In the first article, we explored the determinism of the brain and considered that within the constraints of brain physiology it is clear that random or indeterminate processes cannot be responsible for behavior.  Every action can be traced back to a cause, so it would seem that complete determinism is a fundamental aspect of our normal brain's operation.

Our brains, however, begin accumulating and organizing information from the moment we first enter the world.  Our training and indoctrination will be fulfilled by our own experiences, by information gleaned from others, as well as information we acquire for ourselves.  One of the fundamental aspects of information gathering is that the brain develops a structure against which information is organized. This basic structure can be considered the foundations of a belief system, or worldview, against which information can be evaluated for inclusion or rejection.

As discussed elsewhere, the belief system or worldview, is a data organization mechanism and not simply an arbitrary perspective.  Every piece of data that the brain accumulates will either be integrated into the belief system or rejected.  This is the fundamental basis by which data is classified, so that it may be utilized in forming "real-world" options or by which it would be excluded from such options.  In effect, this defines boundary conditions against which data can be evaluated, as well as determining which assumptions will be used when gaps in data occur.

One element of this education is the indeterminant aspect of it.  In other words, we can never know precisely what we will be taught, when, or how it will interact (or relate) to information that has already been acquired.  Some information may be considered more significant than others, and how it is integrated may be completely novel from the intentions of the original source itself.  Even the consideration for what we are exposed to may be random and subject to a variety of unplanned or unforeseen circumstances which can give rise to unique information structures within our brains.

It is from this pool of data that our creativity, insights, and thoughts originate.  If we have a deterministic brain, then it is clear that whatever novel thoughts emerge from it, must be a result of how various connections between data are made internally.  There can be no thought or idea that doesn't originate from some level of data which must exist previously.  We can even invent absurdities or impossible concepts (such as "hearing the color red" or "infinity") without actually having to quantify the reality of these ideas.  In effect, they are merely the juxtaposition of unlikely data points that can be assembled by our brain, but they never constitute something that does not ultimately originate there.  

One of the key points that creates the illusion of freedom is our ability to "drive" the queries into our brain's data storage.  We can initiate thinking, as well as directing the nature of that thinking towards particular solutions.  The brain doesn't simply return random responses, but instead provides specific and related items back to such queries, which suggests a highly relational method of data organization.  As a result, we can deal with subtleties where relationships between data elements may be quite tenuous.  

Problem solving redrives the learning/training mechanism so that specifically known solutions are reinforced (building up our experience base), or new novel solutions may be considered for possible inclusion in our data.  We also segregate possible solutions based on whether they have been experienced in "real-world" encounters, or if they are still untested.  In effect, it closely parallels the scientific method in its structure, but it is the process our brain uses to assess data by using live experience as our validity test.  As with any experiment, a key aspect of obtaining results is interpreting them, and this is where the brain assesses the results against the belief system that is in place.  This is one reason why individuals of varying beliefs may have radically different interpretations of the same experience. More importantly, if there is a strong conflict between the results and the belief system, the results may be rejected as erroneous and retain their "untested" status.

What is important to recognize is that the data storage and retrieval mechanisms are completely deterministic, however the novel connections that may be made, while deterministic, also provide a mechanism by which originality can be generated.  In particular, it is clear that one of our brain's primary functions is to relate elements of data together, so that a name may be associated with a visual image, which may be then associated with particular pieces of data associated with the object or person and so on.

This process is analogous to playing a musical instrument where there are finite possibilities and the constraints of the instrument itself, however the possible combinations that can be generated are seemingly unlimited.  Each selected note is completely deterministic, yet the result has the appearance of unbounded potential, ultimately resulting in a structured song.

From this we have seen that we have a deterministic and indeterministic set of actions that provide the architecture of the brain as well as the data that is stored in it.  In the next article we will consider how this information may be processed in the form of choices.