Are we living in a simulation? – Zohreh Davoudi

Are we living in a simulation? – Zohreh Davoudi


We live in a vast universe,
on a small wet planet, where billions of years ago single-celled life forms evolved
from the same elements as all non-living material
around them, proliferating and radiating into an
incredible ray of complex life forms. All of this— living and inanimate,
microscopic and cosmic— is governed by mathematical laws with
apparently arbitrary constants. And this opens up a question: If the universe is completely governed
by these laws, couldn’t a powerful enough computer
simulate it exactly? Could our reality actually be an
incredibly detailed simulation set in place by a much more
advanced civilization? This idea may sound like science fiction, but it has been the subject
of serious inquiry. Philosopher Nick Bostrom advanced
a compelling argument that we’re likely living in a simulation, and some scientists also think
it’s a possibility. These scientists have started thinking
about experimental tests to find out whether our
universe is a simulation. They are hypothesizing about what the
constraints of the simulation might be, and how those constraints could lead
to detectable signs in the world. So where might we look for those glitches? One idea is that as a simulation runs, it might accumulate errors over time. To correct for these errors the simulators could adjust the constants
in the laws of nature. These shifts could be tiny— for instance, certain constants we’ve measured
with accuracies of parts per million have stayed steady for decades, so any drift would have to be
on an even smaller scale. But as we gain more precision in our
measurements of these constants, we might detect slight changes over time. Another possible place to look comes from
the concept that finite computing power, no matter how huge,
can’t simulate infinities. If space and time are continuous, then even a tiny piece of the universe
has infinite points and becomes impossible to simulate
with finite computing power. So a simulation would have to represent
space and time in very small pieces. These would be almost
incomprehensibly tiny. But we might be able to search for them by using certain subatomic
particles as probes. The basic principle is this:
the smaller something is, the more sensitive it will
be to disruption— think of hitting a pothole on a skateboard
versus in a truck. Any unit in space-time would be so small that most things would travel through it
without disruption— not just objects large enough to be
visible to the naked eye, but also molecules, atoms,
and even electrons and most of the other subatomic
particles we’ve discovered. If we do discover a tiny unit in
space-time or a shifting constant in a natural law, would that prove the universe
is a simulation? No— it would only be the
first of many steps. There could be other explanations
for each of those findings. And a lot more evidence would be needed
to establish the simulation hypothesis as a working theory of nature. However many tests we design, we’re limited by some assumptions
they all share. Our current understanding of the natural
world on the quantum level breaks down at what’s known
as the planck scale. If the unit of space-time is
on this scale, we wouldn’t be able to look for it
with our current scientific understanding. There’s still a wide range of things that are smaller than what’s
currently observable but larger than the planck
scale to investigate. Similarly, shifts in the constants of
natural laws could occur so slowly that they would only be observable
over the lifetime of the universe. So they could exist even if we don’t
detect them over centuries or millennia
of measurements. We’re also biased towards thinking that
our universe’s simulator, if it exists, makes calculations the same way we do, with similar computational limitations. Really, we have no way of knowing what an alien civilization’s constraints
and methods would be— but we have to start somewhere. It may never be possible to prove
conclusively that the universe either is, or isn’t, a simulation, but we’ll always be pushing science and
technology forward in pursuit of the question: what is the nature of reality?

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

100 thoughts on “Are we living in a simulation? – Zohreh Davoudi

  1. A simulation wouldn't even need to simulate all the matter that exists. All the perfect simulation would need to render is the minds that perceive it. If you take graph theory into account, it would be simple for a 4-D computer to render 4-D graphs that when laid out slice by slice in 3 dimensions make a perfect replica of any possible 3-D consciousness. Any laws of physics that govern that perceived world on a quantum level would only ever need to be calculated when the consciousness observes them on that scale. Child's play in higher dimensional computing, I'm sure.

  2. Mandela effect, conspiracy theories, ect. Every year is like a level, it gets harder and harder each time. Climate change is the boss level. Dictators/wars are mini boss levels. When you die of un-natural causes you restart the whole game cause that means you failed that level, with everything whiped like how a normal default would be. Thought out the whole game you get obsticals just like any other game. Maybe thats why we get that deishavu feeling, or if your really good at something that means you were good at it in a past life. And you have old souls and new souls cause old souls are the ones that keep failing the game and new souls are there to replace the souls that completed the game. when we have completed the you die of old age and move on to the real thing we call "life". Or something else idk 🤷🏽‍♀️ no joke so many loop holes

  3. Imagine living in a simulation but the simulation is trying to make you think you’re living in a simulation..

    Wait

  4. What would you do if your computer realises that it is a computer?
    1) Do nothing
    2) Throw it away
    3) Experiment on it
    4) Have pity with seemingly endless 1001011

  5. Sometimes when I think about it intensely, I can't help but feel like everything is in my own head. That sounds vain, but I have only ever been me. How do I know that anyone else is actually real?.. I like to believe that they are and I'm just an other insignificant creation in the grand scheme of things, but I can't help but wonder. Does anyone else experience strange coincidences frequently? I'll be thinking of something obscure and then hours later someone will bring it up or it'll be on tv or whatever. It's been happening since I was a young child, and it's pretty spooky sometimes. Anyone know what I mean? Please share, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

  6. If you say the sun doesn't exist and you want people to believe you then you have to build a roof for the earth. 🙁
    No one can neither Evolution or Simulation.

  7. If you think about it. Planets are spherical, atoms are spherical. Planets orbit stars and electrons orbit nuclei. Yay you thought about it, have a nice day

  8. Or we aready figured it out that we are a simulation but the universe devs just reseted our memories and fixed the gitch!

  9. reads title ah, once again we drift into the unknown abyss of questioning our reality!

    10 mins later oh well, nothing we can do about it.

  10. If this is true then our universe is not expanding but it hasn't completely load like a computer program.
    And we can assume A G C U
    as 0 and 1 in our system.

  11. You already proved it's not a simulation in this video.
    "You can't compute infinite"
    Infinite is forward, backward, leftward, rightward, upward, downward,
    and inward and outward.

    Keep getting smaller, and you find some amazing things.

  12. This animation combined with the explanation is well balanced to give the mind enough curiosity to ask questions. It's like a teacher shouldn't overwhelm the student with info but rather let the student break his/her own shell in order to go in the desired career path with a purpose.

    A gentle tap here and there to create a pattern on the egg.

    Ted-ed👍🏽

  13. A lot of people are trying to know the purpose of the simulation.
    If their technology is way advanced than ours, expect their critical thinking too…

  14. There are too many assumptions to jump to this conclusion. This theory’s fatal mistake is that reality is based on deterministic systems which are systems that can be broken into smaller pieces to form a whole. For example, a car can be considered a deterministic system in that one can break it into smaller components in order to understand the complexity of the whole. However, our reality is packed with chaotic systems, such life, our bodies, DNA. Via reproduction, DNA flourishes to form many different bodies and cells and organs that in turn do not directly relate to one another. For instance, our lungs are split into pulmonary alveoli. Again, these are constructed by a series of instructions that is our DNA. Therefore, reality by then would have to be consisted by a composition of systems, let’s say including a DNA fabric of spacetime, which would be most probably in direct confrontation with our current laws of quantum mechanics and relativity. And look, these are already too many assumptions….

  15. I just wanted to watch a video because I was bored and now I’m questioning my existence please help me i think i might blow up because of these thoughts-

  16. A simulation that creates simulation capable of creating more fake simulations that can make imaginary simulations that can figure out about simulations so create more simulations…

  17. If we‘re in a simulation, and all we know is the simulation and the rules of the simulation – INCLUDING your so-called glitches, which we also defined from inside the simulation and we only judge from observing the simulation laws and our own simulations and their rules -, if nobody ever stepped outside the simulation, there is no way you can tell or know this is one.

  18. If we are in a simulation, then probably the higher order beings wont let us discover it, unless they created us to check if we could find out, which would help them find out if they are in a simulation too

  19. Imagine that. A world created after another world in the same pattern. That is such a unique idea that an advanced life form created a universe in it's likeness. Imagine if a being who has advanced in its understanding of universal laws they could create a similar universe to it's own and fill it full of wonderful things including offspring in it's own image? What a novel idea!

  20. I sent my sims to university, they became computer scientists and proved we were living in a simulation so I unplugged my computer.

  21. If we find out life is a simulation, that means the simulation is telling us we’re living in a simulation

  22. "Around 13.8 billion Earth 'years' – a measure of time created by Earth's intelligent life form Humans, representing one full revolution of their planet around their singular sun – Humans first became aware of their reality being a simulation. This was the first stepping stone toward great Human scientific advancements, eventually leading to their ability to teleport across galaxies and manipulate matter by exploiting the engine of the simulation. It is even theorized they may break free of the simulation some day and find a way to manifest in our universe."

  23. “Yooo, I got my simulation to be self-aware.”
    “Nice. Can you talk to it?”
    “Nah, I made a universe simulation. Gonna let it run for a while, see what happens.”
    “Cool. You put it in 5 dimensions or 6?”
    “Nah, went with 3, kept it simple”
    “Oh, ok, haha.”
    “Dude, some have started questioning if they’re in a simulation!”
    “Lmao, haha, that’s hilarious.”
    “I think something went wrong with the simulation.”
    “What u mean?”
    “Well, they already developed 5th level technology, but this big group of people popped up all of a sudden and, like, don’t want to use it.”
    “What? I don’t get it”
    “Well, there’s this one group that refuses to use vaccines.”
    “Why?”
    “Dunno. There’s another group that thinks the world is flat.”
    “Is it?”
    “No, that’s what confuses me.”
    “Sounds like a bug. Try restarting it.”

  24. And then what? The beings that created our simulation live in a simulation too? And then the same goes for theirs and so on? Get outta here with this nonsense.

  25. It is a great thought experiment and I agree we may never get to the truth and the thought experiment itself may open up other ideas or reveal other truths … HOWEVER ultimately it just moves the problem of "self" elsewhere. We can end up with a nested dolls of simulations within simulations.

    Consider Rick & Morty episode The Ricks Must Be Crazy where Rick created a microverse to power his vehicle's battery. Anyway great talk. Loved it. Loved Ted always.

    BTW I hope my real self elsewhere outside this simulation has a comfortable pillow, mine sux in this simulation. And why does this simulation give me tinnitus? Faulty connections? Oh and to anyone that decides to jack out of this simulation please tell the technicians to simulate us a decent cup of coffee.

  26. okay so here is what i am thinking. i have absolutely nothing to back up these claims… while the term 'simulation' may be technically correct, sense life exists that allows for individual thought, the idea of a computer simulation is wrong. the universe in which life exists (PHYSICS) may be governed by mathematical algorithms. if this is the case, the universe can indeed be "hacked" if we are able to mirror these universal algorithms. rather than creating a brand new "universe simulation" in which we are living, we could actually travel through this current "space-time" in which we are all living.

  27. Who else thinks TedEd should make some mind blowing animated movie that leaves us all second guessing our existence?

  28. Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary proof.

    I just can't believe that we are a simulation. Maybe that's my human ego at play, but it can't be. Plus look at all the mundane things that occur in your life on a day-to-day basis. I doubt that would ever be in a simulation. Do you think filing your tax return would be part of a simulation. Or sitting in your room, looking at the wall be in a simulation, <insert mundane event here>.

  29. But if life is a simulation, can't we manipulate the variables? What's to say we can't hack into whatever program and enter a code that allows us to fly? I feel like when people talk about the simulation theory, it's a lot of word vomit adorned with empty ideas. And no, I don't care if whether or not we are in a simulation.

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