Free will is not an illusion; why the laws of quantum mechanics show us that our sensation of "free will" cannot be proved to be any kind of illusion. In this episode we'll look at what quantum mechanics is and roughly how it works; we'll talk about the relevance of quantum mechanics to consciousness, and we'll look at the strange scientific mystery of Schrödinger's Cat.
In this episode:
Why people assert that free will is an illusion - the brain as a mechanism - Laplace's demon - the brain depends upon quantum mechanical laws - an analogy for how quantum mechanics works - the problem of measurement - Copenhagen interpretation - Many Worlds theory - the Paradox of Schrödinger's Cat
I came across this short video on YouTube and couldn’t resist posting it. To be honest, the fact that Michio Kaku would defend free will surprises me. I had him pegged (for no reason but idle prejudice) as a “free will is an illusion” guy.
In this video he doesn’t really bring out the aspect of quantum physics which is really the most supportive of the whole idea of free will, though. He talks about randomness, and it’s true that the random nature of small things shows us that there is no iron mechanism that determines our actions, as some (such as Susan Blackmore) seem to think. But of course it’s still possible to argue that, if small things behave in a random fashion, that still doesn’t mean they are guided by some mysterious “will”.
We need to dig deeper into QM (quantum mechanics) to understand why it leaves the door wide open for free will without conflicting in any way with the known laws of physics. The behaviour of small objects seems to depend on the actual observations that we choose to make, and that’s what’s really so interesting about QM.
Quantum physics is an incomplete science, and I just know this article is going to come across as me searching for loopholes in physics that would allow free will, when in actual fact the case for free will is far stronger than it might initially appear from this brief summary.
What can I say? I can only implore you to check out the Quantum Mindcast, where I’ll be explaining episode by episode why the world is not quite as it appears and why we really do have free will.