Are we in a Simulation: Revisited?


Disclaimer: All the arguments presented here are adapted as it is or with some modifications from different sources.

Simulation argument is one of the mind boggling argument in the last 100 years. There has been a lot of white noise surrounding the arguments in support of the simulation debate. In this blog I tried my best to summarize the simulation agreements with my top 5 arguments.

Arguments in Support of Simulation:

1. The more we are developing our knowledge about our universe the more it appears to be based on mathematical laws. Perhaps it is not a given or defined, but certainly  some kind of function of the universe.
Quote 1: “If I were a character in a computer game, I would also discover eventually that the rules seemed completely rigid and mathematical,” said Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “That just reflects the computer code in which it was written.
Quote 2: “In my research I found this very strange thing,” said James Gates, a theoretical physicist at the University of Maryland. “I was driven to error-correcting codes—they’re what make browsers work. So why were they in the equations I was studying about quarks and electrons and super-symmetry? This brought me to the stark realization that I could no longer say people like Max are crazy.

2. The initial argument by Philosopher Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, describes a fake universe as a “richly detailed software simulation of people, including their historical predecessors, by a very technologically advanced civilization.” It’s like the movie “The Matrix,” Bostrom said, except that “instead of having brains in vats that are fed by sensory inputs from a simulator, the brains themselves would also be part of the simulation. It would be one big computer program simulating everything, including human brains down to neurons and synapses.

In case we are in a simulation it is very hard to know it in a conscious mind as brain, cells and every atom of our body is a simulation and the only way to know that we are a simulation is when there programmer has made some slips — if you notice that some laws of physics aren’t quite right, if you find rounding-off errors, you might sense some of the grain of the computer showing through. So now you get the answer if there is any bug in the simulation it will be reflected as an error or mismatch in a physical rule.

3. The fact that astronomers, computational biologists are already making simulations which gives almost realistic understanding of nature and universe makes it a more stronger argument that it is possible that we are living in a simulation created by some other alien civilization.

4. The Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Simulation Hypothesis

In two recent peer reviewed articles, the philosopher Marcus Arvan has argued that a new version of the simulation hypothesis, the Peer-to-Peer Simulation Hypothesis, provides a unified explanation of a wide variety of quantum phenomena. According to Arvan, peer-to-peer networking (networking involving no central “dedicated server”) inherently gives rise to (i) Quantum superposition, (ii) Quantum indeterminacy, (iii) The quantum measurement problem, (iv) Wave-particle duality, (iv) Quantum wave-function “collapse”, (v) Quantum entanglement, (vi) a minimum space-time distance (e.g. the Planck length), and (vii) The relativity of time to observers.

5. The genetic argument:

The argument was summarized by Neil deGrasse Tyson as follows:

Quoting from Tech Insider

Tyson points out that we humans have always defined ourselves as the smartest beings alive, orders of magnitude more intelligent than species like chimpanzees that share close to 99% of our DNA. We can create symphonies and do trigonometry and astrophysics (some of us, anyway).

But Tyson uses a thought experiment to imagine a life-form that’s as much smarter than us as we are than dogs, chimps, or other terrestrial mammals.

What would we look like to them? We would be drooling, blithering idiots in their presence,” he says.

Whatever that being is, it very well might be able to create a simulation of a universe.

And if that’s the case, it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just the creation of some other entity for their entertainment,” Tyson says. “I’m saying, the day we learn that it is true, I will be the only one in the room saying, I’m not surprised.

Risks of being in a simulation:

The simulation hypothesis opens up the possibility that, if we’re in a simulation, the simulation gets shut down, thereby resulting in an existential catastrophe. Ray Kurzweil suggests in The Singularity is Near that being interesting might be the best way for us to avoid a simulation shut down.

Some video’s concerning simulation argument:

You  might wonder why there is no argument against the simulation argument because this is an effort to create a doubt in the mind of people that it might be a simulation keeping in mind that the majority of people are taking this as a fancy debate.

Ultimate Quotes:

“Maybe we’re in a simulation, maybe we’re not, but if we are, hey, it’s not so bad,”

“My advice is to go out and do really interesting things,” … “so the simulators don’t shut you down.”