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Are we living in a simulation? Show more Show less
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Ever since The Matrix was released in 1999, many have questioned the parameters of the world we know and experience. Though the movie was a worldwide phenomenon that sparked up this debate, the philosophical underpinnings and implications of this potential reality give it new meaning in a modern, technologically advanced world where everything seems possible.

No, we are not living in a simulation. Show more Show less

This is the real world, and not a simulation, and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.
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Scientists and mathematicians have found that it is mathematically impossible that we live in a simulation.

The simulation theory simply does not hold up under intense mathematical and algorithmic scrutiny. The universe could never be computer-generated based on what we know today.

The Argument

A recent study published in Science Advances by physicists Zohar Ringel and Dmitry L. Kovrizhin outlines the impossibility of any known computational algorithm with the ability to perfectly replicate the expanse of the universe. Mathematician Marcus Noak at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, as well as many other prominent names within the scientific community, agree with the study, citing the extreme unlikelihood of any purely hardware-based simulation with the power to control the world. The computing software algorithm itself would have to use more data than than there are atoms in the observable universe. The scope of the universe and the many complex laws of physics governing it, too, would never be able to exists solely within a simulated reality. There has never been any computer even remotely close to that level of capacity, proving once and for all that the simulation theory, at least right now, is a complete myth.[1][2]

Counter arguments

Prominent supporters of the theory, like Elon Musk, argue that because the future human technologies are so advanced, we would never be able to conceive of their vast computing power in the present. Just as humans could never imagine anything like the Internet in the 1970's, they assert that our technology will advance and grow so exponentially that the ability of a computer algorithm to synthesize all of the observable universe would be possible. Also, this scientific study does not account for the metaphysical aspects of the theory that science cannot explain, like those to do with philosophical definitions of selfhood and "being" as well as strictly theological conceptions of higher powers beyond our control. This argument does not take all of the complex factors surrounding the popular theory into account.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Any study disproving a hypothesis that states its implications are mathematically impossible completely disproves the hypothesis altogether. [P2] Physicists have concluded that the Simulation Theory is mathematically impossible within the realm of known physics and human computing power. [P3] Therefore, we are not living in a simulation.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] This mathematical calculation only takes into account our current conception of the parameters of technology, not the possibility of technology in the future. [Rejecting P3] The argument that the simulation theory cannot exist is illogical.

References

  1. https://www.fastcompany.com/40537955/we-are-not-living-in-a-simulation-probably
  2. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/9/e1701758
This page was last edited on Friday, 22 May 2020 at 20:33 UTC

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