# Thoughts please? A theory of everything is necessarily a theory of nothing

## Recommended Posts

If one manages to fully comprehend how nature behaves, then consequently one can imagine a simulated universe, and therefore knows a simulated universe is not impossible. When a simulated universe is not impossible, one cannot know whether one exists in a simulated universe. In a simulated universe, any physical laws are possible by those who created that universe. Therefore, because one does not know if they are in a simulated universe, upon discovering or describing all physical laws of that universe in which they exist, one truly knows no physical laws of the real universe. Thus, I propose the following theory of everything that describes the physical laws of the real universe:

0 = 0

One can consider this equivalent to stating that Solipsism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism) is the only way to truly understand the universe.

Edited by Jack Egerton

• Replies 51
• Created

#### Popular Days

5 minutes ago, Jack Egerton said:

If one manages to fully comprehend how nature behaves, then consequently one knows a simulated universe is not impossible.

Can you explain that "consequently" as I don't see the connection.

5 minutes ago, Jack Egerton said:

Thus, I propose the following theory of everything:

0 = 0

That is not a theory of anything. It doesn't allow you to predict or calculate anything. It is just a pointless statement of a mathematical truth. You could equally usefully say that 5 = 5, or 4 <> 3.

##### Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Strange said:

That is not a theory of anything.

I am glad you comprehended what I said, unless you missed that 'not a theory of anything' is the same as 'a theory of nothing', that you may well see in the title of this thread

##### Share on other sites

Jack, what initially spiked your attention about the possiblity of a simulated universe in the first place?

I mean, you obviously pondered the idea for a minute in order to have come to the conclusion you have.

##### Share on other sites

Loads of things in culture etc. You could say that The Matrix, preceded by Ghost In Shell, preceded by Solipsism, preceded by belief in a Creator, preceded by the ability to think inspired me.

I am being facetious by missing out a few links in that infinite chain.

Edited by Jack Egerton
##### Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Jack Egerton said:

If one manages to fully comprehend how nature behaves, then consequently one can imagine a simulated universe, and therefore knows a simulated universe is not impossible.

I disagree. We don't fully comprehend how nature behaves, and it's easy to imagine that a simulated universe is indeed impossible. The amount of information that would need to be stored would take more space than is available with what we have in the universe, since the data of the state of everything in the universe would have to be stored.

If you can show otherwise, please do so. The bald assertion is not sufficient.

##### Share on other sites

swansont: I did not mention a situation in which one does not understand the whole universe in which they exist and I shall not, for it is not relevant to the scenario I proposed: a universe in which someone understood fully the laws describing nature in the universe in which they exist. Practical limitations such as data storage are limitations not preventions and so are also not relevant to imaging whether something is 'not impossible' as I stated.

When I say limitation I mean they reduce the probability of something being possible and when I say prevention I mean that possibility is zero percent. A limitation can never become a prevention via that definition.

##### Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Jack Egerton said:

Loads of things in culture etc. You could say that The Matrix, preceded by Ghost In Shell, preceded by Solipsism, preceded by belief in a Creator, preceded by the ability to think inspired me.

I am being facetious by missing out a few links in that infinite chain.

Let me guess, elon musk? Maybe neil degrasse tyson? I know you think these people are smart, they have done some things and i actually like both of them as people. The thing is the truth does not take sides, gotta trust your gut on things like this.

##### Share on other sites

I have never read anything written or said by either of those people on any such subject. So you guess incorrectly. Nor do I know whether they have talked about anything similar. If you provided a citation of them saying words to the effect of what I have said, I would be interested to see whether it compares.

Edited by Jack Egerton
##### Share on other sites

Just now, Jack Egerton said:

I have never read anything written or said by either of those people on any such subject. So you guess incorrectly.

You have never heard anything said by elon musk or neil degrasse tyson, you live where exactly? BTW elon musk is the inventor of paypal, tesla motor co, and space-x and he is a major proponent of the "simulated universe". I am not saying i dont believe you, just that when you say culture being a major influence i have to question who else could have had such an impact on you.

##### Share on other sites

The culture I stated. Not recent American culture. I am waiting to see words as clearly stated as I have written from any such people... please.

Noting, that the idea of a simulated universe is as old as the hills. The logical conclusion that a theory of everything is a theory of nothing is what I want to see in writing from another source, please.

##### Share on other sites

Well here is a video where he talks about his thoughts on it, not sure if they line up with your own:

Im too stupid to know how to delete the first link, but the second video is better.

13 minutes ago, Jack Egerton said:

The culture I stated. Not recent American culture. I am waiting to see words as clearly stated as I have written from any such people... please.

Noting, that the idea of a simulated universe is as old as the hills. The logical conclusion that a theory of everything is a theory of nothing is what I want to see in writing from another source, please.

Im not even sure what you are talking about, it seems to me that you may suffer from snowflake syndrome. This is not an insult btw, its fairly common for people to try and come up with something that no one else has thought of in human history, the problem is that statistics are working against you.

Edited by Scotty99
##### Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Jack Egerton said:

I have never read anything written or said by either of those people on any such subject.

Wow. Something we have in common! Who'd a thunk it.

1 hour ago, Jack Egerton said:

If one manages to fully comprehend how nature behaves, then consequently one knows a simulated universe is not impossible.

It is, of course, impossible to distinguish "nature" from such a simulated universe. The only nature you would know would be the one in the simulation therefore, like solipsism, etc it is inherently unfalsifiable. And, so, pretty much indistinguishable from a religious belief. Maybe this is why it appeals to people: they can pretend they are being rational while still believing in something that has no evidence (and cannot have any).

1 hour ago, Jack Egerton said:

I am glad you comprehended what I said, unless you missed that 'not a theory of anything' is the same as 'a theory of nothing', that you may well see in the title of this thread

So, not a theory then.

##### Share on other sites

I do not have time to watch that video, but later yes, I may well. Thanks.

Strange: your opinions on the matter seem fair, yet I stick to mine. Noting, that I have not had the time to consider whether any of your statements were both in contradiction with my own and also seem true -- as that would be required to falsify mine in my own mind. I agree that searching for a theory of everything is akin to a religious pursuit, yes.

Edited by Jack Egerton
##### Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Jack Egerton said:

I agree that searching for a theory of everything is akin to a religious pursuit, yes.

That is not what I said, and not what I intended. Pursuing a theory of everything is (for suitable definitions of "everything") a reasonable pursuit.

I said that trying to distinguish "reality" from a simulation is impossible. We can only build models (i.e. do science) based on what we observe. There is no way of distinguishing between simulation, solpsism, naive realism, or any other philosophical stance. So I suggested that arguing for a simulated universe is a quasi-religious belief.

51 minutes ago, Scotty99 said:

Maybe neil degrasse tyson?

The only things I have read by him are when he gets quoted on science forums by people promoting crackpot ideas. I get the impression he is one of those people more interested in making impressive sounding statements than communicating science accurately. (Michio Kaku appears to be similar.)

##### Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Strange said:

The only things I have read by him are when he gets quoted on science forums by people promoting crackpot ideas. I get the impression he is one of those people more interested in making impressive sounding statements than communicating science accurately. (Michio Kaku appears to be similar.)

He is a good guy to be fair, just confused like many.

I know you guys disdain videos around here, but here is a debate about a simulated universe from the 2016 asimov where he was the moderator:

Edited by Scotty99
##### Share on other sites

I only agree with Strange if the desire of the person is to understand nature in the universe they live in and not to give thought to whether they live in a simulated universe, for example. The title of this thread was given to challenge the idea that a 'theory of everything' is a legitimate or possible thing to pursue, as everything can include a simulated universe within a universe. Essentially, we are both stating things that are not in logical disagreement (exclusivity), as I said previously. I highly doubt anything you could say would change my understanding of that, though I am keen to hear what you would suggest. I suppose you have said all you want to on the subject though -- I understand your position.

Edited by Jack Egerton
##### Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Jack Egerton said:

I only agree with Strange if the desire of the person is to understand nature in the universe they live in and not to give thought to whether they live in a simulated universe, for example. The title of this thread was given to challenge the idea that a 'theory of everything' is a legitimate or possible thing to pursue, as everything can include a simulated universe within a universe.

Are you saying that a "theory of everything" is not possible because if we did live in a simulated universe the theory could not describe the "outer world" where the simulation was created? So it would only be a theory of the simulated universe and therefore not "everything"?

(If that is what you are saying, I congratulate you: I don't think there is any way you could have made your position any less obvious. Unless, perhaps, you had written in Sanskrit.)

##### Share on other sites

No need to be sarcastic Strange. I did intend that to be part of what I stated.

##### Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Jack Egerton said:

No need to be sarcastic Strange. I did intend that to be part of what I stated.

I really would never have guessed that from any of your previous posts!

(p.s. If I was being sarcastic, I would have said "well that was clear from what you said before". Instead, I was using exaggeration for humorous(?) effect.)

##### Share on other sites

I wrote things as a logical progression as if they were being imagined from conception forwards. You 'incepted' the idea after I had stated in conceptually, which seemly less appealing or original to myself, but maybe more appealing to yourself. Certainly, a machine learning bot is capable of what you just did, however  and so we go full circle...

Maybe, though I am not sure about this, I like what I believe to be correct conclusions to be arrived at 'organically', rather than just chucking information down the throat of the recipient. Who knows?

Edited by Jack Egerton
##### Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Jack Egerton said:

Maybe, though I am not sure about this, I like what I believe to be correct conclusions to be arrived at 'organically', rather than just chucking information down the throat of the recipient. Who knows?

Unfortunately, you're using this as a definition for "logic", and then assuming what you've done is "a logical progression", when it's really just something that only makes sense to you.

##### Share on other sites

Thank you, Phi for All, your opinion is noted.

I suppose every challenge I have had on this whole forum amounts to either 'do not be condescending/patronising/arrogant' or 'you have not explained yourself fully'. So which would you prefer in this instance, as I went for the hand-holding explanation approach here -- as step-by-step as it is humanly possible to do so? Having your cake and eating it is not advised practice.

To only take the contrary view is also very bot-like.

Poker bots, for example, are taught to play tight (fewer hands) when the other player plays loose (more hands) and vice versa. Is this how you folks like to reason?

Edited by Jack Egerton
##### Share on other sites

Except it's not "the contrary view". I don't even have to claim natural skepticism. You obviously have a difficult time explaining what you mean, but what does come through seems to have little evidential support beyond your assertions and incredulity. I don't need "the contrary view" to see you aren't meeting the kind of criteria needed to advance a scientific idea.

Assuming we're all just being naysayers doesn't help you support your position, it just makes you keep mentioning it unnecessarily.

Your reasoning is what is being attacked here, and those who are have explained why and where the problems lie. That's not a contrary, kneejerk response. "We folks" aren't going to fall for you playing the "you're so hidebound" card. Please respond to the criticism, and not the critics.

##### Share on other sites

If I am lucky, this will be the last we need to say on this particular matter, but the reason I sound impassioned is because we all should be for our interests and pursuits. I was hoping for some genuine intellectual countering or input from people here. Maybe I have asked the wrong questions or asked them in the wrong way, but I seem to have exhausted my methods for doing so....

Oh, thank you. The very first thing I have learnt on this forum: the word hidebound.

Yes, well, my above statement, sums up my opinion on the discussions we have held here, before having seen your response. It changes little.

Seeing that you seemed to take offence to 'you folks'. I intended that because of how fundamentally differently we seem to think and view the world, which is partially interesting, partially bemusing.

Responding to a criticism suggests no anticipation of future responses or where a discussion would lead so, no, I will respond to critics (be they human or NN bot) and the criticisms that come from them, the flow and progression of which will depend upon how said critic has responded in past and is therefore likely to respond in future.

## Create an account

Register a new account