Human free will might seem like the squishiest of philosophical subjects, way beyond the realm of mathematical demonstration. But two highly regarded Princeton mathematicians, John Conway and Simon Kochen, claim to have proven that if humans have even the tiniest amount of free will, then atoms themselves must also behave unpredictably.
That might seem bad news for dyed-in-the-wool determinists like me (sorry, I can't help it). But no, it was all pre-ordained that no less a personage than Gerard 't Hooft, long ago the top man of instantons, the subject of my PhD, would step in and save the (determinist) day:
Gerard ’t Hooft of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1999, says the pair’s conclusions are legitimate — but he chooses determinism over free will. “As a determined determinist I would say that yes, you bet, an experimenter's choice what to measure was fixed from the dawn of time, and so were the properties of the thing he decided to call a photon,” ’t Hooft says. “If you believe in determinism, you have to believe it all the way. No escape possible. Conway and Kochen have shown here in a beautiful way that a half-hearted belief in pseudo-determinism is impossible to sustain.”
So where do *you* stand - and remember, you have no choice in the matter....