Digital Physics


The earliest proponent of digital physics is said to be Konrad Zuse, one of the greatest computer scientists of the first half of the 20th century.

Its most vocal proponent today is without a doubt the British theoretical physicist called Stephen Wolfram. Another honorable mention is perhaps the Dutch Nobel-prize-winning physicist called Gerard 't Hooft.


About Digital Physics

Digital physics is a metaphysical statement that the fundemental laws of nature are such that they are able to be simulated by a computer. The science is still far from discovering the fundemental laws of nature, so such statements still belong to metaphysics (show/hide details).
Digital physics is not widely accepted, and the main reason for that is probably that it's not being communicated in a good way. Digital physics is often described, even by its proponents, as the theory that the world could be a computer simulation. That's quite a bit misleading. Digital physics doesn't suppose it's likely that our universe is simulated by some giant computer in some alien civilization, it simply supposes that the fundamental laws of nature are such that they could, in principle, be simulated by an enough-powerful computer. A perhaps better summary would be that the universe itself is a giant computer (not a "computer simulation").
So, here are some of its implications:
1. The material world doesn't exist. Every being in the world is made only of information that's manageable by a computer, that is, ideas.
2. There are no miracles. Every event that happens in the world has to be explicable using those fundamental and computable natural laws.
3. God doesn't, and can't, exist. The same goes for the afterlife.
4. Free will is entirely explicable using the computational complexity. Every system with enough computational complexity can be said to have free will.
5. Space and time themselves are made of pixels, small pieces of information. Each pixel is connected to a relatively small number of other pixels by an adjacency list. A change (movement) in one of these pixels can be caused only by the state of the pixels it's connected to. If you know the state of the pixels it's connected to, you can calculate its state.
I realize that most of the implications I've listed seem absurd to most of the people today. But it's actually very easy to argue for them. Space and time being made of pixels appears to efficiently solve the Zeno's paradox of the Achiles and Tortoise.

Zeno's paradox
It goes like this: Consider a race of fast Achilles and a slow turtle. At the beginning of the race, the turtle is placed ahead of Achilles by 100m. Both of them start to run. Achilles reaches the place where the turtle used to be at the beginning of the race, however, the turtle has already moved a little. Achilles then runs to the place when the turtle was when he was 100m ahead of his start, however, the turtle has moved a bit more. And by the time Achilles reaches the place where the turtle is, the turtle will have moved even farther away. Therefore, Achilles can never overtake the turtle, only the distance between them decreases, but it never reaches zero. Now, obviously, Achilles will eventually overtake the Turtle. It seems like the only sensible solution is that we assume that space and time are made of pixels, that the space is made of small cubes and that no particle can occupy only a part of such a cube, and that time is also not continuous. Then, the distance between Achilles and the turtle can't be between zero and the length of a pixel, but it goes immediately to zero when it comes the time when it should be smaller than a pixel, as it happens in computer games.
For most of the people today, the idea that the material world doesn't exist seems absurd. But, to paraphrase George Berkeley, we can only perceive ideas. When we say we see the Moon, we don't mean we perceive the Moon itself, we perceive only its appearance. And appearance is an idea. And the ideas can't be caused by material things, they share no properties of material things. Ideas can only be caused by other ideas. Therefore, the Moon can't be made only of material things, it has to be made of ideas. So, even if matter does exist, we have no way of perceiving it. It can't have an effect on anything we perceive, and it's therefore not a part of this world in any meaningful way.
Many people would say there is enough evidence of miracles supposedly happened in history, like the resurrection of the Christ. I think that they say that because they haven't tried to imagine the situation the New Testament describes. Imagine that someone you love is murdered. While you grieve, there comes some stranger and claims he is that person who rose from the dead. Would you believe him? Of course not! Then why do people think the apostles were right to do so? We appear to be bombarded with the examples of miracles happening everywhere. However, we almost never have enough knowledge to evaluate those examples. And when we do, we end up with a conclusion that maybe it wasn't a miracle after all. People in ancient times used to believe that everything was a miracle: earthquakes meant spirits were displeased and a flash from sky meant God was angry. Today, we laugh at those superstitions. Yet, many people use that same type of reasoning today.
The simple truth is, if there was a good all-powerful God, there would be no evil in the world. But there obviously is. And, no, free will is not the only cause of it. How could free will be responsible for the earthquakes and the children being born ill?
Many people find the idea that there is no afterlife frightening. Well, I find the idea of there being one way more frightening. Think of it this way: you were dead for eternity before you were born. It's not that you suffered because of that, you just simply weren't there. And I find it comforting to think that everyone who claims there is something to be afraid of after you die is just sucking that out of his little finger.
Atheism has a bad name, because some of the well-known atheists, like Karl Marx, just replaced God with another dogma, like communism. Socialism and communism don't logically follow from atheism in any way.
I hope I've communicated the ideas of digital physics in an understandable and thought-provoking way. I understand that, if you this is the first time you were exposed to the ideas of digital physics, you probably aren't convinced. In fact, you likely consider me crazy. It's OK, I just hope I've made you think so that you might change your mind.

UPDATE on 03/06/2018: There are many examples of how physical phenomena, which are almost impossible to calculate by hand, can be simulated by a computer program of just a few lines of code. One of them I've made is the analog clock linked to the left (the pendular movement is extremely hard to calculate, yet it can be easily simulated by a computer). The other one might be the electric field simulator I've made today. So, why couldn't the whole universe be just like that?

UPDATE on 29/07/2019: It's a common misconception that people educated in history and social sciences tend to believe in creationism, or at least strongly believe in God. That's just not true. I've opened a thread about religion on a Latin language forum, and what's obvious is that people there don't like talking about religion. In case that website goes down, here is the short essay I've written, feel free to copy from me: Quid homines in hac agora censent, num Deus realis sit? Ego censeo Deum non realem esse. Si Deus realis sit, quomodo possibile est ut tot differentes religiones in terra sint? Cur Deus permittat his religionibus exsistere, et ut tot homines audiant solummodo fabulas de Deis, quae non sunt veritas? Cur omnipotens et benevolens Deus permittat tot innocentibus hominibus in Tartarum ire falsae religionis causa?
Et Biblia dicit multas res, quas nunc scimus non veras esse. Jesus dixit eclipses lunae et solis signum Dei fuisse ("Sol convertetur in tenebras, et luna in sanguinem, antequam veniat dies Domini magnus et manifestus."). Nunc scimus, et multi philosophi eo tempore etiam sciebant, id non ita esse. Jesus praedicavit pauperes pauperiores futuros esse, et quod dives divitiores futuri sint ("Omni enim habenti dabitur, et abundabit, ei autem qui non habet, et quod videtur habere, auferetur ab eo."). Et hodie paene nemo est ita pauper, quomodo paene omnes homines eo tempore erant. Eo tempore paene omnes homines nudi erant, quia non poterant togas emere. Et Jesus etiam dixit bellum solutionem fuisse ("Nolite arbitrari quia pacem venerim mittere in terram, non veni pacem mittere, sed gladium."). Si Jesus in vicesimo saeculo esset, is cum socialistibus concordet. Jesu non fuit sapientia divina.
Et de theologia, ego diligo quod Richard Dawkins scripsit: "Theologia numquam dixit aliquid, quod neque perspicuum fuisset (facile visu), neque falsum fuisset. Quando theologia dixit aliquid, quod alicui utile (quod aliquem adiuvat) est? Vera scientia curas morborum sciscit, theologia loquitur peccata morbos facere.".

UPDATE on 02/09/2019: I received a response on the thread on the Latin forum, here is the response, and here is what I responded back: Quid homines in hac agora censent, num Deus realis sit? Ego censeo Deum non realem esse. Si Deus realis sit... Salve, amice!
Puto primum quaestionem esse, quid significat "esse"? Quaero quoque, quid significat "real"? Nonne facile est dicere deum non esse, si haec verba significant opiniones quae hodie mundum dominant?
Qualis res (realis) est?
Quid facimus cuando dicamus de rebus realibus et de rebus qui non reales sint? Quid agimus?
Vale
Adamus, qui nondum saepe latine loquor, quare errat.
Quid est tibi? Nonne cogitas hoc, quod scripsisti, posse etiam de draconibus et unicornibus dici, non solummodo de Deo?
Difficile dictu est quid realitas sit. Sed si aliquid absurdum sit, possumus scire id non realis esse. Omnipotens et benevolens Deus, qui terraemotos permittat, absurdus est. Benevolens (non malus) Deus, qui faciat homines in Tartarum ire falsae religionis causa, absurdus est. Et omnipotentia (verbum de aliquo qui omnia possit) ipsa absurda est. Potestne omnipotens Deus petram ita gravis (non levis) facere, ut eam is ipse non movere possit?

UPDATE on 15/10/2019: I've just published a YouTube video explaining more reasons to reject the concept of God. You can see it here. In case your browser has trouble playing that, you can download a low-quality MP4 video here. If that also fails, you can download a MP3 audio here.

UPDATE on 24/09/2020: I've published a YouTube video with English comments to my earlier video (which was in Latin). You can see it here. In case you can't open it, try downloading the minified MP4 video and opening it in VLC or something similar. If you have trouble understanding English spoken with a Croatian accent, you can download the transcript.