According to SyFy Magazine there was an episode of Star Trek: The Woke Generation (Kirk ≫ Picard) in which Riker was transporting himself to the ship, but where a mysterious ray caused the beam to split, creating two Rikers, one on the ship, one left behind.
Now, if the transporter really can break apart a ham actor into tiny pieces, embed those pieces into some kind of beam, and project that beam through various obstacles to some distant locale, and then reassemble the pieces into the exact same precise configuration, all fast enough so that the ham actor remains alive, the creation at the other end would not be the same man.
Allowing the twist that the beam isn’t embedding particles, but information, a map of how to build the transported object out of energy and distant materials, does not change this conclusion.
Skip the easy criticisms that such an apparatus would require too much energy to be practical, or that nobody knows how to project energy-particle-information beams through, say, solid rock. These objections will always be rebutted by the Desire & Hope Conjecture, anyway, a conjecture which always says, based on desire and hope, that such toys don’t exist now, but they will. Ours is an age that uses desire and hope as its founding metaphysics, which is why the Desire & Hope Conjecture always works.
The article says:
According to a teleportation physics study carried out by the Air Force Research Laboratory, assuming the ability to store all of the information for a single atom — its location in space, its linear and angular momentum, and its internal quantum state — with one kilobyte, it would require a minimum of 10 to the 28th power kilobytes to store the information for one person. Using current technology, it would take longer than the age of the universe to store that amount of information. They estimate that if improvement in computing technology maintains a factor of 10-100 over the next 200-300 years, we may be able to accomplish such a feat.
My old employer is wrong. It takes more than one KB to store what there is to know about a single atom. It may take only 1 KB to know the location and momentum, and something about the internal quantum state, but it cannot with that same limit know the entire quantum state.
Even a lone hydrogen atom is one proton and one electron. The proton is itself composed of two up and one down quarks. The quarks are stuck together with gluons.
We cannot know the exact position and momentum of all these entities. This impossibility of this knowledge is fundamental to quantum mechanics. Since we cannot measure with exactness the state of his lone atom, we cannot reproduce it with exactness. That’s the proof. QED.
Well, maybe exactness isn’t necessary. Making a hydrogen atom isn’t that difficult, in theory, and they all look alike chemically anyway. Beside, why this insistence on exactness? The toy phaser that was in your bedroom is after all the same toy phaser that is now in your bathroom (assuming it’s Saturday night), yet it won’t be exactly the same before and after this move. The innards in it atoms will have been jostled, it may pick up skin oil, or shed some of its plastic, and so on. But we still consider it the same toy. It’s essence remains unchanged, even though some of its accidents shift.
For atoms not interacting with anything else, exactness isn’t needed, because it seems the essence of the atom could be transmitted with just that 1 KB. So the possibility of transporting some but not all of an atom’s information isn’t impossible. Neither is a beam which transports the object itself impossible.
Maybe this works for larger objects, too, like your favorite toy phaser. If the thing is plastic, the information required to know the compositions and positions of the higher-level atomic objects, i.e. chemicals, are probably enough to enable building a duplicate. The beam may even, in theory, be able to piece back together the toy from its atoms, if the object itself is transported in the beam.
Yet this will never work for people. When atoms interact exactness is required. The states of the quarks in the protons, neutrons, electrons of your tissues, including the brain, and what the states of what these quarks are composed of, namely strings, and what those strings are composed of, namely who knows what, and so so, plus all the states of energy of the connections of these things, are absolutely necessary to specify this physical part of a human being. Electron position, for instance, is surely required the physical aspects of thinking. If, for instance, you don’t rebuild the brain in exactly the same state, down to the quantum level, you don’t have the same brain, hence you don’t have the same person. Since it is impossible—no just unlikely: impossible—that all these states can be measured, a transporter beam will never work.
All this is even before considering the mind itself, our intellects and wills, which are not material. The intellect can survive the body, so it seems possible to reunite the intellect to the discombobulated body once the body is recombobulated. But, and this is what is appalling to minds steeped in scientism, this act would require the cooperation of God Himself. Whether He would cooperate is, of course, a mystery.
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