The brain registers the decision and a second or so later we think we made a decision. This research is interpreted as: Free will is a biological event, not a function of our human cognitive capacity to decide our fate or direct our own will. At the base of the human brain the brain stem, which is the part of us humans that still thinks like a reptile. As we evolved, we left our reptilian parts in charge of the autonomic nervous system. We also left it the once imperative task of fight or flight response.
Biologists and Neuroscientist who work in the field, are still not comfortable with the fact that we have a lizard inside our brains—and it actually might be running some pretty important parts of our human existence.
There is another part of our brain that is more mammal than human. It is called the Limbic System. This part of us doesn’t respond much to words and abstract ideas. Science is irrelevant to the Limbic System. The communication between our inner lizard and our inner chimp is a chemical one, not a thought based one. This part of our brain has at its central most protected region, the amygdala. This is our little dictator. It registers everything happening in the body and it is this command central, and not our conscious forebrain, that makes all the important decisions.
A brain scan that shows activity before we become aware of making a decision is showing us that there is a little homunculus at the center of our brain that is capable of overriding any decision our conscious mind makes.
The illusion is that the mind is one unity. A thorough study of the brain will point to the fact that a purely biologically based reality devoid of freewill is only true at the level of the brain stem. Above that, invisible things enter the picture such as “relationship” and “conscience” and later “language” and “God”.
Each layer of our evolutionary development is real. Nature builds on the old, she doesn’t typically start from scratch. A biological -based reality is real. Our emotion/relationship based reality is also real. Our sense of free will is also real.
Free will is achieved when the lower two brains are switched off. The endless debates over fate versus free will represents the lack of making careful distinctions.