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

by dhw, Saturday, June 24, 2017, 11:53 (481 days ago) @ David Turell

This discussion, like so many, is now going round in circles or shooting off at tangents, and so I will try to summarize the central points.

The starting point is your insistence that your God enlarged the brain in stages, and each enlargement enabled hominins and humans to come up with new ideas. If we leave God out of the discussion for the moment, the sequence of brain first, thoughts second conforms to the materialist theory that the brain is the SOURCE of the mind – i.e. of that part of ourselves which produces our thoughts, ideas, opinions, decisions etc. (This may be so – I am not taking sides.) If the brain is indeed the source of the mind, and thoughts etc. are impossible without it, the obvious conclusion has to be that when the brain dies, the mind dies. There are various theories as to why the brain expanded (upright posture, diet etc.), all of which seem to take for granted that the brain is the source of the mind. Your own theory (”God did it”) clearly does the same, since you maintain that new ideas would not be possible without the enlargement of the brain.

However, dualists claim that the brain is not the source of the mind, which is an immaterial self. The experience of NDEs is that the mind (the immaterial self, complete with its immaterial thoughts, ideas etc.), survives the death of the brain and body. You regard NDEs as evidence for dualism.

These two theories are contradictory. While bearing in mind the distinction between immaterial ideas and the material implementation of those ideas (which entails an inseparable relationship between mind and brain), perhaps you would just clarify for us which of these two conflicting views you hold: 1) the brain is the source of the mind, which depends on the brain for its capacity to think; 2) the brain is not the source of the mind, which produces its immaterial thoughts, ideas etc. independently of the brain.

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