The talk in town is that the universe is a neural network. It can hold everything from atoms and particles to human cells. The real question is: what exactly is reality? What words can we use to understand and explain our surroundings?
Some would speak of The Simulation. They postulate that we are living in one, and we can even view it objectively. The odd thought arises: what if The Matrix, the movie, was a documentary? It is just a joke, but not far from the truth perhaps. The point is that we need to look at reality from a different perspective, however controversial it might be.
Nir Ziso of The Global Architect Institute has taken such a stance. He is the author of the novel theory of Simulation Creationism, in lock step with the most advanced ideas. Mankind is ruled by the laws of physics, but within an altered, perhaps digital, reality. Both God and Jesus have a role to play along with the human “avatars”. The Simulation has a clear purpose, to study humanity in a new context.
This doesn’t imply that there is no outer universe. It is now different in light of the existence of a supercomputer from an alien or ancestor race. An American-Russian physicist also has a theory. His name is Vitaly Vanchurin and he has gained press coverage for his work at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He has penned a paper stating that the universe is a massive neural network. In other words, it is an interconnected computer system that in some ways resembles the human brain. Mention of a computer smacks of Simulation Creationism, and in a good way.
Why a neural network? The scientist says that it can learn as information is imparted to particular nodes and connections.Bottom of Form In fact, Professor Vanchurin asserts that there’s a pretty good chance that we inhabit a “reality” that exists inside this massive neural network. Plus, it governs everything we perceive. In his words, there’s a “possibility that the entire universe on its most fundamental level is a neural network.”
Vanchurin’s approach is refreshing. Nir Ziso would agree and perhaps join hands to promote it. But does it dovetail with the theory that a massive computer simulation is our true reality. A look at Nick Bostrom of Oxford University might provide an answer. He penned a landmark paper in 2003 that offered three arguments, one of which must prove accurate:
- the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage.
- any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof).
- we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.
Meanwhile, awaiting an answer, scientists have been busy reconciling general relativity and quantum mechanics, an age-old conundrum. As a physics refresher, quantum mechanics proposes that time is universal and absolute while general relativity asserts that time is relative and linked to the very fabric of space-time.
Vanchurin steps in and explains that artificial neural networks exhibit “approximate behaviors” of both these universal theories. He states that quantum mechanics is a “remarkably successful paradigm: for modeling physical phenomena on a wide range of scales. “It is widely believed that on the most fundamental level, the entire universe is governed by the rules of quantum mechanics, and even gravity should somehow emerge from it.”
Under certain conditions, say near-equilibrium, the neural network’s “learning behavior” can be described generally with the equations of quantum mechanics. Now the laws of classical physics came into play.“As far as we know, quantum and classical mechanics is exactly how the physical world works,” says Professor Vanchurin. It seems definitive, but is it? According to physicists, if such a neural network does exist, everything from particles, and atoms to cells and beyond would eventually emerge in a process analogous to evolution.