The ideas shown in the cult movie «The Matrix» may not be so fantastic. This is something both those involved in science and those conducting secret experiments are talking about today.
Rich Terrill, a computer scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, believes that our universe may well be a simulation with artificially intelligent inhabitants who have believed in their world.
«We live one generation away from those gods who create these universes,» he stated.
Terrill meant that our reality was created by people from the future. And he is not alone in his opinion.
Mathematician, philosopher, and physicist Nick Bostrom of Oxford University holds the same view.
«Although the world we see is in a sense ‘real,’ it is not located at a fundamental level of reality. We live in a computer program created by some super-intelligent race,» he says.
Bostrom bases his assertions on the «Copernican principle.» The astronomer, who popularized the idea that the Sun is the center of the solar system, claimed that the Earth is nothing special.
Technically, we could be on any planet of the same size orbiting any star of the same size, and the universe would look to us almost as it does now.
«If aliens or future humans created one virtual Earth using a supercomputer, there’s no reason they couldn’t make a million of them. So the numbers are against us. There could be billions of simulated worlds and at most one «real» world. The Copernican principle states that on this basis we are more likely to be in one of the simulations than in reality,» states Bostrom.
Can we ever know if the simulation hypothesis is correct? Bostrom thinks: there is always a chance that one day we might find an intentional or accidental clue hidden in the simulation.
But that’s the scary part. Harvard astronomer Abraham Leb says that if we were to confirm that our «reality» is not real, nothing else would matter. All laws and the system itself would immediately begin to collapse. The disintegration of society would begin.
Preston Green, associate professor of philosophy at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, goes even further. He argues that if scientists found a way to confirm that our universe is a simulation, it could be the end game.
In an article published in the New York Times, he wrote:
«If we were to prove that we live inside a simulation, it might force our creators to stop the simulation — to destroy our world.»
Thinking about the «creator» of the simulated universe brings modern science very close to theology.
The new theories bring us closer to humanity’s earliest conceptions of a world with a creator watching over us from beyond the universe. We can only guess as to why he created us. And it may be better if we never understand them.