Is Life A Computer Simulation?
A current topic I have been following: “Is Life a Computer Simulation?” (1)
How do we know that it is not?
How can we know that anything is actually real?
Well, I have the opinion that nothing is real. Or rather: Nothing Is Real.
What if everything is just one big hologram, an illusion.
I will support my proposal with two points:
1) the speed of light
But, you say, when I stub my toe it hurts like the dickens. I feel pain – that must be real.
What if I told you that everything you see, touch, hear, taste, smell and even think, could be just a hologram.
How is this possible, you ask.
Well, let me start off with the speed of light and how we see.
When you look into the night sky and you see all those twinkling stars, you are actually seeing into the past.
When it takes light multiples of years to reach us, we are seeing that light from when it left.
Oh, a quick bit of info: light travels over 186,000 miles per second. One Light Year, how far light travels in a vacuum in one Julian Year, equals 6 trillion miles.
So, when a star is one billion light years away, we see the light as it was one billion years ago.
Telescopes have spotted galaxies which are 13 billion lights years away. When the light from those far away galaxies finally reaches us, we are seeing light from 13 billion years ago. A lot can happen in that time.
When the Crab Nebula exploded it was independently recorded by Arab, Chinese, Indian and Japanese astronomers in 1054. Yet, they were only just seeing the explosion, for the supernova had already happened 6,500 years earlier (2).
We see because light bounces of an object to our eyes. (We see colour because of absorption and reflection of different wavelengths, vibrations, of light.) The time it takes light to bounce back might be measured in nanoseconds, nonetheless it is in the past.
If the sun were to burn out, we would find out eight minutes later.
So, my point is that it takes light time to reach our eyes, no matter what the distance.
We never see “now”.
“Now” is just an illusion.
For my second point we go out to space again.
Take a good look at the night sky. What do you see? Sure, you see twinkling spots, however, what is between them?
Nothing. Empty space.
About 0.0000000000000000000042 percent of the universe contains any matter. In other words, the universe is a pretty empty place (3).
I could get into dark matter,dark energy, string theory and membranes, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.
So, we have nothing, a void.
You might notice that planets orbit their sun similar to the orbits of an atom.
With that in mind, let’s shrink the scale to small, atomic small. From macrocosm to microcosm.
References to the atom date back to Ancient Greece. The Greeks thought the atom to be indivisible (4).
Everything we know is made of atoms. Organic or inorganic, it doesn’t matter. Your coffee cup is made of atoms. The fuel you put in your car, the air you breathe, the food you eat, the clothing you wear, made of atoms. Even your body, every organ contained within, is made of atoms.
Now, taking the space comparison of more space between the stars and planets than there are stars and planets, the same goes to atoms.
There is more space between the protons and electrons of an atom than the mass of the particles. In other words, there is nothing between those particles (5).
Do you follow me so far?
What you think is solid, is, in reality, not solid. Not in the least. Okay, sure, you say. But when I walk into a closed door, I bang my nose and stop. Why can’t I go through that door if it and I are not solid? Ah, well, that topic is a whole other discussion.
Take any object, any substance, look at it on the atomic scale and you come up with a lot of empty space. Nothing.
Once again, everything, the world as you know it, is like this. This includes your brain.
Take a brain, any old brain will do, look at it with an atomic microscope. See the atoms? Now, look at the space between the atoms. Right. Nothing.
So, really, in the end, your brain is just empty space.
Kind of gives a new meaning to the phrase “empty headed” doesn’t it?
So, how does this hologram work then.
For all intents and purposes, your entire world is made of nothing.
Your brain is, for all intents and purposes, made of nothing.
So, we have your brain made of nothing, processing information about a world which is, in fact, made of nothing.
As my initial proposal – nothing is real.
Or to put it more accurately – Nothing Is Real.
It would seem then, that our entire existence is one big hologram, one big simulation. Everything is just an illusion.
“When you know that nothing is real, then anything is possible.”