Friday, March 27, 2009

Further Explanation...

The Simulation Argument, further explanation, personally:
OK, OK, I'm not saying that I actually think another, earlier civilization created a simulation of our universe, and that we're all just computer programs. But I think now that there IS something more going on around here, something more than just dumb matter.

Let me explain. ... Way back when, I used to like to read books about physics. Nature is mind-boggling. And one of the most interesting things I read was this: Nature apparently behaves exactly like a simulation. This idea had actually popped-up in physics some decades earlier, I think, and so it's not a new idea. Just a curious observation.
...And I know from philosophy-reading that for centuries individuals have fancifully conjectured that our cosmos is "an idea in God's head" or "an immaterial abstraction" running its course... or a dream God once had (or NIGHTMARE?). I don't actually remember the descriptions, but it was something like that.

...So all these strange ideas have been floating around in my head for some time. And then I came across The Simulation Argument on the WWW. Wow, I thought. A powerful, simple, logical argument for the existence of a greater intelligence. Wow. It blew me away. I looked at the stars in a new way. I looked at granules of sand in a new way. All was suddenly instilled with intelligence.
I mean, from the physics side, think about this: Everything is made of atoms. And what is an atom? An atom contains NOTHING, basically. Just a set of FORCES, which can be described, in a sense, as a set of INSTRUCTIONS. There really is no "stuff" in atoms, and thus there is no "stuff" in any physical entity, not in the stars, not in grains of sand, not in our bodies. Just forces/instructions. The job of physics and science is to "figure-out" these instructions.
But the obvious question is, "Where the heck did these dang instructions COME FROM??!!!" That particular question just about killed me, literally. For years I read and read, got more and more depressed, but kept getting up each morning and looking at the grains of sand, and I would just shake my head. And then, for me, something amazing happened: I kept living. I kept finding that I would indeed awaken each morning, over and over, days and days, and nights and nights... And the years passed. That's an amazing thing.
So I relaxed. I stopped thinking about all this gut-wrenching stuff, the questions of ORIGIN. And somewhere along the curve of my lifetime, I got a job as a truck driver (somehow) and drove cross-country, alone, alone with my thoughts, FOR TWELVE YEARS.
And now I find myself in the 21st Century, living as an artist (somehow: another miracle), getting up each morning, and shaking my head at the grains of sand in my sandals, and I'm amazed, because the simulation argument has helped me APPRECIATE the cosmos again, and appreciate the questions, and, really, wonder.

So did an earlier civilization create us? Maybe. I don't know. Did a "Godhead" fashion this reality from a type of machine? Maybe. I don't know. But what I FEEL is that there is definitely something going on here. Here, within this set of instructions we call our lives, our jobs, friends, pets, thoughts.
Here, looking at my keyboard, I am shocked to feel its warmth, a living thing, this keyboard, living with intelligence, its smooth surface communicating with my skin: "Feel this? Feel this? Good. I feel you too."


Esly Carrero said...

You know what I think? haha... I'm gonna tell you anyways. Actually, it's what I KNOW, not what I think. I'm just going to explain.. that I think everyone and I mean everyone... (well everyone who is sane) goes through this & tries to comprehend why/how there are a proper set of laws in science.

You cannot have order without intelligence creating order.

Could you believe that the book you are holding came into being without an author? There was nothing. No paper, no ink. No cardboard. No editor. No author. There was nothing, and then a Big Bang changed everything. Time (the magic ingredient) produced a book with a cover, binding, words, page numbers, and chapters, all in perfect order. To me, such thoughts are truly insane. You cannot have order without intelligence creating order. And there cannot be an ordered creation without an intelligent Creator.

If you notice that machine that you posted earlier... the robot was an incredible creation because it was CLOSE to being so human-like. It's amazing cause it can nearly move like a human. There are obvious differences from humans though. It's not alive. It cannot think on it's own w/out a designed chip, nor see, hear, touch, taste or smell. Despite that, it's an extraordinary piece of human technology.

It was obviously thought out very carefully. It took intelligence. Yet it can only do what we are limited to make it do. Some other things it cannot do, is feel or cry or love or desire (haha.. I'm starting to sound like the earlier part of the Terminator movie or Short-Circuit). But you know what I mean. Then you have us. We can feel, love, cry, appreciate, learn, grow, etc.

The difference between the two: is that humans have a lot more detail to them. We can make expressions, smell, think, ponder and all of these things react perfectly in an order.. meaning we react in a perfect order depending the action prescribed.

Here are some orders that I've thought about.
Why is it that we do not fart or pee when we blink our eyes every time?
Why don't we fall away from the force of gravity & start floating out of nowhere?
Why do ALL people have an order of demanding/needing sleep?
Why do we all die? Why don't some people live forever & some live a short life?
Why does our blood stream stay inside of the vessels in our body and not hang out in some places w/out us being physically hurt? How does skin always seem to form around our insides & why or how does it know to grow back in the process of healing?

How on earth do cows eat grass & convert it to produce milk? <-- Can man make a machine as incredible as that? A person who could do that would be a gazillionaire!

How does the piece of toast we eat that comes from bread.. become wheat that came from soil?

How are rain drops miraculously held by it's own skin?
Why doesn't the ocean spill into space & defy the law of gravity though the other side of the earth is upside down?

Cause there is an order of things that co-exists.

WOW. That's is Incredible! Those are all non-man-made machines that work so eloquently & perfectly in order so that we can eat, drink & live. How the heck does all this fall into order like that.. when nothing else we create or try to create... doesn't even come close. I've never seen anyone do what a cow can do... or create water from the cosmos.

Man can only mimic what we see. We created planes cause we mimicked birds. We created boats cause we mimicked the ark described in the bible, we created circles, shapes because of what we have found in nature... and so on & so on.

We've never been able to recreate our own forms of life without using our own forms of life that have already been given to us. We're all a big bunch of copy-cats! Okay.. there... those are my thoughts concerning your post. I don't see things much as a set of instructions.. but of a set of a massive huge perfectly designed order of creation that we have learned a lot from. Well.... not all people have learned a lot from it. lol. (People have the a whole lot of the same problems they did years & years ago.)

Is this the longest blog reply you've ever gotten?
Good. That means your making an improvement on your posts! :D yaay.
What a great post of thoughts Tim!

Esly Carrero said...

oh.. and.. I think it's awesome that your examining & appreciating the world around you. It's a big world. It's incredible and there is soooo much going on here! sooooooooooooo, sooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I totally agree with you!!!!

Tim Gardner said...

Bottom-up programming: Take a set of rules, add enough time, and voila!, you have an Esly.

Dennis said...

Tim, there's a lot of really interesting ideas that are floating around in that head of yours. While I haven't put it in this many words or happened upon this specific conclusion, I like where you're going. I think the idea of "intelligent design" is not far off. Admittedly, I'm not a reader. Surely, no longer pursuing these questions makes my theories somewhat primitive or flawed, but let me add to Esly's beautifully written statement.

I look around and I see intelligent design. A far cry from a perfect creator or moral center, but certainly intelligent. You can also see flaws... or perhaps design experiments which create human mutations. Siamese twins, midgets, elephantiasis, piebaldism, The tree man, Pauly Shore.

Anyway, I don't make it a point to discuss this topic often, but I think you have some valid ideas and insight. I see much that I've thought in the past in these posts.

Dennis said...

btw, after further research, it was vitiligo that I was referring to, not whatever that crazy word I put in there was. The website I got it from the first time wasn't right.