Could our Universe be a simulation? How would we even tell? - Living Strong Television Network
Could our Universe be a simulation? How would we even tell?

Enlarge / Is this a simulation? (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

Ever since Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed his simulation argument in 2001, the nerdiverse has attempted to the assess the possibility that reality is not really real, that what we experience as our Universe is instead the product of a computer simulation. Popular figures such as Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson have offered their own conclusions, but taking a firm stance was not the point of Bostrom’s argument. Instead, Bostrom’s position is nuanced and careful, and it doesn’t arrive at fixed answers.

I’ll take it for granted that the Ars readership is more sophisticated than the average geek, so let’s take some time to dissect Bostrom’s simulation argument, exploring its construction, its implications, its strengths, and its weaknesses.

But I have to warn you: If you’re hoping for relief, one way or the other, from the existential crisis brought about by the possibility that we live in a simulation, you won’t find any comfort here. The firmest conclusion anyone can reach, after examining and re-examining the arguments for and against the simulation thesis, is a profound yet resigned “maybe.”

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