“Twice within two and a half thousand years there was a notable departure from the belief in the strict necessity of physical events. The first time this happened only about 150 years after Leucippus. We gather this from the didactic poem of Lucretius, who was the posthumous mouth-piece of Epicurus, who lived in the fourth century B.C. Their suggestion had no consequences, it was all but forgotten. The second time the strictly causal linkage in the chain of physical happenings was thrown into doubt was only 30 years ago by Franz Exner in Vienna. About ten years later (that is, about twenty years ago, from today ) the disbelief in strict causation became part and parcel of you might call the 'new creed' now adopted by most physicists and called 'quantum mechanics'.
Both times, the alleged break-down of strict causality in the domain of physics was hailed for removing the obstacle in our understanding the spontaneity of the movements of the animals and of man—in understanding free will, as one usually calls it. Let us see whether this claim is justified.
The hypothesis, as reported by Lucretius, was very simple indeed. He just states that the atoms do swerve in a very small but entirely undetermined and unforeseeable way from the courses you would expect them to take from supposed strict physical laws. No theory of the swerves is offered. This amounts to saying that the strict laws are only figments. The actual path of a particle is to a small extent arbitrary in the neighborhood of the fictitiously prescribed path. It is not illogical to surmise that the several little arbitrarinesses of the single atoms collaborate to bring about the apparent arbitrariness in the behavior of the animals and of man. What Lucretius forgets is that he has explained nothing, he has solved no problem. He has only referred the problem back to the ultimate particles, where it has become much more difficult to grapple with. The simplest, spontaneous bodily movement, say lifting of my arm, would require the planned collaboration of billions of single atoms in their undetermined swerves, if they should bring about the integrated action.
In modern physics, the denial of strict causation is of entirely different nature, in two respects. First, there is no question of only small departures from a fictitious exact law of motion. The behavior of primal particles, as electrons for instance, or of small atomic systems composed of only a few of them, is now supposed to be undetermined and unforeseeable within a wide margin of uncertainty. It is thought that in times we have to allow a particle the choice between several entirely different courses to take. Let this for the moment be figurative speech, meaning only that nothing in the observed situation determines the course the particle actually takes. But on the other hand the situation is supposed to determine with rigorous precision the statistics of the various possible “choices.” Given the same situation over and over again, the particle will, for instance, in exactly two thirds of the cases follow one course, in one third of cases the other one; and similarly when there are more than two courses to follow.
Again, the same as 2,000 years ago, it has been suggested that this breach of strict causation leaves room for the display of the spontaneous movements in the animals and in man. Is this claim justified? I think not.”
“We are convinced that [the second law of thermodynamics] governs all physical and chemical processes, even if they result in the most intricate and tangled phenomena, such as organic life, the genesis of a complicate world of organisms from primitive beginnings, [and] the rise and growth of human cultures.”
See main: Note to Chapter 6The basic difficulty in Schrödinger’s negative entropy theory is that he equates sustenance (metabolism) with measures of entropy. In the correct sense, sustenance is a function of substrate interactions, as studied in the field of surface chemistry. In an appended note to his thermodynamics-life chapter, however, Schrödinger states that:
“The remarks on negative entropy have met with doubt and opposition from physicist colleagues. Let me say first, that if I had been law catering for them alone I should have let the discussion turn on free energy instead. It is the more familiar notion in this context. But this highly technical term seemed linguistically too near to energy for making the average reader alive to the contrast between the two things.”
“When you feel your own equal in the body of a beautiful woman, just as ready to forget the world for you as you for her – oh my good lord – who can describe what happiness then. You can live it, now and again – you cannot speak of it.”— Erwin Schrodinger (c.1940), Publications 
“Whence came I, whither go I? Science cannot tell us a word about why music delights us, of why and how an old song can move us to tears. Science is reticent too when it is a question of the great Unity – the 'one' of Parmenides – of which we all somehow form part, to which we belong. The most popular name for it in our time is god – with a capital ‘G’. Whence come I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question, the same for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.”
“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, god and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. In particular, and most importantly, this is the reason why the scientific worldview contains of itself no ethical values, no esthetical values, not a word about our own ultimate scope or destination, and no god, if you please. Whence came I and whither go I?”
“I shall quite briefly mention here the notorious atheism of science. The theists reproach it for this again and again. Unjustly. A personal god can not be encountered in a world picture that becomes accessible only at the price that everything personal is excluded from it. We know that whenever god is experienced, it is an experience exactly as real as a direct sense impression, as real as one’s own personality. As such he must be missing from the space-time picture. ‘I do not meet with god in space and time’, so says the honest scientific thinker, and for that reason he is reproached by those in whose catechism it is nevertheless stated: ‘god is spirit’.”
“I never realized that to be nonbelieving, to be an atheist, was a thing to be proud of. It went without saying as it were.”— Erwin Schrodinger (c.1940), Publications 
“Our creed is indeed a queer creed. You others, Christians (and similar people), consider our ethics much inferior, indeed abominable. There is that little difference. We adhere to ours in practice, you don't.”— Erwin Schrodinger (c.1940), Publications