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Math profs link particle actions, human free will
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:36 pm    Post subject: Math profs link particle actions, human free will Reply with quote

http://www.meta-religion.com/Physics/Particle_physics/math_prof.htm
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:28 pm    Post subject: Heinlein quote Reply with quote

"Free will is the golden thread running through the frozen matrix of fixed events."

Flippant, yet fun. Cool
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achristmasstory



Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting. Thanks for the link.
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 3:37 pm    Post subject: Free will Reply with quote

While sometimes dense, I am that dense. The subject is interesting but without a physics class a question about free will to be able to keep reading the material.

While reading the article I had an immediate thought about a lawn mower without a safety shut-off going off 'on its own' toward me and my response was to go running into the house. Would there be any type of differentiation of an inanimate object that 'does not' change in structure and a person that is going through much more constant changes of cell growth vs. free will? Even about the situation supposedly appearing to be spontaneous?

Otherwise, is this just some quarky part of me that used to be a blade of grass that remembers lawn mowers so David sent Goliath (think size) running into the house and locking the door?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um, I'd rather not contribute my own gibberish thoughts to this thread by responding prematurely, so I'll ask for clarification. Guest, what are you asking?
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 4:39 pm    Post subject: What constitutes free will Reply with quote

Quote:
...if the behavior of a particle if fully determined by its past, so too are all the so-called decisions people believe they are making.


The article noted earlier was about free will possibly being more predetermined than self-determined.
What part is causing the free will and what part could be stopping free will?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:08 pm    Post subject: Free will or what Reply with quote

Guest,

Since you asked, in physics probabilty determines what state and what position a given particle will be in at any particular time. This only holds true for massive objects... say things larger than an atom.
At the atomic level and below it becomes increasing difficult to determine any particles energy/velocity or position.

What inanimate objects lack are an ability to alter their current path or energy state/velocity by their own power. In order for this to happen some type of energy needs to be applied to the particle from the outside which will alter the state(energy/velocity/position) of the particle.
So one may conclude without too much error that the future state of any particle is a summation of it past and present (energy states)'events' which determines it's future state (direction/velocity).

This understanding of particle physics has been applied to humans will poor results.

Humans, on the other hand have the ability to alter their own path, energy state, velocity, position etc. by an internal mechanism we call 'free will'.
To a greater or lesser extent 'free will' is a form of chaos, but even chaos which seems to be totally random falls into a typical bell curve which suggests a pattern, larger than statisical use bell curves but a recognised pattern never the less.

If free will was not an important part of the 'life' equation.... your right, all of our so called decisions would be for not, then all that we observe about the life around us would be no more important than the dust beneath our feet.
Countless stars had to live and die in order to produce the elements you and I are made of. At the peak of our evolution we have become aware of the forces that govern the universe itself (for the most part).... is this happen-stance or design?

Free will is embedded in our emotional seat... the throne if you will. In between our ability to love and hate, or capacity to laugh and cry etc. there is a place where we find ourselves as we really are.... out free will reside here and no where else.

Of all the forces to be understood in the universe the force we understand the least is the force that drives us to be human.

K
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Canadienne



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:23 pm    Post subject: Free will and probabilities Reply with quote

That last post reminded me of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" trilogy. In those novels, a group of elites had been able to develop a science of predicting the future of the human race by applying the laws of probabilities to the random actions of very large numbers of humans, which sounds like something that might work.

However, at one point all of their theories get completely derailed because of an outlier called "The Mule" who has almost superhuman abilities of some sort (forget what. some kind of mind control?) and is able to have a disproportionate effect on the whole of human history.

I guess if we were all pretty much the same it would be easy to come up with some way to predict the future in spite of us all acting pretty randomly, but I think we know from looking at our own history that there are always a few exceptional individuals who have an enormous impact on world history.

The occurrence of these individuals cannot be predicted far in advance. Therefore, I would say that things in our little world are not predetermined.

The universe as a whole, that is a different story.... I can't see one small random part of it greatly effecting the mechanics of the whole overall. Therefore, at the macro, macro, macroscopic level, I think everything is "following the plan", whether it be to expand infinitely or to expand a certain amount, and then eventually all contract and explode again. At that level, it's all predetermined.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Free Will vs. Determinism:

The question with free will lies in the creation of our universe. If the theory of the Big Bang or at least the inifinitismal small "particle" (out of lack of a better word) that contains everything is true, then we have a problem with free will. If everything the universe contains is in this (perhaps quantum) state before the Big Bang, then everything we will do, have done and are doing is determined by the initial state.

Perhaps this is also the reason for the mathematical breakdown when it comes to describe the start of the universe in mathematical terms. The closer we come to the starting point, the less the math adds up.
Quantum Mechanics could partly help understand this, because QT is a theory of prediction. Quantum calculations can give you a probability of something, so when there are many probable states, we have some kind of choice, which means free will. If we now apply this to the Original State of our universe, we could say that there was a probability test before the universe to give us some kind of free will, an undefined variable.

I thought about this idea a while, but I am still not satisfied, especially because I always like to work the scientific way: Observation, Examination and Deriving of math. I mean empirical methodology and this is very difficult with Quantum Mechanics.

Also a good Fiction book:

Dan Simmons - Hyperion
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sb
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:50 am    Post subject: free will Reply with quote

How big is a particle of thought?

sb
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sb,

Just a smidgin bigger than a little bit, which equates to about .004 cents (US).
So if someone gives you a penny for your thoughts you will always make a profit.

But all seriousness aside, a thought has no mass in and of itself and therefore cannot comprise a particle. However many particles are required to comprise the simplest thought.

K
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authorundertree



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure which guest is which, but....

Anonymous wrote:
Free Will vs. Determinism:

The question with free will lies in the creation of our universe. If the theory of the Big Bang or at least the inifinitismal small "particle" (out of lack of a better word) that contains everything is true, then we have a problem with free will. If everything the universe contains is in this (perhaps quantum) state before the Big Bang, then everything we will do, have done and are doing is determined by the initial state.


This seems to be the seminal question: do we assume a closed-system with only material properties, which results in a deterministic universe? Or do we assume an open system where the set of material properties is only one subset of a larger set?

Assuming a mechanical "quantum state" as primary raises the question, What is the origin of the conditions necessary for a quantum state? This gets overlooked when Hawking (and others) propose a "first cause" quantum fluctuation. A quantum fluctuation requires at least the existence of space (and the matter/energy that make that space possible). (In other words, there is no "empty" Friedmann model.)

One way to get around this is to assume thought is primary and thought brings about matter/energy/space. This is consistent with the idea there is a causitive immaterial realm out of which arises the dependent, material realm which is the universe.

Quote:
Perhaps this is also the reason for the mathematical breakdown when it comes to describe the start of the universe in mathematical terms. The closer we come to the starting point, the less the math adds up. Quantum Mechanics could partly help understand this, because QT is a theory of prediction. Quantum calculations can give you a probability of something, so when there are many probable states, we have some kind of choice, which means free will. If we now apply this to the Original State of our universe, we could say that there was a probability test before the universe to give us some kind of free will, an undefined variable.


Right, which would place free will, the concept of causitive thought, in a prior or "senior" position with respect to material conditions.

The "undefined variable(s)" would be the properties of the immaterial being(s) whose thought brings about material conditions.

Quote:
I thought about this idea a while, but I am still not satisfied, especially because I always like to work the scientific way: Observation, Examination and Deriving of math. I mean empirical methodology and this is very difficult with Quantum Mechanics.


An interesting model posits consciousness as the precedent condition, thus it is out of consciousness that material conditions flow.

If this is true, your "empirical observation" problem is solved, as ALL observation is grounded in consciousness. Thus, all observation leads eventually to the foundation of consciousness, which, if it is primary, solves the equation. In other words, all science is based upon observation, which is always based in consciousness. It is this "hidden variable" science omits in the equation of observation.

If consciousness is primary, then one should be able to strip away all material conditions and still have consciousness. It would boil down to simply being aware of being aware, minus objects. Empirical observation of that state provides the foundation your model demands.
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Silvain



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Rotterdam

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:29 am    Post subject: Free will... Reply with quote

Hmmm, I always feel that denying that humans have a free will, is because of fear for their doings, their faults, their problems, their past, their future, etc...
So many people are scared of the unknown or for their own actions.
These people, to me, tend to deny they have a free will, and blame it all on a predetermined course of action. Have it be God or anything else...
I myself absolutely believe in the chaos theory. Things can get into motion for a reason, but blame that on the way physics tend to work on each other. But don't call that reason or that random course of action predetermined.
Anyway..., like I always say, we people think too much of ourselves.
Like all the particles smaller then us..., and all the particles bigger then ourselves, we also are just particles. Take a couple of particles, you've got an atom. Take some more and you've got a human. Take even more and you've got a galaxy. We all work the same. We became, evolved and will dissapear. Things happen..., good or bad. It's just a bummer that of all the matter there is, we, humans (and maybe bzillions of others to), got arranged in a way we can autoproduce LSD-like visuals and happenings. Hence..., we think we're more then other stuff.
Hence, we assume we were meant to be. Hence, we deny chaos.

Kind regards,
Silvain
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silvain,

Chaos is a fact, without a doubt... at least at the atomic and lower levels. At higher levels (above the sub-atomic level) 'order' has more and more of a chance to create micro-orders and then macro-orders.

Chaos, by it's own best definition cannot produce order.

Predetermination or predestiny is the finger print of God, that force (per se) or will to change or use chaos to produce a reason or different order, than what chaos would or could produce on it's own.

Chaos and order live side by side in the same universe, in the same time and in the same space without conflict, without denying that each other exists. It appears that they require each other to exist.

I agree humans are full of themselves most often for no good reason, but to conclude that God does not exist based on that fact is not reasonable.

For all of recorded time, man has not chosen God, God has chosen to reveal himself/herself to man. Hence we could think of ourselves(humans) as the chaos and God as the order, without having to deny each other... when we do, we will find the universal harmony that chaos and order also share.

K
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causalitist



Joined: 19 Nov 2006
Posts: 1
Location: wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here is what i think:

free will does not exist. determinism is not the fingerprint of god, its the laws of physics.

1.Mind is a charicteristic of the organizational state of the matter that constitutes the brain.

2.Matter in this particular organizational state is of course subject to the laws of causality, as is all matter.

3.Thoughts, i.e. physical interactions, are governed in a deterministic manner by all matter and qualities of that matter that have direct contact with it.

4.The wonderful illusion of a separate self that is free from causality, is apparently the reason for the persistence of this seemingly strange arrangement of matter.......life.

mind is an emergent property of the brain..

unless you think you are more than matter.. this has to be accepted.

and as far as quantum indeterminancy; that doesnt change things at all.. it is very unlikely that such events even play a role on such a macro level(brain).. but even if they did.. we would then act completely random and still not have free will..

either way.. i do not subscribe to the copenhagen interpretation and think that there is more to it and that the models of probability we have created are very usefull, but not reality.. and that the events are purely causal... sorry guys.. im with the young einstien on this. we will find out some day.

the matter of the brain is not some different kind of matter that obeys what laws you want it to.
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