The Big Bell Bet

Poet and McGill University emeritus professor of chemistry Bryan Sanctuary (Google scholar:; personal blog: is betting me 5000 Euro that he can resolve the EPR-Bell paradox to the satisfaction of the majority of our peers. Moreover, he will do it by a publication (or at least, a pre-publication) within the year. That’s this calendar year, 2022. Naturally, he expects public (scientific) acclaim to follow “in no time”. I don’t expect that. We will settle the bet by consultation with our peers, and this consultation will be concluded by the end of the following year. So that’s by the end of the succeeding calendar year, 2023.

John S. Bell inspects the Christmas present which his friends the Bertlmanns have just given him

I, therefore, expect his gracious admission of defeat and a nice check for 5000 Euro, two years from now.

He expects the opposite. (Poor Bryan! It’s like taking candy from a baby…)

(He presumably thinks the same)

The small print

Small print item 1: Who are our peers? Like a jury, they will be determined by having our mutual approval. To begin with, we will invite the members of a couple of Google groups/internet seminars in which one or both of us already participate. Here are links to two of them: Jarek Duda’s (Krakow) “QM foundations & nature of time seminar”: and; and Alexandre de Castro’s Google group “Bell inequalities and quantum foundations”:

Small print item 2: What does Bryan think he’s going to achieve? Restoration of locality and realism, and banning of weirdness and spookiness from quantum mechanics.

Small print item 3: What do I think about his putative theory? Personally, but it is not up to me to decide, I would accept that he has won if his theory (which he has not yet revealed to the world) would allow me to win my Bell game challenge “against myself”. i.e., it would allow me to write computer programs to simulate a successful loophole-free Bell experiment – thus satisfying the usual spatiotemporal constraints on inputs and outputs while preventing conspiracy, and reliably violating a suitable Bell inequality by an amount that is both statistically and physically significant. This means that, in my opinion, he should only win if he can convince the majority of our peers that those constraints are somehow unphysical. I mention that if experimenters voluntarily impose those constraints (to the best of their ability) in real experiments, then there cannot be a metaphysical reason to forbid them. However, the bet will be settled by a democratic vote of our peers! Clearly, this does constitute a loophole for me: a majority of our peers might still fall for superdeterminism or any other craziness.

I suspect that Bryan believes he can now resurrect his previous attempt I think it is very brave of him but doomed to failure, because I don’t think he will come up with a theory that will catch on. (I even believe that such a theory is not even possible, but that’s my personal belief).

To reiterate: our peers will determine who has won our bet. Bryan is betting that a year from now he will have revolutionised quantum mechanics, restoring locality and realism and that his then appearing paper will rapidly force Zeilinger, Gisin, me, and a host of others, to retract our papers on quantum teleportation, quantum non-locality, and all that. I am betting that the world will not be impressed. Our peers will vote whether or not they believe that Bryan has achieved his goal.

81 thoughts on “The Big Bell Bet

  1. Bryan Sanctuary

    Thank you Richard for this. Small point is that we have not made the bet formal yet. I do not see any issues, except I hope this is all done in much less time than 2 years.

    Frankly I don’t eat much candy, but I hope I am offering you all a few plums, or maybe they are Adam’s Apples. Since I was first moon struck in India in 1997 (Sorry my old blog is under repair now but link works)
    I have been obsessed with finding a rationale for non-locality. Since the concept made NO sense to me, I logically sought an alternate solution, and so wallowed for 25 years!! Now I believe I can knock Bertlmann’s socks off and convert the missionaries of “Quantum Weirdness” to believe in Ontology.

    You, Richard, have been a beacon of Bell, defending him and pointing out the errors in the ways of others. You most certainly have taken great pains to defend Bell against any disparaging remarks, filling the press with tits-for-tats with many who raise their voices against Bell; guarding the concept of non-locality and his Honour. A new Dawn is breaking (See my poem at the end) and there is only one objective, “The Truth” rather than the current goals of quantum info theory which to me has gotten sidetracked into, “Quantum Business!”. The goal is pure knowledge, to see through to the purity that is offered by our Mother, and it is awe-inspiring and dazzling.

    Having said that, I do of course respect your abilities, accomplishments and the contributions you have made. Your ideas give good food for thought, and I don’t object to you calling me a “quantum crackpot” or even rejecting my papers. (Those early ones of mine are naïve and pretty bad anyway, although carry the kernels). I hold no grudges, but this is a battle about our basic understanding of our mother Nature.

    We talked of betting before, and you indicated to me that if I won, you would withdraw a lot of your papers. Suppose I do win, which papers of yours would you withdraw?? Can you send a list?

    Beyond the Dawn.
    Bryan Sanctuary
    December 29, 2021

    I feel an eerie frost descend
    to freeze the morning dew,
    The sunlight scatters in sparkling rays
    To polarize my view.

    The dancing light lifts my heart,
    In ways I cannot know,
    But Nature seems to work it out,
    To bring that light to soul.

    Our senses give us all we know,
    From which we must perceive.
    But can we know or formulate
    Beyond what sense receives?

    There lies beyond our normal ken,
    Real things we are not suited.
    With blinkered eyes we forge a view
    That’s incomplete and muted.

    But from this prop there’s something wrong,
    What should be up is down,
    We don’t know why, we make a guess,
    But there’s no way around.

    The unknown leaves us all agog,
    Some turn to God for hope.
    The cults arise, the dark obscures
    That for which we grope.

    But they are there, the subtle points,
    and some can see the shift,
    A different place, a different space
    That project their hints of rift.

    Now I see the sparkling rays,
    So soothing on my eyes,
    They spin right through and carry code
    And there remains no lies.

    1. Richard Gill

      Dear Bryan, we are both in search of the truth, and we both accept that if it might turn out to be different from what we had expected, then we would not deny the truth when we were forced to see that we had had it wrong. I’ll compile the list, soon. But basically, all my publications in physics journals about Bell’s theorem, plus one or two in statistics journals on the same topic. Check out my Google scholar page.

  2. Bryan Sanctuary

    Richard Gill, I formally accept your bet.

    Richard Gill may (or may not) make a long list of papers he will withdraw if I win. It is not that important, just that it is a long list. If I win, they are all toast. See Richard’s publication list:

    How about

    Anton Zeilinger,


    Nickolas Gisin

    Maybe its time that Chris Fuchs started to listen to local-realists as his ideas will finally crash in flames. Are you still looking for no-go theorems?

    I am suggesting that almost every paper these people have written on non-locality must be withdrawn. There are so many that I cannot sift through them, and these cascade down to myriad of their students and so on who carry on the myth of non-locality.

    I’m ok with the experimental results, but I recall, for example, a paper of Gisin’s, I cannot now find, about 2002, in which he measured the speed of connectivity between Alice and Bob to be in excess of a staggering 10 billion times faster than the speed of light! I recall Gisin said, playing on EPR, “Relativity is Incomplete!!” That MUST go if I win, along with most of his others that support the bizarre notion of non-locality.

    And how about those enigmatic and elusive “Einstein Podolsky Rosen Channels” of the famous paper

    Bennett, C. H., Brassard, G., Crépeau, C., Jozsa, R., Peres, A., & Wootters, W. K. (1993). Teleporting an unknown quantum state via dual classical and Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen channels. Physical review letters, 70(13), 1895.???
    If I win, I will demand this paper be withdrawn. It is so misleading. Its fundamental basis will be shown to be flawed.

    And Nickolas, Anton, Arnold, Gilles, Gregor and all others, are you willing to join in the bet of 5,000 Euros to defend your last 25 years of research and put your money where your mouth is?

    Let us wait and see who is willing to comment.

    1. Richard Gill

      Who are Nickolas and Arnold? Are you proposing parallel bets with all those guys, or are you just suggesting they help cover the loss which you expect me to suffer?

      1. Bryan Sanctuary

        Nicolas Gisin sorry typo but Charles Bennett . I am asking which papers they, and others, must withdraw if non-locality is finally debunked. What will happen if Bell’s theorem is no more?

        I do not think they will reply, but I suggest they are having trouble sleeping.

      1. Bryan Sanctuary

        Yes I know, two socks, two n’s no e. Remember to capitalize Nature and Earth!

  3. korosten

    What an exciting start into 2022!
    Bryan, I love the poem, I didn’t know you were so poetic, that is really nice!
    Good luck, and I hope you will win :-),

    1. Bryan Sanctuary

      Thanks Chantal, and also for all your input and help you have given me. So hold onto your hat as I knock the socks off Bertlmann.

  4. bryansanctuary

    I sent the following email to Nicolas Gisin, Charles Bennett, Anton Zeilinger and Chris Fuchs:

    Hello Nicolas, Charles, Chris, Anton,

    You may have seen that I took up a bet with Richard Gill. If not, here it is

    I bet I can resolve the EPR paradox and prove Bell’s theorem is wrong. There is no question about this, although the work is not yet reviewed. I suspect you all to be skeptical. I would not bet unless I was 100% sure I can win.

    You all are great proponents of teleportation and other non-local effects, and my results will show that almost everything that you have deduced using non-locality is incorrect.

    In a nutshell, I have declared an academic war on non-locality and you guys are in the firing line. What is your response? Do you want to put 5,000 euros up to bet I am wrong? Richard says he will withdraw his papers supporting non-locality if I win. Will you?

    I look forward to converting you all to local-realism!!

    Happy New Year,

    Bryan Sanctuary

  5. bryansanctuary

    I apologize for my old blog. I just had a new one created (this week) and is not yet released. Also my old blog lost links from my old ISP to the new. Frustrating but I will get the links fixed one day.

    Richard is asking about link to my rejected paper in 2013 in the post:

    Here is the paper:

    Also I found my youtube channel which contains a lot of stuff and EPR. You should note that my ideas have evolved since these works. I do not agree with everything I said in the past, but the kernels are there.

    1. Justo

      Dear Bryan
      I superficially read your paper and watch one of your youtube video’s and I think I know why you believe the Bell theorem is incorrect. I am afraid that you share a very common misunderstanding regarding the Bell inequality derivation. You seem to believe the inequality requires counterfactual reasoning. That is a common mistake because the inequality does have a rational derivation and in fact, Bell never used counterfactual reasoning or incompatible experiments.
      Although I am not a statistician, I am afraid that any virtual or real experiment that is performed according to the hypothesis that Bell used, i.e., hidden variables and statistical independence has a high chance to be bounded by 2 (because of finite statistics, in the ideal case it is exactly bounded by 2).
      I have been fighting against the counterfactual nonsense regarding the Bell theorem for some time now and wrote some papers explaining the rationale of the Bell inequality.
      If you want to see a simple and explicit down to earth explanation of why, if hidden variables determine the results locally and statistical independence hold, the inequality cannot be violated please read section 4 of this paper:'s_Theorem_Logical_Consistency
      I already suggested to you this in another thread but I don’t know if you read it. You do not need to read the whole paper only section 4 is enough. Your counterfactual objection does not apply to that derivation.

      Richar Gill is intellectually honest but he is cheating without the intention to do so. He presents the Bell inequality as an unfalsifiable result and then bets that it is falsifiable. The problem is that the Bell inequality can be derived correctly as a falsifiable result, therefore it is indeed falsifiable!

  6. bryansanctuary

    Thanks for that and the suggestions. I looked at section 4, and you are likely right about the way I express things, but I have long ago stopped thinking about BI beyond the way they used relative to EPR, which is, “Where is that extra correlations?” BI just define what is missing, and they have little other significance to me. They are 100% classical, they just define the limit of classical correlation and nothing else. BI is a tool for me and little more.

    Please do not think my work is about BI, it is not, although his theorem is a casualty.

    I have never accepted Richard’s challenge, and you see that I did not this time either. Long ago I saw that the challenge is set up do the impossible, reproduce the conditions of Bertlmann’s sock proof without non-locality. So I never tried. I tried to break the rules in ways that I believe in (of course no loopholes introduced), but I could not. I used Chantal Roth’s program. I now know why I failed and I do hope that Richard will win his own challenge when he sees the answer.

    But you say:

    “I am afraid that any virtual or real experiment that is performed according to the hypothesis that Bell used, i.e., hidden variables and statistical independence has a high chance to be bounded by 2 ”

    I agree 100%, Bell’s hypothesis is incorrect.

  7. Justo

    Hi Bryan, thank you for your answer. However, I do not understand why you seem to make two contradictory statements.
    You said: “They are 100% classical, they just define the limit of classical correlation and nothing else.”
    That is correct, I agree 100% and I am sure Bell would have also agreed with you.

    But then you said: I agree 100%, Bell’s hypothesis is incorrect.
    This I do not understand. His two hypotheses, namely, hidden variables and statistical independence do lead to his inequality. In what sense are they incorrect?
    I supposed that you are conflating the Bell inequality with the problem of quantum nonlocality. They are completely different things. I am not talking about quantum nonlocality.

  8. bryansanctuary

    Please make the distinction between BI and Bell’s theorem, there is then no contradiction.

    1. Justo

      When the Bell theorem(BT) is correctly interpreted as Bell intended and explained, the BT asserts it is not possible to complete QM with hidden variables to obtain a local theory. Of course, we must assume statistical independence.
      Please notice that the BT does not prove quantum nonlocality and that Bell never said that it does.
      Recently I tried to explain this to Robert Griffiths, but with little success. He responded to my comment repeating that the Bell inequality is a classical result, therefore, is not proof of quantum nonlocality as if he didn’t understand a word of what I explained in my comment.
      In section IV I explained to him why and how Bell proved quantum nonlocality but he just preferred to ignore all that and repeated what he already said in his first paper.

      John Stewart Bell never said that violation of his inequality proves that quantum mechanics is nonlocal just as he never used counterfactual reasoning. Unfortunately, neither his followers nor his detractors seem to understand a word of what he tried to explain.
      To give you just an example. In 1972 de la Peña, Cetto and Brody wrote a paper saying that the Bell inequality requires several measurements on the same pair of particles, i.e., more than one measurement on a single particle. In 2019 after 47 years they basically repeated the same thing in their article
      I just wrote a response to that

      1. bryansanctuary

        If Bell did not prove non-locality. why did he say ” “If [a hidden-variable theory] is local it will not agree with quantum mechanics, and if it agrees with quantum mechanics it will not be local.”
        If Bell did not push non-locality, then what does his theorem prove? …the existence of “EPR” channels supporting instantaneous collapse between light-cones?

        Gimma a break!

        It is clear that Bell was trapped in classical ideas. His Bertlmann sock proof forces polarizations to agree with the violation and he can only do this unphysical thing by introducing correlation between different socks. Yet there is almost universal acceptance of this absurd notion.

        In summary: BI tell us ONLY there is more than reaches the eye; there is more than the polarized states we measure. Bell, however, insisted in washing socks.

      2. Richard Gill

        Bryan, why don’t you read Bell, to find out what he believed? In one paper he gave a list of four possible reactions to his work which he thought were all logically admissible. He also agreed in private correspondence that those four were not the only ones. I think he very wisely kept an open mind.

      3. bryansanctuary

        Justo: I agree with Bob Griffiths. But I really have no reply for you and ask you to please wait for my paper. I want you to accept that I reject completely Bell’s Theorem for good reasons. So when you, and others, start to support Bell and make excuses, it falls on my deaf ears. All those arguments, philosophies and results have no credibility to me. Bell could NOT think beyond the classical. He was a Positivist.

      4. Richard Gill

        Nonsense, Bryan! Bell had a refined intellect and an open mind. Bell did think beyond the classical. His theorem, together with experimental findings, tells me that we have to think beyond the classical. I believe that Bell would nowadays certainly agree. Somehow you don’t realise that you are chasing a Fata Morgana. I don’t know what you were consuming in India long ago but you saw a vision. You can’t see that it is vision of an impossible world. But OK, I am looking forward to your paper, and I do keep an open mind. In other words – I am prepared to revise my present “beliefs” if evidence compels me to.

    2. Justo

      Dear Bryan
      You quote Bell saying: “If [a hidden-variable theory] is local it will not agree with quantum mechanics, and if it agrees with quantum mechanics it will not be local.”
      Then you claim that he is claiming quantum nonlocality. Maybe it is only me ( I wonder, am I such a crackpot?) or perhaps I do not understand English (that is fair and already Richard suggested that). For me, it is very clear that he is talking about a hidden variables theory being nonlocal, not quantum mechanics.
      It seems to me that you, as Griffiths in his response to my comment, insist on misinterpreting Bell in such a way that it would be easy to knock him down.
      But to be fair, it is not only you but curiously his own follower who do the same.
      I think I made my point and any further discussion would be useless.

      1. Richard Gill

        Well said, Justo! Bryan doesn’t understand Bell. I suspect it is because he thinks like a chemist, not like a mathematician. Obviously it can’t be because he’s not a native English speaker. Now, I think that Bryan plans to “expand” quantum mechanics. The problem is that if the expanded theory makes the same predictions (the negative cosine, binary outcomes…) then still Bell’s theorem will say that it can’t be local. Apparently Bryan does not understand that logic. Bell’s theorem is not “about” QM at all. It’s about theories which are local and realistic (and non-conspiratorial) in a particular sense.

      2. Justo

        Thank you, Richard. It is good that we Bell’s followers can agree this time.
        I am preparing a trivial paper explaining quantum nonlocality and Bell’s theorem relation. It probably will be summarily rejected but at least will stay as a preprint.

      3. bryansanctuary

        Justo: To be clear, can I have your brief views on the following so I can better follow your arguments:
        What is your interpretation of the violation of Bell’s Inequalities?
        What is the cause of the violation?
        What is the major consequence (only one please) of the violation?
        Richard: You have said to me on multiple occasions, “Read Bell’s papers!” I would like to tell you that really mean, “Read Bell’s papers and agree with me!” The point is I do not agree with you nor Bell, no matter how much you or I read.

      4. Justo

        Bryan, my viewpoint (and I think Bell’s) is explained in my response to Griffiths’s paper
        In particular, why Bell claimed QM is nonlocal and its relation to his inequality is explained in section IV. The paper is also available at arXiv.
        In the conclusion, you can find the lessons that the Bell inequality teaches us regarding the local or nonlocal character of quantum mechanics.
        If you read the abstract of Griffiths’s response you will realize that Griffiths just ignored my whole comment and insisted on misinterpreting Bell so that he could have a silly argument to “knock him down”.

      5. bryansanctuary

        Justo, I do not want to read again your paper on BI. I have little interest in them and long ago put them aside, using them only as a tool. You mix up BI with his theorem, yet you say you do not. I sent you some questions, I really would like your succinct answers because that would help me understand your points of view. Please end me your answers, and do not answer with references. Your words please. That done, then we can talk more about BT and non-locality.

  9. Justo

    Yes, but he responded to many criticisms in the same paper. He just told to de la Peña that each particle is supposed to be measured once.

    1. Richard Gill

      Bell did not just “tell de la Peña that each particle is supposed to be measured once”. He carefully explained that lambda is hypothesised to be real (but not necessarily local), and that A(a, lambda), A(a’, lambda) are just two different mathematical functions of the same variable lambda. For most people, and certainly people with some mathematical discipline, it would have been enough just to say that.

      Unfortunately, many physicists are not able to make the distinction between mathematical models and physical reality. I think this is because they use mathematics all the time as a language to talk about what they see as reality. They don’t see the possibility of there existing mathematical worlds which do not necessarily have anything much to do with the real world.

      In my opinion, it is perfectly reasonable use of English and it makes very good sense to call A(a, lambda) a counterfactual outcome of measurement. If Alice actually forgets to make her measurement at all, but lambda does exist, then A(a, lambda) still does exist mathematically or conceptually – as just some function of lambda – and it does stand for the outcome which Alice would have seen had she actually done her measurement with setting “a”, instead of, for instance, accidentally switching the measurement apparatus off. There is a lot of senseless discussion about Bell’s theorem due to the fact that people from different scientific worlds have slightly different associations with the same words. Add to this cultural differences when people are not reading and writing their native language. “Counterfactual reasoning” got a bad name in philosophy at some stage. But it came back to science in a big way with the success of Pearl’s popularising work on causality. Notions of causality require counterfactual reasoning. Personal morality, public law, upbringing of children, democracy .. all require that we behave as if free will exists and that we are allowed to argue with counterfactuals.

  10. bryansanctuary

    Perhaps it is just me, but I have sensed for some time now, in my readings, a growing discontent within physics as the old guard moves on. There is grudgingness mounting toward non-locality by the new blood, and it is timely, perhaps, to resolve the EPR paradox. I believe this discontent is motivated by the unphysical nature of non-locality which young scientists have doubts about, asking their mentors “how does it work?”, who expound their religion “That is quantum weirdness” accept it, it just is!”

    I do have some misgivings about grad students in the final stages of their theses, suddenly finding they are based upon a fallacy, and cannot submit. I will be very happy, however, at the drying up of research funds into weirdness.

    This week

    It is now a week since Richard and I made the bet. I thought I would give some of my views and would be interested to hear Richard’s, and others.

    I understand that people are skeptical, and I would like to release the paper now. I must follow the steps, so ask you to wait-a-bit. Thank you for your patience.


    I am quite cavalier about the judging. I believe that the academic community will decide, and I hope even Richard voluntarily agrees he lost. I said he was the “Knight of Ni” and could “do his worst!”.

    He did not agree with, or like, my prediction:

    “Richard will read my paper, slap his gob, say “Holy shit!” and send me 5,000 euros.”

    He says, “I doubt it!”

    We will see. I don’t intend to lose. I am not using this as a publicity stunt, as someone proffered just to get attention, hey it is 5,000 Euros! and I do not want the humiliation of being found wrong, so the bet is sincere, I will pay if I lose.

    Richard has said I am using “Tricks” in my work, but a magician is a trickster, deceptive and tries to fool people. I can assure you I have no intention of even trying to trick anyone or trying to fool these intelligent people. Honesty is my value.

    Richard’s assessments are often based upon personal attacks, like my deficit he says is

    “You don’t see reality. It’s because you didn’t get mathematical thinking drummed into your head at the stage of your intellectual development when you absorbed physical thinking. “

    I agree that our formal training is different, and I am not a mathematician. I suggest, “vive la différence!” Our backgrounds mold us, and I do get the impression that Richard cannot see the beyond Bell’s Theorem. Blinkered eyes:

    There lies beyond our normal ken,
    Real things we are not suited.
    With blinkered eyes we forge a view
    That’s incomplete and muted.

    You might not like my poems, but I do, they are emotional expressions, that’s all, but the answer is in “Beyond the Dawn”.


    I asked Richard and others, why not wait-a-second, minute, month or bit, until my work is out. There have been two posts on FB, saying that I will lose; that my work should be rejected without review; and basically “what can a chemist know?”. Richard says it will be “like taking candy from a baby“, and suggests most anti-Bellists are chemists. A have a few cheers from my FB friends in support! Thanks!

    My goal

    My main goal is to eradicate forever the concept of non-local entanglement so that it is delegated to the Annals of Lost Causes. Whereas local realists have been denied the opportunity to speak and publish in the past, (it has been “no-go” for me at several meetings), in the future the missionaries of non-locality will be spurned, not us realists.

    Also, I focus on non-locality in quantum info theory only, not other forms of non-locality, often held up as evidence. These are different and I do not reject all phenomena which suggest non-local influences.

    Bell’s Inequalities

    I really have very little interest in Bell’s Inequalities BI, only his theorem. For me, BI are a tool and nothing else, based upon some axioms. Long ago I went through the math, and I will let mathematicians argue the nuances, not me But I accept them, the experimental data, and that QM violates them. My work is NOT about BI, which simply defines the “invisible boundary”, David Wick talked about, and that separates the classical from the quantum.

    Bell’s theorem is different, and it is easy to destroy, as I will in my paper.


    I do, as is clear from my earlier comments, challenge those who have perpetuated the concepts of non-locality, being notably Nicolas Gisin, Anton Zeilinger, along with those who believe in quantum teleportation, and legions of their students. Gisin is likely tired of hearing me quote him in about 2002 but it is worth repeating what he said to me because it sums up what I call the “Religion of Quantum Weirdness”,

    “Ah, monsieur, we are in a realm of physics beyond human comprehension!”

    I have not heard from those I challenged; they are silent.

    If course telling people who have spent their careers working on bogus directions, supported only the folly of Bell’s theorem, to withdraw their papers is a bit draconian. It was, of course, to get their attention, which I think I got, and likely all their protégées (quaking in their boots) know now and that was my intention.

    It is unlikely they will enter a bet with me, which shouts volumes. It underscores to me they doubt their own credibility, otherwise they would stand by their work and bet. Of course, their lack of response might also be that they view me as a quantum crackpot, the interloping chemist, and should be ignored.

    I enjoyed David Wick’s The Invisible Boundary (

    New Idea

    Here are David Wick’s comments about the three stages of publishing new ideas:
    1. You are wrong—reject
    2. You are not wrong, but it is not important—reject
    3. You are right, it is important, but we have known this all along—reject.

    Scientia potentia est

    1. ben6993

      I have a retrocausal model which does not require non-locality and bypasses Bell’s Theorem to give a correlation of 0.707 when detector angles are separated by 45 degrees. Entanglement is an essential part of my retrocausal model, but the two particles in a pair are not entangled at the time of measurement.

      Retrocausality does not use non-locality and the world can be local, at least for a Bell experiment. Physical reality is redefined in my model so that positrons travel backwards in time … that takes some adjustment in one’s view of the world!

      Austin Fearnley

  11. Richard Gill

    Justo, I really like your paper ; that’s splendid bit of writing

    Bryan: do please carefully read Justo’s paper. It explains why you are on a wild goose chase. You wrote to me:

    “You have said to me on multiple occasions, “Read Bell’s papers!” I would like to tell you that really mean, “Read Bell’s papers and agree with me!” The point is I do not agree with you nor Bell, no matter how much you or I read.”

    I don’t want you to read Bell’s papers and agree with what you think Bell or I are saying, because you don’t understand what Bell was saying, and you don’t understand what I say. I don’t want you to agree with what we are not saying! I want you to understand Bell’s logical reasoning. What conclusions you draw from that it up to you. Bell himself imagined that Niels Bohr would understand Bell perfectly and agree and say “yes, I told you so!” You have to take account of the entire (macroscopic, classical) experimental context. A Bell experiment is not local since the experimental context is not local. Questions of locality would, to Bohr, be meaningless. And Bell realism is not endorsed in the Copenhagen interpretation. Khrennikov has become an old school Bohr-follower. He agrees that Bell’s notion of local realism has been invalidated.

  12. bryansanctuary

    Richard, I do not see my answers listed. Please do not hold them up because it makes it difficult to answer. Please just stop moderating.

  13. bryansanctuary

    Justo I would like to to answer these points in one nice line with no references or quotes from others, just your understanding. I have asked you twice before and you seem reluctant to answer:

    What is your interpretation of the violation of Bell’s Inequalities?
    What is the cause of the violation?
    What is the major consequence (only one please) of the violation?

    If you cannot answer, then you will understand, but I have no trouble to answer.
    Richard, you too, please answer with one sentence for each.

    1. Richard Gill

      1. Local realism is not true
      2. Local realism is not true
      3. The universe does not evolve according to deterministic laws

      1. bryansanctuary

        So now that we have established that you do not agree with locality, then you must believe in non-locality. Where does that notion come from in your mind? I am following your ideas and am interested in how we differ. It was in answer to my question “What is your interpretation of the violation of Bell’s Inequalities?” and so I assume the idea of non-locality comes from that. Please confirm how.

      2. Richard Gill

        I don’t have an explanation of quantum non locality. We only have a description of it. I think that Feynman was right that one just has to get used to the mathematics.

    2. Justo

      I did not ask to read my whole paper. Section IV answers your question in more detail and is only one page. But here are your answers:
      1) The same as Bell’s: QM can not be embedded in a more complete local theory.
      2) The same as 1), i.e., QM and (given the experimental violations) nature cannot be modeled by a local hidden variable theory that respects statistical independence.
      3) The same as 1) and 2)

      Yes, Bell believed that QM is nonlocal but he never said that his inequality showed that. If he did, I am very interested in knowing where he wrote that, so please tell me.

      1. Justo

        I forgot a very important detail. Most of Bell’s followers claim that the Bell inequality violations are proof of quantum nonlocality. But never said that and I agree with him.

      2. Justo

        “Quantum nonlocality” is commonly *defined* as: violation of Bell inequalities!

        Richard, you are right, however, until proven the contrary I will stand by Bell claiming that he never said that and that he would not agree with that definition.

      3. bryansanctuary

        Thank you. Helpful. I do want to split hairs about what Bell may have said or not. Reading his works in Speakable.. he clearly points out arguments against local realism based upon violations.

        I am more interested in your comment, and thanks for it, “QM can not be embedded in a more complete local theory.” Can you explain your reasons behind that? I would suspect from your comment, therefore, QM must support some non-local connectivity, like the teleporting “EPR channels” to be complete. Can I assume you think that these EPR channels, or some other non-local event, are viable? Or are you saying that QM is good enough as it is, and since it cannot be completed locally, it must be complete as it stands? What are your views?

      4. bryansanctuary

        Ok, no explanation, no mechanism, no knowledge of how it happens, just accept quantum non-locality as God-given, or something some might believe in as “intelligent design” (ugh!) or other notions of revelation that have no place in physics??? You are advocating “quantum weirdness”? Just “believe” say you, “beyond understanding”. We have now underscored a significant difference between you and me–and the math is only as good as the assumptions.

  14. Justo

    -Dear Bryan you said: “I am more interested in your comment, and thanks for it, “QM can not be embedded in a more complete local theory.” Can you explain your reasons behind that?”

    Yes, Bell inequality violations!. Of course, you can do it by violating statistical independence though.

    Regarding the rest, there are precise reasons for believing in quantum nonlocality but they’re not BI violations.
    The confusion arises because radical non-localists like Maudling, Federico Laudisa, Travis Norsen, and many other philosophers and physicists claim that BI violations are proofs of quantum nonlocality.
    In 1964 Bell neither proved quantum nonlocality nor claimed having done so. Later in a paper in 1975 he did give a proof but again was not his inequality. His argument was the same Einstein gave already in 1927.
    I give a precise argument of quantum nonlocality in section IV of my paper.
    Quantum mechanics violates what Bell defined as “Local causality” and the violation has nothing to do with his inequality.
    Do you want QM to be local? Then reject the local causality definition and stop the nonsense with the Bell inequality.

    1. Justo

      I forgot, you always have the option of superdeterminism then you wouldn’t have to reject local causality.

    2. Bryan Sanctuary

      “Stop nonsense with BI” you say? Me? I keep saying I do not give a slap on the belly with a wet fish for BI. Please how can you arrive at that?

      But you have answered my questions, thanks, so I conclude that you believe that Bell did not conclude non- locality, I don’t care. Irrevalent.

      We have agreed it is generally believed that the violations are evidence for non-locality, and therefore, a la Bell’s theorem, it can only be supported by stuff like non- local EPR channels.

      I am happy with that view because you have confirmed exactly what I said at the beginning of these exchanges, but you have not answered how non-localitiy is mediated because you do not know.

      This is where you are dead wrong. You interpret the violations incorrectly, but you must wait for my paper.

      For me now, I understand your position, so I have really nothing more to discuss with you until my paper is out. Your arguments are bogus.

      P.S. I did look at your paper but you said section IV but all I have in that paper is 4, not IV. Do I have the right paper?

      1. Justo

        Bryan, I am not surprised that you consider my arguments as bogus, otherwise, you wouldn’t have anything against Bell.
        P.S. The paper in arXiv is the same as the published one.

  15. Steve Presse

    Hi everyone,
    Maybe a thought that is worth emphasizing that was not mentioned: Bell’s setup essentially rules out local realism within QM. It doesn’t rule out local non-realism.

    In this sense, I always find it more valuable to think of the two slit experiment (as opposed to Bell’s setup) where the slit through which the particle diffracts is left unrealized until interacting with the screen. It is *as though* the particle had communicated non-locally with itself at both slits. But this correspondence is confusing.
    Indeed, a careful Alice-Bob experiment should eventually reveal that this communication is infinitely faster than the speed of light. But there is no communication, of course and that’s why, when looked through this lens, things look strange. But they aren’t.

    Any probabilistic theory, whether quantum or classical, has the notion of a random variable, R, and its realization, r. Realizing a random variable necessarily involves sampling from the prob distribution. This process has no associated lag time (it is instantaneous).

    Bryan: in your write up, it would be helpful to discuss non-realism and Young two-slit with supporting simulations. My two cents (and it is nice to reconnect with you!).

    p.s. Two decades ago, exactly now, I was an undergrad in Bryan’s lab. Hi Bryan!
    I am now prof in physics at ASU and work in what is essentially computational statistics (Bayesian nonparametrics applied to single molecule imaging problems).

    1. bryansanctuary

      Hi Steve–Great to hear from you and glad to read your views. Congrats on the prof job too!

      I will not do the double slit experiment. Leave that for others. foundations of qm is not just philosophy but the philosophy is guided by the math and logic.

      I disagree with most of what Richard says, which is why we have the bet. If you read the comments, they are all stuck in Bell’s Inequalities, and the interpretation that the violation is evidence for non-locality. It is not, but I am not rushing. I have little interest in BI, and, for that matter, Bell’s ideas. Richard believes violation means no local realism, I will prove him wrong.

      I have 6 months to win, but Richard gives me up to 2 years!! He wants me to jump through his simulation hoops, but I just want to dismiss non-locality and move on to more interesting things.

      But this is just talk, so you will have to wait-a-bit more before the paper is out. Happy to hear your comments!!

      1. Richard Gill

        Bryan, violation of Bell inequalities is *evidence* for non-locality, but not proof. Moreover, whether or not it would be significant evidence depends on how you choose to define non-locality. I believe that such violation (in a rigorous experimental context) means “no local realism”. I understand the term “local realism” in the same way as Bell, Tsirelson, and many others understand it. Nobody can jump through my simulation hoops without moving them. When the paper is out, we will see which goal-posts you have moved.

      2. Steve presse

        Hi Bryan, I appreciate your sincerity in this. I am also very impressed by Richard’s research credentials (cf. Google scholar). I cannot claim to have exhaustively read the quantum foundation literature. Perused, at best.

        What I can claim to understand, and what I am exposed to daily, is the profound misunderstanding of statistics by physicists (especially if they don’t do Monte Carlo).

        The acceptance of non-locality and the rejection of non-realism directly stem from a misunderstanding of statistics. Non-locality is a profoundly aberrated viewpoint through which to understand the concept of statistical sampling of joint quantities (aka the de facto non-realism of quantum parlance).

        Bell was a clear thinker but, at some point, analogies and connections to unphysical events (non-local communication) hurt. For the life of me, I can’t see what his inequalities contributed that was not already there in the Young double-slit for all to think about.

        I will try to keep a low profile on this blog to minimize information flow … blockage between you and Richard.

  16. Justo

    Steve Presse
    Can you explain what is local non-realism?
    I ask you becouse I do not know and many nonlocalists stongly critcise it. I do not agree with them but still it is not clear to me. You do not need to explain, a reference is enough for me.

    1. Steve Presse

      Hi Justo,
      In physics quantum classes we don’t use words like “non-realism” or “non-locality”. When we write down a wave-fxn for a young two slit, or an entangled state, we have a r+ sign between both parts of the wave fxn. The + sign implies an OR statement. To say they both parts of the wave fxn communicate non-locally, in modern statistical parlance, would be an abuse of language.

      When we then see a diffraction pattern on the screen, what we see are manifestations of the laws of probability. That is, the photon could have diffracted through one OR the other slit.

      To address your question simply: if I briefly look for refs that discuss local non-realism, I also find an assortment of other words drawn from philosophy which normally hints at papers of questionable provenance.

      I would think that, when probed, most physicists would agree with what I said above. Very few would use words like non-realist, non-local etc that is reserved for philosophers.

      1. Richard Gill

        Steve, of course, if you believe quantum mechanics, you don’t use those words. But maybe quantum mechanics is wrong. Some physicists are trying to align quantum mechanics and relativity theory, in particular, develop a theory of quantum gravity. Many smart physicists believe that Bell’s theorem presents a serious obstacle to doing so. One or both theories will need serious modification before they can be fused. So are you saying that physicists who work on quantum gravity are just philosophers and nobody needs to take any notice of them?

        Are you saying that Bryan’s project is just philosophy!?

  17. Steve presse

    Hi Richard,
    to be clear, no one working in unifying gravity with the other forces captured by the standard model is questioning the probabilistic nature of quantum or born’s rule (aka sampling from a probability distribution when you have a probabilistic theory).

    So the confusion on non-realism/non-locality has nothing to do with the standard model being incomplete.

    Second, yes, I consider all research into foundations of qm philosophy. Sorry.

    If I have a joint probability distribution over two correlated variables (say spins that have interacted in the past ) and I sample from this joint distribution, I obtain correlated spin states. Does that mean they were in communication as I sampled them? Obviously not.

    1. Richard Gill

      Steve, you are wrong there! Very serious and renowned researchers are exploring superdeterminism and retrocausality. Some are exploring instantaneous action at a distance within a preferred reference frame. The mathematics of these approaches stands firm. These are options which fit the facts, though you may not find them attractive (I don’t, either). The standard model of quantum mechanics is incomplete in the sense that it does not explain, it only predicts. It is not a mechanistic theory. The origin of those probabilities is not explained. Sure, most physicists consider all this merely a conundrum for philosophers. Get on with doing their experiments, developing quantum technology, solving problems in quantum chemistry which will benefit the world. Seems you are a “shut up and calculate” guy.

      Then you go on to show that you have not read Bell’s “Bertlmann’s socks” paper. Obviously, the correlation between those spins does not imply they were in communication while they were being measured. I don’t think so, either. I think you are missing the point entirely. In that sense, I think you are in the same boat as my good friend Bryan!

      1. Steve Presse

        Richard, I don’t need to read every n^th variant of everything that was ever written by Pusey/‘t hooft/Hossenfelder/Omnes/Bell/Bohm/Joy Christian et al. to know that you, and others, are seeking a mechanistic/deterministic (ahem classical) substitute to QM. Do I?

        How about just learning the implications of a probabilistic framework instead of always fighting it and dismissing those who learnt it as “shut up and calculate” types?

      2. Richard Gill

        Steve, of course, everybody doesn’t have to read everything. I don’t read what all the clever people on your list say. I’m not interested in a lot of it. I only read what some of the really stupid people say because it is alarming that so many smart people don’t see how dumb it is. I have learnt the implications of a probabilistic framework. My work on quantum tomography is used by experimenters. I am not fighting it! What gave you that idea? Feynman recommended “shut up and calculate” in a very positive sense, because he recommended gaining deep insight and intuition into the mathematics of the framework which certainly appears to be correct. My guess is that it is relativity theory that is going to need modification and that physicists are going to have to face up to irreversibility and randomness as basic ingredients of the physical world. But quantum philosophy is just one of my hobbies. I also do statistics like you do and I use it to correct miscarriages of justice.

        I am not seeking a mechanistic/deterministic (ahem classical) substitute to QM. I know that it is a waste of time, like you do.

        I think that Bryan is pursuing a fata morgana. It seems that he also has no patience to find out what Bell actually did. Since I like him, I’d like to save him from wasting a lot of time and experiencing a lot of frustration.

      3. bryansanctuary

        Steve: You won’t get far with Richard if you disagree, and he will question your competence. We have been friends for 20 years, and it only bothers me to the extent he hurts others, including careers. But argue away, please, but note he will split hairs with you and try to obfuscate the issues rather than answer. I am trying, unsuccessfully, to keep out of the discussion before my paper appears.

        But I must make it clear: my paper is NOT about Bell’s inequalities. The only part of Bell that is of concern to me is his theorem, and the interpretation that the violations are evidence for non-locality.

      4. Richard Gill

        Bryan, you wrote: “It only bothers me to the extent he hurts others, including careers”. Could you be specific concerning whose careers I hurt? Some people hurt their own careers by publishing papers full of mathematical derivations which were *wrong*; for instance Han Geurdes, see . Some of such people made things even worse by publicly resorting to vulgar personal abuse. The fact that some such people are simply incompetent in mathematics can be in plain view, to any mathematician at least. Some people came to me to get my opinion on their purported counterexamples to Bell’s theorem. I gave them my opinion. I showed them where they were making mistakes in their proofs. I’m sorry if that hurts people’s feelings. I recall a dental surgeon originally from Croatia who rewrote all of mathematics (a whole book, hundreds of pages) in order to disprove Bell’s theorem. I could not agree with his theory. His book is incredible. He was so upset that he said that he hoped that I would die, and that he had better not be invited to my funeral, because if he came, it would be to spit in my grave. I had met him at a few conferences, he was very charming as long as you did not disagree with him. He approached me, because he passionately wanted to be recognised by people like me. Yes, I hurt his career in science.

      5. bryansanctuary

        Well that about says it all, I can sort of rest my case after reading that. I won’t list the people, you know who I mean. Its not pointing out errors, its the way you do it that matters.

      6. Richard Gill

        Bryan, that won’t do. Give us the names so I can defend myself. You are speaking in public and making a grave accusation. I need to be able to defend myself. (It may not be necessary).

        By the way, when Bryan says “splitting hairs”, he is referring to occasions when I point out fatal errors in the heart of a long paper which leave the paper devoid of novel scientific content. That’s very upsetting for the authors. Papers which claim to disprove Bell’s theorem and which are wrong must be corrected or withdrawn. The same goes for papers which claim to prove the Riemann hypothesis. They must be thoroughly scrutinised and withdrawn if wrong. That’s just the normal process of science. You tell the world something which appears to be of fundamental importance. But you made some bad mistakes and you were wrong. You accept that, you apologise, and you withdraw the paper.

      7. Steve Presse

        Hi Bryan, Richard,

        To put an obvious name out there, I suppose Joy Christian comes to mind. It’s hard for me to take Joy’s thoughts on statistics/statisticians seriously 🙂

        I don’t have anything to worry about regarding disagreeing with Richard. I have no stakes in this game and have long reconciled my thoughts to what some might call local non-realism (Ie, the boring, most common, take).

        I’m sorry my thoughts have sidelined the scientific discussion.

        I only wish I could understand the (misguided) obsession with “seeking a mechanism” underlying fundamental probability distributions.

        In much of my work, filtering/marginalizing over/summing over realizations of random variables is part of life. It is to anyone doing serious statistics.
        In doing so, we always implicitly say that it doesn’t matter to what value some latent variable was realized. We just sum over it. Indeed, this “non-realism” (if we want to call it that) is useful to me even in completely non-quantum applications.

        Bottom line, non-realism is probably not only “true” but it is also useful.

      8. Richard Gill

        Well said, Steve . I’m referring to your latest post, the one which starts with : “To put an obvious name out there, I suppose Joy Christian comes to mind. It’s hard for me to take Joy’s thoughts on statistics/statisticians seriously”.

        My only stake in all this is the logic of anyone’s arguments.

        Regarding JC: I think it’s hard to take any of Joy’s thoughts seriously. He might be right in his intuition that what we call quantum entanglement can be quite simply explained by the geometry of space-time, or just by the geometry of space, and maybe it shouldn’t be thought of as weird at all. I think that that might be right, and hence it’s a great pity that he sunk his own boats good and proper by not admitting simple errors, by making obscene personal comments about fellow scientists, and by lying about his academic CV.

  18. Justo

    In my humble opinion, Richard and Bryan are entering down a rabbit hole.
    My guess is that in the end both will claim victory and a truce will be established.
    I would bet for that if had I 5.000 euros to throw at a rabbit hole.
    Although I am agnostic regarding quantum nonlocality, I stand by Bell because he is so trivially and almost universally misunderstood.

    1. Richard Gill

      I think not, Justo! We are not betting on whether or not one of us can convince the other. Bryan is betting that he will convince the majority of his peers that, with a new publication, he will have made a brilliant contribution to science, shining an entirely new light on the EPR-Bell-spooky non-locality business. I am very confident he will not gain massive support for his (yet to be revealed) new ideas. The peers in question will be colleagues whom we both know to be scientists of both intelligence and integrity and with the necessary competence to read Bryan’s paper and read my forthcoming critique of it.

      1. bryansanctuary

        I predict: most of the panel will read my paper, smack their gobs, say “Holy shit!” and capitulate. The bet is serious, and I move as fast as I can, the ideas are simple, and the reason I expect people to accept it is because they are agnostic and uneasy with the status quo.

    2. bryansanctuary

      more like a wormhole than rabbit hole. Bell is not misunderstood. He could not imagine beyond the classical, so to me that makes him a Positivist, like Ernst Mach, and like Mach, Bell has held back the foundations of qm for 60 years with his theorem.

      1. Richard Gill

        Bell could and did imagine beyond the classical. He could also think extremely sharply, and he could analyse the difference between the two worlds. Trouble is, many readers don’t have this ability. His work has advanced both QM itself and its foundations to an enormous degree.

      2. Justo

        Bryan, your contempt towards Bell’s contribution reveals a very biased actitude. His inequality plays an important role in quantum information.
        If Bell is not misunderstood, then who understands him correctly? Because there is no universal agreement. For instance:
        1) People who believe in “classicality” are his worst enemies because he rules out non-conspiratorial local hidden variables (Joy Christian, de la Peña, Cetto, etc.). According to this group of people, the Bell theorem and his inequality are complete nonsense and worst than pseudoscience.
        2) On the other hand, physicists like F. Werner and Stephen Boughn at least do not claim that his equality is meaningless, only that it cannot be interpreted as proof of quantum nonlocality. I suspect that this is the position of most physicists.
        3) There are what I call radical nonlocalists. It includes a number of philosophers like Tim Mauling and Federico Laudisa but there are also many physicists that think in this way.
        4) We also have people like Griffiths who defend quantum locality like those in 2), but unlike them, think the inequality is nonsense.

        Do you consider yourself in one of those categories? Just in case you want to give us a hint.

  19. bryansanctuary

    I predict, once again, that non-locality and Bell’s theorem will be assigned to the Annals of Bad Ideas and Lost Causes. Please Richard, wait and see. And once again you question the mental capacity of your opponents, and praise those you agree with.

    1. Richard Gill

      Bryan, I praise sharp and clear thinkers! And clean, elegant, *correct* mathematics. Bell himself veered to different conclusions at different stages of his life. I don’t know what he would think today. And yes, I am waiting in order to see what you will come up with and I will give it my careful and unbiased attention, and give you my honest opinion. I have an open mind concerning quantum foundations. Often I veer towards different opinions at different times on the same day.

  20. Justo

    “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” This principle was famously laid out by German theoretical physicist Max Planck in 1950 and it turns out that he was right.

    The case of the Bell theorem is not so much about a new scientific truth. It is rather about trivial but persistent misunderstandings. Unfortunately, Max Planck’s maxim equally applies.

    Good luck with the bet and let us wait and see who finally sees the light.

  21. bryansanctuary

    Hope everyone is ok. It occurred to me that Gisin and others did not reply. Do I take this to mean that Gisin will not put up 5,000 euros to support his work? Likely the truth is he has dismissed me as a nut, but either way, I challenge him to reply here and respond to the bet. Professor Gisin could always teleport the money to me when I win!!

    1. Richard Gill Post author

      Bryan, I expect you’re right in your guess about Gisin. Write your paper! If it’s as great as you bet it is, you’ll hear from Gisin soon enough after it comes out.


Leave a Reply