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Member Since 29 May 2010
Offline Last Active Dec 29 2013 10:23 PM

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In Topic: The Fairy tale story of Quantum Mechanics

29 December 2013 - 10:27 PM

View Postdavidm, on 28 December 2013 - 06:43 PM, said:

Nothing in this review, or in his six-minute clip, explains why the QM story is a "fairy tale." This is particularly surprising given that, according to the review, he acknowledges that QM passes all empirical tests with flying colors. You cannot call something that passes all empirical tests with flying colors a "fairy tale" on pain of logical inconsistency. It's not surprising, then, that, as the review notes, he "glosses over" QM in his book. All one can conclude from this is that he recognizes that QM runs afoul of Ayn Rand's so-called ontology and epistemology; it must be noted that all members of the Rand cult think exactly alike, else they are excommunicated. Rand's ontology is falsified by QM; hence, as a good Randroid, he must pronounce QM to be "a fairy tale." It's exactly like William Lane Craig saying that if there should ever be a clash between Revealed Scripture and empirical evidence or a logical argument, Scripture must take precedence. I don't know what else there is to say about this because it appears he gives no argument for why QM is a "fairy tale," leading me to believe that he has not got such an argument, beyond the fact that QM runs afoul of his particular scriptural Randian beliefs.

The video is about the origins of QM, not whether it works or not.

And yes, I too am disturbed by quoting a Randian as a source, nevertheless, the video echo's my own frustration with the Copenhagen consensus. Since his words are better than mine, I posted them.

In Topic: The Fairy tale story of Quantum Mechanics

28 December 2013 - 05:34 PM

View Postdavidm, on 28 December 2013 - 04:40 AM, said:

This is great, Ayn Randroids vs. QM, the most successful theory ever invented, arguably even more successful and predictive than the theory of evolution! :)

The two-slit experiment: if you fire photons or electrons or indeed any object through a two-slit barrier one at a time, and do not attempt to detect their passage at the slits -- i.e., which slit they pass through -- then they will eventually form a wave pattern on the far wall! This means that these objects, if they are not observed at the slits, passed through both slits at the same time, along with every other possible path to the far wall. That's what's known as anti-realism -- that there is no mind-independent reality! What we call "real" is what we measure. Of course Many Worlds solves this problem, but at what many hold to be an extravagant ontological price.

Randites hate Copenhagen because it contradicts their central political dogma -- that there is an existent, mind-indepdent reality. Einstein would agree, but unfortunately Copenhagen QM begs to differ with Einstein and the Randites. Einstein dreamed up a thought experiment to show that QM was an incomplete theory, and that there were local hidden variables that explained the apparent indeterminism, non-locality and anti-realism of QM. In 1980, for the first time, it was possible to conduct an experiment to test Einsteins' thought experiment, a real, empirical test. Result: Einstein wrong. Every test since than has confirmed this. But, hey, an Ayn Randite makes a 6-minute Internet video denying QM, so that carries the day! :rofl:

It's perfectly legitimate to point out where this guy is coming from, but here is an excerpt from a review of his book, and we can see he doesn't deny QM...

"One big failure of Harriman's argument is his cursory treatment of quantum physics. Quantum physics represents the greatest challenge to his argument, I think, and he glosses over it, indicating that the thinking behind it is wrong-headed but not actually proposing an alternative approach. But he does acknowledge that the mathematical formalism of quantum physics has matched empirical verification with flying colors, unheard of in any other area of human knowledge. While he might not like that quantum physicists do not understand or investigate the root causes of the quantum phenomena they're working with, the fact that the formalism matches experiment this precisely cannot be viewed as a meaningless accident. Clearly, the quantum physicists are doing something right! It is dismaying that he does not devote as much attention to the failures of quantum mechanics as he does to the successes of atomic theory, because I think there are potentially some insights to be gained there."

"Not surprisingly, he has some words to say about the big bang theory and string theory as well, viewing them as areas where science is profoundly overstepping the bounds of what can be known. He strikes me as a little quick to judge these as failures and I think some further analysis of them (more than the couple of pages they are afforded) would definitely go a long way toward fleshing out the theory of inductive knowledge that he advocates."

"Despite these flaws, as described above, I feel like the book helps illuminate the power of inductive reasoning within the physical sciences. It is not conclusive, but rather represents a good first step in a revised way of looking at the problem of induction."
The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics by David Harriman - Physics Book Review

In Topic: The Fairy tale story of Quantum Mechanics

27 December 2013 - 09:55 PM

View Postdavidm, on 27 December 2013 - 08:57 PM, said:

Once again, I'm asking: what is the fairy tale of QM that this guy, and presumably you, thinks he has exposed? Because he sure doesn't say. He just calls something a "fairy tale," and then the video cuts off at six minutes. Presumably there is more to this video, in which this guy explains what he means. Can you explain what he means? And yes, the Copenhagen interpretation denies causality. But there is much more to QM than that, such as anti-realism and non-locality (on the Copenhagen interpretation). If you stick with the C interpretation, we already know, contra Einstein, that there are no local hidden variables in QM that would restore, on the C interpretation, causality, realism and locality. We know this experimentally, i.e., empirically. So, again, what's the point that he is trying to make? An argument from incredulity is all it sounds like, right now: "I personally cant' see how this can be true, ergo it's a fairy tale."

It would seem that you agree with him, since you reject the Copenhagen interpretation, then you are agreeing that it's a fairy tale. His lecture includes the fact that even before the C interpretation, German Physicists wanted to do away with a cause and effect world. The Copenhagen interpretation is evidence to their already made conclusion.

Are there not many who still stand by the C interpretation?

In Topic: The Fairy tale story of Quantum Mechanics

27 December 2013 - 08:01 PM

View Postdavidm, on 27 December 2013 - 07:08 PM, said:

BTW, even his discussion of the Copenhagen interpretation, which is what he's talking about while ignoring all the competing interpretations, is wrong. Copenhagen does not say that things don't exist until they are observed/measured and then when they are, they somehow pop into existence. It says that to ask about the state of some entity before observation/measurement is a meaningless question; that all that is meaningful is to state the properties of an entity after measurement. Thus Copenhagen says that science is not about noumena, but the phenomenal: QM is just about what we can experience and hence describe. In that I'd say Copenhagen is Kantian.

I have read links posted on this forum, that the moon itself is not real, or material, but at least in theory can collapse at any time, with one respected Physicist saying, "well yes, there is something there, although not what we think it is."

His point, which he makes over and over again, is that the "fairy tale" as he calls it, denies casuality. Is this not true? Schrodinger of course, invented his cat to mock this kind of thinking, and the results today is that the cat is neither alive nor dead until we open the box to check... :tape:

You bring up the Many worlds interpretation. Interesting. So, we know that the cat is dead in one world, and alive in another. So are the number of possible worlds, very large, or are they infinite? Logically, they would have to be infinite, and we have a new fairy tale to put all the others to shame. Forks in the road of course puts the number of stars in the universe to a piddling number not even worth bothering with.

In Topic: The Fairy tale story of Quantum Mechanics

27 December 2013 - 04:02 PM

View Postdavidm, on 27 December 2013 - 05:17 AM, said:

Sorry, didn't feel like watching, what's supposed to be so "unteresting" or "uninteresting," as the case may be?

It's a short interesting video, in which the author challenges some of the assumptions, not of Quantum Mechanics itself, but of it's implications. He goes to the heart of the philosophy behind the origin fairy tale, and points out the basic flaw. It's about five minutes. An impressive demolition.