free will

Fri, 20 May 1994 09:33:45 CDT

T.Riley writes,

>Bob Graber mistakes randomness and statistical inference. Randomness
>is, within certain constraints, predictable, and that is what modelling
>is all about. A flip of a coin is a perfect example. There are two variable
>and we can test whether they fall randomly or whether one of the
>variables is favored. It's wonderful, predicatble, and random falling
>of the coins can be modelled in our expectations and the expectations met
>or rejected. This has nothing to do with free will, however.

Randomness has something to do with free will the moment someone tries
to use it to prove that some phenomena are inherently indeterminate.
The outcomes of "random" flips are entirely determined physically, as
are the sequences of such flips. If the flipper exerted control of
all relevant variables, a sequence of any length would be fully
predictable. Instead, several relevant variables very uncontrolledly,
a situation which determines that a sequence of flips will have the
properties we refer to as "randomness." --B. Graber