Are We Living In A Simulation?

Could life be simulated, and are we living in one built by a more advanced human civilization? Experts believe this could be our reality. 

In 2003, Nick Bostrom gave his hypothesis in the Philosophical Quarterly, believing that the universe and life are a simulation. When it comes to the simulation hypothesis, it provokes the most opinion in the scientific and even popular culture community. Social media giant and pop tech billionaire Elon Musk believes life is just a simulation. Musk bases this opinion on the statistics, meaning he believes there is a higher chance of us being in a simulation compared to this being reality. Based on recent scientific papers using the simulation hypothesis as their foundation, living in a simulation maybe 50-50 chances.  

What Is A Simulation

According to the 2001 book, the Discrete-Event System Simulation, a simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time. The 1999 sci-fi blockbuster, The Matrix brought the idea of living in an alternate simulated reality to people worldwide. What differentiates a simulation from and reality simulation? Each model represents fundamental characteristics and behaviors for a selected system within the simulation. The other requirement is that it has to run on a computer, meaning there would have to be a super powerful computer to simulate life and possibly the entire universe. On a smaller scale, simulations have in modeling scientific scenarios, such as asteroid impacts with Earth, according to Imperial College London.  

Are We Living In A Simulation?

In 2016 at the American Museum of Natural History, Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate, panelists debated whether or not we are living in a simulation. According to the American Museum of Natural History Debate, the panelists had conflicting ideas. An example is Physicist Lisa Randall saying that the possibility of simulation is effectively zero. Neil Degrasse Tyson, who was hosting the debate, says the odds that we are in one may be very high. 

The answer widely agreed upon by physicists and philosophers is that it is nearly impossible to prove whether we are in a simulation or not. Even Neil Degrasse Tyson would not be astonished if someone else created and ran our civilization. A definitive way of knowing whether our universe could be simulated or not is to figure out all the laws of physics and then be able to simulate reality. If we can do that, then it might be 100% possible that we are in a simulation. 

I’m saying, the day we learn that it is true, I will be the only one in the room saying, I’m not surprised,” said Tyson. 

So while we may never get an answer to whether or not we are in our version of the matrix, the future is full of endless possibilities.