Re: The Barren Desolate Wasteland of Superdeterminism

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Sat Jan 26 2002 - 05:18:17 GMT

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    Subject: Re: The Barren Desolate Wasteland of Superdeterminism
    Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 20:18:17 -0900
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    > > Let me set something straight here. There is no branch of science that
    > > go out and prove the correctness of a theory. QM is no different: you
    > > prove whether or not it corresponds exactly to how nature works.
    > Well the difference is, although not theoretically complete, that we
    > can observe newton's laws for instance. If i let something fall it falls
    > and has a certain increasing velocity. This can be directly
    > observed. What can't be proven here of course is that this is
    > universally true.

    > Now there is the difference to quantum mechanics. We also can
    > observe certain behaviors of electrons like in the double-split
    > experiment which are sure true and which i don't deny.
    > BUT what quantum mechanics does it that it not only observes the
    > behavior of electrons and the statistical outcome of the experiment
    > but it also concludes from this that the behavior is indeterministic
    > or random. And this part is wrong in my eyes.

    QM only asserts that it is indeterministic as allowed by the probability
    distribution derived from applying QM laws. It's usually not completely
    nor is it completely deterministic of course. The interpretation of QM and
    the laws of QM are a separate as semantics is from syntax. You can be
    adept in QM without bothering to step into the morass of interpretation.

    If you have no better, more deterministic alternative, to QM one is even
    obliged to say that an outcome is inderministic when QM tells you so as you
    are simply in no position to state otherwise.

    > The right conclusion would be to say that the behavior can't be
    > explained with the knowledge and measurement-tools we have so
    > far. But it should keep the option open that there might be an
    > underlying (deterministic) physical law behind it.

    Yeah well, like I said earlier on hidden variable theories didn't make it
    One day perhaps, but until then, we have to make do with good old QM.

    > At this point it is of course just belief. It might be 'truly random' or
    > there might be a law behind it. We don't know. Some people find it
    > more comfortable to think of a random underlying structure, and
    > some prefer thinking that God does not throw a dice.

    A few people are willing to accept the former alternative though and the
    few I know are all physicists including myself. Perhaps there are a few
    people on the list without proper schooling in physics but `brave' enough
    to share the QM-blues too. The ramifications of
    determinism runs deep, really deep in human perception and worldviews.
    The world as we perceive it seems to obey deterministic classical causal
    laws everywhere we look. This is the rightful basis of our intuition.
    But it doesn't apply to the non-visible QM world where things are a little
    different. In the microcosmos observables like position and momentum
    lose their sharp edges and literally become blurry, indeterminate,
    and causality breaks down.

    > QM is not a bad theory because it can be used for constructing
    > advanced tools. There's no problem in using the statistical
    > knowledge we have. The only point which annoys me is the
    > philosophical opinion behind it, which is not required for the theory
    > to be useful.

    Show a little more respect for my beloved QM please. Without QM you wouldn't
    be able to read the emails I send you. Moreover, we wouldn't even
    know of eachother's existence!


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