WANT IMMORTALITY? TRANSPLANT YOUR BRAIN – Who wants to live forever… ah the immortal lyrics of the song created for the movie Highlander where McCloud was one of the immortals fighting for survival over the centuries – there can be only one.
I’m sure you’ve seen the movie. However the movie and the song itself paints a desperate portrait of man’s battle to survive and in the process ward off the demons of loneliness for watching those around him depart whilst he remains is simply an unnatural order to the way life is supposed to play out.
Scientists over the last 100 years or so have made some remarkable discoveries concerning the human body and with it brought about medical advancements that are prolonging life expectancy.
Further to this there are those who fund research in order to find the fountain of youth for there are many who would prefer not to shuffle off their mortal coil but rather live forever.
For those of you who seek immortality you’ll be pleased to know that science is making headway; for the want of a better expression.
Professor Stephen Hawking recently raised the possibility of immortality by suggesting it is possible for the human brain to exist outside of the body.
Professor Hawking is not the only one to support this claim and indeed recently we published an article whereby Ray Kurzweil, a science expert working for Google, claims that the transferring of human minds into a digital world will be possible by 2045.
With the advancements of medicine and robotics there are those that feel it more than probable that humans will be able to live forever in a robotic body with their human brain built into the device.
Professor Hawking recently suggested that such is the advancement of computer technology it will soon be possible to transplant a human mind by copying onto a computer’s hard drive; thus eradicating the need for any organic matter.
How outrageous or speculative are these claims? 50 years ago any patient with a heart defect was almost certain to die. This also extended to most cancers, kidney, lung and liver defects and yet today organ transplants are common.
There was a time when children read comic books with images of man walking on the moon. Parents at the time dismissed such fantasy and yet in 1969 Neil Armstrong did in fact walk on the moon – yes there are conspiracy theories to suggest that never happened but we know today that such a feat is more than possible.
There are a number of moral issues that need addressing; such a population controls as if we continue to reproduce at the current rate it is estimated by the year 2050 there will be approximately 50 billion people on the planet.
The argument of people living longer or achieving immortality comes at the expense of our environment is a strong one however many believe that immortality that is achieved through a robotic frame and a brain that is little more than a computer hard drive will not have much of an impact for the body would not need sustenance – in terms of food and water.
At this point in time the science behind immortality that consists of a robotic body and a hard drive brain is science-fiction but certainly not implausible. As mankind continues to develop ever increasingly complex robots and with advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) it is plausible that by 2045 immortality could be achieved.
Whenever I read articles on such a topic as this I often think of Jeff Goldblum’s line in the movie Jurassic Park… “Just because we could do something doesn’t necessarily mean we should.”
It is a poignant reminder that maybe there are something’s that shouldn’t be meddled in and yet the same could have been said with organ transplants in that surgeons are simply playing God.
With medical advancements in Stem Cell research this has also caused public outcry in some quarters; again some feel that such advancements are in direct contravention of the natural order.
I wonder what mankind will make of things once these technologies moves from paper to everyday reality.