The inevitable conclusion from the analysis in the preceding sections that a major part of modern physics, quantum mechanics, is creationism and not science generates an interesting set of problems for theoretical physicists. One way to deal with the problems is to ignore the findings and to try to discredit the author of the paper. This is, what the establishment in physics did rather successfully with David Bohm, and it is probably safe to say that this will be the first reaction. But will theoretical physicists be able to keep a straight face and the necessary authoritative demeanor when they teach quantum mechanics 101 in the future? Will they be able to stifle a grin when they write down Born's equation or multiply a Pauli matrix with a field vector to obtain a magnetic moment? If this situation is already quite difficult to handle for a real scientist, because scientists are notoriously bad at lying, the second problem is even worse. Because what will biologists think, who had to fight against creationism ever since Charles Darwin published his book? One can predict that physics, as a science, will loose most of the respect it enjoys currently in the scientific community. This leads to the third problem, which is finding out how to make physics a real science again. Here, the question is how much will have to be changed, how much of the current conventional wisdom will have to be discarded for a future, strictly scientific, physics. There is, unfortunately, no easy way out. The whole problem of creationism should have been addressed eighty years ago and not swept under the carpet by the faithful followers of Bohr. It should never have been allowed to fester and to impact on all subsequent theory.
For me the most frightening aspect of this analysis is what it says about us physicists. If quantum mechanics, which is one of the corner stones of modern physics, is actually not science but creationism, then how can we justify teaching our students the same nonsense? What they signed up to, when they entered University, was to get an education in a science discipline which gives them the expertise to understand and to work with the reality they are living in. Teaching them creationism, and calling it science, is irresponsible. So I would urge all of my colleagues in theoretical physics to analyse their own field along the same lines. Not by mindlessly heaping mathematical symbols onto a whiteboard and then, at some point, magically finding physical objects, but by analysing whether what their theory does is actually compatible with the laws of causality. If it is not, it has no place in science. My feeling is that this will probably apply to most of modern physics, not just quantum mechanics. Time, I would think, for a big bonfire of theoretical tradition.
Werner A. Hofer