Saturday, October 29, 2011

Are Humans Advanced Simulations? (Video) *Is the Universe a virtual reality?*


If the Universe is a simulation, are humans artificially intelligent beings?

Objective Reality Vs. Virtual Reality The exponential increase in computing power has created more and more realistic games and virtual realities. This technological advancement in the level of realism will blur the lines between objective reality and virtual reality, between real experiences and virtual experiences. What if we are there already? That is, what if the Universe is a virtual reality, a simulation, and objective reality is outside of the Universe?

Who or What Is The Creator? Is God a cosmic computer coder and we humans nothing more than a simulation? Is God real and are humans virtual? Rich Terrell, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, believes this is so: "What are the requirements for God? He's an inter-dimensional being, connected with everything in the Universe, a creator, responsible for everything in the Universe, and in some way can change the law of physics, if he wanted to." This is the same as programmers creating simulations.

Computer Generated Simulations Rich Terrell goes through his argument using Moore's Law and the Turing Test. Terrell wondered, how much computing power would a simulation of the Earth require? Humans are doubling the computing power every 13 months per Terrell and computers already match the human brain in computational speed. At this rate, in 10 years, Terrell believes computers will be able to create a "photo real simulation of all that we see around us" - the Earth. But can a computer populate such a simulation with thinking beings, artificially intelligent simulated beings, like humans? Terrell thinks so and that humans are on the verge of creating worlds inside computers populated by sentient beings.

The Universe As A Simulation Rich Terrell, following that humans will eventually create a virtual reality populated with artificially intelligent (sentient) beings, goes to the next step: that the Universe is a simulation and that humans are artificially intelligent (sentient) beings. God is a programmer and Terrell has found evidence of the simulation in nature. Zoom in and every simulation breaks down into pixels. In our Universe, quantum mechanics is the study of pixels. "Look at the way the Universe behaves, it's quantized, it's made of pixels. Space is quantitized, matter is quantitized, energy is quantitized, everything is made of individual pixels. Which means the Universe has a finite number of components. Which means a finite number of states. Which means it's computer." That infers the Universe could be created by lines of code in a computer.

Is The Universe Being Computed? Is there evidence of computer processing of our "objective reality"? One clue is an experiment in the physics laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. A 1928 experiment (the Thomson experiment plus the Davisson-Germer experiment) provide evidence. Using an electron beam transmitted through a piece of graphite with a screen behind is set up. The background screen records how the electrons ricochet off the graphite. At this subatomic level, the pattern is not random, as might be expected, but is a diffraction pattern. Terrell notes, "The experiment shows something really rather extraordinary, that matter, even though it behaves when you are looking at it, measuring it, as individual particles, when you are not looking at it, matter is diffuse. It spreads out, it doesn't have a finite form in the Universe." When observed they are "dots", when we look away, they lose their physical form. Is this behavior of matter similar, or parallel, to the behavior in a simulation? Terrell says yes. As in a simulation, "The Universe gives you what you are looking at when you look at it." Further, "When you are not looking at it, it's not necessarily there". This results in a Universe that is pixelated and only assumes definite form when observed. This is how computer simulations operate.

What Are The Odds The Universe Is A Simulation? What is the probability the Universe is a simulation, that we live in a simulation, and therefore there is a God? Terrell says, "The question is, how likely is something like that to happen? And how likely is it that this has already happened in our Universe? The Universe is 13.7 billion years old and we are 50 years from being able to manufacture God. What is the probability that I would be so close to that threshold and not be able to cross to the other side? It's one chance in 300 million that I would be that close. It is an extraordinary coincidence and perhaps, more likely than not, maybe we are a simulation on the other side of that threshold and the deities that exist are our future selves."

Ramifications "Our world bears all the hallmarks of one that is simulated. Who would be more likely to simulate humans than humans from the future, our descendants? They would be god-like beings able to create their own universes." Terrell actually finds a spirituality in this scenario. "I take great solace in this. It shows that along the line we have evolved from nothing into self-awareness and that self-awareness has reached the stage now where our future selves have become gods. To me that's a very, very spiritual thing and that's where my spirituality comes from in seeing things like that. To me, that's a religion." Garrett Lisi, a theoretical physicist, disagrees, "We see this constantly in physics, we start out with something that looks complex and as we look at its parts, the parts are simpler. Now if you imagine some sort of creator, that assumes there is something more complicated than the thing that got created. So to me, that's a step backwards in explaining a philosophically satisfying model." Will we, as finite beings, ever understand God?

You Are Simply A Very Advanced Simulation Morgan Freeman takes us Through The Wormhole


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Is the Universe a Simulation? (Video) *Do we live in a virtual reality?*

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