From Scientific American:
If you, me and every person and thing in the cosmos were actually characters in some giant computer game, we would not necessarily know it. The idea that the universe is a simulation sounds more like the plot of “The Matrix,” but it is also a legitimate scientific hypothesis. Researchers pondered the controversial notion Tuesday at the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate here at the American Museum of Natural History.
Moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the museum’s Hayden Planetarium, put the odds at 50-50 that our entire existence is a program on someone else’s hard drive. “I think the likelihood may be very high,” he said. He noted the gap between human and chimpanzee intelligence, despite the fact that we share more than 98 percent of our DNA. Somewhere out there could be a being whose intelligence is that much greater than our own. “We would be drooling, blithering idiots in their presence,” he said. “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.”
But some were more contemplative, saying the possibility raises some weighty spiritual questions. “If the simulation hypothesis is valid then we open the door to eternal life and resurrection and things that formally have been discussed in the realm of religion,” Gates suggested. “The reason is quite simple: If we’re programs in the computer, then as long as I have a computer that’s not damaged, I can always re-run the program.”
And if someone somewhere created our simulation, would that make this entity God? “We in this universe can create simulated worlds and there’s nothing remotely spooky about that,” said David Chalmers, a professor of philosophy at New York University. “Our creator isn’t especially spooky, it’s just some teenage hacker in the next universe up.” Turn the tables, and we are essentially gods over our own computer creations. “We don’t think of ourselves as deities when we program Mario, even though we have power over how high Mario jumps,” Tyson said. “There’s no reason to think they’re all-powerful just because they control everything we do.” And a simulated universe introduces another disturbing possibility. “What happens,” Tyson said, “if there’s a bug that crashes the entire program?”
The problem here is simple. If the creator was indeed God, Chalmers and Tyson would be saying the very same thing.
But according to Tyson, the creator could never be God.
How so? From a year ago:
OK, if that god is described as being all-powerful and all-knowing and all-good, I don’t see evidence for it anywhere in the world. So I remain unconvinced. If that god is all-powerful and all-good, I don’t see that when a tsunami kills a quarter-million or an earthquake kills a quarter-million people. I’d like to think of good as something in the interest of your health or longevity. That’s a pretty simple definition of something that is good for you. That’s not a controversial understanding of the word “good.” So if Earth in two separate events separated by just a couple of years can kill a half-million people, then if the god as you describe exists, that god is either not all-powerful or not all-good. And so therefore I am not convinced.
Thar she blows. All she’s got. The only argument against God seems to be the Argument From Evil. Essentially what Tyson is saying is that if God was the creator, we would all be Teletubbies! His skepticism is quite unconvincing.