Letters to the Editors; April 1995; Scientific American Magazine; by Staff Editor; 1 Page(s)
If you believe that at some point in the future mankind will develop a virtual- reality technology that allows a user to experience a virtual life while believing it to be 100 percent genuine, how can you know whether the life you are living now is real or virtual? You can't. But I've created a formula that determines the exact chance that your life is either real or virtual. Remarkably, the answers, using conservative values, have generally ranged from 25 to 50 percent--a one-quarter to one-half chance that our lives are virtual, not real. I look forward to working with you on this project.
For every evolutionary advance, there is an equal and opposite regressive step to be offset. At present, the L. bifidus in mother's milk provides a turning point in evolution, protecting us from returning to something like Neanderthal man or even the monkey. The existence of "negative evolution," which might broadly be described as "inertia," is being ignored.