I know next to nothing about quantum physics. But for years I have often wondered what is the nature of our reality? Are we like goldfish in a bowl who may see blurry and undefined things outside but find comfort in their own world? Is Man so arrogant as to know that he is rapidly learning all there is to know about his world? I suppose that Man has always had a strain of arrogance about his world.
A few years ago, while going through the Wayback Machine , I came across an intriguing post by Lex on the subject.
The universe, many physicists agree, is “fine tuned” * for life. If any one of a number of different of fundamental, physical constants * were altered only just a little, life – at least as we know it – would not be possible.
One of these fundamental constants is the so-called “fine structure” * constant, so named because by multiplying a number of other fundamental constants together a pure, unitless number is attained. The fine structure constant, known to physicists as α is elegantly dimensionless, and utterly mysterious, as quantum mechanic Richard Feynman * wrote:
Immediately you would like to know where this number for a coupling comes from: is it related to pi or perhaps to the base of natural logarithms? Nobody knows. It’s one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by man. You might say the “hand of God” wrote that number, and “we don’t know how He pushed his pencil.”
…Or put another way, and in another context, * “What we’re suggesting is that something that can’t interact with anything is changing something that can’t be changed.”
Today, I came across a recent article in the Scientific American giving the odds of our being in a simulation at 50-50.
Ever since the philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed in the Philosophical Quarterly that the universe and everything in it might be a simulation, there has been intense public speculation and debate about the nature of reality. Such public intellectuals as Tesla leader and prolific Twitter gadfly Elon Musk have opined about the statistical inevitability of our world being little more than cascading green code. Recent papers have built on the original hypothesis to further refine the statistical bounds of the hypothesis, arguing that the chance that we live in a simulation may be 50–50.
…This helps us arrive at an interesting observation about the nature of space in our universe. If we are in a simulation, as it appears, then space is an abstract property written in code. It is not real. It is analogous to the numbers seven million and one in our example, just different abstract representations on the same size memory block. Up, down, forward, backward, 10 miles, a million miles, these are just symbols.
What is height? distance? If this is all a simulation, then what is the function of our consciousness?
Quite frankly, I have to reread this article a few times to get a full understanding. But to be absolutely certain that all we know in our environment here on earth is all there is to know…is either arrogance or ignorance. But that of course, is just my belief.