humani nil a me alienum puto

random rants about news, the law, healthcare law, economics and anything I find amusing

Princeton University – High-powered mathematicians take on free will

A favorite topic of my undergrad years — is there free will and if so where does it come from.  Interestingly, theoretical mathematicians and particle physicists are weighing in.  And if they are right, there is something fundamentally causally disconnected at the particle level.  In other words, uncertainty at the particle level might give rise to uncertainty on the macro level and a place for ‘free-will’ to exist.  John Conway and  Simon Kochen are working on a paper and presentations at Princeton that “will have one focus. [They are ]set on explaining …the tenets of their “Free Will Theorem.” The gist of it is this They say they have proved that if humans have free will then elementary particles — like atoms and electrons — possess free will as well. ”  They explain, “[i]t’s not about theories anymore — it s about what the universe does. And w’ve found that from moment to moment nature doesn’t know what it’s going to do. A particle has a choice.”

The smallest particles inside an atom have a property known as “spin.” And scientists have found that the spin of some particles may be related to the spin of other particles something known as “entanglement” and also known as the “twin” axiom. However an experimenter s choice of spin direction to measure cannot be communicated faster than the speed of light. This is the “fin” axiom. Looking at this sequence of facts the mathematicians have been able to extract the conclusion that if a human experimenter can make decisions independently of past events then the particle can also make a free choice.

via Princeton University – High-powered mathematicians take on free will.


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