Our Sense Of Free Will Diminishes When We Need To Pee Or Desire Sex

Embodied cognition theory states that our thoughts and emotions are profoundly affected by our physical bodies. A new study takes this idea further, claiming that our bodily states — particularly when they're urgent — can even influence our metaphysical beliefs. » 9/05/14 9:20am 9/05/14 9:20am

The crazy device that shows fruit flies have free will

Do we have free will? If we don't, we're one step down the metaphysical ladder from fruit flies. Yes, people have determined that fruit flies have free will. And yes, the experimental fly chamber they created to find this out is really freaking weird. » 11/06/13 9:20am 11/06/13 9:20am

Yes, free will is real -- and it exists for a reason

Does free will actually exist? Or are we all just puppets to physics or biochemistry or some other form of determinism? A great essay over in Slate argues that free will is real, and that it evolved for a reason. » 9/25/13 3:07pm 9/25/13 3:07pm

A 2000-year-old Philosophical Problem that Stumps Modern Machines

Buridan's Ass is one of the oldest insults in existence. It has been consistently used to make fun of a particular worldview — one that doesn't allow for free will. But this notion gained new relevance, when we started making little electronic Buridan's Asses, which had to come to terms with the problem on more than… » 5/23/13 1:20pm 5/23/13 1:20pm

Scientific evidence that you probably don’t have free will

Humans have debated the issue of free will for millennia. But over the past several years, while the philosophers continue to argue about the metaphysical underpinnings of human choice, an increasing number of neuroscientists have started to tackle the issue head on — quite literally. And some of them believe that… » 1/14/13 11:41am 1/14/13 11:41am

Scientists attempt to prove that free will is an illusion

Let's say you're approaching a fork in the road, and at the very last minute you decide to take the right fork. Common sense says that you made at active decision to take the right fork — a decision you made more or less a split second before you shifted your body ever so slightly in the direction of said fork. » 9/29/11 7:20am 9/29/11 7:20am

Even animals as simple as fruit flies have free will

Fruit flies and other simple organisms might seem like they're creatures of instinct, governed by a set of basically predictable stimuli and responses. But fruit flies actually have free will. Depending on what your definition of free will is. » 12/16/10 2:30pm 12/16/10 2:30pm

Once You Glimpse The Future, Can You Change It?

Last week, humanity saw two minutes of our future, in the FlashForward series premiere. But can they alter their fates, or are they set in stone? We look at other premonitions and flashforwards from science fiction for clues. » 9/29/09 4:30pm 9/29/09 4:30pm