Monday, December 8, 2008

Did YHWH PreWire Us?

The December 6th issue of ScienceNews has an essay called The Decider. The subject is the latest findings on our "illusion" of free will. It states:

"Free will" is not the defining feature of humanness, modern neuroscience implies, but is rather an illusion that endures only because biochemical complexity conceals the mechanisms of decision making.

It seems they've discovered some previously unidentified brain areas, parts that did things we didn't quite know about before. Certain parts of the brain are regularly involved in decisions that encourage or discourage "non-rewarding" choices. The main structure discussed is the habenula, a structure that fires neurons that slow dopamine neurons when a creature is faced with an unrewarding choice.
They're careful to point out that this brain structure is merely part of a large neural network involved in decision making, just that it's a part that is involved heavily. Rather disconcerting to think that people who continually make the same type of poor decisions may simply have an under- or over-active part in their brain. Does this mean they can have this section of the brain stimulated or suppressed and suddenly become successful in life?

Free will or not? It's still a big question.


  1. our parents and grandparents say that we should take responsibilities for our actions and inactions. They read it from the Bible. They are right.

  2. TK, many places in the Bible say that, but there are so many other places that say we DON'T choose for ourselves, it all is determined by the Father. I'm working on figuring that out. Is it presumptuous to believe I'm running anything when I don't belong to myself?