Are We Living in a Simulation?
Although it sounds incredible, think about it. What if we are just characters in a giant computer simulation controlled by beings superior to us? However, many scientists do not find this idea so unrealistic. Some even think there is a possibility that we might be living in this kind of virtual reality.
Particle physicist Daniel Whiteson and roboticist and cartoonist Jorge Cham, Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe podcast “Are we living in a simulation?” They discuss this amazing theory in their section. This podcast explains some simple but profound questions about the universe in easy to understand language.
Whiteson, who works at CERN, says that while many people are mocking the science fiction theory claiming that we live in a computer simulation, this possibility must be taken seriously. “Being a physicist means being prepared to make mind-blowing discoveries,” says Whiteson. “The best discoveries in physics are those that completely change the way you look at the universe.”
If there is one person who is crazy and open to new ideas, it is Elon Musk, one of the most important names in the field of futurism.
In an interview with the Code Conference in 2016, Musk stated that in just 40 years, computer games evolved from the Neanderthal-like “Pong” game of the 1970s to today’s complex and realistic online games and can be played by millions of people at the same time.
Based on such rapid progress, Musk stated that it would not take long to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality. Considering today’s frenetic computing speed, Musk said it was quite possible that an advanced civilization of the future could have created a computer simulation to see how our ancestors, namely us, live. This means that the advanced civilization and the future exist now, but we are not real.
Whiteson and Cham agree with the analogy of video games. While Cham is more skeptical, Whiteson disagrees with claims that the universe is so realistic that it cannot be a simulation. Computers are getting more and more complex every day.
“Physics is trying to understand what the rules of this universe are and what the underlying code that makes this universe work,” says Whiteson. After all, the universe seems to have certain rules and obey them. “Now that we have powerful computer programs, people are curious. If you were in a computer program and were trying to understand the rules of a simulated universe, you would essentially try to understand what physics is encoded into that universe. ” Whiteson adds. “So you would be a physicist,” Cham admits.
In a 2016 debate held at the American Museum of Natural History, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the museum’s Hayden Planetarium, said that even if we share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, we humans are more intelligent beings, saying that we are half as likely to be unreal. . That’s why there may be other beings in the universe that are much smarter than us, Tyson said. And he also said it was possible that they could enjoy creating a fake universe just for fun.
So how do we start testing whether the universe is real or just a giant simulation? This is the hard part. This hypothesis may be largely untestable. However, Whiteson and Cham have some theories on how they can do this. They explain in detail what these are in their podcasts.