Free “Is the Universe a Simulation?” by Edward Frenkel Essay Sample
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“Is the Universe a Simulation?” by Edward Frenkel reviews the role of mathematics in the understanding of the universe. The author supposes that mathematics is the way to prove that the universe has been simulated. As “Is the Universe a Simulation?” is logically written, all the assumptions are well supported, and the text style is effective, Frenkel’s article is considered a high-quality work.
The thesis of the article is that mathematical entities, theorems and math in general are the keys to the understanding of the universe. The author had intent to discuss the question whether mathematics was a science reflecting the reality or it was only a game of human mind that reminded of playing chess. Frenkel applies Bulgakov’s “maxim manuscripts don’t burn” to mathematics. He argues that if Pythagoras or his work had never existed, the same Pythagorean theorem would be discovered eventually. Therefore, it can be argued that mathematics is timeless and reflects the universe. Hence, from Platonists’ point of view, mathematics is a form of objective reality of its own, which cannot be created or changed, but only perceived and described. Frenkel also argues that there is a possibility that the world, as people know it today, is a computer simulation, created by the computer programmers of the future. From this point of view, when people discover a new mathematical truth, they simply discover aspects of the code used by the programmer. Frenkel writes that Nick Bostrom, the Oxford philosopher, claimed that people were more likely to be in such a simulation than not. In their recent paper, the physicists Silas R. Beane, Martin J. Savage and Zohreh Davoudi outlined a possible method to detect that the world is in true a computer simulation. Their computer simulation had distinctive anomalies. These certain kinds of asymmetries remind of the ones that exist in the universe such as cosmic rays. However, the universe as a simulation is still a hypothesis, and cannot be proved yet. Nevertheless, Frenkel argues that mathematics will definitely serve as the key to the understanding of the universe.
The thesis of the article is clearly stated and directs the development of the text. The author’s primary assertions are reasonable and clearly tied to the thesis of the article. Frenkel bit by bit goes from one argument to another with no logical fallacies. The author’s positions are logically presented. He supports his assertions with facts and concepts of philosophers, mathematics and physicists. Frenkel himself is a professor of mathematics. The offered support is adequate enough to convince the readers. The evidences are authoritative and current. Frenkel uses the concepts and ideas created by Plato, a great logician Kurt Gödel, the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, and the physicists, Beane, Davoudi and Savage. The author explains how the evidence supports his assertions and findings. Frenkel did not ignore any evidence. Probably, there could be alternative hypotheses; however, they could be excessive. There is a clear connection between the assertions developed in the essay. It can be noticed in the very beginning of the essay, as the author first develops the assertion that manuscripts do not burn in literature, refutes it, and then proves it mathematically. There are assertions tied to a guiding thesis, such as the one that mathematics is probably the key to the understanding of the simulated universe, not yet the real universe. There seem to be a reason for one assertion following another.
Frenkel’s article is definitely a high-quality work due to the logically written and well supported, assumptions, alongside with the effective text style. The author’s word choice is clear and affective, the tone is consistent and the sentences are clear, which makes the article easy to read for non-mathematicians.
Frenkel, Edward. “Is the Universe a Simulation?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Feb. 2014