The founder, CTO, CEO, and chief designer of SpaceX, Elon Musk, was seen talking about his belief that “the Earth is not real.” He suggested before planning to use giant rockets to leave Earth and occupy Mars; “There are possibilities that we are living in a Computer Simulation”.
At a conference held in June, he once said, “there is one possibility in billions that we are living in a real-world.”
Elon Musk is the person in Silicon Valley to show his interest in Simulation Theory as per his argument; he says that the reality we experience might be not real but just an intelligent program of a massive computer created by an experienced programmer. It may sound like the famous movie ‘Matrix,’ and the reason is that it is.
There is a famous argument of Nick Bostrom about Simulation Theory from Oxford University. He recommended that people of a developed ‘posthuman’ civilization with their massive computer power may run the Simulation of their ancestors in the universe. He suggested this in a paper with the title “Are You Living In a Simulation?.”
The argument got popularized when it was observed technically. Also, the rise of virtual reality and the endeavor to map the human brain was included in observation.
Let us suppose we do not believe in supernatural things responsible for consciousness, and it is purely the outcome of very massive architecture in the human brain. We would be capable of reproducing it. A Voyager scientist who discovered several moons of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, Richard John Terrile, said, “shortly we will have no barriers on the way for making machines that will have their consciousness.” We can now notice that video games are becoming advanced daily and will be more experienced in the future. And soon, we would be able to Simulate conscious establishments inside them.
Let’s see what Elon Musk said about development in games, “almost forty years ago we had a game that is called ‘Pong’; containing two rectangles and a dot. We have now developed in the game field that we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with numerous people playing simultaneously and getting even better, and updated every year. We are not so far that we will have virtual reality.”
There is another view shared by Richard John Terrile that, If anything develops at the current rate of technology, then hardly 2-3 decade in the future, it will not give us time that we will be in such society where artificial entities living in a Simulations that are would be more than our expectations than human beings.
Let’s take a case as if there are numerous simulated minds than organic ones; then, there will be fewer chances for us to be the real one among many simulated minds. Then. As per Terrible’s comment, “If there will be so many virtual or digital people living in an environment that is completely simulated than there are today, then what we have to say if we are not already a part of that.?”
There are some reasons behind the belief in the universe, including the fact that it acts mathematically and shattered subatomic particles like a pixelated video game. Terrile said that “all the things that we think about, such as energy, volume, and continuous-time all have limits in their size. Our universe will be both computable and finite if that is the case. All those properties permit the universe to be simulated.”
Richard John Terrile added in his statement that, “if we say straightforwardly that we are not living in a Simulation, the circumstances will be very remarkable and doubtful. Terrile said, “so who is the creature of this Simulation, are they our future selves”?
This theory does not convince many people. A Swedish-American physicist, cosmologist, and machine learning researcher, Max Tegmark, said, “is it analytically possible that we live in a Simulation Creationism”? Maybe ‘Yes,’ but if the question is, “are we probably living in a Simulation? Then the answer would be ‘No.’
Max Tegmark also said to make the argument in the head place. First, we need to know the fundamental laws of physics that it follows to create a Simulation, and if we are already in a Simulation, then we would not have any clue or evidence and laws of physics. All the rules that we have learned would be simulated.
An American theoretical physicist working in particle physics and cosmology, Lisa Randal has even more doubts. She says that she does not see any argument for this as there is no real proof. We need to think about what would be the end being simulated.
Terrile says that if we found that where we are living is not real-world. Still, maybe it is just a Simulation. It will freak out as Copernicus (Polish astronomer whose theory that Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun provided the foundation for modern astronomy) will realize the Earth was not the center of the universe. This was just a great idea that nobody could have even thought about this as an assumption.
Scientists had started to describe the peculiar behavior of the planets’ motion with very complex mathematical models before Copernicus. For them, everything else became very easy and straightforward to understand after dropping the assumption.
There are possibilities that we are living in a Simulation, Terrile argues. This will be an easier explanation for our existence than the idea described biologically. We are the first generation who rise from primordial ooze and then evolve into molecules, biology, and at the end, intelligence and self-awareness. The Simulation Theory also described an unusual feature in quantum mechanics, especially the measurement problem. By this, the thing can only be defined when they are observed.
It has been a problem for scientists for decades; they have bent themselves backward to solve this theory; they would need a conscious observation. As they said, the real solution is that we would need an aware body such as a player of any video game.
But Tegmark refuses this and says this does not make any sense, and there are numerous problems we have in physics, but we can not blame our failures to solve them on Simulation.
How can it be possible to test the hypothesis? On one side, artificial intelligence researchers and neuroscientists can test if the human mind can be simulated. Hitherto, it became possible for machines to play Chess and Go and put captions on images. But the question arises, can a machine be developed as much that it can achieve its consciousness? Yet, we do not have any answers.
On the other side, scientists can look for hallmarks of Simulation. Let us suppose, as Tegmark said that “if someone is simulating our universe, then this would be fascinating to cut corners in such a way that can make the Simulation cheaper to operate. The evidence can be seen in an experiment.”
As per Terille, the Simulation Theory has beautiful and intense suggestions. Terrile said the first thing is that it provides a reality about the afterlife or a larger domain based on science. And he said you would not need any faith, miracle, or any particular thing to believe it, as it naturally emerges from the laws of physics.
And the second one is that it has a meaning that soon we would have the same ability to create our Simulations. And we would have such power of the mind and matter through which it will be possible to make whatever we want and occupy those worlds. On the other side, there are theists who believe this Simulation theory is actually a Simulation Creationism – the world is not being run on a computer program but by an almighty God.