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

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 25, 2017, 19:03 (365 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Neither: based on NDE's the brain receives an independent consciousness mechanism which is immaterial and from infancy learns to use and shape it from a blank slate to an operative mechanism.

dhw: Here you have the brain learning to use and shape consciousness, although the brain is only a receiver.

It shapes the areas and facility of use and the content of experiences and memory. Seamless.


DAVID: The computer analogy is not entirely accurate, but as I learn to operate my brain and its consciousness, the brain has the physical ability to modify itself to fit my actions both physically and mentally.

dhw: There is no disagreement over the plasticity of the brain. ... This ought to mean that the entity of you/your consciousness learns to operate the brain, as opposed to the brain using and shaping you/your consciousness. We can unravel this tangled web if you give a straightforward answer to a straightforward question: do you believe that the brain is the source of our capacity to think?

My brain uses my consciousness to think. I view it as a seamless mechanism of my brain, in a way a computer, using the software of consciousness which I control as I am part of my brain physically and also mentally.>


dhw I am aware of the history. The question is whether 1) mental changes, language, spear-making and spear-throwing etc. resulted from physical changes, or 2) mental changes resulted in physical changes that allowed for the implementation of concepts such as language, spear-making etc.. You seem to be opting for the former, which means the brain is the source of our capacity to think. I don’t know how you reconcile this with your belief that the capacity to think will survive the death of the brain.

You are confusing the issue. The early hominins had a degree of consciousness. They could think, but not to the degree we can with our more complex larger frontal lobes. With each enlargement they could conceive of more options for survival. Why are you mixing language and spears? Erectus had spears, but a high larynx with slight chance of much speech. Neanderthal and sapiens had fully dropped larynxes for full speech. There are combinations of physical and mental developments that proceed together with each new appearance of a Homo.


DAVID: But where you are totally confused is in the recognition that habilis does not know what it does not know. Its demonstrated concepts in its artifacts show what it was capable of producing. This is true at each stage of brain case enlargement.

dhw: No confusion. The question is whether a) habilis’s artefacts were produced as a result of its own particular increase in brain capacity, or b) its conceptualization of its artefacts resulted in its increased brain capacity. This question applies to each stage of brain case enlargement. You are opting for the former, which means the brain is the source of our capacity to think.

Consciousness appears as the brain enlarges. The brain receives consciousness to think, as before.


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