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Jessica Krueger's picture

I think my favorite portion

I think my favorite portion of the class, the real "take home message for me" was that science, though always in pursuit of something, is rarely undertaken in pursuit of truth. To me, the "less wrong" nature of science is determined by limitations on the creatures which do science: humans. If anything, this entire review of how we come to behave and think the way we do has cast a critical light on even the most "objective" of findings. We can only understand what we can perceive, and because of that, we really can't even wholly understand what we do perceive for the chance that something outside of our scope of experience is really driving the phenomenon we're observing: a third variable effect, if you will.

 

To that end, I'm not convinced that Professor Grobstein's demonstration of free will really was that. Changing what I see based on another person's demand to do so seems to me more like following an order, and for some reason I can't shake this feeling that the changing arrows is just another trick of the nervous system. Furthermore, given how beholden we are to our central nervous system for information to fill-out our stories, what good is free will? We cannot will ourselves to detect everything our nervous system does any more than we can will ourselves off the ground. What is the purpose of free will inside a human machine?

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