Shall we understand a Flies Brain?
in mind let us look again at the proposition held by the greater community of neuroscientiststoday.
That is, that free will doesn’t exist
: that free will is merely an illusion, something of a trivial andnot particularly noteworthy epiphenomenon of matter and its machinations.These same terms have also been used to describe consciousness itself. This is something I considertantamount to an
intellectual “jumping of the gun”. When one
thinks momentarily on the state of ourcurrent understanding of the brain, or indeed briefly surveys the relevant literature, one quickly comesto terms with the enormous complexity of the organ and the nigh-on embarrassing presumptionsrequired in order to arrive at such ostensibly informed conclusions so early on in our engagement withthis impressive collection of nerve cells, dendrites and axons. This is itself of course
assuming that “free“will” or “consciousness” itself more generally is in fact
even birthed of the brain at all. This is one of themore contentious issues which we do not have the space to examine sufficiently here, though it is to beheld in consideration."
We won't be able to understand the brain. It is the most complex thing in the universe,
saysProfessor Sir Robin Murray, one of the UK's leading psychiatrists.
Consider too the Neurosciencetextbook entitled,
23 Problems in Systems Neuroscience.
Chapter one of this largely syncretic volume isdefiantly entitled,
Shall we even understand a flies brain?
Further into this chapter we read Giles
answer to his own question where
”we may be better off starting with the modest
goal of understanding the files brain first. Will the next century be enough? I am not so sure
We are not here attempting to say that the entirety of the brains functioning must be understoodbefore an opinion may be had on this issue. Rather, we are saying that this unparalleled complexitymust never be forgotten as we draw our ignobly swift conclusions as to the workings of theextraordinary interactome which is the brains 100 billion neurons.
What is Free Will? What is not Free Will?
Moving on to some critical thought; i
f we know we don’t have
what we have termed “free will”
, as iswidely and increasingly claimed, and if we are so sure that free will does not exist, then would it not alsostand to bear that we must therefore, in order to formulate an ingenuous argument, know what freewill objectively is? One would assume. Though let us consider this further.It could be said that we do not need to know what object
is, in order to know what object
is not.At least that is, when we are speaking of physical objects in the physical world. In this case though, weare dealing with one phenomenon. Discounting the no
tion of “free will”, as
is practiced by the vanguardof the evolutionary and neurological sciences, is also implying that we know what free will
actually and objectively
is. Without knowledge of what free will is, or rather a clearly presented opinion as to itsmeaning, ones ideas if presented as fact about whether or not it exists are mere pretensions and