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Old 2009-08-25, 12:18   Link #81
Nosauz
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eh, plants are different, their dna allows for them to have poliploidy and even though I'm not sure, I know that different groups of dnas can be incoporated, but when you talk about humans, extra changes with in the zygotes that result in different numbers of chromosomes would lead to birth defects. The only way to "cross breed" would be through gene therapy and even then I wouldn't be exactly sure to what extent that could be done to, at least at this current state of technology and what we know about reproduction.
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Old 2009-08-25, 12:21   Link #82
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Now what about memory, intelligence, emotion? Well I think most pet owners know that animals have emotion, or something close to it. They can be sad, happy, angry and they can remember what they have been taught. Clearly memory, intelligence, emotions, consciousness or even the sense of right and wrong are not completely unqiue to humans. However only in our species has cognitive abilities reached unique levels of sophistication.
I'd like to dabble with the thought ( and throw it in the discussion) That it has something to do with the realization and subsequent questioning of our own existence, something I believe is unique to humans. Sadly, from a behavioral point of view that's far too small a thing to conclude that it completely separates us from other animals, and more importantly, we don't really know what other animals 'think'. Still, I like to think that it has something to do with what sets us apart..
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Old 2009-08-25, 12:40   Link #83
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The response "what makes us human is our brain" has obvious limitations. Imagine a creature with a human brain in the body of an ape: would she/he feel human? Would we regard her/him as human? I'd think not.
honestly, if for some incomprehensible reason my brain was put on an ape's body or a robot's body or whatever, I'd still consider myself a "human consciousness". Certainly I would recognize that the organic definition of human wouldn't apply anymore, but as for the spiritual definition I can't see any reason to think that anything would change.

Rather that question would arise in case of a brain enhancement was it done organically or through cyberimplants. In that case the term transhuman would probably be more correct.
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Old 2009-08-25, 13:47   Link #84
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
honestly, if for some incomprehensible reason my brain was put on an ape's body or a robot's body or whatever, I'd still consider myself a "human consciousness". Certainly I would recognize that the organic definition of human wouldn't apply anymore, but as for the spiritual definition I can't see any reason to think that anything would change.

Rather that question would arise in case of a brain enhancement was it done organically or through cyberimplants. In that case the term transhuman would probably be more correct.
Hmmm, seems to me the answer would depend on WHEN the brain transfer happened. If it happened at birth - I might argue its quite likely you'd be "an ape" (though a very smart one) and have an ape viewpoint of the world. You wouldn't have the same eyesight, you wouldn't have the power of speech to articulate thoughts nor receive comprehensible feedback. If you were lucky, you might have gotten the sign language boost but your hand dexterity would limit the number of symbols you could master.

If it were done NOW at your current age, I'd think you'd still be "human" (though possibly frustrated) - but it would interesting to see how long you'd still think of yourself as "human".

There's some short story from the 1950s about a team on Titan who'd transplant/re-engineer scientists to live on the surface -- they kept losing contact with each one soon after they went "outside" and finally the lead engineer has it done to himself and discovers why the re-engineered stop returning calls. Wish I could remember the name of it, but I suspect Cameron's "Avatar" will have some similar thread to it.
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Old 2009-08-25, 14:12   Link #85
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
honestly, if for some incomprehensible reason my brain was put on an ape's body or a robot's body or whatever, I'd still consider myself a "human consciousness". Certainly I would recognize that the organic definition of human wouldn't apply anymore, but as for the spiritual definition I can't see any reason to think that anything would change.
Well I'm sure if that were to happen to someone, you're likley right, that they would still consider themselves human . But what of the other question about how others would view the individual. Would they still see the individual as a human? Would the individual be misunderstood and be viewed as a freak, almost like a Frankenstein monster scenario? Others couldn't possibly know how it is for the indivual in such a predicament, so many, quite possibly wouldn't know how to react to it.

If that scenario would show anything it'd be that an individual makes up their own definition of what being human is. WHile others may not look at you as being a human, you yourself would still consider yourself human. That would indicate that our minds ultimately consider ourselves being human, but then there is the problem Vexx brought up. What if a babie's brain was put in an ape, you'd have a different viewpoint of the world. So would the baby consider itself human, since it "technically" was one at a point in time?

If you had the body of a chimp, even with a human brain, tons of limitations would accompany you. So would the element that makes you human still be with you or (if there is a definitive thing that makes something human) would you have lost the element that does make you human?

On another note, with this discussion I can't help but think of District 9 (people whom have seen the movie should know what I'm drawing parallels to).
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Old 2009-08-26, 07:31   Link #86
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There is actually an even more fitting novel by H.P.Lovecraft where the protagonist finds himself in the body of a monstrous creature his brain being switched. Unfortunately I don't remember the title...

Anyway Vexx the kind of example you made is kinda unfair. Regardless of a body switch if a person lived from his infancy in an ape community without having any contact with another human, he would also not consider himself a human because he won't even know what a human is.
On the other hand if a non human intelligence (let us say an alien hypotetically speaking) always lived in a human community in a human body he'd probably consider himself a human.

In other words how a person perceives himself is not really relevant to this issue imho. There are schizophrenic that believe they are not human even if they clearly are in every way you look at them.
Probably the best way to test if an intelligence is "human" or not human would be a test like MMPI, or the voight-kampf if you want to go sci-fi.

Also there are persons who are born with a congenital blindness and deafness. In such a way they won't have any chance to learn language and neither have any chance to understand facial expression and so on. So they would have even less abilities than a ape-human, however are they less of human because of that?
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Old 2009-08-26, 09:12   Link #87
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Anyway Vexx the kind of example you made is kinda unfair. Regardless of a body switch if a person lived from his infancy in an ape community without having any contact with another human, he would also not consider himself a human because he won't even know what a human is.

Also there are persons who are born with a congenital blindness and deafness. In such a way they won't have any chance to learn language and neither have any chance to understand facial expression and so on. So they would have even less abilities than a ape-human, however are they less of human because of that?
These two examples are very much alike in the sense that these people never got to know human interaction, but it -seems- to me that ape-boy has better chances of being thought of as human, because he still has a chance to be a member of the human community, but the people from the second example are all alone in the world. Being born not knowing they're human, how would these people think or feel?
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Old 2009-08-26, 13:06   Link #88
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Hmm, I think I was partially trying to get across that being immersed in human culture was a key component of being human but the biological tools (communication, dexterity, etc) were also necessary.

I don't know the answer to some of my thought experiments .. I do know that some animals (dogs, parrots) clearly seem to think they're human (part of the group) though they approach it from their respective dog and parrot operating parameters.
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Old 2009-08-26, 13:15   Link #89
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Isn't anyone reading Battle Angel Alita or Gantz or Ghost in the Shell? This manifacture theme has been analyzed to death there. Read and then you'll see how it's like to be able to manifacture people.
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Old 2009-08-26, 15:38   Link #90
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Isn't anyone reading Battle Angel Alita or Gantz or Ghost in the Shell? This manifacture theme has been analyzed to death there. Read and then you'll see how it's like to be able to manifacture people.
The concept of cyborgs has been presented through many mediums, books and movies alike. Most of these while showing the possibilities of manufacturing humans, they still don't decisivley answer the question of what makes a human, human.

A common notice with movies/books is that when a character acts human and looks human, displays emotion, shows weakness and strength, people empathizes with that. They seem to consider human anyone who reminds them of themselves. "Villains" on the other hand are often protrayed as disspassionate and calculating. Even if they're human they protray qualities like a machine. This will most likely cause many to not empathize with them.

By these showings it would make it seem that many people think the main criteria for being considered human is how much something (in this case, say a cyborg) appears to be like other people or how well they express qualities associated to being a human (like literature, history, culture etc.). Movies in particular that deal with cyborgs tend to create an idea that humanity is based on actions and emotions rather than physicalities.

So humanity being defined by behavior, is it a good enough answer to the question?
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Old 2009-08-26, 16:46   Link #91
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Oh, this is not really a problem.

Animals are unlogical.

Machines are logical.

People are ilogical.

This is all there is to it. Animals use their instict (inborn knowledge) to dictate their actions. Machines use information to dictate their desitions. They simply do what suits them the most in each given situation. People on the other hand are completely insane. Although they have a sort of instinct and do calculate, down to it, they do anything they like. They go against all odds and don't pay attension to reason or even their intuition. So, being human means to be crazy.
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Old 2009-08-27, 00:16   Link #92
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Oh, this is not really a problem.

Animals are unlogical.

Machines are logical.

People are ilogical.

This is all there is to it. Animals use their instict (inborn knowledge) to dictate their actions. Machines use information to dictate their desitions. They simply do what suits them the most in each given situation. People on the other hand are completely insane. Although they have a sort of instinct and do calculate, down to it, they do anything they like. They go against all odds and don't pay attension to reason or even their intuition. So, being human means to be crazy.
Animals being unlogical can be contested. Watch this chimpanzee react to the magician.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM-KQxgtOao

Also, how is something, for the time, illogical and unintuitive, if it happens to repeatedly bring benefit? I believe that's why people do whatever they like. It's part memory for what has worked, and part instinct for mapping the previous working method to the task at hand. If somebody finds that going to church and praying calmed them down, or opened communal connections, let them meet new friends, or just seemed to make life go right again, they're going to keep doing it, no matter how illogical that is.

About the OP question: It should be possible to replicate a human. Would I call it a human if it looks, thinks, behaves, loves, hates, and acts exactly like one? Probably. If it's so exact that I can't tell the difference (as per your definition) unless I'm told the truth, who am I to contest that humanity? How would a "manufactured human" by your definition prove that he/she is one anyway?
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Old 2009-08-27, 05:48   Link #93
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Animals being unlogical can be contested. Watch this chimpanzee react to the magician.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM-KQxgtOao
In contrast, watching how a HUMAN react to a magician produces pretty similar results. I think we should try a different animal, maybe a dog (it has 3 IQ points higher than a tree stump, as Garfield has said).

Humanity, like morals, is a pretty inconsistent gauge to judge how human a person is. If a human being machineguns an entire village of people, including old, women and children, is he a human? I would say yes, because he still has flesh and bone. But if it is a cyborg or robot, it would not be seen as a human, even if it sacrifice itself protecting the villagers.

All these terms, humans come up with it, and often people would just use it without giving much thought. Otherwise, new terms would be used.
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Old 2009-08-27, 06:04   Link #94
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Isn't anyone reading Battle Angel Alita or Gantz or Ghost in the Shell? This manifacture theme has been analyzed to death there. Read and then you'll see how it's like to be able to manifacture people.
If you take it down to games and anime, there have been lots of cases with golems, homonculi (mainly FMA), heartless/nobodies (KH2) where the villains are only "trying to be human", but although they do succeed to a certain point that others saw them as humans, they didn't feel human themselves.
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Old 2009-08-27, 06:31   Link #95
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Ok, the three categories I mentioned are not solid. There are smart humans and there are stupid humans, yet all are humans. In the same way there are fast CPUs and slow CPUs but all are CPUs. So, animals that comprehand some basic human traits like recognising themselves on the mirror or finding their way through a maze is still far from being considered human.

We could say humans think way too faster than animals on an unconsious level, yet unlike machines they have no control over their consious thoughts so they use imagination (unreal information) to fill the gaps.
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Old 2009-08-27, 06:48   Link #96
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Ok, the three categories I mentioned are not solid. There are smart humans and there are stupid humans, yet all are humans. In the same way there are fast CPUs and slow CPUs but all are CPUs. So, animals that comprehand some basic human traits like recognising themselves on the mirror or finding their way through a maze is still far from being considered human.

We could say humans think way too faster than animals on an unconsious level, yet unlike machines they have no control over their consious thoughts so they use imagination (unreal information) to fill the gaps.
Do machines have conscience?
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Old 2009-08-27, 06:54   Link #97
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^ No, they are not self-aware yet. You can't get philosophical and question morals and existence if you don't know that you are an individual being with personal desires. Animals have personal desires but are not aware that their desires are different that any others'. Even learning tricks by humans is more based on fear or the reward of food, yet again based on their unrealized desires.
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Old 2009-08-27, 07:04   Link #98
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^ No, they are not self-aware yet. You can't get philosophical and question morals and existence if you don't know that you are an individual being with personal desires. Animals have personal desires but are not aware that their desires are different that any others'. Even learning tricks by humans is more based on fear or the reward of food, yet again based on their unrealized desires.
So how can scientists "create" conscience?
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Old 2009-08-27, 07:22   Link #99
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The entire human behavior is controlled by the brain through electrical nerve signals and chemical, hormone signals.

Translate all these signals into binary and you have a computer that thinks exactly like a human brain. Scientists have already been working on this for a long time. There are lots of experimental robots out there that can sense human emotions and respond accordingly. It is no different from a human, the brain responds by giving commands using electric nerve signals just like a machine does with wires.

Even genes, DNA, they are a form of chemical programming code. Each gene having a specific command that will decide what the final construction of the organism will have.

The human 'conscience', is just another set of programs in the brain.

Your senses pick up stimuli, data of your surroundings and interaction. This input is sent via electric nerve signals to the brain. The brain processes the data using chemicals and electricity. The processed response is then sent to various stations, vocal cords and mouth for a audio output, your muscles for visual and mechanical output. Like responding a question with a 'No.' and shaking your head, responding to 'bye bye' with 'see you' and waving your hands etc.

Whatever 'logic' is just a result of advanced programs depending on the efficiency and power of the processor. And animals having a small brain doesn't mean that they are illogical, its just that humans have evolved larger brains over ages to cater to tougher challenges. Animals have their own problems and challenges and have their own logic and thinking processes to solve them.
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Old 2009-08-27, 07:41   Link #100
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The entire human behavior is controlled by the brain through electrical nerve signals and chemical, hormone signals.

Translate all these signals into binary and you have a computer that thinks exactly like a human brain. Scientists have already been working on this for a long time. There are lots of experimental robots out there that can sense human emotions and respond accordingly. It is no different from a human, the brain responds by giving commands using electric nerve signals just like a machine does with wires.

Even genes, DNA, they are a form of chemical programming code. Each gene having a specific command that will decide what the final construction of the organism will have.

The human 'conscience', is just another set of programs in the brain.

Your senses pick up stimuli, data of your surroundings and interaction. This input is sent via electric nerve signals to the brain. The brain processes the data using chemicals and electricity. The processed response is then sent to various stations, vocal cords and mouth for a audio output, your muscles for visual and mechanical output. Like responding a question with a 'No.' and shaking your head, responding to 'bye bye' with 'see you' and waving your hands etc.

Whatever 'logic' is just a result of advanced programs depending on the efficiency and power of the processor. And animals having a small brain doesn't mean that they are illogical, its just that humans have evolved larger brains over ages to cater to tougher challenges. Animals have their own problems and challenges and have their own logic and thinking processes to solve them.
So its like Dexter's Lab Computer(not meant to be humorous)? How would personalities be adjusted and distributed? Can their "life" be almost simultaneously switched on and off? sorry for the questions...don't answer if you don't want to.
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