Home » Cosmology, Intelligent Design, News » Space and time originate in a computer game and yes, this IS, like, science or something

Space and time originate in a computer game and yes, this IS, like, science or something

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG

From Nature News:

“Imagine waking up one day and realizing that you actually live inside a computer game,” says Mark Van Raamsdonk, describing what sounds like a pitch for a science-fiction film. But for Van Raamsdonk, a physicist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, this scenario is a way to think about reality. If it is true, he says, “everything around us – the whole three-dimensional physical world – is an illusion born from information encoded elsewhere, on a two-dimensional chip”. That would make our Universe, with its three spatial dimensions, a kind of hologram, projected from a substrate that exists only in lower dimensions.

Wow. For sure it couldn’t have happened before about 1970, so at least we can date the idea …

This ‘holographic principle’ is strange even by the usual standards of theoretical physics. But Van Raamsdonk is one of a small band of researchers who think that the usual ideas are not yet strange enough. If nothing else, they say, neither of the two great pillars of modern physics — general relativity, which describes gravity as a curvature of space and time, and quantum mechanics, which governs the atomic realm — gives any account for the existence of space and time. Neither does string theory, which describes elementary threads of energy.

So how does that make everything an illusion? Anyway if it’s “everything,” what does “illusion” mean?

Testing such ideas empirically will be extremely difficult. In the same way that water looks perfectly smooth and fluid until it is observed on the scale of its molecules — a fraction of a nanometre — estimates suggest that space-time will look continuous all the way down to the Planck scale: roughly 10-35 metres, or some 20 orders of magnitude smaller than a proton.

But it may not be impossible. …

You remember signing a release to be in a Twilight Zone episode? You know how they hang it on some harmless science factoid and then … well, it’s for sure great TV but …  Hey, it’s sure to be great TV.

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14 Responses to Space and time originate in a computer game and yes, this IS, like, science or something

  1. Few months ago I described a variant of this same idea, along with implications for the origin and nature of the intelligence behind biological ID, under the name “Planckian Networks” (inspired by Stephen Wolfram’s NKS). The Table of Content for that series of posts and discussion it spawned is hyperlinked in the second half of this post.

  2. semi related:

    Philsopher Ed Feser comments on atheist ASU Physics Prof Lawrence Krauss’ comments in a recent Big Think video…

    A gigantic book royalty check from nothing – Edward Feser August 31, 2013
    http://www.edwardfeser.blogspo.....-from.html

  3. I once signed a release to be in a Twilight Zone episode, and the next thing I knew it was like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone signing a release to be in a Twilight Zone episode, …

    Then I found myself here at UD.

    Go figure.

  4. BA, I know Feser get’s a lot of flack here, but he does have a wit, lol. thanks

  5. “And in good Lawrence Krauss fashion, he doesn’t hide his fallacies under a bushel but puts them on a pedestal for all to see.”

    lol

  6. “Have you ever heard such self-contradictory gibberish before? Of course you have, because you’ve read Lawrence Krauss before.”

    priceless

  7. Mung I agree, Feser is fairly fine form in that post.

  8. This is called the Simulation Argument and/or Simulation Hyphotesis and it’s the logical step after ID.

    As I wrote in a post before (Suppose ID wins…), there is no way a God or any other entity can create a flesh-and-bone universe like the one we live in. Nobody has the resources to do it, even God. Thinking that God can create a universe and life just by saying it – for free – is illogical.

    The only way to make it is through software running on a powerful device (computer or whatever their operators call it). This software would require the work of thousands or millions of people, very well organized, to design, code, test and maintain it.

    If you follow the evidence where the evidence leads, the conclusion is that we live in a computer simulation.

    More information:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnl6nY8YKHs

    http://www.simulation-argument.com/

    http://simulism.org/Simulism_Home

    http://www.deceptiveuniverse.com/

  9. Is God No Better Than A Special Computer? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xinwkb_b4k4

    Quantum Computing Promises New Insights, Not Just Supermachines – Scott Aaronson – December 2011
    Excerpt: And yet, even though useful quantum computers might still be decades away, many of their payoffs are already arriving. For example, the mere possibility of quantum computers has all but overthrown a conception of the universe that scientists like Stephen Wolfram have championed. That conception holds that, as in the “Matrix” movies, the universe itself is basically a giant computer, twiddling an array of 1’s and 0’s in essentially the same way any desktop PC does.
    Quantum computing has challenged that vision by showing that if “the universe is a computer,” then even at a hard-nosed theoretical level, it’s a vastly more powerful kind of computer than any yet constructed by humankind. Indeed, the only ways to evade that conclusion seem even crazier than quantum computing itself: One would have to overturn quantum mechanics, or else find a fast way to simulate quantum mechanics using today’s computers.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12.....ef=science

  10. Well, Mung, reality had to click in some time. ;)

  11. lol

    Yeah, but why did it have to kick in so quickly!

  12. ‘BA, I know Feser get’s a lot of flack here, but he does have a wit, lol. thanks – esteemed Mung

    Talking about wit, Mung, Dmitry Orlov’s wit (his blog: cluborlov.com) is so wicked, it verges on the criminal.
    You don’t have do a tricky sum to post on his blog(!)(no names, no pack drill), but here’s a warning he gives, before you post in hope:

    ‘Your comment will be visible once it is approved by the moderator. Please submit each comment exactly once. Any comments mentioning Mad Max or Waterworld are deleted automatically.’

    I also love the ‘EXACTLY once’! Oddly enough I had the horrible feeling I might have inadvertently posted twice, but if so, he’s mercifully looked the other way.

  13. Is this idea similar to the one used in the short story(later novel) “Wang’s Carpets” by Greg Egan?

    http://www.amazon.com/Mammoth-.....0786717270

  14. rprado – “This is called Simulation Argument and/or Simulation Hyphotesis and it’s the logical step after ID.”

    Such thinking fails to follow such speculations to their inevitable, logical conclusion. This is the philosophy of radical skepticism, a limited version of which starts by realizing that there are only two things that are absolutely certain (barring personal revelation or faith): the laws of logic and the existence of the self. Beyond these two things we can be certain of nothing. Any and all objects of external experience and observation may be deceptions of some sort, perhaps a hyper simulation being conducted by higher beings, and must logically be doubted. Nothing we observe can be taken as absolute certain reality.

    And there would be no end to it, since if one were to somehow break through into the higher reality that too could be a higher level simulation created by yet higher level beings, on ad infinitum. This train of reasoning leads inevitably to the realization that ultimately true knowledge is impossible, beyond the two premises mentioned.

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