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Thread: Lee Smolin makes the bold claim that QM is wrong!

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    Exclamation Lee Smolin makes the bold claim that QM is wrong!



    https://www.nature.com/articles/d415...iRkzUh6Zybl_1w

    I'm going to hang back with my opinion of this.....
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    Default Re: Lee Smolin makes the bold claim that QM is wrong!

    Wrong vs incomplete? Guess I'll have to wait until I can read it.
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    Default Re: Lee Smolin makes the bold claim that QM is wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by GCoyote View Post
    Wrong vs incomplete? Guess I'll have to wait until I can read it.
    Hello GC.
    I have had this book early and it really is an arguement for incompleteness, but one could construe that to mean "wrong". He goes into some interesting, to me, discussion regarding the several catagories of view he labels "realist" and "antirealist" and the nuances of each camp. As a layman I am finding it interesting just learning about the arguement.
    I would be interested to hear comments from other readers regarding Smolin's points.
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    Default Re: Lee Smolin makes the bold claim that QM is wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by GCoyote View Post
    Wrong vs incomplete? Guess I'll have to wait until I can read it.
    First of all.... All physics theories are incomplete because they are not physical reality itself. They are conceptual and mathematical models only. Just as your tongue does not burn when you say "fire", black holes are not created when you solve Einstein's GR equations for one. The theories summarize data, only.

    There is only one way a theory can be wrong: it makes a prediction that is falsified by experiment. Quantum theory has never (at least not yet) been falsified, so a claim that it must be wrong is a bit cracked IMO.

    As a philosophy, realism has been dead since William of Ockham sharpened his bright and shiny razor. Entities are not to be needlessly multiplied. All versions of realism postulate really existing universals or really existing abstract objects, hence they multiply entities beyond what can be pointed at. Realism is opposed to the empiricism (collect data, fashion theories that explain, keep testing until they fail) that is foundational to the scientific method.

    So every time a physicist proclaims themself a realist, I'm afraid I see a problem. They are committing to a non empirical metaphysics that has zero to do with doing physics.

    It's understandable. If you are looking to make a theory of everything the illusion of achieving a permanent truth is awfully tempting. So good folks go off the rails.

    Feynman said it best: "Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds."
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    Default Re: Lee Smolin makes the bold claim that QM is wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    So every time a physicist proclaims themself a realist, I'm afraid I see a problem. They are committing to a non empirical metaphysics that has zero to do with doing physics.
    Well, I'm not sure how Smolin would describe himself. It was the author of the piece that describes him as "a philosophical ‘realist’ — someone who thinks that the real world exists independently of our minds and can be described by deterministic laws." And the author puts him in the company of two others he also calls philosophical realists, Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein. If Smolin talks, I'll listen. But I take your point (and the author's) that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I'll have to put Smolin's book (as well as "Time Reborn") on a very long "to read" list. But I know it's going to take some work for me to understand it all.
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    Default Re: Lee Smolin makes the bold claim that QM is wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by stargazer55 View Post
    Well, I'm not sure how Smolin would describe himself. It was the author of the piece that describes him as "a philosophical ‘realist’ — someone who thinks that the real world exists independently of our minds and can be described by deterministic laws." And the author puts him in the company of two others he also calls philosophical realists, Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein. If Smolin talks, I'll listen. But I take your point (and the author's) that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I'll have to put Smolin's book (as well as "Time Reborn") on a very long "to read" list. But I know it's going to take some work for me to understand it all.
    Smolin is often a good read, to be sure.

    Still there is an element of "philosophic realism" that goes over the edge. The assumption of a real world that exists independently of our minds and can be described by deterministic laws" is by itself innocuous. I make the same assumption but I am not a philosophic realist because I do not further assume that those laws are knowable. Folks who assume universals and the reality of abstract concepts assume that objective reality is knowable in some way that is faithful. That I think is a leap of epistemology and is the mark of a physicist tho is a philosophic realist. They think that physics can be finished. I don't.
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    Default Re: Lee Smolin makes the bold claim that QM is wrong!

    Got my curiosity piqued on this one. I'll have to get a copy after I finish Tegmark.

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    Default Re: Lee Smolin makes the bold claim that QM is wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by jcj380 View Post
    Got my curiosity piqued on this one. I'll have to get a copy after I finish Tegmark.
    This is really an interesting book. I am not a physicist and have no skin in the game so I en enjoying the historical content very much. It seems to be a good job of presenting QM and its history for the non scientist. And as is my habit it will lead me to follow the subject further.
    I am thankful that nFA started this thread.
    I had begun reading this book about two days before. It has given me a much better understanding and perspective when I hear or read this subject being discussed.
    I hope you get a chance to read it. It is also available in audiobooks. :-)
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