul and I use the brain to create thought. In death my soul simply represents what I was at the end of my life.

Why “both”? Why do you separate me from my soul? See above for your refusal to answer what “use” the soul makes of the brain. Why “represents”? Isn’t it me? In death, according to NDEs, the soul thinks about what it observes, responds, feels, remembers etc., and undergoes new experiences to which it reacts. NDEs are used as evidence that in life we have a soul that contains all these attributes, so why can’t the same soul have the same attributes in life until the brain produces its electrical waves? The waves are commonly used as evidence that the brain is the producer of all those attributes (which you also subscribe to every other day), and therefore there is no such thing as a soul, which is why you keep creating the here-today-gone-tomorrow theories mentioned above to accommodate the soul into your materialism!

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 08, 2018, 20:39 (128 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I/soul think with my brain, but there is no thought that can be recognized until the electricity runs it course and a complete thought appears to me/soul. This is simply a recognition of the material side of the problem of consciousness.

dhw: Same old mantra: my soul thinks with (or “uses”) my brain, but you won’t tell us what the use is, other than for information and material expression.

I don't understand what else you want. In life I use my brain to create thought. As me my soul does also.

dhw:If you believe there is a soul which produces thoughts (and goes on doing so when there is no brain), you have dualism.

The soul must use the brain network to create thought, just as I do in life. Death is a different circumstance.

DAVID: I don't recognize your version of material expression of thought. I add create and express thought under an impetus from me/soul.

dhw: Material expression of thought is the translation of thought into the spoken or written word, or into the material implementation of a concept. I can hardly disagree with you that in dualism you/your soul add, create and express thought under an impetus from you/your soul.

To repeat. I am my soul and my soul is me. In life I create thought by using electric networks in the brain. Therefore my soul is doing the same.


dhw: I don’t know why your “me” is “represented” by your soul. You soul IS your “me”. Apart from that, I see no difference between your concept of dualism and my own.

DAVID: Well, we do have differences. I view my soul differently as an essence and immaterial me while in life I am a material me.

I would say “I am ALSO a material me.” Otherwise agreed.

DAVID; In life I am in charge and changing.

dhw: In charge means free will, and if I believed in dualism I’d say that free will is an attribute of the immaterial soul, not of the material body. Do you agree? And of course I agree that we change.

I think my material body/ brain has free will.


DAVID: In life I believe the soul provides the consciousness I experience.

dhw: Good news. The soul is the source of consciousness again.

DAVID: Both the soul and I use the brain to create thought. In death my soul simply represents what I was at the end of my life.

dhw: Why “both”? Why do you separate me from my soul?

I don't. I view the soul as an immaterial copy of me, existing along with me but on the quantum side of the wall of uncertainty. In the afterlife the soul return to the quantum realm where the afterlife is. But the soul and I are never separate or separated by the wall.

dhw:See above for your refusal to answer what “use” the soul makes of the brain. Why “represents”? Isn’t it me?

See above for explanation of the non-separation of soul and me.

dhw: In death, according to NDEs, the soul thinks about what it observes, responds, feels, remembers etc., and undergoes new experiences to which it reacts. NDEs are used as evidence that in life we have a soul that contains all these attributes, so why can’t the same soul have the same attributes in life until the brain produces its electrical waves? The waves are commonly used as evidence that the brain is the producer of all those attributes (which you also subscribe to every other day), and therefore there is no such thing as a soul, which is why you keep creating the here-today-gone-tomorrow theories mentioned above to accommodate the soul into your materialism!

And I separate life and death into two very different circumstances. The soul and I, as the same entity, use the brain to think in life, but the soul, lacking the living me, thinks and communicates telepathically, all in a quantum reality. By the way, Susan agrees with you and says if you accept that theory of yours about the soul you must accept God as existing.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by dhw, Thursday, August 09, 2018, 10:53 (127 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I/soul think with my brain

dhw: Same old mantra: my soul thinks with (or “uses”) my brain, but you won’t tell us what the use is, other than for information and material expression.

DAVID: I don't understand what else you want. In life I use my brain to create thought. As me my soul does also.

You don’t want to understand what else I want. If the soul is conscious, as you keep saying it is (though then you keep saying that it isn’t), it must be able to think and therefore doesn’t need the brain to create consciousness/to think! It uses the brain for information and material expression (you can hardly disagree), and when I ask you what else it uses the brain for, you come up with theories which even you have to discard. Now you have come up with not knowing what I mean. (Most of your post simply goes on repeating the mantra, so I’ll leave those bits out.)

DAVID: In life I am in charge…

dhw: In charge means free will, and if I believed in dualism I’d say that free will is an attribute of the immaterial soul, not of the material body. Do you agree?

DAVID: I think my material body/ brain has free will.

That is a real surprise to me. Your body/brain now makes all the decisions. Frankly, if the soul can’t think without the brain, and if the brain makes the decisions, determines how intelligent we are (your Einstein example), and rearranges itself in order to preserve its powers of cognition (non-Egnor non-example of dualism), what do you need a soul for?

DAVID: I view the soul as an immaterial copy of me, existing along with me but on the quantum side of the wall of uncertainty. In the afterlife the soul return to the quantum realm where the afterlife is. But the soul and I are never separate or separated by the wall.

“You” (soul and body/brain) lead a strange life! There’s the material you doing all the thinking and making all the decisions (a copy can hardly do the thinking, can it?), and the immaterial copy of you hanging around inside the material you, but also at the same time it is “on the quantum side of the wall of uncertainty”, which can only mean that the quantum world is also inside the material you, unless you have two copies of you, one on this side of the wall (inside you) and the second on the other side (outside you). This is, to say the least, somewhat confusing. Anyway, when you die, the copy of you, which does nothing at all, is suddenly able to undergo and react to and think about the new experiences of the afterlife, chatting telepathically to old friends, remembering all the things which in its material days it couldn’t even influence (it had no will of its own) and learning new things. And these new things, in the case of NDEs, it can even tell the brain about when it returns to material life. Just imagine that – the copy educating the original. I’m afraid I find this theory totally bewildering.

DAVID: I separate life and death into two very different circumstances.

Surprisingly, so do I.

DAVID: The soul and I, as the same entity, use the brain to think in life, but the soul, lacking the living me, thinks and communicates telepathically, all in a quantum reality.

Back to the old mantra, except that it is now the copy of “you and you” that uses the brain to think. And you seem to have forgotten that the copy of you is helpless – it has no will of its own. However, we have already agreed that if there is such a thing as a conscious, thinking soul, it must use psychic and not material means to observe and communicate. But if the soul is not conscious and thinking – as is apparently now the case in material life, since it’s only a helpless copy – then I don’t see how it can suddenly become conscious and thinking in the afterlife, which has now changed its name to the more scientific-sounding quantum reality.

DAVID: By the way, Susan agrees with you and says if you accept that theory of yours about the soul you must accept God as existing.

I’m delighted to have Susan supporting my theory, which makes so much more sense than any of the multiple theories you have been proposing and discarding. And since I have no answer to the design theory – I cannot place faith in chance as the creator of all these complex mechanisms – I must accept the POSSIBILITY of God’s existence. But I find it equally difficult to place faith in the concept of an unknown, unknowable, all-knowing, all-powerful conscious mind that came from absolutely nowhere, created the vastness of the material and ever changing universe out of its own immaterial self…. In brief, I can’t solve one mystery by having faith in another mystery which, if anything, I find even more mysterious. That is the agnostic’s dilemma.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 09, 2018, 19:36 (127 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I/soul think with my brain

dhw: Same old mantra: my soul thinks with (or “uses”) my brain, but you won’t tell us what the use is, other than for information and material expression.

DAVID: I don't understand what else you want. In life I use my brain to create thought. As me my soul does also.

You don’t want to understand what else I want. If the soul is conscious, as you keep saying it is (though then you keep saying that it isn’t), it must be able to think and therefore doesn’t need the brain to create consciousness/to think!

This is our disagreement. I theorize that since the soul is me it uses the brain to think as I do.

DAVID: I think my material body/ brain has free will.

dhw: That is a real surprise to me. Your body/brain now makes all the decisions. Frankly, if the soul can’t think without the brain, and if the brain makes the decisions, determines how intelligent we are (your Einstein example), and rearranges itself in order to preserve its powers of cognition (non-Egnor non-example of dualism), what do you need a soul for?

My soul is me. My body and brain are me. I use my brain to think and make free will decisions. So does my soul as me. You sure get confused. I've never changed my view of how it works in life.


DAVID: I view the soul as an immaterial copy of me, existing along with me but on the quantum side of the wall of uncertainty. In the afterlife the soul return to the quantum realm where the afterlife is. But the soul and I are never separate or separated by the wall.

dhw: “You” (soul and body/brain) lead a strange life! There’s the material you doing all the thinking and making all the decisions (a copy can hardly do the thinking, can it?),

But I've said all along my soul and I are the same and work as the same entity.

DAVID: I separate life and death into two very different circumstances.

dhw: Surprisingly, so do I.

Not surprising.


DAVID: The soul and I, as the same entity, use the brain to think in life, but the soul, lacking the living me, thinks and communicates telepathically, all in a quantum reality.

dhw: Back to the old mantra, except that it is now the copy of “you and you” that uses the brain to think. And you seem to have forgotten that the copy of you is helpless – it has no will of its own.

My soul is me and is not helpless any more than I am.

DAVID: By the way, Susan agrees with you and says if you accept that theory of yours about the soul you must accept God as existing.

dhw: I’m delighted to have Susan supporting my theory, which makes so much more sense than any of the multiple theories you have been proposing and discarding. And since I have no answer to the design theory – I cannot place faith in chance as the creator of all these complex mechanisms – I must accept the POSSIBILITY of God’s existence. But I find it equally difficult to place faith in the concept of an unknown, unknowable, all-knowing, all-powerful conscious mind that came from absolutely nowhere, created the vastness of the material and ever changing universe out of its own immaterial self…. In brief, I can’t solve one mystery by having faith in another mystery which, if anything, I find even more mysterious. That is the agnostic’s dilemma.

In the thread referring to Egnor and his insights as a religious neurosurgeon, he describes the role of the soul directly supporting consciousness, as I know from his other writings which have been presented previously. Susan's view is from strict religious training, which I have't had.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by dhw, Friday, August 10, 2018, 11:13 (126 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I/soul think with my brain…

dhw: Same old mantra: my soul thinks with (or “uses”) my brain, but you won’t tell us what the use is, other than for information and material expression.

DAVID: I don't understand what else you want. In life I use my brain to create thought. As me my soul does also.

dhw: You don’t want to understand what else I want. If the soul is conscious, as you keep saying it is (though then you keep saying that it isn’t), it must be able to think and therefore doesn’t need the brain to create consciousness/to think!

DAVID: This is our disagreement. I theorize that since the soul is me it uses the brain to think as I do.

Same again. Why “as I do”? Why do you compare your soul to you if your soul IS you? And you still refuse to tell me HOW the soul “uses” the brain to think, other than for information and material expression.

DAVID: I think my material body/ brain has free will.

dhw: That is a real surprise to me. Your body/brain now makes all the decisions. Frankly, if the soul can’t think without the brain, and if the brain makes the decisions, determines how intelligent we are (your Einstein example), and rearranges itself in order to preserve its powers of cognition (non-Egnor non-example of dualism), what do you need a soul for?

DAVID: My soul is me. My body and brain are me. I use my brain to think and make free will decisions. So does my soul as me. You sure get confused. I've never changed my view of how it works in life.

Again you ignore the question and repeat the mantras. We agree that your soul, body and brain are you. So the rest of your post means that your body and brain and soul use your body and brain to think and so does your soul as your body/brain and soul (“so does my soul as me”), and although your body and brain have free will, your soul and body and brain use your brain to make free will. Yes, I sure do get confused. How it works in life has included the soul initiating thought although the brain creates thought, a piece of God’s consciousness not being conscious until the brain makes electric waves, the soul thinking its thoughts and translating them into electric waves which then come to the soul so that it can translate them back into thoughts, and the soul being a copy of you which IS you, as below:

DAVID: I view the soul as an immaterial copy of me, existing along with me but on the quantum side of the wall of uncertainty. In the afterlife the soul return to the quantum realm where the afterlife is. But the soul and I are never separate or separated by the wall.

dhw: “You” (soul and body/brain) lead a strange life! There’s the material you doing all the thinking and making all the decisions (a copy can hardly do the thinking, can it?)

DAVID: But I've said all along my soul and I are the same and work as the same entity.

dhw: So now we have a copy of you, which is on the quantum side of reality, being the same as you and working as one, except that the copy of you doesn’t have free will, because it is your body/brain that has free will.

DAVID: My soul is me and is not helpless any more than I am.

If it doesn’t have free will, then it is at the mercy of the brain and body. As I pointed out on the Egnor thread, if only you would recognize the dichotomy in your own thinking, as you try to reconcile your dualism with your materialism, you would not be forced into any of these convolutions.
The problem is straightforward! Dualism divides us into soul and body/brain, with the soul comprising all our immaterial attributes (including consciousness and the ability to think), and for those who believe in an afterlife, the soul lives on with all those attributes. But against this are the findings of materialists who seize on the indisputable influence of the body/brain on those immaterial attributes and believe that eventually they will be able to prove that the body/brain are responsible for all those attributes. I don’t know why you refuse to consider the possibility that the materialists are right, but the material mechanisms may be (it is only a hypothesis) capable of producing the immaterial self that dualists believe in. This hypothesis allows for whatever faith you wish to embrace.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Friday, August 10, 2018, 15:36 (126 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: But I've said all along my soul and I are the same and work as the same entity.

dhw: So now we have a copy of you, which is on the quantum side of reality, being the same as you and working as one, except that the copy of you doesn’t have free will, because it is your body/brain that has free will.

More confused interpretation of what I write. Free will decisions are made by me/soul using the brain to think. The quantum reality and our living reality are not separate in the sense you imply. The wall of uncertainty is a metaphor for the fact that we only see the probabilities and not a clear basis of quantum activity.


DAVID: My soul is me and is not helpless any more than I am.


dhw: The problem is straightforward! Dualism divides us into soul and body/brain, with the soul comprising all our immaterial attributes (including consciousness and the ability to think), and for those who believe in an afterlife, the soul lives on with all those attributes. But against this are the findings of materialists who seize on the indisputable influence of the body/brain on those immaterial attributes and believe that eventually they will be able to prove that the body/brain are responsible for all those attributes. I don’t know why you refuse to consider the possibility that the materialists are right, but the material mechanisms may be (it is only a hypothesis) capable of producing the immaterial self that dualists believe in. This hypothesis allows for whatever faith you wish to embrace.

The electricity in the brain is the problem I am trying to solve. The problem is more complex
than your approach. What is the role of the electricity that appears in the brain every time I/soul initiate thinking? A quote of mine from the Egnor thread explains the problem:

David: I think the desire to think initiates thought as new original electrical activity in the brain. The electricity does not spark the thought, it appears as a representation of thought. The point is to answer this question: in the presence of any thought, why is there a new wave of electricity? For my view the soul/I are initiators of the electricity and the soul provides the conscious interpretation of the electricity as it appears in the brain. A longer version of I/soul think by using my brain. The appearance of the electric waves must be explained.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by dhw, Saturday, August 11, 2018, 09:40 (125 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: But I've said all along my soul and I are the same and work as the same entity.

dhw: So now we have a copy of you, which is on the quantum side of reality, being the same as you and working as one, except that the copy of you doesn’t have free will, because it is your body/brain that has free will.

DAVID: More confused interpretation of what I write. Free will decisions are made by me/soul using the brain to think.

The confusion arises from your constant changes of mind. Here is the exchange:

DAVID: I am in charge.
dhw: In charge means free will, and if I believed in dualism I’d say that free will is an attribute of the immaterial soul, not of the material body. Do you agree?
DAVID: I think my material body/brain has free will.

I then expressed my surprise, and continue to do so.

dhw: The problem is straightforward! Dualism divides us into soul and body/brain, with the soul comprising all our immaterial attributes (including consciousness and the ability to think), and for those who believe in an afterlife, the soul lives on with all those attributes. But against this are the findings of materialists who seize on the indisputable influence of the body/brain on those immaterial attributes and believe that eventually they will be able to prove that the body/brain are responsible for all those attributes. I don’t know why you refuse to consider the possibility that the materialists are right, but the material mechanisms may be (it is only a hypothesis) capable of producing the immaterial self that dualists believe in. This hypothesis allows for whatever faith you wish to embrace.

DAVID: The electricity in the brain is the problem I am trying to solve.

Yet another shift of focus. The problem we have been trying to solve for months and months on this thread and several others is the dichotomy between your own dualism and your own materialism, and for some reason you refuse (a) to acknowledge it and (b) to consider the solution that I have proposed. I have responded to the electricity question on the Egnor thread about dualism.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 11, 2018, 19:29 (125 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: More confused interpretation of what I write. Free will decisions are made by me/soul using the brain to think.

dhw: The confusion arises from your constant changes of mind. Here is the exchange:

DAVID: I am in charge.
dhw: In charge means free will, and if I believed in dualism I’d say that free will is an attribute of the immaterial soul, not of the material body. Do you agree?
DAVID: I think my material body/brain has free will.

In my statements I am describing me within the material side of life, and I do not accept the premise that only the soul provides free will. In life I know I have choice in decision-making, and my soul as me does also. I/soul make choices all the time. We have identified a differences in our concepts of soul.


dhw: I then expressed my surprise, and continue to do so.

dhw: The problem is straightforward! Dualism divides us into soul and body/brain, with the soul comprising all our immaterial attributes (including consciousness and the ability to think), and for those who believe in an afterlife, the soul lives on with all those attributes.

Again a difference in concept. My soul does not give me the ability to think. Soul/I use the brain to create thought in the electricity and the soul gives me consciousness to interpret the electricity.

dhw: But against this are the findings of materialists who seize on the indisputable influence of the body/brain on those immaterial attributes and believe that eventually they will be able to prove that the body/brain are responsible for all those attributes. I don’t know why you refuse to consider the possibility that the materialists are right, but the material mechanisms may be (it is only a hypothesis) capable of producing the immaterial self that dualists believe in. This hypothesis allows for whatever faith you wish to embrace.[/i]

I am not a materialist. I do not believe the soul is created by the material brain. It comes from God.


DAVID: The electricity in the brain is the problem I am trying to solve.

dhw: Yet another shift of focus. The problem we have been trying to solve for months and months on this thread and several others is the dichotomy between your own dualism and your own materialism, and for some reason you refuse (a) to acknowledge it and (b) to consider the solution that I have proposed. I have responded to the electricity question on the Egnor thread about dualism.

No shift of focus. I am trying to get you to explain what you think is going on in the brain with its material functions, which appear when active thought is in process. I see no dichotomy in the way I view the material side and try to explain consciousness as a property of the soul. You seem to separate the soul from the functions of the brain by having the soul separately create thought and then tell the brain what to think so I recognize what I am thinking! I/soul think as one using the brain as a processor of thought. Pure dualism as I see it! I don't care what the 'approved' rigid definition of dualism happens to be. All of the theories are just that, proposals not fact.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by dhw, Sunday, August 12, 2018, 10:16 (124 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: More confused interpretation of what I write. Free will decisions are made by me/soul using the brain to think.

dhw: The confusion arises from your constant changes of mind. Here is the exchange:

DAVID: I am in charge.
dhw: In charge means free will, and if I believed in dualism I’d say that free will is an attribute of the immaterial soul, not of the material body. Do you agree?
DAVID: I think my material body/brain has free will.

DAVID: In my statements I am describing me within the material side of life, and I do not accept the premise that only the soul provides free will. In life I know I have choice in decision-making, and my soul as me does also. I/soul make choices all the time. We have identified a differences in our concepts of soul.

Now you are separating your soul from me! You’re saying “I” make choices and so does my soul! I didn’t ask you to choose between yourself and your soul as the source of free will. I proposed that it was the soul and not the body/brain that made the choices, and you opted for the body/brain.

dhw: The problem is straightforward! Dualism divides us into soul and body/brain, with the soul comprising all our immaterial attributes (including consciousness and the ability to think), and for those who believe in an afterlife, the soul lives on with all those attributes.

DAVID: Again a difference in concept. My soul does not give me the ability to think. Soul/I use the brain to create thought in the electricity and the soul gives me consciousness to interpret the electricity.

Once again separating me from soul. “You” are your soul and your body/brain. Now you have your soul giving your soul and your brain consciousness. How does the soul give your soul and brain consciousness if it isn’t conscious? And how can your soul be conscious if it can’t think? (Electricity is dealt with under “Egnor”.) And omitted from all these convolutions is your belief that the soul is conscious and thoughtful when the brain is dead.

dhw: But against this are the findings of materialists who seize on the indisputable influence of the body/brain on those immaterial attributes and believe that eventually they will be able to prove that the body/brain are responsible for all those attributes. I don’t know why you refuse to consider the possibility that the materialists are right, but the material mechanisms may be (it is only a hypothesis) capable of producing the immaterial self that dualists believe in. This hypothesis allows for whatever faith you wish to embrace.[

DAVID: I am not a materialist. I do not believe the soul is created by the material brain. It comes from God.

A material brain that creates a soul could also come from your God. But if you wish to go back to your theory that the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness, then may I suggest that it makes sense for a piece of God’s consciousness to be conscious.

DAVID: I see no dichotomy in the way I view the material side and try to explain consciousness as a property of the soul.

Again, how can consciousness be a property of the soul if it doesn’t have the ability to think? Instead of it thinking, you have it interpreting the electric waves from the brain, although somehow it initiates the waves that are supposed to contain the thought which requires interpretation by a soul that can't think the thought it is interpreting! The weaverbird's knots are child's play compared to all this!

DAVID: You seem to separate the soul from the functions of the brain by having the soul separately create thought and then tell the brain what to think so I recognize what I am thinking! I/soul think as one using the brain as a processor of thought.

If the soul is the immaterial thinking self that survives the death of the brain, then of course it creates thought! And so it uses the brain for information and material expression, not for the actual process of thinking (just as in your afterlife it thinks without the brain). The “I” that recognizes what “I” am thinking is the dualist’s soul. It doesn’t tell the brain what to think; the soul does the thinking, and the brain responds. The brain doesn’t “process” thought – that is the work of the soul – but it implements thought (e.g. the illiterate women). But all this is countered by the fact that drugs and diseases change the brain and hence our behaviour (see the section of the Egnor post which you ignored), thus creating the dichotomy which you refuse to recognize, even though it is the cause of your own struggle in trying to reconcile the two conflicting sets of evidence.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 12, 2018, 15:49 (124 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: In my statements I am describing me within the material side of life, and I do not accept the premise that only the soul provides free will. In life I know I have choice in decision-making, and my soul as me does also. I/soul make choices all the time. We have identified a differences in our concepts of soul.

Now you are separating your soul from me! You’re saying “I” make choices and so does my soul! I didn’t ask you to choose between yourself and your soul as the source of free will. I proposed that it was the soul and not the body/brain that made the choices, and you opted for the body/brain.

I only pointed out the material side of the problem which you refuse to recognize.

DAVID: Again a difference in concept. My soul does not give me the ability to think. Soul/I use the brain to create thought in the electricity and the soul gives me consciousness to interpret the electricity.

dhw: Once again separating me from soul. “You” are your soul and your body/brain. Now you have your soul giving your soul and your brain consciousness. How does the soul give your soul and brain consciousness if it isn’t conscious? And how can your soul be conscious if it can’t think? (Electricity is dealt with under “Egnor”.) And omitted from all these convolutions is your belief that the soul is conscious and thoughtful when the brain is dead.

Dead is different realm from I/soul alive using brain to think .


DAVID: I am not a materialist. I do not believe the soul is created by the material brain. It comes from God.

dhw: A material brain that creates a soul could also come from your God. But if you wish to go back to your theory that the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness, then may I suggest that it makes sense for a piece of God’s consciousness to be conscious.

My consciousness is not God's consciousness, I think my soul provides a way to reach consciousness from a material brain. If I had as direct connection to ?God's consciousness faith in God would not be needed. I would have direct knowledge of God.


DAVID: I see no dichotomy in the way I view the material side and try to explain consciousness as a property of the soul.

dhw: Again, how can consciousness be a property of the soul if it doesn’t have the ability to think? Instead of it thinking, you have it interpreting the electric waves from the brain, although somehow it initiates the waves that are supposed to contain the thought which requires interpretation by a soul that can't think the thought it is interpreting! The weaverbird's knots are child's play compared to all this!

You and I have stated we think with our brains. Start your thinking about consciousness from that point. In life I/soul think by using the brains electric networks.


DAVID: You seem to separate the soul from the functions of the brain by having the soul separately create thought and then tell the brain what to think so I recognize what I am thinking! I/soul think as one using the brain as a processor of thought.

dhw: If the soul is the immaterial thinking self that survives the death of the brain, then of course it creates thought! And so it uses the brain for information and material expression, not for the actual process of thinking (just as in your afterlife it thinks without the brain). The “I” that recognizes what “I” am thinking is the dualist’s soul. It doesn’t tell the brain what to think; the soul does the thinking, and the brain responds. The brain doesn’t “process” thought – that is the work of the soul – but it implements thought (e.g. the illiterate women). But all this is countered by the fact that drugs and diseases change the brain and hence our behaviour (see the section of the Egnor post which you ignored), thus creating the dichotomy which you refuse to recognize, even though it is the cause of your own struggle in trying to reconcile the two conflicting sets of evidence.

I think the soul is immaterial and plays different roles in life and death, which are completely different, and require differences. If you are alive and your brain is dead, can you have thoughts? In an NDE the soul observes the afterlife and then when it comes back to a living brain, electricity appears which sre the thoughts the soul presents to you about the experience, and interprets the electricity as conscious thought. We know the presence of electricity must return.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by dhw, Monday, August 13, 2018, 09:01 (123 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: I didn’t ask you to choose between yourself and your soul as the source of free will. I proposed that it was the soul and not the body/brain that made the choices, and you opted for the body/brain.

DAVID: I only pointed out the material side of the problem which you refuse to recognize.

You separated the soul from me, and you attributed the will to the body/brain. The material side of the problem is what causes you to vacillate between dualism and materialism, but you refuse to recognize the problem.

DAVID: My soul does not give me the ability to think. Soul/I use the brain to create thought in the electricity and the soul gives me consciousness to interpret the electricity.

dhw: Once again separating me from soul. “You” are your soul and your body/brain. Now you have your soul giving your soul and your brain consciousness. How does the soul give your soul and brain consciousness if it isn’t conscious? And how can your soul be conscious if it can’t think? And omitted from all these convolutions is your belief that the soul is conscious and thoughtful when the brain is dead.

DAVID: Dead is different realm from I/soul alive using brain to think.

See below for death. Meanwhile, how about answering the questions?

DAVID: I am not a materialist. I do not believe the soul is created by the material brain. It comes from God.

dhw: A material brain that creates a soul could also come from your God. But if you wish to go back to your theory that the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness, then may I suggest that it makes sense for a piece of God’s consciousness to be conscious.

DAVID: My consciousness is not God's consciousness, I think my soul provides a way to reach consciousness from a material brain. If I had a direct connection to God’s consciousness faith in God would not be needed. I would have direct knowledge of God.

A good reason for discarding your theory that your soul is a piece of God’s consciousness. This is one of the problems: your theories change so frequently. So what IS your soul? You refuse to accept the definition that it is the immaterial part of your self which contains all your immaterial attributes - e.g. consciousness, the ability to think, to feel, to process information, to make decisions (free will) – and you say it is a copy of yourself which “provides a way to reach consciousness from a material brain”. If you think consciousness comes “from” a material brain, you are caught between your belief in a conscious immaterial soul and the “material side of the problem which you refuse to recognize”.

DAVID: I see no dichotomy in the way I view the material side and try to explain consciousness as a property of the soul.

dhw: Again, how can consciousness be a property of the soul if it doesn’t have the ability to think? […]

DAVID: You and I have stated we think with our brains. Start your thinking about consciousness from that point.

I have stated that in dualism, the soul uses the brain for information and material expression of its thoughts. I start my thinking about consciousness from two points: 1) if the soul exists, it would have no function unless it was conscious, i.e. able to think. 2) If there is no such thing as a soul, the brain does the thinking.

dhw: If the soul is the immaterial thinking self that survives the death of the brain, then of course it creates thought! And so it uses the brain for information and material expression, not for the actual process of thinking (just as in your afterlife it thinks without the brain).

DAVID: I think the soul is immaterial and plays different roles in life and death, which are completely different, and require differences.

No one would disagree that life and death are different. Why should that mean that the soul plays different roles? If it is the immaterial, thinking, feeling, remembering etc. self in death, why shouldn’t it be the thinking, feeling, remembering etc. self in life? The difference is that in death it now uses different means of observing and communicating in a different “reality”. But it is still the same immaterial self that it was in life, as NDE patients confirm.

DAVID: In an NDE the soul observes the afterlife and then when it comes back to a living brain, electricity appears which sre the thoughts the soul presents to you about the experience, and interprets the electricity as conscious thought. We know the presence of electricity must return.

How can the soul possibly not be conscious of what it experienced without the brain during the NDE? The soul (if it exists) activates the living brain. Why does it need the brain’s electricity to become conscious of the experience it has just consciously had?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems

by David Turell @, Monday, August 13, 2018, 19:31 (123 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: A material brain that creates a soul could also come from your God. But if you wish to go back to your theory that the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness, then may I suggest that it makes sense for a piece of God’s consciousness to be conscious.

DAVID: My consciousness is not God's consciousness, I think my soul provides a way to reach consciousness from a material brain. If I had a direct connection to God’s consciousness faith in God would not be needed. I would have direct knowledge of God.

dhw: ... So what IS your soul? You refuse to accept the definition that it is the immaterial part of your self which contains all your immaterial attributes - e.g. consciousness, the ability to think, to feel, to process information, to make decisions (free will) – and you say it is a copy of yourself which “provides a way to reach consciousness from a material brain”.

This is our difference. I know the soul is me as an immaterial essence. I know I think using my brain to create thought. We know electricity is activated in the frontal cortex of the brain when I think. My solution to consciousness is the soul provides an interpretive mechanism for the material electricity that we know exists during thought. I hear my thoughts in words, not electrical buzzing.

dhw: If you think consciousness comes “from” a material brain, you are caught between your belief in a conscious immaterial soul and the “material side of the problem which you refuse to recognize”.

But that is not my thought. I recognize the issue, I think more fully than you do because you have a pre-formed rigid concept of soul, when we have yet to agree on what the soul is, which is what I admit I am struggling with, knowing the presentation of the material side. We recognize consciousness, but when we look of the brain all we see is electricity. How does the electricity convert to consciousness is the continuing 'hard' problem. I think my soul offers a mechanism of translation.

DAVID: You and I have stated we think with our brains. Start your thinking about consciousness from that point.

dhw: I have stated that in dualism, the soul uses the brain for information and material expression of its thoughts. I start my thinking about consciousness from two points: 1) if the soul exists, it would have no function unless it was conscious, i.e. able to think. 2) If there is no such thing as a soul, the brain does the thinking.

I view the soul's thought as developing from initial birth when there is no thought, and no circuits for memory developed just as I did from birth.

dhw: If the soul is the immaterial thinking self that survives the death of the brain, then of course it creates thought! And so it uses the brain for information and material expression, not for the actual process of thinking (just as in your afterlife it thinks without the brain).

DAVID: I think the soul is immaterial and plays different roles in life and death, which are completely different, and require differences.

dhw: No one would disagree that life and death are different. Why should that mean that the soul plays different roles? If it is the immaterial, thinking, feeling, remembering etc. self in death, why shouldn’t it be the thinking, feeling, remembering etc. self in life? The difference is that in death it now uses different means of observing and communicating in a different “reality”. But it is still the same immaterial self that it was in life, as NDE patients confirm.

NDE folks do have a continuity. The difference I see between us is that in death I see the soul as an observer. No new concepts are developed, but points of view are discussed telepathically. It is obvious soul/consciousness survives clinical death, but in death I see the soul as operating differently than in life.


DAVID: In an NDE the soul observes the afterlife and then when it comes back to a living brain, electricity appears which sre the thoughts the soul presents to you about the experience, and interprets the electricity as conscious thought. We know the presence of electricity must return.

dhw: How can the soul possibly not be conscious of what it experienced without the brain during the NDE? The soul (if it exists) activates the living brain. Why does it need the brain’s electricity to become conscious of the experience it has just consciously had?

Because that is what is observed when they revive brain function. Only then do they learn what happened on the other side. They cannot learn about it without the functional brain. The soul in death is totally disconnected from the soul in life. You are trying to subscribe to some sort of continuity in realms.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 05:23 (156 days ago) @ dhw

Don't misinterpret me. I do not believe in an immortal soul, as such, but there is something driving the machine for sure.

As far as the limitations that apply to the amount of control over personality, perhaps a perspective shift is in order.

Often when a person buys a car, they pick based on self-image. There car reflects some aspect of their latent personality and needs.

After the sale, however, the benefits and limitations of the vehicle begin to exert a sort of pressure on the driver. Muscle car drivers will speed or cruise more, binding their self image more deeply. The stereotypical American soccer mom with all the safety features will tend to drive even more safely. Soccer mom in a minivan won't win a street race, so she is less likely to even try. The vehicle limits the drivers options, and the driver conforms and adapts. The in turn invests something of their personality into the vehicle... Audio/video/upholstery/tires/rims/etc

This push and pull continues until either equilibrium is reached or death prevents further growth. Worse, due to the deterioration of age, we a forced to acclimate to greater and greater limitations.

Yes, your body can place limitations on personality based on physical limitations. These limitations have hard limits, however, there is an amazing amount of variability within those limits. Male/Female, Introvert/extrovert, etc. These have real, physiological counter-parts in the body. Introverts process dopamine differently, females have less testosterone.. These things both limit and inform the driver, just like knowing how may rpms you can run an engine up to before it blows up.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 12:20 (156 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: Don't misinterpret me. I do not believe in an immortal soul, as such, but there is something driving the machine for sure.
As far as the limitations that apply to the amount of control over personality, perhaps a perspective shift is in order.
Often when a person buys a car, they pick based on self-image. There car reflects some aspect of their latent personality and needs.

You go on to discuss how the car reflects the personality, but also imposes limitations. This applies to all our experiences. What we do and choose reflects our personality, but our personality also imposes limitations, as do the circumstances in which we find ourselves. What we are is an ever changing mixture of what we are born with and what our experiences do to us.

If there is no soul, i.e. what David calls a “piece of God’s consciousness” – an immaterial “separate consciousness mechanism” – what we are is a mass of materials. I really don’t see how you can escape from that alternative. But perhaps “a perspective shift is in order” here too. Perhaps the “something driving the machine for sure” may be something that emerges from those materials. Instead of an immortal consciousness mechanism inserted by an unknown power called God, a consciousness mechanism actually made by the materials themselves, just as humans are constantly striving to put materials together to create an ever more sophisticated “artificial intelligence”. These materialistic options might be as follows:

1) Since you believe in God, you can say he created a thinking machine (nothing but materials) before we did. And intelligence will die when the machine dies.
2) Take that back as far as the very first cells: these are intelligent machines which your God built to evolve through ever more complex combinations, from rudimentary intelligence (e.g. bacteria) right through to our sophisticated selves.
3) Chance created the first combination of materials to do the work we have just attributed to your God. The rest follows as in 2).
4) Intelligence is already present in all materials, but only in the most rudimentary form (panpsychism). In an infinite, eternal and ever changing universe, it was inevitable that one fine day all the conditions would be right for those crudely intelligent materials to form themselves into the living organisms that became us. Then evolution did the rest, as in 2). Both this and 3) demand no less credulity than the belief that there is a supreme, unknown, hidden form of intelligence that had no source and did all the designing from scratch.

We might get onto other parts of my “theory” as set out in Parts One, Two and Three, but the starting point of the four options above is your materialist’s machine without a soul. Do any of them fit in with your concept?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 20:58 (156 days ago) @ dhw

Your first statement is fitting, but I personally disagree with the rest based on a lack of evidence that fits.

I said I do not believe in an immortal soul. Yes, when we die, we die. However, I do not believe that we are entirely mechanistic in nature. This line of thought falls outside, and is separate from my recent hypothesis, though not in disagreement. I personally think the life energy, that undefinable thing that spans the gap between material and immaterial comes from God, and returns to God. When that spark is gone, our thoughts stop and our biomechanical engine begins to deteriorate. I don't know if that spark is what gives rise to consciousness, or whatever this is. I don't even know how to frame the question, honestly, because it is reaching into an area that is unknown and, most likely, unknowable.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 21:49 (155 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Tony: Your first statement is fitting, but I personally disagree with the rest based on a lack of evidence that fits.

I said I do not believe in an immortal soul. Yes, when we die, we die. However, I do not believe that we are entirely mechanistic in nature. This line of thought falls outside, and is separate from my recent hypothesis, though not in disagreement. I personally think the life energy, that undefinable thing that spans the gap between material and immaterial comes from God, and returns to God. When that spark is gone, our thoughts stop and our biomechanical engine begins to deteriorate. I don't know if that spark is what gives rise to consciousness, or whatever this is. I don't even know how to frame the question, honestly, because it is reaching into an area that is unknown and, most likely, unknowable.

I would equate soul and your 'life energy'.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, July 12, 2018, 13:21 (155 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: I said I do not believe in an immortal soul. Yes, when we die, we die. However, I do not believe that we are entirely mechanistic in nature. This line of thought falls outside, and is separate from my recent hypothesis, though not in disagreement. I personally think the life energy, that undefinable thing that spans the gap between material and immaterial comes from God, and returns to God. When that spark is gone, our thoughts stop and our biomechanical engine begins to deteriorate. I don't know if that spark is what gives rise to consciousness, or whatever this is. I don't even know how to frame the question, honestly, because it is reaching into an area that is unknown and, most likely, unknowable.

DAVID: I would equate soul and your 'life energy'.

And I have offered a theory that the machine (perhaps made by God) creates the ‘life energy’, and the ‘life energy’ might possibly take on a reality of its own, just as the image can go on existing independently of its source, and just as a collective intelligence can transcend the individual intelligences that give rise to it.

I do like your conclusion, Tony, though I would extend it to most of the questions we ask. We keep reaching into areas that are “unknown and, most likely, unknowable”. These for me include the existence of God, the source of consciousness, the origin of life and the mechanisms that have enabled life to develop from the simplest forms to the most complex. That is also why we will never agree on any single answer but why we can, I hope, help one another to gain insights into (or objections to) POSSIBLE answers.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, July 07, 2018, 11:58 (160 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Further we find that only certain brains are of a genius quality. Why the difference unless their brains are different from the low IQ folks?

dhw: You still can’t see that if the different brain is the cause of the genius, that is evidence for materialism, not dualism.

DAVID: You keep forgetting that in my concept the soul must use those complex genius networks to produce genius thought

You keep forgetting that in your concept of dualism it is the soul that initiates thought, that thought precedes changes in the brain (the illiterate women), that the soul uses the brain to acquire information and to give material expression to its thoughts, and you have consistently failed to tell us what other function the brain performs in the thought process.

DAVID: The soul is an immaterial mechanism which makes thought appear to us immaterially from wet ion filled neurons connected by wet dendrites, all of which are material.

dhw: If immaterial thoughts “appear from” material neurons and dendrites, we have materialism. If the latter are the means by which we give the “soul’s” immaterial thoughts material expression, we have dualism.

DAVID: Again you have a separatist view; the soul does not dictate to the networks. it uses them to think.

It was you who coined the term “separate consciousness mechanism”, we have always agreed that the TWO parts of the dualistic self, soul and brain, are interlocked and work together, and you have agreed that the soul gives instructions ("dictates") to what you call the recipient, passive brain for the material expression of its thoughts, just as you dictate your thoughts to your computer. See above for what the soul uses the brain FOR. I’ll skip the subsequent comments that repeat these points.

DAVID: Only in the completely enlarged sapiens brain, the only one we have to study. Do you think erectus could do differential calculus or even think to invent it? The concept existed at their time of evolution. All those complex concepts existed before some bright mind found them.

dhw: Ah, so Shakespeare’s plays existed before Shakespeare wrote them. Believe that if you will. But to answer your question: no, I don’t think erectus could do differential calculus.
Silly! Math concepts are actually rigid, and simply must be found. Will's plays are inventions.

Fair comment.

dhw: I think pre-sapiens and sapiens have undergone a process of ever increasing learning, as one generation builds upon the discoveries and inventions of its predecessors.

DAVID: To the limits of the complexity of its brain networks

But the brain is constantly complexifying as it has to cope with new thoughts! And it apparently discards cells and connections in order to keep complexification within the existing capacity (= shrinkage). If, as you constantly agree, the soul initiates thought, the limits of the brain relate only to the amount of information it can supply (e.g. we cannot see the boundaries of our universe) and the extent to which it can implement our thoughts (I can imagine flying unaided, but my brain/body can’t implement the concept). What other limitations does the passive, recipient brain impose?

DAVID: My computer has and does produce bad results when it is sick and I have to get the IT guy on the phone to straighten it out.

Exactly! It does not make you think sick thoughts! One up for dualism. But drugs and diseases do make you think sick thoughts. One up for materialism. Hence the dichotomy which you refuse to recognize.

DAVID: I do not accept how you relate the soul to the brain because you are approaching dualism in an entirely different way. The soul having to use the material brain is not materialism. The brain thinking totally on its own is materialism, no soul involved.

Of course the soul having to use the material brain is not materialism! The concept of the soul is dualistic! The dualist’s soul uses the brain for information and for expression, and you continue to ignore my question: what other functions does the brain perform in the thought process?

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 07, 2018, 19:39 (160 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You keep forgetting that in my concept the soul must use those complex genius networks to produce genius thought

dhw: You keep forgetting that in your concept of dualism it is the soul that initiates thought, that thought precedes changes in the brain (the illiterate women), that the soul uses the brain to acquire information and to give material expression to its thoughts, and you have consistently failed to tell us what other function the brain performs in the thought process.

dhw: I think pre-sapiens and sapiens have undergone a process of ever increasing learning, as one generation builds upon the discoveries and inventions of its predecessors.

DAVID: To the limits of the complexity of its brain networks

dhw: But the brain is constantly complexifying as it has to cope with new thoughts! And it apparently discards cells and connections in order to keep complexification within the existing capacity (= shrinkage). If, as you constantly agree, the soul initiates thought, the limits of the brain relate only to the amount of information it can supply (e.g. we cannot see the boundaries of our universe) and the extent to which it can implement our thoughts (I can imagine flying unaided, but my brain/body can’t implement the concept). What other limitations does the passive, recipient brain impose?

It is limited by the complexity of its networks, as shown by genius brains/


DAVID: My computer has and does produce bad results when it is sick and I have to get the IT guy on the phone to straighten it out.

Exactly! It does not make you think sick thoughts! One up for dualism. But drugs and diseases do make you think sick thoughts. One up for materialism. Hence the dichotomy which you refuse to recognize.

DAVID: I do not accept how you relate the soul to the brain because you are approaching dualism in an entirely different way. The soul having to use the material brain is not materialism. The brain thinking totally on its own is materialism, no soul involved.

dhw: Of course the soul having to use the material brain is not materialism! The concept of the soul is dualistic! The dualist’s soul uses the brain for information and for expression, and you continue to ignore my question: what other functions does the brain perform in the thought process?

It provides information from its sensory inputs, as you know, and it provides the complexity of networks for advanced thought.

A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part One

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 26, 2018, 21:02 (232 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: PART ONE

Most dualists relate the mind or soul to their belief in God, who has given them a piece of his consciousness. Some also believe that their soul will survive the death of the body – hence the importance of NDEs for their way of thinking. This, however, is only one option, and it is the second option I would like to explore.

The second option is based on the assumption that those who read this post are aware that they are reading it and are able to understand it and think about it, but reject the first option. In other words, they believe that the source of our intelligence (I’ll use that term very loosely to cover all the so-called immaterial attributes of the self) is our materials, and for argument’s sake let’s say that our thinking materials are located in the brain. What does the brain consist of? Billions of cells. And these cells are divided up into communities, each with their different functions, though always capable of communicating with one another and interacting. Scientists have even named them: pre-frontal cortex for intellectual activities, hippocampus for memory and emotion etc. (Of course the whole body is one vast community of interconnecting cell communities, but we are focusing here on “intelligence” and the brain.) Difficult though it is to imagine, each of these billions of cells is an individual. Its individuality may be swamped by the fact that it spends its life in the service of its particular community, but it is nevertheless an organism that lives and dies like any other.

At this point, I would like to consider two subjects that have played a very large part in our discussions on this website: the intelligence of bacteria and the community life of ants. Bacteria are single cells, though they also form communities. Of all organisms on earth, they seem to be the most skilful at adapting themselves to different conditions and solving every new problem that is thrown at them. Scientists such as Barbara McClintock, Lynn Margulis and James A. Shapiro have (or had, as two of them are now dead)no doubt that they are intelligent. That doesn’t mean they have all the immaterial attributes of humans, but it does mean that individual cells are sentient, process information, communicate and cooperate, take decisions etc., all of which are hallmarks of what we call intelligence. And they also combine their intelligences to form communities. But for us, a far more striking example of communal intelligence is that of insect communities such as ants. By combining their intelligences, they build the equivalent of our cities, and invent astonishing forms of defence, agriculture, engineering etc. And they also compartmentalize themselves – into foragers, farmers, nurses, warriors etc. And so if we put the two together, we have the intelligence and extreme adaptability of cells and the fact that a community of intelligences can produce a vast variety of thoughts (I don’t think it’s possible to build a city without thinking of building a city) and can divide themselves into differently functioning sub-communities.

If we accept the materialist’s view that intelligence is the product of our materials, then we must accept that intelligence is the product of our intelligent cells cooperating with one another. What other material source can there be? The end result is the same as that of the dualist who believes his/her intelligence is the product of a God-given soul.

I simply view this as a review of everything presented in the past and my answer is the same. Living cells run on information they possess. Where that information came from is up for debate. Any living material, if it possess the necessary information, can act intelligently, but that does not mean the living material developed that information on its own. We have no knowledge of how life originated, but that initial life had to run on information it either developed by chance from an inorganic universe or it was given that information by design. We all recognize design and how it is made to appear in our lives. It requires a planning mind, and therefore I conclude a planning mind created life as we experience it.

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