# Bell’s Boring Inequality and the Insanity of the Gaps

UNCOMMON Descent’s Denyse O’Leary’s recent ID Report post asks the question: Is Bell’s Inequality the most profound fact ever discovered?

Answer: No. Not even.

I’m not sure how much of her post is a quote of Malcolm Chisholm and how much is O’Leary’s original writing, but in any case she doesn’t even suggest that Bell’s Inequality might *not* be profound *at all,* much less the most profound thing ever.

The number of objects which have parameter A but not parameter B plus the number of objects which have parameter B but not parameter C is greater than or equal to the number of objects which have parameter A but not parameter C.

So for instance, if you have a class of students, then

The number of girls who are not blond plus the number of blond students who are under six feet tall must be greater or equal to the number of girls who are under six feet tall.

This will always be true. It is amazing.

She includes a link to a University of Toronto page which (as of this writing) features a rather convoluted proof of the “theorem.” Wikipedia’s current page on the subject is even more stunningly complicated.

None of these pages makes note of the following simple fact: There are 2^{3} (i.e. 8) ways to combine three two-way characteristics. The eight groups are:

1. A

2. B

3. C

4. AB

5. BC

6. AC

7. ABC

8. none of the three characteristics

We don’t know how many people are in each of the eight groups, but that doesn’t matter, as you’ll soon see. Let’s tag all groups with an (x) if they feature A but not B:

1. A (x)

2. B

3. C

4. AB

5. BC

6. AC (x)

7. ABC

8. none of the three characteristics

Now let’s also tag with an (x) the groups that feature B but not C:

1. A (x)

2. B (x)

3. C

4. AB (x)

5. BC

6. AC (x)

7. ABC

8. none of the three characteristics

Finally, let’s tag with a (y) the groups that feature A but not C:

1. A (x) (y)

2. B (x)

3. C

4. AB (x) (y)

5. BC

6. AC (x)

7. ABC

8. none of the three characteristics

Notice that both of the (y) groups are also included in (x) — but (x) has two other groups as well. So the number of people tagged with (x) must be greater than (or equal to, if groups 2 and 6 are empty) the number of people tagged with (y).

What’s so profound about that? Is it more profound than, say, the Pythagorean Theorem? Or the proof that the square root of 2 is irrational? I’m just not seeing anything very profound about this Bell thing at all.

What the above-referenced webpages try to do, to make Bell’s Inequality seem profound, is to apply it to the measuring and/or filtering of *electrons,* and the apparently contra-logical results that are thus achieved. Two problems with that:

Even if electrons are able to violate the laws of logic as we would normally apply those laws to objects, what does that have to do with the profoundness of Bell’s Inequality (detailed above)? Answer: Nothing. It’s not profound, it’s just a simple exercise in subsets.

Do we really think we have devices that can measure the state of an individual electron without massively affecting that very same state? I’m guessing we don’t! And do we really have “filters” that can knock electrons of a specified state out of an electron stream, while allowing the other electrons to pass through unmodified? I very much doubt it. See my prior article on the misapplication of the word “filter” for a better understanding of the mistake being made here.

Now a pointed question: Which of the following two positions is more enjoyable and profitable to teach:

1. Fundamental particles are too small and sensitive to be reliably measured with any equipment we’ve been able to devise thus far. That makes it really hard to figure out the rules those particles are following, so we’re still working on it, and we might have a long way to go. Right now all we have is a collection of interesting experiments, but we haven’t really figured out what they mean yet.

*or*

2. The behavior of fundamental particles is spooky magic! Humans can barely understand it, if at all! Worship me as one of the few people who *does* understand it (since I say I do), and pay me handsome tuition to confuse the bat shit out of you. As soon as I decided that the lack of evidence of a conspiracy is evidence of a conspiracy, I became impossible to reason with (logic and reason just *don’t work* in the world of quantum mechanics), and so I can churn out endless, thick volumes of self-reinforcing madness, and insist that anyone who calls BS just doesn’t understand it. Whoo-hoo!

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