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Thread: Computed Universe

  1. #1 Computed Universe 
    Forum Freshman Xelthen's Avatar
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    I know that John von Neuman and Ed Fredkin talked about a universe where space and time are described in the context of "cellular automata" and that the universe is a sort of "self-simulation". Stephen Wolfram also discussed this in his book "A New Kind of Science." I have read that in this model of the universe, the classical notions of entropy do not make sense and it fails to account for relativistic phenomena. However, there are also some benefits to this theory as well. Could anyone basically explain to me the pro's and con's of this theory and their own opinion on its validity? I would like to hear opinions from other science enthusiasts on this theory and others like it.


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  3. #2 Re: Computed Universe 
    . DrRocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xelthen
    I know that John von Neuman and Ed Fredkin talked about a universe where space and time are described in the context of "cellular automata" and that the universe is a sort of "self-simulation". Stephen Wolfram also discussed this in his book "A New Kind of Science." I have read that in this model of the universe, the classical notions of entropy do not make sense and it fails to account for relativistic phenomena. However, there are also some benefits to this theory as well. Could anyone basically explain to me the pro's and con's of this theory and their own opinion on its validity? I would like to hear opinions from other science enthusiasts on this theory and others like it.
    Wolfram's book is chock full of errors and misconceptions. Here is a site with a plethora of knowledgable critiques.

    http://shell.cas.usf.edu/~eclark/ANKOS_reviews.html

    This one in particular represents an insightful review by an expert in cellular automata.

    http://www.ams.org/notices/200302/fea-gray.pdf


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