# Scientists are testing that we are in the Matrix...

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Regarding who would be right if such a thing were true -

Atheists (agnostics, etc) usually criticise/reject either specific religious beliefs, or the more general belief that everything was created by some kind of intelligence, or conscious "creator", as opposed to natural non-living means.

So for the former, the Universe being a simulation isn't something that most religious beliefs claim, and it would be quite some back pedalling to claim that they did mean that all along. For the latter, the problem is that you still have the question of whether the original Universe came from that we're being simulated in! Unlike belief in God, which is asserted to be the beginning (well, there's still the problem of where God came from, but theists believe this isn't something that's a problem), no one would think that the creators of this simulation are how _everything_ was created. So although profound, it wouldn't really be "God" in any sense meant by theists or atheists.

Also consider from the theist point of view: are religious people going to say "Oh, Christianity/etc is wrong after all", and then start worshipping these beings as new Gods? I doubt it. They'd probably make some kind of argument from design along the lines of "Since this Universe was designed, therefore everything must have had a designer", but that argument wouldn't be any more valid, nor would it make their beliefs right.

It's true there is the debate about how the Universe seems apparently "perfect" for life, but science doesn't have an answer, so it's not like scientists or atheists are proven wrong; rather the stance of atheists would be that lack of an answer doesn't mean that everything had to start with a creator, and the same would still be true.

And I agree with ChaosEngine that "Intelligent Design" generally means something quite specific. Sure, we can talk about something more general like "the space-time that we inhabit having been designed intelligently", but it's a rather small set of religious people who believe specifically that, and as I say, I doubt any other religious people would change their views to start worshipping these aliens. And it seems rather odd to pretend that such aliens would have been the Christian God/Jesus, or whatever, all along.

Perhaps an analogy would be the big bang - with the discovery that the Universe must have had a beginning, some religious leaders did claim this meant they were right all along, because they believed the Universe was created (had a beginning). True, they were right in that, because until then it wasn't known if the Universe even had a beginning. But being right in one thing, doesn't make the religious views in any way correct. If I believed in a Unicorn that makes the Sun come up every day, just because it turns out that the Sun comes up tomorrow, doesn't mean I'm right about my belief. Edited by mdwh

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And I agree with ChaosEngine that "Intelligent Design" generally means something quite specific. Sure, we can talk about something more general like "the space-time that we inhabit having been designed intelligently", but it's a rather small set of religious people who believe specifically that, and as I say, I doubt any other religious people would change their views to start worshipping these aliens. And it seems rather odd to pretend that such aliens would have been the Christian God/Jesus, or whatever, all along.

Both of your posts are totally ignorant of a huge dialogue that's been happening through the catholic church in recent history. This is like listening to Rush Limbaugh telling a Shia what Islam really is.

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[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1356011514' post='5012793']
And I agree with ChaosEngine that "Intelligent Design" generally means something quite specific. Sure, we can talk about something more general like "the space-time that we inhabit having been designed intelligently", but it's a rather small set of religious people who believe specifically that, and as I say, I doubt any other religious people would change their views to start worshipping these aliens. And it seems rather odd to pretend that such aliens would have been the Christian God/Jesus, or whatever, all along.

Both of your posts are totally ignorant of a huge dialogue that's been happening through the catholic church in recent history. This is like listening to Rush Limbaugh telling a Shia what Islam really is.
[/quote]
Intelligent Design as a movement has a very specific meaning (CE linked you to a comprehensive Wiki article on the topic). You don't get to redefine commonly understood terms to suite your argument and then attempt to call people out for not using your personal interpretation of the term. That's not how discussions work. When people mention Intelligent Design, funnily enough the commonly understood definition pops into their head, not the one you've arbitrarily decided to redefine.

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Intelligent Design as a movement has a very specific meaning (CE linked you to a comprehensive Wiki article on the topic).

I imagine a lot of Americans view Islam as a movement with a very specific meaning too; that doesn't make it less ignorant. This is totally an argumentum ad populum fallacy.

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[quote name='GeneralQuery' timestamp='1356027744' post='5012867']
Intelligent Design as a movement has a very specific meaning (CE linked you to a comprehensive Wiki article on the topic).

I imagine a lot of Americans view Islam as a movement with a very specific meaning too; that doesn't make it less ignorant. This is totally an argumentum ad populum fallacy.
[/quote]

Christ you don't give up, do you? If Americans got their view of Islam from the Quran then that view is correct. It is the authoratvie source

Intelligent design has a specific meaning that is widely understood and accepted, as defined by the people who came up with the term. You are attempting to change that meaning because you realise the principle is unsound and trivially disproven.

You're engaging in both moving the goalposts and the no true scotsman fallacy.

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[quote name='GeneralQuery' timestamp='1356027744' post='5012867']
Intelligent Design as a movement has a very specific meaning (CE linked you to a comprehensive Wiki article on the topic).

I imagine a lot of Americans view Islam as a movement with a very specific meaning too; that doesn't make it less ignorant. This is totally an argumentum ad populum fallacy.
[/quote]
Expecting people to stick to well defined and commonly understood terminology is not an "argumentum ad populum", it's the prerequisite to rational discourse.

Edit: accidentally a word Edited by GeneralQuery

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This thread is fascinating, I'm learning so many new debate and logic terms

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[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1356011514' post='5012793']
And I agree with ChaosEngine that "Intelligent Design" generally means something quite specific. Sure, we can talk about something more general like "the space-time that we inhabit having been designed intelligently", but it's a rather small set of religious people who believe specifically that, and as I say, I doubt any other religious people would change their views to start worshipping these aliens. And it seems rather odd to pretend that such aliens would have been the Christian God/Jesus, or whatever, all along.

Both of your posts are totally ignorant of a huge dialogue that's been happening through the catholic church in recent history. This is like listening to Rush Limbaugh telling a Shia what Islam really is.
[/quote]

I thought Intelligent Design was Protestant in origin. The Catholic Church supports it but that's a different thing than they created it. And being honest, Intelligent Design has been about giving credibility to the creation stories. If Intelligent Design has about God creating a set of scientific laws with which the universe is governed by, then a lot of scientists would be willing to give that chance. Some scientists may even embrace it wholeheartedly because it allows their knowledge and their faith to harmoniously co-exist. So in short, if originally, Intelligent Design == Deistic Evolution, then the world could have been a better place.

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It's true there is the debate about how the Universe seems apparently "perfect" for life, but science doesn't have an answer,

Just for the record, the universe is not "perfect" for life. The percentage of the universe that is suitable for our kind of life is so vanishingly small that it's statistically insignificant. It wouldn't be that much of a stretch to say that 100% * of the universe is utterly hostile to life as we know it.

*99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999% if you want to be pedantic

Edited by Michael Tanczos

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In terms of the universe, I would define "life" as any living organism, not just Earth-based humans and animals. With that said, you can shave off two of those "9"s, lol. Edited by Alpha_ProgDes

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It's true there is the debate about how the Universe seems apparently "perfect" for life, but science doesn't have an answer,

Just for the record, the universe is not "perfect" for life. The percentage of the universe that is suitable for our kind of life is so vanishingly small that it's statistically insignificant. It wouldn't be that much of a stretch to say that 100% * of the universe is utterly hostile to life as we know it.

*99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999% if you want to be pedantic

Plus it's a prime example of puddle thinking:

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the Sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be all right, because this World was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

That our universe can be habitable for life does not mean that it was designed for life. If it wasn't capable of being habitable for life then we wouldn't be around to notice this fact.

Edited by Michael Tanczos

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In terms of the universe, I would define "life" as any living organism, not just Earth-based humans and animals. With that said, you can shave off two of those "9"s, lol.

The problem is defining "living". It's ambiguous as to where non-life ends and life begins and it would appear that this is more of a gradient than a binary state.

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Microbes and amoebas are "life". Paper and anvils are not "life". That's the minimum requirement for my definition.

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 Simulation hypothesis -> viability of simulation in realtime vs. computational time \-> intelligent design -> definition of intelligent design -> logical fallacies \-> suitability of universe for life -> definition of life 

plus an entire sub thread debating the ethics of "wasting research resources on this" (like we're in starcraft or something )

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Microbes and amoebas are "life". Paper and anvils are not "life". That's the minimum requirement for my definition.

At what point do organic molecules become life? Any boundary you impose is completely arbitrary. What makes one chemical reaction "alive" and another not, and what is the precise crossover point? There is no clear answer. Thinking in binary terms only results in logical inconsistencies.

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My arbitrary line for (known) life is ATP.  If there's ATP (i.e. cellular respiration) then there's life.  I wanted to make it something about "a set of biological processes that seek to perpetuate their own existence" but that implied too much sentience.  Probably something more like "energy currency exchange" might blanket extra-terrestrial lifeforms.  *shrug*

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I don't think we can physically test such things, from my understanding, the core concept of this idea is that if we are in a simulation, then if we are able to simulate an accurate universe, that means we are a simulation ourselves. I can't be the only one seeing the problem with this?

This seems backward to me. Wouldn't simulating a whole universe inside a simulation of a universe be the kind of thing that would break the simulator?

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[quote name='d000hg' timestamp='1356106565' post='5013167']
Wouldn't simulating a whole universe inside a simulation of a universe be the kind of thing that would break the simulator?
[/quote]

I think the idea is that a perfect simulator would (much like our current laws of physics and other sciences) define interactions at a low enough level to not have a problem running said "nested simulator".

It's the fact that we're getting closer to being able to describe and define all aspects of the universe (from the micro to the macro) based on limit values and mathematical rules that gives this the whisper of potential.  And probably other things, I'll admit to not having read the article.

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I don't think we can physically test such things, from my understanding, the core concept of this idea is that if we are in a simulation, then if we are able to simulate an accurate universe, that means we are a simulation ourselves. I can't be the only one seeing the problem with this?

This seems backward to me. Wouldn't simulating a whole universe inside a simulation of a universe be the kind of thing that would break the simulator?

we assume they are simulating a universe in equal size to their's, for all we know, the perceived universe we see could simply be a giant cube-map texture, being fed from their universe, or their universe is perhaps millions upon millions of times bigger than ours. so we could be a relatively small universe by comparison to there's.  remember that we haven't even left our solar system(the computer they are using might be billions of cluster's of servers, think of each solar system, planet, or maybe even atom, could have it's own dedicated processor).

we truthfully have no possible idea how they could be doing this, hell, their universe could even operate completely differently than ours, and we are making assumptions that they are trying to simulate their own universe, for all we know, we could be some huge MMO to them.

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[quote name='slicer4ever' timestamp='1356107241' post='5013173']
we truthfully have no possible idea how they could be doing this, hell, their universe could even operate completely differently than ours, and we are making assumptions that they are trying to simulate their own universe, for all we know, we could be some huge MMO to them.
[/quote]

That's a fascinating idea, that perhaps this simulation was never intended to simulate life and the creators never even knew there was life in the simulation. They are playing some game exploring the universe, waging war for fun when one day they meet natives..

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Hopefully, the post editor will actually let me write something this time...
we truthfully have no possible idea how they could be doing this, hell, their universe could even operate completely differently than ours, and we are making assumptions that they are trying to simulate their own universe, for all we know, we could be some huge MMO to them.
This begs the question, are we the avatars, or are aliens the avatars, or are other earth life the avatars? Let the conspiracy theories begin. Edited by Cornstalks

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At least today didn't the universe's time counter overflow on us LOL

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we truthfully have no possible idea how they could be doing this, hell, their universe could even operate completely differently than ours, and we are making assumptions that they are trying to simulate their own universe, for all we know, we could be some huge MMO to them.

That's a fascinating idea, that perhaps this simulation was never intended to simulate life and the creators never even knew there was life in the simulation. They are playing some game exploring the universe, waging war for fun when one day they meet natives..

this makes me think of that episode of futurama, where bender discovers god, but he doesn't even know about earth.

Edited by slicer4ever