SIMULISM: Are We Living In A Virtual Universe?
If it weren’t for our pride and the emotions it stimulates, we should have accepted long ago that we live in a virtual universe! (For some quotes from physicists, click here)
Physicists discovered more than a century ago that our world picture has to be drastically changed; it doesn’t make sense anymore; Materialistic Realism is an old story that needs to be replaced! And Simulism (the world view that sees the universe as a simulation) can easily explain the amazing world that Quantum weirdness and Relativistic Mechanics describe.
If we could open our mind and explore this new paradigm, we would find interesting bridges between Science and Philosophy, especially Eastern spirituality. It is even possible to find experimental evidence for a virtual universe. Amazingly, the physicist Wheeler proposed a « thought experiment » in the 1980s that has been done when the technology for it was available (2007), and the results are cristal clear… when viewed with open mind! What we understand as « fossil photons » in our current world image are actually virtual photons whose properties are calculated in a simulation then displayed as if they were fossil photon… but they aren’t real!
This experiment and many others in different fields are described and analyzed in this essay. Is Science finding today what Eastern philosophers discovered centuries before? Would Descartes still be a Cartesian today? What about the New Dualism Quantum Physics is exploring? Could it be the picture of a universe calculated in a simulation, then displayed as we perceive it? Could this be the explanation for the wave/particle duality of matter and energy? Could this world image help understand why: « At the bottom level, reality is a mathematical structure, so its parts have no intrinsic properties at all. » (Max Tegmark in « The Mathematical Universe Hypothesis » p. 267)?
These are some of the questions explored in this essay which can be read as an interactive pdf file. This version takes advantage of hyperlinks to separate the core text from deepening and let the reader choose the chapters s/he wants to discover first. It can be freely downloaded here. (revised: 2018.07.10)
A shorter, print-friendly version can also be freely downloaded here.