This article is part of my goal to vulgarise mathematics, physics and Science in general.
I don’t pretend to give the truth but I try to think outside the box using mathematics, physics and a little bit of science fiction.
With this perspective in mind, this little article explains basic principles of reasoning, as an introduction to an interested reader without a background in mathematics or physics. Some aspects of this post are a little bit fictionalised to make things more interesting ;)
It’s the 28th of June, 2013 — I’m driving back for the weekend from Brussels (Belgium) to a little town in France where my parents live.
As a big fan of ride sharing, I’m using Blablacar (also called covoiturage.fr back in time). I’m sharing my ride with a young guy named Matt (probably a denominative for Matthieu). We are chatting about politics, travel, life, etc… At some point, we start talking about AI and Quantum physics (That’s one of my problems). I tell him that mathematically speaking extraterrestrial life must exist and we live in a simulation! He shots at me that really weird face and say: “Well — I don’t think so, that’s too crazy.” I ask him (very seriously): “Which one of these statements are too crazy?”
As far as I remember, from that point I did talk until the end of the journey.
The earth is part of our Solar System which is inside the Milky Way Galaxy. “Our Milky Way Galaxy is one among the billions of galaxies in our Universe” (here)
There are billions of planets in our galaxy and it’s physically impossible to reach the end of both galaxy and universe as it is way too big and it keeps growing at the speed of light. One of my favorite theories is that - The universe is finite but expendable at the speed of light. The universe is finite at a specific moment in time but at T+1 the universe has already expended at the speed of light to something way much bigger.
Finite & Infinite? 🤔
The Universe contains billions and billions of other galaxies making our solar system really small compared to the others. “ If we shrink the sun down to smaller than a grain of sand, we can imagine our Solar System to be small enough to fit onto the palm of your hand. Pluto would orbit about an inch from the middle of your palm.” (here)
To recap, our galaxy is a giant dude which is growing very fast but super small compared to the rest of the Universe which is also growing at the speed of light.
Here we go, let’s say we take a very small probability to find another planet like earth in our galaxy — I mean a planet with water. Water is the basic requirement for life. Let’s say we take 1 chance out of one million to find another planet like Earth in our Galaxy — then that “ would still yield a total of about 300,000 such civilizations in the whole galaxy.” Remember that our Galaxy is super tiny compared to the Universe — so I let you imagine how many civilizations are there in the Universe… ? 😳
The Odds That We’re the Only Advanced Species in the our Galaxy Are One in 60 Billion (here)
To resume — Mathematically speaking there are billions of other planets like Earth in the Universe.
Saying that there is no extraterrestrial life it’s like saying that you will only find of piece of sand in the entire desert of Africa, right?
As you can see in the above picture, it’s mathematically and physically impossible. Of course — it’s just based on probability and in the world of science nothing can be 100% sure. But saying that there are millions of other civilizations out there is more realistic than saying that there is no extraterrestrial life.
As the probability of finding extraterrestrial life is really high — it brings us to the simulation theory. You might be wondering right now how come those two — extraterrestrial life and simulation are connected. 😅
We live in a simulation
I’m really sorry but as if the Extraterrestrial life statement was not enough, I’m now pushing you into the simulation theory …
Technology is increasing really fast and was entirely driven by the Moore’s law theory but this is about to change.
As we are now reaching the size of the atom — a lot of big companies are jumping into quantum physics in order to continue the expansion of technology. But even now withtout the next phase of technology we have the ability to put people into a virtual “reality” world.
Say what ? 😳
2013 was just the beginning of VR but nowadays — 2017 — Facebook, Google and other centralised giants are investing a lot of money into VR. I’m not sure if you have ever tried playing a game or even watching a video in VR but it’s a fascinating and a little bit destabilisante experience.
Here we go — imagine — you attach a baby on a table, you wrap his arms, legs…. I mean his entire body cannot move and you shut down all his sensors (ears, mouth, etc…) except the eyes. And then you put those VR goggles on the baby’s face and play the game through the goggle. Would the baby ever be aware that his entire body is attached on the table while he is playing the game? NO — he will not. He will not be conscious of his state in the real world — him — being attached on the table. Sounds like the The Truman Show movie but inside a real game !
As a baby when you were born — your brain which is a neural network had no access or understanding of the different inputs/outputs like your eyes, arms, etc…The brain is able to train its neural network super fast using its different inputs/outputs by testing and analysing everything. As a baby you cannot see before you reach a few weeks old, you cannot walk before a few years, you can’t talk and etc… So if a baby right after to be born is attached on a table and put into VR simulation world — the baby will never be aware that he is actually attached on a table. For him — the reality is the game and nothing else.
That’s it 😱
Same as the extraterrestrial life — Mathematically speaking, saying that we don’t live in a simulation is the same as saying that you will never find any other civilizations that are not more advanced than us. It’s like saying that we are the only one special species that can put people into a virtual world. We’ve seen before that we are — mathematically speaking — not alone. There are billions of other planets like earth and there are are at least millions of other civilisations and we are probably living in one of their simulations.
Happy ending ;)