In the podcast, StarTalk, and the host of the show was Neil deGrasse Tyson; he argued about the simulation theory; he said that there could be an idea about our existence even if the universe created everything computer simulation. If it is true, then it is highly likely that the simulation would make such a perception of reality on demand instead of simulating the fact all the time. It can be similar to the video game that is enhanced to provide only those visible scenes. The host of the show said that this could be why we can not travel faster than the speed of light; if we could, we would cross this galaxy and enter another, the astrophysicist added in this before the programmer has programmed it. Hence, this is why the programmer has set us in that limit.
Such kind of conversation looks so frivolous. Since a Swedish-born philosopher at the University of Oxford, Nick Bostrom wrote in his paper “Are you living in a simulation,” published in 2003. Many philosophers, technologists, physicists, and even comedians are suffering from the theory of simulation. Some people have tried to recognize some processes by which we can identify some simulated beings. And on the other hand, some people have attempted to compute the probability of being in a Simulation Creationism.
Recently another new analysis expresses that simulating such a reality where we are living is significantly less. However, what study and research say that as we humans developed such technology to create virtual reality games, and in the future, with the current rate of development in technology, we might make a realistic virtual reality. Hence, this thought can be real for us also. We might be living in a simulation created by some advanced being.
Nick Bostrom in 2003 imagined such a civilization that would have the massive computing power which would be enough to create a simulation with simulated inhabitants with their simulated conscious brain. As per this given scenario, his arguments on simulation showed that at least one proposition could be right from the three. The first proposition suggested that human civilization would go extinct before reaching that technology stage when a human can run the simulation. The second proposition can be that post-human civilization would have enormous computing power to simulate realistic virtual reality, but they would not be interested in doing so. The third proposition says that we are indeed in a simulation.
There is a movie named The Matrix based on the theory of simulation, which popularized the belief in simulated realities before the argument given by Nick Bostrom. Based on Simulation Creationism, the idea has a tremendous deep route in Eastern and Western philosophical traditions, from Zhuang Zhou’s butterfly dream to Plato’s cave allegory. Furthermore, Elon Musk had given his view in a code conference when he was asked his opinion on a simulation that possibly we are in a simulation and the chances we live in a real physical world are one in a billion.
An astronomer David Kipping that Elon Musk would be right if we take the first and second proposition suggested by Nick Bostrom is false. But the question arises, “how can we assume this?”
To get better control over the trilemma given by Nick Bostrom, Kipping expressed using Bayesian reasoning. This kind of Bayesian analysis allows us to compute the chances for occurring something by first making presuppositions about the thing that is being analyzed.
David Kipping started making the trilemma into a dilemma; he suggested that in the first and second propositions, it is clear that the result in both propositions is that there is no simulation. Hence, the dilemma says that there are simply two options: a real physical world or Everything we experience is a realistic simulation. Kipping says that you only allocate a prior possibility to each of these two models. We only can suppose the inferiority, which is nothing but a default presupposition when you do not have any evidence to support this.
Hence, the probability for each of these is one-half; it is similar to the possibility of getting heads and tails when we flip a coin.
The next step and stage that we can analyze are about the “parous” reality; this reality can create other facts. And another one is “nulliparous” reality, that reality can not simulate the realities of offspring.
If the physical theory were correct, it would be easy to calculate the chances of living in a nulliparous reality. This would be 100 percent we are living in a nulliparous state. Kipping expressed that even if we are in a simulation hypothesis, many simulated realities would be nulliparous. The reason is simulations bring out many more simulations. The availability of computing resources to every future generation diminishes to a certain point where the massive majority of realities will be those who do not have the computing power to simulate ancestor realities that can be hosting conscious beings. When we connect all these assumptions into a Bayesian formula, the answer is that the probability we live in a Simulation Creationism, and we are in a real physical world, is the same.
This possibility would change if humans originated a simulation with inhabitants having a conscious brain inside it; such an incident might change the probability that we earlier allocated to the physical hypothesis. Kipping says that you only can prohibit the idea immediately, but you would only be left with the simulation hypothesis. When we would conceive that technology, according to this computation, the chances would be better than 50-50 that we are real beings to nearly we are not a real one. That day would be kind of a very unusual celebration day to celebrate our genius.
The result of the analysis by Kipping is that, according to the provided present evidence, Elon Musk is not right with his statement that the chance we are in base reality is one in billions. Bostrom concurs with the outcome but with some warnings. This does not dispute the simulation argument, which argues something about the lack of consistency; the idea is that one of the three possibilities would be correct.
However, Bostrom expresses issues with Kipping’s assumptions to treat both physical and simulation hypotheses equally at the beginning of the analysis. He says that mentioning the principle of indifference here is not stable. One could uniformly call on over my real three propositions, giving them chances of one-third each. One could take the possibility up anyhow and get any outcome as per one wishes.
These kinds of questions are valid; the reason is that there is no such proof to back one claim over another. Suppose, if we find any evidence to be living in a simulation, then simulation would easily change them. So is there any way to find a glitch in the Matrix?
An expert in computational mathematics, Houman Oehadi expressed that, if the simulation has unlimited computing power, then there is no such way that you are going to get any clue or evidence that you are in virtual reality because it will calculate anything you want to the degree of realism whatever you wish. If it is possible to detect such things, you need to begin with the principle that computational resources are limited. Here we can call video games again and think about what smart programmers do to minimize the computation power to construct a virtual world in a game.
As per Owhadi, quantum physics experiments are the best way to look for possible paradoxes. It can exist in a superposition of states, and a mathematical abstraction explains this superposition called the wave function. In standard quantum mechanics, the act of utterance becomes a reason this wave function falls to one of many viable states randomly. Physicists are split over either the collapse is real or reflects a change in our understanding of the system. Owhadi says that there would be no collapse if it is an authentic simulation. Everything you look at would be decided instantly; it is similar when you play any video games.
For this purpose, Owhadi and his colleagues have performed five theoretical variations of the double-slit experiment; each of the conceptual variations was designed to trip up a simulation. However, Owhadi says that it is not possible to know, even if such experiments could work. All these five experiments are nothing but conjectures.
A physicist at the University of Maryland, Zohreh Davoudi, put her thought forward about the simulation; she said that the simulation with limited computational resources would disclose itself. Davoudi’s work mainly focuses on the powerful interactions or the strong nuclear force, one of the four natural fundamental forces. The equation explains strong interactions that carry together quarks to form neutrons and protons are so complicated that they can not be worked out analytically. To better understand the strong interactions, many physicists are forced to do some numerical simulations. And unlikely any civilization with infinite computing power must have faith in shortcuts to create those simulations computationally feasible. Usually, it is considered that spacetime is separate instead of continuous. Researchers have persuaded this approach so far that the most advanced result can be a simulation of single nuclear helium, made of two neutrons and two protons.
Davoudi says that you might naturally start asking if we can simulate an atomic nucleus, then maybe in 10 years, we could make a better and larger nucleus. And in the next 30-50 years, we may simulate something the size of a few inches of matter. And who knows, maybe in the next 100 years, we can create a simulation of the brain.
Davoudi expressed her thought that classical computers will soon fall behind. She says there is a possibility that in the next 10 to 20 years, we will see the limitations of our traditional simulations of the physical system. Hence, she takes her sight to quantum computation, which depends on superpositions and other quantum effects to create manageable definite computational problems that would not be possible through classical perspectives. Davoudi says that if it is possible that quantum computing materializes, in the sense that it is reliable on a larger scale computing option for us. Then we would enter an era that would entirely be different. She also said that she is beginning to think about working on her powerful interaction atomic and physics nuclei simulations if she had a viable quantum computer.
All these points have made Davoudi hypothesize about simulation theory. If our existence’s reality is nothing but a simulation, this simulation’s creator will probably also discretize spacetime to save on calculating resources. Such individual signature of spacetime could undoubtedly be seen in the high-energy direction that the cosmic rays arrive from: Breaking the so-called rotational symmetry would make them have a preferred approach in the sky.
Kipping worries that the basis of the further work on simulation hypothesis is similar to work on thin ice. He said that it is impossible to test by arguing that we live in a simulation or a real physical world. How can anyone claim this to be science if it is not falsifiable?
The more precise answer for this is Occam’s razor; it says that the easiest and understandable explanation is more likely to be right in the absence of the other proofs. The Simulation hypothesis is explained or assumed that the realities are nested upon more facts. Also, it is not possible for the simulated being to tell that they are in a simulation. This is because it is a very complex and detailed model in the first place; by Occam’s razor, it is opposite to the simple natural explanation.
There is a possibility that we are in a base reality even after the weird quantum physics explained by Elon Musk and the movie The Matrix.