Despite the widespread belief in the theories of creationism and of evolution – mutually exclusive though they are – there is a third explanation for the existence of life on earth that refuses to go away. It says that life – in fact, the entire universe – is a computer simulation (video above).

It sounds unbelievable when absurd conspiracy theorists on the internet suggests such a thing. But when some of the world’s leading innovators, physicists and philosophers believe and propagate such a hypothesis, maybe something is up?

Elon Musk’s theory is surprisingly simple yet persuasive in its logic. He has spoken of the advancement of video games over the past 40 years, developing from simple eight-bit visuals to photorealistic visuals with millions of people playing simultaneously, going on to incorporate virtual reality. He says in the video, “Eventually those games will be indistinguishable from reality. They will be so realistic you will not be able to tell the difference between that game and reality as we know it. How do we know that that didn’t happen in the past and that we’re not in one of those games ourselves?”

There is no proof, of course. Equally, there is no way to establish, as biologist Richard Dawkins puts it, that the theory is wrong. And, as theoretical physicist James Gates points out, “If the simulation hypothesis is valid, then we open the door to eternal life and resurrection.” How? “You just have to rerun the program.”