Digital Physics

Digital physics

In physics and cosmology, digital physics is a collection of theoretical perspectives based on the premise that the universe is, at heart, describable by information, and is therefore computable. Therefore, according to this theory, the universe can be conceived of as either the output of a deterministic or probabilistic computer program, a vast, digital computation device, or mathematically isomorphic to such a device.

Digital Physics vs. The Simulation Argument [updated]

Digital physics, the hypothesis that the universe is a kind of digital computer is most likely true. Simulation argument is not. It is a very naïve metaphysical argument based on ancient fallacies of solipsism and creationism.

Some physicists, apparently, seem to think that if they can prove digital physics, this would mean that we are living in a simulation. I believe that the philosophical illiteracy of those physicists may be betraying them. Not quite understanding what the digital physics hypothesis is, they have succumbed to a trivial error. And although they have the technical means to investigate the granularity of the universe, they do not have the means to understand a simple conceptual hypothesis.

God Is the Machine

The spooky nature of material things is not new. Once science examined matter below the level of fleeting quarks and muons, it knew the world was incorporeal. What could be less substantial than a realm built out of waves of quantum probabilities? And what could be weirder? Digital physics is both. It suggests that those strange and insubstantial quantum wavicles, along with everything else in the universe, are themselves made of nothing but 1s and 0s. The physical world itself is digital.

The scientist John Archibald Wheeler (coiner of the term “black hole”) was onto this in the ’80s.

Zuse’s Thesis

Konrad Zuse (1910-1995; pronounce: “Conrud Tsoosay”) not only built the first programmable computers (1935-1941) and devised the first higher-level programming language (1945), but also was the first to suggest (in 1967) that the entire universe is being computed on a computer, possibly a cellular automaton (CA). He referred to this as “Rechnender Raum” or Computing Space or Computing Cosmos. Many years later similar ideas were also published / popularized / extended by Edward Fredkin (1980s), Jürgen Schmidhuber (1990s – see overview), and more recently Stephen Wolfram (2002)


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