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At Mind Matters News: Why free will is philosophically and scientifically sound

Michael Egnor asks: Is Joe Blow really anti-intellectual? - Uncommon Descent
Michael Egnor

As Michael Egnor points out in a recent podcast, it has been nearly a century since determinism was toppled in physics:

Michael Egnor: … But even irrespective of the theories, it’s a fact, and I should point out not merely a theoretical construct, but an experimental fact that determinism in physics is not true. And a materialist like Coyne, who bases his rather bizarre rejection of free will on an assertion that physics has proved determinism to be true, when in fact since the 1930s, it’s been very clear according to quantum mechanics, that determinism is not true and since the 1980s, it’s been proven experimentally, really makes you wonder how well Coyne understands the science. I mean, his metaphysics is off the wall, but his science is about a century behind.

Casey Luskin: Coyne is, of course, a diehard defender of Neo-Darwinism, which many scientists are now beginning to reject. Even mainstream evolutionary scientists are becoming very critical of Neo-Darwinism and of course, Coyne has had his own debates with some of those folks. He’s dead set on defending the modern version of Darwin’s 19th-century theory.

News, “Why free will is philosophically and scientifically sound” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor points out that, though free will may be unpopular with atheist thinkers like biologist Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, science doesn’t refute it.

You may also wish to read: Is consciousness the sort of thing that could have evolved? Researchers Simona Ginsberg and Eva Jablonka have written a book attempting to trace the evolution of consciousness. Material processes cannot, for example, account for the power to grasp infinity or perfection — which are not material ideas. (Michael Egnor)

PPS, SA, you here identify a key point for worldviews and right reason:
we have to trust some things that we cannot prove
Take anything we posit as so, A. Why accept it? because of B which supports or warrants it [as we believe]. But, why B? C. Why C, . . .? We thus, face an infinite regress, impossible to traverse and impossible to do so without error for us fallible creatures. Or else, circularity where M and N are held to mutually support; but this is of course often little more than worldviews level question begging. Where we end up, then is some F, our finitely remote faith point set of first plausibles that gives shape to our worldviews. To responsibly hold such a view, we understand that all views have difficulties and address on comparative difficulties involving factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power . . . neither simplistic nor an ad hoc patchwork. F of course includes self evident first facts, truths and principles, but such can never constitute an overall worldview. However, they serve as useful plumb lines that are naturally straight and upright. Comparative difficulties analysis is part of wider right reason, and it is part of prudence and warranting with recognition of limitations. Of course, knowledge, as generally used, is a weak form claim [think of scientific, historical and forensic knowledge etc]: warranted, credibly true [and so reliable as tested] belief. Faith and reason are inextricably intertwined in our worldviews and schemes of knowledge and we need to squarely face that. kairosfocus
SA (attn Sev): Right from the beginning in discussing selective hyperskepticism as a development on Greenleaf in Evidence etc, I took time to look at the anticipated projected mirror. It is not necessary, the issue is, one disbelieves what one should believe [as it has good warrant but is unwelcome] BECAUSE one already believes what one should not. This is the crooked yardstick effect. So, what is focal is hyperskeptical rejection of what has good enough warrant. Above, we can see as an example, the resistance to acknowledging that D/RNA are digital storage units, that there is string data structure coded algorithmic information in D/RNA, that this is used in protein assembly, and that this manifests both language [codes are an aspect of language] and goal directed process [algorithms are stepwise, goal directed, finite processes with halting]. On knowing context, this rejection of results that won several Nobel prizes, reflects an underlying commitment to a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or fellow travellers. Which, can only succeed by locking out the obvious, empirically well warranted source of such FSCO/I, intelligently directed configuration. KF PS, I think, skepticism has been improperly promoted in place of virtues and duties such as right reason, prudence and warrant. It has now become a pseudo virtue, alongside radical tolerance etc. kairosfocus
Which is better, hyperskepticism or hypercredulity?
Virtue is in the middle of extremes. We refer to "healthy skepticism" because there is an unhealthy version (hyperskepticism).
If I told you God had appeared to me in a vision and told me that ID was a satanic stratagem devised to lure the faithful away from the straight and narrow, would you believe me?
I've never met a believer that did not have a moderate level of skepticism towards claims. The Vatican has a team of scientists that skeptically evaluate claims of miracles. In any case, the correct alternative to hyperskepticism is not hypercredulity. Both have crippling effects. Instead, healthy skepticism would enable a person to believe where there is reasonable evidence to believe. It would enable a person to accept a good inference where there is evidence to accept it. Hyper-skepticism destroys all trust, and therefore destroys the foundation of rational thought (we have to trust some things that we cannot prove). Silver Asiatic
Which is better, hyperskepticism or hypercredulity? If I told you God had appeared to me in a vision and told me that ID was a satanic stratagem devised to lure the faithful away from the straight and narrow, would you believe me? Seversky
Silver Asiatic @50, I've heard it said that skeptics are skeptical about everything except their own skepticism. -Q Querius
a link to the web page of a research biologist supporting my observations in high school
I posted an additional, unrelated source saying the same thing. So, that's three references to the claim - one directly observed from you. So, putting the best spin on it, skepticism means that all three sources were mistaken in their measurements, somehow. Silver Asiatic
I just remain skeptical about hydra polyps' ability to extend their tentacles by 1,000 percent, linearly. I could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time. Fred Hickson
Querius @17
In my opinion, such attacks are either mindless parroting or deliberate deception that doesn’t consider the pragmatic advantage ID has repeatedly demonstrated over the Darwinist approach when confronted with poorly understood biological structures and features.
Agreed. That view has been corrected several times with examples of non-religious ID supporters but the same comment returns. Silver Asiatic
All, Even after providing Fred Hickson with a link to the web page of a research biologist supporting my observations in high school regarding the maximum length of hydra under ideal conditions, he proclaims that he "remains skeptical." This demonstrates that he considers his chosen skepticism to be irrefutable, contrary to any evidence presented to him regardless of the source. Please bear that in mind. -Q Querius
ET at 43, Who wrote that headline? An Advertising Agency? The following is more accurate but still contains a few "we did it! We did it!" No, not really. https://www.nature.com/articles/531557a relatd
FH at 44, Wow. I need to write down the time and date ! You, you dare to bring up stopped clocks? Why I oughta'. relatd
@ ET Relatd is correct. *resists urge to mention stopped clocks* Venter reproduced (i e copied) a minimal set of bacterial genes and introduced them into a "de-gened" bacterial cell. He did not create any sequences de novo. Fred Hickson
Venter Institute Scientists Create First Synthetic Bacterial Genome- enjoy! ET
ET at 41, Venter did what? Have you read any scientific papers about his work? He's a tinkerer. He's got a CRISPR device and he tinkers. That's all. "Venter, who has co-founded a company that seeks to harness synthetic cells for making industrial products, says that the feat heralds the creation of customized cells to make drugs, fuels and other products." relatd
Fred Hickson:
Design me a protein, for example!
Venter designed an entire genome! ET
Fred Hickson:
I know ID has lost its way.
Wrong again. YOU have lost your way, Fred. ID still offers the only scientific explanation for our existence. ET
Fred Hickson:
When an ID proponent can predict an outcome from a DNA sequence to a biological function by decoding it, then I’ll be impressed.
That doesn't have anything to do with ID. You are clearly just a clueless troll. When an evolutionism proponent can tell us how blind and mindless processes produced the processes involved in developmental biology, the entire world will be impressed! Heck, if they could demonstrate anything that they claim, the world would be impressed. ET
... to decode DNA information you need another and more complex system than DNA. ... to connect together these two systems(to code-decode) you need a 3rd system much more complex that will manage the process( in an adaptive way for a single purpose) ...the 3rd system in order to be triggered to start coding-decoding process requires orders from a 4th more complex system that analyze internal/external stimuli and decides that is time for producing a certain protein for a certain purpose (from thousands of different purposes) ...the 4th system ...etc. Lieutenant Commander Data
PS, rubbish on political accusations is irrelevant to evidence pointing to a substantial matter of knowable, evidence backed truth on origins, kairosfocus
FH, denial on your part by projection does not change the facts on the table. What such confession by projection reveals, is, however, instructive. Obviously, you cannot acknowledge that D/RNA is a storage medium despite it now being explored as an archival medium, and you cannot acknowledge facts taught in essentially every biology text, that the genetic code is used to express algorithms for synthesising AA chains towards protein manufacture in the cell. Thus, we have coded algorithms, which are in a machine language. The fact of such insistent hyperskeptical denial then implies onward that the evidence is decisive and not in favour of the notion that such originated by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. That is, it is strong and even decisive evidence of the design of cell based life. Further, it is text, text for chapter zero of earth history. Such, is the context in which I have now drawn the conclusion, for cause, that we have excellent reason to acknowledge that the world of life reflects design as principal cause. KF kairosfocus
Projection, G. I know ID has lost its way. With a conservative SCOTUS, you no longer need the figleaf to avoid church/state separation. Fred Hickson
FH, ducking, dodging and raising an irrelevancy by way of cross-complaint. You long since knew or should have known and should have acknowledged that D/RNA is a storage medium for coded information found in the cell. You still have not actually acknowledged it, even as BBC news informs the world that DNA is being explored for adaptation to general digital storage for archival uses as it is so much more compact and durable than magnetic hard drives. We know enough to know that we are seeing coded algorithms and their execution through ribosomes. That's language and step by step goal directed finite processes with halting [note, stop codons]. That whoever designed the system knows a lot more about polymer chemistry than we currently do, is not a reason to disregard what we can and do know. Which is decisive, as it means text is written into the cell, so is antecedent to biological, cell based life on earth. KF kairosfocus
Design me a protein, for example! Fred Hickson
When an ID proponent can predict an outcome from a DNA sequence to a biological function by decoding it, then I'll be impressed. Fred Hickson
PPPS, to clench over the nails on the coffin for your argument, BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-59489560
Scientists claim big advance in using DNA to store data By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website Published 1 December 2021 Scientists say they have made a major step forward in efforts to store information as molecules of DNA, which are more compact and long-lasting than other options. The magnetic hard drives we currently use to store computer data can take up lots of space. And they have to be replaced over time. Using life's preferred storage medium to back up our precious data would allow vast amounts of information to be archived in tiny molecules. The data would also last thousands of years, according to scientists. A team in Atlanta, US, has now developed a chip that they say could improve on existing forms of DNA storage by a factor of 100. "The density of features on our new chip is [approximately] 100x higher than current commercial devices," Nicholas Guise, senior research scientist at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), told BBC News. "So once we add all the control electronics - which is what we're doing over the next year of the program - we expect something like a 100x improvement over existing technology for DNA data storage." The technology works by growing unique strands of DNA one building block at a time. These building blocks are known as bases - four distinct chemical units that make up the DNA molecule. They are: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. Scientists write film into bacterial DNA DNA chipImage source, Sean McNeil Image caption, The microchip will be used for growing multiple strands of DNA in parallel The bases can then be used to encode information, in a way that's analogous to the strings of ones and zeroes (binary code) that carry data in traditional computing. There are different potential ways to store this information in DNA - for example, a zero in binary code could be represented by the bases adenine or cytosine and a one might be represented by guanine or thymine. Alternatively, a one and zero could be mapped to just two of the four bases. Scientists have said that, if formatted in DNA, every movie ever made could fit inside a volume smaller than a sugar cube. Given how compact and reliable it is, it's not surprising there is now broad interest in DNA as the next medium for archiving data that needs to be kept indefinitely. The structures on the chip used to grow the DNA are called microwells and are a few hundred nanometres deep - less than the thickness of a sheet of paper. The current prototype microchip is about 2.5cm (one-inch) square and includes multiple microwells, allowing several DNA strands to be synthesised in parallel. This will allow larger amounts of DNA to be grown in a shorter space of time.
In short, they used a different code, as they needed 2 rather than 4 states per element in the string, but the point is plain. D/RNA is a known storage medium. That you refuse to acknowledge it, trying to obfuscate by reference to biochemistry -- hurling an elephant -- speaks volumes on your desperation to avoid facing the coded information and algorithms in the heart of the cell. kairosfocus
PPS, to get even more explicit, here is the next confession wrung from the weight of facts:
In communications and information processing, code is a system of rules to convert information—such as a letter, word, sound, image, or gesture—into another form, sometimes shortened or secret, for communication through a communication channel or storage in a storage medium.
Cherry on top? The example of storage medium chosen, shown in a pop up illustration: "DNA and RNA can be considered as biological storage mediums.[1]" That article, opens:
Data storage is the recording (storing) of information (data) in a storage medium. Handwriting, phonographic recording, magnetic tape, and optical discs are all examples of storage media. Some authors even propose that DNA is a natural data storage mechanism.
Of course, Crick knew that by March 19, 1953, so we can here see Wiki's notorious moderators dragged kicking and screaming into making a partial admission against ideological inclination. You evidently are even more unwilling to admit the massively obvious than they are. Desperation level hyperskepticism. kairosfocus
FH, you play the red herring ad hom tactic, meanwhile you are desperate to reject the information encoded in D/RNA, telling us that it is decisive. KF PS, Wiki is forced to admit, reflecting the sheer weight of the evidence you wish to dismiss:
The genetic code is the set of rules used by living cells to translate information encoded within genetic material (DNA or RNA sequences of nucleotide triplets, or codons) into proteins. Translation is accomplished by the ribosome, which links proteinogenic amino acids in an order specified by messenger RNA (mRNA), using transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules to carry amino acids and to read the mRNA three nucleotides at a time. The genetic code is highly similar among all organisms and can be expressed in a simple table with 64 entries. The codons specify which amino acid will be added next during protein synthesis. With some exceptions,[1] a three-nucleotide codon in a nucleic acid sequence specifies a single amino acid. The vast majority of genes are encoded with a single scheme (see the RNA codon table). That scheme is often referred to as the canonical or standard genetic code, or simply the genetic code, though variant codes (such as in mitochondria) exist.
This includes:
[Caption for an illustration:] A series of codons in part of a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule. Each codon consists of three nucleotides, usually corresponding to a single amino acid. The nucleotides are abbreviated with the letters A, U, G and C. This is mRNA, which uses U (uracil). DNA uses T (thymine) instead. This mRNA molecule will instruct a ribosome to synthesize a protein according to this code.
:lol: Fred Hickson :"If you know everything about chemical composition and molecular structure of paper and ink that would make you Shakespeare. " Lieutenant Commander Data
@ Kairosfocus G, biochemistry is not your field. Not even wrong is too generous. Fred Hickson
ES at 25, On the contrary. I'm eagerly awaiting others to join in. There are a lot of trophies to give away, for a small fee of course :) relatd
Relatd @ 24 It must be a slow day. EvilSnack
ES at 23, You have just won The Most Bizarre Statement of the Day ! Please send $150.00 to me and we'll send your trophy :) relatd
The most notable consequence of denying free will is that the guns will come out, the gulags will open, the blood will spill and the ovens will be fired. EvilSnack
Fred Hickson:
If you think everyone that disagrees with the ID paradigm is either mindless or dishonest, I can see why discussion with you is not possible.
Discussion with you is not possible, Fred. And it isn't what we think. It is what the ID critics demonstrate- that they are mindless and dishonest. ET
FH, once right reasoning towards observable evidence backed truth is part of the framework of science, the design inference and its conclusions are valid, part of science and superior to the straightjacketing of a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism, mind as computation and the like. Start, with: cells contain D/RNA, with coded information to assemble AA chains through algorithms, often using edited mRNA, where proteins are the metabolic workhorses of cell based life. These warrant recognition that we are dealing with language and step by step goal directed procedures with halting. Those, in any other context but ideologically polarised politicised science, would be instantly recognised as decisive evidence of intelligently directed configuration. Design. The rhetorical games are over. KF kairosfocus
F/N: it is a futility to try to argue against rational, responsible freedom, as a premise of argument is that we are precisely creatures with that capacity, capable of duly responding to right reason. Failing that, argument is an absurdity and knowledge is an absurdity; credibility of intellectual life collapses in self referential absurdity. The real issue then emerges, what sort of world, with what roots, is it that allows such creatures to exist. KF kairosfocus
PS I wonder if an example of a "pragmatic advantage ID has repeatedly demonstrated over the Darwinist approach when confronted with poorly understood biological structures and features" can be offered. One should be easy to find among repeated demonstrations. Fred Hickson
In my opinion, such attacks are either mindless parroting or deliberate deception that doesn’t consider the pragmatic advantage ID has repeatedly demonstrated over the Darwinist approach when confronted with poorly understood biological structures and features.
If you think everyone that disagrees with the ID paradigm is either mindless or dishonest, I can see why discussion with you is not possible. Yes, I am still skeptical about the length of your hydra polyp tentacles. Honestly! Fred Hickson
Silver Asiatic @15, I think there's significant ignorance of the ID approach to science compared with Darwinist assumptions. ID is often misinterpreted or ridiculed as an attempt to "prove God," even though its founders explicitly stated that ID takes "no position" on the existence or nature of the source of intelligence, God or otherwise. In my opinion, such attacks are either mindless parroting or deliberate deception that doesn't consider the pragmatic advantage ID has repeatedly demonstrated over the Darwinist approach when confronted with poorly understood biological structures and features. -Q Querius
SA--it was a joke, OK? You need to lighten up now and then....... chuckdarwin
I was under the impression that “the consensus view” was anathema to the rebels and mavericks at DI…….
ID is not based on whether everyone agrees or disagrees with it. If the consensus view aligns with ID thought, then the consensus will be supported. If the consensus is opposed, then ID has to fight against the tide. Silver Asiatic
The peak of stupidity(or insanity?) : trying to convince someone (that allegedly have no free will) that is no free will. Lieutenant Commander Data
Given the level of discussion generated by my post, it's pretty clear that the issue of determinism in physics has neither been "toppled" nor has determinism in physics been proven "not true," as Egnor puts it. That was, as I've pointed out a couple times now, the sole point of my comment. I'm not really interested in the debate, per se, because it is pretty clear that even at the highest levels of discussion, physicists are not in agreement on the issue. Moreover, it's somewhat ironic that SA feels compelled to translate or interpret Egnor's statements, which interpretation devolves into Egnor "just pointing to the consensus view." I was under the impression that "the consensus view" was anathema to the rebels and mavericks at DI....... chuckdarwin
Ba77 at 11, I strongly suspect that a Theory of Everything exists. The relationship between electrical and electromagnetic phenomena has been determined. Now that quantum computing has been put to work through an understanding of quantum mechanics, a significant milestone has been achieved. However, whoever holds this knowledge must keep it secret from actual and potential enemies. I encourage you to continue posting relevant Bible verses. relatd
Moreover, besides undermining any claim that they are capable of making rationally coherent arguments in the first place, in their denial of free will atheists also undermine an essential presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science. And thus atheists, in their denial of free will, also end up undermining science itself. Namely, a necessary Judeo-Christian presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science was the belief that the universe is not 'necessary in its existence, as atheists hold,, but that the universe is 'contingent' upon the will of God for its existence.
“Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”. – Ian Barbour Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,, “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.” Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism), “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts” – Johannes Kepler Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bacon’s inductive methodology) – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA
As Stephen Meyer stated elsewhere,
“That (contingency) was a huge concept (that was important for the founding of modern science). The historians of science call that ‘contingency’. The idea that nature has an order that is built into it. But it is an order that is contingent upon the will of the Creator. It could have been otherwise. Just as there are many ways to make a timepiece, or a clock,,, there are many different ways God could have ordered the universe. And it is up to us not to deduce that order from first principles, or from some intuitions that we have about how nature ought to be, but rather it is important to go out and see how nature actually is.” – Stephen Meyer – 5:00 minute mark – Andrew Klavan and Stephen Meyer Talk God and Science https://idthefuture.com/1530/
And indeed, the belief in contingency, and/or 'divine will', played an integral role in Sir Isaac Newton's founding of modern physics.
Newton — Rationalizing Christianity, or Not? – Rosalind W. Picard – 1998 Excerpt: The belief that it was by divine will and not by some shadow of necessity that matter existed and possessed its properties, had a direct impact on Newton’s science. It was necessary to discover laws and properties by experimental means, and not by rational deduction. As Newton wrote in another unpublished manuscript, “The world might have been otherwise,,” (see Davis, 1991) https://web.media.mit.edu/~picard/personal/Newton.php
And, “Newton rejected both the clockwork metaphor itself and the cold mechanical universe upon which it is based. His conception of the world reflects rather a deep commitment to the constant activity of the divine will, unencumbered by the “rational” restrictions that Descartes and Leibniz placed on God,,,”
“Newton’s Rejection of the “Newtonian World View”: The Role of Divine Will in Newton’s Natural Philosophy – (Davis, 1991) Abstract: The significance of Isaac Newton for the history of Christianity and science is undeniable: his professional work culminated the Scientific Revolution that saw the birth of modern science,,, Newton’s voluntarist conception of God had three major consequences for his natural philosophy. First, it led him to reject Descartes’ version of the mechanical philosophy, in which matter was logically equated with extension, in favor of the belief that the properties of matter were freely determined by an omnipresent God, who remained free to move the particles of matter according to God’s will. Second, Newton’s voluntarism moved him to affirm an intimate relationship between the creator and the creation; his God was acted on the world at all times and in ways that Leibniz and other mechanical philosophers could not conceive of, such as causing parts of matter to attract one another at a distance. Finally, Newton held that, since the world is a product of divine freedom rather than necessity, the laws of nature must be inferred from the phenomena of nature, not deduced from metaphysical axioms — as both Descartes and Leibniz were wont to do. http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/newton.htm
Seeing that the belief that the universe is contingent upon the ‘divine will’ of God played such an integral role in the founding of modern science, particularly the founding of modern physics by Sir Isaac Newton, let’s just simply say that Newton would be very pleased to see the recent closing of the “freedom of choice” loophole within quantum mechanics,
Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018 Abstract: This experiment pushes back to at least approx. 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today. https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403
And with the closing of the free will loop-hole, this, obviously, validates the two necessary presuppositions that lay at the founding of modern science itself, (number one, that the universe is contingent upon the will of God for its existence, and number two, that we also have rational immaterial minds that are 'made in the image' of God. Immaterial minds that are capable of understanding the 'rational' universe that God has made). Of course these recent experimental findings, via Zeilinger and company, closing the 'freedom of choice' loop-hole are totally unacceptable for the committed atheistic materialist. So instead of believing what the experimental results of quantum mechanics are actually telling us with the closing of the 'freedom of choice' loophole, (i.e. that free will is a real and tangible part of reality),, the Determinist, and/or Atheistic Naturalist, is now forced to claim, via ‘superdeterminism’, that the results of the experiments were somehow ‘superdetermined’ at least 7.8 billion years ago, (basically all the way back to the creation of the universe itself), and that the experimental results are now merely ‘fooling us’ into believing that our experimental results in quantum theory are trustworthy and correct and that we do indeed have free will. To call such a move on the part of Atheistic Naturalists, (i.e. the rejection of experimental results that conflict with their apriori philosophical commitment to ‘determinism’), unscientific would be a severe understatement. It is a rejection of the entire scientific method itself. Atheistic Naturalists, in their appeal to ‘superdeterminism’, are basically arguing that we cannot trust what the experimental results of quantum mechanics themselves are telling us because events in the remote past ‘conspired’ to give us erroneous experimental results today. Erroneous experimental results that are merely ‘fooling us’ into believing that we have free will. As should be needless to say, if we cannot trust what our experimental results are actually telling us, then science is, for all practical purposes, dead. Atheistic Naturalists, in their rejection of experimental results that conflict with their a-priori belief in determinism and/or materialism, have become ‘science deniers’ in the truest sense of the term ‘science denier’,,,
John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Of supplemental note,
when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, Johann Kepler, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,,, ,,, when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the “freedom-of-choice” loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company,,, ,,, then that very reasonable concession on our part to rightly allow the Agent Causality of God ‘back’ into physics then provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-1-why-infinity-does-not-exist-in-reality/#comment-759823
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” Colossians 1:15-20 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
ChuckyD claims: "the free will-determinism debate continues in physics." You clearly don't understand the 'self-refuting' gravity of denying free will. In their denial of free will, atheists have forsaken any claim that they are making, or that they are even capable of making, a rational coherent argument in the first place, i.e. forsaken any claim that they are even capable of having a 'debate' in the first place. If determinism is true then, as Jerry Coyne himself pointed out, then all your decisions boil down to, basically, chemistry obeying the laws of physics.
You Don’t Have Free Will By Jerry A. Coyne - March 18, 2012 “Your decisions result from molecular-based electrical impulses and chemical substances transmitted from one brain cell to another. These molecules must obey the laws of physics, so the outputs of our brain—our “choices”—are dictated by those laws.” Jerry Coyne https://www.chronicle.com/article/Jerry-A-Coyne-You-Dont-Have/131165
Yet the claim from atheists that all our decisions are merely chemistry obeying the laws of physics is a blatantly self-refuting claim in that it undermines any truth value the atheist's claim against free will may have had in the first place. Jerry Coyne himself gives us a shining example of the self refuting nature of his claim against free will,
The Illusion of Free Will - Sam Harris - 2012 Excerpt: "Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.,,," - Jerry Coyne https://samharris.org/the-illusion-of-free-will/
That statement by Coyne should literally be the number one example of a self-refuting statement that is given in philosophy/logic 101 classes. And as Dr. Egnor further explained in the featured article in the OP,
"Chemical reactions are not capable of being true or false. They’re just things that happen. So that if you’re claiming that free will does not exist, you’re at the same time denying that your assertion that free will does not exist has any truth value at all. So it’s self refuting nonsense." - Michael Egnor
And as Martin Cothran, (who has written several textbooks on traditional logic), put the self refuting position that atheists find themselves in with their denial of free will, "By their own logic, it isn't logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order."
Sam Harris's Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It - Martin Cothran - November 9, 2012 Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state -- including their position on this issue -- is the effect of a physical, not logical cause. By their own logic, it isn't logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/11/sam_harriss_fre066221.html Several textbooks on traditional logic by Martin Cothran https://www.amazon.com/Martin-Cothran/e/B00J249LUA/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1
In short, atheistic materialism, in its denial of free will, is at a complete loss to explain rationality,
(1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts. (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain (determinism). (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2) (4) no effect can control its cause. Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality. per Box UD
, and thus, since they cannot ground rationality, the atheistic materialist is at a complete loss to have a rational 'debate' about the non-existence of free will in the first place. It would be absolutely comical if not for the fact that their insane denial of free will has apparently gained purchase over a large part of academia Of semi-related note, here is an argument for God from the existence of the immaterial laws of logic.
Is God Real? Evidence from the Laws of Logic - J. Warner Wallace Excerpt: (1) The Objective Laws of Logic Exist We cannot deny the Laws of Logic exist. In fact, any reasonable or logical argument against the existence of these laws requires their existence in the first place. The Objective Laws of Logic Are Conceptual Laws These laws are not physical; they are conceptual. They cannot be seen under a microscope or weighed on a scale. They are abstract laws guiding logical, immaterial thought processes. The Objective Laws of Logic Are Transcendent The laws transcend location, culture and time. If we go forward or backward a million years, the laws of logic would still exist and apply, regardless of culture or geographic location. The Objective Laws of Logic Pre-Existed Mankind The transcendent and timeless nature of logical laws indicates they precede our existence or ability to recognize them. Even before humans were able to understand the law of non-contradiction, “A” could not have been “Non-A”. The Laws of Logic were discovered by humans, not created by humans. (2) All Conceptual Laws Reflect the Mind of a Law Giver All laws require law givers, including conceptual laws. We know this from our common experience in the world in which we live. The laws governing our society and culture, for example, are the result and reflection of minds. But more importantly, the conceptual Laws of Logic govern rational thought processes, and for this reason, they require the existence of a mind. (3) The Best and Most Reasonable Explanation for the Kind of Mind Necessary for the Existence of the Transcendent, Objective, Conceptual Laws of Logic is God The lawgiver capable of producing the immaterial, transcendent laws preceding our existence must also be an immaterial, transcendent and pre-existent mind. This description fits what we commonly think of when we think of a Creator God.,,, https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-god-real-evidence-from-the-laws-of-logic/
Verse and quotes:
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic http://etymonline.com/?term=logic What is the Logos? Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,, In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.” https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html
Querius Excellent points - yes.
Even Sabine Hossenfelder admits that there are some types of events that are entirely random. And that’s a problem. However, one cannot allow the slightest opening for any non-deterministic events, otherwise the entire system becomes non-deterministic. This is inescapable and ruins her purely mechanistic world.
I did not realize that and thanks for the video evidence. She is so dogmatic that it's almost hilarious when she totally contradicts herself within minutes of saying that everything is determined. As you correctly point out, if there is true randomness (and she insists on it), then superdeterminism is false and we can't know the cause of those random events (which would be pervasive through the universe). Not knowing the source of that randomness means we don't even know the effect of that randomness on everything else. Some things may be determined by physical laws but if they're affected by co-existing random effects, then even those supposed-determined events are unpredictable. Silver Asiatic
CD I don't think Dr. Egnor was saying that nobody disputes the idea that quantum effects are indeterminate. I think he was just pointing to the consensus view. With that, and I've praised her appeal to realism and a common-sense approach to quantum theory, I think Dr. Hossenfelder is more of an outlier in the physics community. That is, it doesn't seem that there's a debate in the center of physics on this. But even if there was (and if so, yes I'd acknowledge your point as correct), the idea of superdeterminism is that which ends all debates. As John Bell points out, if every one of our thoughts has been pre-determined by some unknown cause, this means that our thoughts are following a plan or pathway. They're not responding to input and making rational, free choices. There can be no mistakes or errors. Every molecule had to do exactly what it does. Rationality and logic, which require freedom of analysis and decision-making, would be an illusion since every thought was already planned by something.
Second, I disagree, from a lay person’s perspective, that determinism “refutes rational thought [and] logic.” Our cognition (i.e., thinking skills) follows certain rules regardless of cause, and, in fact, I would guess that on determinism, our cognition would be more accurate.
But as above, there can be no sense of "accurate thoughts" if all have been pre-determined. There would be only one kind of thought "that which happened". Logic could not exist. When a person makes a logical mistake, in the superdetermist world, that mistake was pre-determined. That's all we need to know. Every thought, dream, imagination, idea - good or bad, right or wrong, logical or insane - was pre-planned to be what it was. The individual did not choose. There can be no logic without choice. Logic requires the possibility of error - we sort through options. But if our errors are just as pre-determined as our correct answers - then we're not doing logic at all. We're not doing science. We're not actually doing anything. We're just like a bowling ball that someone rolled down the alley. We're going were we were determined to go, thinking what we were pre-determined to think. So that idea, as a means of arguing against the standard understanding of quantum indeterminism, destroys all of reality. It also leaves a massively huge question of what caused every thought of every human being in existence (not to mention every movement of every particle in the universe since the beginning) to be exactly what it is. For someone to deny that God could be the cause of such a thing would really be stretching the bounds of credibility. You'd have some kind of super-intellect capable of that sort of foresight and pre-planning, but you'd also think that there's no evidence that God could be the cause of it? That's just not reasonable. Although, as with everything - it wouldn't matter because whatever we thought about the topic would simply be what we were pre-determined to think. There's no right or wrong about anything but only what the determiner caused us to do. Silver Asiatic
CD at 1, Scientific American has gone off the deep end. Creating problems where none exist and mixing different concepts together in inappropriate ways. Quantum mechanics has been mastered. Quantum computers and quantum chips exist today. The key thing lost on Scientific American, which downgrades its value as a publication about science, is that macro objects observe one set of rules that we are most familiar with. In the sub-atomic or quantum realm, the rules change. And those rules are known. How they link to human awareness, consciousness and brain function are not known. relatd
Silver Asiatic @3,
A superdeterministic system requires a cause. Something would have to cause everything to be “pre-determined” including our own thoughts and actions and scientific experiments. That refutes quantum indeterminism but it also refutes rational thought, logic, the ideas of truth and understanding.
Good point! Imagine all the information that would have to be predetermined . . . or else the conservation of information would need to be violated. Even Sabine Hossenfelder admits that there are some types of events that are entirely random. And that's a problem. However, one cannot allow the slightest opening for any non-deterministic events, otherwise the entire system becomes non-deterministic. This is inescapable and ruins her purely mechanistic world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpU_e3jh_FY As did psychologist and behaviorist, B.F. Skinner, Dr. Hossenfelder asserts that "free will" is an illusion occurring when we observe our own thinking processes in progress before we reach our predetermined conclusions. The problem with Dr. Hossenfelder's assertions is that there's no observable, measurable, physical source of self awareness--exactly what Dr. Egnor is addressing. In other words, what makes me "conscious?" What prevents "me" from being you? Is my self awareness also an illusion? Is "information" an illusion? Her statements on "if it makes you happy" are therefore predetermined nonsense as are any statements about "good" and "evil or "truth." But, by her statements, our illusions must therefore also be as REAL and predetermined as everything else. But then there are those pesky random events . . . And then we go back to what Silver Asiatic pointed out: An extremely complex Original Cause that's tightly packed with information, logic, causality, space-time, gravity, mass-energy, chaos, fundamental particles, forces, and of course illusions that supposedly make us happy (or sad) all concentrated in an infinitesimal point. -Q Querius
Ba77 & SA You both appear smart and well-educated, which is why it is frustrating when you don't deal with the point(s) that I try to make in my comments. My post at (1) does not deal with the correctness of superdeterminism. My post deals with Egnor's cavalier, and incorrect, claim that the issue of determinism is dead in physics. You, of all people, should get that the free will-determinism debate continues in physics. Excerpts of Hossenfelder's blog and videos appear frequently on this blog so you cannot plead ignorance of her work. Again, a simple point. I would comment further with a couple observations. First, I'm not advocating for either position. I'm not a physicist and these theories are above my pay grade. Second, I disagree, from a lay person's perspective, that determinism "refutes rational thought [and] logic." Our cognition (i.e., thinking skills) follows certain rules regardless of cause, and, in fact, I would guess that on determinism, our cognition would be more accurate. chuckdarwin
Interesting that free will has also long been debated in Christian circles between those who follow the teachings of John Calvin and those who do not. Here is a portion of a verse by a Brethren writer (not Calvinist): And when the rebel chooses wrath, God mourns his hapless lot, Deep breathing from His heart of love, "I would, but ye would not." God's Willingness and Man's Unwillingness: A Problem For Extreme Calvinists, found at: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/willing.htm Blastus
A superdeterministic system requires a cause. Something would have to cause everything to be "pre-determined" including our own thoughts and actions and scientific experiments. That refutes quantum indeterminism but it also refutes rational thought, logic, the ideas of truth and understanding.
Suppose the world is super-deterministic, with not just inanimate nature running on behind-the-scenes clockwork, but with our behavior, including our belief that we are free to choose to do one experiment rather than another, absolutely predetermined, including the "decision" by the experimenter to carry out one set of measurements rather than another, the difficulty disappears. -- John Bell
Silver Asiatic
ChuckyD, you do realize that the desperate 'Hail Mary" postulation of super-determinism, (where everything was somehow magically super-determined before the creation of the universe), was made precisely because classical determinism was falsified by quantum mechanics do you not? Or has that little detail escaped your notice? bornagain77
As Michael Egnor points out in a recent podcast, it has been nearly a century since determinism was toppled in physics.
Apparently Egnor hasn't been following John Bell and Sabine Hossenfelder's work on superdetermism. This is surprising given that UD often features Hossenfelder's videos, many times with approval. An op-ed in Scientific American shows that as recently as March of this year, the debate is still front and center. (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-quantum-mechanics-rule-out-free-will/) In any event, Egnor's report that determinism in physics is dead, in the immortal words of Mark Twain, is "an exaggeration." chuckdarwin

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