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Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Friday, 26 October 2012 10:08 UK

Can we know that we know?


The idea that life, the universe and everything is a computer simulation has been talked about in philosophy for millennia, inspiring the Matrix films and A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy among many others, but how could you ever find out such a thing were true?

A group of theoretical physicists has come up with a way of testing the hypothesis.

Professor Silas Beane, theoretical physicist behind the research at Bonn University, explained to Today presenter Evan Davis that the suggested experiments could demonstrate we were part of a simulation invented by theoretical physicists of the future to test their hypotheses.

Peter Millican, professor of philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford, questioned the logic behind the theory saying that even if the suggestion makes sense, "is there any good reason to think that it is plausible?"

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