I have long found the Simulation Hypothesis to be better-able to answer questions that I have regarding the universe than the string theory and the quantum field theory. What I believe is that the notion of our universe being a simulation, especially in the last few years, has developed to the point where it should be seriously considered as a candidate for A Theory of Everything.

Work on it, by the likes of Nick Bostrom (who proposed the Simulation Argument in his groundbreaking paper), has been cohesive and it has time and time again been proven to be just as plausible as any theory out there. Remember that a theory is just that, a theory. And as a theory, the Simulation Argument gives fitting answers to a lot of questions that physicists have found hard to answer for decades.

Much to the dismay of pragmatists, the results yielded by the Double-Slit Experiment have been particularly insightful.

The Simulation Hypothesis has much less irregularities than the other theories. It pays just as much heed to the laws of physics and mathematics, even being better able to address issues of epistemology and metaphysics.

Then why is it that we don't even see it as a contender for A Theory of Everything?


closed as off-topic by ACuriousMind, Kyle Kanos, John Rennie, HDE 226868, Qmechanic Aug 18 '15 at 18:20

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "gives fitting answers...", "has much less irregularities...", "better able to address..." Those are big claims. Care to justify them with some references? $\endgroup$ – wltrup Aug 18 '15 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ In your link, one of the complaints there is about the existence of waves without a medium. Isn't space itself a medium? It's a thing isn't it. $\endgroup$ – Robinson Aug 18 '15 at 10:29
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    $\begingroup$ "Remember that a theory is just that, a theory." - this sentence pretty much disqualifies everything you say, since it shows you have no idea how intricate modern theory building is. Also, this question violates the non-mainstream policy since it asks for blanket evaluation of a non-mainstream theory. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Aug 18 '15 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ @wltrup "gives fitting answers" to questions such as why there exists something rather than nothing. "better able to address" problems like those typically encountered in epistemology. Take a look at the brain-in-a-vat argument. (iep.utm.edu/brainvat) $\endgroup$ – Sampark Sharma Aug 18 '15 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ I'm afraid this is pseudoscience, Sampark. Sorry. $\endgroup$ – John Duffield Aug 18 '15 at 12:39

A theory must not only explain the existing data, but it must explain it in quantitative terms. Furthermore, it must make testable predictions that differ from other theories. The Simulation Hypothesis does neither. In that respect, it is worse even than String Theory. If you believe ouyr universe is a simulation, the only thing you can trust is mathematics and logic.

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    $\begingroup$ For this reason the Simulation Argument is itself metaphysics. It tells you precisely nothing. $\endgroup$ – Robinson Aug 18 '15 at 10:28

A good theory is something that doesn't have 100% overlap with another theory, meaning like a Venn Diagram, there are areas where you can test the validity of that theory. While it's true that you can't decisively prove a theory right or wrong, this doesn't mean you cannot demonstrate the correctness of a theory over another.

Presumably if the entire universe were simulated as is, it has 100% overlap with any other theory, which in a practical sense is just as useful as a theory that claims that the universe just blinked into existence yesterday as we know it. It has 100% overlap with other theories so there is no way to distinguish from any other theory.

I am familiar with this theory, and I myself am drawn to it, but this is not cause enough to jetison old theories and replace them with ones that don't offer any new insight. String theory is also difficult to prove, but at least it offered something previous theories did not: a unified theory of everything.

  • $\begingroup$ "While it's true that you can't decisively prove a theory right or wrong..." - you can prove a theory wrong. $\endgroup$ – wltrup Aug 18 '15 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ @wltrup An incorrect theory (beyond a shadow of a doubt) is not a theory anymore than a proven theory (beyond a shadow of a doubt) is a theory. $\endgroup$ – Neil Aug 18 '15 at 11:55
  • $\begingroup$ I think you're splitting semantic hairs now. Classical Mechanics, to mention just one example, is technically an incorrect theory since it gives results that do not agree with experiments involving objects moving at relativistic speeds, yet we still refer to it as a theory. More importantly, it's still a useful theory, in the domain where it's valid (i.e., macroscopic, not too-massive, slow-moving objects). Moreover, you're comparing two things (incorrect theories, proven theories) that can't be compared because one of them doesn't exist (there's no such thing as a proven theory). $\endgroup$ – wltrup Aug 18 '15 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ I should add that I don't disagree with your post. In fact, I upvoted it. I only disagree with the statement I quoted in my first comment to your answer, and your apparent support of the notion that a theory can be proven. "proven theory (beyond a shadow of a doubt)" is not a meaningful statement. $\endgroup$ – wltrup Aug 18 '15 at 12:06
  • $\begingroup$ @wltrup The original definition of the word proof was to test. Since mathematicians seem to use the word more for their specific method of deduction with their specific assumption people think proof means some kind of definitive answer. String theory is difficult to prove (i.e. test) but a simulation theory has to make a different prediction to be proven (tested). It's like if you said that the universe is really a computer to designed to trick us into thinking QFT is correct. No experiments could distinguish that from QFT itself so they aren't different predictions just different stories. $\endgroup$ – Timaeus Aug 18 '15 at 18:10

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