Is Our Universe a Computer Simulation?

Benzi chibna looble bazebni gweb.  If you were a Sim, you might have understood that this means, “Nothing is impossible if you believe.”  The age old “brain in a vat” theory (or as it is now called, Simulated Reality) is being tested with new science to attempt to prove if we are nothing but (highly advanced) Sims.

Oxford University Philosophy Professor Nick Bostrom proposed his simulated reality theory in 2003.  “It could be an ancestor-simulation,” said Bostrom, “a simulation that aims to be a reasonably realistic rendition of the actual historical ancestors or close variations of the people creating the simulation.”

Now, a team of physicists from University of Washington is putting this theory to the test. They are aiming to test if the lattice created by this super computer that created our universe has signatures detectable by current technology.

If you don’t know what the heck a lattice is, it isn’t as confusing as you think.  The lattice of the universe theory is as follows: the computer you are reading this on has a finite number of pixels, or resolution.  On that screen, you cannot draw a straight line that crosses these pixels, much like how you cannot move a chess piece half a square.  Philosophers and scientists predict that in the future we will have the computing power to create a lattice so seamless that it operates according to the physics of our universe.

One problem with this is that it relies heavily on philosophy.  Mr. Choi, a chemistry teacher at South, gave his opinion. “This article can no longer be considered a science article,” said Mr. Choi.  “It crosses the line between religion, philosophy and science.”

Some claim that this argument is unfalsifiable; if we are in a simulation that we cannot see, how can you disprove it?  And, on a philosophical note, who is the creator of the original simulation?  If we are a computer simulation, what’s stopping the universe that simulated us from being a simulation, too?

Take a step back if you have to.  Like Mr. Choi said, this is based on philosophy.  If one of the assumptions about lattices, cosmic rays and all that jazz are wrong, the whole argument is down the toilet.  Also, if this argument proves to be unfalsifiable, it is out of the realm of science and cannot be proven.  So take some deep breaths, sit back on your computer, and just remember “Dis Wompf Es Fredesche.”