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JerryB
Skeptic Friend

279 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2012 :  08:10:27  Show Profile Send JerryB a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Will you take the red pill or the blue pill?

Some physicists and university researchers say it's possible to test the theory that our entire universe exists inside a computer simulation, like in the 1999 film "The Matrix."

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/whoa-physicists-testing-see-universe-computer-simulation-224525825.html

It's time to test whether, or whether not, we truly exist. Don't you agree?

And if we DO exist, is there some chance that you really are just bits in a computer program? It would begin to all make since at that point, would it not?

It's also interesting to note how this new study seems to tie in with the (now old) work of Frank Tipler at Tulane U.

Tipler mathematically constructs a point in our universe he calls the Omega Point where it seems that there lies a pocket of Intelligent quantum mechanics observing...indeed managing (if you will) the universe from some point in the future back to it's past (our present).

Eureka.....are we on to something in the new millennium?


Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2012 :  08:54:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome back, Jerry!

Would you care to pick up where you left off 23 months ago?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2012 :  09:55:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by JerryB

It's time to test whether, or whether not, we truly exist.
Not yet, it's not. They're talking about simulating an entire universe, yet project that maybe in 140 years, scientists will be able to simulate a mere cubic meter of space/time.

Also, the only thing that they can test for is whether our universe is one very particular sort of simulation. If the test result is negative, that doesn't mean that our universe isn't some other kind of simulation. In other words, if the test result is "we don't live in this sort of sim," that doesn't automatically mean our universe is real.

What is reality, anyway? If our universe is simulated, then maybe the universe that's simulating us is also simulated. This was, in my opinion, the biggest flaw in The Matrix trilogy: that they didn't explore this possibility at all. Parts 2 and 3 basically said, "screw the interesting existential questions, let's have more fighting!"

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2012 :  11:26:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.
What is reality, anyway? If our universe is simulated, then maybe the universe that's simulating us is also simulated. This was, in my opinion, the biggest flaw in The Matrix trilogy: that they didn't explore this possibility at all. Parts 2 and 3 basically said, "screw the interesting existential questions, let's have more fighting!"
I agree.

But if we live in a simulated universe, and there is no way for us to tell this simulation from a real one, then does it really matter?

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2012 :  13:15:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmpf, although I've only read the abstract, I'm not particularly impressed so far. IF this simulation confirms that we are inside a simulation, then it also confirms intelligent design (ID). However, both ID and the simulation mentioned seem to suffer from the same shortcoming: without pulling a magic assumption out of nowhere (i.e. "we assume that our universe is an early numerical simulation with unimproved Wilson fermion discretization" for the simulation), there aren't any observable consequences. And if there are no observable consequences, then no test can be made.

For a a meatier discussion of this, I highly recommend Elliott Sober's paper What is wrong with intelligent design.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
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JerryB
Skeptic Friend

279 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2012 :  16:15:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send JerryB a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Would you care to pick up where you left off 23 months ago?


Thanks, and no thanks...your head is too hard, Dave....*wink*

But if we live in a simulated universe, and there is no way for us to tell this simulation from a real one, then does it really matter?


But a simulated universe IS a real one. Have you guys hung out much in the metaverse (Second Life, for example)? There is really little difference if we look at us actually being, rather than only controlling the avatar. We could touch, hear, see, and accomplish anything in the simulated universe that we can on Terra Firma. Reality is relative to who/what is experiencing it.

I snicker when people attempt to distinguish between their second lives and their real lives....there is no difference, you are just spending time at different locations (in a way).

For a a meatier discussion of this, I highly recommend Elliott Sober's paper What is wrong with intelligent design.


I enjoyed the paper, but I didn't really see anything new about it. It's just the same old stuff I've been putting to rest for 15 years or so now.

As example, he doesn't seem to quite get the concept of intelligent design if he thinks it can or cannot be falsified. What does that even mean?

Intelligent design is not a theory or even a hypothesis (in itself). It's simply a methodology that employs science and mathematics to detect purposeful design in systems and artifacts. How would one falsify (or not) a methodology?

Isn't that like trying to falsify nursing, or even insurance adjusting? How would one falsify biology or chemistry? To be sure, there are theories within the latter two fields that fall under Popperian thought, but certainly not the fields themselves.
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2012 :  17:21:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by JerryB
As example, he doesn't seem to quite get the concept of intelligent design if he thinks it can or cannot be falsified. What does that even mean?


Perhaps you did not understand the paper? In any case, I don't understand what you mean when you say "...if he thinks it can or cannot be falsified".

Intelligent design is not a theory or even a hypothesis (in itself). It's simply a methodology that employs science and mathematics to detect purposeful design in systems and artifacts. How would one falsify (or not) a methodology?


Given that Sober says that falsifiability fails as a measurement for what testability of theories means in science, I fail to see the relevance of what you're saying. In any case, ID does pretend to be a theory and it does use certain methods to try to decide when something was intelligently designed. The methods are crap - just like the theory they are supposed to test.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1451 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2012 :  00:16:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was kinda disappointed that the Matrix folks that took the red pill found themselves as primates, not adorable furry beings.
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2012 :  05:29:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I read about this before. I think it's the same idea anyway.

Basically if we discover it is possible to simulate a realistic universe indistinguishable from our own from a human perspective, then we must ask, if we could do this, would we do it? and how much? (the obvious answer is "yes" and "a lot" for a multitude of reasons). So if it is conjectured that we have an abundance of realistic simulations of reality then what is the probability that this particular one is the original?

Obviously the figures involved in calculating that probability has fuzziness of drake-equation proportions, but it's an interesting idea.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2012 :  08:32:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by JerryB

But a simulated universe IS a real one. Have you guys hung out much in the metaverse (Second Life, for example)? There is really little difference if we look at us actually being, rather than only controlling the avatar. We could touch, hear, see, and accomplish anything in the simulated universe that we can on Terra Firma. Reality is relative to who/what is experiencing it.
Then it makes no difference whether we live in a sim or not, and your question, "...are we on to something in the new millennium?" must be answered in the negative. Discovering something that has no consequences whatsoever does not a "Eureka moment" make.
It's just the same old stuff I've been putting to rest for 15 years or so now.
You won't be putting any of that "stuff" to rest until you learn algebra.
How would one falsify biology or chemistry?
By showing that they cannot do what they purport to do, like ID cannot do what it claims.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2012 :  11:09:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by JerryB
I snicker when people attempt to distinguish between their second lives and their real lives....there is no difference, you are just spending time at different locations (in a way).
Well, no, players aren't actually spending time in a different location. They are simply imagining themselves someplace else, just as book readers or moviegoers often lose track of their surroundings. If you can't distinguish between physical experiences and mental ones, then I don't think you should be snickering at others.

Intelligent design is not a theory or even a hypothesis (in itself). It's simply a methodology that employs science and mathematics to detect purposeful design in systems and artifacts. How would one falsify (or not) a methodology?
ID is neither a scientific hypothesis nor a methodology. It is a failed legal strategy concocted to allow creationism to be smuggled into public schools. It has no use or value beyond that.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2012 :  13:45:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

ID is neither a scientific hypothesis nor a methodology. It is a failed legal strategy concocted to allow creationism to be smuggled into public schools. It has no use or value beyond that.
That is so spot on H.H. it must be highlighted.

Believers in ID are hard pressed to legitimize ID any way they can. So much so they incessantly misuse terms to define what it is. As with calling it a theory, a hypothesis or with JerryB's attempt here at calling it a "methodology". Even his assertion that it's scientific and employs mathematics is flatly wrong. The only math a deluded believer's God would need is 1 + 1 = (whatever I want it to be). Why they feel it's necessary to have ID work within the mathematical constraints that we mere mortals are confined to use is beyond me.


There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2012 :  20:14:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't remember where I read this but it also follows that some theists' beliefs unwittingly back them into a corner where they have to believe the universe is a simulation, or believe that god is not all-good.

If you believe human beings have been given free will by God and are capable of evil, and you also believe that natural disasters can be classed as evil, and you also believe God is omnipotent; then it follows that either God is responsible for acts of evil (natural disasters), or that He is not the creator of our universe where natural evil can occur. If you accept the latter, then this universe is a creation of an agent who is capable of free will and acts of evil, and God's hands are clean.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2012 :  09:23:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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JerryB
Skeptic Friend

279 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2012 :  09:39:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send JerryB a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't remember this forum having no reply button for individual posts?? Probably something on my end. Oh well, guess I can use quick reply and cut and paste.


Perhaps you did not understand the paper? In any case, I don't understand what you mean when you say "...if he thinks it can or cannot be falsified".


Given that Sober says that falsifiability fails as a measurement for what testability of theories means in science, I fail to see the relevance of what you're saying. In any case, ID does pretend to be a theory and it does use certain methods to try to decide when something was intelligently designed. The methods are crap - just like the theory they are supposed to test.


OK, I'll expand......How can one falsify something that is NOT a theory to begin with?? With me on that? ID is not a theory in itself....if you think it is, please state the theory of ID. Of course, you won't because there isn't one. It's just a field of study like biology or chemistry. Can you state the theory of biology or the theory of chemistry? Of course not, because there isn't one. These are just fields of study...methodologies....not scientific theories which can be falsified....his paper simply makes no sense.


I read about this before. I think it's the same idea anyway.

Basically if we discover it is possible to simulate a realistic universe indistinguishable from our own from a human perspective, then we must ask, if we could do this, would we do it? and how much? (the obvious answer is "yes" and "a lot" for a multitude of reasons). So if it is conjectured that we have an abundance of realistic simulations of reality then what is the probability that this particular one is the original?

Obviously the figures involved in calculating that probability has fuzziness of drake-equation proportions, but it's an interesting idea.


There is NO possibility that this universe is the original from any perspective of origin theory....How did the universe get here? Some say there existed in this universe a primeval atom of infinite mass that imploded....nope...impossible..... as before this universe existed, it could not have contained ANYTHING to create it.....How can something that doesn't yet exist contain something else? That's just silly.

Therefore we can logically conclude that whatever caused this universe came from outside it.

By showing that they cannot do what they purport to do, like ID cannot do what it claims.


Ahhh....OK...please stat5e the theory of chemistry and show how it can be falsified.

Well, no, players aren't actually spending time in a different location. They are simply imagining themselves someplace else, just as book readers or moviegoers often lose track of their surroundings. If you can't distinguish between physical experiences and mental ones, then I don't think you should be snickering at others.


To state this is to not understand the human persona....there is no such thing as mental verses physical. Even the thought process involves acetylcholine esterase flowing through the synapses of neurons....This is somehow not a physical process to you? There will come a time when the brighter among us will grasp that all is the same....even philosophy, theology and physics merge into one body of thought called quantum mechanics. At this point, those with minds evolved enough to understand it will go to another level...the human race will go from becoming to actually being....we will have found ourselves and come to finally understand this megaverse we call home.

Believers in ID are hard pressed to legitimize ID any way they can. So much so they incessantly misuse terms to define what it is. As with calling it a theory, a hypothesis or with JerryB's attempt here at calling it a "methodology". Even his assertion that it's scientific and employs mathematics is flatly wrong. The only math a deluded believer's God would need is 1 + 1 = (whatever I want it to be). Why they feel it's necessary to have ID work within the mathematical constraints that we mere mortals are confined to use is beyond me.


ID is not something one believes in or doesn't. It's like statistical mechanics...you may, or not employ that field......but to say you do or don't believe in it is kinda silly. And just like statistical mechanics, ID is there. Whether you study it or don't, employ it or do not, or believe in it or not, is quite simply, irrelevant.

And are you sure you know me? I pretty much ONLY employ science and math when I discuss ID (or theology for that matter). You might disagree with my conclusions, but you won't show either the science or the math to be wrong...Not my first rodeo....*wink*

And I wholeheartedly believe that the Creator is quantum mechanics...math is a human concept, I agree....and it is useful for us to understand other concepts....That's the only purpose mathematics serve....

There is no guy in a white robe sitting on a cloud waving a magic wand across the universe anywhere in my belief system, I'm afraid.....now there is something you can teach in the public schools.... :)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2012 :  09:49:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by JerryB

By showing that they cannot do what they purport to do, like ID cannot do what it claims.
Ahhh....OK...please stat5e the theory of chemistry and show how it can be falsified.
I never said that there was a "theory of chemistry." Chemistry "... is the study of the composition, properties and behavior of matter," so if we can show that chemistry actually doesn't do that, we can "falsify" the entire field.

Since ID cannot possibly distinguish between designed things and not-designed things, it is a false methodology. It doesn't do what it purports to do.
ID is not something one believes in or doesn't.
Since ID is false, then yes, it is something that someone believes in.
I pretty much ONLY employ science and math when I discuss ID (or theology for that matter). You might disagree with my conclusions, but you won't show either the science or the math to be wrong...Not my first rodeo....*wink*
I have already demonstrated that the way that you employ science and math is wrong. Two years ago you made it clear that you don't understand algebra, so your above-quoted statement is simply raw arrogance.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Why not question something for a change?
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