Subatomic particles have free will

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posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 02:53 PM
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Subatomic particles have free will
Wednesday, 25 March 2009by Cat O’Donovan




SYDNEY: If humans have free will, then so do subatomic particles such as electrons, say American mathematicians.

"If experimenters have a certain freedom, then particles have exactly the same kind of freedom," wrote mathematicians John Conway and Simon Kochen, of Princeton University in New Jersey, in a recent paper published in Notices of the AMS.

"Indeed, it is natural to suppose that this latter freedom is the ultimate explanation of our own," they said.

Subatomic freedom

Now, to some, this is a very controversial notion. However, when taking into consideration this:



Quantum mechanics is a theory that uses probability to predict how particles will behave. But on a case-by-case basis, the behaviour of each particle is almost completely unpredictable.

Unpredictability

I think one is hard pressed to argue against the idea. With that being said, there have been alternative explanations to this unpredictability, but none have shown to be any more likely than the supposition of "subatomic free will." Here is one alternative explanation that some have given for the unpredictability factor:


Not accepting such unpredictable behaviour, some scientists have proposed the existence of hitherto unknown forces or properties they call 'hidden variables'. They argue that the randomness of particle behaviour is only a mirage, and the behaviour would be entirely predictable - or 'deterministic' - if only the hidden variables were known.

This, the duo argue, is no longer a valid interpretation of quantum mechanics. "Any such theories must now contain some indeterminism - or 'free will'," said Stephen Bartlett, a quantum physicist at the University of Sydney, who agreed with the general thrust of the arguments made by the Princeton duo.

Odd

Now, while I do believe that the subatomic world is strange, I also find it somewhat strange that Bartlett would off handedly disregard the "hidden variables" explanation. I suppose that it gets back to the same old "war of ideas" that has always permeated the scientific community.

Hmmmm...if you read the next paragraph, this is stated:


"Conway and Kochen prove that the randomness does not depend on anything. They prove that the outcomes of these quantum random events are really completely independent of anything that has happened in the past," he added.

Acceptable

While I can certainly accept this, I think it is important that we all realize that most of quantum physics is highly speculative. The truth is, we really don't know what is going on at the smallest scale of matter.






[edit on 25-3-2009 by SpeakerofTruth]




posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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You should watch what the 'bleep' do we know. Good documentary on quantum mechanics.



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by DaMod
You should watch what the 'bleep' do we know. Good documentary on quantum mechanics.


I actually own it.
It is a good documentary.



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 03:53 PM
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Good posts.

I think this is key.

Science wants to base everything in materialism and this is based on nothing but their personal beliefs.

When we explore the universe and seek the truth there's no law that says everying must begin and end with materialism.

Maybe consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe and this is what things like this is telling us.

We may be consciousness in a state of decoherence.

There's no law that says everything has to be based in a strict interpretation of materialism while we explore and seek the truth about a universe that we don't fully understand.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
Maybe consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe and this is what things like this is telling us.



That certainly does seem to be the case. I have said for quite some time that there must be a prime consciousness in order for anything to exist.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:45 AM
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So if a person is in prison, do the particles inside him or her, have free will. This goes against your point does it not. There might be a bit about, this stuff, but it is not as much as some claim.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by andy1033
 


Well, actually, I have some reservations about the whole concept of "free will." I actually posted an entire thread on the concept. Here is a link:
Concept of Free Will is a lie

Now, I am not going to outrightly say that I don't believe in it, but I do have some reservations as far as the concept of "free will" is concerned.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by andy1033
So if a person is in prison, do the particles inside him or her, have free will. This goes against your point does it not. There might be a bit about, this stuff, but it is not as much as some claim.


I think that question could be answerd in this way.

You may be in prison, but part of the wave function of these particles might be hanging out with friends in a parallel universe because in this universe you didn't commit the crime.

The sub atomic partcles would be conscious of both states and the decohered vessel or human body would be conscious of one state but he may be subconsciously aware of both states. So he may have a dream that feels very real that he was out of jail but his local conscious convinces him it was just a dream.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:41 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 

You have misunderstood what these scientists are saying.

They are not claiming that subatomic particles have free will.

They are explaining that there is no such thing as free will.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 04:09 PM
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Originally posted by andy1033
So if a person is in prison, do the particles inside him or her, have free will. This goes against your point does it not. There might be a bit about, this stuff, but it is not as much as some claim.


If the person is not in prison the particles have the same free will as they do if the person was in prison so you are wrong.

Also, just because they have free will does not mean that that don't have to be restricted by certain laws or limitations within the free will.

Can the particles escape weather I can escape or not? No there will always be particles within my body and that make up my body because well i'm not sure but either are you.

I do however know that my body is still here and has been for 24 years so those perticular particles must adhere to some type of rules or regulations within the free will.

This does not mean that they don't have free will though.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 04:11 PM
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We have as much free will as a thought in our head does.

If there is a supreme consiousness then we have free will within the bounds of that consioussness and it is such a vast scale of one ( all universe is included) that we can't measure it within our mind or the human brain and therefore conclude it as being Free will.

I think. :-)



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
You have misunderstood what these scientists are saying.

They are not claiming that subatomic particles have free will.

They are explaining that there is no such thing as free will.


Well, my view of "free will" is kind of complicated. I am not ready to outrightly rule out the concept. Honestly, I would like to believe, with out any doubt, that there is "free will."

However, throughout my 31 years of life, it has always seemed to me that our decisions, I suppose this would apply to the subatomic world, are based more on the consideration of circumstance and consequence than what we actually would want or like to do. In that sense, I think our actions are very deterministic.



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 12:57 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


In that sense, I think our actions are very deterministic.

It might be better to say that they are determined.

Isn't it curious how jealous we are of our free will, how strongly we desire and insist upon it, when all around us we see how peace of mind and even happiness are so often found in surrender - to love, to mystical contemplation, to the doctrines and disciplines of a religion or cult.

I suppose we prize free will because it's a kind of ejector seat - 'I can always bail out of this if I want to.' Or is there more to it than that?



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 01:10 PM
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It is my understanding that we have way too much free will, but that's a lot of work so we don't use it.

When our son was in the hospital, I'll never forget the doctor saying that so many patients "ride the great respirator of life, because it's easier than breathing on your own"

I think we choose to come down here to earth lab 101 and we pack our suitcases full of challenges and support, but some people pack badly or overload on the challenges. And so many pack too lightly on the challenges or just give up and ride the respirator.

But I bet when you do that, you don't graduate, and you just have to come back.



posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 01:49 PM
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reply to post by DaMod
 


I loved that movie and Dr Quantum, lol! have you seen "down the rabbit hole"?

There's a whole Dr quantum series on Youtube, worth the watch!

greets



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Isn't it curious how jealous we are of our free will, how strongly we desire and insist upon it, when all around us we see how peace of mind and even happiness are so often found in surrender - to love, to mystical contemplation, to the doctrines and disciplines of a religion or cult.



Yes, it is. Of course, I suppose that it can be argued that it is our "choice" as to whether or not we want to do such things. To me, "choice" and "free will" doesn't necessarily flow hand in hand though.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 03:34 AM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
To me, "choice" and "free will" doesn't necessarily flow hand in hand though.

They don't. How many times, faced with a choice between two undesirable outcomes, have you found yourself wishing there was a third way?



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
They don't. How many times, faced with a choice between two undesirable outcomes, have you found yourself wishing there was a third way?


Astynax, that is precisely why I question the concept of "free will." Like I said, I'd like to believe in it, but I have my reservations.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 07:24 PM
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Wouldn't you agree that for all practical purposes, whatever you say you believe, it is impossible not to act as if you believe in free will?

I find it an interesting paradox that if you truly believed you had no free will, and you acted in good faith on that belief, you would behave like somebody who believed they had total free will. That's to say, you would do anything that took your fancy, whenever you wished, safe in the knowledge that you were simply doing what you had no option not to do!

BTW - I concluded many years ago that the essence of free will must reside in quantum uncertainty. What appears random is in fact "willed", but I struggle to develop the idea any further. Is the brain some sort of quorum sensing device in which bits of quantum free will cooperate via neurons to explore their relationship with the rest of the universe...

I agree that the concept of "free will" remains enigmatic and suspect it is in some way indivisible from the concept of consciousness.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:33 AM
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Originally posted by EvilAxis
If you truly believed you had no free will, and you acted in good faith on that belief, you would behave like somebody who believed they had total free will.

Isn't it great? Yes, to an outside observer it may well seem like that. However, the person who 'truly believes' he has no free will (I am such a person) is forever having that belief confirmed by observation: all human beings, whether they abstractly believe in free will or not, know that they toil beneath the lash of necessity.

The illusion of free will is common to all but the hopelessly insane, yet it is most certainly an illusion. As Nietzsche playfully said,


It is certainly not the least charm of a theory that it is refutable; it is precisely thereby that it attracts the more subtle minds. It seems that the hundred-times-refuted theory of the "free will" owes its persistence to this charm alone; some one is always appearing who feels himself strong enough to refute it.

Beyond Good & Evil 1. xviii



I concluded many years ago that the essence of free will must reside in quantum uncertainty.

Sadly, it does not. The uncertainty of outcomes at the quantum level is eliminated on a macroscopic scale; it is no part of the world of events we inhabit, though that world seems to emerge from the quantum one.


What appears random is in fact "willed", but I struggle to develop the idea any further.

That is well and honestly said, though I believe you are wrong. Quantum outcomes are not determined consciously. It is the act of 'measurement', not observation, that fixes an event, and for this purpose an artificial measuring device of some kind is quite sufficient; consciousness is not called for. Indeed, the concept of decoherence (which some say resolves the so-called 'measurement problem') treats any thermodynamically reversible physical interaction as an act of measurement - indeed, a cascade of such acts. Thus Wikipedia:


Quantum decoherence gives the appearance of wave function collapse and justifies the framework and intuition of classical physics as an acceptable approximation: decoherence is the mechanism by which the classical limit emerges out of a quantum starting point and it determines the location of the quantum-classical boundary. Decoherence occurs when a system interacts with its environment in a thermodynamically irreversible way.

Decoherence is not, of course, the only approach to resolving the observer paradox. Everett's many-worlds hypothesis is well-known even among the conspiracy buffs of ATS, and Stephen Hawking is said to be fond of it. Personally, I don't care for it; the apparently infinite multiplication of universes seems too inelegantly prodigal. Here is another approach: a 'many minds' rather than 'many worlds' hypothesis, according to which


all the significant information which we see around us exists within our own individual structural histories. We exist by randomly becoming choices of possible futures and then those choices are fixed into our pasts. We look at a cat which, for us, may be either alive or dead, and what we see becomes part of what we are.

In this interpretation, there is obviously no room at all for free will. It is, despite superficial appearances, a realist, not an idealist formulation.


Is the brain some sort of quorum sensing device in which bits of quantum free will cooperate via neurons to explore their relationship with the rest of the universe...

This may be free, but it is not will. And indeed, no aspect of quantum theory offers any means for consciousness-as-will to choose between possible quantum outcomes. We do not know how to determine what outcome shall follow from any quantum observation we make; it follows that quantum outcomes cannot be willed.


I agree that the concept of "free will" remains enigmatic and suspect it is in some way indivisible from the concept of consciousness.

I propose that it is simply an illusion: a play in the Cartesian theatre, a side-effect of consciousness, which is itself a side-effect of the organization and activity of the human brain.





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