It is natural to suspect that those who evoke the Quantum at every turn are a bit deranged. Has a Quantum obsession replaced God? God died, but not the need to obsess? (Dominique Deux made a wry remark in that direction.)
Nietzsche himself is an example. Having “killed” (his father’s) “God“, Nietzsche obsessed about the (Indian based) “Eternal Return of the Same”, something from the Zeitgeist. Henri Poincare’ soon demonstrated some dynamical systems roughly do this (although I certainly do not believe all Solar Systems will; recent observations have confirmed my hunch: many Solar Systems are very unstable, the Sun-Jupiter harmony may be rare.)
Note: The featured image, from 1996, is poor, as the Quasar is very far. We need another telescope, but plutocrats don’t want it, because they would have to pay more taxes, thus rendered unable to treat the Commons as dirt as much as they desire. Yet, in spite of the plutocratically imposed low resolution, one can see the mighty ultra-relativistic jets arising from the Quasar’s core.
Obsessing about the Quantum is obsessing about the true nature of Nature. As it turns out it’s much simpler and magical than the classical picture.
Nature is the Quantum writ large. Relativity, the Standard model, the Big Bang: these are all amusements of dubious veracity. The Quantum is the Real Thing. And it’s everywhere. Most people just don’t know it yet.
Even Biological Evolution Theory, or Free Will, are going to be revealed to be within the Quantum’s empire.
There is something called “Free Will Skepticism” as massaged in Gregg Caruso Scientia Salon’s essays, and his (celebrity) TED talk. It is not so much skepticism about the existence of Free Will, but skepticism that those who loudly believe in “Free Will” have a constructive, progressive attitude in the society of the USA.
Ultimately, the problem of Free Will will have to tackle the problem of what are exactly the free agents in Quantum Physics.
Well, nobody knows for sure. What the free agents are is the central problem of Quantum Computing, and the high energy physicists’ wild goose chase for high energy processes went the other way, for two generations, so we don’t know what determines the evolution of the Quantum systems.
High energy processes are of interest only in high energy places, none of which are found where the biosphere lays. In other words, much physics, high energy physics used the Quantum, but did not try to figure it out.
Not knowing what the free agents, if any, of Quantum Physics are imply that we do not know what determines the evolution of the simplest processes.
The simplest processes are, by definition, the Quantum processes.
As long as we do not really know what controls simplest systems, talking about whether there is Free Will, or not, is shooting the breeze.
Free Will is even a problem in Quantum Non-Local analysis.
On-going experiments on non-locality. In some hard core physics labs. Those experiments aim to turn around the problem that we may have no Free Will.
The situation is this: doing a measurement at point A was found to have an influence at point B. The influence propagates orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light (as the formalism of basic Quantum Physics theory predicts).
French physicist Alain Aspect was able to show this with crafty optico-acoustic devices (he got the Wolf prize for this, and, clearly, ought to get the physics Nobel). The question remained, though, that maybe Alain Aspect himself was a pre-determined phenomenon deprived of Free Will.
To check this, Aspect’s experiment is going to be re-run with distant quasars in charge (rather than just some French guys). MIT physics department is doing this.
Free Will is the last major loophole of Bell’s inequality – a 50-year-old theorem on Spin that, as it is violated by experiments, means that the universe is based not the (topologically separated) laws of classical physics, but on Non-Locality.
Actually this is all very simple. (No need for the fancy high school math of Bell’s theorem, a particular case of Non-Locality with spins.)
Two quasars on opposite sides of heavens are so distant from each other, that they would have been out of causal contact since the (semi-mythical) Big Bang some 14 billion years ago: there are no possible means for any third party to communicate with both of them since the (semi-mythical) beginning of the universe.
Now, of course, if my own version of the universe is true, and the universe is actually 100 billion years old, the “loophole” re-opens.
But of course, as a philosopher, I know perfectly well that I have Free Will, and, as a momentarily benevolent soul, I extend the courtesy to Alain Aspect.
The universe is Non-Local, even my Free Will is Non-Local, it does not have to be like long dead gentlemen thought it should be.