Rhode's paper surveys evidence and arguments for the proposition that the universe as we know it is not a physical, material world but a computer-generated simulation -- a kind of virtual reality. The evidence is drawn from the observations of natural phenomena in the realm of quantum mechanics. The arguments are drawn from philosophy and from the results of experiment. While the experiments discussed are not conclusive in this regard, they are found to be consistent with a computer model of the universe. Six categories of quantum puzzles are examined: quantum waves, the measurement effect (including the uncertainty principle), the equivalence of quantum units, discontinuity, non-locality, and the overall relationship of natural phenomena to the mathematical formalism. Many of the phenomena observed in the laboratory are puzzling because they are difficult to conceptualize as physical phenomena, yet they can be modeled exactly by mathematical manipulations. When we analogize to the operations of a digital computer, these same phenomena can be understood as logical and, in some cases, necessary features of computer programming designed to produce a virtual reality simulation for the benefit of the user.

I. The Appearance of Waves.

A. Waves with no medium, as though they were mathematical formula only.

B. Waves of calculation, not otherwise manifest, as though they really were differential equations.

C. Standing waves, as though they were mathematical formula only.

II. The Measurement Effect.

A. Collapse of the wave function- consciousness as mediator, as though the sensory universe was a display to the user.

B. Uncertainty and Complimentary properties, as though variables were being redefined and results calculated and recalculated according to an underlying formula.

III. The Identical / Interchangeable Nature of "Particles" and Measured Properties- As though the "particles" were merely pictures, like computer icons.

IV. Continuity and Discontinuity in Observed Behaviors.

A. "Quantum leaps", as though there were no time or space between quantum events.

B. The breakdown at zero, yielding infinities, as though the universe was being run by a computer clock on a coordinate grid.

V. Non-locality, as though all calculations were in the CPU, regardless of the location of the pixels on the screen.

VI. The Relationship of Observed Phenomena to the Mathematical Formalism, as though physical manifestations themselves were being produced by a mathematical formula.

Cosmic Humanism and World Unity

By Oliver Reiser

113. R2775c

© Copyright. Robert Grace. 1999