In 2003, Philosophical Quarterly published a paper by philosopher Nick Bostrom titled "Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?" In the introduction, Bostrom argues that one (or more) of the following propositions must be true:
(1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage
(2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof)
(3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.
It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor‐simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
The TED-Ed video above looks at how we might be able to run experiments to learn whether or not we are currently living in a simulation. Read the rest