"Science Should have a Rational, Causal Foundation"
This paper proposes adoption of a certain set of postulates that would restore the scientific “Standard Model” to a fully causal basis and infer that there must be some physical reality beneath the Heisenberg Limits. It is claimed that, since the Copenhagen Interpretation would continue to apply as a simplifying assumption in quantum theories, the postulates should cause no serious disruptions of current scientific practice, even though some theoretical and philosophical interpretations would be limited. But most importantly, these “Fundamental Laws of Science” would reopen the philosophy of science to causal theories of universal physical existence. One or more of these might finally unify the fields and complete the model by placing into context the antientropic universal process called Evolution, including Man and his works. Such philosophical unification could well be more descriptive and useful than any possible probabilistic unification. This might well stimulate and facilitate an increase scientific literacy among the general population. Not only would this better equip self-governing societies against the irrationality that is always threatening to destroy them, but it would also improve their chances of dealing with the technological challenges that must lie ahead.
SCIENCE SHOULD HAVE A CAUSAL THEORETICAL FOUNDATION
Introduction: It has long been a goal of science to complete its “Standard Model” with a theory that provides a unified description of fundamental particles and forces. But to be fully complete such theory would also have to accommodate in its perspective all physical existences at all levels of the universe. It must explain the existence and driving force of the Evolutionary Process, while including Man and his works as well. If such completion can be generally understood, science—especially the philosophy of science—might exert a stronger rationalizing influence on the aims, actions, and methods of individuals as well as those of larger political groups.
This paper asserts not only that it is more crucial than ever that the scientific model be completed, but also that the current basis of fundamental probabilisim is inadequate to support such a universal theory. Urgency is added because the irrationality which currently threatens the foundations of civilization can—and should—be refuted by scientific certainty. It is also argued that scientific resources should be focused more away from the infinitesimal and more toward the infinite. It is claimed that inadequacy of the current basis is shown by the fact that no satisfactory unifying theory has been found despite concerted efforts of scientists and philosophers of science over the past 75 years. Beyond that, the paper predicts that any probabilistic unification would be philosophically useless, anyway.
It is possible that unification can be reached only if the philosophy of science can get beyond the Copenhagen Interpretation in order to clearly define theoretical limits of physical reality that admit fully causal sub-quantum descriptions. It is proposed that such limits can be established by the adoption of three metaphysical postulates that are listed and discussed. Using parallels with the experience of the Perfect Gas Law, it is argued that, even though there would be need for revision of some interpretations, such postulates can be accepted without serious disturbance to current scientific practice. This leads to an ultimate “Pascal’s Wager” type of argument in favor of limiting the Copenhagen Interpretation to the quantum case.
Among the potential benefits claimed is that one or more causal sub-quantum theories might be found that give a unified description of fundamental particles and forces. Such a theory could well be so general as to include all physical existences. It might even be seen that the Evolutionary Process has some purpose. In any case, the resulting “Standard Scientific Model” should be much more generally comprehendible than is the current model, which is based upon fundamental chaos—and which might include 8 or 10 physical “dimensions”, “worm holes” through spacetime, superluminal velocities, and so on.
A clearer, less esoteric scientific model would aid an increase in the scientific literacy and rationality of the general population, and this might well be crucial to the survival of self-governing societies. Irrationality has always been a threat, but it has been severely escalated in these times when one deluded idiot with a suitcase—or one perfectly sane person acting upon irrational premises—can wipe out a city (or worse). Other technological challenges surely lie ahead, too. Science, and philosophers of science, should be open, even eager, to search for a unifying theory beyond the quantum. Acceptance of the postulates proposed here would open the door to such searches, and this paper presents a case that such acceptance should be considered.
It seems that most (but not all) theoreticians expert in the philosophy of science consider it already to be settled that there can be no acceptable scientific basis—nor even any need—for a logical, “common sense” causal theory to underlie the fundamental randomness of quantum theory. Even though there continues to be much interest as to the possible role—or non-role—of causation in the scientific understanding (e.g., Dowe 2000), the debate has been constrained by application of the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI). Although there are several versions of the CI and its meanings (see Kip 1998), the arguments here concern only those interpretations which extend the empirical principle beyond the limits of observation to decree that, as far as science is concerned, absolutely no physical reality exists beneath that of the quantum.
Since the quantum reality is a purely probabilistic and ambiguous regime—and as subquantum realities are expressly “forbidden”—this decree assures that universal theories of physical existence based upon simple mechanical causation cannot be scientifically tenable. This leaves only the possibility of some kind of statistical causation through correlation of effects. But since correlation is not causation, this has led into highly technical considerations that have little or nothing to do with “common sense”, except possibly to refute it at any comparison.
Rather than finding in the scientific experience philosophical truths that might be useful in shaping our individual and communal aims, the philosophy of science has been frustrated by indeterminacy. Besides such complications as “quantum non-locality” and “superluminal causality”, there are difficult epistomological and ontological questions pertaining to absolute motion, substantival space-time, causal order, temporal order, etc., as well as such purely philosophical problems as finding an acceptable basis for defining reality, and so on.
Even if a consensus that resolves such questions might be reached eventually, it is hard to see how any generally communicable philosophy of science can be constructed upon such a technical understanding of what would continue to be a purely probabilistic basis. Yet, I believe that, if mankind is to meet the increasingly technical challenges of the future, it will be necessary to communicate a coherent and realistic philosophy of science to the general population. Failing that, so much time and energy might be wasted—or worse, expended counterproductively—that we might not develop in time the technology that will be required for our survival.
Our systems of self-government and free markets cannot function at full efficiency unless most voters and consumers are reasonably rational, knowledgeable, and sophisticated. But even now, and moreso in the increasingly technological future, neither voters nor consumers can become sufficiently knowledgeable and sophisticated to efficiently operate those complex societies without acquiring at least a fundamental scientific perspective. This would be greatly facilitated if science could be based upon a few comprehensive and comprehendible Truths.
But the current probabilistic model is so complex that few, if any, can understand it, much less see in it how Man and his actions are related to the cosmos. It doesn’t seem possible that we shall ever fomd a consensus on this basis even as to the desired direction of Progress, much less upon the means by which it is to be accomplished. If we are to achieve the necessary state of general sophistication, new scientific philosophical bases are needed, preferably accommodating causal explanations that can be generally understood with less than full scientific qualification.
However, it is clear that there can be no causal basis whatsoever without getting beyond the Copenhagen Interpretation[a]. This will require the assumption that there exists at least one level of physical existence beneath the quantum, even though it can never be observed directly from our viewpoint. But earlier attempts to justify such an assumption have been refuted by appeal to “Ockham’s Razor”, one authoritative statement of which being the words (translated from Latin) of William of Ockham [c. 1288-1347], as cited by Spade (1999): “Plurality is not to be posited without necessity.” Thus, to find a realistic causal basis, it is necessary first to demonstrate the necessity for postulating subquantum physical existence.
But without recourse to empirical testing, neither arguments nor counter-arguments about such necessity can be refuted. It must finally come down to Ockham’s Razor, and what d’Espagnat (1979) calls the “criterion of utility”. If so, the need for a causal basis cannot be fully established without some some demonstration of its potential scientific usefulness.
This requires the example of at least one causal theory that (a.) is consistent with the observations—but not necessarily the interpretations—of empirical science, and (b.) provides a new perspective of the physical reality that helps to better explain or clarify at least one facet of that reality that is not already fully understood.
It is proposed that an acceptable theoretical basis can be provided through the expedient of postulating three foundational “Laws of Science” which reinstate a form of Absolute Causality. This would add a new and useful dimension of scientific perspective, with need for few modifications to current understandings of empirical science. But, of course, there would be significant limitation of some philosophical interpretations as to the meanings of those empirical results. For instance, in a causal universe, it might be possible after all that the Evolutionary Process has some real purpose.
Such Absolute Causality would rule out most of the wilder claims of “Weird Science”. With these three truths firmly in place as the basis not only for science but also the philosophy of science, perhaps an acceptable causal description of physical existence can be developed that might be grasped by a much wider portion of the populace than those relative few who can even claim to understand the current, highly technical probabilistic description.
It would be most useful if the new description could coherently account for the observed and continuing counter-entropic process of complexification known generally as “Evolution”. Such an understanding might provide a basis for rational agreement as to the elements, aims, and means of favorable/nonfavorable “Progress”.
Especially if it can be seen that this process is tending toward outcomes that would be considered to be desirable by most literate persons, it might be feasible to obtain rational consensuses of informed elector/consumers on crucial decisions. Only then will it be possible to finally overcome the forces of irrationality, devisiveness, and factionalism that threaten to wreck free market, positive-sum societies. If these forces are not overcome, the Evolutionary Process might well be stopped in its tracks.
I propose that Science and the Philosophy of Science should limit the applicability of the Copenhagen Interpretation to the quantum level by recognizing three fundamental Laws of Science which contain all physical existence within a reality that is rational, objective, and causal. This would allow serious consideration of general causal theories based at subquantum levels to see if any might be found useful, and if so, which would be the better choice.
I have developed and proposed one such causal description, a universal theory of physical existence called “Contropy” (Willis 1997), and much of the argumentation here is taken directly from that work.
Many learned scholars, including Albert Einstein, have argued affirmatively on the need for some rational “causal” theory to underlie quantum theory, which is based upon fundamental probabilism. However, such arguments have been generally rejected by empiricists on grounds that any such theory must depend purely upon nonobservables—“hidden variables”— that can have no physical significance whatsoever, and so they are beyond the purview of science.
But the need for a more basic theory is becoming ever clearer. The philosophical poverty of probabilism has precluded general agreement not only on the means but even upon the desirable direction of human progress. And despite more than 70 years of fundamental probabilism, no unified theory has been found. Even the “partial unification” that has been achieved through prodigious mathematical feats seems to offer no philosophical content that might support a universal theory of physical existence.
The necessary artificiality and arcane mathematical subtleness of any possible probabilistic unification suggest that a philosophical unification might be more directly and clearly connected to nature. Certainly it could be more graphic. If so, the scientific “model” would be comprehendible by more of the general public, and more easily communicable.
Given a naive and gullible public—and indeed, working hard at making it more so through propaganda and such strategems as eliminating requirements for voters to have even basic literacy in the language of their country—pressure groups are dividing the people into factions while accruing unwarranted power and/or resources to themselves by raising specters of doom. If this trend is not checked, it seems inevitable that self-government and even free enterprise must fail. This is because, being based upon maximized individual human sovereignty, they both depend upon maintaining the widest dispersions of political and economic powers that are consistent with functional order. Factionalism can be deadly to self-government.
Such collapse could be fatal, since only democratic capitalistic systems have proven capable of creating and sustaining positive-sum economies. Other systems, being zero-sum or negative-sum, offer no hope that the level of general prosperity can be increased enough to minimize or finally eliminate divisive terrestrial problems. Without such resolution, it will not be feasible to raise the capital and effort that will be needed to enhance the chances for survival of (at least) the human species by creating and starting to colonize an extraterrestrial habitat.
It seems reasonable to conclude that much of the public naivety rests upon the failure of science to provide any Absolute Truths upon which philosophers can base rational scientific theories of physical existence. Lacking such theories, it will continue to be difficult for even reasonably literate people—that is, the large majority of voters and consumers—to form their own set of values that are consistent both with their own long range self-interests, and with the scientific reality, as well. They will continue to be easy prey for “junk science”, political demagoguery, and economic exploitation.
Yet representative governments and free market economies depend upon the multitudes of individual, self-interested, and—above all—rational decisions as feedbacks to keep themselves under control. Only with such diversified control can they be made to most efficiently function to promote the general welfare while meeting the technological challenges as they develop.
But even if such arguments—and/or others—acceptably demonstrate the need for a more fundamental theory, is it logically feasible to go beyond the Copenhagen Interpretation?
The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics has led to widespread acceptance that the physical universe is fundamentally probabilistic. But seventy years of concerted efforts based on this assumption have not yet led to an acceptable unified theory, even though (see Georgi 1981) partial unification has been claimed. Further work has led in the direction of ever more esoteric theories, based on more complex properties, and which can be tested only by more subtle inference from ever more complicated experimentation. The probabilistic theories which still seem most promising for completion are derivatives of “Supergravity” (Freedman and van Nieuwenhuizen 1985), and “Superstrings” (Green 1986), requiring eleven and ten physical dimensions, respectively. “Theories of Everything”, such as that of Nanopoulos (1991), have claimed to link string theories with the standard model of physics. But yet, completion continues to elude the quantum theorists.
Nor has the philosophical perspective become clearer due to the acceptance of the Copenhagen Interpretation. Rather than finding in the scientific experience philosophical truths that might be used in shaping our individual and communal aims, the philosophy of science has encountered indeterminism and epistemological difficulties which as yet show few signs of satisfactory resolution. “Weird” and “Strange” realities are being accorded physical as well as mathematical existence, and “psi” phenomena advocates are beginning to use the same mathematics. Causality has been all but abandoned; as already noted, it is even held by some as proven to be “violated”.
Twenty years ago, Harari (1983) observed that proliferation in the numbers of quarks and leptons was beginning to stir interest in the possibility of some simpler scheme of constructional representations. He proposed that “postulating a still deeper level of organization is perhaps the most straightforward way to reduce the roster”.
The problem is that a deeper level of organization requires the existence of another organizing principle—one which has so far not been theoretically required—at the most fundamental levels of the physical Universe. Considering the state of modern scientific sophistication, if such principle does exist (is operative) then its continued non‑discovery suggests that its physical manifestations must be extremely subtle from both the Classical and the Quantum Mechanical perspectives. At such extremes, definition and philosophical interpretation become controlling. Rather than discovery, more likely what is needed is a different way of looking at what is already known.
Writing in the Philosophical Foundations of Science, Rudolph Carnap (1966) carefully distinguishes between what he calls “empirical laws” and “theoretical laws”. He says that “empirical laws, in my terminology, are laws containing terms either directly observable by the senses or measurable by relatively simple techniques.” He completes the distinction with “The terms of a theoretical law do not refer to observables...They are laws about such entities as molecules, atoms, electrons, protons, electromagnetic fields, and others that cannot be measured in simple, direct ways.” As he points out, even this distinction is not always clear cut, since it must ultimately depend upon definitions of the terms.
However, Heisenberg’s “Principle of Uncertainty” assures that any physical existences and/or events occurring beneath its limits will be (absolutely) nonobservable. Obviously, there can be no empirical laws as to regimes beneath those limits, nor can any theoretical laws proposed for those regimes be subject to direct empirical verification. This confronted science, in its seach for the roots of physical reality, with a choice between only two nonverifiable theoretical possibilities: either (a.) there is no physical reality beneath the quantum, or else (b.) there might be.
This quandary was resolved in favor of choice (a.) by the Copenhagen Interpretation, which “assumes that the physical world has just those properties that are revealed by experiments, including the wave and particle aspects, and that the theory can only deal with the results of observation, not with a hypothetical ‘underlying reality’ that may or may not lie beneath appearances.” (Holton and Brush 1973.) It was widely felt at the time that, when fully developed and elucidated, quantum theory would be able to “complete” the scientific model by unifying the fields and tying up other loose ends.
Objections have been raised from the start over such assumptions of absolute finality in the quantum mechanical view. In what is frequently cited as being the most incisive of such criticisms, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen (1935) based their arguments on what has become known as the “Hidden Parameter Theory”. However, they were met at the time with counter-arguments that the assumption of any such hidden reality would be an unnecessary complexification, and therefore it should be avoided according to “Ockham’s Razor”.
No argument was found demonstrating any scientific necessity or even usefulness to go beyond the quantum, and so the Copenhagen Interpretation became generally accepted as defining the fundamental reality, and thus, the foundations of Science. This purely philosophical choice relieved theorists of any need to account for “hidden variables” in quantum theory, and so greatly facilitated its development. The successes and precision of Quantum Mechanics and its derivatives, including Quantum Electrodynamics, Quantum Chromodynamics, Quark Theory, etc., in accounting for experimental observations have been widely taken to validate the Copenhagen Interpretation.
Such seeming acceptance that the negative has been scientifically proven in this unique case has stimulated philosophical interpretations which impugn traditional notions of objective reality. For instance, Bernard d’Espagnat (1979) first lists three premises which form the basis for what he calls “local realistic theories of nature”:
1. Regularities in observed phenomena are caused by some physical reality whose existence is independent of human observers.
2. Inductive inference is a valid mode of reasoning and can be freely applied, so that legitimate conclusions can be drawn from consistent observation.
3. No influence of any kind can propagate faster than the speed of light.
He goes on to conclude that at least one of these premises conflicts not only with the Quantum Mechanical Theory, but also with some experimental observations.
Such observations have occurred in experiments to test a theorem called “Bell’s Inequality” (Bell 1964), which makes logical predictions about the relative distributions of any three physical traits among a given statistical population. Bell’s predicted distributions are derived from (equivalent statements of) the three premises listed above, so the fact that they are different from those predicted by Quantum theory indicates, as pointed out by d’Espagnat, that the theory must be in conflict with at least one of those premises. Either Quantum theory or at least one of the listed premises must be in error.
This question has been extensively tested by experimentation. In an overview paper published online, David Harrison (1999) summarizes:
“The result of the experiment is that the [Bell’s] inequality is violated. The first published experiment was by Clauser, Horne, Shimony, and Holt in 1969 using photon pairs. The experiments have been repeated many times since. The experiments done so far have been for pairs of electrons, protons, photons, and ionised atoms.”
Harrison reports that the experiments have shown not only that the inequality is violated, but also that the correlations predicted by Quantum theory have been confirmed.
These results, reproduced many times with high degrees of accuracy, have called each of the three premises into question, although as yet no argument seems to have reached a definitive conclusion as to which might be in error. Since Bell’s original proof was in terms of local “hidden variable” theories—which Harrison views “as similar to the assumption of a local reality”— negation of that proof can also be taken as negation of the existence of any such local hidden variables. This would validate the Copenhagen Interpretation, at least with respect to local realities.
Serious objections and arguments have been raised against this interpretation of the results of tests of Bell’s Inequality. But according toHarrison, none so far have proven to be sustainable upon further experimentation. Still, that does not mean that new arguments cannot be raised, that might indeed be found viable. It seems that this debate is also far from being decided. It is suggested again, as at the end of Section III, that rather than discovery, more likely what is needed is a different way of looking at what is already known.
One “different way of looking” would be simply to assert—that is, to postulate a priori—a set of foundational theoretical laws that would firmly define the basis of a causal scientific model. Of course, this would meet with many objections, not the least of which could be based upon claims that the Bell experiments have disproven “Causality”, “Einstein Separability”, and/or “Objective Reality”. Other objections might be based upon purely philosophical grounds. For instance, positing a causal foundation directly disagrees with d’Espagnat (1990), who has written: “it seems fairly clear that the true ‘objective of physics’ cannot be postulated a priori, or at least...the decision to do so could not meet with unanimous approval”
However, I submit that because of Uncertainty, it is unlikely that any proposal pertaining to the philosophical foundations of science—including the determination and accomplishment of the true “objective of physics” —will meet with unanimous approval, because arguments for either basis must come down in the end to an Ockham’s Razor choice between equally plausible foundations. Either there is a physical reality beneath the stochastic reality of the quantum, or there isn’t—and the question is not subject to direct empirical testing.
Operating more than 70 years on the assumption that there isn’t has led to the great successes of quantum theory in understanding and predicting with great accuracy the behaviors and interactions of subatomic particles and photons of electromagnetic energy. But such success no more proves the validity of that assumption than does the success of the Perfect Gas Law prove that gases are comprised of tiny, perfectly elastic spheres in constant motion operating under no influence other than collision and rebound. As it was possible to go beyond the Perfect Gas Law without giving up its usefulness, so should it be theoretically possible to go beyond the Copenhagen Interpretation without serious disarray in particle physics.
However, as already discussed, going beyond the quantum requires the justification of “necessity”. I believe that the arguments in Parts II and III on the need for a new perspective are adequate for that justification. But similar arguments have been well met with counterarguments based on “uncertainty”.
It seems that the only way to break this impasse is for science to open itself to consideration of theories based in subquantum existence, and then (per Carnap) seek indirect verification or falsification of them by comparison of their derived implications with the observed reality, including the laws of empirical science. However, since the theory being sought must inevitably refer to nonobservables, it must be a form of metaphysics. Given the near-absolute freedom of “uncertainty”, science might be overwhelmed with wildly speculative, irrational, and scientifically useless theories to be evaluated.
But I propose that the logical, scientific way to go forward is to establish objective criteria by clearly defining limits of the metaphysical subquantum reality. This can be accomplished by first defining certain foundational laws that generally apply to observable realities, and then postulating that those laws also apply in subquantum realities as well. It would thus become an affirmative burden of theorists to demonstrate that their proposals conform to those laws, and also to offer evidence of indirect verification and usefulness.
Of the three specific foundational “laws of science” that I propose as being applicable not only generally to the physical universe but also specifically to subquantum realities, the first two are taken directly from d’Espagnat (1979), who listed them as premises for “local realistic theories of nature”, and whose words are used here (the titles reflect the perspective that I am suggesting). D’Espagnat’s third premise was a statement of Einstein Separability (“No influence of any kind can propagate faster that the speed of light.”). However, I propose that a reinstatement of the formerly assumed fully causal scientific model is needed instead[b], as given below by the third law.
THE FIRST LAW OF SCIENCE
Regularities in observed phenomena are caused by some physical reality whose existence is independent of human observers.
THE SECOND LAW OF SCIENCE
Inductive inference is a valid mode of reasoning and can be freely applied, so that legitimate conclusions can be drawn from consistent observation.
THE THIRD LAW OF SCIENCE
No action occurs without previous and direct physical cause.
As d’Espagnat pointed out—and it is claimed to have been reconfirmed in further experiments - possibly one or all of these premises has been violated. However, such proofs of nonreality necessarily depend upon interpretations of those experimental results.
I submit that, on grounds of Ockham’s Razor, it is simpler and more logical to hold that there exists a non-observable subquantum reality in which the laws as postulated are valid than it is to accept the physical and philosophical implications that derive from the assumption that no such reality exists.
Of course, this is opposite to the prevailing interpretations, such as are presented by Harrison (1999). But with only limited knowledge of these experiments and their interpretations, rather than attempt to directly refute any or all of those interpretations, I can only rely on the self-evident truths of the three postulated laws to eventually prevail, as the fertility of the resulting scientific model is demonstrated. Besides, I believe that when the ultimate appeal to Ockham’s Razor is made, it will be found simpler to believe that there is some error in the logic, the experiments, and/or the interpretation of the results of the Bell experiments, rather than to give up reality, reason, and/or causality.
Obviously, it is the main point of this paper that the Copenhagen Interpretation is misapplied when it is taken as being more than a simplifying assumption useful in the development of quantum theory, and that could well be relevant to the failures of Bell’s logic[c].
However, I will have to hope that more expert theorists and mathematicians than myself can eventually solve the riddle of the Bell experiments. Possibly they will be aided by the understanding that even the “elemental” particles being tested are actually compound stuctures, as indeed are those comprising the surfaces of the experimental apparatus. The most promising line of argumentation that I can see from a perspective of strict causation is that there might be phase-shifting interactional structural features within the “beams” of electrons, photons, etc.; and/or with the “beams” of magnetons used to separate those with the specified properties; and/or with the outer electrons of atoms comprising prisms, slits, shutters, etc., as well as the surfaces of the detectors; and so on.
In other words, I appeal to the possibility of “hidden variables”—such as these experiments are supposed to have somehow proven to not exist! However, observe that the analyses are considerably different if the three proposed “laws of science” are fully applied.
It might be thought at first that adoption of the three laws as stated does little to modify the physical perspective, except possibly for some far-away theoretical effects “beneath” the elemental quantum of energy. However, there are also some significant implications with regard to current science. For instance, it must be inferred that, whether or not they can be observed from our perspective, there must be endless layers of cause all the way to the “simplest possible” particle (“SPP”), and beyond[d]. This would make it clear that the Copenhagen Interpretation is in fact a simplifying assumption, and not an actual limit to the physical reality.
It also makes it clear that all physical entities, including the “fields” and the particles now considered to be elemental, must be constructed from lesser entities. It means, in fact, that some “hidden variables” mustexist.
Again, it might seem that this does little to alter the physical perspective, since (a.) it is already accepted that particles formerly thought to be elemental such as the Proton and the Electron are actually made up of “Quarks”, etc., and (b.) Einstein has explained the actions of fields by showing that spacetime is deformed by the presence of Mass/Energy. But what comprises the Quarks?, etc. And how are deforming forces transmitted and applied to spacetime, and then reapplied to Mass/Energy?
And what comprises the Photon of electromagnetic energy? That question is currently buried under the “wave/particle duality”. If photons are internally described at all, it is usually as being little packets of energy and letting it go at that. But in the causal universe, they must have some kind of internal structure that is amazingly efficient at containing energy and allowing it to cross vast reaches of space and time with little or no loss. Contradictorily, it is the observed nature of emission and absorption that the photon’s structure must also be capable of being instantly formed or dissolvedf.
Yet it is also significant that, even on such a tiny scale, the efficiency of energy containment in the mechanical structure must be less than 100%. This means that at least part of the “red shift” observed in the light from distant galaxies must be due to loss of energy, an effect earlier described by the theory called “Tired Light” that was proposed by Fritz Zwicky (1929).
Such implications are important in themselves, and they would provide the basis for proposal and consideration of causal corrections that might improve the “Standard Scientific Model”. This could shed some light on scientific questions such as "What is the age of the universe?"g , “Are ‘tired light’ effects related to the recently discovered apparent acceleration of the expansion of the universe?”, and on profound philosophical questions such as “Is the universe rational?”, “Is there any real, physical purpose for the Evolutionary Process?”, “If there is, what is it, and should we be working to help it, or to thwart it?” And so on.
Such questions might seem to have only theoretical—or perhaps theological—content. However, whether the answers might be considered to have positive or negative implications, if they can be derived from a comprehensive scientific model that is comprehendible by people having only general educations, it might become possible to obtain a democratically workable consensus as to their meanings. Depending upon their content, some of these answers might help to furnish a perspective in which all can see that certain actions are desirable, while certain others are to be avoided. If so, perhaps we can finally agree on the aims of our societies and the methods to be used to most efficiently achieve those goals.
There might well be reason to wish that we could have hurried this up a bit.
I have argued that, rather than the claimed “simplicity” of the Copenhagen Interpretation—which has led to the unmanageable complexity of purposeless existence in multiple universes having 10 or 11 physical dimensions, etc.—perhaps the more useful choice would be to posit instead that the universe is fully causal. In that case, there must be some subquantum physical reality even though it cannot be directly observed from our perspective.
This would open the door for serious scientific consideration of non-empirical theories about that reality, a sort of scientific metaphysics to underlie empirical physics. But there would be objective criteria for choosing among such theories:
a. Consistency with scientific laws including the foundational laws as proposed above, and with experimental observations.
c. Elegance and simplicity. (Ockham’s criteria)
I have claimed that such theories can raise favorable possibilities about the future of the universe, where the current model based upon fundamental randomness offers only the unpleasant alternatives of “Thermal Death” (freezing in neverending expansion into nothingness or else being consumed in fiery collision as the galaxies fall back into the center). The awareness of such favorable possibilities could help to reveal that the Evolutionary Process has a real physical purpose.
If so, it could be that we have some significant—even vital!—part to accomplish in the narrow “window of opportunity” of mankind’s existence. After all, even with our limited vision, we can see that we are the most evolved (alright, “most complex” for those unconvinced that Evolution has any favored axis of development) entities of which we have become aware. But, unless we can establish some viable habitat elsewhere, that window will be open only for a relative blink of the Cosmic eye; say, from a few hundred thousand years ago until the next global catastrophe—which we now are beginning to understand is probably not more than a million years or so away, based upon the threat of collision with interplanetary bodies aloneh. But we must recognize also that such collision—or equivalent disaster—could well occur within our own lifetimes.
So I have argued that there are scientific needs (unification of theory, completion of the Standard Cosmological Model, explanation for the Evolutionary Process, etc.); philosophical needs (Absolute truths, rational interpretations, etc.); even political and economic needs (agreement on aims and means for enhanced survival and future progress, etc.) to accept that subquantum realities exist. But let me offer one final argument to any still unconvinced that there is good reason to go beyond the Copenhagen Interpretation.
And that is the old “Can’t Hurt; Might Help” argument, such as was used by Pascal (1657) in his famous wager that proves it is logical to believe in God i . That is, if it finally comes down to “Ockham’s Razor” (as I believe that most will eventually agree that it does in light of “Uncertainty”), there is both positive reason to hold that the universe is rational, and positive reason not to hold that it isn’t.
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[a] Lest, in view of the demonstrated utility of the Copenhagen Interpretation in development of quantum theory, the reader immediately doubts the seriousness of such a proposal, let me point out that, at least within quantum systems, it could still be assumed that no hidden factors have any effects; or equivalently, that the wave function contains all of the information about the system. The accuracy of quantum theory would not be affected.
[b] It can be shown that Einstein Separability is implicit within these three laws.
[c] That the identity doesn't hold suggests to me that there must be some hidden assumptions and/or violations of logical/mathematical rules in formulation of the experiments and/or interpretations of the results. There might be some hard-to-detect violation of simple logical rules such as “a line must be crossed an uneven number of times to end on the side opposite the starting point”, or some disguised violation of some mathematical rules, such as by considering the square root of minus one to be a real number, or dividing by zero, etc.
[d] In the development of the theory of Contropy (Willis 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1989, 1992, 1997), such a “simplest possible particle” (earlier called “quanta”) is defined, and the method of the Copenhagen Interpretation is invoked at that point to establish a clear lower limit to the physical reality that must be considered by the theory.
f A model for the Photon structure is developed in the “Special Case” paper already cited (Willis 1997). It is shown that fundamental metaphysical constants derived from that model are either identical or agree very closely with those already found in the physical universe, and it is claimed that this supports verification (as taught by Carnap) of the metaphysical theory.
g This would establish a time scale that all physical existences in the universe have in common; that is, years since the "Big Bang" (or equivalent units).
h Assuming, of course, that no capability to avoid such is developed in the meantime.
i Essentially, “If I believe in God, and there's no God, then no benefit, no loss. If I believe in God, and God exists, then I earn eternal bliss.” And the alternative: “If I believe that there is no God, and there isn't, then no benefit, no loss. If I believe that there is no God, and there is, then I earn eternal damnation.” Ergo, there's both positive reason to believe and positive reason not to disbelieve.