Understanding the Simulation Conspiracy

The Simulation Theory gained popularity as humans began to create virtual reality.

The Simulation Theory gained popularity as humans began to create virtual reality.

Meghan Dulay, Editor In Chief

The Simulation Conspiracy is the theory that everything, including the universe, the planets, and basically everything that is known to exist is the result of a simulation created by an alter (or greater) life form. In other words, our world was created with the intent to be studied by something greater than humans.

Over the past few decades, this philosophic concept exploded in the scientific community, as it was previously thought to be nothing more than sci-fi fantasy. Several films have explored the theory of human existence, for example, the 1998 movie, “The Truman Show”. The film fed into the conspiracy when the protagonist, Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), was unknowingly part of a world-famous television show, The Truman Show. The show revolved around Truman, where every event in his life was scripted and planned by the show, until he ultimately discovers the truth about his existence. Truman’s life was nothing more than a simulation created with the purpose of entertaining a greater force, in this case the world.

In 2003, philosopher Nick Bostrom suggested the idea that our “reality” may be part of a simulation from an alternate life form. Like any experiment, subjects must be present in order to conduct a study, and in this case, the idea is that humans are the subjects. “If people eventually develop simulation technology — no matter how long that takes — and if they’re interested in creating simulations of their ancestors, then simulated people with experiences just like ours will vastly outnumber unsimulated people”, says Bostrom.

He supported the idea by bringing up the thought that humans are already mocking such a simulation, through video games, computer-simulated virtual realities, and even roller coasters. In 2016, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, explained that video games can easily be related to the theory by comparing human-made simulations to the one that we are almost inevitably living. “The odds that we’re in base reality is one in billions”, Musk states, ultimately suggesting that the odds that we are not in simulation is almost impossible.

According to the New York Times, physicists from the University of Washington have recently proposed experiments to test the theory and ultimately confirm whether the conspiracy is true. Basing their ideas off Bostrom, they have come up with an experiment that would answer that would disprove nearly every previous theory to the start of human life. “Some of today’s computer simulations of our cosmos produce distinctive anomalies — for example, there are telltale glitches in the behavior of simulated cosmic rays. By taking a closer look at the cosmic rays in our universe, the physicists suggested, we might detect comparable anomalies, providing evidence that we live in a simulation”, says philosophy professor Preston Greene (New York Times).

While the idea of testing the theory seems plausible, it will most likely never be tested- and that’s a good thing. According to experts, if you relate the idea of the Simulation Conspiracy to a simulation that humans would conduct, the result is simple. Theoretically, to uncover the truth, would be equivalent to ruining the simulation, thus ending the experiment. “If we were to prove that we live inside a simulation, this could cause our creators to terminate the simulation”, says Greene.

There are certain philosophical questions that humans may never be able to get answered, for example, the meaning of life or who ultimately created it. The Simulation Theory may seem to be a stretch, but the idea behind it provides an interesting insight to what we, as humans, have been questioning all throughout history.