Cosmology Intelligent Design

Jonathan Bartlett on what’s wrong with claims that we live in a sim universe

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They don’t add up:

Bartlett: I can make a model of atoms moving around, but it actually requires entire computers, which are all made of trillions of atoms, to make that simulation.

Even if you could make a perfect simulation of reality, it would have to be a smaller reality than what you’re simulating it with.

News, “Jonathan Bartlett on why we do not live in a simulated universe” at Mind Matters News

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8 Replies to “Jonathan Bartlett on what’s wrong with claims that we live in a sim universe

  1. 1
    Eugene says:

    “even if you could make a perfect simulation of reality, it would have to be a smaller reality than what you’re simulating it with”.

    Ok, sure. Then whoever is simulating our world has a bigger “reality” (and most certainly a lot higher IQ too). So what? How is this an argument against simulation in general?

  2. 2

    It’s like he’s never heard of procedural generation algorithms. Perhaps he doesn’t realize there are video and virtual reality games that have no “borders” or content limitations?

  3. 3

    I mean, this statement is so bad on so many levels. Does he not realize that what he calls “reality” is itself necessarily an experiential sumulation generated by the brain/mind? Even if we assume that the information used to “trigger” our experiential mental simulation comes from a larger “outside” reservoir, so what? All that information is doing is telling the brain/mind what to generate; the capacity to generate still must lie entirely in the brain/mind. IOW, the “hard drive” space still has to have the simulation information already on it, and the processing capacity, or else it wouldn’t be able to generate the experience.

    He’s making no sense whatsoever.

  4. 4
    jcfrk101 says:

    I think that the sim argument is hard to nail down, because often those arguing for a sim reality change the definition of what they mean by “simulated”. If they mean that our reality is not the “ultimate reality” that there is a controlling or higher reality that is fine, that would be basic theism. If by simulation they mean “computed simulation”, there are a whole lot of things that do not compute, yet they still exist, or happened. The big bang, and human consciences are the 2 non-computable’s that come to mind. If we are simulated, these things cannot exist.

  5. 5
    polistra says:

    The argument works for digital computers simulating “worlds” that remain inside the display of the computer. But there are all sorts of other ways to simulate a reality within the mind of the perceiver. A few words or lines drawn on a piece of paper can expand to a massive “world” in the mind.

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    Eugene, WJM, and Polistra,
    Excellent points!

    Jcfrk101,
    If we exist or are linked to experiences in what quantum mechanics has been shown to be a purely mathematical reality based on wavefunction effects–collapses, interferences, tunneling, etc. and our consciousness is also not emergent from physics, then absolutely anything can happen or exist in this mathematical field or network.

    -Q

  7. 7
    Fasteddious says:

    This does seem overly simplistic and unimaginative. It would not take too many gigabytes and teraflops to simulate a realistic reality for one or a few people. That is what humans are trying to do with virtual reality, and they are getting better at it. No need to simulate atoms and every detail of the world. The effective data rate for human sense input to the brain is kilobytes per second if suitably coded, which should be easy enough to simulate once the models are accurate. Even the seeming huge bandwidth of sight is a mirage: just try reading something off screen while staring at the centre of the screen. All that needs simulating is whatever has the attention of the simulee at any particular microsecond.
    Similarly, not everyone in the world needs to be simulated in detail; only those in close relationship with the few. And there is no rule that the simulator’s time scale has to be the same as the simulee’s: it could take weeks of simulator time to simulate one second of our time. There are many other interesting possibilities too; see this for a few: https://thopid.blogspot.com/2019/01/

  8. 8
    EvilSnack says:

    I find it interesting when a person rejects theism of any stripe due to a “lack of evidence” but finds the idea that the world of our experience is a simulation—an idea that is bereft of evidence—to be an idea worthy of serious consideration.

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