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Several physicists have suggested that our Universe is not real and is instead a giant simulation.

One of those "longreads" couched in simple sentences that may reward
the patient, with lots of names included for you to pursue. :-)

" ... Some scientists argue that there are already good reasons to think we are
inside a simulation.

One is the fact that our Universe looks designed.

The constants of nature, such as the strengths of the fundamental forces,
have values that look fine-tuned to make life possible.

Even small alterations would mean that atoms were no longer stable, or
that stars could not form.

Why this is so is one of the deepest mysteries in cosmology..."

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160901-we-might-live-in-a-computer-program-but-it-may-not-matter

Comments

  • Mmm ...

    Unconvinced. Do you feel this is likely?

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    A simulation of what?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @essem said:
    One of those "longreads" couched in simple sentences that may reward
    the patient, with lots of names included for you to pursue. :-)

    " ... Some scientists argue that there are already good reasons to think we are
    inside a simulation.

    One is the fact that our Universe looks designed.

    The constants of nature, such as the strengths of the fundamental forces,
    have values that look fine-tuned to make life possible.

    Even small alterations would mean that atoms were no longer stable, or
    that stars could not form.

    Why this is so is one of the deepest mysteries in cosmology..."

    http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160901-we-might-live-in-a-computer-program-but-it-may-not-matter

    This is why I never trust atoms....They make up everything :winky:

    BunksSteve_BdhammachickFosdick
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    edited September 2016

    In philosophy there is a similar idea, originally by Rene Descartes that maybe nothing we see is real and we are being fooled by an all powerful demon. The updated version is that we are all just brains in vat akin to The Matrix. I've read about this simulation idea before, to me it seems like a slightly different iteration. Everything they say is in the realm of metaphysics, there is no and likely would never be proof of such a thing.

    So since this notion has been around for a while people have tried to address this problem of total skepticism about the reality of our world.

    David Chalmers has a wonderful paper: The Matrix as Metaphysics, which perfectly captures my own ideas about skepticism - though in a much more coherent and convincing way than I've ever managed to express.
    I think that even if I am in a matrix, my world is perfectly real. A brain in a vat is not massively deluded (at least if it has always been in the vat). Neo does not have massively false beliefs about the external world. Instead, envatted beings have largely correct beliefs about their world. If so, the Matrix Hypothesis is not a skeptical hypothesis, and its possibility does not undercut everything that I think I know. [Emphasis added]
    The core idea is that we should understand the matrix as being another form of reality, another universe. Thus, the things which happen in it aren't lies, rather, they're true in that world.

    http://www.philosophyetc.net/2004/06/matrix-metaphysics.html

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @David said:
    A simulation of what?

    Exactly. A simulation of what by whom? It seems to be a thinking nothing useful theory.

    One is the fact that our Universe looks designed.

    This is ignorance about cosmology, evolution, big bang, quantum mechanics etc for which there is increasing evidence for.

    Here is an alternative world which might exist somewhere in the simulation or multiverse ...
    http://opcoa.st/PwBCq

    oh and welcome to the New Buddhist Matrix ... B)

  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited September 2016

    I'm sorry, but the "intelligent design" structure of the argument leaves me unimpressed. Most of those arguments revolve around a humancentic point of view and their fallacy has been pointed out by people trying to get rid of the myth of intelligent design for many years.

    The logical and philosophical trap is illustrated by a story. An explorer encountered a tribe that had never seen a white man. The explorer asked them about their beliefs on how the world was formed in the great void. The tribe's leader said, "Oh, the world is carried on the back a huge, world-sized turtle." The explorer asked, "Then what is that turtle standing on?" The Shaman said, "Another turtle, of course." "And how about that one?" the explorer asked. "I see what you're doing," the Shaman replied, "but it's no use. It's turtles all the way down."

    The "turtles all the way down" paradox simply points out that if our universe was designed and created by an intelligence, then who designed and created that intelligence?" And then what created that other intelligence, and so on. And if that intelligence "just happened" then why even bother with such a silly notion? Why can't our universe "just happen" instead?

    If the laws of the universe were slightly different, stars would not have formed, and neither would planets or us. That doesn't mean it was designed that way just so we could exist. In fact, for most of the lifetime of the universe, we can't exist. It was either too hot and full of radiation before and in a few more billion years will be too cold as stellar furnaces and radioactive half lives reach their end.

    So if we postulate that our entire universe is some holodeck construct from a superadvanced alien race, then first, we have no way of proving it because it would behave exactly as if it were "real". Second, then there's an equal chance that superadvanced alien race is also nothing but a hologram simulation by an even more advanced alien race, and so on.

    Jack Chalker wrote a wonderful series way back in the golden age of science fiction called the "Well of Souls" that explored this concept better than even the scientists of today. Look it up, please. It's truly mind expanding.

    WalkerpersonDeformed
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    It's certainly a very interesting read

    Cinorjerlobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Blue pill or red pill?

    herberto
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @Cinorjer said:The tribe's leader said, "Oh, the world is carried on the back a huge, world-sized turtle." The explorer asked, "Then what is that turtle standing on?" The Shaman said, "Another turtle, of course." "And how about that one?" the explorer asked. "I see what you're doing," the Shaman replied, "but it's no use. It's turtles all the way down."

    According to the Wiki article, "Turtles all the way down" dates from the 1800s and is:
    "...an illustration of the concept of Anavastha in Indian philosophy, and refers to the defect of infinite regress in any philosophical argument. Contrary to most extant western references, it is not a popular Hindu belief. Rather, it is a widely accepted principle in Indian philosophy, commonly used to reject arguments for a creator God or "unmoved mover"."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down

    As the Dairy Lama ( NBUH ) says "It's emptiness all the way down", though he did make this comment after clearing out a freezer chest in Tescos. :p

    Note: NBUH = "Neapolitan be upon Him"

    lobsterCinorjerFosdick
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 2016

    I've heard of the notion that we've (or rather, James Gates) found what looks like some kind of digital equation or "computer code" within the fabric of the cosmos and I believe that's where these ideas stem from.

    I have a feeling that cyber space was tapped into, not created and that everything is bits of information but to compare the cosmos to a computer does little justice to the cosmos.

    The universe is a bit digital by nature and we tapped into it by building computers. It doesn't mean some cosmic deity wrote a program.

    Cinorjer
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited September 2016

    Brings new meaning to the Buddha's teaching of not-self doesn't it ?:)

    Cinorjer
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    I decided to read the piece to see what it had to say, there is one part in particular that stood out for me.

    Philosopher Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford in the UK has broken down this scenario into three possibilities. As he puts it, either:
    (1) Intelligent civilisations never get to the stage where they can make such simulations, perhaps because they wipe themselves out first; or
    (2) They get to that point, but then choose for some reason not to conduct such simulations; or
    (3) We are overwhelmingly likely to be in such a simulation.
    The question is which of these options seems most probable.

    I think there is a 4th option, that the subjective experience of conscious beings is unable to be simulated. That this isn't considered points out the degree to which people believe, without the slightest bit of actual proof that some of our brain processes appear to us "in the light" instead of totally "in the dark", that we basically know how consciousness arises.

    Neuroscience needs a theory of consciousness that explains what the phenomenon is and what kinds of entities possess it, Koch said. And currently, only two theories exist that the neuroscience community takes seriously, he said.

    Integrated Information Theory
    ...An interesting corollary of integrated information theory is that no computer simulation, no matter how faithfully it replicates a human mind, could ever become conscious. Koch put it this way: "You can simulate weather in a computer, but it will never be 'wet.'"

    http://www.livescience.com/47096-theories-seek-to-explain-consciousness.html

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited September 2016

    (It annoys the hell out of me when people use the term 'either/or' when there are more than two options. You can't do that. Either/or is used SOLELY in a scenario when there are TWO options. No more. 'Either' is a choice between ONLY two options. People who write for publication, should know this.)

    either

    determiner, pronoun, conjunction UK ​ /ˈaɪ.ðər/ /ˈiː.ðər/ US ​ /ˈiː.ðɚ/ /ˈaɪ.ðɚ/

    Used when referring to a choice between two possibilities:
    Either candidate would be ideal for the job.
    "Do you prefer pork or beef?" "I don't like either."
    "Would you like the metal or plastic one?" "Either will do."
    You can get there by train or bus - either way/in either case it'll take an hour.
    We can either eat now or after the show - it's up to you.
    Either you leave now or I call the police!

    Ok, carry on.... :D

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    I am glad I can write proper like what the Queen does, innit. :p

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    You talk improper like Les Dawson played the piano badly. It takes skill to cock it all up, and sound inept.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    Gawd! I 'ope I hain't never accused of pedantry! Nuffink could be worst!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I imagined that in Parker's voice.... 'Yuss, M'Lady...'

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    From the article

    But this is all just supposition. Could we find any evidence?

    Many researchers believe that depends on how good the simulation is. The best way would be to search for flaws in the program, just like the glitches that betray the artificial nature of the "ordinary world" in The Matrix. For instance, we might discover inconsistencies in the laws of physics.

    Maybe the flawed use of grammar is an indication of a glitch in the matrix and we really are living in a simulation. O.o

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    There are times when life feels like one giant Truman Show, or Candid Camera, to be sure. Intelligent design isn't something I buy into, at least not in the way most humans consider it. We tend to believe there has to be an intelligent being to think up anything "smart" that happens. When we can't fathom it, we call it a miracle and decide something grander than us must have come up with it. I don't think that's true, it just doesn't make sense to me. I think nature and the universe does just fine on it's own, and I'm perfectly fine with believing this crazy living we do is all happenstance of just the right conditions all brought together. I think our human perspective is extremely limiting.

  • The answer is 42! =)

    Cinorjer
  • What a beautiful horrible simulation. Any more news about conventional reaility? I'm all atoms......

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @person said:
    From the article

    But this is all just supposition. Could we find any evidence?

    Many researchers believe that depends on how good the simulation is. The best way would be to search for flaws in the program, just like the glitches that betray the artificial nature of the "ordinary world" in The Matrix. For instance, we might discover inconsistencies in the laws of physics.

    Maybe the flawed use of grammar is an indication of a glitch in the matrix and we really are living in a simulation. O.o

    Yus, it's them little glitches what suggest a stimerlashun. :p

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran
    edited September 2016

    So maybe we're in a simulation. So what? Is it going to change the way you live your life? We're here, we have lives to live, taxes to pay and death to prepare for. This seems very similar to the four imponderables.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Closed until OP comes back and contributes or requires thread re-opened to comment.

    Thanks everyone.

This discussion has been closed.