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Q & A: electrons and free will

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Most recent answer: 09/22/2009
Q:
I could not wait to ask someone this. Alright tell me this can the electron and free will be somehow related? I read about this in an article that electrons follow the uncertainty principle and there is always a non zero probability of finding an electron in a given space. So can human free will be somehow related to this weird property of electrons? Even if you don't know the answer tell me what your opinion is.
- anuragaimax (age 25)
A:
I'm glad you're willing to settle for an opinion, because this isn't a matter of pure science. It's true that everything small (electrons aren't special) is described by quantum mechanics, so what happens is partially unpredictable. It's not just that we don't know enough to make the predictions, it's that nature itself has nothing in it to determine the outcomes. (This interpretation is based on the violations of the Bell Inequalities.) So in that sense something is "free". The problem is that these random quantum outcomes have no basis whatsoever in the prior universe. Since the  outcomes aren't a function of anything in your head it's hard to see in what sense they can be called a result of "will".

Mike W.

(published on 09/22/2009)

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