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Do we live in a computer simulation? UW researchers say idea can be tested

Do we live in a computer simulation? UW researchers say idea can be tested
News releases | Research | Science December 10, 2012 A decade ago, a British philosopher put forth the notion that the universe we live in might in fact be a computer simulation run by our descendants. While that seems far-fetched, perhaps even incomprehensible, a team of physicists at the University of Washington has come up with a potential test to see if the idea holds water. The concept that current humanity could possibly be living in a computer simulation comes from a 2003 paper published in Philosophical Quarterly by Nick Bostrom, a philosophy professor at the University of Oxford. In the paper, he argued that at least one of three possibilities is true: The human species is likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage.Any posthuman civilization is very unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of its evolutionary history.We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. “This is the first testable signature of such an idea,” Savage said.

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Is Life One Gigantic Computer Simulation? University of Washington scientists think they’ve found a way to test Nick Bostrom’s controversial 2003 theory. And now for a bit of news that you (and I) will almost certainly not understand: scientists at the University of Washington say they’ve devised a test that may prove whether or not the lives we live are actually just one giant computer simulation created by our future descendants. Yes, you read that right. The researchers are responding to a 2003 paper published in Philosophical Quarterly by Nick Bostrom, a philosophy professor at the University of Oxford, who posited that somewhere down the line humans will become smart enough (and computer processing powerful enough) to model entire universes, and that we might be one of them. “The belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor simulations is false, unless,” he wrote—bum bum BUM!

Snapping an atom's shadow? Now that's a first As the image above illustrates, my colleagues and I at Griffith University have been able to photograph the shadow of an atom for the first time – the culmination of five years of work by our team. The image, and attendant paper, are published today in the journal Nature Communications. So, in a nutshell, how did we get the image? The following analogy might help. On a sunny day at the beach, your shadow is a constant companion.

Muscular Christianity Muscular Christianity is a Christian commitment to piety and physical health, basing itself on the New Testament, which sanctions the concepts of character (Philippians 3:14) and well-being (1Corinthians 6:19–20).[1][2][3] The movement came into vogue during the Victorian era and stressed the need for energetic Christian evangelism in combination with an ideal of vigorous masculinity. Historically, it is most associated with the English writers Charles Kingsley and Thomas Hughes, and in Canada with Ralph Connor, though the name was bestowed by others. Kingsley and Hughes promoted physical strength and health as well as an active pursuit of Christian ideals in personal life and politics.

Bigfoot DNA Tests Prove Hairy Creature Exists, Genetic Researcher Says Bigfoot is real. At least that's what veterinarian Melba S. Ketchum claims after a five-year study of more than 100 DNA samples that she believes comes from the elusive hairy beast. Under Ketchum's direction at DNA Diagnostics in Nacogdoches, Texas, a team of researchers has concluded that the creature may be a human relative that somehow developed around 15,000 years ago as a result of a hybrid cross between Homo sapiens with an unknown primate. Ketchum's research has yet to stand the scrutiny of independent researchers. Disembodied Erotomania Inspired by Matt’s The Incubus Made Me Do It post from last week, it occurred to me that I’d actually written an entire chapter on the rarely explored topic of astral molestation in my first book. It’s out of print and I’m quite sure none of you have read it, so we’ll just mine it a bit at this point as I finish the final edits for my next book on occult weirdness (out spring 2013). Maybe I’ll do a re-release some day, but truthfully, I basically did nothing to promote the thing because I didn’t like it much. Parts are great but overall, way too dark. As was the nature of my life at the time.

researchers discover a new kind of magnetism Following up on earlier theoretical predictions, MIT researchers have now demonstrated experimentally the existence of a fundamentally new kind of magnetic behavior, adding to the two previously known states of magnetism. Ferromagnetism — the simple magnetism of a bar magnet or compass needle — has been known for centuries. In a second type of magnetism, antiferromagnetism, the magnetic fields of the ions within a metal or alloy cancel each other out. In both cases, the materials become magnetic only when cooled below a certain critical temperature. The prediction and discovery of antiferromagnetism — the basis for the read heads in today’s computer hard disks — won Nobel Prizes in physics for Louis Neel in 1970 and for MIT professor emeritus Clifford Shull in 1994. “We’re showing that there is a third fundamental state for magnetism,” says MIT professor of physics Young Lee.

Lucid Dreaming and Mental Illness I got the weirdest phone call last week. The editor of Gawker, A.J. Daulerio, contacted me, requesting information on lucid dreaming. (Lucid dreaming is knowing you're dreaming while firmly in the dreamstate). Toward a New Model of the Cell Date: December 17, 2012 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Genes Turning vast amounts of genomic data into meaningful information about the cell is the great challenge of bioinformatics, with major implications for human biology and medicine. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues have proposed a new method that creates a computational model of the cell from large networks of gene and protein interactions, discovering how genes and proteins connect to form higher-level cellular machinery. The findings are published in the December 16 advance online publication of Nature Biotechnology. “Our method creates ontology, or a specification of all the major players in the cell and the relationships between them,” said first author Janusz Dutkowski, PhD, postdoctoral researcher in the UC San Diego Department of Medicine.

Test your server for Heartbleed (CVE-2014-0160) If there are problems, head to the FAQ Results are now cached globally for up to 6 hours. Enter a URL or a hostname to test the server for CVE-2014-0160. All good, seems fixed or unaffected! Uh-oh, something went wrong: Check what it means at the FAQ.