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At Mind Matters News: Researchers: The universe simulated itself into existence


A recent physics journal paper proposes self-simulation as the origin of the universe, using a quantum gravity model:

A new hypothesis says the universe self-simulates itself in a “strange loop”. A paper from the Quantum Gravity Research institute proposes there is an underlying panconsciousness. The work looks to unify insight from quantum mechanics with a non-materialistic perspective.

How real are you? What if everything you are, everything you know, all the people in your life as well as all the events were not physically there but just a very elaborate simulation? Philosopher Nick Bostrom famously considered this in his seminal paper “Are you living in a computer simulation?,” where he proposed that all of our existence may be just a product of very sophisticated computer simulations ran by advanced beings whose real nature we may never be able to know. Now a new theory has come along that takes it a step further – what if there are no advanced beings either and everything in “reality” is a self-simulation that generates itself from pure thought?

Paul Ratner, “New hypothesis argues the universe simulates itself into existence” at Big Think (April 26, 2020) (A podcast is available.)

The paper, which appeared in Entropy in 2020, is open access.

The most significant element of this new theory is surely that it is explicitly a theory of “panconsciousness” and non-materialism.

For that reason, it bears comparison with newer theories of consciousness, which are explicitly panpsychist. Remarkably, the science world is growing comfortable with non-materialist theories of consciousness. Whether that it because materialist theories of consciousness are not providing much insight and end in absurdities or due to other causes would be hard to say at present.

(Continues at Mind Matters News.)

Takehome: It will be significant if physics journals continue to accept panpsychist and non-materialist models of the universe that recognize the reality of the mind.

You may also wish to read: When a simulated world begins to fall apart. In “Untitled Earth Sim 64,” Marie has reason to expect trouble when the simulator who explains reality to her cannot get her name right… If Marie has found God amid strange events, as her friend thinks, the God she has found is highly disorganized one.

New theory of mind offers more information, less materialism
First, let’s begin by noting a remarkable fact: Panpsychism seems to have triumphed in the area of theories of consciousness. Are there materialist theories of consciousness out there any more? Yes. But it is unclear how many of them are taken seriously. Except in pop science mags.


The final materialist quest: A war on the reality of the mind Going to war with the very concept is an approach even George Orwell did not think up. When George Orwell wrote 1984, he addressed destroying minds, not denying their possibility and changing the language associated with them.

You may also wish to read: When a simulated world begins to fall apart. In “Untitled Earth Sim 64
I suspect someone spiked News' coffee that morning. Reading her review was one thing. A comedy? Watching that nihilistic drivel was something else. The film did not raise any questions about fine-tuning. That all comes from a sane perspective off-screen, not among the actors, writers, directors or joke writers - that's for sure. These hipsters are trying to be funny - in the way Doug Adams always thought he was funny (as do all of his fans). Note, our world is numbered "Sim 64" - like Adams' answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is number 42. Our world and life is so meaningless it is represented by a banal number. That's about as hilarious as one of Xi Jinping's re-education camps (which are a product of the same mentality). More depressing and pathetic than nihilism itself are filmmakers who make comedies out of their atheism. Woody Allen got away with it - yes, some good jokes along the way. As did Seinfeld. But we laugh because we actually have a worldview, God, truth, hope. A very large and growing number of people, however, really are atheists -- so it's not that funny. The fact that the suicide rate has nearly doubled over the past 20 years for "kids" (20s) like the protagonist - as she's left with the message "Don't kill yourself. Have a Mai Tai and try to enjoy something before you die" is not going to help anyone. There's a list of 15 more films after that one -- I'm guessing more of the same. Do people in DI land really have that much time to spend on such things? Silver Asiatic
For some of the fascinating possibilities in a simulated reality, take a look at: https://thopid.blogspot.com/2019/01/our-simulated-world.html Some of the themes mentioned in these comments are explored there. Fasteddious
"...what if there are no advanced beings either and everything in “reality” is a self-simulation that generates itself from pure thought?"
This kind of "theory" makes the same egregious error and begs the same enormous question that many reductionist materialists have already made, proposing that the Big Bang or eternal inflation or a Multiverse or whatever came about from literally nothing, in order to desperately avoid the obvious implication of some sort of superintelligent Creator. I would hold that absolutely nothing comes from absolutely nothing - no space, no time, no matter and energy, no beings or absolutely anything else, including Platonic realities like mathematics and logic. These latter are also Something not Nothing. This pure thought referred to in the quote had to have come from some source - in this concept it embodies the entire potential for our immensely complex physical Universe and undoubtedly much more. A beyond immense amount of complex specified information, that must have some creative intelligence in its origin. doubter
The image of a simulation creating itself is reminiscent and a reflection of the ancient symbol of Ouroboros, which depicts a serpent eating its own tail. In this case, it symbolizes an eternal rebirth in regurgitating its tail exemplifying the principle of time symmetry in physics. This is finally the explanation of how Everything can eternally emerge from Nothing. Ouroboros moved from ancient Egypt to magical Greek, Indian, and Norse traditions. It was adopted into alchemy and gnostic traditions, later by the Theosophical Society, and often interpreted as a symbol for eternal cyclic renewal or a cycle of life, death, and rebirth. This latest scientific hypothesis has established the profound merger between Western science and ancient Egyptian, perhaps even Babylonian mystical beliefs that was first noticed by German theoretical chemist Fredrich August Kekulé in his amazing discovery of the benzene ring. The mathematical sybol for infinity is simply an Ouroboros with a 180-degree twist. https://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/dreamgates/2012/01/daydreams-of-science-the-benzene-ouroboros-and-the-clapham-omnibus.html LOL -Q Querius
“simulations ran by advanced beings whose real nature we may never be able to know.“ Oh boy sounds like God and angles/demons you name it They literally replace all of them with computer simulation and advanced beings we will never be able to know The difference between the two is one is considered scientific Hypocrisy is mind blowing AaronS1978
the universe self-simulates
Good one. The universe didn't exist. Then it brought together a bunch of powers from somewhere and simulated itself. Yes, exactly. In order for the universe to do any simulations, it has to exist first. The cause must precede the effect. Silver Asiatic

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