Evolution and humans: big brain size or use (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, June 15, 2017, 13:08 (180 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: But you and your consciousness are inseparable! It is you/your consciousness that had the experience, so how can the experience be “transmitted” to you/your consciousness as new knowledge? The knowledge is new to the brain, which wasn’t there!
DAVID: When my brain is not there, I am not there! Remember I'm unconscious in an NDE. My consciousness if off by itself having experiences which when my brain revives and can receive my consciousness, I then learn about the episode! Not before!

No, you are not there, but YOU are not unconscious! According to your beliefs, YOU and your inseparable consciousness are having the temporary experience of an afterlife in which YOU and your inseparable consciousness will live on without a brain. During your experience and during your afterlife, your brain and body lie uselessly on the operating table or in the ground. They are not you. And so in an NDE, it is you and your consciousness who return to the revived brain and tell it what happened, so that it can instruct the relevant parts of your body to inform other people about it.

DAVID: My dualism assumes that the brain interprets the consciousness mechanism when it returns. I use my brain as my organ of consciousness interpretation and thought.
dhw: So what creates the concepts (complex or not), you or your brain?
DAVID: I develop concepts by using my brain.

“Develop” is another of your ambiguities. First comes the creation of the concept, then comes the realization of the concept. You use the brain to realize it.

dhw: I put two very straightforward points to you last time: "Your belief that consciousness and the self are inseparable and live on after death can only mean that conceptualization does not depend on the brain or its size. Yes or no?
DAVID: The ability to create complex concepts does depend on brain size in the frontal and pre-frontal areas.

No need for “complex” here. Either the brain creates all concepts or it doesn’t. If concepts depend on the brain, do you believe that in your afterlife you will be incapable of conceptualization? Yes or no.

dhw: Consciousness/you therefore use the brain to translate concept into action. Yes or no

Thank you. We are halfway towards agreement.

DAVID: What you miss is 90% of the mushrooming (your term) is 12,000 years old, which gives no reason for the larger size back 200,000 years ago. Instead with heavy use the brain shrunk as it densified.

That is the whole point. The larger size was reached in stages as the brain responded to new concepts. 200,000 years ago it reached its maximum, which was able to cope until the explosion of concepts 12,000 years ago. Then came densification, which was the RESULT of conceptualization, not the cause.

dhw: To summarize: If concepts are the product of you/your consciousness and precede realization of concepts (which surely even you will accept), then prior to 200,000 years ago it's concept first, size second, realization (= use of concepts) third.
DAVID: Each successive hominin had jumps in size like the one you describe below. Size first concepts second with each jump.

You continue to ignore the fact that the process involves three stages: concept, interaction of consciousness with brain, realization of concept. As above, if conceptualization depends on the brain, you cannot have an afterlife in which your conscious self can conceptualize.

dhw: After 200,000 years ago, size is already there, so yes, it's chronologically size first, concepts AND realization second and third, because the brain did not need to change to densification until 188,000 years later!
DAVID: True for each jump since Lucy.

Precisely: each jump was caused by new concepts, and once the jump had been made, the size was adequate for subsequent realization of concepts until more complex concepts (now complexity is relevant) demanded new actions. Example: hominin X comes up with the concept of a spear, but this requires new manufacturing skills, new use of muscles, new calculations (e.g. weight and balance)…and in order to make concept into material reality the brain responds by expanding, whereas 12,000 years ago it had to respond by densifying.

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