What Most People Fail to Understand about the Concept of Free Will

Between evolution and the weather.
yeah...on second thoughts I'm not sure I buy into the case that chaotic patterns are determinate.


I think it's entirely workable, because a pseudorandom number generator that is decoupled from the evolutionary processes is plenty random enough. And if I employ a true random number generator, then the algorithm is no longer deterministic.
I have no idea what "plenty random" means. I also don't know what you mean by "decoupled from evolutionary processes". I thought those were the "evolutionary processes" in a pseudorandom simulation. So I think you will have to explain further what you mean.


Sorry, I don't understand.
You can only have true randomness if not a determinism...

And so an evolution simulation with a true RNG is real evolution?
No. It's just a simulation featuring authentic as opposed to pretend open-ness.


I'm confused by this, too.
Which part? 1) you get to see the slips of paper and you know the folks outside the door like you to take at least "some" heed of them
2) It's still up to you.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
How is it not clear? The fact that we base mathematics off of intuitive understanding should make it obvious. Axiomization of mathematics failed and was proven impossible (a priori, no less!), yet we understand the mathematics.
We don't understand all the math. There are many postulates that we have neither proven nor shown impossible to prove.

A bit of the debate about how Godel applies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gödel's_incompleteness_theorems#Minds_and_machines

It's a fascinating debate, but I always have to reboot my knowledge when I delve into it.

~~ Paul
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
yeah...on second thoughts I'm not sure I buy into the case that chaotic patterns are determinate.
Chaos theory is about deterministic systems. But you cannot predict them without simulating them.

I have no idea what "plenty random" means. I also don't know what you mean by "decoupled from evolutionary processes". I thought those were the "evolutionary processes" in a pseudorandom simulation. So I think you will have to explain further what you mean.
Imagine that radioactive decay were deterministic. So out in space is some source of decay, bombarding the Earth with cosmic rays. Some of those rays cause mutations. I think it would be hard to make a case that the cosmic rays and the DNA were deterministically interconnected in any way that makes a difference. The rays are "plenty random."

No. It's just a simulation featuring authentic as opposed to pretend open-ness.
What more is required for real evolution?

Which part? 1) you get to see the slips of paper and you know the folks outside the door like you to take at least "some" heed of them
2) It's still up to you.
In the room, I have to take complete heed, because I have no access to any information that I might use to make my decision. I am nothing more than a fair 10-sided die.

Either that, or the room is not as simple as I'm picturing.

~~ Paul
 
Chaos theory is about deterministic systems. But you cannot predict them without simulating them.
No...what I mean is the unfurling of certain cloud patterns in the sky, for example. They can't be deterministic if a non-fated component (let's use that generic term for "true randomness" on your part and "cosmic will" on mine) contributes to their appearance.


Imagine that radioactive decay were deterministic. So out in space is some source of decay, bombarding the Earth with cosmic rays. Some of those rays cause mutations. I think it would be hard to make a case that the cosmic rays and the DNA were deterministically interconnected in any way that makes a difference. The rays are "plenty random."
Sorry I don't see that at all. They are obviously part of the same determinism.


What more is required for real evolution?
Why do you see that as a relevant question here? First, you need possible paths, which is a canvas that the non-fated component provides.

In the room, I have to take complete heed, because I have no access to any information that I might use to make my decision. I am nothing more than a fair 10-sided die.
What do you mean by "complete heed." It's up to you what heed you take. The advice is just a suggestion.

Either that, or the room is not as simple as I'm picturing.
I don't know what you are picturing. It's certainly as simple as what I am picturing :D
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
No...what I mean is the unfurling of certain cloud patterns in the sky, for example. They can't be deterministic if a non-fated component (let's use that generic term for "true randomness" on your part and "cosmic will" on mine) contributes to their appearance.
Oh, I agree. The question is whether we would have weather in a deterministic world.

Sorry I don't see that at all. They are obviously part of the same determinism.
Overall, yes. But if there is no operational relationship between the cosmic rays and the DNA on Earth, the resulting mutations are almost exactly as arbitrary as they would be if the cosmic rays were truly random.

Why do you see that as a relevant question here? First, you need possible paths, which is a canvas that the non-fated component provides.
We were talking about an evolution simulation with a true RNG. If that isn't real evolution, what more is required?

What do you mean by "complete heed." It's up to you what heed you take. The advice is just a suggestion.
So the President is not required to pick one suggestion out of the set using the specified probabilities? Then the room is not as simple as I pictured. I thought everything else was done by other modules. What more is going on in the room?

I don't know what you are picturing. It's certainly as simple as what I am picturing :D
My picture is clearly mistaken.

~~ Paul
 
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Oh, I agree. The question is whether we would have weather in a deterministic world.
Right. And probably not I think.


Overall, yes. But if there is no operational relationship between the cosmic rays and the DNA on Earth, the resulting mutations are almost exactly as arbitrary as they would be if the cosmic rays wee truly random.
What do you mean "operational relationship"? Why is being hit by a high energy source not "operational" on the DNA.

We were talking about an evolution simulation with a true RNG. If that isn't real evolution, what more is required?
No...I was talking about how pseudorandom *cannot* be a proper representation of evolution because there is no non-fated-component anywhere in the process.


So the President is not required to pick one suggestion out of the set using the specified probabilities? Then the room is not as simple as I pictured. I thought everything else was done by other modules. What more is going on in the room?
Of course he is not required, or it would not be a choice.

My picture is clearly mistaken.
It does seem so, to be honest.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
Right. And probably not I think.
I don't see why not. The weather would be chaotic but deterministic.

What do you mean "operational relationship"? Why is being hit by a high energy source not "operational" on the DNA.
Oh it is, but the deterministic operation of the various energy sources are not operationally coupled with the DNA. There is no lock-step connection between the sources and the DNA, so the cosmic rays are effectively random.

No...I was talking about how pseudorandom *cannot* be a proper representation of evolution because there is no non-fated-component anywhere in the process.
I said:

"And so an evolution simulation with a true RNG is real evolution?"

and you replied:

"No. It's just a simulation featuring authentic as opposed to pretend open-ness."

Do you think something more is required for real evolution?

Of course he is not required, or it would not be a choice.
Then we have gotten nowhere. How does the President pick one of the two options in a way that is not deterministic? What is the point of isolating him in the room if he is not actually isolated?

~~ Paul
 
But then the players who actually believe in free will would be confused. :eek:
This assumes that you would associate with people in your game-playing life who actually believe in free will. OK, so there you go, since that's true, then apparently you're an open-minded guy when it comes to the beliefs of your game-playing friends. This gets a big thumbs up from me.

But it also assumes that those of your friends who believe in free will don't know you well enough to know your opinion on free will, and that this is how you would (might conceivably) express it. This gets a big sad panda from me. :-(
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
This assumes that you would associate with people in your game-playing life who actually believe in free will. OK, so there you go, since that's true, then apparently you're an open-minded guy when it comes to the beliefs of your game-playing friends. This gets a big thumbs up from me.
I don't play games. I don't know which of my friends believes in free will. I suspect most have never thought about it.

But it also assumes that those of your friends who believe in free will don't know you well enough to know your opinion on free will, and that this is how you would (might conceivably) express it. This gets a big sad panda from me. :-(
The only people I've ever talked to about free will probably think I'm crazy.

~~ Paul
 
I don't see why not. The weather would be chaotic but deterministic.
But isn't one of the principles of chaotic dynamics that given identical start conditions (a chaotic pendulum over a magnet for instance) you *cannot* predict the outcome. I suppose it could always be argued that the initial conditions could not be made absolutely identical and so forth, but I think that's a weak argument. Chaotic systems don't persuade me that this universe is a determinism.

Oh it is, but the deterministic operation of the various energy sources are not operationally coupled with the DNA. There is no lock-step connection between the sources and the DNA, so the cosmic rays are effectively random.
I don't know how "operationally coupled" and "lock step connection" are to be taken to mean in these sentences. I'm still seeing it as part of the same determinism that can be reduced to a linear stack of type A >> ZZZZ.
I said:

"And so an evolution simulation with a true RNG is real evolution?"

and you replied:

"No. It's just a simulation featuring authentic as opposed to pretend open-ness."

Do you think something more is required for real evolution?
Of course I do, because evolution is more than the bare possibility of alternate futures. I am pointing out a tRNG does not an evolution make.


Then we have gotten nowhere. How does the President pick one of the two options in a way that is not deterministic? What is the point of isolating him in the room if he is not actually isolated?
Why is he not isolated? He can take the advice at the input box into account and he can choose not to, and he can choose any mix of the two. Again, I'm not seeing the problem. Again, I think you hanker for a mechanism that doesn't exist. "How" does he do it? Will is the nature of the how.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
But isn't one of the principles of chaotic dynamics that given identical start conditions (a chaotic pendulum over a magnet for instance) you *cannot* predict the outcome. I suppose it could always be argued that the initial conditions could not be made absolutely identical and so forth, but I think that's a weak argument. Chaotic systems don't persuade me that this universe is a determinism.
You cannot predict the outcome of a chaotic process at all, except by simulating it. But the same initial conditions produce the same results. I don't think you should be persuaded by chaotic systems.

I don't know how "operationally coupled" and "lock step connection" are to be taken to mean in these sentences. I'm still seeing it as part of the same determinism that can be reduced to a linear stack of type A >> ZZZZ.
Yes, it is. My point is that, as far as evolution is concerned, a decoupled deterministic source of randomness is just as good as true randomness. That is, if you believe that evolution works with randomness and doesn't require some cosmic will.

Of course I do, because evolution is more than the bare possibility of alternate futures. I am pointing out a tRNG does not an evolution make.
Then I have no idea what else you think is required. Are you suggesting some kind of intelligent design-ish thing?

Why is he not isolated? He can take the advice at the input box into account and he can choose not to, and he can choose any mix of the two. Again, I'm not seeing the problem. Again, I think you hanker for a mechanism that doesn't exist. "How" does he do it? Will is the nature of the how.
He is isolated because he has no access to his memories or to the current state of affairs. So what information does he use to make a decision other than simply to roll the die?

~~ Paul
 
You cannot predict the outcome of a chaotic process at all, except by simulating it. But the same initial conditions produce the same results. I don't think you should be persuaded by chaotic systems.
Well no, they don't. I'm not talking about a simulation,which is pseudorandom and of course produces the same results.


Yes, it is. My point is that, as far as evolution is concerned, a decoupled deterministic source of randomness is just as good as true randomness. That is, if you believe that evolution works with randomness and doesn't require some cosmic will.
Okay, I still don't recognize this category of "decoupled." It's part of the same stack.

Then I have no idea what else you think is required. Are you suggesting some kind of intelligent design-ish thing?
But you changed the nature of the question. The original discussion was about whether open-ness is necessary for evolution. Yes, I think so...as in, an oven is necessary to bake a cake. Your question now is like "I have no idea what else you think is required. Are you suggesting some kind of recipe-ish thing?" Why is this a relevant question with respect to the necessary but not sufficient presence of open-ness in the evolutionary picture?
He is isolated because he has no access to his memories or to the current state of affairs. So what information does he use to make a decision other than simply to roll the die?
I'm not answering this again. I've done so half a dozen times.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
Well no, they don't. I'm not talking about a simulation,which is pseudorandom and of course produces the same results.
The simulation could make use of a true RNG, but that is irrelevant. A completely deterministic chaotic process is still not predictable except by simulation.

Okay, I still don't recognize this category of "decoupled." It's part of the same stack.
If you don't believe that evolution can occur without cosmic will (or whatever), then this is irrelevant. So let's narrow that down first.

But you changed the nature of the question. The original discussion was about whether open-ness is necessary for evolution. Yes, I think so...as in, an oven is necessary to bake a cake. Your question now is like "I have no idea what else you think is required. Are you suggesting some kind of recipe-ish thing?" Why is this a relevant question with respect to the necessary but not sufficient presence of open-ness in the evolutionary picture?
Wait, now openness is necessary but not sufficient? That probably points directly at my confusion.

If pure randomness/arbitrariness is a form of openness, then it should be sufficient for your openness requirement for evolution. If it is not a form of openness, or if it is a form but not the necessary form of openness, then my question is: what else is required?

(I didn't mean to equate this to ID. I just want to know what else is required, if anything.)

I'm not answering this again. I've done so half a dozen times.
I don't think you've specified it in the context of information. If you have and I forgot, I'd appreciate you repeating what you said. My understanding of the room is that there is no access to any information other than the list of choices.

~~ Paul
 
The simulation could make use of a true RNG, but that is irrelevant. A completely deterministic chaotic process is still not predictable except by simulation.
Well, it's not irrelevant Paul, because the point I was replying to is that the initial conditions in chaotic systems produce the same results...no they don't, not in the real world. They only do this in pseudorandom simulations, which is a pretty good indicator that such simulations do not reflect reality.
If you don't believe that evolution can occur without cosmic will (or whatever), then this is irrelevant. So let's narrow that down first.
In what way shall we "narrow it down" that, say, the concept of true randomness does not also need "narrowed down"?

Wait, now openness is necessary but not sufficient? That probably points directly at my confusion.
Yes, of course. Open-ness is necessary (imo) but this is not enough to beget a world of zebras and oak trees.

If pure randomness/arbitrariness is a form of openness, then it should be sufficient for your openness requirement for evolution. If it is not a form of openness, or if it is a form but not the necessary form of openness, then my question is: what else is required?
It may be sufficient for my "open-nes requirement" but it is not sufficient for evolution. Other factors are necessary. Cosmic will in my opinion, chief among them.


I don't think you've specified it in the context of information. If you have and I forgot, I'd appreciate you repeating what you said. My understanding of the room is that there is no access to any information other than the list of choices.
Well...you could begin by reminding me why it is that a naive "President" who has access to the basic alternatives and to the advice weightings arriving at the input gate, cannot make a decision based on that information and native aptitude. He does not need access to external "memories." All he needs are the boildown of the scenario considerations from all "expert modules"...and that can be reduced to a number, he doesn't even need to know what ANY of that is about...added to his ability to select among outcomes. You now have the complete functional choice module...and it will indeed function.
 
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