1.2.6. The end of science?
If it turns out that we do live 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 they lived in a world of pixels, that their time and space could expand and contract, and that their world began at a specific moment in the past, they might conclude it was true. They couldn’t perceive the processing behind their world but they could conceive it, as we now do. Yet their science would go on just as our quantum theory based on quantum states that are patently not physical at all is still science. Science only requires real feedback to work and the physical world as a virtual reality provides that.
A local reality seems real to its inhabitants but is actually within another reality that generates it, in contrast an objective reality exists in and of itself and isn’t contained by anything else. A local reality is real from within but not from without, so just as Monopoly money affects what you can buy in the game but not outside it, the laws of physics govern physical reality but not the quantum reality that creates it. In general, pixels are real to pixels because they are of the same nature, just as the earth is “solid” to us, who are made of earthy stuff but to a neutrino from the sun our whole planet is just a ghostly shadow through which it flies. In quantum realism, the physical world is a local reality that can support science even though it isn’t an objective reality.