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The Physics of Immortality


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#1 shintashi

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 04:03 PM

Sometime ago, perhaps 1996, it fell into my displeasure to check out a book at the library. It was titled "The Physics of Immortality".
http://www.fourmilab...nts/tipler.html

Ironically, it was not so much a random search for random things, but a random search for specific things. This particular thing I was seeking, was "the equation of immortality".

Now, please, accept the apology here, for there will be many uses of "I", for it was during this point in life that "I" was most megalomaniacal, which itself, may have been an excellent motivator for research - highly recommended for those time periods where you are otherwise stumped. Now to continue the "I/MY/ME" rant.

Within this book, I commited the most atrocious of Sins. I wrote comments. Nasty, evil, little biting comments about the erroneous nature of the thesis of the author. I even had the audacity to write in pencil, and may the Gods of science and education forgive me... it was a LIBRARY BOOK !!!
So incensed was I with this work, that I found myself confounding the very principles of Sacrosanct Educational Elitism.

Many years later, looking back in that book registry, we discovered that no one else had actually checked it out since then, not that many checked it out even before my time.

On to the contents, (and after the boring rants, we will go into the meat of the discussion). Turing machines. That's the first thing I remember, now how they worked, I had no idea, but these perfect turing machines were effectively, badly constructed nanocomputers that copied themselves including the blueprints on how to copy themselves. At the time, my enfeebled brain could not possibly concieve of how to do this - how do you store a circuit board within a cicuit board ? it seemed quite paradoxical.

Back then, the principle of Cloning evaded me. Your DNA does it all the time. For one, if you have a computer, most of the computer is only a bunch of copies of similar copies of small peices, repeated over and over. You do not need to store the entire 3thousand + peices, you need only store the 35-300 working models, and then copy those, cloning where necessary.

The second principle is memory transfer. 10110101 etc. In any event, the turing machine was a fascinating deviation from a practicable vantage to immortality. The following principle that tipler approached was the "big bang-big crunch" theory of the universe, a very dark forboding look into Nietzchian thermodynamics, so ghastly that I found it difficult to stomach the nextmillion or so pages.

In hindsight, Tipler seemed to completely evade the Cosmic Jets of blackholes, vaunting moreso the retro vision of a 1970s Disney Film. I felt as if the universe according to Tipler, had been created by the same morose people who braught us "Tron" and in his mind "it was meant to be that way".

Now on to the non Crap version of "the physics of immortality".

The first thing that crosses my mind, when I think about physical, living, breathing immortality, is blood.
Some months ago, we had a very long discussion about what ways physics and genetics could approach immortality, based upon the principle of "what could a human being do, if they still functioned, without blood ?"

First, blood is what carries DNA and Vectors from retroviruses. If you have no blood, then in theory, there is no immediate way to transmit the new cell information, which means you are "locked" into the current pattern.

Second, it is through blood that poisons, and toxins, and diseases are carried. Withhout blood, if you were some how still alive, these chemicals could never transmit through your body, and at best would be localized instances.

Third, DNA is created through the mutation of protiens and fueled by carbohydrates both of which are carried through the bood, which means, if you didnt need blood, you would not grow older, for no new materials would be necessary.
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#2 Freethinker

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 07:44 PM

And you brought these ramblings to a SCIENCE site, WHY?

#3 Tormod

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 12:35 AM

In my eyes Frank Tipler lost it after he got famous with the Anthropic Principle he wrote with JD Barrow.

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#4 GAHD

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 09:11 AM

better yet, don't think of removing blood, but improoving it. Also how about improoving the body's natural ability to repair, and beyond that it's ability to grow.
gene doping
"Treatments that regenerate muscle, increase its strength, and protect it from degradation will soon be entering human clinical trials..."

#5 Freethinker

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 10:27 AM

There is an excellent and SCIENTIFICALLY ACCURATE article in the latest Free Inquiry magazine from the Council for Secular Humanism, on "Transhumanism" at:

"The New Perfectionism
Suppose you were offered a photographic memory, perfect pitch, ultraviolet-spectrum vision, heightened disease resistance, customized skin and eye color, and a one-thousand-year life-expectancy. Would you accept? Now suppose you were told that by doing so you would cease to be human. Would this make you less willing to accept?"
http://www.secularhu.../dacey_24_4.htm

#6 geko

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 10:43 AM

I remember wanting to read physics of immortality for a while; then i found that waterstones had it listed under occult/spiritual literature, so never bothered. Waterstones camped it under the occult because of the 'immortality' in the title i suppose.


Onward and upward to transhumanism i say! lol

#7 shintashi

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 02:52 AM

Transhumanism is a scary thing. Not so much in the idea that it presents in general- of which I totally agree, nor with what you might assume- the specific deeper notions.


No, it is the various branches and often extremely poor perceptions of science and reality that make me nervous.


In one transhumanist article, it was unfortunate to see that the author believed that it would be a leap forward for humanity to download our minds into computers, and eliminate the need for artistic drive such as music, and instead, endorsed more practical addictions like "capitalism". The author could not see any practical application of music, harmony, etc.


The principle of dealing with this subject was designed to inspire the creative scientific minds, and to question the most advanced principles and theories behind the future of humanity. As it is, immortality is on the top ten list of humanity's driving goals, religion being one of its biggest offsprings, medicine being another. Do you honestly believe that medicine would be as vast as it is today if we only treated non lethal injuries - such as a broken arm or upset stomach ?


If mankind didn't fear death, they would not go to the extraordinary means to preserve life. If death was not seen as a finality to which repocussions existed almost entirely in the material world, then War as we know it, would not be waged, and society itself would be utterly different.


No, it is false to presume that the topic of immortality,-- in a world where cloning animals, growing humans from donor cells decades old, and the humna genom map and ultimate genetic retroviruses are around the corner-- is not part of science.


if there be a thing, and there be two like it, one greater, and one lesser, then there must be something greater still, and something lesser still. - this is the principle of changing one's circumstances.


if one human can live for 100 years, while another lives for only fifty, then it must be possible, for a human being to live for only 25 years, or for 200. If there exists a human being who in unaffected by poison ivy, or snake bites, then it must be possible for another, if not everyone else, to have a similar property.



Concerning enhancing the blood. Recently, a new type of artificial blood cell was developed to carrry oxygen. It is made out of a special plastic with chemical properties, and will shortly be used as a blood replacement in hospitals.

On a more advanced principle, there will come a time when the use of mesoscale and nanotechnological devices are sent through the blood stream, as man made innoculation.


Many theorists believe at some point in time the "t-1000" technology could be created and used not for death machines, but to function as repair machines through the blood stream, making a person almost completely immortal.


Currently, in Utah, they have begun more advanced developments of power suits, bionic exoskeletal systems which will enhance the strength, and (so they claim) speed and motion of a human being. (if you desire i can give you a web site to the company, they are hiring engineers right now)


As you may be aware, there was a new program covering a man who had an operation on his eyes, more specifically, they drilled a hole in his head and attached wires to his brain, and then attached a computer processor to a camera fitted in a pair of shades. He then drove a car through a parking lot, navigating with a cybernetic eye.


In a hospital in America, a man was paralyized from the neck down, I do believe he was unable to speak as well, but he could move his eyes. The doctors wired a computer to his brain and tracked his eye motions, and now, by merely thinking, he can move a cursor on a computer screen, imagining his hand to be moving, and is able to type, form words, and even nagivate the internet. There is also a speach box in the computer that can talk (like Stephen Hawking, but not as annoying)


Ulti