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Very soon... scientists will create a device to teleport a human. Person A will enter the device and an exact duplicate will exit the device. Person A has died, replaced by person A-1. The same looks, thought process, even the habit of choosing skim milk over whole. A clone. Clones can not be created from a clone without degenerating mutations. Hence, extinction of the human race. Beware the technology you use!
Of course this will need to occur before the genetic degradation of Homosapiens thanks to the technology used for extending life spans; MRI, medication, doctors, etc, etc.
Edited by Iaenvoy#1741 on 1/16/2013 10:03 AM PST
OK, I see one big problem with this point. If it's an exact duplicate, then there are 0 differences. That's the very definition of exact, is it not? Perfectly the same?
Another thing to note is that, being alive, we constantly replace the matter in our bodies, it's why we need to eat. We don't necessarily replace entire cells, mind you, but we do need to replace individual atoms. Given enough time, it is extremely likely that every atom in your body will be replaced. This occurs at a rate which would seem to be about 98% per year. If you'd like a simple explanation of this, as well as the evidence for it, check out http://www.eoht.info/page/Turnover+rate.
This being said, we are left with an old paradox. What defines an individual item? Is its components, or is it some other property? This is called the paradox of Theseus' Ship. It goes a little something like this:
In Athens was displayed the ship of the great hero Theseus. Many came to see this wonderful artifact, but being make of wood, cloth, and metal, the ship would deteriorate. Perhaps a sail would tear, and it would be replaced with a new one. Maybe a wooden plank would rot off, and a new one put in its place. Perhaps a nail would rust, and a new one driven in. Maybe a fresh layer of paint was applied. Over the generations, the entire ship was replaced, one tiny piece at a time. It looks exactly the same as the one Theseus himself sailed on, it's been in the same spot, it has never been wholly destroyed. But one tiny little piece at a time, it was replaced. Is it the same ship?
Over our lifespans it is more than likely ALL OF US will be completely replaced, and multiple times at that. So am I the same person I was 5 years ago? Are any of us?
Ha good catch. I used the word incorrectly. Nothing outside the electronic world can really be duplicated. Your statement brings to mind so many ideas about how people view the world. I think Monty Python's Meaning of Life is a good documentary to support your statement.
I think my point still holds water. Some people consider being replaced by a better-faster-able to leap tall buildings in a single bound-replica is more favorable to preservation of individual originality. Is there such a thing? Who knows.
p.s. THE END IS NIGH!!!!
Well, lets say that the duplication isn't perfect, that there are some flaws. Given that the human body reproduces its cells, some daily, others last years. Regardless, the Human Genome Project has found that humans have over 3,000,000,000 (that's three billion) base pairs in our genome. And every time a cell reproduces, that sequence must be duplicated. Lets say the accuracy is 99.9999%, we are still left with 3000 flaws. Our bodies produce millions of cells every day, resulting in millions, if not billions of mutations. Even if this teleporter/replicator was flawed, I highly doubt that it would have an impact greater than just being alive.
blew my mind
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