On this ID the Future Cornelius Hunter continues discussing determinism, which he describes as a “bizarre position” held “with great confidence” by scientists such as the German physicist Sabine Hossenfelder. It’s bizarre, says Hunter, because if it’s true, then the universe’s initial conditions and the laws of nature produced the particular works of Beethoven and Shakespeare willy nilly. If it’s true, then all one says or thinks — right or wrong, true or false — was determined some 13.8 billion years ago. But if that’s the case, then there are no reasonable grounds for concluding that one’s belief in determinism is true. And like David Hume’s argument against miracles, determinism makes a false dichotomy between natural law and free will. The take-home lesson, according to Hunter: be cautious listening to “experts” speaking outside their fields. Hunter is joined by host and historian of science Michael Newton Keas.
On this ID the Future Cornelius Hunter discusses the controversy over determinism and free will. Joined by host Michael Keas, Dr. Hunter, a specialist in biophysics and computational biology, takes listeners all the way back to Aristotle, then to Newton, then to Pierre-Simon Laplace, who theorized that a sufficient computation could determine the future based on just the universe’s initial conditions and the laws of nature. Laplace was a physical determinist, in other words, one who holds that the laws of nature determine everything. That includes human choices, which determinists today, such as German theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, take to be merely an illusory experience. But it’s “an irrational rejection of evidence” on their part, Hunter argues; evidenced by how blithely they sweep it aside.