Imagine you are sitting under a tree surrounded by a splendid garden, the birds are singing, the weather is calm, and you think this is the ideal moment to study the universe. You ask yourself, who or which is behind this magnificent creation? Is there a Creator? How the universe functions? You think continuously by appreciating the nature, until something comes in your mind and make you determine, what if this universe is a computer simulation?
Any credible evidence?
Actually, there is no credible evidence the universe is like a computer simulation. However, physicists around the world are starting researching on it. Perhaps you have watched the Matrix movie series, you may ask yourself, why not living in a simulation? In 2003, Nick Bostrom, a professor in the university of Oxford, revealed perhaps we are living in a computer simulation. Since that, science has started placing more emphasis on this topic. We did have other philosophers and physicists who thought about it many years ago, but they did not go further in researches because it was considered as a science-fiction subject!
A group of researchers from the university of Bonn suggested they found evidences that the universe is a simulation as it puts a limit on the laws of Physics. Even our universe is surviving after the great battle between matter and anti-matter, there are physicists who think it not perfect at all! There are anomalies in the universe, giving another clue that perhaps we are in a computer simulation which has bugs!
Think of it by yourself…
Computer gamers who love simulation games will probably understand it more easily. One of the famous simulation computer games is Sims. In this game, you simulate a personality, leading your life like you do in the real world. Let’s discuss this matter by taking assumptions from a computer game. Suppose, you are a computer programmer and you are creating a game. In proper terms, assume you are a Creator or God, and the game is the universe. This goes the same for our universe in the reality.
Are we real?
According to the Longman dictionary (International student edition) published in 1999, the word “simulate” means:
“to make or do something that seems like the real thing but is not…”
Move on from the same dictionary, the word “simulation” means:
“something you do in order to practice what you would do in real situation…”
As you see, both words reflects something which is not real, but is being practiced. It is like you are training yourself to pilot an airplane from a flight simulator. In reality, you are not piloting a real plane! It goes without saying, if the universe is a computer simulation, we are not real at all! Everything you see is an illusion, it is artificial!
In the same line of thought, it depends how you interpret the word “reality” in this context! Let’s go back to our example of a computer programmer creating a simulation game. For you as a computer programmer, the simulation game you are creating is a complete fiction in your own reality. Nevertheless, the living beings in the simulation game, for them it is real in their own reality. Hence, if a Creator had created the universe, for it, we are not real, but for us, everything is real in our own perception of reality! For examples, you will say you are real because everyone can see, feel and touch you or you will say air is real because we can breathe it, and so on.
Create the universe by using supercomputers
Recently, some groups of computer experts, physicists in universities have planned to create the universe in a small-scale using supercomputers. Right now, it is difficult for us to create something at a large-scale, but we can get many useful results even we do only a part of it like to know how the cosmic rays are reacting, etc. This project has already started in some prestigious universities.
Who or which is the creator?
This is an interesting part of this post! If the universe is a computer simulation, no doubt it has an origin, so, who or which created it? Those who are spiritual or religious will take their respective God/s as example. In fact, they can be right, an intelligent designer may be included if the universe is a computer simulation!
On the other hands, science will ask, if there is an intelligent designer, where it came from? The question of the existence of a kind of Creator will remain unanswered in the meantime and it is senseless! There are physicists who believe the Big Bang occurred from the collision of two other universes, if this is truth, then where the two other universes came from? Science will always search the missing singularity which is the last piece of the whole puzzle, but will encounter various difficulties the more they dig into it. Even Higgs Boson will not answer everything!
It is clear this will lead to another debate, hence, better to not go further into it. Each one has their opinions! You decide by using your logic and reasoning power!
To conclude on this fascinating topic, we have to let science study it more even it will take years! We cannot totally say the universe is a computer simulation or is functioning like a giant brain when everything which supports it is only based on hypothesis and theories. In brief, we want facts!