Testing if we Live in a Computer Simulation

December 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Posted in Nature, Science, Strange | Leave a comment

British philosopher Nick Bostrom published a paper in 2003 that suggests the universe we live in might in fact be a computer simulation run by our descendants. (future offspring) Using logic, he determined that if we survive into becoming post-humans, that outcome is likely.

We’re a long way from such an ability today. Physicists at the University of Washington are proposing experiments that might test for it. If the universe is a simulation, there will be constraints created by the underlying structure that have “signatures”, such as a limitation in the energy of cosmic rays.

If you’ve studied eastern philosophy at all, you’ll be familiar with this general idea. One perspective suggests the world is Maya, commonly understood to mean illusion. Another perspective uses the term Lila, meaning the divine play. In this case, the simulation is not created by our descendants but by divine entities.

The UW article

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