Fallacy

Paul Snively http://psnively.github.io/blog/2015/01/22/Fallacy/#comment-1881981921 asks:

 

“I think Christian’s response #4 is no response to the critique on his work, because it responds to a non-issue. So it may have some interesting content but it is besides the point: whether or not Bell was wrong? I think you don’t understand Bell’s theorem well enough hence you think that Christian came up with a smart answer to his critics.”

You don’t have to “understand” Bell’s theorem, as such, at all to demonstrate how it fails. I’m willing to break it down, step by step, if you are. Disqus hasn’t uttered a peep about our extravagant consumption of their resources—yet. 🙂 I will ask one yes-or-no question per comment. You may answer with either “yes” or “no.” If you wish to elaborate, please do so on your own blog or other freely publicly accessible forum of your choice and provide a link along with your “yes” or “no.” Let’s begin.

Do you understand that Dr. Christian’s work consists of two arguments:

1. Bell’s theorem fails to be a no-go theorem.
2. Given 1), here is a locally realistic model that predicts what we find in quantum mechanical experiments.

Yes or no?

My answer was no and I gave three links: http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.5103, http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.1504, http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.2677

However three links was too many so now I only give one, to this blog.

Actually first of all I answered yes but with a proviso, because I do understand, of course, that this is the intended content of Christian’s work, but on the other hand, both the two arguments are actually wrong. Paul’s question was “ill-formed”. A bit like “when did you stop beating your wife?” (you must reply by giving a date, otherwise I will delete your answer from my blog).

(1) is wrong: see J.O. Weatherall (2013). The Scope and Generality of Bell’s Theorem.
Found. Phys. 43, 1153–1169.

(2) is wrong: Christian’s “model” is logically flawed. Simulate the model in the one-page paper and it certainly doesn’t reproduce the singlet correlations. But anyway, who cares: Bell’s theorem proves it is impossible. It is impossible to simulate the singlet correlations by a LHV model in the rigorous constraints of a decent Bell-CHSH type experiment. Bell’s theorem can be seen as a theorem about distributed (classical) computing. What can be computed, what can’t. It tells us, in view of the fact that apparently nature can violate Bell inequalities (ie. according to quantum mechanics) that nature cannot be understood, even approximately, as a discrete stochastic classical automaton.

The difficulty with answering yes/no questions is that both answers can often be wrong. Either answer, without proviso or explanation, can be misleading. “Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer”. This is why when you ask a Zen master a question he answers yes but nods his head for no (or vice versa).

Next time I’ll answer “yes and no”.

Paul Snively shows by his questions, so far, that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Which in itself is interesting, of course. And nothing to be ashamed or, either.

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