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

by David Turell @, Friday, June 23, 2017, 15:31 (2583 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: When I am unconscious I am not connected to my consciousness. NDE's tell me that consciousness can survive death. Therefore it takes me into the afterlife, brain no longer necessary.

dhw: The NDEs you believe in tell you that you/your consciousness do not depend on the brain for identity or for the power to think. During NDEs “you” are NOT unconscious – you are consciously experiencing the afterlife. You then return to your resuscitated brain and use it to recount your experiences.

But first as I revive, I recount the NDE to myself, because I could not know about it until the brain functions again.

DAVID: The yes is obvious. I control my body and my thoughts through my brain and I can run the motor areas of my brain to move, to talk, etc. Yes I use my brain to think immaterial thoughts. That is all the yes means. What underlying meaning are you implying?

dhw:You are intermingling two different processes. Yes, you control your body through your brain, but according to your beliefs, no, you do not control your thoughts through your brain: the inseparable entity of you/your consciousness controls your thoughts, and these are given material expression through your brain. Yes, you/your consciousness run the motor areas of your brain, but no, you do not use your brain to think immaterial thoughts. Your dualistic belief in a bodiless, brainless afterlife means that you think your immaterial thoughts without a brain. You only need a brain to translate your thoughts into material action and expression in this material world.

You keep separating my self, my brain and my consciousness in your analysis. I consider it separable only at death and probably has a different level of functions at that level since NDE's are real experiences without the brain. My sense of self is a portion of my consciousness, but my self is in control of my thoughts, by using my brain during life. You cannot compare life/no life as the same.

DAVID: This is missing one point. I view the brain as equivalent to a computer and the consciousness mechanism it receives is the software. I run my computer. As a newborn I don't know how to control any of this, but with time I learn to use my consciousness.

dhw: Is the “I” that runs the computer brain your material body or your immaterial conscious mind?

I run the brain which uses the consciousness mechanism it receives in life. I create all the aspects of my consciousness from birth, as I learn to use it.

DAVID: I view myself, my consciousness and my brain as a seamless arrangement. The only separation is at death, or in an NDE. Dualism: my brain and I are the material side; My consciousness and I are the immaterial side, joined together by the function of the brain.

dhw: I agree, since of course your body is part of you while you are alive. But in your dualism, thought is immaterial and its source is not the brain. The starting point of this discussion was your insistence that the large brain is essential for the thoughts or concepts that have led from “primitive” hominins to “civilized” homo sapiens. If you believe that mind and body are separate entities (no matter how closely they work together during earthly life), and that the mind survives the death of the body, you cannot at the same time argue that thought or increased complexity of thought is dependent on the brain or the increased size of the brain. It is the materialization of thought (action, expression, movement etc.) that depends on the brain.

My objections explained above. Separation is only at death, not in life.

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