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The Pre-Mortal Existance Refutes the Assertion that Intelligence is Genetically Determined.


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21 hours ago, bluebell said:

Wouldn’t someone have to prove that the scriptures used the word “intelligence” in the same way we use it now?

I'd argue that in order to have made a choice to follow Jesus this has to be accurate.

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1 hour ago, Eschaton said:

I don't see how. This is what refute means:

"prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove."

How can you disprove an assertion with another assertion?

The OP is really observing that, doctrinally, a premortal spirit's intelligence cannot be genetically determined, and its moral choices cannot be determined by hormones, which is correct because genes and hormones are not introduced until the subsequent mortal estate.

I'm not seeing anyone assert that, doctrinally, spirit intelligence and morality are genetically and hormonally determined. If they did, the "refutation" is merely in the form of a clarification of doctrine. There is no need to prove that the premortal estate exists, or even a spirit for that matter, beyond the citation of doctrine.

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1 hour ago, rpn said:

I'd argue that in order to have made a choice to follow Jesus this has to be accurate.

I'm not sure what you mean.  Are you saying that in order for anyone to have made the choice to follow Jesus, intelligence (as talked about in the Pearl of Great Price) has to be referring to IQ or the level of "smartness" (as that is typically how we use the term)?

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2 hours ago, Eschaton said:

I don't see how. This is what refute means:

"prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove."

How can you disprove an assertion with another assertion?

Seriously? 

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13 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I would be careful about dismissing what we scientifically know about our bodies and brains. The brain is not just a filter for example. Imo revelation is supposed to supplement what we know by other means, not replace it.

The revelation about preexistence is so limited, I would tread carefully especially when trying to deduce too much from it.

What evidence is there that the brain is more than a filter or processor of external stimuli?

Edited by dougtheavenger
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14 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I would be careful about dismissing what we scientifically know about our bodies and brains. The brain is not just a filter for example. Imo revelation is supposed to supplement what we know by other means, not replace it.

The revelation about preexistence is so limited, I would tread carefully especially when trying to deduce too much from it.

Brain surgery only requires a local anesthesia. Once the skin covering the skull is cut and pulled back and the skull is opened up and the brain exposed, it can be touched or even cut into and the patient will feel nothing. Whatever "feels", even physical pain, lives in the brain but is not the brain itself.

Edited by dougtheavenger
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25 minutes ago, dougtheavenger said:

What evidence is there that the brain is more than a filter or processor of external stimuli?

Applying our doctrine, the brain is part of the soul’s tabernacle of element (D&C 93:33) or material (Abraham 3:24-26). As such, it is an expressor of intelligence (D&C 88:11, 28-32). It is an inhibitor (a filter) in both directions when affected by mortal factors (D&C 93:39, using “tradition” broadly to denote physical/genetic as well as cultural inheritance). It is a processor, but so are our feet, for movement. Certain treatment of the feet (e.g., massage, acupuncture) can influence and drive brain activity. Spirit and element are integrated, sometimes functionally and sometimes difunctionally.

Edited by CV75
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14 hours ago, CV75 said:

The OP is really observing that, doctrinally, a premortal spirit's intelligence cannot be genetically determined, and its moral choices cannot be determined by hormones, which is correct because genes and hormones are not introduced until the subsequent mortal estate.

I'm not seeing anyone assert that, doctrinally, spirit intelligence and morality are genetically and hormonally determined. If they did, the "refutation" is merely in the form of a clarification of doctrine. There is no need to prove that the premortal estate exists, or even a spirit for that matter, beyond the citation of doctrine.

Well, beyond that beginning assumption, the premise seems to be incorrect as well, since not only intelligence but also personality is affected by physical brain states. Whatever one might posit for the function of the soul, it really can't have a dramatic effect on human attributes, otherwise it would be detectable.   

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2 minutes ago, Eschaton said:

Well, beyond that beginning assumption, the premise seems to be incorrect as well, since not only intelligence but also personality is affected by physical brain states. Whatever one might posit for the function of the soul, it really can't have a dramatic effect on human attributes, otherwise it would be detectable.   

Please describe the Church doctrine of detecting the soul's effect on its own attributes. It would have something to do with agency and consequences thereof.

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14 minutes ago, Eschaton said:

Well, beyond that beginning assumption, the premise seems to be incorrect as well, since not only intelligence but also personality is affected by physical brain states. Whatever one might posit for the function of the soul, it really can't have a dramatic effect on human attributes, otherwise it would be detectable.   

Why do you assume it would be detectable if it had an effect?  What if its effect was on brain development in the fetus and pre language infants, for example, how would you detect that effect?

Please describe how we could detect a soul’s interaction with the brain and body?

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34 minutes ago, Calm said:

Why do you assume it would be detectable if it had an effect?

If its effects are undetectable, then they must not be very important? To the OP's premise, he seems to think the soul is so much "in charge" that genetics could play no factor in intelligence. The soul would override the physical, which seems like a very, very strong effect indeed. 

 

34 minutes ago, Calm said:

 What if its effect was on brain development in the fetus and pre language infants, for example, how would you detect that effect?

Please describe how we could detect a soul’s interaction with the brain and body?

For example, alcohol has a detectable effect on brain development. 

https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/what-you-need-know-about-alcohol-and-developing-teenage-brain

Alcohol impairs memory and learning in teenagers. Here's how they figured that out:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4669962/

We don't have anything similar connecting cognitive function to the Platonic "human soul."

Edited by Eschaton
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38 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Please describe the Church doctrine of detecting the soul's effect on its own attributes. It would have something to do with agency and consequences thereof.

I'm not sure I understand your question. Who said the church has a doctrine of detecting the soul's effect on "it's own attributes"? What does "its own" refer to? The church's attributes? The soul's attributes? 

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50 minutes ago, Eschaton said:

If its effects are undetectable, then they must not be very important?

I did not mean effects were undetectable, but the causes of effects.  Why do you assume a cause would be detectable with our current state of science?  The effects may be detectable in that there could be extensive brain activity signifying complicated thought or emotion, perhaps even to the point of changing patterns of thought or sensations in the body, yet detecting the influences that cause these important effects may be impossible.  Unless brain science has advanced radically since last I studied it, we are not yet able to tell what is the cause of every form of activity in the brain or body, even important activity.

We are aware of alcohol and most often know when an infant has been exposed to it or not.  If we cannot tell if an infant has been exposed to intelligence or spirit, how would we be able to compare with other infants who were not or who were exposed to a different type/level, etc?

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Eschaton said:

Well, beyond that beginning assumption, the premise seems to be incorrect as well, since not only intelligence but also personality is affected by physical brain states. Whatever one might posit for the function of the soul, it really can't have a dramatic effect on human attributes, otherwise it would be detectable.   

I have twin daughters. Their spirits are distinct from each other and detectable in their actions, personalities, dress, words and tastes. I also knew a pair of twins whose own mother had difficulty telling them apart when they were asleep, but looked different when they were awake and their faces were animated by their respective spirits. The very same criteria cited in studies of twins to "prove" the impact of heredity and genes have proven the opposite in my own observations. I have found myself saying "this hereditary thing is crap" while raising my twins.

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11 minutes ago, Calm said:

I did not mean effects were undetectable, but the causes of effects.  Why do you assume a cause would be detectable with our current state of science?  The effects may be detectable in that there could be extensive brain activity signifying complicated thought or emotion, perhaps even to the point of changing patterns of thought or sensations in the body, yet detecting the influences that cause these important effects may be impossible.  Unless brain science has advanced radically since last I studied it, we are not yet able to tell what is the cause of every form of activity in the brain or body, even important activity.

We are aware of alcohol and most often know when an infant has been exposed to it or not.  If we cannot tell if an infant has been exposed to intelligence or spirit, how would we be able to compare with other infants who were not or who were exposed to a different type/level, etc?

In a college course called "Philosophy of Mind", I was introduced to a theory of Leibnitz that all matter was composed of primitive minds he called monads. I embraced this thinking immediately and added to it the idea that primitive minds were converted to enlightened minds by God when He exposed them to joy. A primitive mind, who before enlightenment, is motivated only by pleasure and pain, is lifted to a new level of enlightenment by joy and thereby endowed with free will. They become intelligent. 

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1 hour ago, Eschaton said:

We don't have anything similar connecting cognitive function to the Platonic "human soul."

Please explain the existence of any qualia, I have found that this concept helps people understand what consciousness is. See wikipedia. This is where spirit meets matter.

What is red.  What is an itch? What is the stil small voice?

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2 hours ago, dougtheavenger said:

I have twin daughters. Their spirits are distinct from each other and detectable in their actions, personalities, dress, words and tastes. I also knew a pair of twins whose own mother had difficulty telling them apart when they were asleep, but looked different when they were awake and their faces were animated by their respective spirits. The very same criteria cited in studies of twins to "prove" the impact of heredity and genes have proven the opposite in my own observations. I have found myself saying "this hereditary thing is crap" while raising my twins.

The first problem with your conclusion is the assumption that identical twins are indeed genetically identical.  They are not.  Once the cells divide in the womb, they each experience genetic divergence via separate and distinct random genetic mutations.   Thus, at birth, identical twins are not genetically identical at all.   For this reason, some can be more genetically prone to certain diseases than their "identical" twins, for example.  This is documented fact.  If these physical differences can be explained by genetics (rather than spirit), why not personality differences as well?   

Also, you are being way over simplistic in only considering the genome isolated from its environment and the effects of epigenetics, as the only explanatory factor for differences in behavior.  Even minute differences in environment and exposure can snowball over time to create significant differences in genetic expression fairly quickly.  This has been proven in tests on identical twin mice.    

Edited by pogi
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3 hours ago, Calm said:

I did not mean effects were undetectable, but the causes of effects.  Why do you assume a cause would be detectable with our current state of science?  The effects may be detectable in that there could be extensive brain activity signifying complicated thought or emotion, perhaps even to the point of changing patterns of thought or sensations in the body, yet detecting the influences that cause these important effects may be impossible.  Unless brain science has advanced radically since last I studied it, we are not yet able to tell what is the cause of every form of activity in the brain or body, even important activity.

While our understanding of the brain is not complete, I'm not aware of any dramatic, mysterious phenomena for which there are no plausible explanations. I'm not aware of a "soul-sized hole" anywhere in the study of the human body. 

 

3 hours ago, Calm said:

We are aware of alcohol and most often know when an infant has been exposed to it or not.  If we cannot tell if an infant has been exposed to intelligence or spirit, how would we be able to compare with other infants who were not or who were exposed to a different type/level, etc?

That's because we're talking about things (brains, alcohol) that we know for sure exist, as opposed to the immortal human soul, right?  The human soul's existence is a matter of faith, so it doesn't work as either an explanation for something we don't understand, nor can something based on faith "disprove" any other assertion, faith-based or otherwise. 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

The first problem with your conclusion is the assumption that identical twins are indeed genetically identical.  They are not.  Once the cells divide in the womb, they each experience genetic divergence via separate and distinct random genetic mutations.   Thus, at birth, identical twins are not genetically identical at all.   For this reason, some can be more genetically prone to certain diseases than their "identical" twins, for example.  This is documented fact.  If these physical differences can be explained by genetics (rather than spirit), why not personality differences as well?   

Also, you are being way over simplistic in only considering the genome isolated from its environment and the effects of epigenetics, as the only explanatory factor for differences in behavior.  Even minute differences in environment and exposure can snowball over time to create significant differences in genetic expression fairly quickly.  This has been proven in tests on identical twin mice.    

Please provide a reference for your claim that identical twins "are NOT indeed genetically identical"

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Just now, dougtheavenger said:

Please provide a reference for your claim that identical twins "are NOT indeed genetically identical"

I already did.  Click the link inserted the text “they are not”

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Please explain the existence of any qualia, I have found that this concept helps people understand what consciousness is. See wikipedia. This is where spirit meets matter.

What is red.  What is an itch? What is the stil small voice?

We modern people have been living with Platonism for so long that the idea of an immortal human soul is second nature to us. It's in all of our pop culture about ghosts and dealing with grief. How do we explain consciousness if not with the soul? Well, that's how we lay persons think about it anyway - those who study the topic for a living don't talk about souls.  

Traditionally ancient Judaism lacked that concept. One doesn't need to resort to Plato to explain consciousness - one can even do so while affirming belief in God. I think it's highly likely Jesus himself didn't believe in the concept - the idea doesn't seem to enter Christianity until late in the first century, as it was becoming less Jewish and more Greek/Roman. 

I don't think "soul" is all that helpful to explain qualia. What does outdated Platonism have to do with neuroscience, after all? Those pesky gentile Christian converts seem to have elevated Plato to the status of a Christian prophet, and that status is going strong after thousands of years.  

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3 hours ago, dougtheavenger said:

I have twin daughters. Their spirits are distinct from each other and detectable in their actions, personalities, dress, words and tastes. I also knew a pair of twins whose own mother had difficulty telling them apart when they were asleep, but looked different when they were awake and their faces were animated by their respective spirits. The very same criteria cited in studies of twins to "prove" the impact of heredity and genes have proven the opposite in my own observations. I have found myself saying "this hereditary thing is crap" while raising my twins.

How are you making sure you're not confusing the effect of their individual life experiences, which are observable, and their "spirits" which are not? What is spirit anyway - how could it affect the muscles in the face in the way you posit? 

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19 hours ago, bluebell said:

I'm not sure what you mean.  Are you saying that in order for anyone to have made the choice to follow Jesus, intelligence (as talked about in the Pearl of Great Price) has to be referring to IQ or the level of "smartness" (as that is typically how we use the term)?

No, I'm saying that without cognition, without some level of understanding both of existing circumstances and the choices as outlined,  there can be no choice or agency (or even recognition of our relationships as spirit children of God and who Jesus and Lucifer are).

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