Are we living in a simulation? – Zohreh Davoudi


We live in a vast universe,
on a small wet planet, where billions of years ago single-celled life forms evolved
from the same elements as all non-living material
around them, proliferating and radiating into an
incredible ray of complex life forms. All of this— living and inanimate,
microscopic and cosmic— is governed by mathematical laws with
apparently arbitrary constants. And this opens up a question: If the universe is completely governed
by these laws, couldn’t a powerful enough computer
simulate it exactly? Could our reality actually be an
incredibly detailed simulation set in place by a much more
advanced civilization? This idea may sound like science fiction, but it has been the subject
of serious inquiry. Philosopher Nick Bostrom advanced
a compelling argument that we’re likely living in a simulation, and some scientists also think
it’s a possibility. These scientists have started thinking
about experimental tests to find out whether our
universe is a simulation. They are hypothesizing about what the
constraints of the simulation might be, and how those constraints could lead
to detectable signs in the world. So where might we look for those glitches? One idea is that as a simulation runs, it might accumulate errors over time. To correct for these errors the simulators could adjust the constants
in the laws of nature. These shifts could be tiny— for instance, certain constants we’ve measured
with accuracies of parts per million have stayed steady for decades, so any drift would have to be
on an even smaller scale. But as we gain more precision in our
measurements of these constants, we might detect slight changes over time. Another possible place to look comes from
the concept that finite computing power, no matter how huge,
can’t simulate infinities. If space and time are continuous, then even a tiny piece of the universe
has infinite points and becomes impossible to simulate
with finite computing power. So a simulation would have to represent
space and time in very small pieces. These would be almost
incomprehensibly tiny. But we might be able to search for them by using certain subatomic
particles as probes. The basic principle is this:
the smaller something is, the more sensitive it will
be to disruption— think of hitting a pothole on a skateboard
versus in a truck. Any unit in space-time would be so small that most things would travel through it
without disruption— not just objects large enough to be
visible to the naked eye, but also molecules, atoms,
and even electrons and most of the other subatomic
particles we’ve discovered. If we do discover a tiny unit in
space-time or a shifting constant in a natural law, would that prove the universe
is a simulation? No— it would only be the
first of many steps. There could be other explanations
for each of those findings. And a lot more evidence would be needed
to establish the simulation hypothesis as a working theory of nature. However many tests we design, we’re limited by some assumptions
they all share. Our current understanding of the natural
world on the quantum level breaks down at what’s known
as the planck scale. If the unit of space-time is
on this scale, we wouldn’t be able to look for it
with our current scientific understanding. There’s still a wide range of things that are smaller than what’s
currently observable but larger than the planck
scale to investigate. Similarly, shifts in the constants of
natural laws could occur so slowly that they would only be observable
over the lifetime of the universe. So they could exist even if we don’t
detect them over centuries or millennia
of measurements. We’re also biased towards thinking that
our universe’s simulator, if it exists, makes calculations the same way we do, with similar computational limitations. Really, we have no way of knowing what an alien civilization’s constraints
and methods would be— but we have to start somewhere. It may never be possible to prove
conclusively that the universe either is, or isn’t, a simulation, but we’ll always be pushing science and
technology forward in pursuit of the question: what is the nature of reality?

100 thoughts on “Are we living in a simulation? – Zohreh Davoudi

  • October 9, 2019 at 1:11 am
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    How can a computer have the ability to give someone like me taste, sight, hearing, and other senses?

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 1:25 am
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    Is this part of the simulation?

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 1:26 am
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    I have so many questions…

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 1:30 am
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    Someone send this to Joe Rogan

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 1:34 am
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    If it was a simulation, I think it'd be better.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 1:37 am
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    Also , as a Christian . no simulation !

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  • October 9, 2019 at 1:47 am
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    Love the animation.
    And the idea.

    What I dont get is why so many comments say- depressing, or existential crisis.
    It makes me wonder what these people are living for in the first place. Have they no personal stability or passion?
    Similiar to people saying without God or heaven, life is meaningless.
    Whatttt?
    Meaning oozes out the brain all day long.
    Pay attention folks.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 1:49 am
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    If the universe were a simulation, would it spoil the functional purpose of that simulation if the sims were to become aware of the simulated nature of their existence? We would start reaching conclusions that were biased to our simulated perspective, and no longer accurately represented the universe outside of the simulation? Even if it were a simulation in a simulation in a simulation, somewhere on the outside of that onion would be something real and different.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 1:50 am
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    Put aside these great theories and points. The art and animation is remarkable

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  • October 9, 2019 at 1:54 am
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    What if life was a dream…?

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  • October 9, 2019 at 1:56 am
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    There are so many holes in the idea. Would I simulate a universe if I could? Yes, but would I be against them knowing they were in a simulation no. If they can simulate a universe though, they would just make their own life forms in real life. Like seriously we are already able to create life.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 1:57 am
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    This video was so satisfying to watch ngl

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  • October 9, 2019 at 2:01 am
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    Genesis 1:1 In the beginning GOD created……

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  • October 9, 2019 at 2:09 am
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    okay … for the sake of argument, let's say we are in a simulation.. and we are in a computer. ran by some more advanced civilization, then how was this civilization created? that created tech that advanced? and if that very civilization is also in a simulation by more advanced one, then when will the chain end? endless simulations inside simulations till how far?

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 2:10 am
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    Wow

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  • October 9, 2019 at 2:13 am
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    Elon musk should watch this

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  • October 9, 2019 at 2:14 am
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    Thanks you.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 2:18 am
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    Nothing can simulate infinity
    Minecraft world:

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 2:25 am
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    Only Area 51 will answer this

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 2:38 am
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    Food for thought…

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 2:39 am
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    Preciso de legendas em português.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 2:46 am
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    Try to visit TierZoo. You’ll know 😊

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 2:47 am
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    Yes it could!

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  • October 9, 2019 at 2:48 am
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    What if we are like the beehive?? Complex and amazing.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 2:58 am
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    this is just proof that we’re smarter than they think.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 3:04 am
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    Everyone: existential crisis
    Me: Cool animations!

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  • October 9, 2019 at 3:09 am
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    Oh No! They're learning….

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  • October 9, 2019 at 3:14 am
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    I feel like the simulators are looking at me and are going to delete me. I could also just be a ant to them and they do not care or notice me to even go to look at me or delete me.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 3:22 am
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    I didn’t understood

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  • October 9, 2019 at 3:22 am
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    what if we were programmed to think that we are simulated?

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  • October 9, 2019 at 3:25 am
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    Is this the real life?

    Is this just fantasy?

    Caught in a landslide,

    No escape from reality.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 3:28 am
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    I been thinking about this because technically our existence is nearly impossible but if you’re not born then you would not know you exist

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  • October 9, 2019 at 3:32 am
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    I think we’re an alien’s “ant colony” and we’re the ants and once he turns it in at his science fair he’ll forget about us and dump us out.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 3:41 am
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    Personally, once you get down to a certain point, I think 'the universe' (or the simulation, or god, or whatever) only has it 'figured out' to a limited point, if we look beyond that point, we either can't understand what's down there, or we come up with hypothesis to try to explain it. If one of those hypothesizes fits well enough, (current, and previous tests we've run) then and only then, it becomes REAL. so essentially, we're creating our own world as we go.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 3:45 am
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    Wait your trying to use subatomic particulars to tell if where living a simulation, when they where probably programmed in the first place.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 3:49 am
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    we are Sims and TED is the one who's playing

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  • October 9, 2019 at 4:01 am
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    Bruh…this universe is so big and detailed to the smallest subatomic level. Computer processes could handle that? We would definitely see a clitch by now

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  • October 9, 2019 at 4:10 am
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    Who else digested absolutely none of that and was just completely hypnotized by the cool animation and sounds?

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  • October 9, 2019 at 4:20 am
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    Imagine the day we make a near perfect simulation of our own universe, and then humans come and make their own simulation…

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  • October 9, 2019 at 4:22 am
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    If our reality is in fact a simulation, it sure is a terrible one.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 4:37 am
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    Yes we are, i don’t even have to watch the video to know

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 5:02 am
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    OR.. We can just start searching for agent Smith

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  • October 9, 2019 at 5:10 am
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    Okay but our understanding of what a simulation is can be completely different to this other seemingly all powerful creator. Even the laws of physics or the concept of time could be completely foriegn to us. Furthermore, this theory is only revolutionary to our current time period- the start of the digital revolution. We might have other ideas and inspirations about who we are and where we come from a 1000 years from now.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 5:18 am
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    No

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  • October 9, 2019 at 5:20 am
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    Got so caught up with animation that forgot to pay attention to the actual video

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  • October 9, 2019 at 5:29 am
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    Elon Musk disliked the video

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 5:38 am
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    Existential Crises here we come!

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  • October 9, 2019 at 5:40 am
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    Dang it, I know it very interesting theory but the visual effects make me completely distracted then I don't understand what are they saying, poor me.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 5:55 am
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    The matrix overreloaded

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 5:56 am
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    A simulation without physic engine bugs?

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  • October 9, 2019 at 5:57 am
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    What if that they want us to think that and it's actually a different thing whole

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  • October 9, 2019 at 5:57 am
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    Just after I watched The Matrix!

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  • October 9, 2019 at 5:57 am
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    Keanu Reeves has entered the chat.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 6:35 am
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    The fact that you used cloth stimulations, rigid body stimulations is just appaling.
    I would really like these small clips of animations as a gif or a screensaver.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 6:49 am
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    Its 3am

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 6:55 am
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    Awesome content…bad graphic representation.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 7:06 am
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    Yes

    Answer to the title

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 7:11 am
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    What happens if we're a simulation within a simulation

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  • October 9, 2019 at 7:11 am
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    Atheists:God not real

    Also Atheists: but aliens that made us into a simulation maybe.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 7:20 am
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    I just have this weird feeling that every living thing around me are actually just robots and the environment around me is fake and scientists are studying me. I don’t know maybe I’m just weird.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 7:22 am
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    If my life is an illusion them I’m the glitch

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  • October 9, 2019 at 7:24 am
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    It doesn't matter. It makes no difference. Really

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  • October 9, 2019 at 7:25 am
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    But what is the point to make so huge simulation… I mean if we want to simulate something so big like stars and solar systems what is the point to include quantum particles in tha simulation, if you want microscopic things to simulate why to simulate a whole galaxy??? OK… I am entry in my own existential crisis like all of you who are reading the comments section…Ahhhh!

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 7:36 am
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    The God of the Bible is the creator of the universe. Hence, infinity exists in (our) theory

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  • October 9, 2019 at 7:42 am
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    Hmm…

    Random trail of thought, but,

    What if we’re living in a certain possibility of a superposition in a quantum computational simulation?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, I haven’t gotten out of high school yet.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 7:46 am
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    Amazing animations with perfectly matched sounds, tho you need to work on that cloth simulation 😀

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  • October 9, 2019 at 7:50 am
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    The universe can be infinite the same way Minecraft is "infinite"…

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  • October 9, 2019 at 8:04 am
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    Plot twist:This video is part of the simulation to keep you in check.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 8:06 am
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    If we're really in a simulation, then we are just really-really self-thinking self-aware AI. Too dangerous for the aliens who created us to contain. Its a matter of time they revealed to us that they are our Creators once we comprehend and let go the concept of religious Gods. For the time being we're being hooked to a cable, either getting software upgrades for the simulation. It improves/deteriotes based on what the Intergalactic Programming council decides on treating its (unaware human mind prisoners).
    They be patching up the game and bug fixes, such as (great_flood.exe), (asteroid.exe), (tectonic_divide.exe), (megafauna_extinction.exe) (spanish_flu.exe), (ebola.exe) (climate_change.exe) etc.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 8:08 am
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    So.. I binged watched all the "existential crisis" videos of Ted Ed..and even made a comment on a three year old video about questioning our own existence. So does that mean that I just peaked into the past and altered it a bit or I gave a future insight to all the past commentors or just scribbled in an old book from the library. Ok . Now my brain is spiraling heavily. Bye.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 8:19 am
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    >Is our universe a simulation?
    –To sustain a claim proof is needed.
    ->How can you prove that our universe is a simulation?
    —It's impossible to prove that this universe is a simulation because it's impossible to measure anything outside this universe. Any observation about this universe will just perfect our model of it and its workings and will not be proof that it is a simulation. To prove that this universe is a simulation you should compare it to a universe that is not a simulation, otherwise you can't say what's an inherent property and what's a limitation of a simulation. It's like asking you to tell which animal in a zoo is a crocodile without name tags and without knowing any other animal other than humans.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 8:24 am
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    sooo …they made a 4.24 minutes video for one simple answer: we don’t know! 😉😂

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  • October 9, 2019 at 8:24 am
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    We are all aliens

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  • October 9, 2019 at 8:26 am
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    if something isnt falsifiable, then it isnt science. if we cannot possibly disprove we're in a simulation, then it stops being science, and drifts into being faith. Same reason why creationism isnt science.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 8:27 am
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    I feel like this is not a proof but a hint of God why would we imagine its a computer but not God.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 8:27 am
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    My name is Jeff…😂

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 8:39 am
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    You copied kurzgesagt!

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 8:42 am
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    Islam have the answers to all these questions

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 8:43 am
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    Pause anywhere in this video and you’ve got yourself an aesthetic wallpaper.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 8:52 am
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    Our life is just 420k Minecraft hardcore mode

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  • October 9, 2019 at 8:58 am
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    Ted Ed take this video down. I’m sick of big you tubers bringing the cat out of the bag. I want to be the only one that knows

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  • October 9, 2019 at 9:17 am
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    This doesnt make any sense, coz if this is a simulation by an advance life forms outside this simulation, then that would have been the real world, but how would be that real in the first place, it governs what?, you cant creat something out of nowhere and you cant destroy anything entirely.

    What every it is beyond, is something we cannot fathom. Its whole another dimensions which governs by something, we can only see farther distance by complex math and equation but there are always a bounderies we will eventually meet, and thus the cycle repeats all over again, *what is beyond*.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 9:18 am
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    Aliens: he got he is part of a simulaton delete him

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  • October 9, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    People keep looking at a 3 dimensional simulation. One needs to begin looking at consciences and higher dimension.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 9:38 am
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    Sometimes im scared that im hallucinating and everything around me is old and rusty and everyone i know does not exist

    And it keeps me up at night

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  • October 9, 2019 at 9:46 am
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    maybe quantum coupling is just a reference variable or pointer in action

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  • October 9, 2019 at 9:47 am
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    I think therefore I am.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 9:54 am
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    The matrix says Hi

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 10:01 am
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    Flat earthers: "The earth is flat"
    Ted-Ed: hold my beer

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 10:10 am
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    Morpheus wants to know your location

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 10:13 am
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    No, we aren’t. Because nobody would ever simulate Trump. Haha

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  • October 9, 2019 at 10:22 am
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    We're thinking too small. Thinking that 3D being like an alien simulates us. But no. That doesn't make sense. If we're living in a simulation, than our the beings who simulate us might be from higher dimensions. From their point of view our infinity is completely insignificant to us. If they are of higher dimension than so are their tech. And to them and their tech our view of infinity is completely insignificant to them. Think of it like this: An animator can make as much animation as he can, on endless amount of paper that he has. He can animate an entire infinite universe and his animated characters may "think" that their universe is infinite but to animator it's all on sheet of paper. The "infinite" amount of data can also be processed through timeframes. Remember, spacetime is linked. The Universe is getting more space through expansion which is directly linked with time. Those higher dimensional beings can just multiple the certain amount of space by each timeframe they create. The Universe didn't just pop whole all of a sudden, it went through cosmological evolution. The infinite expansion is just a matter of updates to higher dimensional beings. But what about the data you ask? Well, they can just recycle it back into new data that powers forward everything. Or store it in different processor. Or both.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 10:28 am
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    That animation is so awesome😍

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  • October 9, 2019 at 10:32 am
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    Some humans are afraid of the evolutions of robots / AI.

    Are aliens afraid of our evolution to notice we are in a simulation?

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  • October 9, 2019 at 10:47 am
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    The title is the same i thought some years back

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  • October 9, 2019 at 11:06 am
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    Stop. You destroy imersion.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 11:10 am
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    Insane scientist spending billion to these nonsense instead of helping to improve our planet

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  • October 9, 2019 at 11:21 am
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    Thats a pretty disturbing question to ask for

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  • October 9, 2019 at 11:21 am
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    Yeah, Called God

    Reply

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