Jim Al Kalili Darwin day lecture: written in the stars

  • #1
pinball1970
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Darwin day lecture: written in the stars: How to live happily in a deterministic universe.

University of Manchester 31.1.20

Did anyone from pf attend? Or has seen him discuss this topic?

Anyone interested in this topic?
Too philosophical?

There is a summary on his blog here https://www.jimal-khalili.com/blog/Do-we-have-free-will

J.A.K. is a physicist and I attended the talk hoping for physics which is what I got, mainly.

I am not that interested in philosophy and I would not have attended if it was a philosopher giving the same talk, just to give you some back drop.

Conclusion is we only have the illusion of free will and that everything in our entire lives is predetermined.

I was previously under the impression that the universe was not deterministic, possibly from reading about QM?

Interpretation of QM was mentioned During the Q&A He indicated he favoured pilot wave theory.

This may be a “shut up while we calculate,” type of post but I thought I would throw it out there.
 

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  • #2
BillTre
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I have previously read of the lack of free will based upon brain activity preceding conscious awareness of a decision being made. Don't know if that finding has been confirmed or not.
Considering that and having read Sean Carroll's book, The Big Picture, a similar conclusion from a physicist does not surprise me.

How to live happily in a deterministic universe
Enjoy your life.
Not much more to it, and it applies in all philosophically relevant cases.
Of course the decision to do that may be predetermined. :rolleyes:
 
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  • #3
pinball1970
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I have previously read of the lack of free will based upon brain activity preceding conscious awareness of a decision being made. Don't know if that finding has been confirmed or not.
Considering that and having read Sean Carroll's book, The Big Picture, a similar conclusion from a physicist does not surprise me.


Enjoy your life.
Not much more to it, and it applies in all philosophically relevant cases.
Of course the decision to do that may be predetermined. :rolleyes:
I have not read Sean Carroll's book.

The lecture touched on a lot of physics but I was surprised with his view.

The question I wanted to ask was, if the universe could be taken back, a rewind to the BB then let it play out again would we still be in the position now asking the question?

I have the illusion of free will and I suppose that should be enough.
 
  • #4
BillTre
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How would not having free will affect your behavior?
Would you decide its not worth deciding something if you have no free will?
Would that decision be preordained due to your lack of free will?
 
  • #5
pinball1970
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How would not having free will affect your behavior?
Would you decide its not worth deciding something if you have no free will?
Would that decision be preordained due to your lack of free will?
That is the annoying thing, there is no test or scientific enquiry that can tell us that we are sentient beings that make decisions on our own independently of the universe.
I thought free will was something we acquired by virtue of abiogenesis and then evolution.
JAK is saying that is not the case, I am going to die 2045 from a hospital infection in Manchester at 4.06am.
My son could not make it in time.
there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to stop it.
im fine with that in one sense, just not in the fact everything I do from now was always set. From the BB.
It won't affect my life ... because my life is already set. So are my thoughts on it!
I think I need to shut up and learn more science.
 

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