Scientists Can Test to See If the Universe Is a Computer Simulation

What if they discover we're all in the Matrix, or that we're inside a colossal version of The Sims?

Some physicists and university researchers say it's possible to test the theory that our entire universe exists inside a computer simulation, like in the 1999 film "The Matrix."

In 2003, University of Oxford philosophy professor Nick Bostrom published a paper, "The Simulation Argument," which argued that, "we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation." Now, a team at Cornell University says it has come up with a viable method for testing whether we're all just a series of numbers in some ancient civilization's computer game.

Researchers at the University of Washington agree with the testing method, saying it can be done. A similar proposal was put forth by German physicists in November.

If this is all a computer simulation, I'd like to meet the programmer who came up with starvation, brain cancer and Guy Fieri -- and kick the programmer in the throat.

  • muselet

    This means Douglas Adams was right:

 Mice? What do you mean mice? I think we must be talking at cross purposes. Mice to me mean the little white furry things with the cheese fixation and women standing screaming on tables in early Sixties sitcoms.


 Earthman, it is sometimes hard to follow your mode of speech. Remember I have been asleep inside this planet of Magrathea for five-million years and know little of these early Sixties sitcoms of which you speak. These creatures you call mice you see are not quite as they appear, they are merely the protrusions into our dimension of vast, hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings. The business with the cheese and squeaking is just a front.

 A front?


Oh yes, you see the mice set up the whole Earth business, as an epic experiment in behavioural psychology; a ten-million year program – 

 No, look, you’ve got it the wrong way round. It was us. We used to do the experiments on them.


A ten-million year program in which your planet Earth and its people formed the matrix of an organic computer. I gather that the mice did arrange for you humans to conduct some primitively staged experiments on them just to check how much you’d really learned, to give you the odd prod in the right direction, you know the sort of thing: suddenly running down the maze the wrong way; eating the wrong bit of cheese; or suddenly dropping dead of myxomatosis.

    P.A. VOICE:
 Attention please, Slartibartfast. Would Slartibartfast and the visiting Earth creature please report immediately to the works reception area. Thank you. 

However, in the field of management relations, they’re absolutely shocking.


 Yes. Well you see, every time they give me an order I just want to jump on a table and scream!

I can see that would be a problem.

    Don’t mess with the mice.


  • IrishGrrrl

    “kick the programmer in the throat.”

    That should be: “kick the programmer in the nutsack until he croaks”

  • willpen

    The “Guy Fieri” thing just cracked me up…..

  • Scopedog

    Hmmm….looks like Philip K. Dick was right….

    Of course, will this prove that–well, some kind of higher power exists? Who can say?

    Simulation or not, though, we gotta live our lives.

    • Bob Rutledge

      Wouldn’t it be great if the answer was “yes”. And it turns out that “God” is some junior high school nerd doing a project for his computer class.

      Where “junior high school nerd doing a project for his computer class” is just worded thusly so that we mere humans can comprehend the sentence. It would actually be a “rafglick harmetallar shlufftiss completing zir project for glounmagliton class”. ;)

      ETA: Or what alopecia said (that Douglas Adams said).

  • Peter Bockenthien

    You can test for anything you like, you’ll always get the results you’re looking for.

  • nicole

    Thanks a lot, Bob! Now that this is in my brain, I’m obsessing over it. Are we or aren’t we? And, do we really want or need to know? And if we are, who the hell came up with male chauvinism? And guns, nukes, and Python snakes. And poverty, sickness, and so forth, on and on………

    Ad infinitum.

    • willpen

      Let’s add Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to that list.

      • nicole

        I’d just as soon add every modern republican to the list! :)

  • Leigh Simmons

    The programmer wouldn’t necessarily “come up” with the idea of anything, he’d set the conditions and rules for the simulation, then run it. Things like starvation, Guy Fieri or cancer would come about organically without any input from the programmer. Check out Conway’s Game of Life cellular automaton for an example.

  • zirgar

    Personally, I’d like to meet the programmer who came up with the idea for Maroon 5, the screaming yellow shits and Republicans and kick him/her in the throat.

    • nicole

      Especially the Republicans…….death to that bastard!!

    • Victor_the_Crab

      I’d throw in One Direction and Friends.