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

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 18:24 (377 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: No separation: My consciousness (me) returned to my now functional brain after an NDE and my brain using my consciousness told me what happened during the NDE, which the brain was unaware of until the reconnection. This is where you get confused about how I look at this:
dhw: "Your brain did not inform you/your consciousness of what you/your consciousness had experienced!"

dhw: You keep agreeing that you and your consciousness are inseparable, and then you separate them again, with your brain “using” your consciousness (which is you) to tell you/your consciousness what you/your consciousness already know! It is you/your consciousness that know what happened, and it is you/your consciousness that inform the brain (so that it can organize passing on the information to other people's brains). The brain is unaware of what happened until it is informed by you/your consciousness.

Still confused. I am inseparable from my consciousness, unless my brain is useless. In an NDE my consciousness survives and experiences whatever. Then my brain recovers, reconnects with my consciousness and the NDE new information is now transmitted to me as new knowledge. 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: Yes, of course “use” (by which I mean the translation of concepts into material reality) follows size, but you are omitting concept and hence reducing three stages to two: concept, size, “use”. The big question is whether conceptualization precedes and therefore causes size, or size precedes and therefore causes conceptualization (but see below). The fact that conceptualization causes rewiring, and not the other way round, gives credence to your own belief that the mind (consciousness/the self) is separate from the brain, but it also gives credence to the proposal that conceptualization caused expansion, as opposed to expansion preceding conceptualization.

Size first, conceptual use second. You keep ignoring my comments about the required brain use as a hunter gatherer. There is some small group societal integration concepts, but most of the brain use in Habilis and Erectus is about survival and involves the athletic control part of the brain, not the frontal and prefrontal cortex, present 200,000 to 350,000 years ago. When we begin to see glimmers of civilization is with language about 50,000 years ago, and after that cave art, simple jewelry, funerals, etc. Full use of the frontal area since then causes shrinkage from complex densification. Size first, use second.

DAVID: Bigger brains, more useful consciousness, with each increase in frontal size, which was the major thrust of enlargement.

dhw: Back we go to the meaning of “use”. If you mean bigger brains gave rise to more complex concepts, then you are a materialist, but earlier you rejected this and said bigger brains “allowed” more complex concepts. This too was ambiguous, and I tried in vain to pin you down, so I’ll try once more. 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? Consciousness/you therefore use the brain to translate concept into action. Yes or no?

I'll repeat. I cannot have concepts without a functional brain interpreting the mechanism of consciousness which it receives. Dualism, two parts. I use my brain willfully entering my consciousness through the brain/consciousness mechanism. It is a two-way functional arrangement seamless as I experience it. 'Bigger brains' do not automatically give rise to more complex concepts. They allow me (all humans) to create them by my free will using the brain/consciousness relationship. The brain automatically densifies as I do it. Size first, use (concepts) second; obvious.


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