Have you ever thought about whether we are living in a computer simulation? What do you think about the idea that the entire universe, including us, is a computer simulation? That idea has been floating around in the minds of people for years. A lot of scientists and philosophers have suggested that the whole universe, including ourselves, could be a simulation. This is known as the "simulation theory". But, what exactly is this theory and is it even true? Let’s find out.
What is Simulation Theory?
According to the simulation theory, the entire universe, including everything that we know, is a computer simulation. This also includes planets, stars, humans, animals, plants, and any kind of living thing. In other words, we are not real; we are just part of a computer program.
Think of it as a high-resolution video game that has been created by a very advanced civilization, in which we are all characters. The most famous version of this hypothesis comes from the movie The Matrix by the Wachowski sisters.
The movie depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality, which intelligent machines have created. It shows that we are inside a computer simulation called the Matrix, and that we are unaware of this fact. In other words, we are inside a simulation, and we believe ourselves to be "real" when we are not.
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?
In his published paper, Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?, Nick Bostrom explains that future generations might have mega-computers that can run numerous and detailed simulations of their forebears (ancestor simulations), in which artificial consciousness is infused into the simulated beings. If this is the case, are we living in one of those ancestor simulations created by our advanced descendants?
Rizwan Virk, the author of The Simulation Hypothesis, answers this question in the affirmative and explains why we should accept the possibility that we are living in a simulation. He said to Vox.com:
There are lots of mysteries in physics that are better explained by the simulation hypothesis than by what would be a material hypothesis. The truth is that there’s much we simply don’t understand about our reality, and I think it’s more likely than not that we are in some kind of a simulated universe.
Definitely, it’s far more likely than not. In fact, astronomer David Kipping says that the chances of us living in a simulation are about 50 per cent. However, we can never know whether we are in a simulation. Because we cannot distinguish between a simulation and the real world. So, it’s possible that we are in a simulation, and it’s also possible that we’re not (50-50).
Simulation Theory is No Joke
The idea that we're living in a simulation is not as crazy as it seems at first glance. The rate at which technology is expanding is increasing exponentially. With the advent of the Metaverse, the possibility of creating artificial realities is real and growing. Soon the virtual reality we create will be indistinguishable from reality. Inevitably, we will reach the point where we will have the means to create a simulation of the entire universe.
So, why not use those means to recreate our reality through ancestor simulations?