The “simulation” idea may sound pretty far-fetched but it is more popular than some might expect. Science broadcaster Neil deGrasse Tyson, driverless car entrepreneur Elon Musk, and former Astronomer Royal Martin Rees have aired the idea. Philosopher of consciousness David Chalmers argues that we can’t prove we are not living in a simulation.
First, Gleiser agrees with Chalmers that, from a philosophical perspective, a sim universe is not self-evidently false. A claim that the average cat has six legs, for example, can easily be falsified — and we don’t need philosophy to do it. But how do we show that Tyson, Musk, and Rees are mistaken?
Note: The arguments go back and forth. But free will seems like one of those things that we wouldn’t know about if we didn’t have it.