Physics confab speaker talks about downloadable world, human sharing DNA with banana, endless possibilities

Dumaguete City – Imagine the coming of a time when the world could be downloaded just like any other computer programs.

Speaking to 230 delegates and 40 Maxinians attending the 41st Annual National Physics Seminar-Convention held here, Dr. Loreto Feril, Jr. talked of his prediction: time will come when the world can be downloaded.

The prospect of human being living in a giant computer simulation was first raised by SpaceX founder and Tesla chief Elon Musk during a Code Conference back in 2016.

Musk said it is completely possible that human beings exist in a simulated universe. This prospect was dismissed by a study as pure hype.

Theoretical physicists from Oxford University, in a study published in the journal Science Advances, said life is definitely not a product of computer simulation.

But Feril, head of the Department of Anatomy of Fukuoka University School of Medicine, stressed it is a possibility citing that what were considered a reality at present was mere dreams years before.

For instance, he said, there were millions of galaxies in the universe known to man years before. Now, the universe has at least two trillions of galaxies.

“For those who wanted to grab a territory give them a galaxy to occupy,” he said in a jest. It could also be an indirect swipe against expansionist China, which had been embroiled in the South China Sea disputes against its smaller neighbours including the Philippines.

He poked at the delegates telling them that human beings share about 50 percent of their DNA with banana plant. After all, he said, there is that banana in every man eliciting laughter.

Feril, who was first a physicist before he became a medical doctor, rattled off with facts about the universe.

The universe, he said, is about 14 billion years old but the solar system is only 4.6 billion years old out of “a gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud.”

Simple life form existed on Earth about 4 billion years ago and it took this life form some 2.5 billion years to become multi-cellular, which eventually evolved into intelligent being hundreds of million years later.

He said life could have been simpler and happier if human beings did not evolve into a complex being just like any other animals preoccupied only with eating and sex.

As intelligent beings, however, “humans have eventually discovered the way of science.”

This advancement, he pointed out, had “enabled us to understand our past and has enabled us to deduce future scenarios.”

He averred that “science has made us see from smallest particles of matter to distant stars in the deep space of the universe.”

Human illnesses were better understood which led to diagnosis and better treatment. At the same time, science has created technologies and innovations from communication and travel to artificial intelligence.

Feril lamented at the time when Physics was less known to most people. He recalled his personal experience when he finished his degree in Physics in the 1980s.

People in his hometown had mistaken him to a chemist while others consider him a physician.

He said Physics has become an “essential component in all scientific fields known today” transforming society from “multiple tribes with various differences to a single human community with common and shared knowledge” about nature and life.

“We become a global society that shares knowledge and technology as they become available, and a society that relies more on science rather than on mythology,” Feril concluded.

The convention runs through April 10 until 13 attended by physicists, physics teachers, physics students, and enthusiasts. It is an annual event under the auspices of the Philippine Physics Society.

Dr. Gerardo Maxino, PPS president said this year’s theme was PPS@45: Physics and Social Transformation. (Antonio M. Manaytay-Mindanao Sun)

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