Some Evidence for the Simulation Hypothesis
The Simulation Hypothesis suggests that we don't actually exist as really real reality but as virtual reality. We 'exist' only as programmed software inside a computer. While this sounds on the surface absolutely crazy, there is evidence, both observational and theoretical which supports the concept.
Here's a stab at some observational evidence / data for the Simulation Hypothesis which postulates that we 'exist' as a simulation inside a computer driven by programmed software.
Evidence in Computer Codes: What Professor of Theoretical Physics Sylvester James (Jim) Gates discovered, by his own admission, is evidence. What he found was computer code encoded within the equations of string theory used to describe the Cosmos. He used the phrase "The Matrix", when discussing this with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. [You can find relevant videos on YouTube.]
Evidence from Fine-Tuning: Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, is on record as saying that the Cosmological Constant is fine-tuned to one part in 10 to the 120th power. One part in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, etc.
Evidence from the Cosmos: The accelerating expansion of the Universe is evidence. The energy density of the Universe cannot remain constant while the volume of the Universe is increasing. That's a free lunch. That's the generation of something from nothing. Software however can create that illusion.
Evidence from here on Earth: There is no single acceptable explanation for Crop 'Circles' - not ET, not Mother Nature, not human activity. What we might have here are special effects courtesy of software.
Evidence from the Atom: It's claimed, I suspect with very good experimental reasoning, that an atom is literally 99.99% empty space yet we have the illusion that there is no empty space. That 99.99% emptiness suggests our programmer is being very economic with the bits and bytes while also being able to program in the illusion that there is no empty space.
Evidence from Quantum Mechanics: Pure observation cannot change wave behavior into particle behavior as revealed in the delayed double slit experiment (unless you want to invoke Panpsychism). It's just another software-generated special effect.
Evidence from Theoretical Cosmology: The Holographic Universe scenario (all the rage among some cosmologists) shares an awful lot in common with any virtual reality simulation. Both are actually 2-D constructions while giving off an illusion of 3-D.
Evidence from Quantum Entanglement (Non-Locality): There's no spooky action at a distance (something that worried Einstein) because there is no real distance. In a simulation all points originate from a very small spatial space. It's like a planetarium that simulates the entire visible Universe. Light can travel from one side of the simulated 'visible Universe' to the other side of the simulated 'visible Universe' in a nanosecond if not less. The speed of light has no validity in a simulation.
Evidence from Particle Physics: How can the electric charge of the electron be EXACTLY equal and opposite to that of the proton when they otherwise share nothing in common?
More Evidence from Particle Physics: Why, oh why are there three generations or families of the elementary particles when the top two play bugger-all roles in what makes up life, the Universe and everything? Someone stuffed up and it probably wasn't a deity.
Evidence from within Our Solar System: It seems an absolutely amazing coincidence that the apparent diameters of the Sun and the Moon happen to be just so as to produce solar eclipses at just the right moment when humans came on the scene to appreciate this, given that the Moon is ever moving farther away from the Earth. Also, the tilt of the Moon's orbit has to be within very narrow parameters.
Evidence from the 'Good' Book: We (Royal We) could very easily computer simulate the Jonah and the 'Whale' (tall) tale. So maybe if it really happened, and multi-millions so believe that event to be true however unlikely that seems. So then maybe it was also just a simulation but not one of our making.
Evidence from Probability: If the intelligent species inhabiting the Third Rock from the Sun is a typical example, there will be vastly more virtual reality worlds than real worlds which just might imply that the intelligent species inhabiting the Third Rock from the Sun are themselves virtual beings.
Evidence from Mathematical Equations: It defies probability that the numerous equations used to describe, evaluate and otherwise help us come to terms with the laws, principles and relationships inherent in our mathematical cosmos should nearly all have low value whole numbers as well as a few simple fractions with respect to their coefficients and exponents.
Evidence via Cosmic Recycling: It doesn't have to be the case that stars can recycle their contents to ultimately form new stars with a higher 'metal' content ('metal' defined as everything but hydrogen and helium). Most stars in fact don't recycle their guts. There's recycling and then there's the ultimate garbage dump - Black Holes. It's rather fortunate that not too many stars turn into Black Holes otherwise the Universe would consist of Black Hole filled galaxies as their sole objects - maybe even the galaxy itself would be a pure Black Hole. So recycling stars and not too many Black Holes show a degree of fine-tuning and design courtesy of our computer / software programmer.
Evidence from Our Solar System: The oft observed 'natural' satellite of Venus, named Neith, went walkabout - vanished without a trace. Natural satellites just don’t vanish!
Evidence from Memory: Using our own simulations as an example, we often rewind, replay, tweak, etc. the relevant software. If we are a simulation, and our virtual reality software was replayed, rewound, and/or upgraded, that just might explain the mental phenomena we've nearly all experienced, Deja vu.
Evidence from Our Simulations: Ultimately our simulations are pixelated, the bottom line being 1's and 0's, bits and bytes. There is a fundamental limit to the resolution our simulations have. Well, of course our 'real' Universe is also pixelated and has an ultimate limit to how fine a resolution we can observe it. Everything with any structure and substance seems to be quantized.
Finally, I need point out that all of the above is just suggestive evidence. I make no claim that any or all of the above actually proves we ‘exist’ as a virtual reality simulation.
These are arguments for the theory you are supporting not evidence of it.
Evidence in Computer Codes <-- Try reading the actual paper not the dumbed down for YouTube version. arxiv.org/abs/0806.0051 It is math, not computer code. There are no lines of C or C++ or any other programming language there, it is math just like everything else in science. Any actual resemblance to computer code is simply human pattern seeking and analogy just like the code in DNA.
Evidence from Fine-Tuning <-- This is the same argument that creationists use as evidence to point to their god. For all we know the values could be off by 1 point and a completely different universe and different life could exist, we have no evidence one way or the other and no other universes to look at or test on.
Evidence from the Cosmos, Evidence from here on Earth, Evidence from the Atom, Evidence from Quantum Mechanics, Evidence from Quantum Entanglement, Evidence from Particle Physics, More Evidence from Particle Physics, Evidence via Cosmic Recycling, Evidence from Memory <-- God of the gaps arguments, evoking your pet god to explain things that science has not yet explained.
Evidence from within Our Solar System <-- It is only coincidental to those of us observing it. Would it have been coincidental if we had arisen ten million years earlier and seen a moon larger than the sun from an eclipse viewpoint?
Evidence from the 'Good' Book <-- We do not need a computer simulation to explain a fictional story in an old book.
Evidence from Probability, Evidence from Mathematical Equations <-- You do not have sufficient information to calculate the probability of either of these, which also means you don't have enough to decide if it defies probability or not.
Evidence from Our Solar System <-- The "oft observed" satellite you are referencing has was observed less than 50 times between 1645 and 1768 and never since. Considering the limited equipment of the time and the fact that it has not been seen since, I would guess this to have been something else, like an asteroid, comet, background star, etc., rather than some mysterious disappearing moon. I would also not call it oft observed if it has not been seen in the last 250 years.
Evidence from Our Simulations <-- Just because our technology necessitates limits on a simulation does not mean that a sufficiently advanced civilization could not create a simulation without those limits.
Overall your arguments are less arguments and more wishful thinking, and they certainly do not rise to the level of evidence.
Long story short. First, a Simulation would be computationally expensive and second a determination that the world we live in is a simulation would mean there is some kind of world outside this simulation world where this simulator actually works and renders the simulation for us, which seems redundant and useless.
This is mental masturbation. Mind games for those privileged with education and time but alienated from their fellow humans. "Thought Experiments" for those with a lack of compassion to address real issues facing real people. It's this idle speculation that prompts the term "Educated Fools."
For the sake of argument, let's say it's true - Life is just a simulation. Perhaps a video game played by actual beings. What do you do?
1) Do you commit suicide and take as many of the other characters with you as possible?
2) Do you stop participating in the ruse? Focus on indulgences and instant gratification?
3) Or do you play the role you've been given? Try to enjoy the game you're in?
If it is a simulation then who is to say we aren't a virus? Or other animals? Plants? Some are just worse viruses than others.
Does a virus know that it's a virus, or does it just act as if it has a purpose and tries to survive by "eating" and "spreading"? Sounds like humans to me as well as other "viruses" we know about that get into our own bodies. When we die in "natural disasters" is it the entity (Earth) that we are a virus on trying to save itself by killing the virus and cleansing itself?
What would that make the Earth then? Could every living thing be classified as a virus? Would the better classification be bacteria?
Any microbiologists or virologists in here?
What difference does it make? Our joys and sufferings are real. When climate change really hits, it won't feel like a simulation to us. Nor does it feel like a simulation when you lose a loved one now.
This is the sort of idle speculation that gives intellectuals a bad name. In "Gulliver's Travels," Johnathan Swift satirized the Great Minds pondering such abstruse idiocies in their Ivory Tower to display their supposedly superior intellects.
Come back down to earth and address our real problems here!
While I don't actually believe this is the case, because there's really no good evidence for it, I find it just as likely as a magical sky daddy that created everything.
I also don't think any of this constitutes good evidence. Some might be considered interesting arguments, but that's about it.
The best argument that I've heard for this idea is much simpler.
"Do you think that human technology will ever be powerful enough to create a simulation where the characters within think they're real?" (I'd answer probably yes)
"If humans could do this, do you think someone would?" (I'd answer most definitely yes)
2 yes answers would most certainly make the possibility that we're a part of a simulation much more likely than actually being "real".
Thanks for bringing up this topic!
I find a few of these points to be be deeply convincing support for the possibility of a simulated universe. Wave-particle duality and the “granularity/resolution” of the universe, as well as the observer effect of quantum mechanics, all seem like obvious programming shortcuts. And I know a lot of people wave off the statistical justification, but I find it to be equally convincing.
On the other hand, things like crop circles, déjà vu are totally unconvincing as support to me. Like the mandela effect, déjà vu could easily be an outcome of our brains. And crop circles seem likely to be 100% frauds.
As for the fine tuning issue, it feels like the anthropic principle could explain that as well (we see a universe tuned to our existence because otherwise we wouldn’t exist to see the universe). Some of the other support offered seem to be no more than coincidence. If we’re going to postulate a possible creator (and really, aren’t we?) I’d rather not base it on coincidence
I’m not familiar with Prof. Gates, and evidence from the evidence density of the universe. I’ll have to look into those. And I’ve never quite grasped what a holographic universe is supposed to be. I guess more digging is called for there, as well. All in all, I think the simulated universe is a fascinating possibility.
Unlike many of the others, I do not find this suggestion preposterous. However, like many of the others, I don't feel it worthy of a great deal of my free time to think about extensively.
I have my doubts that if it IS true, it is discoverable truth. However, of all the arguments you have presented above, the argument from pixellation is the only one I find compelling. In particular, quantum physics (if it is indeed a correct model of our existence) suggests that there is a lower bound to our degree of resolution, something that isn't true of most fractal objects, which we observe most natural dynamic systems to be.
Of course, if "all this" is simulated, it begs the question of whether our simulator is itself simulated. My feeling is, is that that in and of itself might be falsifiable by us attempting to create simulations ourselves with a high degree of replication of our reality and finding that the actual resolution limit is lower than it should theoretically be (loss of information due to imperfect replication). We won't know the answer to this thought-experiment until we know more about how our (real or simulated) universe actually works.
Some of your arguments ascribe a certain "intent" to the simulator(s?)-there is no reason to think the simulation was created by human-like entities, although it is one possibility. I'm also unsure as to why our known universe is so vast with regards to ourselves, and yet there aren't more "NPC's" we've run into.
It's true that a complex simulation might be generated with fairly efficient code, I think Rule 110 is a good example of that.
Unless there is the possibility that we could somehow communicate "outside the universe", the relevance of the truth of this conjecture remains dubious. Perhaps, though, it might be of some benefit to our own attempts to develop AI, and understanding the nature of consciousness. Those are pretty big "if"s though.
If you are going to claim you are posting "evidence" , then post some fucking evidence, not "suggestive evidence", whatever the hell that is.
For me, Occam's Razor tells me we are living in reality. And I'm not presenting that as "evidence", but as argument.