There is a fundamental chasm in our understanding of ourselves, the universe, and everything. To solve this, Sir Martin takes us on a mind-boggling journey through multiple universes to post-biological life. On the way we learn of the disturbing possibility that we could be the product of someone else's experiment.
The universe is still a place of mystery and wonder."
Sir Martin Rees
Are we alone?
Why are we here?
Are we real?
Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees investigates ...
All life on Earth is nothing more than an elaborate facade created by super-intelligent beings. Humans now exist in a computerized version of the world – a simulation that keeps us happy, while our powers are drained by our creators for use as fuel in their campaign for dominance in the ‘real’ world. This is the premise of the cult sci-fi thriller 'The Matrix'.
‘The simulation hypothesis, that we are currently living in a computer simulation, should be understood literally, it’s not just in a metaphorical sense whereby one could view the universe as a simulation, but literally we would be living in a simulation created by some advanced civilization in a computer they built in their universe. And everything we see and our brains themselves would just be parts of this simulation.’ Oxford University philosopher Dr Nick Bostrom echoes the thoughts of sci-fi writers and scientists alike. The simulation hypothesis is not sci-fi, it’s serious academic thought.
In Are We Real? Martin Rees navigates the extraordinary territory between science fact and science fiction. He reveals the logical steps that have led cosmologists and philosophers to the shocking conclusion that The Matrix scenario cannot be safely relegated to our storybooks. Whether it’s true or not, and it might be, here is a story that is altogether more serious and more deeply disturbing than any sci-fi fantasy could ever be.
Find out more @ Channel 4.
What We Still Don't Know: Are We Real? (2004). Duration: 48 minutes.
Sir Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, Kt OM FRS is a cosmologist and astrophysicist. He has been Astronomer Royal since 1995 and was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge from 2004 to 2012 and President of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010. Lord Rees is also a Patron of the Cambridge Science Festival.
As well as popularising his scientific areas from cosmology, including cosmic radiation background and galaxy formation, Lord Rees has written and spoken extensively about the problems and challenges of the 21st century, and the interfaces between science, ethics and politics. He is also one of three founders of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.