Tuesday, February 28, 2006

RE: Captain Kirk's Clone And The Eavesdropper

This relates to an enduring question I have, which is also somewhat related to longevity. If I were to create a younger duplicate of myself in order to live longer, which one would then be "me"? They would both think they were me, but which one actually would be? I know that I still would not want to die, even though there was another, younger "me" in existance. My dad makes the arguement, how about if you were to go to sleep, and then the copy is made, or a perfect software/hardware copy made, and the older one just never wakes up. IMO I would still be dead, there would just be a copy of me running around. I still don't want to die even with a copy running around. Now for the part that really gets me. If you were to replace each cell in my body with a mechanical duplicate that exactly replicates its function, only do it slowly, would I then perceive that I was no longer me? I think it's a more a matter of perception than existance in any particular place, or it may be that you would need time to integrate the new parts before getting more. If you just yank out the whole brain, maybe that wouldn't work. There is a book I read not too long ago that deals with this issue Tomorrow and Tomorrow. Hopefully we'll both live long enough to find out.
Imagine Captain Kirk being beamed back to the Starship Enterprise and two versions of the Star Trek hero arriving in the spacecraft's transporter room. It happened 40 years ago in an episode of the TV science fiction classic, and now scientists at the University of York and colleagues in Japan have managed something strikingly similar in the laboratory - though no starship commander was involved.

[Via ScienceDaily]

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