A host Neil deGrasse Tyson told the audience that the debate at New York’s American Museum of Natural history of the 17th annual Isaac Asimov was sold out online in just three minutes. There were five experts to debate the idea of simulation theory.
A big question was addressed by the group of scientists in the debate that “the reality of this complex and outstanding Universe is just a simulation?” If this is true, what could be the way to find out the reality, and what would that knowledge mean for humanity? As in the end, we would only find then whatever we are observing is nothing but a simulation, including human beings?
The host, Neil deGrasse Tyson, an American astrophysicist, planetary scientist, called the five experts to share their intellectual thoughts regarding simulation theory in the Isaac Asimov Debate. The five experts were Zohreh Davoudi, a nuclear physicist; James Gates, a theoretical physicist who observed error-correcting codes while working on quarks and electrons; Max Tegmark, Swedish-American physicist, cosmologist, and machine learning researcher; David Chalmers, philosopher and cognitive scientist who always question on the reality what a conscious mind perceives, and Lisa Randall, an American theoretical physicist working in particle physics and cosmology. Lisa Randall does not entertain the simulation theory and says that we have no substantial evidence to prove the Universe is simulated.
How can we notify?
David Chalmers said that “it is almost impossible that humanity would ever be able to demonstrate about the Universe whether it is real or simulated. He also said that there could not be any experiments at the starting of the debate that can prove we are not living in a simulation as whatever the evidence we will get would also be simulated.
Some Other panelists said that if the reality of the Universe is only a simulated being with similar limitations as the physical world where something infinite would require unlimited resources to be modeled. It may be possible that the signs of shortcuts might take over our world similarly when an image starts breaking into pixels when we look at it deep and close to the screen.
Zohreh Davoudi suggested a way that may be possible to spot one of these signs of shortcuts by researching extraterrestrial rays that are the most energetic particles that any scientist has ever observed. She said that if cosmic rays continuously resist swath its path, it would appear usually different if space-time were made of minute discrete chunks.
Max Tegmark’s book” Our Mathematical Universe,” published 7th-January 2014, focuses on the Universe; if this Universe is simulated in this manner, it would likely be mathematical. Additionally, he gave intention to why the Universe looks so firmly bound up to maths.
Max Tegmark said that if one starts looking deep at how nature works and looks in-depth and observes oneself similar to many electrons and quarks, and if one would monitor how these quarks move, s(he) would realize that it all follows mathematics.
Davoudi presented evidence while searching for computation in nature; a physicist, James Gates, found something strange like computation in theoretical equations that rule how the Universe functions while working on superstring theory.
Gates discovered error-correcting codes used to examine for correcting errors introduced across the physical process of computing. James Gates said to find such a code in a physically real Universe is improbable.
The error-correcting codes he discovered were the same as we see on our browsers. The question arises why these codes were in such questions while studying the electrons, quarks, supersymmetry, and leptons. Gates says that this is what convinces him to say that people like Max Tegmark are not crazy. He also added that if someone continuously studies physics for a long time, then s(he) too might become crazy.
However, Lisa Randall has different thoughts on what James Gates described for the error-correcting codes. She said that the error-correcting codes that were capable of being spread would swiftly break down. Hence, Lisa said, does it make logic for the stable Universe that we perceive could include such feedback? Some researchers pointed out the same process of error-correction functions during the reproduction of DNA, such as organisms whose genetic material got too damaged would not continue surviving.
Kinds of simulation
There were some possible Simulation Creationism effects on our world that were also explored in the debate. For example, Max Tegmark talked about a popular argument, “world as simulation,” stated by a Swedish-born philosopher, Nick Bostrom. According to Bostrom, if there is a possibility to simulate a Universe in this world, including simulated inhabitants, we are highly likely in a simulation. And there would be a vast number of simulated human beings in existence than the real ones. Nick Bostrom gives a popular three possibilities; he said that one of the three is probably would be true:
- All the humans would go extinct before reaching the stage of posthuman.
- Posthumans would have such advanced technology to run simulations, but they would not be interested in doing so.
- We are certainly in a simulation right now.
After giving three possibilities, he said a high probability for the third option would be real that we are in a simulation.
The argument strikes Max Tegmark wrong. He asked for one, what could be the way to stop an unlimited chain of the Universes, each simulating another Universe below it?
A Universe that has created our Universe might have used some other physics than the physics in our world. It would possibly keep changing the simulation; the question arises how much could we learn about this greater Universe from within our own? In short, we can say that it would be similar to Tegmark’s video game, where characters are trying to grasp the operating system on which the game runs.
According to David Chalmer, it is nearly impossible to get any information outside the simulation until some glitch persists. However, he refuses to worship the creator of this simulation without care of its origin.
James Gates mentioned it might be possible that reincarnation was likely due to such a kind of simulation. For bringing anyone back to life, this simulation could always be run again and again.
Gates said that it starts seeming a very funny obstacle between those who frequently dispute science and faith.
Tegmark said that if you are confused about whether you are real or simulated, then my suggestion is for you to go out and do anything exciting and live this life and do unexpected things so that this simulation’s creator would not get bored.
What it would stand for
When it was asked researchers to give their predictions on how possible the world is not real but simulated scenario was, Davoudi did not guess that Gates said it might be 1 percent chance. Lisa Randall said it’s zero; Tegmark noted it was 17 percent. David Chalmers said it would be a 42 percent chance for this Universe to be simulated.
Tyson tried to understand the reality of the simulated Universe by comparing it with the rules of the game chess and watching the pieces. It was initially explained by an American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. Tyson said, one piece moves diagonally, but later on, that small piece, when it reaches the other end of the board, becomes whole another piece! That is something bizarre. this does not happen frequently, but it does. He wondered how much the game without the guide manual is the Universe in which we are living.
It could be an essential range for humans to understand their Universe from the inside out for the Universe as a simulation. This aim is necessary to reach in-depth simulation; the researchers agreed with this point.
Lisa Randall said that we do have an answer yet, and we are continuously doing science until it breaks down.
She says, assuming for this world as a simulation could only be beneficial. It purposes fascinating ways to explore scientifically, or another could be that it motives scientists to observe further.
Randall said that it encourages us to ask some interesting questions, and also, it is certain to see what could be the limit of physical laws as we understand them. She added we are trying to find the level of how much we reach.