Central Europe, Archaeological site of the ‘Discovery Man’s Project’, April 23, 8223.

During the first age of robots the archaeological digs soon became an interesting business. The director of the digs, expert of ‘History and Dust’, was expected to inform the headquarters about the progress of the work.

Houston to Roger: “How are the researches going today?”

Roger: “We are digging between the old hospital and the woods. We found something interesting this morning; some fragments of a book.”

Houston: “What kind of book?”

Roger: “It looks like a philosophical work or something similar.”

Houston: “Can you read me some pages? Is there an index?”

Roger: “Yes, sure. The book was written by Sandwich L.A. Err[1] in the autumn of 2015. The title is: ‘An evolutionary perspective of free will’. The index is only partially readable. However, one chapter is entitled ‘Evolution of the Free will’. Another ‘Free will and Technique’; the last visible title is about ‘The future of Evolution and Will’; that’s all”.

Houston: “Roger, keep going with the reading.”

Roger: “There are some instructions on how to carry out a research and there are some fragments of these instructions.”

Houston: “As we already know, men were interested in a method which is different from ours. Keep going, Roger, I am recording.”

Roger: “Preface: ‘In order to investigate the connection between the notion of evolution and the one of free will we should take into account some variables we have not yet considered. We forgot to analyze whether  the free will had a role in creating inanimate objects, the techniques which made us what we are. In the museum we stored our past as if it were a product of causality. We forgot to ask ourselves whether  the Lithic stones, the ‘Mammoth spear thrower’, the ‘Folkton Drums’ and the other objects[2] were actually products of the human will or if they were the result of their own evolution’. The preface is interrupted in this point.”

Houston: “Every day we discover something about the stupidity of men. They lived in an era of doubts and used inaccurate instruments. It is not difficult to understand why they destroyed themselves.”

Roger: “They seem unclear in the procedure of the investigation. However, the first chapter opens up with this statement: ‘Finally, thanks to the precision of the latest instruments we can say that we solved the enigma.”

Houston: “Good, perhaps we are going to learn something useful. What are the instruments they are talking about?”

Roger: “Perhaps they are talking about digital technologies. Thanks to these the man reduced the gap between present and past. The book continues: ‘Everything we know comes from the fact that we were able to look into the past. However, we always thought that only the present was the time of will. This contradiction brought humanity to this mistake: they analyzed the choice at the level of the present and study the past, stored, as the result of a mere adaptation; in fact, it is difficult to recognize the will in the past because it seems immobile, given. A new consideration is requested. We must create the necessary prerequisite to analyze the presence of the free will in the evolutionary process. We know that it is possible to recognize the validity of the notion at the present time. Yet, we are able to identify something only when we look onto the past. Hence, we have to prepare a schematic method that will be used by next generations to understand our new interpretation of the question when they will study us, looking into their past.”

Houston: “What are they waiting for? The author seems to give directions but he does not take into account some practical examples.”


Roger: “They are looking for precision. The article continues: ‘Only in the future we will have the instruments useful to give a solution to this long-standing question. We can now claim that only in an era of a complete automatic society we will finally be able to address this last problem. Eventually, this will be the last step of the age of humanity although “The timing of selection of the winner is un utterly inessential feature”[3]’”.

Houston: “What did they know about themselves and the age of man?”


Roger: “They were quite dubious about their last 23 centuries, however, they knew everything about adaptation of their ancestors to human’s life. This process was made possible through adaptation of technical instruments and physical improvements. Later, in their last era, the so called “Free will era”, they tried to figure out something about their own existence and they were close, but they had to stop the research, because of their extinction, just after the adoption of a valid model of investigation.”


Houston: “Ok, Roger. Thanks for the information. Few little steps more and we will probably have an answer to this question.”

Roger: “Houston, isn’t it a dangerous situation? Are we allowed to go further? Should I burn the book?”


[1] Editor’s note: anagram of Charles Darwin

[2] Prehistoric object of the British Museum: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Prehistoric_objects_in_the_British_Museum

[3] Dennett, CDO Article

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