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

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 20, 2017, 15:55 (2592 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Of course I understand it, and if the brain is a receiver, it does not generate concepts (see below) – it receives them! You keep ignoring your own belief in an afterlife in which you survive as your conscious self without your brain. If you are YOU without a brain, it makes no sense to argue that the brain USES your consciousness (= YOU). It has to be the other way round.

My concept of me=self comes from consciousness, which I view as a dualist as a separate mechanism from my meaty wet brain. I form ME as my brain uses my consciousness. That Me=consciousness separates during NDE's intact and returns when the brain can receive it again. It is probably a quantum construct as shown by late choice experimentation in which consciousness dictates the results of the test.

DAVID: Where is it mentioned that each hominin brain vault size doesn't show significant enlargement in each stage?

dhw: When it says that the history shows “a gradually bigger brain…during the evolutionary path from early primates to hominids and finally to Homo sapiens”, I presume it means an enlargement at each stage.

Each change in brain size is 200cc or more. The word gradual to me refers to the time of evolution over 2+ billion years from Lucy onward.

DAVID: In my dualist view the enlarged brain allows for further exploration and development of use of functions allowed by consciousness.

dhw: What do you mean by “functions allowed” by consciousness? In my view, whether dualist or materialist, it is consciousness that invents (not allows) the functions and instructs (not allows) the brain to perform them.

I view consciousness as an instrument the brain plays. I am discussing areas of thought in this approach. No advanced math 200,000 years ago. As humans generally advanced, language appeared and advanced thought appeared. The boundaries of our inner self enlarged with time. That is my concept of 'functions allowed'. The hunter-gatherer did only that.

DAVID: My 'self' forms within my consciousness as I use it. In the infant it starts as a tabla rasa, totally blank except for muscular controls and automatic instincts, suckling, breathing pooping, etc. Size of brain allows expanded use of consciousness. Size of consciousness cannot be considered. It is not material. Each new size in the human evolution allowed much larger conceptualizations to be achieved. Human brain size is 200,000 years old, but use of consciousness now is much larger than at that time. Just consider the appearance of language, only 50,000 years ago, as one supreme example.

dhw: I agree with most of this.Obviously the expanded brain is necessary to perform the tasks invented by consciousness, and language is indeed a prime example. Did the need for better communication engender the changes in the anatomy, or did the changed anatomy engender the need for better communication? You have summed up the relationship between brain and consciousness yourself: “Each new size in the human evolution allowed much larger conceptualizations to be achieved.” (My bold) Did larger conceptualizations cause the new size in order to attain achievement, or did the new size cause the conceptualizations? If you believe that the brain is the RECEIVER of concepts, which are the PRODUCT of a consciousness that can exist independently of the brain (as per NDEs), I don’t see how at the same time you can believe that consciousness depends on a larger brain to enlarge its concepts. Enlarged concepts therefore give birth to the enlargement of the tool that implements them (the brain), just as the concept of digging leads to the spade. And so in your dualist scenario, consciousness uses the brain, and not the other way round.

Your discussion is entirely backward from my concept. Size first then the ability to conceptualize. Consciousness only delivers the ability to develop concepts through thought. Consciousness has no concepts of its own, I do. There are two sides: consciousness as a mechanism and consciousness=my self image which I develop from childhood.

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