Consciousness: and brain damage (General)

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 11, 2018, 15:44 (11 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] just as the illiterate women’s brains rewired themselves IN RESPONSE to new concepts, the pre-sapiens brain expanded IN RESPONSE to the need for new abilities, i.e. the implementation of the concept was the cause of the expansion.

DAVID: Twisted thought, backwards. An existing large cortex shrinks with use! These is no evidence that new desired uses forces expansion, but it is a neat theory to avoid God.

dhw: The existing large cortex shrinks because the brain and skull have reached their optimum size, and so expansion has been replaced by complexification. This has proved so efficient that some cells and connections are no longer needed. The hypothesis that brain expansion was caused by the need for new abilities to implement new concepts does not avoid God – it merely avoids your theory that God preprogrammed or engineered expansion before hominins were able to come up with new concepts. If God exists, he would have set up the whole mechanism of cellular intelligence on which my hypothesis depends.

The bold: I'm glad you know exactly what God would do. The complexity has nothing to do with optimum size. That is your theory, nothing more. And the shrinkage involved more wiring and connections of the neurons used, not less, i.e., more complexity of connections.

DAVID: My s/s/c is immaterially existing within me and can separate from me. NDE's!

dhw: THAT is indeed dualism, and you do not need a computer analogy to muddy the waters with incomprehensible convolutions like the brain/computer being “the access to the s/s/c”.

dhw: If the s/s/c is NOT confined to biochemical processes (your dualism), then mental processes are NOT biochemical processes, and no amount of obfuscation with computer analogies can disguise this contradiction!

DAVID: Just try to imagine what I clearly see. Our personalities cannot be seen or felt. I know your personality but I can't see it or touch it. But I can see your face in my memory and recognize it, all immaterial. All of us are wet biology with functional immaterial s/s/c's existing in us to run the brain.

dhw: At last a clear and meaningful account of your dualistic beliefs, mercifully freed from the messy computer analogy, and specifying that it is the immaterial s/s/c that runs the material brain. If it is true, it is a complete rebuttal of your statements that the cortex PRODUCES the thoughts and concepts, and that mental processes are biochemical.

I have always tried to present the concepts in the statement I've given above, and I think you have finally understood my position, except your last comment. Of course thoughts and concepts are produced by the pre-frontal and frontal cortex, directed by the s/s/c. The base of mental processes is of course biochemical as that describes the material funtional brain which does act as a computer under control of the s/s/c software. The ability to produce very complex thought requires a very complex enlarged cortex for the s/s/c to use. Proven by new artifact production by each stage of hominin.


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