Newtonian Determinism says that the universe is a clock, a gigantic clock that’s wound up in the beginning of time and has been ticking ever since according to Newton’s laws of motion. So what you’re going to eat 10 years from now on January 1st has already been fixed. It’s already known using Newton’s laws of motion. Einstein believed in that. Einstein was a determinist.

Category: Science, Video

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17 Responses to “Why Physics Ends the Free Will Debate?”

  1. Sarge says:

    For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction – Newton

    For every physicist with a theory (A) there is another physicist with an equally plausible theory (B) that is diametrically opposite to that of Theory A.

    Heisenberg was right.

  2. ben22 says:

    very interesting video Barry

    so how many years until we are actually living Minority Report

    where are the pre-cogs?

  3. donna says:

    Um, no. Not at all what that means or what Einstein believed. Sigh.

  4. wngoju says:

    Agree with donna

  5. tagyoureit says:

    Higgs Boson = Free Will. :D

  6. webscale says:

    As a whole – Yes the future is already determined for the world.

    As an individual , there is a lot of amount of randomness that makes an individual do better or worse than others. This is called reaching out to your potential OR outliers OR having control of your destiny OR several other things the guru’s of the world say in different forms.

    Apply this analogy to neutrons in physics , stocks in a market or humans in this world – Works perfectly.

    For me, personally, the story about Hiranyaloka answers the future of mankind in general. We are all destined towards something based on Karma. But , we can have a say to the extent we reach the destiny. Which further feeds into your next destiny.

  7. lunartop says:

    An excellent “In our time” podcast on “free will” can be heard here

  8. Greg0658 says:

    1st I’d post – I love that line in a “Star is Born” the movie with Barb & Kris who sings “are you a figment of my imagination or I of yours” .. sort of MatrixI stuff

    2nd – I think Einstein & Heisenberg are both right in their realms – radiations, gravity & time is a set system – atoms & various animals species not so.

  9. RandyS. says:

    So, does this mean that sex will never deviate from just once a month? Screw you universe, screw you Newton and screw you Einstein.

  10. eddiejessup says:

    All time exists at once. Different time paths are available to us at different branches of the path we’re currently following.

    Predetermination would assume that only one outcome is possible – but all outcomes exist – it’s just that we only experience one set of outcomes. Which outcomes we experience depend on which time path we choose with our thoughts and actions.

  11. Casius King says:

    Free will is relative.

  12. rachandant says:

    The speaker in the video clearly has “Einstein hair envy”.

  13. Jack says:

    I believe in the Tooth Fairy. So what? Einstein’s “beliefs” were a little more knowledge based than astrologers. He also didn’t say he “knew”. He said he “believed”. Big, enormous difference.

  14. godot10 says:

    Einstein gets a bad rap for not liking some of the implications of quantum mechanics, since it was his revolutionary paradigm exploding work on the photoelectric effect that accelerated the development of quantum theory by decades.

  15. favjr says:

    This is sad. He really does a great disservice to science by telling us that Einstein was a determinist in this sense and that Newton’s laws require determinism. That’s just wrong. And trying to apply physics to other sciences — particularly the soft ones like human psychology or philosophy — is a symptom of what is called “physics envy”. It just doesn’t work. The most egregious example is the entire field of neoclassical economics, which supposes there are static equilibria like a ball coming to rest in a bowl, when the reality is a complex dynamic system that seldom reaches any sort of equilibrium.

    The only law of physics that is readily adaptable to other fields — and the one most frequently ignored — is entropy, which means simply that absent affirmative forces, things tend towards disorder and chaos.

    If you don’t clean your house (a force), it devolves into a filthy mess. If you don’t use your mind, it turns to mush. If you don’t wash your car, it rusts and decays. Abandoned buildings crumble. Markets fluctuate randomly until there is a significant event (or actor) to move them.

    Entropy is everywhere. And always gets you in the end. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust . . .

  16. KJ Foehr says:

    Pure BS.

  17. tricksmeme says:

    1) Uncertainty does not prove Indeterminism in the sense of acausal events. There are a number of (non-local) deterministic interpretations in Quantum physics that are equally as viable as say the Copenhagen interpretation, and equally as uncertain due to the uncertainty principle.
    2) Uncertainty does not grant free will. The free will/determinism debate is not about predictability, but rather that events are forced by preceding events if the universe is deterministic. Whether we can measure both momentum and position or not is besides the point of the debate.
    3) Indeterminism is not compatible with free will. Even if we except the notion that acausal events happen, they would be even more of a detriment than causal events. An acausal event can never be a willed event. At least with causality we have willfulness – though not free.

    * Free will is logically impossible in both a causally deterministic universe, and an indeterministic universe where acausal events are allowed in.

    Trick Slattery