Reply To: Why Bohmian theory?


Hmmm. I guess I thought the first few sentences constituted a kind of argument for why “the existence of [whatever] remains a hope — it is not supported by the evidence”. That is, I thought what you were saying was: supposing the Bohmian trajectories (etc.) to exist may allow me to account for what I observe, but this doesn’t imply that those Bohmian trajectories really exist; who can ever know? So, my point was, if that’s what you meant, then it seems (troublingly, to me at least) that the same exact reasoning would have you dismiss the empirical-predictive successes of the atomic theory as not actually constituting evidence that the atoms really exist.

Now, I’m happy to concede that the situations of the two theories, vis a vis evidence, are not exactly parallel. There are, arguably, several different candidate quantum theories (Bohm, GRW, ???) that can all account for our observations — whereas there was nothing like a distinct competitor to the atomic theory that was able to account for the same very diverse set of observations equally well.

But still, I don’t really understand, from your point of view, how the two situations are different in principle. There’s a theory that accounts for a bunch of observed facts, and contradicts no observed facts. Isn’t that some (if not “strong” or “conclusive”) evidence that what the theory says is actually true? If not, what other kind of thing do you consider “evidence”?? What kind of thing did the atomic theory do, with respect to the phenomena it made predictions about, that Bohm’s theory fails to do with respect to the phenomena it makes predictions about??

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