Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Jerry Coyne, Darwin’s man, tries to think hard about free will

arroba Email

Yeah. Here. You wouldn’t even think the concept still existed, if Darwin were right:

The fact is that we don’t “make” anything of our compulsions, or use them to “realize the self”. We have no ability to “realize” our self; all we can do is rationalize what we do and re-brand it as “freedom” so people don’t get scared. So Eagleton’s simply engaging in nonsense when he says stuff like this:

Freedom is not a question of being released from the forces that shape us, but a matter of what we make of them. The world, however, is now divided down the middle between off-the-wall libertarians who deny the reality of such forces, and full-blooded determinists such as the US convict Stephen Mobley, who 20 years ago tried to avoid execution for the murder of a pizza store manager by claiming that it was the result of a mutation in his monoamine oxidase A gene. It wasn’t the smartest way to appeal to a jury of citizens likely to endorse Oprah Winfrey’s view that “we’re responsible for everything that happens to us”.

Yes, we’re “responsible” in the sense that someone identifiable as Stephen Mobley did a crime. It may not have been solely the result of his mutation, but it was solely the result of his genes and his environment. He was wired in a way that he had to commit that crime. It’s sad that people like Oprah don’t seem to realize that, but the sooner we do, the sooner we can reform our judicial system in a way that’s both empathic and efficacious.

He means, like, 1984? Aren’t these people becoming caricatures of themselves?

Note: 1984 could happen, but not like that. It’s more sloth than zombie. No politician sells a program to promote the public bad, only the “public good.”

See also: How can we believe in naturalism if we have no choice?


“I will” means something after all

Mark Frank:
i.e. these decisions – although they are free in any meaningful sense and give you the experience you recognise as free will – they nevertheless are the necessary consequences of (i.e. determined by) your innermost psyche – your commitments, desires, fears et.
Evidence please. I know I can easily override my fears, desires and commitments if so warranted. Joe
As far as your claim, News, that Jerry Coyne is in some sense “responsible” for the blog post that you linked, that is true in the sense that someone identifiable as Jerry Coyne utilized a computer -- pressing the proper buttons in the proper sequence -- to generate it. That post may not have been solely the result of his mutation, but it was solely the result of his genes and his environment. He was wired in a way that he had to write that post. It’s sad that people like Oprah don’t seem to realize that, but the sooner we do, the sooner we can rethink people who write in favor of evolution in a way that’s both empathic to their dysfunctionalities and efficacious in finding humor in their utter inanity. jstanley01
Johnny #6
We each know that we have free will from our personal, empirical experience of free will. Now, other people can’t see “inside” us and we can’t see “inside” their heads, either. We simply presume that they have the same free will that we do.
You might want to think about the consequences of this statement.  I think you are saying that the only way we know we have free will is because of some kind of internal personal experience.  What is it that you are experiencing?  Sure it is some distinctive flavour (like the taste of potatoes to quote William Golding) for those decisions but as Eagleton points out:
In fact, most of the things that matter – being in love, composing a superb sonata, detesting Piers Morgan, feeling horrified by the slave trade – have a smack of inner necessity about them, as this book argues in a perceptive chapter on art. What define the self most deeply are the sort of commitments from which we could not walk away even if we tried. The point, however, is that we don’t want to. Freedom from such engagements would be no freedom at all. True liberty lies in being able to realise such a self, not shuck it off.
i.e. these decisions - although they are free in any meaningful sense and give you the experience you recognise as free will – they nevertheless are the necessary consequences of (i.e. determined by) your innermost psyche – your commitments, desires, fears et. Whether that pysche is material or immaterial is irrelevant as far as free will and determinism is concerned. It is quite possible to conceive of a deterministic universe with immaterial components. In this matter I am sure Coyne is quite wrong and Eagleton (and Dennett) are right. Mark Frank
D: "I will" -- how I remember that sweet Haitian young lady answering in her new language; BTW, saw the happy couple in a hardware store just y/day. As they left, the young husband so proudly introduced "my wife" to someone at the door, it did my heart good! There's my answer to all these materialist determinists, a slender young Haitian bride announcing her lifetime covenant to the world, in her new language in the midst of a tri-lingual wedding ceremony, with another few languages peeking in around the corners and demonstrating the sheer reality of contingency and responsible, free choice. Answer to that Haitian young lady wearing a brand new wedding ring, not to me. KF kairosfocus
Box, interesting. And, since he claims he is merely an illusion of 'self' having an illusion about stuff that is not really real, exactly how would Rosenberg go about refuting the argument that he is really just a brain in a vat? Brain in a Vat - cartoon http://rationalwiki.org/w/images/9/9c/563px-Brain_in_a_vat_%28en%29.png He has given up any reference point to reality in order to be able to refute the argument! bornagain77
Bornagain77 #8: Basically, Coyne’s brain is having an illusion of free will within an illusion of self!
According to a-random-collection-of-particles-in-motion-termed-Alexander-Rosenberg those two illusions stem from the illusion that thoughts are about stuff.
The neural circuits in our brain manage the beautifully coordinated and smoothly appropriate behavior of our body. They also produce the entrancing introspective illusion that thoughts really are about stuff in the world. This powerful illusion has been with humanity since language kicked in, as we’ll see. It is the source of at least two other profound myths: that we have purposes that give our actions and lives meaning and that there is a person “in there” steering the body, so to speak. [A.Rosenberg, The Atheist's Guide To Reality, Ch.9]
Me_Think, Excerpt: But Rogers had no satisfactory explanation for the transfer of information from the three-dimensional body about shapes and placement of features to a two-dimensional cloth. In other words, he had no idea about the making of a picture. It was, really, a lot of hope that the laws of gaseous diffusion, ambient heat by convection, radiation and contact, the drape of the cloth and reactive chemical exhaustion might somehow form a picture. His experiments with papier-mâché hands and bolts were, at best, exploratory and not demonstrative. It did not rise to the level of hypothesis. http://shroudstory.com/2014/05/03/how-right-was-rogers-on-the-image-making-process/ i.e. gaseous diffusion is NOT a viable candidate for the details witnessed on the shroud. Shroud Of Turin – Photographic Negative – 3D Quantum Hologram – The Lamb – video https://vimeo.com/122495080 Moreover, Biophotons - The Light In Our Cells - Marco Bischof - March 2005 Excerpt page 2: The Coherence of Biophotons: ,,, Biophotons consist of light with a high degree of order, in other words, biological laser light. Such light is very quiet and shows an extremely stable intensity, without the fluctuations normally observed in light. Because of their stable field strength, its waves can superimpose, and by virtue of this, interference effects become possible that do not occur in ordinary light. Because of the high degree of order, the biological laser light is able to generate and keep order and to transmit information in the organism. http://www.international-light-association.eu/PDF/Biophotons.pdf Are humans really beings of light? Excerpt: "We now know, today, that man is essentially a being of light.",,, "There are about 100,000 chemical reactions happening in every cell each second. The chemical reaction can only happen if the molecule which is reacting is excited by a photon... Once the photon has excited a reaction it returns to the field and is available for more reactions... We are swimming in an ocean of light." http://viewzone2.com/dna.html Photocount distribution of photons emitted from three sites of a human body - 2006 Excerpt: Signals from three representative sites of low, intermediate and high intensities are selected for further analysis. Fluctuations in these signals are measured by the probabilities of detecting different numbers of photons in a bin. The probabilities have non-classical features and are well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons. Measurements with bins of three sizes yield same values of three parameters of the squeezed state. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520060 Strange! Humans Glow in Visible Light - Charles Q. Choi - July 22, 2009 Schematic illustration of experimental setup that found the human body, especially the face, emits visible light in small quantities that vary during the day. B is one of the test subjects. The other images show the weak emissions of visible light during totally dark conditions. The chart corresponds to the images and shows how the emissions varied during the day. The last image (I) is an infrared image of the subject showing heat emissions. http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/006/481/original/090722-body-glow-02.jpg?1296086873 bornagain77
bornagain77 @ 4
General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (QED) were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process
This myth has been bandied around for too long, so here's a classic explanation: The image is formed by simple Ammonia Maillard reaction. Note: I am not saying Maillard Amine reaction, which has been discredited as an explanation for the image on the Shroud. The ammonia comes from hydrolysis of urea. May be the scourging , carrying cross and inhuman effort (Yes, I agree that who ever was covered by the Shroud was subjected to physical strains of some sort) depletes glycogen in liver and muscles, leaving the protein to furnish energy, in which case the nitrogen urea in sweat increases 140 times (from 10 mg to 1400 mg/hr.). Hypovolemia too adds to urea level. All this accumulates in the skin. Even after death, the hydrolysis of urea continues. As you probably know ammonia is volatile so it can reach the shroud sheet within 72 hours in gaseous form after death. The cellulose and sugar fractions (including those coming from carbohydrates in Saponaria officinalis) then reacts developing the image. This ammonia diffusion explains double negative images too. Me_Think
johnnyb you suggest:
So here is my suggestion – perhaps that those people who claim that free will doesn’t exist are simply generalizing their own experiences, too. Perhaps it is actually true that *they* don’t have free will, and are just assuming that the rest of us don’t either.
But alas Johnny, the problem is much worse than that for Coyne. Coyne, besides denying free will, also states in his article:
"What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.”"
Thus not only does Coyne believe his free will is an illusion, but he believes that his sense of 'self' is an illusion also. Thus, the problem is much worse for the illusion of Coyne than merely the problem that the illusion of Coyne believes free will to be an illusion. The problem is that Coyne's material brain falsely believes that it exists as real person named Coyne, and that his material brain, as an illusory person named Coyne, also falsely believes that it somehow has a free choice whether to believe that it really exist as a person or has free will or not. Basically, Coyne's brain is having an illusion of free will within an illusion of self! Illusionist Criss Angel can't hold a candle to that illusion within an illusion!
“We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.” Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor Criss Angel Shadow's Soul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs6X63hA9mw
I wonder if Coyne, since he doesn't exist as a real person, would be willing to volunteer, (if volunteering were even possible for him), for the Philosophical Zombie test?
Philosophical Zombies - cartoon http://existentialcomics.com/comic/11
Of supplemental note:
The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – January 2014 Excerpt: Well and good. But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-confidence-of-jerry-coyne/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
Music and Verse:
David Bowie- Space Oddity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAsnv8f_lbM Romans 1:21-23 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.…
Unguided Laws of Nature led to the understanding of those Laws. That is a neat trick. Like lifting oneself up by bootstraps. Unguided Laws of Nature revealed God. That is beyond neat trick, that is truly Awesome. Dr Dembski writes about the "power on no", I think he called it in his current book. Destroyed the idea of "no free will" by the power of no. ppolish
I will propose a possibility. We each know that we have free will from our personal, empirical experience of free will. Now, other people can't see "inside" us and we can't see "inside" their heads, either. We simply presume that they have the same free will that we do. So here is my suggestion - perhaps that those people who claim that free will doesn't exist are simply generalizing their own experiences, too. Perhaps it is actually true that *they* don't have free will, and are just assuming that the rest of us don't either. Therefore, in the interest of logic, we should treat Coyne as if he didn't have free will (since he thinks it doesn't exist), and is simply saying these things not because of abstract reasoning but because he is caught up by his own environment and emotions. johnnyb
Of supplemental note: The 'Agent causality' of Theists is vastly superior in explanatory power to the ‘it just happens’ blind causality of atheists:
A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition. If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more. The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.” http://www.undergroundthomist.org/sites/default/files/WhyIAmNotAnAtheist.pdf BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010 Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,, Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,, Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/
Specifically, Special Relativity and General Relativity reveal two very different ‘qualities of eternity’ (as predicted in Christian Theism). In particular, the Black Holes of General Relativity are found to be associated with eternities of destruction and disorder. And Special Relativity is associated with an eternity of creation and order, (such as the extreme 1 in 10^10^123 order (Penrose) we see at the creation event of the Big Bang). The destruction and disorder associated with Black Holes is particularly frightful and is captured in this following quote:
“Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.” Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476
Needless to say, the implications of this ‘eternity of destruction’ should be fairly disturbing for those of us who are not zombie automatons and are of the ‘spiritually minded’ persuasion! In light of this dilemma that these two very different eternities present to us spiritually minded people, and the fact that Gravity is, in so far as we can tell, completely incompatible with Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity (i.e. Quantum Electro-Dynamics),,,
A Capella Science – Bohemian Gravity! (The failure of string theory and M-theory) – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rjbtsX7twc
,,in light of this ‘spiritual’ dilemma, it is interesting to point out a subtle nuance on the Shroud of Turin. Namely that Gravity was overcome in the resurrection event of Christ:
Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images. http://www.academicjournals.org/sre/PDF/pdf2012/30JulSpeIss/Antonacci.pdf A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847 Turin shroud – (Particle Physicist explains event horizon) – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHVUGK6UFK8
Moreover, as would be expected if General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (QED) were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process:
Shroud Of Turin – Photographic Negative – 3D Quantum Hologram – The Lamb – video https://vimeo.com/122495080 The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008 Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril. http://cab.unime.it/journals/index.php/AAPP/article/view/C1A0802004/271 “It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.” Kevin Moran – optical engineer Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011 Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists. However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax. Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic. “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said. And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-say-turin-shroud-is-supernatural-6279512.html The Center Of The Universe Is Life (i.e. is Jesus Christ)! – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video http://vimeo.com/34084462
Personally, considering the extreme difficulty that many brilliant minds have had in trying to reconcile Quantum Mechanics/Special relativity(QED), with Gravity, as the ‘Bohemian Gravity’ video I cited illustrated, I consider the preceding ‘quantum’ nuance on the Shroud of Turin to be a subtle, but powerful, evidence substantiating Christ’s primary claim as to being our Savior from sin, death, and hell: Verses and Music:
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. Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Evanescence – The Other Side (Lyric Video) http://www.vevo.com/watch/evanescence/the-other-side-lyric-video/USWV41200024?source=instantsearch
So Coyne denies he has free will. One wonders, did he have a choice in not believing he had free will?
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
Coyne holds that our free will choices are,,,
"solely the result of,, genes and,, environment"
Trouble with Coyne's belief that we are merely helpless genetic automatons with no free will is that that belief is directly contradicted by empirical evidence. The following video references studies by Jeffrey Schwartz in which it was found that, directly contrary to materialistic thought, that focused attention could significantly alter the structure of the brain (i.e. brain plasticity).
The Case for the Soul - InspiringPhilosophy - (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz's work) - Oct. 2014 - video The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain mind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70
The following study goes one step further and shows, once again completely contrary to materialistic thought, that 'mindfulness' can reach all the way down to the genetic level and significantly alter the expression of our genes:
Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes, - December 10, 2013 Excerpt: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.,,, the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways. http://www.tunedbody.com/scientists-finally-show-thoughts-can-cause-specific-molecular-changes-genes/
Needless to say, this is not the result that was expected under materialistic, i.e. 'selfish gene', premises. Moreover, as if the preceding was not more than enough, the fact that we have free will is now also backed up by quantum physics.
What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? - By Antoine Suarez - July 22, 2013 Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices. To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time.,,, https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-does-quantum-physics-have-do-free-will Free will and nonlocality at detection: Basic principles of quantum physics - Antoine Suarez – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhMrrmlTXl4
In the following video, at the 37:00 minute mark, Anton Zeilinger, a leading researcher in quantum mechanics, with many breakthroughs under his belt, humorously reflects on just how deeply materialistic determinism has been undermined by quantum mechanics by saying such a deep lack of determinism may provide some of us ‘a loophole’ when they meet God on judgment day, since, according to Zeilinger’s conception of God, not even God could know the infinite randomness associated with quantum mechanics.
Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – 2011 – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw
Here are a few background notes to give us a small glimpse into how Zeilinger may have been thinking when he made that ‘loophole’ quip:
In the beginning was the bit – New Scientist Excerpt: Zeilinger’s principle leads to the intrinsic randomness found in the quantum world. Consider the spin of an electron. Say it is measured along a vertical axis (call it the z axis) and found to be pointing up. Because one bit of information has been used to make that statement, no more information can be carried by the electron’s spin. Consequently, no information is available to predict the amounts of spin in the two horizontal directions (x and y axes), so they are of necessity entirely random. If you then measure the spin in one of these directions, there is an equal chance of its pointing right or left, forward or back. This fundamental randomness is what we call Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2001-02/NS-Tmoq-1302101.php People Keep Making Einstein’s (Real) Greatest Blunder – July 2011 Excerpt: It was in these debates (with Bohr) that Einstein declared his real greatest blunder: “God does not play dice with the Universe.” As much as we all admire Einstein,, ,, don’t keep making his (real) greatest blunder. I’ll leave the last word to Bohr, who allegedly said, “Don’t tell God what to do with his dice.” ,,, To clarify, it isn’t simply that there’s randomness; that at some level, “God plays dice.” Even local, real interpretations of quantum mechanics with hidden variables can do that. It’s that we know something about the type of dice that the Universe plays. And the dice cannot be both local and real; people claiming otherwise have experimental data to answer to. http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2011/07/01/people-keep-making-einsteins-g/
Personally, I feel that such a deep undermining of determinism by quantum mechanics, far from providing a ‘loophole’ on judgment day as Dr. Zeilinger stated, actually restores free will to its rightful place in the grand scheme of things, thus making almighty God’s final judgments on men’s souls all the more fully binding since man truly is a ‘free moral agent’. A free moral agent to the maximum ‘infinite’ extent allowed according to quantum physics. Ironically, Zeilinger himself, after the 2011 video lecture I cited, solidified the inference to free will’s axiomatic position within Quantum Mechanics with this following experiment. In the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is directly falsified by the fact that present conscious choices are, in fact, effecting past material states:
Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012 Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study. According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger. per physorg
In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my present choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past? The preceding experiment is simply impossible for any coherent materialistic presupposition that denies free will! Moreover, it is important to point out that although free will is often looked at of as allowing someone to choose among a veritable infinity of options, (what ice cream to eat, where to live, which car to drive, etc..), that is not really the case. In a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options in the end. Those two choices are eternal life, (infinity if you will), with God, or eternal life, (infinity again if you will), without God. C.S. Lewis puts that narrowing down of an infinity of options like this:
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.” - C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
And exactly as would be expected on the Theistic view of reality, from relativistic physics we find two completely different eternities in reality:
Special Relativity, General Relativity, Heaven and Hell https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit
Jerry said:
He was wired in a way that he had to commit that crime.
Admitting that he was wired in a way that left him no other choices but one wonders how and why he became wired that way. He certainly was not born wired that way. Could it be because there is, after all, a ghost in the machine? Mapou
He means, like, 1984?
Where on earth did you get that idea? phoenix

Leave a Reply