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Scientific explanation of free will?

caudle at irp.nidr.nih.gov caudle at irp.nidr.nih.gov
Mon Nov 7 16:54:42 EST 1994

On 31 Oct 1994 22:19:12 GMT, 
Perry Friedman  <pbfriedm at us.oracle.com> wrote:

>Can someone please give me a SCIENTIFIC (ie non-religious) explanation
>of free will.
>It seems to me that given that thoughts and memories and so on related to
>"the mind" are all entirely physical quantities (again, we are ignoring
>religion here) and therefore, the laws of physics should govern the 
>interactions of the particles which make up our brain (and our surrounding
>stimuli) and while due to quantum physics, this may not be predictable or
>predetermined, it is also outside of our control.  Just as a tossed coin 
>does not have free will as to whether it will land on heads or tails it is
>also not "predetermined".
>I can not see any scientific backing to the concept of free will.  We may 
>decide to take some particular action, but that is just because that is
>how the particles in our brain happen to interact, and the particles 
>themselves (individually or collectively) can not "change" the laws of
>physics to make themselves or others act other than the way physics dictates.
>The concept that free will does not exist is disturbing and I don't want
>to get into it here, as this is not really the appropriate place.  I am
>just hoping that someone can explain to me a reason why free will COULD or
>SHOULD exist (and please leave "God" and "souls" out of it... unless you
>can come up with a SCIENTIFIC explanation of either of those).

Free will = directed chaos
Robert M. Caudle                                      "If I had my life to
NAB, NIDR, NIH                                         live over, I'd be a
Bldg. 49, Rm 1A-11                                     plumber."
9000 Rockville Pike                                        A. Einstein
Bethesda, MD 20892

Caudle at yoda.nidr.nih.gov
Caudle at irp.nidr.nih.gov

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