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Old 04-13-2016, 04:16 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Howdy
Posts: 18,356
One could say that our ability to scan things is improving and you could also say that our ability to build things at a nano- scale is also improving, so in a very technical sense, yes we're getting closer.

But that doesn't mean that we're close, nor does it mean that there's actually a path with leads from here to there. The human brain, for example, may operate like RAM. It runs by constantly bouncing electrical impulses around, without end. The particular configuration of electrical signals isn't just the working medium, it's also the storage medium. If you lose all those signals, then you're just left with a bunch of silicon. You would need to reload all of the electricity back in, into the same exact positions, moving in the exact same direction as before, otherwise all of the information that was in the device is lost.

So assuming that you could put together all of the molecules that exist in the human body, connect them to one another, etc. that still leaves you with dead meat. You would not just need to kick it into life, but restore all of the electric impulses and anything else to the same exact state - after reconstruction of the body.

"Transportation" of inert items is certainly on the table. Granted, 3D printing is basically already doing that. If I have a plastic device here that I want "transported" to over there, they can print a plastic copy of it over there and (for whatever reason) I could smash up my copy so that there's still only one of that item in the universe.

But actual living things? Maybe there's some creature that's simple enough that, after printing the molecules out, can be kicked into life by simple means - because it doesn't need memory of previous states to continue on from its current position - but humans are a lot more complex than that. And, practically speaking, "beaming up" will probably always just be 3D printing, not matter transmission, so there are some practical and ethical considerations to creating copies of real live people that could stop anyone from ever doing it.