Simulation Theory

I’ve stumbled across something that not many people know about, and it’s way, way out there, so read with caution.

It’s a theory that is being investigated by some of the best minds in physics. It is called Simulation Theory. I was watching “A Glitch In The Matrix” which was not very good, but interesting enough because it was discussing the nature of reality which science still does not understand. This led me to start researching the topic of Simulation Theory.

Essentially, Simulation Theory hypothesizes that our “reality” is actually a gigantic simulation. This means that everything we know, see, touch, experience, feel and do, including the whole of the physical Universe, is actually a enormous simulation. As strange as this sounds, it’s got some very bright minds behind it as they seek to test this possibility.

There are a number of publicly available articles and videos that are well worth watching if you want to explore this idea further. Many of them are pretty light-hearted articles and lack sufficient detail, but you can dig around and find discussions by astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, physicist James Gates, philosopher Nick Bostrom and others. Bostrom was featured in the movie I watched and he’s written several papers and articles about what he’s found.

Nick Bostrom has written some articles and papers on this theory which puzzled a lot of people over its possibilities:

A Study Shows There’s a 50% Chance We’re Living in a Simulation

I suggest reading these articles from Bostrom next:

Do We Live in a Simulation? Chances Are about 50–50

Confirmed! We Live in a Simulation

Bostrom has also published a paper on this theory, ARE YOU LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION? which goes into more depth. In this paper’s conclusion (2003), Bostrom say’s:

A technologically mature “posthuman” civilization would have enormous computing power. Based on this empirical fact, the simulation argument shows that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero; (2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero; (3) The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.

This has of course, profound implications (if true). I’ll touch on that a bit later.

The search for “evidence” of Simulation Theory has been underway for many years now, so it’s not brand new, and it is not considered complete quackery either. Finding proof of course is elusive, because if we are living a simulation, then we cannot validate the evidence of the simulation since the simulation could provide (or deny) the answers we seek. But if we can find evidence of the laws that govern the simulation, we are that much closer to proving that Simulation Theory may have validity.

Physicist James Gates has spent his entire career researching this, here is a synopsis:

Working on a branch of physics called supersymmetry, Dr. James Gates Jr., discovered what he describes as the presence of what appear to resemble a form of computer code, called error correcting codes, embedded within, or resulting from, the equations of supersymmetry that describe fundamental particles.

Gates asks, “How could we discover whether we live inside a Matrix? One answer might be ‘Try to detect the presence of codes in the laws that describe physics.'” And this is precisely what he has done. Specifically, within the equations of supersymmetry he has found, quite unexpectedly, what are called “doubly-even self-dual linear binary error-correcting block codes.” That’s a long-winded label for codes that are commonly used to remove errors in computer transmissions, for example to correct errors in a sequence of bits representing text that has been sent across a wire.

Gates explains, “This unsuspected connection suggests that these codes may be ubiquitous in nature, and could even be embedded in the essence of reality. If this is the case, we might have something in common with the Matrix science-fiction films, which depict a world where everything human being’s experience is the product of a virtual-reality-generating computer network.

Researchers have in fact discovered some evidence that supports Simulation Theory and this evidence indicates a “more likely then not” that we are in fact, living in a simulation. Of course, not everyone agrees, but the research continues as you might expect.

Now I have no idea what to believe here, as the jury is still out on the nature of reality, but scientific research on the nature of reality should not be discounted out of hand. Many amazing discoveries have been accomplished so far. Yet there are some very strange and unanswerable questions about the nature of reality that science has puzzled over for hundreds of years. Many of them have been answered, but there are still some very deeply strange and even disturbing unanswered questions physicist are attempting to resolve.

But then I came upon this evidence that reveals that the equations scientist use to describe the cosmos show embedded computer codes (which should not be there). Nobody put them there in other words, yet they exist.

It’s not just any kind of computer code either, it is a special kind of computer code that performs error checking and self-correcting functions. It resembles computer code invented by a scientist name Claude Shannon in the 1940’s. It’s what you would actually expect if we were living in a simulation – evidence that our reality has been created with deeply hidden computer code to ensure it is functioning correctly.

There is a video that records this conversation with James Gates and Neil DeGrasse Tyson (short version):

Years later, Gates brings a few objections to the idea of a simulation, but he also reveals a general overall failure to accurately describe an incomplete mathematical model:

Gates could be wrong about “ghosts” (but we don’t actually know, there is evidence for and against).

His notion that the “app” that represents anyone of us in this reality could be rerun in say 500 years is simply an assumption and that needs to be pointed out. There is no reason to think this assumption would have to be true or done. Moreover, time itself may not actually be linear like we think. So his objection may be irrelevant.

He does suggest that his discovery of the computer code may point to something even deeper about the nature of reality and the Universe.

It’s possible, according to theoretical physicist, that the Universe “should not exist” and one of the greatest mysteries in physics:

Many questions about the nature of reality and the Universe, human consciousness, religion and philosophy would be answered if Simulation Theory (or something else) is actually true. For example, the search for dark matter, which makes up around 75% of all known matter in the Universe would be answered. We would finally know what it was, why it was there. Questions about string theory and the Multiverse Theory would also be answered, because Simulation Theory means there could indeed be many different universes and of course, many different worlds, albeit under Simulation Theory, they would all be fabricated and artificial, having no existence in the “real” world.

Going further, the same goes for “past lives” claims, and the notion of a creator found within all religions, and even the meaning of life that philosophy has attempted to answer. Even the concept of “free will” falls under the possibility of Simulation Theory, so the search for proof that this is true is actually of great interest to various researchers, scientist and philosophers.

This blog encompasses many different topics of my own personal interest, and the understanding that I have developed through its history of the likelihood of human extinction in the near future. Many different blog posts and articles have depicted the declining state of the global environment, the refusal of world leaders to act decisively, and the bull-headed resolute decisions to maintain a status-quo that will undoubtedly destroy the human race.

I’ve long puzzled over the inability for humanity to change its course. Why does it have to be this way? Why can’t we put on the brakes and take a far different approach to life, living, existence, sustainability and justice? Why do so many people remains so blind to what is happening in the world that directly affects their own chances of survival? Why can’t industries, businesses and people just quit doing what is wrong and harmful? Why is humanity marching lock-step towards disaster?

I’ve searched long and hard for answers, and ultimately found nothing entirely satisfactory. The “simple answers” don’t explain it all, not adequately. Ideology and politics aside, it’s almost as if people are programmed to respond in certain ways, do certain things, and even believe certain things despite having inadequate evidence to support these worldviews. Of course, I’m simply speculating here, but it’s still an interesting journey. Taken as a whole, billions of humans “keep doing what they’ve always done” while trying to survive, trying to find meaning and happiness in their lives, or trying to take advantage of someone or something else. It’s “human nature” in other words.

But what if it isn’t human nature at all? I had not considered this idea before. Having already discarded religion and the claims of a “creator” (which brings up far too many fundamental problems), the notion that there could be an Architect that is running “our program” wasn’t in my vocabulary. Or that our existence, what we know as reality, could be something very, very different then what we have assumed.

That should stop you in your tracks, because if reality is something “else” – then what is it? I don’t know the answer, but Simulation Theory would provide that answer, and many more. Humanity would be programmed to act and respond this way, civilization and history (and future) would be responding to programming. Our “free will” would be a construct. Even “free will” and the idea that we can “choose” is known to have limits, just like the physical world does. Why do those limits even exist?

Science has tried to explain much of this through evolutionary biology, and even through astrophysics, geology and many other disciplines. We’ve discovered the physical laws of the Universe (but not all of them) to “explain” how things came to be, what effects and influences they have upon biology and all fauna, but these physical laws still do not adequately describe the nature of reality, which to mention here includes our consciousness. We still do not really know what it is, nor do we yet understand the nature of reality, so the search continues for both answers.

If Simulation Theory can be verified, then many of the questions we keep asking would have answers. Just sayin’ as I find this rather fascinating to consider.

More reading: Review of Nick Bostrom’s Computer Simulation Theory

Jim Gates: What Is String Theory?


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