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Old 12-16-2015, 07:17 AM
s0meguy s0meguy is offline
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Teleportation physics question

If a teleportation machine deconstructs you down to your elementary particles, transports those particles somehow, then reconstructs you somewhere else in the universe using the exact same elementary particles in exactly the same configuration, is that still you?

Or is it somebody else that is exactly like you and thinks its you while in reality it is a new human being while you ceased to exist?

Why?

Last edited by s0meguy; 12-16-2015 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:51 AM
D18 D18 is offline
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Yes!
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:35 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
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This is more philosophical than factual.

Moving thread from General Question to In My Humble Opinion.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:49 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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If you just sit in a chair and wait for a second, are you still you? Why or why not? How, if at all, is that any different from the teleporter?
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:50 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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It's whichever you prefer it to be. This is a magical question. Therefore the answer must be a magical answer.

Magic is much more flexible than science that way.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:02 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
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This is pretty much Theseus' paradox. - whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

Most (all?) of a human's components are replaced during their lifetime by natural processes.

Last edited by bob++; 12-16-2015 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:28 AM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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So... "If magic happens, please explain how the magic works with physics."

Doesn't work like that.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:31 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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This is more of a philosophy question than a physics questions.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:45 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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A very good recent sci-fi novel about this very topic is The Fold by Peter Cline.

Quote:
a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to “fold” dimensions, it shrinks distances so that a traveler can travel hundreds of feet with a single step.

The invention promises to make mankind’s dreams of teleportation a reality. And, the scientists insist, traveling through the Door is completely safe.

Yet evidence is mounting that this miraculous machine isn’t quite what it seems—and that its creators are harboring a dangerous secret.
  #10  
Old 12-16-2015, 09:55 AM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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This is more philosophical than a factual physics question.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:52 AM
tim314 tim314 is offline
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As others have said, this is really more of a philosophy question than a physics question.

That said, physics (specifically quantum mechanics) tells us that fundamental particles (of any given species) are indistinguishable. There isn't any physical difference between rebuilding you from the particles you started with or rebuilding you from a different set of particles, and in fact there's no way to tell in principle that one particle has been replaced with another.

So, if you'd consider the teleported you to be the same, I suppose you'd have to consider the possibility that someone could make a duplicate of you that was equally the same. (There's a "no cloning" theorem in quantum mechanics that says you can't duplicate an *arbitrary* quantum state, but it's not clear to me that this would be any obstacle in turning your hypothetical, magic teleporter into a duplicator.)
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:55 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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Didn't we do this one fairly recently?
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:59 AM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by s0meguy View Post
If a teleportation machine deconstructs you down to your elementary particles, transports those particles somehow, then reconstructs you somewhere else in the universe using the exact same elementary particles in exactly the same configuration, is that still you?

Or is it somebody else that is exactly like you and thinks its you while in reality it is a new human being while you ceased to exist?

Why?
If Thor summons a hurricane to help him defeat Darkseid in single combat, while at the same time Storm orders up a sunny day because she and Clara Oswald are having a romantic picnic, what happens?
  #14  
Old 12-16-2015, 12:18 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Didn't we do this one fairly recently?
Yeah. They're all quantum-equivalent so this one is a duplicate like tim314 just suggested.
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:26 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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To my way of thinking, it's a Versed question.

Versed (for those of you who don't already know) is an anaesthetic, sort of. Ten years ago or thereabouts it was quite popular for colonoscopies and similar procedures.

The "sort of" part of it is as follows (if I understand correctly; if not, my incorrect understanding is still a good analogy): it doesn't make you unconscious (although you're at a reduced level of consciousness), nor does it block pain. But it interferes with memory: you won't remember a thing.

If you don't remember pain later, does it "matter"? Is pain that you can't remember the same thing as "painless" ?

The OP question is basically "if YOU die and some other consciousness is then subsequently created and it has all of your memories as well as your form factor, did you really die in a way that matters or is the new consciousness just as 'you' as you are now?" I would think it does not matter to anyone else but as to whether it matters to YOU becomes a more complicated question. Who is "YOU" in this scenario?

I think I might be cool with the procedure (at least after watching it work on other people first) but defining "YOU" as "your memories and other mental-state attributes" is sort of begging the question if you see what I mean.
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:49 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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It's a matter of opinion, like a lot of philosophy questions. I suspect that if you did actually have something like Star Trek or Known Space teleporters, where you can teleport quickly, easily, and cheaply, selection pressure would end up with everyone except for a few religions and cults believing that the teleported person is you. If you believe that you die going through a teleporter, you won't use one. But a huge chunk of jobs and social activities will require or be much easier with them, so the people who won't use them will end up getting poorer over time, while their kids will see all of their friends using teleporters and apparently not dying, so likely won't adopt the belief.

Plus if you do believe that the teleporter kills you, and the courts don't (which is pretty likely since rich people will be the first to use them), then you're probably going to develop mental issues from hanging around with what you believe are a bunch of zombies or doppelgangers.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:00 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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If you actually transport the particles you were made of and re-assemble them later you are closer to you in some sense than the transporter concept where different particles are re-assembled. Whether that makes much difference in terms of what 'you' are I couldn't say.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:28 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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Also, relevant to this thread: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3957

It's funny, but I think it hits on the fact that it's easy to say 'oh yes, you're dead if you use it' when you're thinking about teleportation in the abstract, but it's a lot different if you're actually giving up something valuable for that belief.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:31 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Drunky Smurf View Post
This is more philosophical than a factual physics question.
Genius!
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:56 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by Pantastic View Post
Also, relevant to this thread: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3957

It's funny, but I think it hits on the fact that it's easy to say 'oh yes, you're dead if you use it' when you're thinking about teleportation in the abstract, but it's a lot different if you're actually giving up something valuable for that belief.
I like the comic. Not sure I agree with your conclusion.

If you (any you) truly believe that teleportation is death you'd no more do it than jump in front of a train.

The fact you'd teleport for some benefit indicates that even if you say "teleportation is death", you don't mean it. And you never did. Which is real different from thinking "Yeah, I'll be dead, but I'll accept being dead in exchange for a threesome (or a ham sandwich) after I'm dead."

It's a bit like the old joke about American breakfasts: "The chicken has an interest; the pig made a commitment." If you're willing to play the part of the pig, you've proven you're not really buying into the idea that breakfast is real.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 12-16-2015 at 01:57 PM.
  #21  
Old 12-16-2015, 01:58 PM
s0meguy s0meguy is offline
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This is more philosophical than factual.

Moving thread from General Question to In My Humble Opinion.
It is not philosophical at all, but a very factual question. I'm not just talking about some philosophical question of who you are, but whether you are still in existence after you are dematerialized and rematerialized somewhere else.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:02 PM
s0meguy s0meguy is offline
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So... "If magic happens, please explain how the magic works with physics."

Doesn't work like that.
Deconstruction and then reconstruction of an object is not magic.

Last edited by s0meguy; 12-16-2015 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:03 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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You can intellectually believe that it is death but still teleport in exchange for a reward, because your lower brain correctly concludes that genetically it won't make a difference since someone with your exact genetic makeup will be receiving the reward.

I myself still haven't made up my mind. I am stuck on trying to imagine what it would be like to have all of your neurons gradually replaced with machinery. At no point would you be completely different, so I am forced to conclude that the end the mechanical you would still be you. However, suppose the machinery could be turned off. Fine, you may still be you when you're turned back on. But then, suppose that the machinery was itself then replaced, bit by bit, slowly, until it was entirely new material, while you were still off. I don't see any difference between that and teleportation.
  #24  
Old 12-16-2015, 02:17 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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You're taking the fairly common in this day and age attitude. One I share as well.

"You" is your thoughts & memories; the rest is just dumb supporting machinery that can in principle be replaced wholesale or piecemeal. If you're at all IT savvy, it's essentially the difference between an OS on hardware and an OS in a VM on hardware. Or even a OS in a VM in a VM on hardware.

And under that approach, full fidelity teleportation would be the same as your other replacement scenarios. Whatever "you" means, it sure doesn't (necessarily) mean meat.

The esteemed Chronos in post 4 asked a very pertinent question that got buried without comment. Whatever "you" are, it is undergoing continuous replacement and modification at the highest meta levels. In addition to the lower-level biological / chemical replacements bob++ called out in post #6. His link gives some useful further reading down this line.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 12-16-2015 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:25 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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If you (any you) truly believe that teleportation is death you'd no more do it than jump in front of a train... The fact you'd teleport for some benefit indicates that even if you say "teleportation is death", you don't mean it.
It's a lot harder to believe and stick to the belief that jumping in front of a train means death when you're surrounded by friends who have jumped in front of a train and seem fine, and when jumping in front of a train means no more commute, a better job, space travel, a three way, or whatever. I think that people who say 'teleportation is death' really do mean it when they're having an abstract philosophical discussion about what it means to be the same person - but I also think a lot of them would reexamine that belief if it was going to cost them a lot of opportunities, they were surrounded by 'dead' people who don't seem to mind being dead.

It's a lot like being a teenager and ranting about how you hate the whole corporate machine and you're not going to do anything that violates any of your principles. Then getting out into the real world and realizing that you can't buy much of anything without supporting a company that does bad stuff, and that paying rent or mortgage is a little bit more important than not contributing any of your labor for the benefit of some capitalist/socialist/statist/whichever fat cat.
  #26  
Old 12-16-2015, 03:30 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
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Try this wrinkle on 'Teleport':

"You" get into a machine. Someone throws a switch, and "you" disappear, but a scoop full of "Human" granules is formed.
If there is a scoop of "Human" granules in the receiving machine, "You" are (or appear, in all measurable ways, to be) reconstituted.

Now, if there is no granules of any type in the receiving machine, "You" never materializes again.
But: it turns out that, if a scoop full of "Tree" granules is present in the receiving machine, "You" will be reconstituted as a tree (so not everything maps all that well - the teleporter technology makes do with whatever it is fed).

SO:
Two scenarios:

1. No granules in the receiving machine - what happens to "You" - are you 'dead', or just in a 'potential' state

2. The granules in the receiving machine do not correspond to the received life form. Is that tree "You"?
  #27  
Old 12-16-2015, 03:36 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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It is not philosophical at all, but a very factual question. I'm not just talking about some philosophical question of who you are, but whether you are still in existence after you are dematerialized and rematerialized somewhere else.
How can a question about entirely imaginary "technology" be factual?
  #28  
Old 12-16-2015, 03:37 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Deconstruction and then reconstruction of an object is not magic.
On a molecular level it is.
  #29  
Old 12-16-2015, 03:42 PM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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Originally Posted by s0meguy View Post
It is not philosophical at all, but a very factual question. I'm not just talking about some philosophical question of who you are, but whether you are still in existence after you are dematerialized and rematerialized somewhere else.
Well, the factual answer is yes. But that is more of a mathematical answer than a musical one.
  #30  
Old 12-16-2015, 03:55 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Didn't we do this one fairly recently?
Yep... And it didn't end particularly well. Basically, the two viewpoints cannot communicate. They're using basic language in different ways. The word "identical" isn't well-enough defined for this debate.

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It is not philosophical at all, but a very factual question. I'm not just talking about some philosophical question of who you are, but whether you are still in existence after you are dematerialized and rematerialized somewhere else.
Alas, it is purely philosophical, because it depends on different people's interpretations of words such as "identical" and "you."

Some people (myself included) believe that the "Star Trek Transporter" moves a person from one place to another, not much differently than a bus or airplane. But others insist that it destroys the original person and creates a duplicate, which is not the same as the original.

The two viewpoints cannot be argued successfully, because they depend on different philosophical values for key words.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:02 PM
Hail Ants Hail Ants is offline
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As long as the Heisenberg compensators are functioning so as to prevent a tachyon pulse which causes the holodeck to become self-aware. In which case use proto-matter...
  #32  
Old 12-16-2015, 05:02 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Okay, try these wrinkles:

(1) The teleporter dematerializes you and doesn't rematerialize you anywhere. Are you dead? (I imagine most respondents would say, Yes, you're dead.) Would you be willing to let this happen to you? (You're promised, and you believe, that it's totally painless.)

(2) The teleporter scan you and makes an electronic image of your entire state at some suitably low level (that is, high level of detail -- resolution to the atom or quark or whatever). This image is e-mailed to the remote site, where "you" are accurately re-constructed. When this re-construction is verified, the original "you" is then dematerialized.

In other words, in short, you appear at the destination before you disappear from the origin location, and for a brief time, you (or two copies of you) exist at both places at once.

NOW would you be willing to use this transporter?

(3) Assuming scenario (2), the teleporter in addition saves the interim e-file of you to some back-up medium, from which "you" can be reconstructed at any time. What do you think of this?

(ETA: These scenarios, especially (2), are not my idea, nor are they new. I first heard these questions asked 30-some years ago.)

Last edited by Senegoid; 12-16-2015 at 05:02 PM.
  #33  
Old 12-16-2015, 05:12 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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To my way of thinking, it's a Versed question.

Versed (for those of you who don't already know) is an anaesthetic, sort of. Ten years ago or thereabouts it was quite popular for colonoscopies and similar procedures.

The "sort of" part of it is as follows (if I understand correctly; if not, my incorrect understanding is still a good analogy): it doesn't make you unconscious (although you're at a reduced level of consciousness), nor does it block pain. But it interferes with memory: you won't remember a thing.
We had a thread a while back by a guy who was scared shitless that an impending surgery would turn him into somebody else. He simply could not accept that after being anesthetized and re-awakened, he would still be the same person.

He had quite a number of threads about his medical questions.

It appears that not only was he eventually banned, but ALL his threads were wished away to the cornfield.

Last edited by Senegoid; 12-16-2015 at 05:12 PM.
  #34  
Old 12-16-2015, 05:17 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Suppose the machine first records the location of every particle in your body and assigns each particle an identity so you can be re-constructed correctly at the remote location. Now suppose it doesn't have to send you over immediately. If you are transported later on you will be re-assembled as your old self. We could all just stop in for scan every once in a while and if we die our carcasses can be transported and re-assembled just as we were last Thursday or whenever it was we last got scanned. If my understanding of this machine is correct you'll be losing all your memories past that last scan time, but you might prefer that to death. You could even go back to when you were much younger if you don't mind losing a lot of memory. Wouldn't bother me, I'll just write myself some notes.

Anyway, are you still you? Yup, because if the machine works as advertised no one could tell the difference.
  #35  
Old 12-16-2015, 05:27 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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I don't get the "magic" objections.

This is like asking what would happen if we traveled at 99% of the speed of light, as compared to asking what would happen if we traveled at 10 times the speed of light. The latter is certainly asking "what would physics be like if magic were allowed." But the former is most definitely not: it has a perfectly sensible and physically consistent answer even if the level of required technology might as well be a warp drive.

There's no evidence that human intelligence or consciousness is dependent on quantum physics (having an MRI done proves this much). Hence, any no-cloning theorems or the like aren't a valid objection to any hypotheticals that involve making a copy.

At any rate, I'll just leave this here.
  #36  
Old 12-16-2015, 05:29 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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It is not philosophical at all, but a very factual question. I'm not just talking about some philosophical question of who you are, but whether you are still in existence after you are dematerialized and rematerialized somewhere else.
What if someone started grabbing random atoms from your body, and swapped them with other items. A carbon gets ejected, to be replaced by another carbon. Some hydrogen gets vented from your abdomen, but is replaced by other hydrogen. In fact, what if your body was constantly sucking in molecules from one end and spewing out different molecules from the other end?

Are you still the same person when 10% of your atoms have been replaced? How about 15%?

Of course everyone knows that my hypothetical really happens. You breathe and drink and eat, and exhale and piss and sweat and shit and shed dead skin and hair and spew all sorts of substances out into the world.

What makes you into you? Are you the same person you were a second ago? A minute ago? 30 years ago? Does a caterpillar still exist after it turns into a butterfly? Does the baby you were decades ago still exist? If the baby was you and you're still the same as the baby, what is it that makes you the same person? Your DNA? My sisters are identical twins. They have the same DNA. They are different people. Your memory? So you're saying that if you got hit on the head and lost your memory that's the same as dying?
  #37  
Old 12-16-2015, 05:53 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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What if someone started grabbing random atoms from your body, and swapped them with other items. A carbon gets ejected, to be replaced by another carbon. Some hydrogen gets vented from your abdomen, but is replaced by other hydrogen. In fact, what if your body was constantly sucking in molecules from one end and spewing out different molecules from the other end?

Are you still the same person when 10% of your atoms have been replaced? How about 15%?

Of course everyone knows that my hypothetical really happens. You breathe and drink and eat, and exhale and piss and sweat and shit and shed dead skin and hair and spew all sorts of substances out into the world.
In every one of these threads, somebody mentions this. But I think most of us also assume that the selfhood we experience (with qualia and everything) is probably based mostly (if not entirely) on the structure of the brain. So how much of the whole "all the atoms/molecules in your body are replaced every X years" factoid is true when it comes to the brain?
  #38  
Old 12-16-2015, 08:10 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
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Ah yes, the "Grandfather's Axe" question.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:49 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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. . . So how much of the whole "all the atoms/molecules in your body are replaced every X years" factoid is true when it comes to the brain?
Same thing. Neurons are living cells, with metabolism of their own, taking in matter and ejecting it. Also, much of the brain is connecting tissue, some of which is cellular and some non-cellular: the same thing is happening. The matter is refreshed, slowly, but constantly.
  #40  
Old 12-16-2015, 11:05 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Or is it somebody else that is exactly like you and thinks its you while in reality it is a new human being while you ceased to exist?
It's exactly this, which is why I refuse to travel on starships.
  #41  
Old 12-17-2015, 02:21 AM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Most (all?) of a human's components are replaced during their lifetime by natural processes.


"Natural processes" means "Gypsies in the night".
  #42  
Old 12-17-2015, 03:00 AM
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According to an answer posted at quora.com a person's water is replaced every 16 days, carbon perhaps 8 months. (I'm suspicious of the answer since half-life -- 50% replacement -- would be a more logical way to present the answer than 100% replacement.) Another interesting factoid at the link is that your body contains ten times as many bacteria cells as human cells.

But that doesn't clearly relate to OP's question. If one assumes an impossible teleportation machine, why not just make it a replication machine. Two different yous follow two different future paths!
  #43  
Old 12-17-2015, 07:51 AM
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If a teleportation machine deconstructs you down to your elementary particles, transports those particles somehow, then reconstructs you somewhere else in the universe using the exact same elementary particles in exactly the same configuration, is that still you?

Or is it somebody else that is exactly like you and thinks its you while in reality it is a new human being while you ceased to exist?

Why?
This is a philosophy question, not a physics one. And what you described isn't teleportation.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:22 AM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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This is a philosophy question, not a physics one. And what you described isn't teleportation.
How are you defining teleportation?
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:42 AM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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Deconstruction and then reconstruction of an object is not magic.
Any time you leave the laws of physics behind, even if you hand-wave it away with a "somehow", then you've entered the realm of magic. Physics, and science in general, can only make predictions when we understand the steps involved in getting from A to B. Once that chain is broken, you're on your own. Don't expect science to be able to step in and fill in the blanks.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:54 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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Originally Posted by Smeghead View Post
Any time you leave the laws of physics behind, even if you hand-wave it away with a "somehow", then you've entered the realm of magic. Physics, and science in general, can only make predictions when we understand the steps involved in getting from A to B. Once that chain is broken, you're on your own. Don't expect science to be able to step in and fill in the blanks.
There's absolutely nothing mysterious or unphysical about molecular disassembly and reassembly. We can already do it in very limited circumstances. Scaling that up is a hell of an engineering problem but no new science is required.

As I mentioned earlier, it's like asking what happens in a spaceship at 99% of the speed of light. It's far beyond our tech level and may always be, but nevertheless we can ask questions about it and get correct answers.
  #47  
Old 12-17-2015, 07:25 PM
octopus octopus is offline
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
Yep... And it didn't end particularly well. Basically, the two viewpoints cannot communicate. They're using basic language in different ways. The word "identical" isn't well-enough defined for this debate.



Alas, it is purely philosophical, because it depends on different people's interpretations of words such as "identical" and "you."

Some people (myself included) believe that the "Star Trek Transporter" moves a person from one place to another, not much differently than a bus or airplane. But others insist that it destroys the original person and creates a duplicate, which is not the same as the original.

The two viewpoints cannot be argued successfully, because they depend on different philosophical values for key words.
Let's say that information is used to make multiple yous at multiple locations. Which one is the real you?
  #48  
Old 12-17-2015, 08:03 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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The technology seems to suggest that matter is destroyed at the original location and then created at the new location.

Link.

Quote:
According to livescience.com, the team linked a light packet to one half of a pair of entangled particles, and then destroyed the light and the particle it had been linked to.

But because the remaining particle of the formerly entangled pair maintains a link to its partner – which had been linked with the light packet – the light can be reassembled elsewhere
I can't pretend to understand it. I seem to recall that an experiment to beam a water molecule to the moon was being worked on, but I can't find anything on Google.
  #49  
Old 12-17-2015, 08:09 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopus View Post
Let's say that information is used to make multiple yous at multiple locations. Which one is the real you?
They are all exactly and equally "you". Each of them would certainly say "I'm the real me, just moved over here." And mean it sincerely.

If the machine left the original intact as well, he/she would also be "you". IMO that person has no better claim to being the "real" one than any of the others.

Imagine using the duplicator to produce 10 duplicates all standing right next to the original in the same room. So now there are 11 of you. Turn the lights off for a minute and have everyone mill around at random. Turn the lights back on.

OK, who's more real than who? No outside observer can tell and neither can any of them. All 11 had the same experience. The same experience from birth to stepping into the machine, and also from stepping out until now. Therefore all are equally "real". Just like Einstein's relativity, there is no privileged position here.

To be sure their experiences will begin to diverge from that moment forward. But they're all still equally "you", for whatever that word even means in a world with duplicator machines. And they're all equally real.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 12-17-2015 at 08:13 PM.
  #50  
Old 12-17-2015, 08:24 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Originally Posted by octopus View Post
Let's say that information is used to make multiple yous at multiple locations. Which one is the real you?
If they're identical, then all of them are "really me."

If they began as identical, but have diverged, due to environmental differences, they're still each as "real" as any other; they have simply gone on to pursue diverse destinies.

(If, forty years ago, I'd chosen to study chemistry instead of mathematics, would I still really be "me?" If not, why not?)
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