Otis, how can the SA only require simulation of phenomena at the human level of perception when in actuality we can observe lower levels of phenomena like atoms and quarks?
It’s a sceptical argument, the idea is that if something isn’t directly observed then it isn’t necessary to implement it. Neither you nor I directly observe atoms or quarks, but if we were to perform some experiment that investigated these scales then QM/QFT would be implemented in the region of the experiment, at all other times the approximate implementation is sufficient.
QM/QFT locally implemented in the region of the experiment? Without an ancestor? That’s easy to say.
The original paper presenting the Simulation argument:
Are You Living In a Computer Simulation? Nick Bostrom. Philosophical Quarterly, 2003, Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243-255. [html] [pdf] (An earlier draft was circulated in 2001.)
ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true:
(1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage;
(2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof);
(3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.
It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
IMO, the foregoing means we are currently NOT living in a simulation (no 3) and therefore unable to create an ancestor simulation (no 2).
Therefore (1) is true. This is what I have been arguing.
However (1) extinction before a post human stage is reached is of no significance to the universe.
I can envision a functioning Big (humanlike) AI in the real world, not the other way around. If we are living in a simulation then the concept of god is true. Who is the programmer and controller of this simulated world, a single BIG AI providing the digital environment and a population of little AIs, behaving and responding to this environment? And no matter what the little Ais investigate, the Big AI will provide the details at a local level?