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The Limits of Intelligence and Rationality
Posted: 28 October 2011 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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factfinder - 28 October 2011 10:09 AM
TromboneAndrew - 28 October 2011 08:27 AM

Having people function normally without having a normally function brain flies in the face of everything we know about biology. This is a fantastic claim and requires fantastic evidence. Please provide us with some documentation.

The link I gave above has been sold. However the original article, Lewin, Roger; “Is Your Brain Really Necessary?”,  can found at Science 12 December 1980: Vol. 210 no. 4475 pp. 1232-1234 DOI: 10.1126/science.7434023., Google the title and you can order a pdf or view an extract gratis.

There are hundreds of examples of fully and highly functioning people who have no discernible brain structure.

You and many of the people responding to this thread are victims of their illusions/delusions of knowledge.“It is the commonest of mistakes to consider that limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.” -C. W. Leadbeater.

How about this:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/210/4475/1232

which refers to a disorder called hydrocephalus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrocephalus

This condition is NOT having no discernible brain structure.

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Posted: 28 October 2011 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Yeah, I mean looking at that stuff I don’t see anyone claiming there are living people, much less “fully and highly functioning people” who have “no discernible brain structure”. Lorber said one person he had studied had “virtually no brain” but then later on (as I’ve cited before, and linked in this thread) said he was being overly dramatic, for effect. In other words what we have is a mildly surprising result (someone can function well with less central brain structure than we would have thought) which is stretched in the retelling by a not-terribly-careful scientist and then turned into complete nonsense by people who should know better.

Lorber’s result isn’t as surprising as it might first seem because it would appear the structure that is retained is the outermost structure, the cerebral cortex, where most higher-level thought-processing happens.

And FWIW (not much, I know), I’ve taken several courses in symbolic logic, both undergrad and grad level.

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Posted: 28 October 2011 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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factfinder - 28 October 2011 06:15 AM
dougsmith - 27 October 2011 06:15 AM
factfinder - 27 October 2011 06:04 AM
George - 26 October 2011 06:33 AM
factfinder - 25 October 2011 06:04 PM

Also, you seem to locate both rationality and intelligence exclusively as brain functions but there is a lot of evidence that every cell of the body has intelligence and there are neurons in the spine, etc.

Do you think amputation of your leg would make you less rational?

There would still be millions of cells to do the job.

Funny, your leg is quite a bit bigger than your brain, isn’t it?

See above rely. Repeating your error is not an advisable way to proceed.

OK, so here’s where we are.

(1) Your leg is crucial to your intelligence, but if you amputated it you’d be just as intelligent as before because “there would be millions of cells [left] to do the job”.

(2) Your brain is not crucial to your intelligence because Dr. Lorber said that there was one intelligent person he knew who had “no discernible brain structure”. [Sic.]

But it’s already well established that:

(3) You can severely harm someone’s intelligence by giving them brain damage, or by their having a stroke; and most people Lorber studied were in fact deficient in just that way. People who have completely damaged brains (with little or no living tissue) are typically people with little or no intelligence; in fact, they’re typically dead.

I think what we have here is a strange idea about responsibility. The leg is responsible for intelligence even though removing it has no effect. The brain is not responsible for intelligence even though removing it removes intelligence, and removing bits of it typically removes bits of intelligence (e.g. the ability to speak or understand words or recognize faces).

I expect this is all a sort of diversion and that the goal is to convince us of the existence of substantial, nonphysical souls that interact with the physical body. Perhaps citation of the theosophist Ledbeater means that there’s a Secret Doctrine to be had, by sitting in an armchair and daydreaming that our souls live on some astral plane with the Lemurians and Atlanteans or whatever the Masters of Ancient Wisdom deign to enlighten us about. I suppose in a manner of thinking that’s an easier way to gain beliefs about the world than by actually doing experimentation ...

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Posted: 28 October 2011 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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George - 28 October 2011 10:38 AM

Speaking of biology, why do you think the brain consumes about 20 percent of the body’s energy? It it were the leg that did the thinking plus the walking, why would the heart pump one fifth of the blood to the brain to feed it?

And your point is?

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Posted: 28 October 2011 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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factfinder - 28 October 2011 02:53 PM
George - 28 October 2011 10:38 AM

Speaking of biology, why do you think the brain consumes about 20 percent of the body’s energy? It it were the leg that did the thinking plus the walking, why would the heart pump one fifth of the blood to the brain to feed it?

And your point is?

My point is that if, say, the leg would do the same thing as the brain (e.g., reasoning) plus walking, it would need at least (!) as much blood as the brain. Why does the leg require less blood than the brain?

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Posted: 29 October 2011 05:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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George - 28 October 2011 03:50 PM
factfinder - 28 October 2011 02:53 PM
George - 28 October 2011 10:38 AM

Speaking of biology, why do you think the brain consumes about 20 percent of the body’s energy? It it were the leg that did the thinking plus the walking, why would the heart pump one fifth of the blood to the brain to feed it?

And your point is?

My point is that if, say, the leg would do the same thing as the brain (e.g., reasoning) plus walking, it would need at least (!) as much blood as the brain. Why does the leg require less blood than the brain?

My answer was that there are many cells throughout the body, all doing similar jobs, so more blood is not required. In short, efficiency. 

You are too enamored with your leg analogy. Let it go. Amputate it. You too will be freer. After all, the purpose of this group is inquiry. Complacency such as yours merely gets in the way of inquiry.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Okay, forget the leg. Are you going to tell me why you think the brain requires one fifth of the blood supply?

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Posted: 29 October 2011 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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George - 29 October 2011 05:54 AM

Okay, forget the leg. Are you going to tell me why you think the brain requires one fifth of the blood supply?

Inefficiency.  Some neurologists question whether the brain is even necessary, especially given the many people who function at very high levels without any discernible brain structure.

You are trying to avoid dealing these facts by introducing an irrelevancy. It is a red herring fallacy. Amputate that illogic.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Inefficiency? Natural selection (or God) would never allow this. But these facts probably matter very little to you, right?

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Posted: 29 October 2011 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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George - 29 October 2011 06:32 AM

Inefficiency? Natural selection (or God) would never allow this. But these facts probably matter very little to you, right?

You are avoiding the issue of people living at a high level without discernible brain structure.

Let go of that red herring.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 28 October 2011 11:32 AM
factfinder - 28 October 2011 10:09 AM
TromboneAndrew - 28 October 2011 08:27 AM

Having people function normally without having a normally function brain flies in the face of everything we know about biology. This is a fantastic claim and requires fantastic evidence. Please provide us with some documentation.

The link I gave above has been sold. However the original article, Lewin, Roger; “Is Your Brain Really Necessary?”,  can found at Science 12 December 1980: Vol. 210 no. 4475 pp. 1232-1234 DOI: 10.1126/science.7434023., Google the title and you can order a pdf or view an extract gratis.

There are hundreds of examples of fully and highly functioning people who have no discernible brain structure.

You and many of the people responding to this thread are victims of their illusions/delusions of knowledge.“It is the commonest of mistakes to consider that limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.” -C. W. Leadbeater.

How about this:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/210/4475/1232

which refers to a disorder called hydrocephalus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrocephalus

This condition is NOT having no discernible brain structure.

Apples and oranges. In other words, you have just attempted to introduce extraneous material and, in doing so, have committed a red herring fallacy.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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dougsmith - 28 October 2011 12:05 PM

Yeah, I mean looking at that stuff I don’t see anyone claiming there are living people, much less “fully and highly functioning people” who have “no discernible brain structure”. Lorber said one person he had studied had “virtually no brain” but then later on (as I’ve cited before, and linked in this thread) said he was being overly dramatic, for effect. In other words what we have is a mildly surprising result (someone can function well with less central brain structure than we would have thought) which is stretched in the retelling by a not-terribly-careful scientist and then turned into complete nonsense by people who should know better.

Lorber’s result isn’t as surprising as it might first seem because it would appear the structure that is retained is the outermost structure, the cerebral cortex, where most higher-level thought-processing happens.

And FWIW (not much, I know), I’ve taken several courses in symbolic logic, both undergrad and grad level.

You may have taken courses but have obviously failed to learn much.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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dougsmith - 28 October 2011 12:23 PM
factfinder - 28 October 2011 06:15 AM
dougsmith - 27 October 2011 06:15 AM
factfinder - 27 October 2011 06:04 AM
George - 26 October 2011 06:33 AM
factfinder - 25 October 2011 06:04 PM

Also, you seem to locate both rationality and intelligence exclusively as brain functions but there is a lot of evidence that every cell of the body has intelligence and there are neurons in the spine, etc.

Do you think amputation of your leg would make you less rational?

There would still be millions of cells to do the job.

Funny, your leg is quite a bit bigger than your brain, isn’t it?

See above rely. Repeating your error is not an advisable way to proceed.

OK, so here’s where we are.

(1) Your leg is crucial to your intelligence, but if you amputated it you’d be just as intelligent as before because “there would be millions of cells [left] to do the job”.

(2) Your brain is not crucial to your intelligence because Dr. Lorber said that there was one intelligent person he knew who had “no discernible brain structure”. [Sic.]

But it’s already well established that:

(3) You can severely harm someone’s intelligence by giving them brain damage, or by their having a stroke; and most people Lorber studied were in fact deficient in just that way. People who have completely damaged brains (with little or no living tissue) are typically people with little or no intelligence; in fact, they’re typically dead.

I think what we have here is a strange idea about responsibility. The leg is responsible for intelligence even though removing it has no effect. The brain is not responsible for intelligence even though removing it removes intelligence, and removing bits of it typically removes bits of intelligence (e.g. the ability to speak or understand words or recognize faces).

I expect this is all a sort of diversion and that the goal is to convince us of the existence of substantial, nonphysical souls that interact with the physical body. Perhaps citation of the theosophist Ledbeater means that there’s a Secret Doctrine to be had, by sitting in an armchair and daydreaming that our souls live on some astral plane with the Lemurians and Atlanteans or whatever the Masters of Ancient Wisdom deign to enlighten us about. I suppose in a manner of thinking that’s an easier way to gain beliefs about the world than by actually doing experimentation ...

Yours is a circular argument. You attempt to present as “evidence” that which you need to prove.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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factfinder - 29 October 2011 06:14 AM

  Some neurologists question whether the brain is even necessary, especially given the many people who function at very high levels without any discernible brain structure.

You are trying to avoid dealing these facts by introducing an irrelevancy. It is a red herring fallacy. Amputate that illogic.

The fact that some neurologists question whether the brain is even necessary (if it is a fact) is insignificant.

And it isn’t a fact that many people function at high levels without any descernible brain structure.

Stephen

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Posted: 29 October 2011 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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factfinder - 29 October 2011 12:11 PM

Apples and oranges. In other words, you have just attempted to introduce extraneous material and, in doing so, have committed a red herring fallacy.

What extraneous material? That was exactly what the author that you cited was talking about.

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