Infographic - Are We Living In A Computer Simulation?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Infographic - Are We Living In A Computer Simulation?

How do we know if the world we know it isn't just a simulation running on some cosmic computer, where the Big Bang essentially ran the code, 'Start Program'.  Our new infographic explores these concepts and the ideas behind them.

When philospher Nick Bostrom first proposed the simulation argument a decade ago, it was just an idea.

Now researchers working in cosmology to quantum mechanics to string theory are referring to Bostrom's idea.

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He initially argued that "at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation."

The question is compelling.  What if our universe is just a computer simulation?  How could we determine if it is?  What would this mean for our day-to-day lives?

Physicist Martin Savage, from the University of Washington, believes we can't discount the idea. He and two colleagues (Silas Beane and Zohreh Davoudi) published a paper in November 2012 exploring the possibility. Savage and his group have also devised a method of checking if the simulation exists using cosmic ray observations.

For these reasons we have made the following infographic looking at the question, "Are We Living In A Computer Simulation?"  

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