Category Archives: free will

Bill Nye screws up when tackling a question about free will

The wheels fell off the Science Guy juggernaut a long time ago, but Bill Nye still tries to heave the ungainly cart forward, desperately trying to remain relevant. As you know, I haven’t been a fan of his “comeback,” for his attempts to sell science have been ham-handed and embarrassing. (See some of my criticism […]

Once more: Why Christian List’s “proof of free will” fails

I’ve already written twice about the views of Christian List on free will, views called to my attention by Michael Shermer (see here and here). My interpretation of List’s views are that while he’s a physical determinist for molecules, he thinks that there is true libertarian “you could have done otherwise” free will on the […]

More about Christian List’s confusing views of free will

Yesterday I analyzed the free-will ideas of Dr. Christian List, a professor of political science and philosophy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In a long conversation with Michael Shermer, he expressed what I saw as his belief in libertarian free will that was still compatible with pure physical determinism of molecules. […]

Oy! : A completely incoherent defense of free will

I almost never listen to podcasts or podcast-style videos simply because I can read faster than I can listen to people talk, and because podcasts are invariably about 1.5 hours long, which is TL:DL for me. But I didn’t listen to nearly all of the following video (the beginning isn’t relevant) as Michael Shermer sent […]

Sabine Hossenfelder on why we don’t have free will, but why many still insist on it

Sabine Hossenfelder is a theoretical physicist at Frankfurt’s Institute for Advanced Studies, and a popular writer with a long-time website (see below) as well as a new book, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray. Reader Nat called my attention to her new post on BackReAction (her website) about free will. It’s short, but I […]

Two philosophers guilty of “philosophism” with respect to brain differences and free will

If “scientism” is the bad tendency of scientists to pronounce on matters outside their bailiwick, them I hereby proffer a new term: “philosophism“. And I define it as “the practice of philosophers pronouncing on matters outside their expertise”.  In the article below from the Irish Times, two philosophers Helen Beebee (University of Manchester) and Michael […]

Is there evidence for libertarian free will? Part 2.

Earlier today I discussed some of my problems with Alfred Mele’s 2014 book Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will. Like Dan Dennett, I agree that the book is somewhat tainted by being funded by and associated with a foundation (Templeton) that undoubtedly loves Mele’s ideas, but I’m not at all accusing Mele of writing […]

Is there evidence for libertarian free will? Part 1.

I’ll try to put up two posts on this topic today as a single one would probably be too long, falling into the TL; DR category. About two weeks ago, kvetching about the Templeton Foundation’s incursion into and corruption of philosophy and biology, I wrote about Dan Dennett’s criticism of Templeton. This came up when […]

Muddled thinking about determinism at the Discovery Institute

For some reason the Discovery Institute has a bit of an obsession with me, as they monitor this site and kvetch whenever I say something they can kvetch about at the no-comments-allowed Evolution News site. Usually it’s either Michael Egnor or David Klinghoffer doing the hatchet job, but this time we have Andrew Jones, someone […]

Michael Egnor gives a religionist’s view of free will and its implications for criminal justice

I really don’t like linking to Michael Egnor’s posts—or anybody’s posts—on Evolution News, the flaccid organ of the Discovery Institute. This is because, in the absence of evidence for intelligent design, the site has taken to ad hominem argumentation, ignoring evolution and simply attacking the evolutionary messengers. Egnor in particular has it in for me, […]