Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter





Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    22,152
    vCash
    1500

    Does Quantum Physics have any relation to Free Will?

    Wasn't sure where to put this. I was thinking the off topic thread but thought with the right posters this might be interesting (or it might be shot down immediately)

    Does this make sense


    I was just thinking about the arguments against free will, which I understand, but then this thought hit me. If molecules at a subatomic level break what we think of as the laws of physics would that mean that we on a larger scale are not as confined to them in the way we interpret. And if the impossible is possible wouldn't that mean there are no limits. There for opening a window for Free Will to fit in?

    Edit: vvv This was the first paragraph, but its mostly more rambling vvv
    In Quantum Mechanics, and the study of subatomic particles atoms (as I will call them as I don't know how else to refer to them) don't behave in ways we expect things to on a larger scale. For example atoms can pass through solid objects and (theoretically) move around in time. Now thats all above my science IQ, and I'd have to search for that particular example, but thats not what I want to talk about. If what we do observe now is what is actually happening does it make free will possible?
    Last edited by aNYer; 01-13-2013 at 12:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    38,527
    vCash
    1750
    I have no ****ing idea where this is going.

    NFC North: Leading the League in Stupid.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    #TeamSachs
    Posts
    23,924
    vCash
    1500
    No, quantum physics doesn't "break" the "laws of physics". What actually happens is that over time physicists have arrived at a more general set of rules to describe as many physical phenomenon as such laws would allow them to. Previously known or discovered rules wouldn't be invalidated or anything, it would just make them "special cases" of the newly found general description.

    Take quantum physics for example. Before the mid-late 19th century, when subatomic particles weren't discovered yet, most physics up until that time have been derived from Newtonian Mechanics (the set of rules discovered by Newton), which is accurate in describing motion in a macroscopic scale.

    Then, when scientists began to delve into the world of subatomic particles, they realized that Newtonian Mechanics doesn't hold anymore in that scale. That's not to say that the Newton was wrong. They were just able to arrive at a more general set of rules that under certain assumptions, would exactly become Newtonian Mechanics. So think of Newtonian Mechanics as a "subset" of this general set of rules.

    I hope that clears things up a bit. Feel free to ask more questions.
    Last edited by lakers4sho; 01-13-2013 at 04:22 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    #TeamSachs
    Posts
    23,924
    vCash
    1500
    And no, time-travel hasn't been discovered yet. You might be referring to General Relativity, which is not exactly time traveling.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    22,152
    vCash
    1500
    Correct me If I am wrong, but on a subatomic level haven't particles been observed passing through walls? And again I am not as well versed in this field as othrrs but hasn't it been unexplained? I don't know if I am exlaining it correctly. Also pet me know if you hqve heard of what I am talking about.

    I suspected the same conclusion as you though that in the end we will probably find the actual scientific explanation. So I guess my question should have been IF no explination exists could the unpredictqble nature of subatomic particles negate some of the concepts that lead to the conclusion that there is no such thing as free will?

    So mre of a hypothetical.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Baltimore now, but born and raised on the south side of Chicago.
    Posts
    7,374
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by aNYer View Post
    Correct me If I am wrong, but on a subatomic level haven't particles been observed passing through walls? And again I am not as well versed in this field as othrrs but hasn't it been unexplained? I don't know if I am exlaining it correctly. Also pet me know if you hqve heard of what I am talking about.

    I suspected the same conclusion as you though that in the end we will probably find the actual scientific explanation. So I guess my question should have been IF no explination exists could the unpredictqble nature of subatomic particles negate some of the concepts that lead to the conclusion that there is no such thing as free will?

    So mre of a hypothetical.
    No... I don't think not having an explanation for anything is related to whether or not there is free will.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    #TeamSachs
    Posts
    23,924
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by aNYer View Post
    Correct me If I am wrong, but on a subatomic level haven't particles been observed passing through walls? And again I am not as well versed in this field as othrrs but hasn't it been unexplained? I don't know if I am exlaining it correctly. Also pet me know if you hqve heard of what I am talking about.

    I suspected the same conclusion as you though that in the end we will probably find the actual scientific explanation. So I guess my question should have been IF no explination exists could the unpredictqble nature of subatomic particles negate some of the concepts that lead to the conclusion that there is no such thing as free will?

    So mre of a hypothetical.
    No, not exactly.

    Physicists came to the conclusions that, at the most basic level, all subatomic particles can be classified either one of two types: bosons and fermions. In a nutshell, particles that transmit forces (electromagnetic, gravitational, strong, weak) fell under bosons. Many bosons can occupy the same state at the same time.

    Meanwhile, this is not true for fermions; a fermion can only occupy one state at a given time. Hence this is why matter is made of fermions. This is the reason why solids can't pass through one another, why we can't pass through walls. The Pauli exclusion principle states that no two fermions can so to say, "share the same space" at the same time. More formally speaking, they can't occupy the same quantum state simultaneously.

    I don't understand your point on how it relates to "free will". As per your assertion that "no explanation (sic) exists", it simply means that scientists just haven't discovered it yet.
    Last edited by lakers4sho; 01-13-2013 at 04:26 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    6,767
    vCash
    1500
    OP, you should read some Sam Harris. His argument is basically your thread title as an assertion. He believes on the basis of current scientific thought that every chemical reaction is necessarily predestined. Therefore every chemical reaction in the brain is predestined. Therefore every thought is predestined, and we have no free will. Also necessary to this argument is the premise that a mind or consciousness cannot exist outside a physical body. Needless to say, his presentation of these ideas is a bit more polished and detailed than my abstract of it.

    Video of Harris discussing it is here.

    Text is available here.

    FWIW, I'm not sure I buy his arguments, but they are interesting.
    I'm going to list ALEC in credits as associate producer of creating horrifying things for us to talk about -John Oliver

    People who think the least powerful members of society are responsible for most of its problems are deluded, at best.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    #TeamSachs
    Posts
    23,924
    vCash
    1500
    sure one has a predisposition to act in a certain way or another due to genetics, but to say that a "chemical reaction is predestined" is scientifically fallacious, so just from the premise his argument is already a flawed one

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    22,152
    vCash
    1500
    Sorry I went out of then country and then just forgot about this thread.

    @LabGrownManGoat I will look at the video right now.
    @Lakers4sho The point that I was trying to express was a hypothetical one that if somehow it could be proven that subatomic particles could pass through solid objects and don't follow the laws of physics as we understand them then could that be extrapolated to say that if they are not locked into any predetermined patterns that follow the actions before it why would we.

    And while I see the flaw in the wording to reality now I was trying to see if maybe there was something there. Still I should do more research into the particles observed to SEEMINGLY pass through a solid wall, and see if it hasn't already been answered. I think either way the premise works as a good thought experiment, but maybe I am wrong or not communicating it well enough.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    #TeamSachs
    Posts
    23,924
    vCash
    1500
    No, it seems like I'M the one not communicating my ideas very well

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    6,629
    vCash
    1500
    this is a great subject,unfortunately if the greatest scientific minds on earth are still trying to hash it out Im doubtfull the forum @ psd is gonna clarify it.I too had been under the impression that the newtonian laws of physics breakdown when studying Quantum Physics...Ive read several scientists describe it as such, maybe they were taking an "easy" way out in explaining it to layman...I don know that newtonian laws fail to be expressable in a singularity and as they study these they are finding that they are EVERYWHERE.
    STORK WAS RIGHT!
    Mcfadden is useless

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    6,767
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by lakers4sho View Post
    sure one has a predisposition to act in a certain way or another due to genetics, but to say that a "chemical reaction is predestined" is scientifically fallacious, so just from the premise his argument is already a flawed one
    So let's look at the premises that underlie what you claim is a flawed conclusion. Basically:

    1. When two atoms interact under the exact same conditions, they necessarily interact in the same way.

    2. If 1, then they predictably interact in that same way.

    3. If 2, then given a sufficiently detailed set of initial conditions and a set of known rules (and boundless analytical power), it is possible to infallibly predict what interactions will take place in advance of them taking place.

    3b. If 3, then once those interactions take place, another set of conditions is generated, and from that set of conditions, another infallible prediction can be made -- this can continue ad infinitum.

    4. If all future interactions can (theoretically) be infallibly predicted, they are predestined. That is, what happens is the only thing that could have happened.

    Now, again, I don't necessarily buy the whole argument, but I do think this is along the lines Harris is thinking. His explanation of it is a whole lot more developed than mine, but that's the gist of it.
    I'm going to list ALEC in credits as associate producer of creating horrifying things for us to talk about -John Oliver

    People who think the least powerful members of society are responsible for most of its problems are deluded, at best.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Baltimore now, but born and raised on the south side of Chicago.
    Posts
    7,374
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat View Post
    So let's look at the premises that underlie what you claim is a flawed conclusion. Basically:

    1. When two atoms interact under the exact same conditions, they necessarily interact in the same way.

    2. If 1, then they predictably interact in that same way.

    3. If 2, then given a sufficiently detailed set of initial conditions and a set of known rules (and boundless analytical power), it is possible to infallibly predict what interactions will take place in advance of them taking place.

    3b. If 3, then once those interactions take place, another set of conditions is generated, and from that set of conditions, another infallible prediction can be made -- this can continue ad infinitum.

    4. If all future interactions can (theoretically) be infallibly predicted, they are predestined. That is, what happens is the only thing that could have happened.

    Now, again, I don't necessarily buy the whole argument, but I do think this is along the lines Harris is thinking. His explanation of it is a whole lot more developed than mine, but that's the gist of it.
    This is the basic theory. And it's pretty useless to behavioral neurosciences today. Can we infallibly predict any behavior? No. Mr. Harris and the rest of these folks should call me when they can. Does this theory in any way affect our ability to modify negative behaviors? No. It's the realm of philosophy and pop psychology books.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,699
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by aNYer View Post
    Wasn't sure where to put this. I was thinking the off topic thread but thought with the right posters this might be interesting (or it might be shot down immediately)

    Does this make sense


    I was just thinking about the arguments against free will, which I understand, but then this thought hit me. If molecules at a subatomic level break what we think of as the laws of physics would that mean that we on a larger scale are not as confined to them in the way we interpret. And if the impossible is possible wouldn't that mean there are no limits. There for opening a window for Free Will to fit in?

    Edit: vvv This was the first paragraph, but its mostly more rambling vvv
    In Quantum Mechanics, and the study of subatomic particles atoms (as I will call them as I don't know how else to refer to them) don't behave in ways we expect things to on a larger scale. For example atoms can pass through solid objects and (theoretically) move around in time. Now thats all above my science IQ, and I'd have to search for that particular example, but thats not what I want to talk about. If what we do observe now is what is actually happening does it make free will possible?
    It's relevant in the sense that it disproves Newtonian causation and paves the way for compatibilism.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •