Are we all living in a computer simulation?

are we living in a simulated universe

Real, or imagined?

I wonder what Paul Broun, the Georgia (US) congressman and creationist, would make of this hypothesis?

“If recent measurements of cosmic ray particles are correct, then we may have the first evidence that the universe as we know it is really a giant computer simulation,” Wired.co.uk reports.[1]

The notion that we may be living in an artificial reality constructed by something higher than ourselves has been a recurring philosophical hypothesis for centuries.

Plato, Descartes, Putnam; they all discussed variants of justifications for solipsism, a philosophical idea that claims it is impossible to know with any certainty whether the world, as we experience it, is ‘real’ or a ‘simulation’ projected by some external entity.

Silas Beane, of the Institute for Nuclear Theory, Seattle, and two colleagues[2] have postulated that, if we were in fact living in a simulator, we could expect to find evidence of a limiting  lattice if we looked close enough to the edges of the observable universe. Their academic thesis is appealingly entitled ‘Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation’.

Beane suggests this works rather like one we would expect if we were living inside a simulator based on the same principles as one we also would build. But it’s also possible we might be incorrectly interpreting evidence of fundamental laws with which we are as yet unfamiliar.

Food for thought, anyway… I’m now back on my Darxide arcade game, or shall I try Colony Wars? (Only joking.)

[1]: wired.co.uk

[2]: Cornell University Library  (PDF download)

Image: wired.co.uk

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