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Could we one day survive without a body ?

Posted on Friday, 16 August, 2013 | Comment icon 61 comments | News tip by: Aggie


Image credit: Gaetan Lee

 
Some scientists believe that in the future our brains may no longer need our bodies to survive.

The concept of surviving as a brain in a jar has been a staple of science fiction for years, but how far-fetched is this idea ? Cyberneticist Professor Kevin Warwick believes that rather than improving our bodies we should be instead looking for ways to live without them. Even now, experiments have been conducted in which people have been able to control a robotic arm or computer program using nothing more than their own brain power.

In the future it may be possible to have a human brain hooked up to a robotic mechanism that could allow it to survive indefinitely while still being able to physically interact with the world. Such a setup may become critical in allowing humans to survive the journey to distant galaxies and could make it possible for us to eventually colonize distant planets that would take us thousands of years to reach.

"Scientists are investigating whether or not we could one day live as brains without bodies, far away on another planet."

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 Source: Daily Mail


  Discuss: View comments (61)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #52 Posted by Frank Merton on 18 August, 2013, 19:19
That just seems too Matrixy to be taken seriosuly I certainly don't think SF stories can be used as evidence for theories, but I would also say that, if they have appeared in SF, this can't be used as evidence against them either.
Comment icon #53 Posted by SkepticalB on 18 August, 2013, 19:20
my bad, responed to someone else* why would the...whatevers running the simulation have something in the simulation to show us the possibility of simulated existence?
Comment icon #54 Posted by Frank Merton on 18 August, 2013, 19:21
I was responding to the message before yours from Sundew; it was a bit too long to copy and yours appeared while I was typing mine.
Comment icon #55 Posted by SkepticalB on 18 August, 2013, 19:26
I realized that. i edited mine to be more timing appropriate
Comment icon #56 Posted by Frank Merton on 18 August, 2013, 19:31
If we find glitches in the functioning of the universe it could indicate simulation. At any rate that is how I interpreted what he said. Of course if the simulation is being run by God then there will be no glitches .
Comment icon #57 Posted by SkepticalB on 18 August, 2013, 19:32
It would however be proof that God is a massive troll
Comment icon #58 Posted by xxxch00bxxx on 26 August, 2013, 13:24
Why does this Warwick stop at "just having a human brain without a body"? Why does he not go further and propose to entirely replicate the human brain into synthetic form and then it will be truly immortal. Organic cells die, synthetic parts can be infinitely replaced and maintained. it wouldn't be immortality, just be a machine with your replicated conciousness. I think it would be cool all sensory outputs the body has will eventually be mimicked by technology. Nothing would be more cool than controlling a giant ship with your brain, you could place your brain in a robot body suit, mech suit,... [More]
Comment icon #59 Posted by Frank Merton on 26 August, 2013, 16:28
The problem I have is the people don't seem to understand that we are different in a fundamental way from computers. They don't experience the world; they just respond to programming. Evolution also uses programming -- although we call it "reflexes." "If 'this' happens, then do 'that.' These are the things that happen when we do things unconsciously, and the process of developing a skill is largely just our programming ourselves. But we also do something else -- identified in Buddhism and other religions as "sentience." We don't just react to the world, we experience it. Look up "qualia" to se... [More]
Comment icon #60 Posted by green_dude777 on 26 August, 2013, 18:18
The problem I have is the people don't seem to understand that we are different in a fundamental way from computers. They don't experience the world; they just respond to programming. Evolution also uses programming -- although we call it "reflexes." "If 'this' happens, then do 'that.' These are the things that happen when we do things unconsciously, and the process of developing a skill is largely just our programming ourselves. But we also do something else -- identified in Buddhism and other religions as "sentience." We don't just react to the world, we experience it. Look up "qualia" to se... [More]
Comment icon #61 Posted by Frank Merton on 26 August, 2013, 20:03
Free will is a separate although related issue. The problem is that both saying we have it and saying it is an illusion lead to paradoxes. I don't see where scientists as scientists rather than as philosophers have any basis for making such assertions.


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