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  • We live in a vast universe, on a small wet planet, where billions of years ago, single-celled life forms evolved from the same elements as all non-living material around them,

    我們生活在浩瀚宇宙中一個又濕又小的星球上,而數十億年前,單細胞生命形式在這裡從和它們周遭所有非生物相同的元素中演化出來,

  • proliferating and radiating into an incredible ray of complex life forms.

    激增擴散成了不可思議的複雜生命形式。

  • All of thisliving and inanimate, microscopic and cosmicis governed by mathematical laws with apparently arbitrary constants.

    從生命到無生命、微觀到宇宙觀的這一切,都由任意常數的數學法則所掌管。

  • And this opens up a question: If the universe is completely governed by these laws, couldn’t a powerful enough computer simulate it exactly?

    但如此一來便彰顯出了一個問題:如果宇宙完全由這些法則所掌控,那麼一台足夠強大的電腦是否能夠精確地模擬出宇宙來?

  • Could our reality actually be an incredibly detailed simulation set in place by a much more advanced civilization?

    我們的現實有沒有可能其實是由更加先進的文明,所創造出的極細緻模擬?

  • This idea may sound like science fiction, but it has been the subject of serious inquiry.

    這個想法可能聽起來很科幻,但它確實是被認真探究過的主題。

  • Philosopher Nick Bostrom advanced a compelling argument that were likely living in a simulation, and some scientists also think it’s a possibility.

    哲學家尼克博斯特倫提出了令人深思的主張:我們很可能就生活在模擬之中。

  • These scientists have started thinking about experimental tests to find out whether our universe is a simulation.

    有些科學家也認為這是有可能,並開始思考要做些實驗來求證我們的宇宙究竟是不是個模擬。

  • They are hypothesizing about what the constraints of the simulation might be, and how those constraints could lead to detectable signs in the world.

    他們開始做出假設,針對模擬的常數以及其中可能會有那些限制式,而這些限制又能如何帶我們找到世界或許是被模擬的跡象提出可能的解答。

  • So where might we look for those glitches?

    所以我們應該到哪裡去找到那些模擬系統的漏洞呢?

  • One idea is that as a simulation runs, it might accumulate errors over time.

    其中一個想法是,在運行模擬時隨著時間不斷過去,錯誤可能也會跟著累積起來。

  • To correct for these errors, the simulators could adjust the constants in the laws of nature.

    而為了修正這些錯誤,模擬者可以調整自然法則的常數。

  • These shifts could be tiny, for instance, certain constants weve measured with accuracies of parts per million have stayed steady for decades, so any drift would have to be on an even smaller scale.

    這些改變可能相當微小。舉例來說,我們針對某些常數的測量精準度可達百萬分之幾(ppm),而數十年來它們的數值都很穩定,也就是說如果真的有所偏移,那麼幅度肯定比百萬分之一更小。

  • But as we gain more precision in our measurements of these constants, we might detect slight changes over time.

    但是隨著當我們能更精準地衡量這些常數時,我們或許能隨著時間流逝而偵測到微小的改變。

  • Another possible place to look comes from the concept that finite computing power, no matter how huge, can’t simulate infinities.

    另一個可以考慮的地方則源自於「計算能力有限」的概念,也就是不論計算能力多強,都無法模擬出「無限」的概念。

  • If space and time are continuous, then even a tiny piece of the universe has infinite points and becomes impossible to simulate with finite computing power.

    如果空間和時間確實是連續的,那麼即便僅僅只是宇宙的一小部分,也會有著無限多的點,而用有限的計算能力是不可能模擬出來的。

  • So a simulation would have to represent space and time in very small pieces.

    因此模擬必須要使用非常微小的部分來代表空間和時間。

  • These would be almost incomprehensibly tiny.

    這些部分會幾乎小到不可思議。

  • But we might be able to search for them by using certain subatomic particles as probes.

    但我們或許可以用某些亞原子粒子作為探針來尋找它們。

  • The basic principle is this: The smaller something is, the more sensitive it will be to disruptionthink of hitting a pothole on a skateboard versus in a truck.

    基本原則是:越小的東西對於干擾的反應就會越敏感——你可以想像看看滑板和卡車壓過路上的一個坑時,會有怎麼樣不同的結果。

  • Any unit in space-time would be so small that most things would travel through it without disruptionnot just objects large enough to be visible to the naked eye,

    在時空中的任何單位都會小到大部分的東西通過它們時不會發生中斷——這裡指的不僅是大到肉眼能看到的東西,

  • but also molecules, atoms, and even electrons, and most of the other subatomic particles weve discovered.

    也包括分子、原子,甚至電子,還有大部分我們發現的其他亞原子粒子。

  • If we do discover a tiny unit in space-time or a shifting constant in a natural law, would that prove the universe is a simulation?

    如果我們確實在時空中發現了一個更微小的單位,或者發現自然法則的常數被改變了,是否就能證明宇宙其實不過是個模擬?

  • Noit would only be the first of many steps.

    不,這只是許多步驟中的第一步而已。

  • There could be other explanations for each of those findings.

    上述這每一項發現都可能有其他解釋。

  • And a lot more evidence would be needed to establish the simulation hypothesis as a working theory of nature.

    需要更多證據才能讓這個模擬的假設成為行得通的自然理論。

  • However many tests we design, were limited by some assumptions they all share.

    不論我們設計多少實驗,我們總是會被它們共有的一些假設給限制。

  • Our current understanding of the natural world on the quantum level breaks down at what’s known as the Planck scale.

    目前,我們對於自然世界的了解到了量子等級的普朗克單位的微觀領域後就會失效了。

  • If the unit of space-time is on this scale, we wouldn’t be able to look for it with our current scientific understanding.

    如果時空用的是這種單位,那麼以我們目前的科學理解是找不到它的,

  • There’s still a wide range of things that are smaller than what’s currently observable but larger than the Planck scale to investigate.

    而且目前世界上還有很多雖然比普朗克單位還大,但仍然小到我們無法觀察的事物還有待我們研究。

  • Similarly, shifts in the constants of natural laws could occur so slowly that they would only be observable over the lifetime of the universe.

    同樣的,自然法則的常數改變可能非常緩慢,可能要花上宇宙一生的時間才能觀察到。

  • So they could exist even if we don’t detect them over centuries or millennia of measurements.

    所以即使我們做了數百、數千年的測量並且沒有發現任何改變,它們仍可能存在著。

  • We're also biased towards thinking that our universe’s simulator, if it exists, makes calculations the same way we do, with similar computational limitations.

    在將我們的宇宙作為一個模擬器來考慮時(如果存在的話),我們也會陷入了一種迷思,認為這種模擬器演算的方式和我們想出來的方法一樣,並且具有類似演算限制。

  • Really, we have no way of knowing what an alien civilization’s constraints and methods would bebut we have to start somewhere.

    其實,我們根本不可能知道外星文明的限制和方法會是什麼,但我們總要有個起始點才能開始探究。

  • It may never be possible to prove conclusively that the universe either is, or isn’t a simulation, but well always be pushing science and technology forward in pursuit of the question:

    我們可能永遠無法肯定宇宙到底是或不是模擬出來的,但我們仍會不斷地將科學和科技向前推進,而目的就是為了追尋這個問題:

  • What is the nature of reality?

    現實的本質究竟是什麼?

  • Keep spiraling through the existential void of life's biggest, most brain-bustingest questions with these videos.

    繼續沿著這個脈絡,循著這些影片來探討生命中最大且最讓人費解的問題吧。

We live in a vast universe, on a small wet planet, where billions of years ago, single-celled life forms evolved from the same elements as all non-living material around them,

我們生活在浩瀚宇宙中一個又濕又小的星球上,而數十億年前,單細胞生命形式在這裡從和它們周遭所有非生物相同的元素中演化出來,

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其實我們身處在宇宙的模擬器中?!(Are we living in a simulation? - Zohreh Davoudi)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 10 月 28 日
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