Are equations like F=MA or e=mc squared metaphysical statements about energy and force or are they empirical observations about regularly occurring correlations?

I think you can safely take them either way. You could take them to be more or less definitional of the terms involved. In that case the empirical question would be whether the terms pick out real quantities in nature. Or you could take the terms to pick out independently identifiable quantities and then they would be empirical statements.

Do the developments in quantum mechanics (i.e. the best we can do on a very micro level is give probability distributions), really have anything to say about free will? It might mean that determinism isn't true (although there could be a weaker "probabilistic determinism" that gives the likelihood of different possible events), but introducing chance into the equation isn't helpful to free will either.

Also agreed. Here is an argument that determinism doesn’t undermine, butenhances, free will. (1) Our actions are caused by our propositional attitudes,such as desire, hope, acceptance and belief. (2) The more deterministic the relationship between out attitudesand our actions, the more freedom of will we possess. (4) The more control we have over our own attitudes the morefreedom of will we possess. (5) Our control overown attitudes consists in the influence of some of our attitudes over others.E.g. We want to smoke. We also want not to smoke (These are called first-orderdesires) And we want not to want tosmoke and we do not want to want to smoke. (These are called second-orderdesires) We have freedom of the will toextent that our desire not to want to smoke wins out. (From ‘Freedom of theWill and the Concept of a Person’, Harry Frankfurt, The Journal of Philosophy,1971). (6) The more deterministic the relationship between oursecond-order desires and our first-order...