by Cynthia McKanzie
Can we have power
to change events in our lives
or is everything predetermined?
Does the future
What power do we
have as individuals
events in our lives...?
Scientists, philosophers and theologians have long wondered whether
everything is predetermined or if we have a
The subject is one of the greatest mysteries in science and
it seems that we can find an answer to our question in
quantum physics, but there is a
Quantum physics deals
with behavior of matter and its interactions with energy on the
scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It's the study of the
microscopic world. It results in what may appear to be some very
strange conclusions about the physical world.
Quantum physics can be intimidating, but once you understand the
basics, you suddenly discover it offers answers to mind-boggling
questions, and at the same time raises new questions.
Ancient people have long
had their own opinion about free will and quantum physics
would have been regarded with great skepticism thousand of years
According to many old
beliefs, there is no choice, the fate is unavoidable, and it
is simply our destiny, followed by the end of everything,
The idea of a person's
fate being spun was widely known in ancient Europe.
fate and destiny can be
encountered in Greek, Roman and Slavic mythology.
Europe people believed in
the Norns, who ruled over
philosophy, the laws
of karma are rooted in the
idea that actions have determined consequences.
Catholic Church support
the free will 'theory.'
The Catechism of the
Catholic Church (no. 1730) states that,
"Man is rational and
therefore like God; he is created with free will and is
master over his acts."
As our knowledge has
increased, modern science, and physics in particular, can speak more
forcefully on the issue.
Physics Supports Free Will
According to Mike Specian theoretical astrophysics at
Johns Hopkins University,
"the laws of physics
are literally mathematical functions.
Input the state of a
system, and the output tells you the future, like where a ball
thrown off a cliff will land or how much light will bend as it
passes through water.
Of course, gathering
all the information needed to perfectly describe the state of a
system may be impossible.
So too may be the
quest to learn every last one of the laws of physics. But
philosophically, classical physicists operate under the
presumption that a full set of these laws do exist and with
complete omniscience would be sufficient to predict all future
If you accept this simple premise, then the laws of classical
physics render the universe fully predictable and hence, fully
predetermined, unless one of two things are true:
there is no
definitive 'state of a system'
the laws of
physics are non-deterministic, i.e. the same initial
conditions will generate different final results
To date, scientists
have encountered no evidence to suggest that the laws of physics
Some scientists think we can only
watch what happens in our lives.
Many physicists and neuroscientists believe in determinism, but
according to quantum physics nothing can be predetermined, no matter
how events may appear.
Quantum physics shows the
past as well as the future, is created.
Or we could simply say that there is no past and no future.
We create both,
continuously and in unpredictable ways.
So, quantum physics does
support free will.
What Does the
Superstring Theory Say about Free Will?
In another article we talked about how we could
see past, present future events simultaneously
- if we could access higher dimensions.
superstring theory, one of the
leading theories today has the potential to unlock one of the
biggest mysteries of the universe, namely how gravity and quantum
physics fit together.
The superstring theory
contends that there are 10
Nine of these
dimensions are of space and one is of time.
So, as you can see there
is a contradiction here.
According to the
superstring theory you don't have a free will because the
future does already exist. If string theory turns out correct, then
perhaps we could finally prove or disprove determinism and find out
whether we do have a free will or not.
Finding answers to those big science questions is just fun as