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Posted by Mario Dovalina on July 3, 2001 02:08:54 UTC

"So-called random quantum events early on would cause major large scale differences almost immediately."

I'm not familiar with the specifics of quantum theory. Are the random events called random because they are unpredictable, or because two sets of identical inputs can result in two different outputs? If it's the first, I think our re-invented Universe would end up the same as it is now, since the events can only be considered random from our limited ability to percieve. The butterfly effect (as I understand it) isn't about random events so much as it is about the ability of a minor variable to influence a complex system. As long as the butterfly flaps its wings in the same way, the same results will occur. I do not see how free will can exist under such circumstances.

If, however, these quantum events are TRULY random, and not simply unpredictable by humans, then free will doesn't really exist either: it is simply a result of a random quantum event, in which case any personal choice is equally impossible. I think.

The only real argument for the existence of free will is that it feels like it exists. This is true, it DOES feel like it exists. But I can't understand HOW it can exist.

"The conclusion I have arrived at which makes the most sense to me is that Heisenberg has identified the 'wiggle room' for consciousness (free will) to act on the physical universe without violating any laws of physics."

Maybe I learned incorrectly, but I never viewed Heisenbergs's principle as giving any wiggle room. Regardless of whether or not we can measure an atom's position, it HAS a position. Regardless of whether or not we can measure an atoms's velocity, it HAS a velocity. Doesn't the principle just regard our ability to measure things on the quantum level rather than deal with the acutal nature of such things? If so, the only wiggle room you have is in your head.

I do find this interesting, Paul, even if I have no idea what the hell I'm talking about. Eagerly awaiting your response,


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