Thursday, April 25, 2013
Robert J. Sawyer's THE TERMINAL EXPERIMENT
Life after death, life without bodily desire, as modeled by computer simulation, but what are the moral implications. Sawyer always raises compelling questions and has the science to support his theories.
Quote p68: Wilder Penfield who did work on directly stimulating the brain...found it easy to elicit vivid memories of long forgotten things.
Neural nets firing, flooding the brain with images and endorphins as a result of anoxia explains sense of peace.
5 models for senescence and death:
1. Stochastic theory--bodies as machines that break down
2. Hayflick phenomenon--human cells only divide 50 times
3. Smudged Xerox hypothesis--DNA introduces errors every time its copied
4. Toxic Waste Theory--aka Free radicals are at fault
5. Autoimmune hypothesis--our cells become confused and attack themselves
The soulwave discovered leaving the body at point of death raised imolications for inutero and is discovered in 9 or 10th week of pregnancy, providing justification for early term abortion.
Without our memories, our pasts, what we were, it wouldn't be anything we'd recognize as a continuation of the same person.
"Humor is the response to the sudden formation of unexpected neural nets."
Laughter is the response that goes along with new connections forming in the brain, with synapses firing in ways they've never fired before...
When the joke wears thin, the neural net has been established.