QR1.2.6. The End of Science?

1.2.6. The end of science?

If it turns out that we are in a virtual reality, is that the end of science? Suppose some characters in The Sims started to wonder if their world was virtual? They could test that theory against the data of their world just as we can. If they found that they lived in a world of pixels, where time could slow down and space could contract, where everything traced back to a specific start moment, they might conclude that it was true. They couldn’t perceive the processes behind their world but they could conceive them, as we do now. Yet science would still work, just as quantum theory still works even if we can’t see what it describes. Science only needs observable evidence to work, and a virtual reality provides that.

A virtual reality that seems real to its inhabitants can be called a local reality. It is contained within another reality that generates it, while an objective reality that exists in and of itself isn’t contained by anything else. A local reality is real from within but not from without, just as Monopoly money can buy things in the game but not outside it. Likewise, the currency of physical reality is things, but that of what contains it is being. Pixels are real to pixels as they are of the same nature, just as the earth is solid to us who are made of it, but to a neutrino from the sun our whole planet is just a shadow through which it flies. It follows that a local reality can support science, even though it isn’t an objective reality.

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