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89553Re: [evol-psych] Is Free Will an Illusion?

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  • Sussa Bj�rkholm
    Jun 1, 2009
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      On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 3:10 PM, Edgar Owen <edgarowen@...> wrote:

      However even rabbits have free will just as humans do in the sense that they as bounded independent organisms initiate actions within the boundaries of their beings which are not completely determined by external events (causes).

      All 'higher' (down to very low levels actually certainly including at least some aspects of insect behavior) organisms have free will in this sense.

      I am finally able to agree with Edgar on free will. Yes, defined like that, we all have free will. In the brain there are populations of neurons with intrinsic rhythm. Their membrane potential fluctuates with a certain frequency, causing them to fire intermittently and thereby activate other neurons.

      This firing is of course modulated by outside influence (metabolites, light (indirectly, via retina-pineal-connections etc), but as long as the organism's brain is alive, they are able to fire without input external to the cell itself. 

      However, with this as a criterium, we will have to include plants and bacteria in the group of organisms with free will, they all have ion channels that change their permeability without stimulus from outside the cell. 


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