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Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables?
Wheeler said, "No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon."  

secur: "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."

Then you're a Popperian, too. Wheeler's aphorism is falsifiable -- it just omits the element primary to observation: theory.  Observations made in the absence of theory aren't meaningful; I use the example of CMBR.  Before the Penzias and Wilson discovery in 1965, two competing theories of cosmology -- steady state and big bang -- were held in more or less equal esteem.  Because the big bang theory predicted the phenomenon, and steady state opposed it, only big bang had meaning.  However, that doesn't mean that some other observation might not elevate steady state and falsify big bang.  Popper famously said, "All life is problem solving," and he reduced this statement to conjectures and refutations.  Science is a cooperative, progressive enterprise.  There is no 'truth' in science of the kind that ontology (and religion) pursues; there is only verisimilitude, 'truth-likeness.'

Popper's opponents at the Vienna school of logical positivism weren't interested in philosophical problems, and Popper had to take great pains to prove to them that philosophical problems really exist.  Wittgenstein (Vongehr's favorite) promoted "language games and forms of life" in which there could never be an objective scientific theory of "the moon being there when no one is looking."  

In Popper, there is potentially such a theory.  It's up to the ingenuity and creativity of the theorist to craft a measurement framework and experimental schema by which the conjecture may be falsified.  In other words, there are things which are falsifiable, and yet unfalsified; things that are falsifiable, and falsified; and things that await a conjecture to make them falsifiable.

In Popper's philosophy, nothing is ever over and done (his autobiography is titled Unended Quest).  It insults science, in my opinion, to think the contrary.  To elevate this certainty to a social experiment, such as the quantum Randi challenge, is a double insult.

Fact is, that Bell’s theorem rests on no foundation except philosophy.  So let’s get that out of the way, and examine what’s left.  Later.

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RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - by Thomas Ray - 09-04-2016, 02:01 PM

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