Mod+ Acuquired Savant Syndrome

#1
The argument about savants is best made by considering acquired savant syndrome. How can damage to the brain produce new capabilities? The phenomenon contradicts the laws of thermodynamics. A better explanation is that the brain is a filter of consciousness and some forms of brain damage act like holes in the filter that allow through existing conscious capabilities that were previously filtered out.
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Thanks for mentioning acquired savant syndrome, which is also very relevant.
I know what you mean about contradicting the law of thermodynamics (creating new order out of a blow to the head) but alternative explanations (that would not involve a decrease in entropy) seem to require masses of unused abilities in the head that are unleashed by damage.

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David
How did those masses of unused abilities arise? What selective pressure could refine them if they were unused?
 
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#2
How did those masses of unused abilities arise? What selective pressure could refine them if they were unused?
There is a related question: How it even possible for a human brain that can do ordinary tasks such as mathematics, music, etc to evolve? What selective pressures produced Mozart? Gödel? Picasso? Natural selection only selects for traits that improve chances of survival. How did it come about that humans are so different from other animals? Convergent evolution seems to be extremely common. There are mammals, birds, and insects that can fly. Why is it that humans have such vastly superior intellectual abilities of so many differet kinds?
 
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#3
There is a related question:
?? From your own posts you already know the answer. There is no evolution as such. Consciousness chooses to generate/explore something within the physical and does so. Looking at it through the lens of linear time and physicalism gives the concept that there's evolution.
 
#4
There is a related question: How it possible for a human brain that can do ordinary tasks such as mathematics, music, etc to even evolve? What selective pressures produced Mozart? Gödel? Picasso? Natural selection only selects for traits that improve chances of survival. How did it come about that humans are so different from other animals? Convergent evolution seems to be extremely common. There are mammals, birds, and insects that can fly. Why is it that humans have such vastly superior intellectual abilities of so many differet kinds?
Nah, I just have 'different' capabilities, a different way of understanding things with more options available. The larger brain suggests a larger canvas for spatial storage of access, allowing greater complexity, more nuanced, more degrees of freedom available (wherever past information is available for processing)
Providing a richer more complex way of processing that information within our perception of space time.
 
#5
How did those masses of unused abilities arise? What selective pressure could refine them if they were unused?
Well exactly - but I don't think you can usefully use the second law to address the problem.
Nah, I just have 'different' capabilities, a different way of understanding things with more options available. The larger brain suggests a larger canvas for spatial storage of access, allowing greater complexity, more nuanced, more degrees of freedom available (wherever past information is available for processing)
Providing a richer more complex way of processing that information within our perception of space time.
The crucial thing is that from a conventional point of view, the brain evolved by natural selection over millions of years and must reflect conditions on the African grasslands. It doesn't really make sense that we (i.e. our species) can do all things that we do.

David
 
#6
Well exactly - but I don't think you can usefully use the second law to address the problem.

The crucial thing is that from a conventional point of view, the brain evolved by natural selection over millions of years and must reflect conditions on the African grasslands. It doesn't really make sense that we (i.e. our species) can do all things that we do.

David
I don't understand what your saying here, or why you're saying it in response to what I wrote.
 
#7
How did those masses of unused abilities arise? What selective pressure could refine them if they were unused?
There is a related question: How it even possible for a human brain that can do ordinary tasks such as mathematics, music, etc to evolve? What selective pressures produced Mozart? Gödel? Picasso? Natural selection only selects for traits that improve chances of survival. How did it come about that humans are so different from other animals? Convergent evolution seems to be extremely common. There are mammals, birds, and insects that can fly. Why is it that humans have such vastly superior intellectual abilities of so many differet kinds?
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/12/matching_darwin091801.html

When Darwin's tree of life crashed, it brought down the tree of intelligence too. Recent research has shown that grey parrots and ravens can solve some puzzles as well as apes. One is tempted to ask if that makes them more closely related to humans than other birds are. As close as chimps are? If not, why emphasize ape intelligence to make the point about a close relationship?
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The chimpanzee's intelligence is thought to derive from having a brain similar to a human one, due to common descent. Yet if a bird's differently structured brain can achieve the same level of individual intelligence, then intelligence may be something other than we now conceive it to be.
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And then there are the reptiles. Crocodiles use tools, as do birds. Monitor lizards are said to have "acute intelligence." An anole lizard turns out to be as smart as a species of smart birds used in animal intelligence studies (tits). The key research problem was that the low-metabolism anoles required only one grub a day each, which slowed down the research considerably. The researchers could not apparently bribe them by offering more grubs.​

More here: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/12/furry_feathery101801.html
 
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#8
How did those masses of unused abilities arise? What selective pressure could refine them if they were unused?
I don't disagree with you in essence, but it isn't a thermodynamics argument. The reason is that we aren't closed systems - we take energy in in low entropy form and release it in a high entropy form - as heat. This means that just from the POV of thermodynamics, we can develop complex structures internally - basically because we oxidise food.

However, I completely agree - the sudden acquisition of new skills is completely inexplicable in the materialist paradigm.

David
 
#9
I don't understand what your saying here, or why you're saying it in response to what I wrote.
I was responding to the idea that our brains/minds evolved on the Savannah to be capable of doing all the things they now can do. I think it is really far fetched to think that we needed all our abilities of symbolic manipulation to exist in those conditions - so Natural Selection isn't a reasonable explanation for the development of the brain IMHO.

David
 
#10
Thermodynamics, entropy, is an analysis of probability. The energy absorbed has to 1) be sufficient to produce the observed entropic changes (entropy = energy / temperature), and 2) there has to be a probable mechanism by which energy can be used to reduce entropy. The fact that the earth is an open system, absorbs energy from the sun, doesn't enable tornadoes to turn rubble into buildings. Oxidizing food doesn't explain where genetic or eipgenetic information comes from. The energy released by burning fuel in a power plant can be used to produce computers, but that doesn't explain where the computer factory came from. If you set off a firecracker and it produced a fireworks factory, that would violate the laws of thermodynamics.

Natural selection isn't a reasonable explanation for a brain that does what materialists believe it does.
 
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#11
I was responding to the idea that our brains/minds evolved on the Savannah to be capable of doing all the things they now can do. I think it is really far fetched to think that we needed all our abilities of symbolic manipulation to exist in those conditions - so Natural Selection isn't a reasonable explanation for the development of the brain IMHO.

David
Well thanks for the expansion... but i'm no nearer understanding why you felt the need to say it in response to what I said?
 
#13
The energy released by burning fuel in a power plant can be used to produce computers, but that doesn't explain where the computer factory came from.
Well exactly - but the question of where the computer came from is not a thermodynamic issue!

The only thing I am objecting to, was your suggestion that this is a thermodynamic argument - because it isn't!

Notice that the Discovery Institute itself doesn't try to prove that life has been created intelligently by using a thermodynamic argument.

David
 
#14
http://nautil.us/blog/what-its-like-being-a-sudden-savant
Thompson is an “acquired savant” whose remarkable experience can help shed light on the roots of human creativity, explains psychiatrist Darold Treffert, a Wisconsin psychiatrist and savant expert. (Treffert was a consultant on 1989’s Rain Man, which brought savants to a mainstream audience.) “These are ordinary people who have a head injury”—typically on the left side of the brain—“or stroke or some other central nervous system incident,” Treffert said. “And, all of a sudden, they have musical or artistic abilities, sometimes at the prodigious level.”
 
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