Without human free will, freedom and liberty are meaningless concepts.
Many prominent scientists have concluded, in written statements, that the source of human free will cannot now, or ever, be logically explained as a natural phenomenon that is subject to the laws of physics and chemistry. Thus, free will cannot be explained by evolution which operates based on natural selection. These scientists include Stephen Hawking, William Provine, Marvin Minsky, Albert Einstein, and even Charles Darwin, himself, as well as others.
You don't need a scientific background to understand these concepts. Also, this is not the same as intelligent design theory.
By definition, free will cannot be explained by laws, otherwise it is not free. For free will to be truly free, the source of free will must be something other than a natural phenomenon subject to laws. It is what many refer to as a supernatural phenomenon, a soul.
I consider the statements of the above scientists to be valid science. They are logical conclusions based on scientific evidence (this is the essence of science). The scientific evidence is the evidence of decades of testing the theory of quantum mechanics and finding that natural phenomena interact according to the laws of quantum mechanics. The logical conclusion from this evidence is that human free will cannot be explained as a natural phenomenon that follows the laws of chemistry and physics. People (going back at least to Socrates) have given this "non-natural" source of free will a name: they call it a soul.
Some scientists (such as those listed above) respond that free will is just an illusion. The ramifications of that, of course, are far reaching. Without free will, human existence would be absurd. Without free will, I don't think you can even do science because you would not be able to freely decide whether or not the evidence supports the theory or hypothesis (Stephen Hawking also has something to say about this.)
However, I take on the question of the existence of free will in my book by having a free will test in which people are able to make choices and an examination of the possible explanations of the source of those choices rules out everything except free will. Again, I think this is scientifically valid evidence that leads to the conclusion humans have free will (which then leads to the conclusion humans have souls).
Please check out my web site www.ScienceOfSouls.com including the peer review comments and comments by others.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kevin Favero, PE and author
8918 Xerxes Circle
651 994 0404 ext 1109
Author of The Science of the Soul: Scientific Evidence of Human Souls
Rated "Must Read" by Public News Service in Today's Books "Book Register"
Winner of Midwest Independent Publishers Association 2004 Award in Religion and Philosophy