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Science & Technology

Are we a product of a self-simulating universe?

By T.K. Randall
April 27, 2020 · Comment icon 135 comments

What is the nature of reality and consciousness ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Kuroiniisan
A new hypothesis has put forward the notion that our universe may be self-simulating itself into existence.
The idea that we could all be living in a computer simulation - a concept popularized by hit movie The Matrix - is certainly nothing new, but now scientists at an LA-based theoretical physics institute have taken things one step further with a new hypothesis that is sure to leave you scratching your head.

The new paper, which is entitled "The Self-Simulation Hypothesis Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics", puts forward the idea that rather than living in a simulation generated by a sophisticated computer system, perhaps our 'reality' is a mental 'self-simulation' generated by the universe itself.

This implies that the world and everything in it does not exist physically but is an expression of the universe's consciousness i.e. the cosmos is 'self-actualizing' itself into existence.

This concept of reality also implies that time does not actually exist; instead the universe consists of a hierarchical order of thought and sub-thought covering everything from people and things all the way down to fundamental particles and the laws of physics.
"While many scientists presume materialism to be true, we believe that quantum mechanics may provide hints that our reality is a mental construct," said physicist David Chester.

"Recent advances in quantum gravity, such as seeing spacetime emergent via a hologram, also is a hint that spacetime is not fundamental."

"In a sense, the mental construct of reality creates spacetime to efficiently understand itself by creating a network of subconscious entities that can interact and explore the totality of possibilities."

This idea is known as panpsychism - meaning that everything exists as thought or consciousness.

It certainly offers an interesting take on the answer to life, the universe and everything.

Source: Big Think | Comments (135)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #126 Posted by sci-nerd 4 years ago
Thanks, yours too. If you're referring to Christians and other religious people, they hate the idea, because there's no room for their holy god in it. Maybe it's time I brought up my initial approach to this hypothesis. I did not start with a conclusion. I was looking for possible explanations to the collapse of the wave function. It was the most logical solution to that problem. I did not just pick it up, and started looking for evidence. In fact, the first six months or so, after being introduced to it, I tried all I could to debunk it. It is still the most logical explanation to duality, ... [More]
Comment icon #127 Posted by sci-nerd 4 years ago
I would first like to apologise to you. In the course of our correspondence, I have become increasingly defensive-aggressive, and that is not who I want to be. Sorry!   It depends how you look at the evidence. When many physicists look at duality, they see superdeterminism. Others refuse to interpret it. Finding graphical error correcting codes in supersymmetry equations, is harder to ignore and dismiss. Some do it anyway. The speed-limit of the universe is also easy to dismiss, but you normally only find such limitations in a computer system. Then there's the fine-tuned universe, as previous... [More]
Comment icon #128 Posted by Rlyeh 4 years ago
Cut the ****.  It either satisfies the scientific method or it doesn't.
Comment icon #129 Posted by DieChecker 4 years ago
Even the scientific method is subject to individual biases. Since how an individual will describe a hypothesis, or collect data, or analyze the data, will very by individual. The more people involved, the more balanced any scientific activity will be.
Comment icon #130 Posted by sci-nerd 4 years ago
With the scientific method, the hypothesis is not the starting point, but a possible answer. Like the approach I had four years ago. Let's have a look, shall we? Observation: Wave-particle duality. Question: Why does light and matter behave like that? Hypothesis: Could it be superdeterminism or graphics rendering? Experiment: Delayed choice eraser. More to come. Analysis: Wave collapse seems to be caused by the observers. Conclusion: Shut up and calculate. (Superdeterminism or graphics rendering are possible answers.)
Comment icon #131 Posted by Rlyeh 4 years ago
No we've already been over this, you don't even have a damn hypothesis.
Comment icon #132 Posted by sci-nerd 4 years ago
So you're on Team Shut-up-and-calculate? You refuse to interpret it? That's alright. Btw - Superdeterminism is also unfalsifiable and not a hypothesis, by your standards. Yet many scientists point to it, as the answer.
Comment icon #133 Posted by Rlyeh 4 years ago
Still refuse to acknowledge what a scientific hypothesis is then?
Comment icon #134 Posted by sci-nerd 4 years ago
I acknowledge the doctrine, but I'm not limited by it. Looks like many scientists think the same way, because using unfalsifiable proposals is part of the scientific wiggle room / debate. Lucky for us, you're not calling the shots in science, or the community would have a lot less to discuss and investigate.
Comment icon #135 Posted by White Crane Feather 4 years ago
There is quite a bit of superdeterministic fundamentalism out there. It’s been an interesting observation over the years to watch how passionately the it is held on to. 

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