Heisenberg and Free Will In


Heisenberg and Free Will

In the post below, Kairos Guy says:

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle should answer the boy: It is impossible to know both the state of an object and its vector.

In other words, free will cannot help but be true within our universe.

As for God, He lives outside of time, where every possibility unfolds in a way that makes "the knowing" much less certain. Though it is vain to quote oneself, I will risk it. Look here for my answer from back in June:

I have two problems with this invocation of Heisenberg. (1) Heisenberg's uncertainty principle can only be invoked with respect to someone who is not omniscient. It IS possible to know these two things in an act of knowledge without measuring, which leads to point two. (2) The reason one cannot know both the velocity and position of a particle (subatomic) with accuracy is that the act of measuring one alters the other. In the subatomic realm, even bouncing a photon off of a particle alters the momentum of the particle because even if mass is not imparted, energy/momentum is. Thus Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle is primarily a principle that states the act of observation can/does alter what is observed. It is often improperly invoked to say that nothing can be certain. Or it pertains to objects in the macroscopic world, when for all practical purposes it does not. For example, you can know both the position and the velocity of a soccer ball. Bouncing a photon off a soccer ball does alter its velocity, but so minutely as to not be measurable for any practical, calculable purpose. You would have to have a great many more than thirty decimal places in your calculation of velocity to see the effect a photon would have on the velocity of a soccer ball. Since all practical measurement requires no more than three or four decimal places, you do not need this precision of description. Before that amount of velocity change would be macroscopically exhibited, the object would have already accelerated due to friction with the grass or another kick.

Because God does not use instrumentation to know the velocity/position of a particle, it is possible for God to know both. Free will in not assured by Heisenberg. In a similar way, when Gödel's Theorem is used as much more than metaphor, it is also misemployed in argument.

As to the remainder of the argument, I find it plausible, and essentially I restated the same (without realizing it--as I had not previously read the argument.) However, Heisenberg is not a useful principle in the question of free will.

All that said, I may have misunderstood the original intent, and will be happy to entertain further consideration of the proposition. Also, look for more on Gödel's Theorem in the near future.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 23, 2002 5:25 PM.

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