Comment of the Day: "Are We Living in a Simulated Universe?"
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April 02, 2013

Comment of the Day: "Are We Living in a Simulated Universe?"




"The fact that heavy elements were plentiful only 5 billion years after the big bang is a very good sign about the possibility of alien-life evolving in the very earlier universe. But of course that then leads to the annoying and now cliche Fermi paradoxical question: If alien life had several billion years to get started earlier than we might have initially expected, then where the heck are they? Consider this: If a hyper intelligent civilization arose when the universe was only 5 billion years old, then it should have had time to effectively colonize every galaxy in the universe, simply by sending out replicating-machines and probes to every visible galaxy at once, simultaneously. And of course once each probe reached the target galaxy, it would only take a few hundred thousands years (or perhaps a couple of million years at most) to establish replicating probes in every star system of that galaxy. So really once life reaches hyper intelligence, then it doesn't take very long to colonize not only a single galaxy, but the entire universe. Thus there really should be aliens amongst us.

"Some answers to the paradox might include: 1) It really is much more difficult to evolve intelligence than we suspect. But... I'm not sure I fully buy that. We see sophisticated intelligence evolving multiple times in multiple species, including dolphins, whales, chimpanzees, bonobos... heck even crows and parrots show sophisticated intelligence at times. Even the lowly octopus, which is a very alien creature to mammals, is said to exhibit cat-like intelligence. 2) Hyper intelligent civilizations always end up self destructing pretty quickly. I guess, sadly, this seems to be them most plausible explanation... but even this explanation doesn't feel fully correct... as you just need 1 civilization, out of millions to not self destruct, and then they can take over the universe. 3) The aliens are already amongst us -- observing! But as forensic scientists say, you can't enter a room without leaving some sort of trace... it would seem based upon the laws of physics as we know it, and chaos theory, that there should be some trace of them, no matter how careful they are, that can be detected. 4) We are living in a simulation.

"I once read a theory that says it is far more likely we are living in a simulation, as opposed to the "real" universe. The reasoning behind that is simply this: imagine that there is a vast universe, in which a few million hyper intelligent civilizations have evolved, that have computer technology. Each of those civilizations will in turn likely run billions of simulations. Thus if you look at the numbers: there are only a few million "real" civilizations, and multiple billions (probably trillions!) of simulated civilizations. Ergo, the odds are much greater that an individual will exist in a simulated universe, rather than the real universe. Suddenly I'm beginning to think that the lack of evidence of aliens, may simply be that we are indeed a simulation, and aliens are not programmed into this particular simulation! Probability/mathematically this is beginning to sound like the most reasonable explanation... But it's also the explanation I am most uncomfortable with, so I hope it is wrong!"

Velocity Wave

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"It really is much more difficult to evolve intelligence than we suspect."
Just look at the daily news.....

What is a simulation? I suggest a simulation implies some outer God who is a creator. I view this as evidence for creationists needing the security of the benevolence of a God. I however argue that simulation is in no sense ever observably different from a reality.

The fact that 26 degrees of freedom implies a set of 26 compositional subunits for particles, could be representational that a point in one universe could decide the particulate quality of another universe. If the computer uses universal fabric, then how is the simulation ever different from a reality?

If the computer itself has to be embedded in the totalverse, then it is perhaps best explained as the computer is the totalverse, with the center defined by its location, and surrounded by its projection. The idea that the universe is internal to the computer is biased by the nature of where memory is supposed to be.

I call this part of the totalverse the machine. The functional master time provider. If the machine controls or has at its disposal an AI, I do not think it would reside in the machine.

Maybe they seeded likely prospects for bearing life and, knowing it would take a long time to come to fruition, they went on their way. And you sit behind your little screen wondering where they (you) are.

And its Made In China.

"Are we the dream, or the dreamer?" is a little too esoteric for my tastes. I can't give an alternative because I don't have one, just the fact that it doesn't sit right with me!

As I stated in my book, I'm not sure what God, Reality, and our purpose here IS! But I've got a pretty good idea what it's NOT!

The assumption is the alien is technological. And the second assumption is they are physical.

I suppose this is about us more than it is about the other.

After all, a truly advanced being would not necessarily have the drives and motives of humans.

I've often wondered why a "Creator" would choose to create life as we know it in the way it has evolved, beginning with very simple life to complex life. Why choose to make a universe that requires evolution, time, and so much energy? And why do things require so many tiny parts, especially when you consider how many subatomic particles are required to make a medium sized star or planet? Does a "Creator's/Creators" thought(s) or idea(s) of a planet such as ours require that many parts (down to the subatomic level) to put it together in His/Her/Their mind(s)? Think about all of the stars that burn for billions of years that may or may not produce "life"; seems like an enormous waste of LOTS of energy.

Some comments including the comment of the day seems like inspired from the MATRIX movie.

We are not sure what we want.

We are not sure why we want.

We are not sure why we exist.

we are not sure how many types of lives exist on earth.

We are not sure how some lives exist in the extreme conditions where the so called scientist think it is impossible with their physical laws.

We are not even sure who we are

But we are sure:
We are destroying the lives on this planet slowly

We are destroying this planet with the technological evolution

We are destroying ourselves

The 'lack of evidence for aliens'?

You must be kidding. If not, try openly discussing this simple experiment--which costs nothing, and can be done now:

"If an intelligent civilisation had evolved 5 By after the Big Bang, it would have had time to colonise every galaxy in the universe."

Erm, no. Unless they could somehow exceed the speed of light. Which, as Einstein could have told you, is a little challenging.

Possibility number 5 is that species or civilizations tend to become disembodied before they come to the stage where sending out Von Neumann probes would become interesting for them.

As soon as your computer technology becomes sufficiently advanced, there is nothing but religious morality (so nothing) stopping you from uploading your connectome to a computer and shedding your physical body, becoming all but immortal.

This could have happened a million of times, and we could be watched by a million of species right now. And we would never know it if those species, possibly billions of years more advanced than us, have transferred their consciousnesses into a different substrate that we wouldn't recognize as life even if we were able to see it.

Interstellar distances are huge and it may well be impossible to overcome them within the lifetime of even an extremely long-lived biological species. Once a species enters the post-human stage and stops relying on bodies made of decaying carbohydrates, they will not only be able to do interstellar travel as they wish, they will also have a lot of time to find newer, better substrates for their intelligence. Robots become clouds of gas become lattices of light held in time crystals (which are a theoretical possibility).

One of the possible answers to the Fermi Paradox has always been "perhaps they're all around us and we just don't realize it."

If you ask why they haven't contacted us to give us their technology yet, keep in mind that we're about three billion years ahead of microbes while they may well be ten billion years ahead of us.

Notice "the arrogance" of the people in these posts !!
At no time, they include the possibility of a Supreme Being, beyond our puny understanding of celestial mechanics and the short sighted view of "the speed of light" and many other wonders that we can't understand, us creatures with a very "short life span" and pretend to understand by conjecture and speculation of what the Universe is all about !!

we are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams, or so it was told....

Can a universe be simulated using less power than the universe has? In simpler terms, can one accurate universe simulation run of the power of just one star?

If yes, then lets quickly create a simulated universe to see whether the intelligent life in it can find us. And then speed up the simulation and if they find us then go looking for the creators of this universe the same way.... basically, what follows is an infinite universe.

Cool Post. Along with what you're saying, a cool book recently came out that talks about advances in quantum computer processing and the fact that we will soon be able to simulate universes inside computers. And If we develop this ability, then this has likely been achieved many times before. Further, there is a high probability that we reside inside a computer simulation, or even a simulation within a simulation.

Book is here:

This "comment" rocks because it blows my mind. Why? Because the notion that we are living a simulation controlled by aliens or "God" SOUNDS far fetched when paired up against our basic knowledge of the layman. But then when you factor the truth of INFINITY in with the proposition, that there is infinite existence, well then it doesn't sound so impossible anymore.

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