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Monday, March 28, 2016

Nearing immortality: Kurzweil’s claims

Kurzweil in 2005  (Photo by Michael Lutch)
Ray Kurzweil isn’t your average inventor.  Rather than simply conjuring up ways to make life easier, he is focused upon ways to make life eternal.

Described as “the rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” Kurzweil has already come up with such things as the music synthesizer and the print-to-speech reader.  People therefore pay attention when he claims that the human race is “nearing immortality.”

This may not be as far out as it sounds.  Human lifespans have been expanding considerably due to scientific advances.  Kurzweil predicts that “computers the size of blood cells” will soon be able to link the innermost workings of our body and mind to the cloud.  In this way, key parts of us can be infinitely preserved even if some physical components fail. 

This cloudy prediction might materialize as soon as 2030.  Kurzweil states that if part of us were to “get wiped away," the remaining parts would then be able to recreate those missing ones.

Yes, but…  What would the impact of human immortality be upon society?  Upon families?  Upon the earth itself?

Most importantly, would human immortality provide way more opportunities for human immorality?  Or would longer lifespans also yield additional wisdom? 


Copyright March 28, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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