Week 1 Blog

After watching the videos I don’t think my idea of pseudoscience has changed much. It seems to be a relatively self-explanatory term and I had a fairly good understanding of it beforehand. That being said, I did quite enjoy the Bill Nye video and found myself watching most of the video simply for the sake of entertainment.

The example of pseudoscience I have chosen to examine is the Simulation Hypothesis. That is not to say that admitting it a posibility is necessarily pseudoscience but many have begun claiming it as definitely true and placing much more weight in it than such an unverifiable claim deserves.

The Simulation Hypothesis states that the universe and all of human experience has not happened as we believe but rather that humanity is living out a simulation inside an advanced supercomputer and that we are merely experience the simulation as opposed to a true reality.

While this is certainly an exciting proposal and a great plot for an episode of the Twilight Zone until there is a definitive way to test it it must be classified as pseudoscience. Many proponents of such a reality claim that it is likely to be true though. The primary argument is that “It is possible to simulate reality, so it is statistically quite likely that someone has in this case.”

The reason that many are clinging to this theory now though is that it has been endorsed by celebreties that many Americans view (injustly in Elon Musk’s case) as authorities on scientific thought. Both Elon Musk and Niel DeGrasse Tyson have stated in interviews that they believe it to be likely that our universe takes place inside a simulation. When powerful people say thing they tend to be believed.

Again, while in this case both men have a point in making their claim. It does seem likely given the fact that it is possible and more simulations are likely to happen overall than actual universes. That does not in itself constitute as verifyable evidence and until there is some, this cannot be called more than an exciting thought experiment.

I find this theory to be akin to Last Thursdayism. Last Thursdayism states that entropy is very hard to reverse and were a universe to be created Last Thursday’s ordered state would be much easier to assemble than 14 billion years ago’s ordered state. While again, it seems logical and interesting it makes an unverifyable claim and until something changes can only be called pseudoscience.

2 thoughts on “Week 1 Blog

  1. Hi, I think your example of pseudoscience is quite fascinating, because I had the similar idea when I was in middle school. I played a lot of computer games when I was in middle school; one day, a strange thought came out of my mind ”What if the whole world is just a game, and everyone’s life and actions are control by the species that create the game, just like games’ characters control by human”. This hypothesis makes sense to me at that time, because it explains many mysteries of the world, and even human’s weird choices and actions. What’s, more, even though the ranges of human activities are increasing by time, but there are some boundaries to block human being to explore more, just like the movie The Truman Show; or in other words, a game that keep adding new maps, from one continent to another, from the Earth to the Mars, from the solar system to the Milky Way system, from the Galaxy to the external galaxy. However, I did know that the Simulation Hypothesis is un-provable at that time, because a computer program has no ability to prove itself as a program unless it could break up and check on the computer screen by itself. I agree with you that the Simulation Hypothesis is a pseudoscience, because it is not proven yet. But, with the advance of technology and the ability of AI to have self-conscious, human being might able to test the Simulation Hypothesis and even prove it whether right or wrong; I would like to discuss this hypothesis with you again at that time.

  2. Hello and thank you for your post.

    Similar to the first commentator, this topic is one of the pseudosciences my peers and I would discuss a lot growing up; this is true even now. I have never had a SIM before but anyone who has played any video game ever, (especially RPGs) knows what it is to have complete power over how great or terrible a life plays out to be. The question that follows is always “what if we’re SIMs too, and this is all like inception?” It feels silly to say aloud but I wouldn’t doubt that many people laugh it off but have a tinge of the question simmering in the back of their minds.
    Disclaimer: I am not a conspiracy theorist, these are just really interesting questions and points you pose.

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