The decider | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


Feature

The decider

Informing the debate over the reality of ‘free will’ requires learning something about the lateral habenula

By
12:54pm, November 21, 2008

At the end of The Matrix trilogy, Neo and Agent Smith are engaged in one final, interminable scene of surreal combat, a surrogate competition for an eternal battle between humans and machines. “It’s pointless to keep fighting,” Agent Smith declares to Neo. “Why do you persist?”

“Because I choose to,” Neo replies, just before the computer-generated Smith meets his demise in a cinematic celebration of human free will’s superiority to the programming that enslaves machines. Machines are mindless. The brain is a decider.

All very inspiring, except that the brain itself is a machine, a network o

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content