QR5.7.1 The Simulation Hypothesis

A simulation represents something else, so a model of the Empire State building simulates it. An information simulation is a virtual reality that represents events in time, like a simulation of the weather. Such simulations can answer a question, like what will the weather be like tomorrow? They can also help to learn skills, as pilots use flight simulators to learn about a new plane before actually flying it. A third use is to give observer experiences, as computer games like SimCity let people experience the challenge of building a city. In every case, the benefit of the simulation lies not in itself but for its creator.

The simulation hypothesis is that our physical reality is a representation so realistic that its participants are unaware that they are living in a simulation. In the film The Matrix, Morpheus says:

What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

In this film, machines in future earth simulate New York in 1999 to humans in vats, by feeding appropriate electrical impulses to their brains. They don’t know that the virtual world they live in is fake or that real-world machines are using them as batteries. The key assumption of this science fiction story is that computers in the real physical world can simulate a false virtual reality.

Since it might take a physical computer bigger than our universe to simulate even a part of it, the simulation hypothesis expects processing costs to be critical. It follows that there is no need to actually simulate the details of an uninhabited far-off galaxy if it is only ever seen as a dot of light. It takes less processing to fake it and this logic applies to everything we can’t directly verify, like the past and the quantum world. The simulation hypothesis implies a virtual world with a:

    • Fake history. Why simulate the 14 billion years before we arrived to see it?
    • Fake cosmos. Why simulate galaxies and stars that we can never travel to?
    • Fake quantum theory. Why simulate quantum events that we can’t observe?

The godlike designers of the simulation only have to make it appear real, as movies do, so there should be anomalies that prove it is just a simulation. Assuming the reality we see is a fake, simulation supporters base their case on finding flaws in the simulation.

For example, quantum theory uses physically impossible quantum events predict to physical effects so simulation theory expects to find flaws in its predictions (Campbell, Owhadi, Sauvageau, & Watkinson, 2017), but as critics have been trying to disprove quantum theory for over a hundred years, this is unlikely to succeed. Even if it did, finding a quantum theory fault would just result in it being revised, because theories don’t succeed in science by falsifying others. Simulation theory has to predict positive results that quantum theory doesn’t, which it doesn’t do.

The key simulation hypothesis premise is that what generates physical events is also physical but quantum Hall research shows that classical processing complexity increases exponentially with the number of particles. It turns out that to simulate just a few hundred electrons requires more physical atoms than the universe has, let alone simulating New York city. If a universe that behaves as quantum theory says can’t be physically computed, we aren’t living in a computer simulation.

If the simulation hypothesis that our reality is a computer-generated simulation is impossible, that machines, aliens, or our future-selves are simulating our reality from another physical world isn’t possible either. The “other” of virtualism can’t have a physical base, either as programs that need physical hardware, information that needs the same or dreams that need a physical brain, but it could be quantum based.

Quantum processing increases exponentially with the number of processors, so it can scale to handle a physical reality whose demands also scale with size. If the physical world is a simulation, it must simulate something but in quantum realism, there is no physical world and there never was. It is a virtual reality never seen before not a simulation of what already exists. What creates a virtual reality doesn’t need it to exist, so quantum reality doesn’t need a physical base to do what it does.

In quantum realism, processing cost isn’t an issue because quantum reality is always active, so the physical world isn’t fake as simulation theory says. The virtual reality generated by quantum reality has no holes, so every second of the past fourteen billion years happened, every far-away galaxy we see in our telescopes exists and everything quantum theory describes is literally true.

Our universe is a virtual reality on a scale we can barely imagine, for a reason we have almost no awareness of, any more than the billions of animals that lived and died in biological history had any idea that they were part of an evolution. If the universe was born to evolve, everything it has produced since its birth, from matter to life, has been by some form of evolution. Evolution is what our universe is all about, but what is it?


QR5.7 Why Does The Universe Exist?

Since time immemorial, people have wondered why does the universe exist? The answer varies depending on what you think the universe is. If you think the universe is objectively real, then either it was made so for a purpose, or it is just here because it is. But if it has a purpose, why is it mainly empty space? Or if it just is, how did it come into existence from nothing as the big bang implies?

In contrast, virtualism suggests that the physical universe doesn’t exist by itself at all but is a virtual reality run by some “other” outside itself.  The most well-known version of this view today is the simulation hypothesis popularized by the Matrix movie.

QR5.7.1. The Simulation Hypothesis

QR5.7.2. What Is Evolution?

QR5.7.3. Why Do Virtual Realities Exist?


QR5.6.6 How Will the Universe End?

In physics, whether the universe will expand forever or contract back into a big crunch depends on how space is curved overall. Relativity lets space curve but doesn’t define how it curves. In mathematics, a positively curved space will eventually stop expanding and contract in a big crunch but a negatively curve space will expand faster and faster forever, as there isn’t enough mass to stop it. A positive or flat curve was expected until cosmology found that the expansion of space is accelerating not slowing down (Cowen, 2013), so space is negatively curved.

Quantum realism expects our space as the inner surface of an expanding hyper-bubble to have the slight negative curve that cosmology found, but doesn’t conclude that it will expand forever. If our universe is an expanding bubble in a quantum bulk, there are probably others so they will eventually meet. What happens when one “pocket universe” as Guth calls them meets another?

The answer depends on whether they are matter or anti-matter. If our universe meets another matter universe, they will just merge into a bigger bubble. If this has already happened, our universe will be bigger than it could be by its own expansion, but there is also the Armageddon option, that it meets an anti-matter universe.

Gravity is all powerful in our universe because it only adds so nothing opposes it. One can block an electric field with an opposite field but nothing opposes gravity. It reigns supreme because our universe took the matter path but matter has an anti-matter opposite that could not only shield gravity but would also fall up on earth. If our matter universe meets an anti-matter universe, both will annihilate back into the quantum bulk, to return from whence they came.

If Armageddon has already begun, we won’t know right away because it will happen at light speed. Cosmology estimates that our galaxy is over 100,000 light years across and the observable universe is 90 billion light years across so it could take a while to shut-down. Will our telescopes see it coming? There would be no signs, as we see galaxies as they were millions of years ago. When our physical universe is packed away, it will be at the speed of light with no possible warning.


QR5.6.5 Evolution Creates Order

The quantum law of all action causing the second law of thermodynamics also lets evolution select from unlikely combinations because everything that can occur eventually does, but what drives evolution isn’t probability but stability. It is unlikely that two extreme light rays will meet exactly head-on but when it did, the matter result was stable. A very unlikely event created it so matter exists because it was stable not probable. The quantum law that destroys order also finds unlikely combinations that survive. A lead atom is 82 protons, 125 neutrons and 82 electrons that shouldn’t naturally combine, but they did, and the reason is evolution. Lead, with a half-life of millions of years, is an order that exists not because it is probable but because it is stable.

The quantum law of all action underlies both evolution and devolution, so one can’t have one without the other. They work differently, as devolution creates the probable and evolution creates the possible, but both have the same quantum cause. The second law generally decreases order but evolution locally increases it, as when an electron and a proton form a hydrogen atom, they move together instead of both being free, so system order has increased. While the fridge needs a constant energy input to stay colder than its surroundings, the order of an atom doesn’t need a constant energy supply. When matter entities combine into a new stable entity, order increases permanently.

Hydrogen evolving into higher elements is an anti-entropy process that shouldn’t be common because the second law requires energy to create order, but it is. It occurs constantly in all the stars we see and led to the evolution of higher elements. Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms then combined into stable water molecules leading eventually to the self-replicating proteins that allowed primitive cells to evolve. The evolution of matter opposes the second law of thermodynamics by constantly increasing order in a way that doesn’t require any further energy.

Evolution didn’t stop there, as over time, primitive archaea and bacteria cells combined into the modern cells (Lane, 2015) that led to plants, animals and us. The evolution of life was a new combination that did need an energy input to survive but because it reproduces, it is also a permanent increase in order. In general, evolution acts to increase local order in a permanent way at the same time that the second law of thermodynamics is decreasing order generally. These two processes are not in opposition because they both derive from the quantum law of all action.

The social version of the second law is Murphy’s law, that if anything can go wrong, it will, but its opposite is Adam’s law, that from bad, good can come. Physics has no counter to the second law so it predicts inevitable disorder but evolution is the universal anti-entropy principle it ignores.

If evolution was limited to biology, the second law might supremely decide the universe but if matter evolved as life did, evolution is as universal as the second law. The second law predicts a universe devolving into disorder but evolution predicts it is also evolving order. An unstoppable quantum reality is constantly shaking the universe to possibly evolve even as it probably decays.

Evolution was built into our universe from its inception. The grand evolution of matter and life going on all around us defines the universe as much as physics based on heat flows. The dismal fact that the universe is dying doesn’t deny that it is also evolving, and we are the proof. Evolution explains what the second law cannot, that we are here because ordered life evolved.


QR5.6.4 Order Is Possible

The opposite of entropy is order that maintains an unlikely state like an unbroken egg and the entire earth is a complex web of order that somehow maintains itself despite changes like weather and errant asteroids. At first, physics argued that the earth is a local anomaly, a random accident that bucks the universal trend, because:

“… . eventually all these over densities will be ironed out and the Universe will be left featureless and lifeless forever, it seems” (Barrow, 2007) (p191).

But the order we see isn’t just the earth. The visible cosmos is ordered, as planets orbit stars that orbit galaxies that orbit super-clusters, and each order depends on the one above. Life on earth is only possible because the sun keeps its planets in order and the solar system is only possible because the galaxy keeps its stars in order. The earth isn’t a local anomaly if it derives from a cosmic order. Another suggestion is that the big bang must have been very ordered:

“The ultimate source of order, of low entropy, must be the big bang itself. … The egg splatters rather than unsplatters because it is … the drive toward higher entropy … initiated by the extraordinarily low entropy state with which the universe began.”(Greene, 2004) p173-174

In this view, the universe began very ordered and is only half-way through its devolution so life is still possible. In this reverse logic, the universe had to begin very ordered because the second law is true, but that the initial chaos was a very ordered state makes no sense at all.

The fact is that we see order all around us, such as:

1. Galaxies. Nearly all stars in galaxies orbit the same way, as any star orbiting another way eventually hits other stars and either leaves the galaxy or is turned around. The common orbit direction of galaxies is an observed order that arises because it is stable.

2. Solar systems. The planets in a solar system eventually adopt orbits that don’t interact. Any exceptions again result in catastrophic events until the system again adopts an observed order that is stable.

3. Atoms. Hydrogen atoms evolved because electrons and protons together are more stable than either alone, again an observed order.

4. Elements. The periodic table elements exist because unlikely combinations of electrons, protons and neutrons survived. A lead atom is again an observed order that is stable.

5. Molecules. Atoms combine into ordered molecules if they again are stable.

It follows that order evolves if it is stable and life is another example. Life isn’t just any old order but a self-replicating one that might even spread between planets. Panspermia is the theory that bacteria can hitch a ride on an asteroid, meteor or comet to travel between planets. It is possible because bacteria in boxes placed outside the International Space Station for a year came back to life when they returned to earth. Under harsh conditions, some bacteria form spores that are dead metabolically but revive under the right conditions, even after millions of years. If life can evolve on one planet and spread to another, bacteria from Mars may have colonized Earth and millions of planets in our galaxy may have some form of life thanks to bacterial colonists. A galaxy teeming with life isn’t what the second law predicts after 14 billion years of decay!

It is now suggested that order is all around us, in nature and the cosmos, because evolution can create order.


QR5.6.3 Disorder is Probable

Eggs don’t “unbreak”

The laws of physics are reversible, so reversing a video of earth orbiting the sun breaks no law of physics and looks the same to us. Yet reversing a video of an egg breaking evokes laughter, even though every event in the breaking is as reversible as the earth’s orbit. It is common sense that things break apart easier than they come together, so an egg can break in a second but it can’t be put back together in a second. The second law of thermodynamics explains why eggs break easier than they “unbreak”.

If some colored gas is injected into the corner of a sealed box, by the second law it disperses throughout the box because gas molecules constantly adopt different combinations and those that disperse the colored gas are more numerous than those with the gas in a corner. Over time, the most likely result is that the gas is evenly spread. The colored gas molecules could all move back to the corner but it is extremely unlikely that they will.

If a lottery machine has balls numbered 1-99, the chance they emerge in the order 1, 2, 3 …99 is astronomically low. A more likely result is a mixed order and the same applies to gas molecules. The second law is based on the laws of probability so it’s a statistical law not a causal law. It isn’t that objects must become disordered but that they probably will. In a constantly changing world, disorder prevails because order is unlikely.

Disorder tends to increase because our world constantly changes. As Heraclitus said, life is a flux, so it isn’t possible to step twice into the same stream. Life isn’t the same from one moment to the next because quantum reality constantly generates it anew. The formal principle behind the Heraclitean flux is the quantum law of all action, that at the quantum level anything that can happen does. Disorder increases because quantum reality always tries new things, so the quantum law of all action underlies the second law of thermodynamics.


QR5.6.2 The Universal Conservation

If energy isn’t created or destroyed, a closed system should have a constant energy so if the universe is closed, its energy should be constant. But it isn’t that simple as in an expanding universe every photon now has a longer wavelength than it did a moment ago and so has less energy than it did before. The cosmic background radiation that was once white hot is now freezing cold because expanding space took its energy and didn’t give it back, so the total energy is reducing. A universe expanding into something isn’t closed so energy isn’t conserved because expanding takes energy. On the other hand, the energy of the universe is mostly dark energy, which must increase to keep the cosmological constant the same, so the energy of the universe is increasing. Either way, it is very unlikely that the total energy of our universe is constant.

Energy is locally conserved, as solar panels, windmills and dams convert radiant, wind and gravitational energy into electricity, but it isn’t universally conserved. Just as the bank notes in a country might be locally constant but global inflation can reduce their value, so space expanding can alter the value of energy on a universal scale.

If energy isn’t always conserved, what is? In quantum realism, our virtual universe arose when the original quantum reality split into the servers and clients that generate it, in what physics calls inflation. If this was a once only event, the number of photons in existence has remained constant at a finite number. Expanding space changed energy but not the total number of photons.

If every physical event is a reboot of photons in various forms, as light or matter, photons are always conserved. Current physics conserves matter, charge, energy, momentum, isospin, quark flavor and color but each law is partial, as matter isn’t conserved in nuclear reactions and quark flavor isn’t conserved in weak interactions. The underlying conservation is that of photons.

If all energy, radiant, kinetic, potential and nuclear, is based on photons then the conservation of energy reflects the conservation of photons. For example, when a solar sail turns radiant energy into kinetic energy, photons enter the sail and are conserved. Photons also explain potential energy as when a rocket crashes on Jupiter with more energy than the potential energy it took to leave earth, it acquires photons from Jupiter’s gravity. Photons are the means that potential energy lacks. The universal conservation is of photons because everything is light upon light, nothing but light.


QR5.6.1 Is Energy Always Conserved?

Thermodynamics began as the study of energy in the form of heat. It was observed that in a closed system, heat always flows from hot to cold but the total heat is constant. The second law of thermodynamics is the generalization that the universe is closed system with a constant energy that always disperses.

However, physics also has potential energy based on position in a gravitational field. Raising an object stores potential energy that is returned later when it falls. This balances the ledger, so energy isn’t lost or made, but what stores and releases potential energy?

For example, if a rocket is shot into earth orbit, where the liftoff energy goes isn’t seen. If it leaves the earth and travels in space forever, presumably its potential energy is stored forever. If it crashes on a bigger planet like Jupiter to release more energy than leaving earth took, where does the extra energy come from? Energy is conserved if objects stay in the same place but they never do, so is potential energy just a way to cover up any discrepancies?

Those who explain physics say that energy is conserved because if the Jupiter rocket was re-assembled and returned to earth, the energy would be restored. But how can future options explain the present? Applying that logic to entropy, does an egg broken on the floor have potential entropy because it can be reassembled again? One would ask, where is this potential entropy stored? So is potential energy stored in space, matter or gravity itself? Current physics can’t say.

Most energy transfer has a means, so when a car loses kinetic energy to friction its tires become hot and radiate heat energy, so we can observe kinetic energy turning into heat energy. In contrast, a ball thrown up loses kinetic energy to where? With no means of exchange, potential energy is just a way to say that energy is conserved when it isn’t. What then is always conserved?


QR5.6 Creating Order

According to physics, the universe constantly increases disorder not order. The second law of thermodynamics is that every closed physical system tends to increase entropy, the technical term for disorder. If the physical world is all there is, our universe is a closed system that must always increase in disorder because energy is conserved. It follows that its end state will be one of maximal disorder, of maybe one atom per cubic light year in a big freeze that will last forever!

The problem is that this theory doesn’t predict the universe we see today:

Scientists have often been baffled by the existence of spontaneous order in the universe. The laws of thermodynamics seem to dictate the opposite, that nature should inexorably degenerate toward a state of greater disorder, greater entropy. Yet all around us we see magnificent structures—galaxies, cells, ecosystems, human beings—that have all somehow managed to assemble themselves.” (Strogatz, 2003)

If the universe is always increasing disorder, how did fourteen billion years of degeneration give the order we see around us today? That is like waking up in a warm bed with an electric bed lamp and being told that civilization has been in constant decline since we lived in caves.

The usual answer is that the order around us is local, as the second law lets a local order exist if it pays an energy price. A fridge can keep a beer cold on a hot day by electrical energy but if the power shuts off, the beer warms up as the fridge unfreezes. A local order can only be sustained by an energy input because heat energy spreads and energy is always conserved, but is this true?

QR5.6.1. Is Energy Conserved?

QR5.6.2. The Universal Conservation

QR5.6.3. Disorder is Probable

QR5.6.4. Order is Possible

QR5.6.5. Evolution Creates Order

QR5.6.6. How Will The Universe End?


QR5.5.4 There is Only One Field

Figure 5.13. Quantum processing spreads to make matter move

Quantum processing spreading on the quantum network gives one quantum field that causes electromagnetic strong, weak, and gravity effects. In Figure 5.13 matter mass spreads as processing done, charge as processing not done and magnetism as processing spin, to cause:

1. Gravity. A processing gradient that weakly biases the quantum field load around all matter.

2. Electricity. A remainder gradient that interacts with other charges to bias the quantum field rate around them.

3. Magnetism. A spin gradient that interacts with other charges to bias the quantum field rate around them.

In each case, matter moves when a quantum field bias makes its quantum tremble occur more often one way, to eventually give movement in our time. One must push inert matter but quantum matter constantly moves based on its quantum distribution, so all that is needed to move it is a bias in the quantum field around it. Quantum processing spreading causes matter to move at a distance.

It follows that the fields of physics move matter by biasing its natural tremble not by invoking virtual particles from nowhere to push it. A gravitational field spreads a processing gradient that biases the quantum field load around matter. An electrical field spreads a remainder gradient that biases the quantum field rate around charges. A magnetic field spreads a spin gradient that biases the quantum field rate around magnets. These fields act at a distance because quantum processing spreads on the quantum network and matter moves when it trembles more often one way.

Quantum realism links electromagnetism to gravity which no other theory does. We could call gravity, charge and magnetism the gravito-electro-magnetic field, but the quantum field is simpler.