Do we live in a computer simulation? researchers say idea can be tested!

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posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by randomname
so, humanity has the ability to run a simulation and this is the best we can come up with.

death, war, famine, evil, poverty, disease, suffering and every other human sorrow you can think of.

what would be the point.

When you play video games, do you play games where things are happy go sunshine? or do you play games where aliens are threatening the world, or there's wars, or etc?




posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by redbore
If we are indeed in simulation it would probably also mean that we don't really have freedom of choice. Everything that happens is dictated by the rules of the simulation and the start-setting. They may re-start the simulation anytime and they would end up with the exact same situation.

Currently we have many simulated worlds for entertainment (Sims, WoW, etc.), maybe this is also for entertainment and we are just NPC's (non-player characters) and the people running the simulation have fun by controlling powerful characters, the president of the US for example
.


I don't think there's any inherent differences between choice in such a simulation and what you have now, which is dependent upon a WHOLLLE lot of cause and effect up until now. :-) In a simulation any number of inputs can drive what's coming... it's the same thing in our world whether a sim or not.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 06:58 PM
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reply to post by solargeddon
 


Speaking in terms of putting this in a virtual nutshell, the pre-determined things we get in life are probably updates, the genetic feedback codes received by the programmer...
edit on 11-12-2012 by 0bserver1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by solargeddon
If i am part of a computer simulation, then my children would have to be pre-determined ?

Or do we have a degree of control as to how the simulation plays out ?

I can accept being information projected from an event horizon, as theorised by Sussman (Holographic Principle), how the information came to be, well perhaps that is the simulation server we are spawned (crude choice of words I know) from.

I'd like to think the server is organic, organized natural occuring choas, rather than a cold calculated action by an entity/entities (programmer)


To clear up some of the issues you're having with this -- a simulation doesn't mean pre-determined/pre-programmed destiny any more than physical interactions do. In both environments, if you cloned one (physical universe or simulated universe, I mean, you pick) next to the existing one, and messed with the speed of time/had the power to reverse time, you would be able to see the future sooner in one than the other/go backwards and never escape destiny without some new input, and they would in theory be in lockstep.

Causality is a separate philosophical concept, with no dependency on whether matter is physical or simulated (as both cases are totally dependent upon cause and effect).

A simulation of the kind we're speaking of (at the level we're speaking of) would be rule based. Think of football. Plenty of people enjoy watching football their whole lives. The rules are hard-coded, as are the rules in a computer simulation. But every football game is unique. Another example: waves on the surface of a lake. Physical rules that can be expressed mathematically -- but good luck finding the surface in the exact same state (wave for wave) twice.
edit on 12/11/2012 by AkumaStreak because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:13 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

Ok. A computer is a computer. True or false? Although I cannot prove it, I'm assuming you're using one. Turn on a simulation, and try it out, play around with it for a bit. Now go outside, look around, and contemplate the similarities. Now, name one similarity between a computer program and reality.


So, because we can't currently make a 3d realistic simulation of a universe, then that means we don't exist within one?

...what a train of thought. I need a drink.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:23 PM
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Oh, and for that one similarity, planck units. The universe is bound by planck temperature, planck time, and other planck units, just as a computer program is bound by the range of specific data types.Planck length is the shortest length achievable in the universe. Nothing can be smaller. Similarly, a 1-bit pixel is the smallest length in the world of computers. Nothing can be displayed if it is smaller than a single bit pixel.

Wow, that should be general knowledge actually. You'd have to be blissfully ignorant of computers to not think that a computer can be built to simulate a universe. Or maybe you think Alienwares are the most powerful computers on the planet
edit on 11-12-2012 by mr10k because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 




The simulation theory defies all logic


Did you for instance know that the chair you sit on, when magnified by millions or much more, you actually sitting on moving dense molecules? that alone defies all logic too...



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:24 PM
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I too like this idea, a lot! but I believe we will never find out if the theory is possible.

Here's some of my thoughts:

1) The "computer" running this simulation is most likely completely different than what we can imagine. So our understanding of what a computer is might not apply to this system of things.

2) I find it unlikely to be humans who are behind this. If this simulation is of the entire (and all) universe(s), the odds are that more intelligent life is behind this, and not us. We could even speculate that the simulation is intended for them and their history, and we are just a "bi-product" so to speak. So there will be no human-like fingerprint to find.

3) We have no idea if anything is missing/added to the simulation, therefore we cannot say, well, this is wrong, or, this is a bug. If this whole system is monitored and its data is present in a sort of RAM/Hard-disk environment they can just pause, rewind or forward and add data as they like (the system will probably do this automatically)
Who knows how many times our entire universe has crashed??



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by AkumaStreak
 


I'm not sure the philosophical side of me could ever willingly accept my musings through life are ultimately governed by a perimeter of math.

Too wild at heart I guess...Don't fence me in, I got to get out, escape...Ahhh!!!

That said regardless of how clinical, and programme like reality may prove to be, it could all still be random.

Choas conspires into order.

With the quantum level, no-one is quite sure whether causation is upward, downward, or a mixture of both.

It's interesting that we apply the math to make sense, generate understanding of the choas, so ultimately it would be mathematics which explains it.

But I think as a far as maths can take us, there is a limit, which can only be bridged by intuition, the infamous continuum hypothesis, has driven those who have tried to tackle it to insanity, and death.

Just how big infinity is...Is not a question we should ever seek to answer mathematically.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:49 PM
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reply to post by Raelsatu
 


when i said a few hundred years i meant it in generalization because it could be a few thousand years or even a few million years, if we live that long, that we will discover something that would replace computer technology. Even if we do discover something different we would probably have to wait some time until society is ready to afford and adapt and understand its new discovery little by little. like everything else we've invented



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:49 PM
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reply to post by mr10k
 





Or maybe you think Alienwares are the most powerful computers on the planet


Well if I can disturb here , that's really a great PC one that I gladly see materialize in-front of my desk I'm sitting on...



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by iamdavid
I too like this idea, a lot! but I believe we will never find out if the theory is possible.

Here's some of my thoughts:

1) The "computer" running this simulation is most likely completely different than what we can imagine. So our understanding of what a computer is might not apply to this system of things.



They say the next step are biological computers that reproduce. Maybe *we* are the computer running the simulation.

news.sciencemag.org...

"When it comes to storing information, hard drives don't hold a candle to DNA. Our genetic code packs billions of gigabytes into a single gram. A mere milligram of the molecule could encode the complete text of every book in the Library of Congress and have plenty of room to spare. All of this has been mostly theoretical—until now. In a new study, researchers stored an entire genetics textbook in less than a picogram of DNA—one trillionth of a gram—an advance that could revolutionize our ability to save data."



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by 0bserver1
reply to post by mr10k
 





Or maybe you think Alienwares are the most powerful computers on the planet


Well if I can disturb here , that's really a great PC one that I gladly see materialize in-front of my desk I'm sitting on...




They are pretty awesome, but far from the most powerful computers. That's why they call em 'PC's' and not 'supercomputers'.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by AkumaStreak
 


lol nice 1



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 10:50 PM
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Originally posted by Philosophile
You people should check out Moore's law and look at applying it to the simulation theory.

I love how everyone keeps quoting Moore's law as if that can explain it. No... no it can't. And that fact so many of you believe the entire observable Universe could be generated by a computer proves that none of you really understand how much information is in the observable Universe. The laws of physics place a threshold limit to how fast a computer can ever be relative to size. Once we reach that threshold the only option left is to increase the size of our processing units.

Even for the most efficient threshold limit you could ever imagine, it would still take a computer at least the size of our solar system, and a power source of multiple stars, to simulate the entire observable Universe. Of course it could technically be done, but there's absolutely no chance anyone would ever waste enough time and energy on it. It would take probably billions of years just to build it.

But then again this is all based on assumptions about the physics we see in this reality. The "real world" may work on entirely different laws of physics, and there may be no practical limit to how fast a computer can be. Who really knows... I do admit that quantum mechanics and other things seem to indicate we live in some sort of simulation, but that's not the only thing they could be indicating, there are other explanations.
edit on 11/12/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 11:39 PM
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Originally posted by ChaoticOrder

Originally posted by Philosophile
You people should check out Moore's law and look at applying it to the simulation theory.

I love how everyone keeps quoting Moore's law as if that can explain it. No... no it can't. And that fact so many of you believe the entire observable Universe could be generated by a computer proves that none of you really understand how much information is in the observable Universe. The laws of physics place a threshold limit to how fast a computer can ever be relative to size. Once we reach that threshold the only option left is to increase the size of our processing units.

Even for the most efficient threshold limit you could ever imagine, it would still take a computer at least the size of our solar system, and a power source of multiple stars, to simulate the entire observable Universe. Of course it could technically be done, but there's absolutely no chance anyone would ever waste enough time and energy on it. It would take probably billions of years just to build it.

But then again this is all based on assumptions about the physics we see in this reality. The "real world" may work on entirely different laws of physics, and there may be no practical limit to how fast a computer can be. Who really knows... I do admit that quantum mechanics and other things seem to indicate we live in some sort of simulation, but that's not the only thing they could be indicating, there are other explanations.
edit on 11/12/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)


Based on current methods of computing. Do you really think we will be using conventional microchips 75 years from now? We'll probably already be past quantum computing at that point. There is no way to put a limit on future technology nor how much information can be held in a given physical space because, eventually, we'll be beyond both tech and physics.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 11:39 PM
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Funny I was just talking about this with my friends. The idea seems very plausible, the way they refer to it makes more sense than a computer simulation.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 11:52 PM
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Originally posted by ChaoticOrder

Originally posted by Philosophile
You people should check out Moore's law and look at applying it to the simulation theory.

I love how everyone keeps quoting Moore's law as if that can explain it. No... no it can't. And that fact so many of you believe the entire observable Universe could be generated by a computer proves that none of you really understand how much information is in the observable Universe. The laws of physics place a threshold limit to how fast a computer can ever be relative to size. Once we reach that threshold the only option left is to increase the size of our processing units.

Even for the most efficient threshold limit you could ever imagine, it would still take a computer at least the size of our solar system, and a power source of multiple stars, to simulate the entire observable Universe. Of course it could technically be done, but there's absolutely no chance anyone would ever waste enough time and energy on it. It would take probably billions of years just to build it.

But then again this is all based on assumptions about the physics we see in this reality. The "real world" may work on entirely different laws of physics, and there may be no practical limit to how fast a computer can be. Who really knows... I do admit that quantum mechanics and other things seem to indicate we live in some sort of simulation, but that's not the only thing they could be indicating, there are other explanations.
edit on 11/12/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)


Like I said before, many people seem to think we are further behind in technology than we are actually are. Scientists used to think it would take ages to build a computer that can simulate atomic fusion, and we have already surpassed that milestone. The supercomputers that we know of (those not in government military facilities) can simulate atomic reactions based on the information of atoms available at the time. And the supercomputer is no larger than a basketball court. Compare this to the fact that we are still a lowly civilization that has yet to land a man on Mars, certainly are far from the first civilization in the entire Universe, and that said supercomputer is the most powerful that is open to scientists to use freely.

Yes it seems mind-boggling the amount of data the Universe has, but it is far from impossible to simulate, and the things we can compute today..it's just redundant to think it is impossible. I understand you might not have a background in computers but to me, it's actually impossible to believe that we would not be able to achieve this. It really is just redundant.

My argument is just analyzing the proposition of how much computing power it would take, in which I say, it wouldn't take much, surprisingly. And no, it would never run on 'multiple stars' or be the 'size of the Solar System'..lol where did you even these figures.



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 12:02 AM
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Suppose we can devise a test to determine whether we are in a simulation and we find that we are indeed in a simulation. So it would no longer be speculation, at least for the characters in the simulation who choose to believe the test, but a matter of knowledge.

How would that impact the behaiour of the characters from that point on?



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by Observor
Suppose we can devise a test to determine whether we are in a simulation and we find that we are indeed in a simulation. So it would no longer be speculation, at least for the characters in the simulation who choose to believe the test, but a matter of knowledge.

How would that impact the behaiour of the characters from that point on?


It depends if we are the focus of the simulation, or just a result of the mathematical mistakes that have befalled the simulation. Life will most likely be the same.





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