As usual, the moderator says that I am wrong. He defends philosophers believing in scientific realism, even tho it leads them to say nonsense about quantum mechanics.
Lubos Motl attacks a Tom Siegfried essay in ScienceNews, and makes points that apply to the Scientia Salon philosophers as well:
Only armchair physicists, third-class physicists, and "philosophers" may consider these foundational debates about quantum mechanics to be a part of the actual research in 2015. Physicists know that all these questions have been settled since the middle or late 1920s.I agree with that, altho I would say that they were settled in the 1930s. Here was my response to Scientia Salon:
Summary: Bohr was right in the Bohr-Einstein debates. 80 years of attempts at philosophical realism have just layered conjectures on top of the theory. Those conjectures have either been proven false, become unworkable dead-ends, or imagined outlandish untestable fantasies.The philosophical realists mock Ernst Mach for skepticism about atoms, but Motl defends his philosophy:
Positivism states that all of our trustworthy knowledge about Nature comes exclusively from sensory experience – from observations, if we use a little bit more physical jargon. In the context of physical theories, it means that a physical theory a priori declares "all objects in the world around us" and words describing them as meaningless. Every physical theory has the right to do so. Every physical theory may work with its own fundamental and auxiliary concepts to describe our experience. The experience is the only "provably real" thing. But the point is that every question about Nature that can't be reduced to our experiences is considered physically meaningless or unphysical.That is right, and this form of positivism is entirely rejected by philosophers today.
(The Vienna Circle elaborated upon these important positivist observations and probably was the culmination of philosophers' understanding of the essence of modern science. When other philosophers such as Thomas Kuhn or Karl Popper began to be popular, the degeneration and putrification of philosophy of science was already underway. To return to Mach and his positivist predecessors, they generally erred by forecasting that "something would remain unobservable forever". For example, the founder of positivism Auguste Comte would predict that the chemical composition of stars would remain a mystery forever – just years before spectroscopy answered all those questions. But this error must be seen as a side effect of their important and right understanding that certain questions and claims are physically meaningless.)
With a grain of salt, we could argue that about 100 years ago, the philosophers were actually useful for the progress in physics. That's also why most of the greatest theoretical physicists of that time considered themselves part-time philosophers. After the Second World War, the philosophers had largely lost it. The greatest physicists of the post-war generation, the likes of Feynman and Schwinger, to mention two, were no longer admiring philosophy in the usual sense. They diverged. The propagation of the anti-quantum delusions by the contemporary philosophers may be viewed as a revenge against physics – revenge for the fact that science had to completely escape away from philosophy and the best physicists no longer have any intellectual respect towards the contemporary philosophers.That is correct, as I have also argued that Philosophy became useless in 1950. Nearly every post-WWII philosopher is rabidly anti-science. They refuse to accept XX century physics, and they deny that scientists discover truth. They have diverged from science like astrology.