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

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posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 12:08 AM
Great stuff. Thanks for posting this! I remember talking to someone about this type of thing not too long ago and I had a few theories...

1) Like Phillip said, we are in a simulation which is ever changing and Deja Vu is a sign that something has changed. Also reminded me of the movie Dark City.

2) Each of us are the main character in the game of "Bob" or "Jane" etc. Beings or something else are effectively playing us at different times of our day/month/years.

3) When we dream we are temporarily going through some of these other simulations that are running at the same time.

Anyway, just my two cents!
edit on 12-12-2012 by Cruff because: Vid link...hmm

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 12:37 AM

Originally posted by mr10k

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.

I am not asking about those running the simulation, we know nothing about them or their reasons for running the simulation.

I am talking about the characters in the simulation, us. You and I would know that we are not real. Unlike the movie Matrix, we cannot break free of the simulation even knowing that we are in one. There are 3 different possibilities I can think of

1. Disregard the results of the test. Life will continue as usual.
2. Self-terminate. May not still affect the simulation, if these characters are aberrations and not the intended points of study.
3. Invent a world-view where we are part of a simulation, but have a real existence outside it (like in the movie Matrix), where we can try to break-free of the simulation

If this is not the first iteration of the simulation, the characters, us, are the intended points of study and the previous run resulted in scenario 2, this run would likely have been tweaked to ensure that any test we run to find out if we are in a simulation we end up in a negative result.

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 01:22 AM

Yes, and which action we choose to take will further depend on if we are the focus of the simulation or a by-product of it, or even both. If we were the focus of the simulation, then we may try to break free. If we are a by-product we may all kill ourselves or go insane, or maybe life will continue as normal. If we were the by-product but later became a focus of the simulation, then I don't see why life would become different for religious people as this is pretty much their view: The universe was created, then man, then their God focused on man. So it depends on the intention of our simulators.

If you mean we find out we are simulations but don't know why, well the outcome would be the exact same as if we found our simulators and found out we were by products -- lots of depressed people, people killing because they feel 'liberated' or we may all go insane.
edit on 12-12-2012 by mr10k because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 02:00 AM

Yes it seems mind-boggling the amount of data the Universe has, but it is far from impossible to simulate

I didn't say it was entirely impossible. I said is was entirely unpractical.

and the things we can compute today..it's just redundant to think it is impossible.

It's redundant to even compare our present simulations with a simulation of the Universe. That's like the difference between a single water atom and all the water on Earth. In fact even that's not a very accurate analogy, because the difference is still MUCH greater than that.

I understand you might not have a background in computers

Actually I am a computer programmer with experience with at least half a dozen different programming languages.
edit on 12/12/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 02:17 AM

Originally posted by ChaoticOrder

While I think it's a very real possibility we live in a simulation, it's still a very low possibility imo. The reason I think this, is because our Universe is so enormous. Mind numbingly enormous. And every single atom in the Universe is extremely complex. To simulate every single atom in a single living cell with real physics, requires a computer 1000x more powerful than the most powerful supercomputer on Earth. Imagine trying to simulate a whole person, or the entire planet, or even our entire solar system, or our entire galaxy. The amount of power required to achieve such a feat is beyond comprehension... let alone trying to simulate the entire Universe.

Don't even try to imagine how much power that would require because I can tell you that none of us here have the ability to comprehend how much computing power that would require. We have trouble even comprehending the distance to the nearest star in our own galaxy, or the distance between our galaxy and the nearest galaxy. Keep in mind there are billions of galaxies in our Universe. In fact the Universe may be infinite for all we know, we can only see so far, and no matter how far we look there appears to be no end. These facts lead me to believe we are in a "genuine" Universe, and not a simulated one. But I'm not completely convinced either way.
edit on 11/12/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)

Here's the thing though - what if the true universe is actually thousands of trillions of times more complex, possibly infinitely more complex, than the universe we live in/perceive?

I tend to agree with the philosopher whose name escapes me, from about 5 years ago who said - its extremely likely that if we had the processing power to do it, we would create a simulation of human life. It's also extremely likely that we will have that processing power, and will have it for the majority of the age of the universe (we're only 16 billion years in.. and we'll probably have the power to do it in less than a thousand years. - remember we dont have to simulate the complexity of the actual universe.

The thing is people cannot perceive complexity beyond that which exists in front of them. We assume that what we see is possibly infinitely complex because we cannot comprehend it all at once - and of course in a simulation of a universe, a single element of the universe could not perceive the entire thing, unless its brain was the computer running the simulation, or one capable of running it.

As for the idea of testing whether we are in a program by trying to access alternate simulations - in the vast majority of computer programs, the entities in those programs have zero ability to access even the own program's higher functions, let alone access anything outside of the program. They cannot perceive beyond that which they've been given permission to perceive - and even if given permission to perceive the entire program, they cannot tell that there is anything outside of the program, because they exist within it - a cog within a machine doesn't know what the machine's purpose is.
I think its extremely unlikely that there would be any functionality allowing us to access anything outside our own simulation, unless it was specifically built in for the.. shall we say... 'dungeonmasters' (lol, couldnt resist), to travel between simulations... and that relies on the fact that this is some kind of virtual reality,that people enter, rather than an actual simulation of artificial people.

What we are seeing is atoms, forces.. we can't see the memory locations/etc behind that data, we can only experience the data itself.
edit on 12-12-2012 by cartesia because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 02:51 AM
Computer simulation? You could say that.

Well then, who programmed it?

What I've come to believe is that there had (Has) to be a God or a Creator for our Universe to essentially be created out of nothing.

Therefore . If God created our universe or our 'reality', wouldn't that mean our reality is infact virtuality and ultimate consciousness or Spirit is reality?

The fact that some humans are capable of feeling and perceiving stimuli of extra-material nature (you know who you are) proves that there are higher forces. Higher forces that resonate at frequencies not applicable to our environment. The natural world we perceive that is three dimensional is so far from Reality that individuals become lost in greed and hostility. I believe that the higher you ascend (dimensions?) the closer you are to Source, the closer you are to what we call reality.
edit on 12-12-2012 by kingster129 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-12-2012 by kingster129 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 02:57 AM

Second, are we the atheists amoungst us swapping one form of religion for another, when we think in terms of a simulated existence, in that we don't accept there is a God, but we are willing to accept the possibility of a programmer.

As an Atheist, I have wondered this myself. I almost feel like a hypocrite buying into the simulation theory. but, I dont totally buy into it so I excuse myself. lol

and no, youre not talking to yourself, I enjoyed reading your post.

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 03:15 AM
Watching and listening to the Philip K. Dick video early in this thread really got my attention. For the record, I have never read anything at all by PKD nor did I really know who he was until this thread showed up. However, he mentioned a couple of things that he visualized while under the effects of sodium pentathol. I have experienced eerily similar vivid imagery (you could call it a vision or dream I guess). PKD said:

"It resembled plasmic energy. It had colors. It moved fast, collecting and dispersing. But what it was, what he was -- I am not sure even now..."

"In other words, it’s a common theme in my writing that a dark-haired girl shows up at the door of the protagonist, and tells him that his world is delusional, that there is something false about it. Well, this did finally happen to me. I even knew that her hair would be black. I had an actual complete sense of what she would look like and what she would say."

"She did appear. She was a total stranger. And she did inform me of this fact: that some of my fictional works were, in a literal sense, true. "

- Philip K. Dick

That's the part that I saw. Here's how this happened to me.

Years ago I met a young woman with dark hair. She and I were somewhat romantically involved for a very short time during a school I attended. We talked of all manner of things. When we discussed life, reality and death, we each promised the other that whomever died first, if there were a way, would come back to explain what they can of this life and/or anything thereafter.

We parted ways when the classes ended and only briefly met again maybe a year later. Within another 6 months I got a call informing me that she died in a motorcycle accident the day before. I had completely forgotten about our pledge about the "afterlife". She and I rarely talked anyway as she had been seeing someone new.

A few days after her death, I lay in bed asleep, sober and clear of mind. I woke refreshed and very, very happy the next morning as if a massive weight had been lifted from me. It wasn't until that evening that I recalled my dream. I recalled it after I looked into a light on my ceiling. The memory rushed back to me with such a sudden intensity that I actually cried a little.

In my dream a female presence that I could not see grabbed my arm and said "I have something to show you". I understood this to possibly be my dark haired female friend that had died. The experience of her lifting me up and through the darkness was a lot like the stereotypical "tunnel" that people have mentioned in near death experiences...I think anyway. I also felt a complete saturating contentment and happiness that I have never felt before or since. That, my friends, was really cool. I want that back.

We got to an area that kind of felt like a room, but it was a black void of sorts. It just felt like there were boundaries or something to the infinite looking space around us. She pulled me around to the right and I saw the colors. Oh my gosh, the vibrant, bright, amazing, ever-changing colors! They appeared to me to be spiking and jutting inward and outward. The spikes collecting then separating rapidly from a central source. I knew it was intelligent. It almost seemed to be that "it" was more of a "he" or maybe a "we". When I looked directly into this color melody, even immersing my head into it, I saw what I instantly knew to be "everything". I mean that I truly and clearly understood everything, the past, the here and now, the future, the why, the how, the who...quite literally, "everything".

I recall clearly yelling out "HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN?!?"

The experience was pure bliss. She then pulled me to the right and around again to see what appeared to be like a white internally glowing mass. I understood this to be the consciousness of every sentient being all connected like glowing elastic strings each stretching outward in its own direction yet connected at a central source. THE source. It was a source of pure energy and existence. We are all connected, next to many, closer still only to some. Yet all connected to the same source.

She pulled me again, this time to leave. I was left only with this vivid recollection and a satisfactory understanding that "it's all okay. It's all going to be okay. When we're done here, we go back where we truly belong and all will be right again. We will remember again".

That's how it happened. I don't have any memory of anything I saw when I looked into the "everything" color thingy. I just remember the absolute certainty of it all and the unbelievable joy and completeness I felt. I was able to ride on that feeling for a while. However, after a few months or so, I desperately wanted it back. I wanted the feeling back...and the knowledge. I actually got a little depressed for a while, even a bit angry. I felt lost and just sad. Eventually the feelings all subsided.

So there it is. Has anyone else seen this?
edit on 12-12-2012 by AnnunakiX because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 03:17 AM
I'm unsure of this but I guess it doesn't matter in the end as our perception is all that matters.

I find it hard to believe there is a need for a child to starve to death in a sim.

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 03:23 AM

As an Atheist, I have wondered this myself. I almost feel like a hypocrite buying into the simulation theory. but, I dont totally buy into it so I excuse myself.

That's okay. You might be an agnostic atheist. I think that's what I am though I'm not overly fond of being categorized.

"Agnostic atheist: Does not believe any god exists, but doesn't claim to know that no god exists."
wiki.ironchariots.org...
edit on 12-12-2012 by AnnunakiX because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 05:07 AM
Yes, I believe that we exist apart elsewhere of the reality of what we are currently experiencing. Our DNA is a unique numeric code that gives us our build or defines the shell we exist in in this reality, but most of us know that there is another us that communicates from what we believe is within, but may indeed lie elsewhere.

It does mean that indeed there may very well be life after death, since death for us means ending this experience, but not true death. It doesn't mean that life or death is less significant as some here feel. It may indeed be very difficult to get here and likely our reincarnations would be limited if not only one life here. So, it wouldn't mean you could just become a terrorist and throw your life away without some type of consequence be it good or bad that could be your only contribution for thousands of years.

This may be merely a translation plane that many species from all over the multi-verses plug into so that we may meet, exist, communicate amongst ourselves that would otherwise be impossible at our true places of existence as we may reside in places too remote or far too different to meet on our real planes of existence.

edit on 12/12/12 by verylowfrequency because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 05:20 AM
So how many hours does it take to write each persons program? who writes all seven billion programs? who updates these programs second by second? who is 'who' ? who writes the programs for the weather? fish? birds? animals? insects? plants? seaweed? who writes the programs for all the auto's? planes? ships? railroad locomotives?

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 05:29 AM

They would probably be parallel layers written at different times all with their own programmed attributes (DNA?) that wouldn't need much meddling once they were completed. Once an object is born or species is introduced into the system it becomes completely independent of its original design, it can become extinct if it cannot survive its interaction with other entities on the plane of existence.

Our DNA would have some sort of transponders that would both reference its attributes, that would include all properties such as its makeup, lifespan, location and how it or what it is interacting with. Even rocks are made of DNA all with independent transponders and each rock would have a birth, death and all transformations in between.

edit on 12/12/12 by verylowfrequency because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 05:47 AM

but there is sound waves in life that can go for miles, how could you explain there as they come from objects and events ?

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:06 AM

OP,bad news is that no one who is in the simulation can escape it.

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:15 AM

Originally posted by MrDarkPhoenix

but there is sound waves in life that can go for miles, how could you explain there as they come from objects and events ?

If a tree falls down in the woods and there is nothing there to hear it....will it make a sound?
You might think sound comes from 'out there' but sound does not exist without a hearer. The hearer must be primary.
What is it that is hearing noise?

Noise is just part of the scenery.
edit on 12-12-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:23 AM

I didn't say it was entirely impossible. I said is was entirely unpractical.

neither impossible nor impractical and you are a computer programmrrrr. lol.
a question for you and answer it carefully,are the illusions humans create part of the original illusion or not??

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:26 AM

Originally posted by ChaoticOrder

While I think it's a very real possibility we live in a simulation, it's still a very low possibility imo. The reason I think this, is because our Universe is so enormous. Mind numbingly enormous. And every single atom in the Universe is extremely complex. To simulate every single atom in a single living cell with real physics, requires a computer 1000x more powerful than the most powerful supercomputer on Earth. Imagine trying to simulate a whole person, or the entire planet, or even our entire solar system, or our entire galaxy. The amount of power required to achieve such a feat is beyond comprehension... let alone trying to simulate the entire Universe.
infinity could do it.

No that's not a joke. But even simpler, what needs to be simulated is only what we pay attention to. IF this is a simulation, the only cells whose atoms would have to be simulated would be those cells for which we actually look at the atoms, and then only for those atoms that are focused upon. You only need a believable impression of the rest of the world. Dreams produce this routinely. Ask a lucid dreamer about how real their experiences seem. I used to do it intentionally, and my lucid dreams seemed just as real as my daily reality. Any detail I focused on would come into sharp detail. An on-demand procedure-based simulation can do this. Minecraft (the game...
) is a rudimentary example of such a simulation. You can walk forever in one direction and never get to an end, or back to the beginning, because the world is created via a simulating procedure. Any proper interactive simulation gets realtime feedback on what objects were getting close attention, and reacts accordingly.

Don't even try to imagine how much power that would require because I can tell you that none of us here have the ability to comprehend how much computing power that would require. We have trouble even comprehending the distance to the nearest star in our own galaxy, or the distance between our galaxy and the nearest galaxy.
Since we use instruments for measuring those distances... instruments that we read through our senses... there is no guarantee that those measurements are true, or even that they measure something real, any more than I know for a fact that there is a human being on the other side of this conversation. For me, you only (need to) exist in the form of letters drawn on a screen. Yes, you may have your own reality, but there is no proving that it's the same as mine.

Keep in mind there are billions of galaxies in our Universe.
So they say.

In fact the Universe may be infinite for all we know, we can only see so far, and no matter how far we look there appears to be no end.
see above comment on procedural simulations

These facts lead me to believe we are in a "genuine" Universe, and not a simulated one. But I'm not completely convinced either way.
edit on 11/12/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)
Who says there's a difference? Or, more practically, how would you tell?

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:28 AM

The image that is appearing presently is the real, pure, god given, image.
And then words appear to translate the image into symbols that the mind can understand - the truth is lost in translation.

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:42 AM

I have been saying this for the last 10 years. Here is the proof and what I have been trying to say here on ATS since I was SuperiorEd. Will Science (or anyone else for that matter) admit the truth that WORD is Information and that God was there first? No. They will remain ignorant and keep denying. God is out of the question.

John 1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

edit on 12-12-2012 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)

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