Currently interested in hyperspectral imaging & NeRFs.

So do we have Free Will or not?

I found this essay disgustingly blah, just blah. From a professor of Physics, I thought he would have honed in on specific examples why free will must exists, but not even a mathematical theory of the idea, he thought, was warranted. Yes we do have free will as he casually affirms mid-way through his essay:

I believe we still do. And it is rescued not by quantum mechanics, as some physicists argue, but by chaos theory. For it doesn’t matter that we live in a deterministic universe in which the future is, in principle, fixed. That future is only knowable if we were able to view the whole of space and time from the outside. But for us, and our consciousnesses, imbedded within space-time, that future is never knowable to us. It is that very unpredictability that gives us an open future. The choices we make are, to us, real choices, and because of the butterfly effect, tiny changes brought about by our different decisions can lead to very different outcomes, and hence different futures.

So, thanks to chaos theory our future is never knowable to us. You might prefer to say that the future is preordained and that our free will is just an illusion, but the point is our actions still determine which of the infinite number of possible futures is the one that gets played out.

The professor points alarmingly, solely, to chaos theory which is just one of many propositions for the existence of free will. As I described here, three mathematical concepts can be extrapolated to prove that free will must exists, thus unpredictability.

But evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne thinks what the professor explained is just a load of crap anyways:

It’s time to admit that our choices are made by our genetic and environmental history, for only that admission will enable us to adddress the legal and moral changes that must accompany an understanding of how our brain works and why we behave as we do.