It’s interesting how some films mix real facts with science fiction based on theories that are not entirely correct, but contain a certain package of information.

One example is the 2014 action film “Lucy” by Luc Besson, which is based on the myth that humans only use 10 per cent of their brains. This concept was already taken up in 2011 in the film “Limitless” by Neil Burger.

The theory that humans do not use their brains to the full is indeed an old myth with uncertain origins. The question was probably raised by the statement “We use only a small part of our mental and physical faculties” in the 1908 book “The energies of Men” by Williams James, professor of philosophy at Harvard University, in which he also addresses the fact that when one is in a crisis, i.e. outside one’s comfort zone, energies are released that were not in action before, the crisis being the impetus for the release of a certain human potential.

In the film Lucy, Morgan Freeman plays a neurologist who at one point gives a speech in an academic tone:

Below you will find the text from the film “Lucy” by Luc Besson and the link where you can see the scene in question.

… “Life began about a billion years ago. We had to wait 400,000 years to witness the mutation of the first nerve cells. This is the beginning of life as we know it. Brains and information of only a few milligrams. No sign of intelligence can yet be detected in them. They behave more like a reflex.
One neuron, you are alive.
Two neurons, you can move, and interesting things have begun with the movement.

Animal life on Earth goes back millions of years, but most species only use 3 to 5 per cent of their brain capacity, but it is only with humans at the top of the animal pyramid that we finally see a species that uses its brain capacity more.
10% may not seem like much, but it is a lot when we consider what we have done with it.

Now let’s take a concrete case. The only creature that uses its brain much better than we do.

The dolphin.

This incredible animal is thought to use up to 20% of its brain capacity. In particular, this allows it to use an echolocation system that is more effective than any sonar invented by humans.

But the dolphin did not invent sonar, it developed it naturally, and that is the crux of our philosophical considerations today: Can we conclude that man is more interested in having than in being?

For primitive beings like us, life has only one purpose: to gain time. And survival in time also seems to be the only true purpose of every single cell in our bodies. To achieve this goal, the mass of cells that make up earthworms and humans have only two choices. Be immortal or reproduce.
If the habitat is not favourable or nutritious enough, the cell will choose immortality, i.e. self-sufficiency and self-management. If, on the other hand, the habitat is favourable enough, it will choose to reproduce.
When it dies, it passes on important information and knowledge in this way to the next cell, which in turn passes it on to the next cell, and so on.
So knowledge and learning are passed on over time…”….

In my opinion, the measurement of a percentage related to intelligence and the use of the brain can be traced back to the mechanism of having a view of the reality of the physical world based on the parts of the body as if they were composite parts, with which one refers only to causes and quantities.

With today’s knowledge, it is possible to move away from such measurement and towards a simpler and more complex concept. The part of consciousness that science can only measure with difficulty lies outside its own spectrum.

The limits of science today are well explained by Rupert Sheldrake in his book The Science Delusion, but also in a famous TED presentation of his that is now considered a classic.