The nature of our computer simulated universe
“If our universe is a computer simulation then Deterministic Finite Automata are to it what particles are to physics models.”
This very thought has me bugging lately a lot. I first tweeted it on June 4. I couldn’t help but think of this simile.
Until now, our pivotal model to explain and understand our world and the universe is the physics model. Since the advent of computers, though, with breakthroughs in software, logic and mathematics, some scientists argue that we have signs (but no conclusive proof yet) that our universe might be a computer simulation after all. And by extend, physics laws would be simple parameters that affect the simulation. In other words, “the rabbit hole goes deeper, Alice.” In fact, there might be infinite
universes simulations, with infinite different ‘settings’ combinations and so forth and so on.
Key task for us is to prove this notion (its validity or inaccuracy) and understand how it actually works. I have not complete knowledge of this scientific domain but my gut tells me that, if in fact our universe is a simulation, then DFAs are to it what particles are to physics models. Mainly because such a universe would be completely deterministic (and as Donald Knuth said to me, “[…] and, as a result, we lose our free will“), hence these very small deterministic machines would be, I think, at its core.
The beauty of this idea is it initiates a debate around the intersection of its philosophical roots: logic, mathematics, physics, and philosophy itself. What do you think?
posted: June 29, 2013