Intelligent Design Mind Philosophy Science

A short sermon on Einstein’s God

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Albert Einstein said that he trusted in “the rational character of reality and in its being accessible, at least to some extent, to human reason:

But Einstein’s was a God of philosophy, not religion. When asked many years later whether he believed in God, he replied: ‘I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.’ Baruch Spinoza, a contemporary of Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, had conceived of God as identical with nature. For this, he was considered a dangerous heretic, and was excommunicated from the Jewish community in Amsterdam.

Einstein’s God is infinitely superior but impersonal and intangible, subtle but not malicious. He is also firmly determinist. As far as Einstein was concerned, God’s ‘lawful harmony’ is established throughout the cosmos by strict adherence to the physical principles of cause and effect. Thus, there is no room in Einstein’s philosophy for free will: ‘Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control … we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player.

Jim Baggott, “What Einstein meant by ‘God does not play dice’” at Aeon

Cover for 

Quantum Reality

At that point, the wheels come off. We are as aware of free will as we are of consciousness. Some say free will is an illusion but then some say consciousness is an illusion. But then science is an illusion too, as are rationality and human reason.

Einstein’s God is best kept in a glass case except during lectures.

Note: Jim Baggott is the author of The Quest for the Real Meaning of Quantum Mechanics – a Game of Theories


Mind Matters News offers a number of articles on free will by neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Egnor including:

Can physics prove there is no free will? No, but it can make physicists incoherent when they write about free will. It’s hilarious. Sabine Hossenfelder misses the irony that she insists that people “change their minds” by accepting her assertion that they… can’t change their minds.

Does “alien hand syndrome” show that we don’t really have free will? One woman’s left hand seemed to have a mind of its own. Did it? Alien hand syndrome doesn’t mean that free will is not real. In fact, it clarifies exactly what free will is and what it isn’t.

But is determinism true? Does science show that we fated to want whatever we want? Modern science—both theoretical and experimental—strongly supports the reality of free will.

How can mere products of nature have free will? Materialists don’t like the outcome of their philosophy but twisting logic won’t change it

Does brain stimulation research challenge free will? If we can be forced to want something, is the will still free?

Is free will a dangerous myth? The denial of free will is a much more dangerous myth

Also: Do quasars provide evidence for free will? Possibly. They certainly rule out experimenter interference.

and

Can free will even be an illusion? Michael Egnor reiterates the freeing implications of quantum indeterminacy

Also, by Baylor University’s Robert J. Marks: Quantum randomness gives nature free will Whether or not quantum randomness explains how our brains work, it may help us create unbreakable encryption codes

32 Replies to “A short sermon on Einstein’s God

  1. 1
    Ed George says:

    It is my opinion that we have free will, but that is an opinion that is not based on overwhelming evidence. I admit that it is one based more on desire and hope (ego as well).

    The question is, are we truly able to choose between two or more “options” or are they chosen for us by the chemistry in the brain? To truly test this we would have to control the millions of inputs that lead up to the choice (sensory inputs, all chemical reactions within our body leading up to the choice, etc). Unfortunately, we are not capable of doing this.

  2. 2
    EugeneS says:

    Ed:
    An interesting video on the topic:
    https://youtu.be/EXOX3RCpEbU

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    The denial of free will is the thread by which the Atheist’s entire worldview unravels.

    First off, when the Atheist denies the reality of free will he, in the process, forsakes any claim that he is making a rationally coherent argument in the first place:

    (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain.
    (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

    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/2.....66221.html

    Yet, even though rationality itself depends on the reality of free will, atheists resolutely deny that it really exists. As the militant atheist Jerry Coyne stated, “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.”

    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/

    Too funny, ‘simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it’, Coyne acts as if we could choose otherwise! 🙂

    The reason why Coyne and other militant atheists are forced into denying the reality of free will is because free will is one of the main defining attributes of the immaterial mind and is therefore entirely a Theistic presupposition,,,

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Michael Egnor – 2008
    Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: –
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....13961.html

    “Free will: a source totally detached from matter (detached from nature) which is the origin (cause) of options, thoughts, feelings,… That is, the absence of (natural) laws, the existence of an “autonomous mind”, i.e. a principium individuationis.”
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0208104.pdf

    Scientific Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion
    Excerpt: “God has endowed us with free will, free will in the sense of the unfettered ability to determine our own actions.”
    https://books.google.com/books?id=1NkIM8hmclAC&pg=PA230

    Thus it is entirely for a-priori philosophical reasons, logically self-refuting philosophical reasons at that, that the Atheist must deny the reality of free will. To concede the reality of free will is for the Atheist to, in effect, concede the necessity of the Mind of God in order to ground the reality of free will.

    Moreover, empirical science itself could care less that atheists are forced into the logically self-refuting position of denying the reality of their own free will. As Dr. Egnor pointed out, “an objective review of the neuroscientific evidence unequivocally supports the existence of free will.”

    Michael Egnor: Is free will a dangerous myth? – October 6, 2018
    Excerpt: 4. ,,, an objective review of the neuroscientific evidence unequivocally supports the existence of free will. The first neuroscientist to map the brains of conscious subjects, Wilder Penfield, noted that there is an immaterial power of volition in the human mind that he could not stimulate with electrodes. The pioneer in the neuroscience of free will was Benjamin Libet, who demonstrated clearly that, while there is an unconscious material predisposition to acts as shown by electrical brain activity, we retain an immaterial “free won’t,” which is the ability to veto an unconscious urge to act. Many experiments have followed on Libet’s work, most of which use fMRI imaging of brain activity. They all confirm Libet’s observations by showing what is at most a loose correlation between brain activity and volition (for example, nearly half the time the brain activity that precedes the act is on the wrong side of the brain for the activity to determine the will)—the looseness of correlation being best explained as evidence for libertarian free will. Modern neuroscience clearly demonstrates an immaterial component to volition.
    Harari is wrong about free will. It is not a myth. Free will is a real and fundamental aspect of being human, and the denial of free will is junk science and self-refuting logical nonsense.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-is-free-will-a-dangerous-myth/

    Michael Egnor Shows You’re Not A Meat Robot (Science Uprising EP2)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQo6SWjwQIk

    A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked
    For decades, a landmark brain study fed speculation about whether we control our own actions. It seems to have made a classic mistake.
    BAHAR GHOLIPOUR – SEP 10, 2019
    Excerpt: In a new study under review for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Schurger and two Princeton researchers repeated a version of Libet’s experiment. To avoid unintentionally cherry-picking brain noise, they included a control condition in which people didn’t move at all. An artificial-intelligence classifier allowed them to find at what point brain activity in the two conditions diverged. If Libet was right, that should have happened at 500 milliseconds before the movement. But the algorithm couldn’t tell any difference until about only 150 milliseconds before the movement, the time people reported making decisions in Libet’s original experiment.
    In other words, people’s subjective experience of a decision—what Libet’s study seemed to suggest was just an illusion—appeared to match the actual moment their brains showed them making a decision.
    When Schurger first proposed the neural-noise explanation, in 2012, the paper didn’t get much outside attention, but it did create a buzz in neuroscience. Schurger received awards for overturning a long-standing idea. “It showed the Bereitschaftspotential may not be what we thought it was. That maybe it’s in some sense artifactual, related to how we analyze our data,” says Uri Maoz, a computational neuroscientist at Chapman University.
    For a paradigm shift, the work met minimal resistance. Schurger appeared to have unearthed a classic scientific mistake, so subtle that no one had noticed it and no amount of replication studies could have solved it, unless they started testing for causality.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/09/free-will-bereitschaftspotential/597736/

    Moreover, besides evidence from neuroscience, recent advances in quantum mechanics have now also confirmed the reality of free will.

    Although there have been several major loopholes in quantum mechanics over the past several decades that atheists have tried to appeal to in order to try to avoid the ‘spooky’ Theistic implications of quantum mechanics, over the past several years each of those major loopholes have each been closed one by one. The last major loophole that was left to be closed was the “setting independence” and/or the ‘free-will’ loophole:

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220112515.htm

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    And now Anton Zeilinger and company have recently, as of 2018, pushed the ‘free will loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that the experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 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

    The implications for individual human beings, via their free will, being brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level,,,

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    The implications for individual human beings, via their free will, being brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level are fairly profound. First off, we have a very deep role in determining what type of reality gets presented to us in our future. As leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    Although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options, the reality of the situation is that in a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options. Eternal life with God, or Eternal life without God.

    As C.S. Lewis stated, “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.”

    “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

    Moreover, just as would be expected under Christian presuppositions, we find an ‘infinitely’ destructive, i.e. hellish, eternity associated with General Relativity and we find an extremely orderly, i.e. heavenly, eternity associated with Special Relativity:

    The destructive power of black holes is illustrated rather dramatically in the following quote by Kip Thorne:

    “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
    Kip Thorne and Charles Misner, and John Wheeler wrote Gravitation (1973), considered a definitive textbook on general relativity.

    Whereas the creation of the universe, which is associated with the creation of light itself, i.e. associated with Special Relativity, is found to be an extremely orderly eternity:

    “But why was the big bang so precisely organized, (1 in 10^10^123), whereas the big crunch (or the singularities in black holes) would be expected to be totally chaotic? It would appear that this question can be phrased in terms of the behaviour of the WEYL part of the space-time curvature at space-time singularities. What we appear to find is that there is a constraint WEYL = 0 (or something very like this) at initial space-time singularities-but not at final singularities-and this seems to be what confines the Creator’s choice to this very tiny region of phase space.”
    Roger Penrose – How Special Was The Big Bang?

    Further notes:

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    Again, the implications for individual humans, via their free will, being brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level, to put it mildly, are fairly drastic. We, with either our acceptance or rejection of God and what He has done for us through Jesus Christ on the cross, are choosing between eternal life with God or eternal death separated from God:

    Matthew 18:8-9
    And if thy hand or thy foot causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed or halt, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. And if thine eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire.

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    Deuteronomy 30:19-20
    This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    Supplemental note:

    Another very profound implication in allowing Agent causality, specifically the Agent Causality of God, ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), by rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics then that 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”. Here are a few posts where I lay out and defend some of the evidence for that claim:

    Overturning of the Copernican Principle by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/we-are-invited-to-consider-a-simpler-perspective-on-the-laws-of-physics/#comment-680427

    (February 19, 2019) To support Isabel Piczek’s claim that the Shroud of Turin does indeed reveal a true ‘event horizon’, the following study states that ‘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.’,,,
    Moreover, besides gravity being dealt with, the shroud also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics was dealt with. In the following paper, it was found that it was not possible to describe the image formation on the Shroud in classical terms but they found it necessary to describe the formation of the image on the Shroud in discrete quantum terms.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/experiment-quantum-particles-can-violate-the-mathematical-pigeonhole-principle/#comment-673178
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/experiment-quantum-particles-can-violate-the-mathematical-pigeonhole-principle/#comment-673179

    Verse:

    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.

  5. 5
    hazel says:

    I personally am sympathetic to this sentence from the OP: “When asked many years later whether he believed in God, he replied: ‘I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.’ ”

    However, I think current understandings of quantum mechanics (and chaos theory) undermine Einstein’s support of determinism. Despite Einstein’s famous saying, probability is at the heart of every single quantum event, and in ways beyond our understanding (at least for now) trickles up into the macro world.

  6. 6
    DerekDiMarco says:

    If there is a god who knows everything that’s ever going to happen, then the future is by definition determined, and free will is an illusion.

  7. 7
    EDTA says:

    >If there is a god who knows everything that’s ever going to happen, then the future is by definition determined, and free will is an illusion.

    It seems that way when we reason from what we know, here in the material realm. But if there is a God, and a higher realm in which he exists, then the relationships between time, the future, and knowledge might not be as clear-cut as they seem when we think about them from our perspective.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    God’s foreknowledge that man would sin does not equate to God being the cause of sin. Man, via his own free will, was the cause. i.e. Foreknowledge does not equal strict determinism!

    DerekDiMarco commits the fallacy of imparting all agent causality that exists to God alone.

    Further notes:

    God’s Omniscience and Man’s Free-will (William Lane Craig)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYoWhxOK8dE

    Omniscience Paradox Debunked
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqpKKS9BilA

  9. 9
    Eugene says:

    To Hazel@5,
    I think the problem of free will is even deeper that the “who controls the random number generator of quantum mechanics” question. In other words, are the decisions we’re making all follow “mechanically” (that is, they are perfectly computable) from the moment the corresponding wave functions collapse somewhere in our brain (skipping for simplicity the problem of how and why these wave functions collapse there), or our decision making process is “above and beyond” the random number generator of QM?

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    of related note:

    The free will theorem of John H. Conway and Simon B. Kochen,,,
    Since the free will theorem applies to any arbitrary physical theory consistent with the axioms, it would not even be possible to place the information into the universe’s past in an ad hoc way.The argument proceeds from the Kochen-Specker theorem, which shows that the result of any individual measurement of spin was not fixed (pre-determined) independently of the choice of measurements.
    http://www.informationphilosop.....eorem.html

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    Moreover, to repeat, Anton Zeilinger and company have recently, as of 2018, pushed the ‘free will loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that the experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 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

    i.e. As far as empirical science itself is concerned, the reality of our free will is an established fact.

    If atheists want to argue for ‘super-determinism’, i.e. that our actions were somehow predetermined by God prior to the Big Bang, as DerekDiMarco is apparently trying to do, then all I can say is welcome to Christianity. Calvinists have been arguing for ‘super-determinism’ for centuries.

  11. 11
    Nonlin.org says:

    Materialists keep attacking Free Will instead of noticing that Determinism is DEAD as far as we know from Quantum Mechanics. And, since Randomness cannot account for what looks like our Free Will, they currently have no viable alternative to Free Will.
    http://nonlin.org/free-will/

  12. 12
    ET says:

    Derek:

    If there is a god who knows everything that’s ever going to happen, then the future is by definition determined, and free will is an illusion.

    That doesn’t follow.

  13. 13
    john_a_designer says:

    Why is the universe intelligible? This is a fundamental question– one of the so-called Big Questions. Notice that this question is not a scientific question. The universes intelligibility is something that a scientist must assume a priori in order to do science. In other words, if the universe was not intelligible science would not be possible.

    Einstein thought this was an important question. Famously he observed:

    “The only incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.”

    But what might account for its comprehensibility or intelligibility? Einstein tries to give an answer:

    “What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.”

    And,

    “the scientist’s religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.”

    Was Einstein a theist? He appears to have said so on more than one occasion. For example he wrote:

    “In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who says there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University, page 214)”

    And,

    “Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way… the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”

    But on the other hand, in a letter to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein (1929), he wrote:

    “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind…”

    From this quote some people have argued that this makes Einstein a pantheist, since Spinoza appears to have been a pantheist. However, they don’t seem to realize that he had been asked, at least once, what he was and he answered:

    “I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but it doesn’t know what it is. That it seems to me, is that attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.”

    Of course there are others who will argue that Einstein was only using God as a metaphor. God, in other words, was shorthand for the laws of nature or nature’s mystery or something like that. Personally, I don’t think that’s a tenable explanation. Einstein’s thinking shows too much insight. He describes a basic form of theism (at least relating to the intelligibility question) better and more elegantly than any theist I have ever read. The late Anthony Flew quotes Einstein extensively in his book, There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, where he relates his “conversion,” late in life, from atheism to a non-religious (“deistic”) form of theism– very much like what Einstein appears to describe.

    Naturalism has nowhere close to the explanatory power in answering this question that theism has. What better explanation is there for intelligibility than intelligence?

    Oxford University’s professor of mathematics, John Lennox, explains it this way:

    “Our answer to the question of why the universe is rationally intelligible will in fact depend, not on whether we are scientists or not, but on whether we are theists or naturalists. Theists will say that the intelligibility of the universe is grounded in the nature of the ultimate rationality of God: both the real world and the mathematics are traceable to the Mind of God who created both the universe and the human mind. It is therefore, not surprising when the mathematical theories spun by human minds created in the image of God’s Mind, find ready application in a universe whose architect was that same creative mind.”

    http://www.logosapologia.org/?p=2874

  14. 14
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    DerekDiMarco commits the fallacy of imparting all agent causality that exists to God alone.

    I don’t think that DDM is attributing causality to this. Knowledge that something will happen is not the same as causing something to happen. I know that the sun will rise at 6:57 am tomorrow (my time). Nobody would argue that my knowledge of this is causing the sun to rise.

    I believe that all DDM is saying is that if God, or any being for that matter, knows with certainty what somebody will do at a specified time in the future, then that person’s free will does not exist. At least not with respect to that specific action.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    I believe that all DDM is saying is that if God, or any being for that matter, knows with certainty what somebody will do at a specified time in the future, then that person’s free will does not exist. At least not with respect to that specific action.

    And just saying so doesn’t make it so. Did Biff’s owning of a sports book from the future determine the outcome? No.

    Any being that “knows with certainty what somebody will do at a specified time in the future”, does so because said being has been or is in the future and knows what has already happened (in that time).

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    For crying out loud, sheesh,,, again, as far as empirical science is concerned, the reality of our free will is an established fact (posts 3,4, and 10). If you want to argue that you don’t have free will then argue with the empirical evidence not with me.

    Atheists, since they pretend to care about science so much, would do very well to pay attention to what the empirical evidence actually says.

    As Feynman himself, (one of the main founders of Quantum Electrodynamics), stated,

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”
    Richard P. Feynman

    Humorously, since the empirical evidence, (as it always does), disagrees with what the atheistic materialist would prefer to believe beforehand, (i.e. that he has no free will), the atheist is forced to ignore what the empirical evidence is clearly telling us, and is forced into the ‘philosophical weeds’ of trying to claim that God’s omniscience prevents us from having free will.

    That is to say, the atheist is reduced to the absurdity of arguing from Theological premises, not materialistic premises, that he has no free will.

    That IS A THEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT for crying out loud!

    And as I said before, if atheists want to argue from Theological premises for ‘super-determinism’, i.e. that all our actions were somehow predetermined before time began and coerced on to us by God, then all I can say is welcome to Christianity. Strict Calvinists have been arguing for ‘super-determinism’ for centuries.

    Do humans have a free will? Calvinism says “No!”
    Excerpt: Here are some Calvinist quotes about Free will:
    “Free will is nonsense” (Spurgeon, Free Will a Slave, 3).
    “Free will makes man his own savior and his own god” (Tom Ross, Abandoned Truth, 56).
    “The heresy of free will dethrones God and enthrones man. … The ideas of free grace and free will are diametrically opposed. All who are strict advocates of free will are strangers to the grace of the sovereign God” (W. E. Best, Free Grace Versus Free Will, 35, 43).,,,
    https://redeeminggod.com/no-free-will-in-calvinism/

    Moreover, according to original sources, Calvin’s view of free will turns out to be far more nuanced than is often portrayed in debates on the internet these days.

    Did John Calvin Believe in Free Will? – SEPTEMBER 12, 2014
    Excerpt: So did Calvin believe in free will? That all depends on the meaning. If by free will one means that the unbeliever is in no way necessitated by sin, but has it in his power to either do good or evil toward God, then the answer is no. But if one means that the unbeliever is in total bondage to sin, sinning willfully yet under necessity (not coercion), making him utterly dependent upon God’s irresistible grace to liberate him, then Calvin is your man.
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/did-john-calvin-believe-in-free-will/

    Free will in theology
    Excerpt: John Calvin ascribed “free will” to all people in the sense that they act “voluntarily, and not by compulsion.”[117] He elaborated his position by allowing “that man has choice and that it is self-determined” and that his actions stem from “his own voluntary choosing.”[118]
    The free will that Calvin ascribed to all people is what Mortimer Adler calls the “natural freedom” of the will. This freedom to will what one desires is inherent in all people.[16]
    Calvin held this kind of inherent/natural[119] free will in disesteem because unless people acquire the freedom to live as they ought by being transformed, they will desire and voluntarily choose to sin. “Man is said to have free will,” wrote Calvin, “because he acts voluntarily, and not by compulsion. This is perfectly true: but why should so small a matter have been dignified with so proud a title?”[120] The glitch in this inherent/natural freedom of the will is that although all people have the “faculty of willing,” by nature they are unavoidably (and yet voluntarily without compulsion) under “the bondage of sin.”[121]
    The kind of free will that Calvin esteems is what Adler calls “acquired freedom” of the will, the freedom/ability[122] “to live as [one] ought.” To possess acquired free will requires a change by which a person acquires a desire to live a life marked by virtuous qualities.[20] As Calvin describes the change required for acquired freedom, the will “must be wholly transformed and renovated.”[123]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_in_theology#Calvinism
    Like John Calvin, Arminius affirmed total depravity, but Arminius believed that only prevenient grace allowed people to choose salvation:
    Concerning grace and free will, this is what I teach according to the Scriptures and orthodox consent: Free will is unable to begin or to perfect any true and spiritual good, without grace…. This grace [prœvenit] goes before, accompanies, and follows; it excites, assists, operates that we will, and co operates lest we will in vain.[71]
    Prevenient grace is divine grace which precedes human decision. It exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done. As humans are corrupted by the effects of sin, prevenient grace allows persons to engage their God-given free will to choose the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ or to reject that salvific offer.
    Thomas Jay Oord offers perhaps the most cogent free will theology presupposing prevenient grace. What he calls “essential kenosis” says God acts preveniently to give freedom/agency to all creatures. This gift comes from God’s eternal essence, and is therefore necessary. God remains free in choosing how to love, but the fact that God loves and therefore gives freedom/agency to others is a necessary part of what it means to be divine.
    This view is backed in the Bible with verses such as Luke 13:34, NKJV
    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!”
    Here we see Jesus lamenting that He is unable to save Jerusalem as they are not willing. We see that whilst Jesus wants to save Jerusalem He respects their choice to continue on in sin despite His will that they be saved.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_in_theology#Arminianism

    Thus even Calvin, although having a very high view of God’s sovereignty, did not strictly deny the reality of free will in man in regards to man’s salvation.

    As a Christian, I can live with Calvin’s nuanced view of free will. A nuanced view that, whilst not completely denying the reality of free will, does respectfully have a very high regard for God’s sovereignty over creation. i.e. Regardless of what ‘evil’ and/or sin that a man may choose to do in contradiction to God’s perfect will for his life, never the less “God causes all things to work together for good”.

    Romans 8:28
    And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

    The Contradiction of the Cross
    “On the cross, our false dependencies are revealed. On the cross, our illusions are killed off. On the cross, our small self dies so that the true self, the God-given self, can emerge. On the cross, we give up the fantasy that we are in control, and the death of this fantasy is central to acceptance. The cross is, above all, a place of powerlessness. Here is the final proof that our own feeble powers can no more alter life’s trajectory than a magnet can pull down the moon. Here is the death of the ego, of the self that insists on being in charge, the self that continually tries to impose its own idea of order and righteousness on the world.
    The cross is a place of contradiction. For the powerlessness of the cross, if fully embraced, takes us to a place of power. This is the great mystery at the heart of the Christian faith, from Jesus to Martin Luther King Jr., the mystery of the power of powerlessness. As long as I am preoccupied with the marshaling of my own feeble powers, there will be no way for God’s power to flow through me. As long as I am getting in my own way, I cannot live in the power of God’s way.”
    – Parker Palmer, The Promise of Paradox, Pg 46-47
    http://www.findingrhythm.com/blog/?p=2183

    “He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”
    ~James Stewart~
    ———————————
    “It is a glorious phrase of the New Testament, that ‘he led captivity captive.’
    The very triumphs of His foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to sub-serve his end, not theirs.
    They nailed him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet.
    They gave him a cross, not guessing that he would make it a throne.
    They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe, to let the King of Glory come in.
    They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy.
    They thought they had defeated God with His back (to) the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated: they did not know that it was God Himself who had tracked them down.
    He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”
    James Stewart (1896–1990) was a minister of the Church of Scotland

  17. 17
    Ed George says:

    BA77@16, if you can provide me with a link to a study that has controlled for all possible inputs to a human decision (sensory input, associated chemical reactions within the body, etc) then I will accept free will as a proven fact. Until then, the best we can say is that we think (Hope, desire) that free will exists.

    And I am saying this as someone who is almost certain that we have true. free will. Free will, like how life originated, is something that we are unlikely to be able to prove one way or the other. And I am fine with that.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    It is not on me to satisfy your self-serving and biased criteria as to whether you will personally accept the empirical evidence as sufficient or not. You certainly are not the final arbiter of the empirical evidence. I only have to show, to the unbiased reader, that the overwhelming weight of evidence evidence supports the reality of free will.

    So again,

    Michael Egnor: Is free will a dangerous myth? – October 6, 2018
    Excerpt: 4. ,,, an objective review of the neuroscientific evidence unequivocally supports the existence of free will. The first neuroscientist to map the brains of conscious subjects, Wilder Penfield, noted that there is an immaterial power of volition in the human mind that he could not stimulate with electrodes. The pioneer in the neuroscience of free will was Benjamin Libet, who demonstrated clearly that, while there is an unconscious material predisposition to acts as shown by electrical brain activity, we retain an immaterial “free won’t,” which is the ability to veto an unconscious urge to act. Many experiments have followed on Libet’s work, most of which use fMRI imaging of brain activity. They all confirm Libet’s observations by showing what is at most a loose correlation between brain activity and volition (for example, nearly half the time the brain activity that precedes the act is on the wrong side of the brain for the activity to determine the will)—the looseness of correlation being best explained as evidence for libertarian free will. Modern neuroscience clearly demonstrates an immaterial component to volition.
    Harari is wrong about free will. It is not a myth. Free will is a real and fundamental aspect of being human, and the denial of free will is junk science and self-refuting logical nonsense.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-is-free-will-a-dangerous-myth/

    Michael Egnor Shows You’re Not A Meat Robot (Science Uprising EP2)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQo6SWjwQIk

    A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked
    For decades, a landmark brain study fed speculation about whether we control our own actions. It seems to have made a classic mistake.
    BAHAR GHOLIPOUR – SEP 10, 2019
    Excerpt: In a new study under review for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Schurger and two Princeton researchers repeated a version of Libet’s experiment. To avoid unintentionally cherry-picking brain noise, they included a control condition in which people didn’t move at all. An artificial-intelligence classifier allowed them to find at what point brain activity in the two conditions diverged. If Libet was right, that should have happened at 500 milliseconds before the movement. But the algorithm couldn’t tell any difference until about only 150 milliseconds before the movement, the time people reported making decisions in Libet’s original experiment.
    In other words, people’s subjective experience of a decision—what Libet’s study seemed to suggest was just an illusion—appeared to match the actual moment their brains showed them making a decision.
    When Schurger first proposed the neural-noise explanation, in 2012, the paper didn’t get much outside attention, but it did create a buzz in neuroscience. Schurger received awards for overturning a long-standing idea. “It showed the Bereitschaftspotential may not be what we thought it was. That maybe it’s in some sense artifactual, related to how we analyze our data,” says Uri Maoz, a computational neuroscientist at Chapman University.
    For a paradigm shift, the work met minimal resistance. Schurger appeared to have unearthed a classic scientific mistake, so subtle that no one had noticed it and no amount of replication studies could have solved it, unless they started testing for causality.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/09/free-will-bereitschaftspotential/597736/

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220112515.htm

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 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

    Thus, the unbiased reader can judge for themselves what the empirical evidence actually says.. Personally for me, the evidence. especially the recent evidence from quantum mechanics, for the reality of free will is overwhelming.

    Of note: the only piece of evidence that the atheist thought he had going for him, i.e Libet’s experiments, as was referenced above, has now been overturned. (Moreover, Libet himself disagreed with the atheistic interpretation that atheists tried to force on his experimental results:)

    Science and the Soul – Michael Egnor – June 2018
    Excerpt:,,, Some of the most fascinating research on consciousness was done by Penfield’s contemporary Benjamin Libet at the University of California, San Francisco.,,,
    Libet began by choosing a very simple thought: the decision to press a button. He modified an oscilloscope so that a dot circled the screen once each second, and when the subject decided to push the button, he or she noted the location of the dot at the time of the decision. Libet measured the timing of the decision and the timing of the brain waves of many volunteers with accuracy in the tens of milliseconds. Consistently he found that the conscious decision to push the button was preceded by about half a second by a brain wave, which he called the readiness potential. Then a half-second later the subject became aware of his decision. It appeared at first that the subjects were not free; their brains made the decision to move and they followed it.
    But Libet looked deeper. He asked his subjects to veto their decision immediately after they made it – to not push the button. Again, the readiness potential appeared a half-second before conscious awareness of the decision to push the button, but Libet found that the veto – he called it “free won’t” – had no brain wave corresponding to it.
    The brain, then, has activity that corresponds to a pre-conscious urge to do something. But we are free to veto or accept this urge. The motives are material. The veto, and implicitly the acceptance, is an immaterial act of the will.
    Libet noted the correspondence between his experiments and the traditional religious understanding of human beings. We are, he said, beset by a sea of inclinations, corresponding to material activity in our brains, which we have the free choice to reject or accept. It is hard not to read this in more familiar terms: we are tempted by sin, yet we are free to choose.
    https://www.plough.com/en/topics/justice/reconciliation/science-and-the-soul

  19. 19
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    It is not on me to satisfy your self-serving and biased criteria as to whether you will personally accept the empirical evidence as sufficient or not.

    And it’s not on me to satisfy your self-serving and biased criteria as to whether you will personally accept the lack of empirical evidence as sufficient or not. But, I don’t post thousands of words trying to do so. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “I don’t post thousands of words trying to do so”

    LOL, that’s because you have no evidence whatsoever that you can reference that shows that free will does not exist! LOL! 🙂 Too friggin funny.

    Moreover, on top of the overwhelming neuroscentific and quantum evidence for the reality of free will, I can also reference the creation of new information as evidence for the reality of free will. As Douglas S. Robertson has shown, “Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.”

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson
    Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

    And as William Dembski and others have shown, the universal limit for the creation of new information, via all the probabilistic resources of the entire universe, is 500 bits,

    To clarify how the 500 bit universal limit is found for the creation of ‘structured, functional information’:

    Dembski’s original value for the universal probability bound is 1 in 10^150,

    10^80, the number of elementary particles in the observable universe.
    10^45, the maximum rate per second at which transitions in physical states can occur.
    10^25, a billion times longer than the typical estimated age of the universe in seconds.

    Thus, 10^150 = 10^80 × 10^45 × 10^25. Hence, this value corresponds to an upper limit on the number of physical events that could possibly have occurred since the big bang.

    How many bits would that be:

    Pu = 10-150, so, -log2 Pu = 498.29 bits

    Call it 500 bits (The 500 bits is further specified as a specific type of information. It is specified as Complex Specified Information by Dembski or as Functional Information by Abel to separate it from merely Ordered Sequence Complexity or Random Sequence Complexity; See Three subsets of sequence complexity)

    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29

    Thus, every ‘new’ sentence that has ever been written, and/or ‘created’ by humans, that contains over 500 bits of information, (since the entire probabilistic resources of the entire universe are exhausted), confirms the reality and necessity of free will.

    This short sentence, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is calculated by Winston Ewert, in this following video at the 10 minute mark, to contain 1000 bits of algorithmic specified complexity, (i.e. functional information), and thus to exceed the Universal Probability Bound (UPB) of 500 bits set by Dr. Dembski

    Proposed Information Metric: Conditional Kolmogorov Complexity – Winston Ewert – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm3mm3ofAYU

    Here are the slides of preceding video with the calculation of the information content of the preceding sentence on page 14
    http://www.blythinstitute.org/.....t_info.pdf

    Thus every sentence ever created by man that contains over 500 bits of information, such as “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is proof that man has exercised his free will over and above what the universe is capable of explaining.

    Since free will figures so prominently in the creation of new information, perhaps that is why God holds ‘every careless word ‘ that we may speak with such high regard

    Matthew 12:36-37
    “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    Around the 20 minute mark of the following Near Death Experience documentary, the Life Review portion of the Near Death Experience is highlighted, with several testimonies relating how every word, thought, deed, and action, of a person’s life (all the ‘information’ of a person’s life) is gone over in the presence of God:

    Near Death Experience Documentary – commonalities of the experience – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uDA4RgHolw

  21. 21
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Moreover, on top of the overwhelming neuroscentific and quantum evidence for the reality of free will, I can also reference the creation of new information as evidence for the reality of free will.

    But can you reference any evidence where free will has been demonstrated while controlling for all other inputs to decision making? Including all sensory inputs and chemical processes within the body? If not, bye bye.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    I have referenced one experiment where they controlled for noise, but will not rereference.

  23. 23
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    I have referenced one experiment where they controlled for noise, but will not rereference.

    WTF?

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    As someone who has helped build massive chemical plants in Texas, where it was my job to set up and accurately calibrate all sorts of instruments that measured for many different types of physical parameters, I am very impressed with the level of sophistication in the experiments, that I have listed, that have confirmed the ‘common sense’ fact that we have free will. Both the neuroscientific and quantum experiments that validated the reality of free will are, in my experience with testing, very impressive as to the level of sophistication that went behind them.

    That Ed George would pooh pooh the experimental results, apparently without taking the time to read and understand what they actually did, (if it is even possible for him, on the technical level, to understand what they actually did), and without appreciating the level of sophistication behind what they actually did, (again, if it is even possible for him, on the technical level, to understand the level of sophistication behind what they actually did), is par for the course for him.

    Ed George has a history on UD of being very disingenuous towards the evidence. As Upright BiPed noted recently in his exchange with Ed George on the Barr thread,

    Upright BiPed:
    “we can get past you (Ed George) pretending not to know what I am asking you. There is no further need for you to spin in circles and ponder what I could possibly mean by the question I asked you. I have already told you very plainly; I don’t believe you can “call a duck a duck” as you say, and I am demonstrating that by asking you about physical and historical evidence that is a) unambiguous, and b) that you, as a common anti-ID ideologue, avoid like the plague.
    You are left now to spin and dissemble and do all that you can not to engage the evidence in earnest, while simultaneously creating the illusion that there is solid reasoning behind whatever you say, or that there is some other sympathetic route for you, the self-proclaimed “a duck is a duck” guy, to escape the obvious.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/religion/us-ag-barr-on-the-importance-of-religious-liberty/#comment-687017

    Anyone who is interested can read through the entire exchange for themselves and see how disingenuously Ed George weaves and dodges the direct questions from UprightBiped, just so as to avoid ever having to deal with the evidence honestly, and therefore having to accept the direct implications for ID forthrightly. In short, Ed George is a troll who could care less for the truth and is only here, as far as I can tell, to obfuscate and distract.

  25. 25
    BobRyan says:

    Anyone that does not believe free will exists has never looked closely at our history. You may want to start with Dietrich von Choltitz.

  26. 26
    john_a_designer says:

    Einstein was a lifelong pacifist, except when he wasn’t. (In a letter to FDR he advocated development of the atomic bomb during the early stages of WW II.) But what’s the point of pacifism if you are also a believer in determinism* which denies the existence of free will. Whose mind are you really going to change?

    https://www.ias.edu/ideas/2015/ghodsee-einstein-pacifism

    Determinism also makes morality an impossibility. Ought implies can. If there is no free will then it’s really impossible for anyone to do what they ought to do. Evil is simply inevitable.

    [*Like Spinoza, Einstein was a strict determinist who believed that human behavior was completely determined by causal laws. For that reason, he refused the chance aspect of quantum theory, famously telling Niels Bohr: “God does not play dice with the universe.”]

  27. 27
    Seversky says:

    John_a_designer@ 26

    Einstein was a lifelong pacifist, except when he wasn’t. (In a letter to FDR he advocated development of the atomic bomb during the early stages of WW II.) But what’s the point of pacifism if you are also a believer in determinism* which denies the existence of free will. Whose mind are you really going to change?

    https://www.ias.edu/ideas/2015/ghodsee-einstein-pacifism

    Determinism also makes morality an impossibility. Ought implies can. If there is no free will then it’s really impossible for anyone to do what they ought to do. Evil is simply inevitable.

    The problem for Christians is that evidence from the Bible supports determinism:

    Matthew 26:31-34

    31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

    32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

    33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

    34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

    35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

    But later:

    Matthew 26:69-75

    69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

    70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

    71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

    72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

    73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

    74 Then he began to [a]curse and [b]swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

    Immediately a rooster crowed.

    75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

    Peter was warned specifically that he would deny knowing Jesus three times but, in spite of the warning, he was unable to do anything different.

    Determinism. No free will.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    So apparently Sev has converted from Darwinian atheism to Christian Calvinism

  29. 29
    Seversky says:

    No, just reminding you that your own Bible provides evidence for a lack of free will, which would have to be the case if there exists an eternal and omniscient deity. So at least in that respect, the Bible is consistent.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    LOl. you REALLY need to take your atheistic blinders off.

    Free will in theology
    Excerpt: John Calvin ascribed “free will” to all people in the sense that they act “voluntarily, and not by compulsion.”[117] He elaborated his position by allowing “that man has choice and that it is self-determined” and that his actions stem from “his own voluntary choosing.”[118]
    The free will that Calvin ascribed to all people is what Mortimer Adler calls the “natural freedom” of the will. This freedom to will what one desires is inherent in all people.[16]
    Calvin held this kind of inherent/natural[119] free will in disesteem because unless people acquire the freedom to live as they ought by being transformed, they will desire and voluntarily choose to sin. “Man is said to have free will,” wrote Calvin, “because he acts voluntarily, and not by compulsion. This is perfectly true: but why should so small a matter have been dignified with so proud a title?”[120] The glitch in this inherent/natural freedom of the will is that although all people have the “faculty of willing,” by nature they are unavoidably (and yet voluntarily without compulsion) under “the bondage of sin.”[121]
    The kind of free will that Calvin esteems is what Adler calls “acquired freedom” of the will, the freedom/ability[122] “to live as [one] ought.” To possess acquired free will requires a change by which a person acquires a desire to live a life marked by virtuous qualities.[20] As Calvin describes the change required for acquired freedom, the will “must be wholly transformed and renovated.”[123]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_in_theology#Calvinism
    Like John Calvin, Arminius affirmed total depravity, but Arminius believed that only prevenient grace allowed people to choose salvation:
    Concerning grace and free will, this is what I teach according to the Scriptures and orthodox consent: Free will is unable to begin or to perfect any true and spiritual good, without grace…. This grace [prœvenit] goes before, accompanies, and follows; it excites, assists, operates that we will, and co operates lest we will in vain.[71]
    Prevenient grace is divine grace which precedes human decision. It exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done. As humans are corrupted by the effects of sin, prevenient grace allows persons to engage their God-given free will to choose the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ or to reject that salvific offer.
    Thomas Jay Oord offers perhaps the most cogent free will theology presupposing prevenient grace. What he calls “essential kenosis” says God acts preveniently to give freedom/agency to all creatures. This gift comes from God’s eternal essence, and is therefore necessary. God remains free in choosing how to love, but the fact that God loves and therefore gives freedom/agency to others is a necessary part of what it means to be divine.
    This view is backed in the Bible with verses such as Luke 13:34, NKJV
    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!”
    Here we see Jesus lamenting that He is unable to save Jerusalem as they are not willing. We see that whilst Jesus wants to save Jerusalem He respects their choice to continue on in sin despite His will that they be saved.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_in_theology#Arminianism

    Thus even Calvin, although having a very high view of God’s sovereignty, did not strictly deny the reality of free will in man in regards to man’s salvation.

  31. 31
    ET says:

    seversky:

    No, just reminding you that your own Bible provides evidence for a lack of free will, which would have to be the case if there exists an eternal and omniscient deity.

    That doesn’t follow and you could never actually make that case.

  32. 32
    ET says:

    seversky:

    Peter was warned specifically that he would deny knowing Jesus three times but, in spite of the warning, he was unable to do anything different.

    He wasn’t warned. He was told to deny Jesus 3 times and he followed those orders.

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