The question about a possible simulated universe in the purest Matrix style is older than you can imagine.
In fact, this doubt has haunted the minds of scientists for many years, and has reappeared in the last year. Debate in Memory of Isaac Asimov held in the Hayden Planetarium (NY). And it is not for less, because any of us will make a mess if we suddenly start to wonder: How do we know that reality is real? How do we know that we are not truly in a computer simulated universe?
But this is not the worst of the matter. While any one of the mortals might be left unanswered, the worst is when experts on the subject try to respond. The last of them, the well-known astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson; and his opinion is that yes, it is quite likely that we live in a simulated universe, very much in the style of the Matrix saga.
We could livein a simulated universe, according to experts
In fact, Tyson is not the first to come to this conclusion. Already in a study from the past 2012 Silas Beane and her team from the University of Bonn (Germany) concluded that it would be possible to build a computer simulated universe, although with various restrictions to take into account. What is striking on this occasion is who has stated it.
To test whether we live in a simulated universe or not two ways to approach the problem:
The first strategy It would be gathering evidence on the subject: Or gathering evidence indicating that it is truly a reproducible simulation (somewhat difficult and expensive); Or find some kind of limitation or restriction in the supposed simulation that should not exist in a real world and look for such limitation in our current universe.
Thesecond strategy will be the call Descartes approach: Doubting absolutely everything until we find something in our reality that is irrefutable. In the case of Descartes, he concluded that it exists because he thought (Cogito ergo sum or I think, therefore I exist), because it is necessary to exist in some way to be able to think. It is a simplistic way to refute the idea of a simulated universe, but it is not bad.
Past mistakes in denying a possible simulated universe
However, with the little you have heard about Descartes, the philosopher erred in some affirmations thanks to a single concept: Resort to ideas about God and his unwillingness to deceive man. That is to say, Descartes trusted what his senses told him for the simple fact that he trusted that God would be just and not deceive him.. Now if you are an atheist, you have a serious problem believing the Descartes way of life.
And if you are a physicist of the 21st century, also, even if you are religious, because referring to the Creator in your work will not do you much good. And if you have a Large Hadron Collider The objective of which is to prove that you are in a simulation, it does not help you much to speak of God.
The scientific arrogance to believe in the possibility of a simulated universe
And here comes Tyson. According to the well-known scientist, building a simulated universe would be possible in the future, but this implies assuming that some species in the future I will. Therefore, if we assume that in the future some species can build it, we can also think that it is already possible that we live in this simulated universe. And if we follow the Infinite loopWe can also expect that an infinite number of civilizations can create an infinite number of simulated universes, reaching the point that the same inhabitants of the simulated universe that we have created are, in turn, capable of creating another simulated universe.
And for all this mess I just told you, the theory of a simulated universe is crazy.
It is the same as if we consider that a large part of the individuals that surround us are time travelers, which is possible, and that would lead us to think that at some point in time our species will be so advanced that we will be able to create time travel and return to the future. past, which in turn means that we can alter time to create this technology with a further advance to the same story. Do you realize how crazy it sounds?
Well, this is where the scientific arrogance of our era. Believe that at some point we could do this or that. And no, this does not mean that neither Tyson nor the other researchers studying the possibility of a simulated universe are wrong, they could be right. But they also might not have it. Throwing affirmations in the wind doesn’t mean anything, it’s useless. And so far the only thing we’ve managed to do is get into an infinite loop of thought around the idea of a simulated universe.
Could Yes, and it may not be. We have no proof of this at the moment other than the science-fiction of the Matrix.