This article attempts to resolve the age-old conflict of determinism and free will. The problem is approached from two directions: biological information processing and physical determinism at the ontological and the epistemological levels. It is shown that biological information processing is neither absolutely deterministic nor completely random. It is shown that Laplace’s determinism can neither be proved nor disproved and is, therefore, an epistemological choice. It is further shown that a) Boltzmann’s statistical mechanics is irreconcilable with Newtonian mechanics, contrary to Boltzmann’s own claim, b) microscopic reversibility cannot possibly give rise to macroscopic irreversibility, c) Zermelo’s recurrence paradox and Loschmidt’s velocity-reversal paradox are valid arguments against Boltzmann’s claim, and d) in breaking the tie with Newtonian mechanics, Boltzmann was actually the hero that had freed us from the bondage of absolute physical determinism. Last but not least, it is impossible to design a scientific experiment to test the existence or non-existence of free will because of the impossibility to maintain the required homogeneity of human test samples. However, individuals who believe in the existence of free will have a more consistent worldview than non-believers. If free will does not exist, it is futile and meaningless to attempt to convince others that free will does not exist.
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- On Microscopic Irreversibility and Non-deterministic Chaos: Resolving the Conflict between Determinism and Free Will
Felix T. Hong
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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