Cosmology News

This again? Yup. Our universe might be a fake.

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Good thing it’s Friday nite.

From Space.com

I began bemused. The notion that humanity might be living in an artificial reality — a simulated universe — seemed sophomoric, at best science fiction.

But speaking with scientists and philosophers on “Closer to Truth,” I realized that the notion that everything humans see and know is a gigantic computer game of sorts, the creation of supersmart hackers existing somewhere else, is not a joke. Exploring a “whole-world simulation,” I discovered, is a deep probe of reality. More.

Maybe the supersmart hackers are themselves creations of supersmart hackers.

So it’s supersmart hackers all the way down?

See also: How this nonsense came to be considered science.

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10 Replies to “This again? Yup. Our universe might be a fake.

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    Simulated Universes scream Intelligent Design. Heck, Simulated Universes prove Intelligent Design.

    I can see why some Scientists are leaning in this direction. Oops/Poof does not cut it any more. Unscientific, irrational, kind of dumb.

  2. 2
    Mapou says:

    ppolish,

    It’s a way for them to admit intelligent design without seeming to do so (for fear of being crucified by their peers). Besides, those who allegedly designed, built and are running the simulation would be, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from the Gods.

    Edit: IOW, they’re running away from religion only to fall into it even deeper.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    See also: How this nonsense came to be considered science.

    It’s an old idea but I don’t see anyone trying to insert it into taxpayer-funded textbooks or have it taught compulsorily in public schools as hard science, so what’s the beef?

  4. 4
    ppolish says:

    Seversky, the days of unguided purposelessness oops being taught in Science Class are coming to an end. Sad but true.

    On the bright side, again believing that there is “Design in Nature” will get Science thinking. Back on the right track. Like Newton et al.

    Sure, there will be ideas like “Simulated Universe” and “Multiverse” bandied about to explain the Design. That’s ok – like Miss Frizzle said “make mistakes”. That’s ok.

    The real payoff will come in the form of reverse engineering. Incredible designs in Nature. Simply awesome. Just stay away from that “Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil”. Don’t make THAT mistake again. Once bitten twice shy;)

  5. 5
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Poof doesn’t work because Nothing has no properties or potentiality.
    So a multiverse is invented. It’s just a religion in the form of science. It’s same as saying Zeus or Thor did it.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    My response (needs diagrams etc, so headlined): http://www.uncommondescent.com.....universes/

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually, there is some science at the base of this ‘we are living in a simulation’ argument.
    Specifically, there is much evidence from quantum mechanics that the universe is indeed information theoretic in its basis.

    Forget Space-Time: Information May Create the Cosmos – (Closer To Truth) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ATWa2AEvIY

    Describing Nature With Math By Peter Tyson – Nov. 2011
    Excerpt: Mathematics underlies virtually all of our technology today. James Maxwell’s four equations summarizing electromagnetism led directly to radio and all other forms of telecommunication. E = mc2 led directly to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The equations of quantum mechanics made possible everything from transistors and semiconductors to electron microscopy and magnetic resonance imaging.
    Indeed, many of the technologies you and I enjoy every day simply would not work without mathematics. When you do a Google search, you’re relying on 19th-century algebra, on which the search engine’s algorithms are based. When you watch a movie, you may well be seeing mountains and other natural features that, while appearing as real as rock, arise entirely from mathematical models. When you play your iPod, you’re hearing a mathematical recreation of music that is stored digitally; your cell phone does the same in real time.
    “When you listen to a mobile phone, you’re not actually hearing the voice of the person speaking,” Devlin told me. “You’re hearing a mathematical recreation of that voice. That voice is reduced to mathematics.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/p.....-math.html

    Quantum physics just got less complicated – Dec. 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner,,, found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.,,,
    “The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,”,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-q.....cated.html

    In the beginning was the bit – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Zeilinger’s principle leads to the intrinsic randomness found in the quantum world. Consider the spin of an electron. Say it is measured along a vertical axis (call it the z axis) and found to be pointing up. Because one bit of information has been used to make that statement, no more information can be carried by the electron’s spin. Consequently, no information is available to predict the amounts of spin in the two horizontal directions (x and y axes), so they are of necessity entirely random. If you then measure the spin in one of these directions, there is an equal chance of its pointing right or left, forward or back. This fundamental randomness is what we call Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_.....302101.php

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    Yet the belief that the universe is merely a computer simulation, and is not dependent on God for its continual existence, is yet just another example, in a long line of examples, of people trying to substitute a false idol of their own making, (this time a computer), for the living God. (see Nancy Pearcey’s book “Finding Truth”) .
    For a prime example of computers being a ‘God subtitute’, i.e. an idol based, argument against God, is the following video,,

    Is God No Better Than A Special Computer? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xinwkb_b4k4

    Atheist Lewis Wolbert states the following in responce to Dr. Craig’s argument for God being the necessary cause of the universe:

    “I think it is a computer”
    – Lewis Wolbert

    to which Dr. Craig states in response:

    “What you are calling a computer is really God”
    – Dr. Craig

    On a more technical, but related, note, in the following video the simulation argument is examined and found to, in actuality, be an argument for theism:

    Digital Physics Argument for God’s Existence – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Xsp4FRgas

    Digital Physics Argument
    Premise 1: Simulations can only exist is a computer or a mind.
    Premise 2: The universe is a simulation.
    Premise 3: A simulation on a computer still must be simulated in a mind.
    Premise 4: Therefore, the universe is a simulation in a mind (2,3).
    Premise 5: This mind is what we call God.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.

    As well, Scott Arronson has pointed out that quantum computation refutes the ‘we are living in a simulation’ argument:

    Quantum Computing Promises New Insights, Not Just Supermachines – Scott Aaronson – December 2011
    Excerpt: And yet, even though useful quantum computers might still be decades away, many of their payoffs are already arriving. For example, the mere possibility of quantum computers has all but overthrown a conception of the universe that scientists like Stephen Wolfram have championed. That conception holds that, as in the “Matrix” movies, the universe itself is basically a giant computer, twiddling an array of 1’s and 0’s in essentially the same way any desktop PC does.
    Quantum computing has challenged that vision by showing that if “the universe is a computer,” then even at a hard-nosed theoretical level, it’s a vastly more powerful kind of computer than any yet constructed by humankind. Indeed, the only ways to evade that conclusion seem even crazier than quantum computing itself: One would have to overturn quantum mechanics, or else find a fast way to simulate quantum mechanics using today’s computers.
    per NY Times

    As to this specific philosophical argument from the article that we are currently living in a computer simulation,,

    1. All civilizations become extinct before becoming technologically mature;
    2. All technologically mature civilizations lose interest in creating simulations;
    3. Humanity is literally living in a computer simulation.

    As to that specific argument, that argument is reminiscent of this following argument,

    “So what are the theological implications of all this? Well Barrow and Tipler wrote this book, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, and they saw the design of the universe. But they’re atheists basically, there’s no God. And they go through some long arguments to describe why humans are the only intelligent life in the universe. That’s what they believe. So they got a problem. If the universe is clearly the product of design, but humans are the only intelligent life in the universe, who creates the universe? So you know what Barrow and Tipler’s solution is? It makes perfect sense. Humans evolve to a point some day where they reach back in time and create the universe for themselves. (Audience laughs) Hey these guys are respected scientists. So what brings them to that conclusion? It is because the evidence for design is so overwhelming that if you don’t have God you have humans creating the universe back in time for themselves.” –
    Michael Strauss PhD. – Particle Physics
    Anthropic Principle – God Created The Universe – video (6:49 mark)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvr9q_2sSxs

    Verses and Music:

    Genesis 3:5
    “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    Isaiah 14: 13-15
    You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
    I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;,,,
    I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
    But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
    to the depths of the pit.

    Big Daddy Weave – Every Time I Breathe (Official Video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w70xy8sPEE4

  8. 8
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The multiverse is a substitute for a Designer. It’s non-scientific and arbitrary.
    Pascal’s Wager becomes more significant.

  9. 9
    EDTA says:

    According to at least one person, our world as a virtual reality might also explain quantum weirdnesses that don’t have easy explanations any other way. See http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/pap.....1.0337.pdf

    I personally don’t see what difference this would make, if you throw out what we think of geeks and computers, and re-imagine the One performing the simulation as God. What would the difference be between making an actual material universe and letting it run for a while, and creating a simulation? Perhaps atoms et al _are_ the stuff of the simulation…

  10. 10
    Querius says:

    If this is a simulation,
    Then there’s a mind behind it.

    If there’s a mind behind it,
    Then there’s a purpose.

    If there’s a purpose,
    Then there are consequences.

    -Q

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