Intelligent Design Mind Neuroscience Philosophy Physics

Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor asks, how can there NOT be free will?

Spread the love
The Open Door, William Henry Fox Talbot (British, Dorset 1800–1877 Lacock), Salted paper print from paper negative
the open door/William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877)

From Mind Matters Today:

Succinctly, researchers using Bell’s theoretical insight into quantum entanglement have shown that there are no deterministic local hidden variables. This means that the final state of entangled quantum particles is not determined by any variables in the initial state. Nature at its most fundamental level is indeterminate. The states of bound particles are not determined by any local variable at the moment of separation.

Bell’s inequality and the experimental work that has followed on it conclusively demonstrate that quantum entanglement, and thus nature, is not determinate, at least locally. There remains the remote possibility of non-local determinism, but that view is considered fringe and is rejected by nearly all physicists working in the field. It is a scientific fact that determinism in nature as commonly understood is simply not true. More.

Also at MMT: Attend your own funeral! It’s easy if you upload your consciousness to the cloud, says futurist. Ummm…

Big Question: Can Big Data read the minds of others? And should Facebook scan your posts for suicidal thoughts? (It does.) One thing we can be sure of: To the extent that Facebook’s suicide prevention program succeeds, we can expect the technology, seen as laudable, to be aimed at other issues, however defined and by whom.

See also: Can we choose not to believe in free will? (Peter Gooding)

Free will is compatible with physics The laws of physics don’t rule out free will? But that is just a well for the laws of physics because, if Dennett is right and consciousness is an illusion, then the “laws of physics” probably are too. The concept of evidence has been rendered powerless.

Neuroscientist: Free will is an illusion but we should believe we have it

Neuroscientist debunks hype about no free will, etc.

GP, Mike Pence and Free Will 

At Physics Central: How human beings can have free will as complex, purely physical systems

Do the defects of real numbers open the door to free will in physics?

and

How can we believe in naturalism if we have no choice?

14 Replies to “Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor asks, how can there NOT be free will?

  1. 1
    ScuzzaMan says:

    The construction and presentation of every argument presupposes some ability to choose.

    Absent such an ability the argument itself is merely a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Trying to change a belief, which you believe had no cause in logic or rational choice, by presenting a rational argument to the believer, ends in the same self-refuting incoherence as every materialist proposition.

    When your every conclusion devolves to self-refuting incoherence you must eventually give up, either (A) your axioms, or (B) your claim to a rational connection between your axioms and your conclusions.

    Not a pretty choice, is it?

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    Putting 2 and 2 together, this morning I get “avocado”.

    DOGS have free will. Lions and badgers and dolphins all have Free Will. Heck, fruit flies probably have Free Will. So why attempt to deny that humans also have Free Will?

    We’re breaking in a new Golden Retriever. He’s perhaps 6 months old now, which is a LOT in dog years. And it is VERY evident that sometimes he wants to play sometimes he’s really needs to go outside to pee (since he now knows that well mannered members of his man-pack don’t pee on the floor).

    In any competent nature show, the observers will comment on members of the pride or pod or pack being “thrown out” by the other members. That is, one day every thing is cool and friendly, and the next day you have a one way ticket to Loser-ville. The most common reason for exile is becoming a mature male (note that NOBODY does field studies on “bachelor” groups, regardless of whether we’re talking lions or whales or horses. It’s just so much easier to locate a traditional group to do field studies.)

    So why attempt to claim that humans do NOT have the range of choices that other animals have?

  3. 3
    Celad says:

    “You have to believe in free will, you have no choice.” I.B. Singer ; – )

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    In regards to free will, quantum mechanics has progressed much further than just the undermining of determinism.

    In what is termed ‘the instrumentalist approach’, humans are brought into the laws of physics at the most fundamental level instead of humans being a result of the laws of physics as Darwinists had falsely imagined us to be.

    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://www.nybooks.com/article.....mechanics/

    Needless to say, Atheists (such as Weinberg himself) don’t like the “instrumentalist approach” of quantum mechanics since it, by letting free will into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level., directly undermines the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, the “instrumentalist approach”, in spite of how atheists may personally feel about it, is experimentally confirmed to be true by contextuality and/or by the Kochen-Speckter Theorem.

    In regards to contextuality we find that “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”.,,, and,,, “Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment. Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study”.

    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.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    per Physorg

    And as 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

    Zeilinger and his team have now gone much further in verifying the reality of free will in quantum mechanics.

    Cosmic Bell Test: Measurement Settings from Milky Way Stars – 2017
    Abstract:
    Bell’s theorem states that some predictions of quantum mechanics cannot be reproduced by a local-realist theory. That conflict is expressed by Bell’s inequality, which is usually derived under the assumption that there are no statistical correlations between the choices of measurement settings and anything else that can causally affect the measurement outcomes. In previous experiments, this “freedom of choice” was addressed by ensuring that selection of measurement settings via conventional “quantum random number generators” was spacelike separated from the entangled particle creation. This, however, left open the possibility that an unknown cause affected both the setting choices and measurement outcomes as recently as mere microseconds before each experimental trial. Here we report on a new experimental test of Bell’s inequality that, for the first time, uses distant astronomical sources as “cosmic setting generators.” In our tests with polarization-entangled photons, measurement settings were chosen using real-time observations of Milky Way stars while simultaneously ensuring locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons, and that each stellar photon’s color was set at emission, we observe statistically significant ?7.31? and ?11.93? violations of Bell’s inequality with estimated p values of ?1.8×10?13 and ?4.0×10?33, respectively, thereby pushing back by ?600 years the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have engineered the observed Bell violation.
    http://vcq.quantum.at/publicat...../2036.html

    Experiment Reaffirms Quantum Weirdness – 2017
    Excerpt: In the first of a planned series of “cosmic Bell test” experiments, the team sent pairs of photons from the roof of Zeilinger’s lab in Vienna through the open windows of two other buildings and into optical modulators, tallying coincident detections as usual. But this time, they attempted to lower the chance that the modulator settings might somehow become correlated with the states of the photons in the moments before each measurement. They pointed a telescope out of each window, trained each telescope on a bright and conveniently located (but otherwise random) star, and, before each measurement, used the color of an incoming photon from each star to set the angle of the associated modulator. The colors of these photons were decided hundreds of years ago, when they left their stars, increasing the chance that they (and therefore the measurement settings) were independent of the states of the photons being measured.
    And yet, the scientists found that the measurement outcomes still violated Bell’s upper limit, boosting their confidence that the polarized photons in the experiment exhibit spooky action at a distance after all.
    Nature could still exploit the freedom-of-choice loophole, but the universe would have had to delete items from the menu of possible measurement settings at least 600 years before the measurements occurred (when the closer of the two stars sent its light toward Earth). “Now one needs the correlations to have been established even before Shakespeare wrote, ‘Until I know this sure uncertainty, I’ll entertain the offered fallacy,’” Hall said.
    Next, the team plans to use light from increasingly distant quasars to control their measurement settings, probing further back in time and giving the universe an even smaller window to cook up correlations between future device settings and restrict freedoms.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20170207-bell-test-quantum-loophole/

    Quantum Entanglement & the Cosmic Bell Test – video (February 2017)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGPJKJWY-7o

    The only ‘loophole’ left for atheist who want to deny free will, as far as quantum mechanics is concerned, is a ‘truly exotic hypotheses’ involving ‘some kind of superdeterminism, so that the choice of measurement settings was determined at the Big Bang’.

    Significant-loophole-free test of Bell’s theorem with entangled photons – Dec. 2015
    Local realism is the worldview in which physical properties of objects exist independently of measurement and where physical influences cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Bell’s theorem states that this worldview is incompatible with the predictions of quantum mechanics, as is expressed in Bell’s inequalities. Previous experiments convincingly supported the quantum predictions. Yet, every experiment requires assumptions that provide loopholes for a local realist explanation. In this paper, I will discuss the recent results from my laboratory, in which we designed an experiment that closes the most significant of these loopholes simultaneously. Using a well-optimized source of entangled photons, rapid setting generation, and highly efficient superconducting detectors, we observe a violation of a Bell inequality with high statistical significance. The purely statistical probability of our results to occur under local realism is exceedingly unlikely, corresponding to an 11.5 standard deviation effect.
    Excerpt page 5:
    By closing the freedom-of-choice loophole to one natural stopping point—the first moment at which the particles come into existence—we reduce the possible local-realist explanations to truly exotic hypotheses. Any theory seeking to explain our result by exploiting this loophole would require to originate before the emission event and to influence setting choices derived from spontaneous emission. It has been suggested that setting choices determined by events from distant cosmological sources could push this limit back by billions of years [46].
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1511.03190.pdf

    But why is the quantum world thought spooky anyway? – September 1, 2015
    Excerpt: Zeilinger also notes that there remains one last, somewhat philosophical loophole, first identified by Bell himself: the possibility that hidden variables could somehow manipulate the experimenters’ choices of what properties to measure, tricking them into thinking quantum theory is correct.,,,
    Leifer is less troubled by this ‘freedom-of-choice loophole’, however. “It could be that there is some kind of superdeterminism, so that the choice of measurement settings was determined at the Big Bang,” he says. “We can never prove that is not the case, so I think it’s fair to say that most physicists don’t worry too much about this.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ky-anyway/

    Yet if Atheists really want to stubbornly go down this route of ‘superdeterminism’ in their futile, self-refuting, denial of their own free will, a road where all their choices were somehow determined before the big bang, then I say “Welcome to Christianity” since strict Calvanists have been arguing for ‘superdeterminism’ for several centuries now.

    Here is an excellent sermon by Tim Keller that gets the Calvinist’s ‘superdetermism’ view of God across very well.

    Does God Control Everything? – Tim Keller – (God’s sovereignty, evil, and our free will, how do they mesh? Short answer? God’s Omniscience!) – video (12:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/MDbKCZodtZI?t=727

    Personally, I hold with CS Lewis that our free will choice whether to accept or reject God is not ‘superdetermined’.

    “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

    As CS Lewis alluded to, although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options, in a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options. Eternal life, (infinity if you will), with God, or Eternal life, (infinity again if you will), without God.

    And exactly as would be expected if the Christian view of reality were correct, we find two very different eternities in reality. An ‘infinitely destructive’ eternity associated with General Relativity and a extremely orderly eternity associated with Special Relativity:

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

    Verse:

    Deuteronomy 30: 19-20
    I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.”

  5. 5
    EricMH says:

    If quantum non-determinism is the same as free will, then absolutely everything in our universe has free will, making the term fairly meaningless.

  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks SA,

    Shroud of Turin expert criticises new study casting doubt on authenticity – July 19, 2018
    Excerpt: on July 17, Emanuela Marinelli, an expert on the Shroud of Turin, said “there was nothing scientific” about the experiments conducted by Matteo Borrini, an Italian forensic scientist, and Luigi Garlaschelli, an Italian chemist.
    “Does it seem like a scientific criterion to take a mannequin — like the ones used to display clothes in a store window — and a sponge soaked in fake blood attached to a piece wood that is pressed on the right side of a dummy to see where the streams of blood fall?” Marinelli asked.
    “If this is considered science, I guess I’ll just have to take my degree in natural sciences and throw it away,” she said.,,,
    Marinelli, however, said the experiments conducted by Borrini and Garlaschelli lacked the accuracy of past studies involving cadavers of men who died of hemopericardium, the pooling of blood in the heart, which is believed to be what ultimately caused Jesus’ death on the cross.
    Those accurate studies, she told Vatican News, “yielded different results from those of Borrini and Garlaschelli.”
    http://www.catholicherald.co.u.....henticity/

    only jdk and other atheists would be so gullible to fall for Garlaschelli’s work. He tried to fool people before:

    Part 1 of 13 Rebuttal to Luigi Garlischelli Shroud Forgery – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it7vw7LU13U

  9. 9
    gpuccio says:

    EricMH:

    Quantum non-determinism is not the same as free will. It’s just the best model of interface through which free will can express itself without violating any natural law.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    I like Egnor’s article from yesterday:

    Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield on Free Will – Michael Egnor – July 26, 2018
    Excerpt: For a philosophical example, consider that affirmation or denial of free will is a proposition, which is a statement that may or may not be true. But matter has no truth value — propositions aren’t material things. Matter just is; it is neither true nor false. Thus, when a materialist claims that material causes preclude the possibility of free will, he is also claiming that his own opinion cannot be true (or false). Denial of free will on the basis of materialistic determinism is self-refuting. …
    No Counterfeit Will
    Penfield marveled that he could stimulate all manner of movement and sensation and memory, but he could never evoke agency. He couldn’t stimulate the sense of will — he couldn’t produce a counterfeit will in the conscious patient by stimulation of the brain.
    Penfield concluded that this meant that the will (he called it the “mind”) was not in the brain, or at least not in any part of the brain that he could stimulate, and that the will was not a physical thing. The will was free, in the sense that it could not be evoked by material means.
    Penfield began his career as a strident materialist. He ended it as a passionate dualist — the title “Mystery of the Mind” was largely the expression of his amazement that there was a scientifically demonstrable duality to the mind.,,,
    The denial of free will is an ideological bias, not a credible scientific or philosophical conclusion.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/neurosurgeon-wilder-penfield-on-free-will/

    Also of note, here is better playlist link to the video I listed earlier:

    Part 1 of 13 Rebuttal to Luigi Garlischelli Shroud Forgery
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it7vw7LU13U&list=PL2E938E07ADD0650D&index=1

    and this is also of interest

    The Most Comprehensive Presention on the Shroud on YouTube 1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8v2JWNNcpU&list=PLPe4TgSgba35pQlv0836YrBERPh4aXRqq&index=6

  11. 11
    EricMH says:

    @gpuccio but if free will can influence quantum non-determinism in a non-random way, then it could theoretically violate physical laws like 2nd law of thermodynamics and perhaps other things.

    On the other hand, if quantum non-determinism is only random, it’s hard to understand why there is any coherence to reality.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    EricMH, in regards to the second law and quantum mechanics, I would definitely hold the Quantum Zeno Effect to be, shall we say, counter-intuitive.

    The ‘Quantum Zeno Effect’, is, to put it simply, “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”

    Quantum Zeno Effect
    The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    – Per Wikipedia

    As the following author commented, “In the quantum world, the folk wisdom really is true: “A watched pot never boils.”

    ‘Zeno effect’ verified—atoms won’t move while you watch – October 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Graduate students,, created and cooled a gas of about a billion Rubidium atoms inside a vacuum chamber and suspended the mass between laser beams.,,,
    In that state the atoms arrange in an orderly lattice just as they would in a crystalline solid.,But at such low temperatures, the atoms can “tunnel” from place to place in the lattice.,,,
    The researchers demonstrated that they were able to suppress quantum tunneling merely by observing the atoms.,,,
    The researchers observed the atoms under a microscope by illuminating them with a separate imaging laser. A light microscope can’t see individual atoms, but the imaging laser causes them to fluoresce, and the microscope captured the flashes of light. When the imaging laser was off, or turned on only dimly, the atoms tunneled freely. But as the imaging beam was made brighter and measurements made more frequently, the tunneling reduced dramatically.,,,
    The experiments were made possible by the group’s invention of a novel imaging technique that made it possible to observe ultracold atoms while leaving them in the same quantum state.,,,
    The popular press has drawn a parallel of this work with the “weeping angels” depicted in the Dr. Who television series – alien creatures who look like statues and can’t move as long as you’re looking at them. There may be some sense to that. In the quantum world, the folk wisdom really is true: “A watched pot never boils.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-10-z.....-wont.html

    The Quantum Zeno Effect has now also been confirmed with ‘interaction free measurement’.

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....S-20150415

    The reason why I am very impressed with the Quantum Zeno Effect as to establishing consciousness and free will’s primacy in quantum mechanics is, for one thing, that Entropy is, by a wide margin, the most finely tuned of initial conditions of the Big Bang:

    “An explosion you think of as kind of a messy event. And this is the point about entropy. The explosion in which our universe began was not a messy event. And if you talk about how messy it could have been, this is what the Penrose calculation is all about essentially. It looks at the observed statistical entropy in our universe. The entropy per baryon. And he calculates that out and he arrives at a certain figure. And then he calculates using the Bekenstein-Hawking formula for Black-Hole entropy what the,,, (what sort of entropy could have been associated with,,, the singularity that would have constituted the beginning of the universe). So you’ve got the numerator, the observed entropy, and the denominator, how big it (the entropy) could have been. And that fraction turns out to be,, 1 over 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. Let me just emphasize how big that denominator is so you can gain a real appreciation for how small that probability is. So there are 10^80th baryons in the universe. Protons and neutrons. No suppose we put a zero on every one of those. OK, how many zeros is that? That is 10^80th zeros. This number has 10^123rd zeros. OK, so you would need a hundred million, trillion, trillion, trillion, universes our size, with zero on every proton and neutron in all of those universes just to write out this number. That is how fine tuned the initial entropy of our universe is. And if there were a pre-Big Bang state and you had some bounces, then that fine tuning (for entropy) gets even finer as you go backwards if you can even imagine such a thing. ”
    Dr Bruce Gordon – Contemporary Physics and God Part 2 – video – 1:50 minute mark – video
    https://youtu.be/ff_sNyGNSko?t=110

    “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”
    Roger Penrose – How special was the big bang? – (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    In fact, entropy is the primary reason why our physical, temporal, bodies grow old and die,,,

    Entropy Explains Aging, Genetic Determinism Explains Longevity, and Undefined Terminology Explains Misunderstanding Both – 2007
    Excerpt: There is a huge body of knowledge supporting the belief that age changes are characterized by increasing entropy, which results in the random loss of molecular fidelity, and accumulates to slowly overwhelm maintenance systems [1–4].,,,
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar.....en.0030220

    *3 new mutations every time a cell divides in your body
    * Average cell of 15 year old has up to 6000 mutations
    *Average cell of 60 year old has 40,000 mutations
    Reproductive cells are ‘designed’ so that, early on in development, they are ‘set aside’ and thus they do not accumulate mutations as the rest of the cells of our bodies do. Regardless of this protective barrier against the accumulation of slightly detrimental mutations still we find that,,,
    *60-175 mutations are passed on to each new generation.
    Per Dr. John Sanford

    For another thing, it is interesting to note just how foundational entropy is in its explanatory power:

    Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012
    Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,
    Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy.,,,
    The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,,
    http://crev.info/2012/10/shini.....rk-energy/

    And yet, to repeat,,, “The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    per wikipedia

    This is just fascinating! Why in blue blazes should my choice whether to observe a unstable particle or not put a freeze on the entropic decay of that unstable particle unless consciousness and free will was and is more foundational to reality than the 1 in 10^10^123 entropy is?

    Quantum Mechanics also falsified Rolf Landauer’s notion that ‘information is physical’ by doing something, shall we say, ‘unexpected’ as far as the second law was concerned. As the following two articles state, “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.” and “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    Scientists show how to erase information without using energy – January 2011
    Excerpt: Until now, scientists have thought that the process of erasing information requires energy. But a new study shows that, theoretically, information can be erased without using any energy at all. Instead, the cost of erasure can be paid in terms of another conserved quantity, such as spin angular momentum.,,, “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”, Vaccaro explained.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    Also of related interest in regards to the second law and quantum mechanics, the following article states, “It establishes a connection between well-documented quantum physics processes and the theoretical quantum channels that make up quantum information theory.”
    The work predicts certain conditions under which the H-theorem might be violated and entropy—in the short term—might actually decrease.,,,
    “Although the violation is only on the local scale, the implications are far-reaching,” Vinokur said. “This provides us a platform for the practical realization of a quantum Maxwell’s demon, which could make possible a local quantum perpetual motion machine.”

    Researchers posit way to locally circumvent Second Law of Thermodynamics – October 20, 2016
    Excerpt: “It establishes a connection between well-documented quantum physics processes and the theoretical quantum channels that make up quantum information theory.”
    The work predicts certain conditions under which the H-theorem might be violated and entropy—in the short term—might actually decrease.,,,
    “Although the violation is only on the local scale, the implications are far-reaching,” Vinokur said. “This provides us a platform for the practical realization of a quantum Maxwell’s demon, which could make possible a local quantum perpetual motion machine.”
    For example, he said, the principle could be designed into a “refrigerator” which could be cooled remotely—that is, the energy expended to cool it could take place anywhere.
    The authors are planning to work closely with a team of experimentalists to design a proof-of-concept system, they said.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-10-p.....amics.html

    The preceding has now been experimentally verified. As the following article states: “a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.”, (and then they state more provocatively as far as free will and consciousness is concerned), “Now in information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    EMH, why would intentional ordering of information, choice and work VIOLATE 2nd law, instead of simply implying compensating entropy creation as is commonplace with heat engine theory? Remember, the 2nd law was developed in the context of designed heat engines that carry out shaft work. All that a Smith Model two tier controller bio cybernetic loop entity would be doing is having intelligent supervision of the loop as a vehicle for freedom to act in an intent-driven, rational way. The locus for the quantum influence would be the brain and CNS as in the loop i/o controller. Influence on microtubules has been suggested. KF

  14. 14
    gpuccio says:

    EricMH at #11:

    “but if free will can influence quantum non-determinism in a non-random way, then it could theoretically violate physical laws like 2nd law of thermodynamics and perhaps other things.”

    I don’t think that is the case.

    The quantum interface would allow consciousness to “select” specific quantum events among those possible in accord with physical laws. IOWs, it would act, in a sense, like a Maxwell’s demon of sort.

    The only violation would be the generation of new complex functional information, but that is of course possible if it is consciousness that originates the process.

    I believe that no violation of the second law as a physical law is necessary to input functional information into a material system

Leave a Reply