What is free will? Is it the ability to make choices? Is it the ability to make choices that can go against instinct? Do animals have different levels of free will, depending on how much they are able to go against instinct? Do plants have free will? Do you have to have a brain to have free will (or a will at all?)
"Even worms have free will. If offered a delicious smell, for example, a roundworm will usually stop its wandering to investigate the source, but sometimes it won't. Just as with humans, the same stimulus does not always provoke the same response, even from the same individual."
Do you think the article affirms free will or passive aggressively negates it by redefinition? What better way to undermine a term or concept than misuse it until it is rendered meaningless? Both the title and opening paragraph seem to say free will is real, but do so by claiming it is nothing more that what is seen in roundworms. Acting as though they are supporting free will by explaining how external stimulus and "state of the network," (which is basically saying programming), compete to determine actions, they are really contradicting free will. So which of the only two components they cite, automatic response to external stimuli or the competing programing, do you think constitute free will?
All that's left is to equate the simple, (relatively speaking), worm to human sentience and voila, free will has been redefined as a product of biology, meaning no free will at all. Scientism cannot allow or even tolerate the notion of free will because that by genuine definition requires spirituality ruling materialism:
free will noun 1.free and independent choice; voluntary decision: You took on the responsibility of your own free will. 2.Philosophy. the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.
Please reread the article and tell me if you find it supports the notion that the worm, animals or people have the ability to make personal choices which are "not simply determined by physical or divine forces."
I understand. It just seemed as though you thought the article supported or endorsed the concept of free will, when it does quite the opposite. Perhaps now you see what I meant with my initial comments regarding the Roomba.
Free will or fate? I think most people believe in free will, but I suppose I could be wrong. It doesn't seem to matter whether someone is a theist or an atheist as to which they believe. It just seems like a personal...