Are we real?

An interesting idea has reached the blackboards of scientists that would normally stay on the blackboards of philosophers. Simply put, are we real people in a real universe, or might we just be characters in a large computer simulation? This follows the reasoning presented in a BBC article earlier this month. Well, what if the universe was made small enough relative to its creator to fit into one of the ‘test tubes’ in the lab, or was able to be represented as bits in a massive “universal computer game?” As a scientist, all I am qualified to ask is the following: how can we start a scientific discussion on the topic? Philosopher Nick Bostrom suggests that there are only three possibilities. The first option is that intelligent civilizations will not ever conduct experiments such as constructing our entire universe in a ‘video game.’ This is because before they get sufficiently powerful to do so they are instead destroyed by war, … Continue reading →

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