In an article on The Telegraph, Royal Astronomer Sir Martin Rees writes on post-biological evolution, immortality, the Singularity, vast oceans of yet unknown science, and synthetic realities created by super-advanced civilizations.
Interstellar travel is “in my view, an enterprise for post-humans, evolved from our species not via natural selection but by design,” says Sir Martin Rees on The Telegraph. “They could be silicon-based, or they could be organic creatures who had won the battle with death.”
“Some proponents of the ‘singularity’ — the takeover of humanity by intelligent machines — claim this transition could happen within 50 years.”
“In this hugely expanded cosmic perspective, the laws of Einstein and the quantum could be mere parochial bylaws governing our cosmic patch. Space and time may have a structure as intricate as the fauna of a rich ecosystem, but on a scale far larger than the horizon of our observations. Our current concept of physical reality could be as constricted, in relation to the whole, as the perspective of the Earth available to a plankton whose ‘universe’ is a spoonful of water.”
“And that’s not all — there is a final disconcerting twist. Post-human intelligence will develop hypercomputers with the processing power to simulate living things — even entire worlds. Perhaps advanced beings could use hypercomputers to surpass the best “special effects” in movies or computer games so vastly that they could simulate a world, fully, as complex as the one we perceive ourselves to be in. Maybe these kinds of super-intelligences already exist elsewhere in the multiverse — in universes that are older than ours, or better tuned for the evolution of intelligence. What would these super-intelligences do with their hypercomputers? They could create virtual worlds vastly outnumbering the “real” ones. So perhaps we are ‘artificial life’ in a virtual universe.”