- Parent Category: Advanced News Lessons
- Category: Science and Technology
- Written by Chris Cotter
As strange as it may sound, a number of prominent physicists and philosophers have suggested that all people and things in our universe are nothing more than a computer simulation. In other words, although somewhat seemingly far-fetched, nothing and no one is real. We are simply computer code in a virtual reality.
The legitimate theory suggests that an advanced civilization, perhaps our future descendants thousands of years hence, is running computer simulations for research purposes to gain insight into 21st century humans. It's equally possible that these beings may be running simulations for enjoyment, much as we run video games and virtual worlds for our entertainment. And with access to enormous computing power, such would be possible.
Of course, not everyone agrees, and skepticism exists. Thinking that somehow we are unique and interesting enough to research seems exceedingly self-centered. It harks back to the idea that Earth is at the center of the universe. In reality, humankind is not terribly special.
However, some tech billionaires have begun to fund research in an attempt to confirm whether humankind does indeed live in a computer, even if the evidence will prove difficult to find. And in fact, additional money is being thrown at scientists to find a way to free humankind from the simulation.
Whatever the truth, if we are merely computer simulations on a future descendant's computer, let's hope that a bug doesn't crash the program and he/she remains interested in our antics.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- I'm very interested in computers and technology.
- I think computers are dangerous.
- We currently live in interesting and exciting times.
- The future will be an interesting and exciting place to live.
- I enjoy playing video games.
Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.
- We are simply computer...
- It's equally possible that these beings may be running simulations for enjoyment, much...
- It harks back to the idea that...
- And in fact, additional money is being thrown at scientists to...
- Whatever the truth, if we are merely computer simulations on a future descendant's computer...
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- Do you think we live in a computer simulation? Please explain.
- If we really were in a simulation, would you want to know? Why/not?
- If we really were in a simulation, would you make any changes to your life? Please explain.
- Would you want to visit a virtual world from history? If yes, what time period(s) would you want to visit?
- Would you want to visit a virtual world based on the future? Why/not?
Google Search: Type "computer simulation" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.