Archive for the ‘Human Connectome Project’ Category

Human Replication Technology, Update 2010: Replicating the Brain

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Successful replication of a mature human brain – one that we would accept as a replacement for our own, or for the brain of someone we love – must preserve almost all the connections within it.  Connections embody the psychological properties that make human individuals who they are: memories, learned abilities, habits, associations, talents, and emotional responses.

In an organ such as the liver, it doesn’t matter that two particular cells are adjacent, because the liver is not a communications network.  In the brain, the physical arrangement of individual cells matters very much.  All our psychological attributes – the differences between the minds of an Einstein and a Hitler – are instantiated in that physical relationship. (more…)

Progress in Replication Technology

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Nanomanufacturing3All that’s needed to make a case for radical reform of the idea of self is a thought-experiment with a clear and compelling outcome.  However, the world is full of people who pay no attention to thought-experiments, however revealing they may be in exposing inconsistencies in everyday ideas, because thought-experiments aren’t ‘real’.  These are people from Missouri, as the saying goes, who demand to be shown.  And I have nothing to show, yet.

But even people from Missouri can be convinced to take a possibility seriously if there’s enough evidence that, although not here yet, it’s coming fast, probably not very far away, not in front of the house yet but closer than the next county.  Like the second Al-Qaeda attack on American soil.  Something worth thinking about.

This post examines the possibility whether we will one day have the capability of replicating a living human being, and if so, when might that be?  (more…)