Readers may recall that Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne considers neurosurgeon Michael Egnor an archenemy. As we said at the time, Coyne has good taste in archenemies. It shouldn’t go unrewarded.
As Egnor points out, science would imply that we do have free will. But culture says we don’t. So commentators bafflegab around the problem.
They don’t like the outcome of their philosophy but twisting logic won’t change it:
I think that compatibilists’ efforts to avoid the obvious — that free will and determinism can’t both be true — fail in every instance. If determinism is true, then our actions are determined by natural forces over which we have no genuine control and free will is an illusion…
Although most compatibilists have a more or less materialist view of nature, they find it impossible to shake the conviction that free will is real. More.
Could their hesitation be because, as Egnor goes on to point out:
In 1964, Irish physicist John Bell (1928–1990) published a paper titled “On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen Paradox”. In it, he observed that there is a way to test determinism at the quantum level by measuring the ratio of quantum states of particles emitted by radioactive decay.1 Bell’s experiment has now been done many times, and the answer is unequivocal: determinism at the quantum level is not true. Nature is not deterministic. More.
We need more discussion of this.
Does brain stimulation research challenge free will?
Is free will a dangerous myth?