Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Are We Living Inside A Simulation?

Today on Far Future Horizons we ask the question: Are we living in a simulation? Is the totality of cosmic existence nothing more than a manufactured reality created inside some incredibly advanced super computer?

Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom

Personally I feel that simulation hypothesis, first formulated by Nick Bostrom (whose work in the field of existential risks I greatly admire), presented in this documentary is a very good example of pathologically bad science. I  think that in our attempts to stretch the limits of human knowledge to the breaking point, we are in fact being led down avenues of muddled headed thinking.  And, as a result, science fiction and fantasy are taking the place of real level-headed science.

Virtual Humans 

Is everything an illusory simulation? Was the world created by a non-physical force that we can communicate with and possibly influence with our minds, thereby participating in the creation of our own reality? These are the grandiose existential questions central to this documentary, which introduces viewers to the concept of the Simulation Hypothesis.

Teasing that there are cutting edge physics experiments that imply Simulation Hypothesis could be true, the film begins by reviewing two primary philosophies regarding the nature of life: materialism and idealism. 

First introduced by Democritus, materialism credits the atom as the basis for all reality, making consciousness the result of a material process. Plato, on the other hand, believed it is the mind itself that gives way to matter; therefore reality is borne from ideas.

The Simulation Hypothesis, which the filmmakers parallel very heavily against the hit sci-fi movie The Matrix, argues that matter and ideas are the result of a complex digital simulation, something akin to a video game. Theoretical physicists make their case for a programmable universe, positing that there is evidence of computer code to be found in nature and we are, put simply, expressions of a code.

Are we ourselves composed of binary strings of 0s and 1s? Could it be that subatomic particles are nature's answer to the bits and pixels that digital worlds are composed of? Though dense in scientific jargon, there is an underlying creationist belief to Simulation Hypothesis - if, in fact, the world is a program, someone must have written it. But who, or what? The film suggests that humans have an innate mental connection back to this universal programmer through the subconscious.

The Simulation Hypothesis is a thought provoking exploration of the nature of our existence, playing into the universal curiosity of how and why we came to be. Relying heavily on footage from famous movies, animated models, and the occasional interview to illustrate the concepts being presented, this episode takes viewers to the intersection of theology and science in a way that is equal parts educational and fantastical.

Jurgen Ziewe/Shutterstock.

This documentary series examines the latest scientific arguments for the existence of a cosmological creator, including the simulation hypothesis, information science, quantum intelligence, rare-earth theory, etc. Featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson, Paul Davies, Max Tegmark and many more top thinkers. Science has never been so much fun!

The Simulation Hypothesis
The Simulation Hypothesis from Fair Wind Films on Vimeo.
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