Neil deGrasse Tyson and other scientists weighed in on whether our world could just be a very complex computer simulation. 
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris

Neil deGrasse Tyson believes we could be living in Matrix-like simulation

Sounds like Neil deGrasse Tyson has taken the red pill.

Count the esteemed physicist as a believer in the Matrix-esque possibility that the world we know could actually be a highly-complex computer simulation.

Is the universe a simulation? Tyson as well as other physicists, astrophysicists and philosophers tried to answer that question in a spirited panel discussion April 5 at the 2016 Isaac Asimov Debate at the American Museum of Natural History.

Tyson, who has posited his beliefs about interplanetary life in the past, is open to the simulation possibility and offered a thought experiment. Humans might be the most intelligent life on Earth but the smartest human might only have the brain capacity of a toddler compared to alien life.

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“That is not a stretch to think about and if that's the case, it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just a creation of some other entity for their entertainment,” Tyson said. “The day we learn that it is true. I will be the only one in the room who will say, I’m not surprised.”

There is some science to the simulation theory.

Researchers at the University of Bonn looked at a way to measure the universe to determine if what we understand about physics is true or is only true because it is based on a simulation to indicate that it is, according to 2012 Popular Science story.

Other panelists are more skeptical.

“You’re certainly not going to get conclusive proof that you’re not in a simulation,” said David Chalmers, chair of philosophy at New York University. “Because any evidence we ever get could be simulated.”

Don't tell that to Morpheus.

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