View Full Version : Is Life just a Dream?

17-11-04, 09:40
Top scientist asks: is life all just a dream?


DEEP THOUGHT, the supercomputer created by novelist Douglas Adams, got there first, but now the astronomer royal has caught up. Professor Sir Martin Rees is to suggest that “life, the universe and everything” may be no more than a giant computer simulation with humans reduced to bits of software.

The possibility that what we see around us may not actually exist has been raised by philosophers many times dating back to the ancient Greeks and appears repeatedly in science fiction. However, many scientists have always been dismissive, saying the universe was far too complex and consistent to be a simulation. Despite this, the idea has persisted, popularised in films such as Tom Cruise’s Vanilla Sky and The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves.

It was also the basis for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, written by Adams, who died in 2001. In the book, Deep Thought creates the Earth and its human inhabitants as a giant calculating device to answer the “ultimate question”.

In a television documentary, What We Still Don’t Know, to be screened on Channel 4 next month, he will say: “Over a few decades, computers have evolved from being able to simulate only very simple patterns to being able to create virtual worlds with a lot of detail.

Rees will emphasise that this is just a theory. But it is being increasingly discussed by other eminent physicists and cosmologists. Among them is John Barrow, professor of mathematical sciences at Cambridge University. He points out that the universe has a degree of fine tuning that makes it safe for living organisms.

Even a tiny alteration in a fundamental force or a constant such as gravity would make stars burn out, atoms fly apart, and the world as we know it become impossible. Such fine tuning, he has said, could be taken as evidence for some kind of intelligent designer being at work.

The idea that life, the universe and everything in it could be an illusion dates back more than 2,000 years. Chuang Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, who died in 295BC, wondered whether his entire life might be no more than a dream.

René Descartes, the 17th century French philosopher, raised similar questions. But he famously came down in favour of existence, saying: “I think, therefore I am.” The idea was resurrected last century, notably by Bertrand Russell, who suggested that humans could simply be “brains in a jar” being stimulated by chemicals or electrical currents — an idea that was quickly taken up and developed by science fiction writers such as Isaac Asimov.

However, some academics pour cold water on the notion of a machine-created universe. Seth Lloyd, professor of quantum mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said such a computer would have to be unimaginably large. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a great book but it remains fiction,” he said.

Source: Times On Line (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/)

17-11-04, 13:14
Definately seems like one sometimes...

17-11-04, 13:55
Originally posted by Nicky:
...has been raised by philosophers many times dating back to the ancient Greeks...Science makes me laugh so many times. Coming up with 'new' theories that have been the contention of philosophers & mystics for millennia.

"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."

17-11-04, 16:38
Well i wish i would dream richly. In an Armani shop and gold plated window frames!

17-11-04, 18:58
we come from an abyss we return to the abyss,this small light period between these 2 abysses is called life!
nikos kazantjakis[the greatest modern author]
if this light period is a dream or reality i can't tell,but if it was a dream why sometimes is a nice dream and sometimes a knightmare?and how can someone can dream things and situations without living and feeling them?dreams are just our feelings our wills,our hopes or our fears plus the experience we have from life, but also the experiences that our parents had since the beggining of earth and they inherited to our dna!
my dream now?is http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/grouphug.gif

17-11-04, 19:52
Life is a game, and we all need to often update our drivers, and defrag our harddisk! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif

17-11-04, 20:04
Raises hand New memory module please! :D

17-11-04, 20:38
Ahh... Net http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif , you need a reboot! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/jumper.gif

Or... maybe... if your modules are totally threadbare, :confused: i recognise what you mean. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/silent.gif

17-11-04, 20:46
Life as you know it is a program. We are actually slaves to machines. Life as you know it is not real, it is a Neural Interactive Simulation or commonly known as the Matrix.

17-11-04, 20:46
I always thought that I'm still a baby that is having a bad dream of my life...

17-11-04, 21:11
Net, I read Nicky's post and thought, "Oh, I know! I'll quote Edgar Allan Poe in relation to this". Then guess what completely punctured my rhythm when I saw post no 3?


17-11-04, 21:41
Oh Scott, mate, it's a bit like TR challenges eh. I'm always ahead of you :D http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/c-2.gif

17-11-04, 22:00
Well I might just book a week's holiday off when it comes around to TR3, so watch it!.. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/c-2.gif

17-11-04, 22:06
I might not be taking part, so it should be easy for you. :D http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/c-2.gif http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/c-2.gif

17-11-04, 22:15
Your 'might nots' and 'not sures' when it comes to "Shall we do a challenge?" threads, usually carry about as much weight to them than an anorexic giraffe.

Anyway, unless Mattioz steals my client base between now and Xmas, you and Robin might feel refreshed for TR3 next year.

17-11-04, 22:16
Insane http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/c-3.gif

17-11-04, 22:51
Anorexic giraffe LOL! Ok, for next year, MAYBE I will :D Who is Robin?

[EDIT] Robin... I just got it! LMAO! Yes, but we gotta stock up on anti-shark spray. :D

[ 17. November 2004, 23:53: Message edited by: Neteru ]

17-11-04, 22:54
It's the non-present half of you and Nicky, flying out of the batcave to complete an insanely impossible challenge in less than 2 minutes flat.

17-11-04, 23:11
Comissioner Gordon : We have a situation here. Scott is threatening to destroy the world unless we complete TR:Impossible edition without a scratch.

(Comissioner Gordon leaves the room)

Nicky : Well you heard the man! To the bat-cave!

Neteru : Let's go!

(They slide down the pole and leave the buildingthrough the secret batcave entrance, the background music repetitively going "de ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne")


(Some hours later at a warehouse ; Scott, some white shirted thugs, vicious dogs, eels, sharks, all the TR baddies, basically, circle our dynamic duo)

Scott : Ha! You'll never complete the challenge in 9 days!

Net and Nicky : We'll see about that!

(A fight ensues ; Scott, Net, Nicky and 50 types of TR villain somewhere in the middle of a foggy melee)




(When the mist clears, Nicky and Net stand arms aloft, as Scott and his minions lie around looking tired and crestfallen)

Neteru : Ha! Challenge completed, and you're going to jail, Scott.

Ok, forget this. I'm off the beaten track now, and I'm fast not liking the ending of this story.

[ 18. November 2004, 01:08: Message edited by: Scottlee ]

17-11-04, 23:47
PMSL http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/jumper.gif So funny Scott :D

Of course there's only one batman villain you can possibly be...

18-11-04, 00:14
Well....I guess that's believable given the essay on perfumes and face-care products I was goaded into reading earlier on tonight

( :rolleyes: )

Edited to add - I'm still working on the rather obvious "sharks and eels being able to exist inside a warehouse" plothole. So far I've only managed to come up with ..have been genetically altered by the evil Scott-acid

[ 18. November 2004, 01:27: Message edited by: Scottlee ]

18-11-04, 04:15
I'm still working on the rather obvious "sharks and eels being able to exist inside a warehouse" plotholeApparently the evil dr Scott used too much of his powerful acid on them, and as a result, the sea creatures discovered that there's a 'little mermaid' element in them, so they managed to walk to the warehouse :D http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/c-2.gif

(They slide down the pole and leave the building through the secret batcave entrance, the background music repetitively going "de ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne")LMAO!!! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/jumper.gif I just can't help imagining this scene :D Love the background music selection http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif

18-11-04, 04:37
Life is a dream, and a puzzle, you never die, you just wake up,death is the key unlocking all puzzles. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/c-1.gif

Deja Vu, a glitch in the computer? Or maybe a reboot due to some virus in the system? Who knows...we will all find out in due time though.

18-11-04, 18:52
Thats' really freaky if you really think about it.. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/yikes.gif