Huffington Post UK has a new very brief article stating that physicists at the University of Washington are going to test the simulation hypothesis – the theory that we are all living inside a giant computer simulation.
I am interested in whether the experiment will conclude anything. I have my doubts, just because metaphysical questions like that don’t tend to be testable in any conclusive way (that being sort of the definition of metaphysics). And no matter what data they do get, there may be better theories to explain it.We can always come up with more ideas why something is the case – data underdetermines theory
From the perspective of theism, the simulation hypothesis could be either problematic or validating. It does imply a “simulation engineer” after all. And that engineer would be “God.” Maybe not the God theists currently believe in, but perhaps it could be. After all, as Sam Harris notes on his blog, if the simulation hypothesis is correct and we gain the same power to produce simulations as the one we are currently inhabiting, then its just a matter of time before some religion creates a simulation which validates its theology. (And I appreciate Harris’s honesty here, admitting that the idea can undercut his own atheist position.)
A rather strange and humorous idea, I think. I wonder what people will think of next?