----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Brent Meeker 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 4:38 PM
  Subject: Re: Free will: Wrong entry.


  On 3/11/2010 1:26 PM, m.a. wrote: 
    Bruno and John,
                               The confusion is my fault. I copied the URL from 
a Kurzweil page heading when I should have gone to the article itself, so the 
wrong feature appeared. This is the one I requested comments about:


    http://www.physorg.com/news186830615.html

    (Excerpts)
    PhysOrg.com) -- When biologist Anthony Cashmore claims that the concept of 
free will is an illusion, he's not breaking any new ground. At least as far 
back as the ancient Greeks, people have wondered how humans seem to have the 
ability to make their own personal decisions in a manner lacking any causal 
component other than their desire to "will" something. But Cashmore, Professor 
of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, says that many biologists today 
still cling to the idea of free will, and reject the idea that we are simply 
conscious machines, completely controlled by a combination of our chemistry and 
external environmental forces.

    To put it simply, free will just doesn’t fit with how the physical world 
works. Cashmore compares a belief in free will to an earlier belief in vitalism 
- the belief that there are forces governing the biological world that are 
distinct from those governing the physical world. Vitalism was discarded more 
than 100 years ago, being replaced with evidence that biological systems obey 
the laws of chemistry and physics, not special biological laws for living 
things.“I would like to convince biologists that a belief in free will is 
nothing other than a continuing belief in vitalism (or, as I say, a belief in 
magic),” Cashmore told PhysOrg.com. 

    There seems to be an evolutionary rightness and inevitability to the idea 
that free will is taking its place as just another illusion like vitalism, 
religion, aether, absolute time and space, geocentric universe, single-galaxy 
universe and so on. But I think people will have an even tougher time dealing 
with the implications of strict determinism. It's an idea that could tear 
through the entire fabric of society even though acceptance needn't change 
one's behavior in the slightest respect.     marty a.


  But it's certainly not a deterministic universe.

  It looks like Cashmore would disagree about that.See above: "completely 
controlled by a combination of our chemistry and external environmental forces."


  _http://xxx.lanl.gov/PS_cache/quant-ph/pdf/0604/0604079.pdf_


  Brent


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