Determinism Debunked

All the molecules of the universe are in a specific place and possess a particular speed and trajectory. They are in that state based on where they were a second before because Newtonian laws of physics dictate their motion. 

And since they’re required to follow the laws, there is only one determined place they can be a second in the future, too. The past determined the present and the present the future. This applies to all molecules, including those of your body. 

That poses a philosophical question. How can you decide to move your arm in any other way than where its molecules are already dictated to go? How can you have free will in such a determined universe? 

“Newtonian” and “quantum” are the two types of physics that rule the universe. The outcomes of Newtonian physics are theoretically predictable and quantum physics are not. Because Newtonian physics makes up 99% of your experience, its grounding makes up most of your understanding of the world. 

The flight of a baseball from the mound to home plate makes sense because you’ve encountered similar occurrences your whole life. Likewise, the curving path of a spaceship to the moon feels intuitive, too. You may know nothing of the math, but with practice, you have the ability to throw wadded paper balls five feet into the trash can. 

You and your ancestors have practiced Newtonian physics for millions of years in order to survive. Its rules are so entrenched that you want to apply them to the molecular world as well. And for many such events, they work. 

The idea of molecules bouncing around like pool balls is reasonable. Their speeds, trajectories, and collisions follow rules as you would anticipate from your macro-world knowledge. They also vibrate and tumble as you would expect. 

However, there is one part of the molecular world where Newtonian physics doesn’t apply. And that's where quantum physics comes into play. 

Molecules randomly transfer energy packets between themselves. For example, molecule A emits a pulse of energy that is absorbed by molecule B. The time at which A emits the pulse is random. And where the pulse is absorbed is also random. I said that B absorbed it, but it just as well could have been absorbed by C, D , E, or any other molecule in the universe. 

The pulses wouldn't be of interest if they caused no change to the molecules. But they do. When A emits a photon, it loses some of its energy. As a result, it could rotate at a slower speed or exhibit reduced vibrational intensity. Future collisions between A and other molecules are now altered. 

Likewise, the energy absorption by B causes it to spin faster or vibrate more rigorously. its future collisions also will be changed. The otherwise fixed Newtonian future has a new one. It's important to note that transfers, like those between A and B, occur all the time. Thus, the block universe of Newtonian physics is transformed into one altered constantly by quantum physics. 

Although most scientists see the when and where of energy exchanges as random, I see them differently. I believe you’re observing the will of God. He has determined every exchange since the big bang. 

But there is an exception. He has allowed you to control transfers in your body. That is how you control your finger to type a "g" instead of an “f”. Or to choose the up elevator button versus the down. You execute your free will through the movement of pulses of energy between molecules in your body. 

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