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Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables?
The following was written before your last post about Schmelzer's work. I'll comment on that also, after a while, but am hoping Schmelzer himself will step in.


Dale wrote in PF insight: "There is often a desire by the philosophical community to add more structure to a scientific theory than what is represented by the 'mathematical model and minimal interpretation'."

We both agree with this. But Dale's glossing over an important point: "the philosophical community" includes physicists. The problem with modern (theoretical) physicists, they're all amateur philosophers.

Wheeler said, "No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon."  

This is (amateur) philosophy not science. The study of what's "real" is called ontology. Many books have been written about it by great (and not so great) minds. The view that only what's observed is "real" was once called idealism, and Berkeley was its best expositor. It might also be called phenomenology, other names. Anyway Wheeler's statement is true enough for a quick aphorism, but it's not science: there's no way to test it. As philosophy we can debate it endlessly. For instance, isn't a planet in some distant galaxy "real", even though we can't observe it? Or, the thought in my head right now is "real" to me, although no one else can observe it. Ontology is a great topic for philosophy but doesn't belong in science.

This is an example, I believe, of Dale's complaint, even though he probably wouldn't agree.


You're right, fixed-frame idea is commonly called "ether", as in Lorentz Ether Theory. Perhaps I'll use that term, it's more recognizable. But note that for this discussion, only fixed-frame matters. Read Schmelzer re. ether.

We agree SR allows a fixed frame, so consider GR. Well, most GR cosmology starts by identifying the "comoving frame", which is precisely the universe's hypothesized fixed frame. So all that GR work is still valid with "ether" assumption. When working in a solar system, with a star or Black Hole for instance, GR usually uses the obvious coordinate system centered on the star. Of course this is also compatible with the "fixed" comoving frame, by the POR. Only in extreme circumstances does GR mechanics get incompatible with a fixed frame. The classic example would be Black Hole interior, where we have to use a continuously changing sequence of frames to analyze the problem. But all such unobserved cases have NO experimental support. However if (for instance) wormholes were ever discovered, ether would be falsified and must be rejected.

TR wrote: This is the case with quantum theory based on Bell's theorem, with its ad hoc assumptions and diverse interpretations. The theories of relativity are mathematically complete. We forget that Einstein's intent was to allow GR as an intermediate theory toward a unified theory of gravity. That it fails does not warrant throwing the baby out with the bathwater. My case is quantum theory incompleteness -- same as EPRB.

Nobody wants to throw out any babies with any bathwater! GR is obviously correct in many important cases. Basically it has good experimental support within a solar system: out to a few light years (maybe). After that it fails completely - unless Dark Matter theory is correct, which is extremely not certain. At the least, GR is not validated by the behavior of objects like galaxies.

Within solar system distances - not just our own of course, but distant ones, including even Black Hole binaries and mergers - GR has decent experimental support. Also, gravity waves. But this data is not as reliable as most scientific data, which can be created at will in the lab. And there are quite a few anomalies such as Voyager and Pioneer. I expect there are conventional explanations for all these, and GR is in fact as accurate as any other theory, within its currently quite restricted domain. But for now, the experimental test space is only very sparsely explored. GR is far less validated than EM, QM, or indeed any other standard-model mechanics.

OTOH QM is very well-supported by experiment. QM validation data exceeds GR by many orders of magnitude.

Now, it's well known that - to put it naively - QM and GR are "incompatible". No one's been able to combine them in a "unified field theory". This statement can engender dispute, with topics like effective field theories, string theory, etc, coming up. Nevertheless I claim it's reasonable to say QM and GR seem to be incompatible. So there are two camps. The GR camp thinks it's probably right, and QM must be modified. The QM camp thinks the opposite. Obviously both may be wrong - in fact, undoubtedly neither theory is perfect. But many of us think one is almost right, the other rather wrong.

You're in the GR camp, along with Einstein, Penrose, many others. I'm in the QM camp, with fewer big names. To me QM (including QED, QFT) is very validated experimentally, GR remains definitely open to question. There's no point in debating the two views, it's been beaten to death.

TR wrote: No, I don't consider myself outside the mainstream; neither is Joy Christian.  He has been marginalized unjustly.

I consider Christian out of the mainstream, but that's not necessarily negative. After all the mainstream has got to be wrong on various points, although I don't know what they are.


secur previously wrote:  "This is an example of what we might call 'community-based peer review'. They published the paper, then the community 'peer-reviewed' it for them, decided it shouldn't be in the journal."

TR wrote: I was going to stay out of this, but on reflection, I find this disturbing.  Consensus science is where the likes of Vongehr and Gill want to take us.  Nothing could be more destructive to the creativity and progress of the discipline. Suppose "100 scientists against Einstein"  (or a thousand) decided the issue.  We would all be flat earthers or we would be gone.

I'm not saying 'community-based peer review' is necessarily a good thing. Remember I made the analogy with MicroSoft and their 'community-based Beta testing'. Not only do users find the bugs in Windows, they also have to find the workarounds. Obviously not good. In the past "real" peer-review worked quite well in physics, and of course it's still effective. But these days it also makes sense to just post papers on the internet and let everyone comment.

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RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - by secur - 09-03-2016, 01:25 AM

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