- Parent Category: Upper-Intermediate News Lessons
- Category: Science and Technology
- Written by Chris Cotter
It may sound very strange, but quite a few important physicists and philosophers have suggested that all people and things in our universe are a computer simulation. In other words, although 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 is running computer simulations. Perhaps our future descendants thousands of years from now want to gain insight into 21st century humans, for example. However, instead of research, it's also possible that these beings are running the computer simulation for enjoyment, such as when 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. Thinking that we are unique and interesting seems exceedingly self-centered. These skeptics think the following: Humankind really is not terribly special.
However, some tech billionaires have begun to fund research. They want 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 the program doesn't crash or the people watching don't grow bored and switch us off.
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.
- In other words, although seemingly far-fetched...
- The legitimate theory suggests...
- And with access to enormous computing power...
- Thinking that we are unique and interesting seems...
- And in fact, additional money is being thrown at scientists to...
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.