Re: virus: Free Will

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Fri, 07 Feb 1997 14:02:40 -0800

Dave Pape wrote:
>Please! What IS Crick's model? Can you give us a flavour of it?

My pleasure. Here is what Francis Crick says about Free Will in his "The
Astonishing Hypothesis, the Scientific Search for the Soul". He makes three
assumptions (axioms?...:-)):

(1) There is a part of the brain which "is concerned with making plans for
future actions, without necessarily carrying them out". We can be even
conscious of making those plans by an instant recall.

(2) The computations are based on the current state of the brain and current
inputs from other parts of the brain (past experience, senses, voltage
applied by Dr. Plante :-), infection with the Hypocrisy Virus, etc.). We
are not conscious of the "computations" made by this part of the brain. We
only know the "decisions" which appear to us as our plans.

(3) Which plan of action is implemented depends on the same mechanism. We
are only "informed" of the decision. In Cricks's words "one has immediate
recall of what is decided but not of the computations that went into the

"Such a machine" -- he says -- "will appear to itself to have Free Will,
provided it can personify its behavior -- that is, it has an image of
'itself' ".

He ends his book with a suggestion that "Free Will is located in or near the
anterior cingulate sulcus" although other areas of the brain may be also
involved, and... more research needs to be done.

Regards, Tadeusz (Tad) Niwinski from planet TeTa (604) 985-4159