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"Is the Cosmos a Vast Computer Simulation?" New Theory May Offer Clues


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Professor Silas Beane, a theoretical physicist at the University of Bonn in Germany said that his group of scientists have developed a way to test the 'simulation hypothesis'--the idea that we may be living in a computer generated universe that has been debated by the greats of philosphy, from Plato to Descartes, who speculated that the world we see around us could be generated by an 'evil demon'. Plato wrote that reality may be no more than shadows in a cave but the human species, having never left the cave, may not be aware of it.

If the cosmos is a numerical simulation, there ought to be clues in the spectrum of high energy cosmic rays. Now more than two thousand years since Plato suggested that our senses provide only a weak reflection of objective reality, experts believe they have solved the riddle using mathetical models known as the lattice QCD approach in an attempt to recreate - on a theoretical level - a simulated reality. Lattice QCD is a complex approach that that looks at how particles known as quarks and gluons relate in three dimensions.

"We consider ourselves on some level universe simulators because we calculate the interactions of particles by basically replacing space and time by a grid and putting it in a box," said Beane. "In doing that we face lots of problems for instance the box and the grid size breaks Einstein's special theory of relativity so we know how to fix this in order to get physical predictions that are meaningful."

"We thought that if we make the assumption that the so-called simulators face some of the same problems that we do in terms of finite resources and so on then, if they are doing a simulation and even though their box size of course is enormous and the grid size can be very small, as long as the resources are finite then the box size will be finite, the grid size will be finite," Beane added. "And therefore at some level for instance there would be violations of Einstein's special theory of relativity."

According to MIT's Technology Review, "using the world's most powerful supercomputers, physicists have only managed to simulate tiny corners of the cosmos just a few femtometers across (A femtometer is 10^-15 metres.) That may not sound like much but the significant point is that the simulation is essentially indistinguishable from the real thing (at least as far as we understand it)."

As Carl Sagan said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

The Daily Galaxy via New Scientist and

Image credit: With thanks to Rex Features


I have always wondered if we were but a bubble/atom with others along side flowing in a vastness greater then our puny universe.

Plato NEVER wrote that reality may be no more than shadows in a cave. He wrote an allegory using a simplistic cave analogy to illustrate a more complex idea - that the sense of reality we construct is based on an incomplete perception of reality and, therefore, cannot be considered to a real or complete perception of reality.

The universe doesn't need to be a simulation for the Allegory of The Cave to be meaningful - when you leap to an incorrect conclusion based on partial facts (something we all do from time to time), you are constructing a reality out of Plato's shadows. When you sees a wall rather than the collection of protons, neutrons, etc. that constitute it you are seeing, in Plato's allegorical meaning, the "shadow" of the wall - the wall doesn't actually "exist" as an independent entity, but the viewer sees it as such because of the way we humans perceive sensory input and parse it into a sense of reality.

Reality is a simulation inside the vast computer that is your mind

The following references will provide positive information to what I have stated below; 'The Holographic Universe is an illusion, But consciousness Isn't.' & the Mandelbrot Set
(You Tube), 'Beige the Colour of the Universe' (, Holographic & Spherical Universe - Scientific America (August, 2003), fractal crystals and Wikipedia on fractals, and note the 'Koch snowflake' fractal.
Can the atheists or agnostics prove atheism? Can they also satisfactorily explain why time remains stable? or why there are uniform, 'universal laws of physics' - such as, the speed of light or makeup of elements?
Some take for granted everything works by mere chance... dreamers!

Time must exist before matter can be created, and only an animate entity can conceive of space-time. Time must be a stabilized and uniform condition before matter can form, thus Monotheism is a Truth.
The Universe consists of space-time; which is functionally active and growing but remains stable. These combined characteristics are indicative of an animate entity only, thus Pantheism is a fact.
As a consequence, all mortals' behaviours and attitudes become conspicuous by our Creator.

Reality is the dream of a Universal sentient being. Sensations of all mortals are merely light flashes within elongated fractal crystals, flowing in a white mist which is time itself; ensconced within a beige coloured and velvet textured Pearl, that is, a holographic Universe.
If all electrical particles were in different time zones - matter would not form, thus time is a controlled electromagnetic radiation (energy) E = mc2.
To be perfect - one must know the past, present and future, there is only one, the one that created Time.

Holographic Universe

Cardiff researchers could herald a new era in fundamental physics
Media Release
Issued: 3rd February 2009
Cardiff University researchers who are part of a British-German team searching the depths of space to study gravitational waves, may have stumbled on one of the most important discoveries in physics according to an American physicist.
Craig Hogan, a physicist at Fermilab Centre for Particle Astrophysics in Illinois is convinced that he has found proof in the data of the gravitational wave detector GEO600 of a holographic Universe - and that his ideas could explain mysterious noise in the detector data that has not been explained so far.

Ronan - I think that "vast" is maybe too generous a term :P

John - Atheists can't prove that God doesn't exist any more than believers can prove that he doesn't. And no - your argument does not constitute proof of the existence of God.

FYI - you shouldn't lump agnostics in with atheists. We are as different from atheists as atheists are from the faithful, perhaps even more so. The core concept of Agnosticism is that the existence or non-existance of God is fundamentally unknowable to the human mind, while atheists believe that there is no God - a claim that a true agnostic would never make.

I suggest that you look into the concept of "confirmation bias". It's about the only thing I'm seeing evidence of here. If you search the web for long enough you can find a scientific theory that is consistent with nearly any philosophy - but "consistent with" doesn't mean "is proof of", and the fact that a scientific theory is consistent with your personal philosophy does not make the theory true, and even if the theory is found to be true the fact that it's consistent with your philosophy does not prove your philosophy to be correct.

So please - be a bit more careful using that very dangerous word "fact".

you shouldn't lump agnostics in with atheists. We are as different from atheists as atheists are from the faithful, perhaps even more so. The core concept of Agnosticism is that the existence or non-existance of God is fundamentally unknowable to the human mind, while atheists believe that there is no God - a claim that a true agnostic would never make."

Absolutely true. Between Christian theists (me) agnostics and atheists, agnostics are the most scientifically minded among us. Christians and atheists reach conclusions on about equal amounts of faith.

Quotation: "Is the Cosmos a Vast Computer Simulation?"

Answer: No it is not. Modern scientists are simply projecting their technological and mathematical world view into the cosmos that cannot be understood linearly or mathematically because everything in cosmos are for ever changing and therefore the PC simulations will never get it right.

Besides this: As long as cosmological scientists are stuck in their some 350 year old “gravity cosmology minds”, adding false equations and formulae based on the wrong assumptions into their PC´s and Cosmos, they´ll just keep getting the wrong answers.

So basically what the scientists are saying: If the universe is a simulation we should be able to see it at the smallest levels.
Hmmm... so you think we puny humans would be able to compete with a that is capable of generating such a simulation?

What if the simulation can interpret our researches on these small scales and cater for these smaller scales in some form or way? e.g. by upping the resolution of the universe in that area for the time of the experiment? So only if you'd be looking at the whole universe on a Femti-scale the original simulation would be in need of gigantic resources and the simulation might crack at the seams.

Don't forget: if this would be a simulation, it would be the best possible sandbox one could ever come up with: The size of the sandbox is increasing with such a rate that nothing adhering to the basic laws of the sandbox can even begin to approach the edges. So you would need to find a way not to bend the rules but to break the rules (Matrix reference intended). As we currently barely understand the rules it will be difficult to bend them, let alone break them.

We already would have a big problem if the simulation we live in was only using basic Google principles: If you look at the available storage with Google it always is just enough to cater for their needs. Demand can go up, Google follows suit. So if we try to up the demand of the universe, the universe simulater will probably be able to keep up if only it would use Google principles. Actually I bet our universe is capable of having better principles :) (if it would be simulated)

If EVERYTHING within the physical universe is a simulation then that means the quarks and the background radiation are too. You cannot use those measurements to prove or disprove anything and just because it takes an incredible amount of information to store at our level - does not mean that it does at an entirely different level. Furthermore, since we know that the expansion of the universe does not have to follow Einstein, it can further be postulated that any simulation of our reality does not either. Relativity is just the measurement of how information and energy are propagated within the simulation and should not automatically be assumed to follow the same rules of our existence on the outside.

Also, if "reality" only exists for the observer then our simulator does not need to track every position of every quark in the known universe EXCEPT for where its results are measured by the observers. If necessary, (and i'm not implying it is) it should require significantly less storage that way and since EM cannot seem to make up its mind about being a particle or wave until we measure it, this fits perfectly.

I'm not as smart as all the other peoploe who posted on this thread........... the only thing I know for sure is that if I kill another person, then I have killed another human.

If I kill myself, then I have killed the Universe!

'Knowledge like a beacon is; too all dark things bright light it gives; tween dark and light there is grey all round; a shadow land a battle ground.' - Keep the light shining

you guys are too kooky for me

I love it! the kooky the better! as long as it has a rational basis.

The only thing I know for sure, is that I exist. What's outside my self I'll never know for absolutely sure if it's actually there, or is just my mind's construct, or both. Do you people exist? I'm sure you most probably do, but then again in my dreams I talk to people, observe their features and their behaviour, and at that moment I'm also sure they're real. So there's a very tiny probability that I'm writing to myself.

Why did I take the red pill?

the truth is much more simple than one could believe. Some people like to complicate things though. I for one believe in all my senses combined.

oh man..! ppl like to believe way too many things and thats what con men take advantage of to fool ppl.

holographic universe is just an idea, nothing has been proven. even if it is proven( lets assume for the sake of argument), its only the idea is proven, NOT THE ACTUAL HOLOGRAPHIC universe itself ie NOT ALL THE DETAILS OF IT. IDEA of evolution came over 100 yrs ago, we proved it BUT we still havnt found ALL DA DETAILS about it, we only recently found out about human genome etc and thrz lot more to be found.

same with this, even if Holographic universe is proven, we still have a long long lonnnnng way to understand it and apply it in real life.

i have seen, ppl already making videos on this subject on youtube and drawing conclusion that we dont really exist and everything is just an illusion. that's really really stupid. that puts u in the same category as religious nuts.

reality still exists. for u, for me for everything that is self aware. take a spoon, u can touch it, feel it, modify it, use it as a tool, scan it and create a graphical version of it on the computer. ur brain mayb processing information different to the reality BUT spoon still exists and there are ways to prove it, test it to confirm the reality of it.

another example, we not about viruses. u wanna know if u live in reality? go have unprotected sex with HIV patient and see what happens. no matter what "illusion" ur brain creates BUT end result will still b the same, for me, for u, for everyone.

versus dont have brain, so they dont exist??? they dont react with things???

Just my heart structure, or both. You exist? I'm sure you will most likely do, but again in a dream and talk to me, and he had seen their characteristics and their behavior, and at that moment I also make sure they are true. So there is a very small probability, I write letters to himself.

Just remember. We're dressed up talking monkeys on an organic spaceship hurling around the sun in the vastness of infinite.

If this was a simulation then this even debated argument would surely just lead a person to to believe his own reality, simulated or not. Although this isn't what I find the biggest question. I want to know what you would do/want if you found out it was all virtual/an act/staged. If, just if, it wasn't real, would you want to know the truth? Would you want to escape? If this was created to escape the 'real world' and you knew this then that would imply that reality was worse, possibly unsurvivable. Does it even matter if you couldn't change the reality you were in? In theory I am more mystified by the possibility than the fact of any truth...

We need to make a list of all the glitches we know about. To prove or un-prove them. No simulation software can be perfect. This is hard because there are so may unknowns. I thought a lot about this and came up with a couple. Foreign Accent Syndrome and our eyes. FAS is when someone has a migrain or brain trauma goes into a coma and awakes with an accent totally unfamiliar with their lifestyle or knowledge. Our eyes do not see everything in view. The brain fills in the blanks. I also watched a documentary "The Sound Of Insects: Record of a Mummy" got me thinking too about possible glitches.

What about just thinking in basic practical operational simulation terms?

'IF' we are in a simulation then it is LIKELY that our future selves will have built it. It is also likely that if we are in a simulation that it is a basic simulation project with ourselves as copied people because this is the natural development out of simulations we have now.

If we are being simulated as copied people living out someone else's life then 'ethics' aside as to whether anyone 'should' simulate self aware, free thinking people then if you think about it for a while then you will eventually realize that there will be deducible and observable behavioural differences between a copied simulated population and a hypothetical real population.

These differences turn out to be exactly what we have identified as cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. This is explained in great detail on the linked page below and the next page in that series:

Another factor that I've not seen mentioned is that it is very obvious that any simulation designer of a simulation PROJECT attempting to simulate free thinking people would absolutely directly MANAGE their simulated populations awareness, thinking and evaluating capacities to make sure that they DON'T think of realistic 'earth as a simulation' possibilities. This is because if your copied population becomes aware that they absolutely are in a simulation project then it will likely sabotage the aims of the project because this happening will change their behaviour and likely have them deviating from being accurate simulated as a copied population. This is explained in detail with evidence for this being operational here:

Unfortunately 'IF' you do start thinking in realistic terms then it turns out that there is an abundance of macro observable evidence that we are in a simulation, including plenty of evidence that we are being managed to not think of OBVIOUS possibilities:

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