Could reincarnation be real?

Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body. This doctrine is a central tenet of the Indian religions and a common belief of pagan religions found in many tribal societies around the world. I don’t think there is a “spirit” or “soul” separate from the information encoded in our brain. But if there is, what can it be?

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Recommended Hangouts On Air: MTA and Q+

Last Saturday I had the pleasure to participate in the first Hangout On Air of the Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA). I also recommend the Q+ Hangouts, a series of online seminars on quantum information and quantum foundations on Hangouts On Air, and I hope also the Terasem Hangouts will be taken On Air soon. Continue reading Recommended Hangouts On Air: MTA and Q+

Curiosity and the Value of a Creative Belief System

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein, perhaps the most creative thinker of our time said of the ability to think and dream creatively. He also said, ”The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.” Continue reading Curiosity and the Value of a Creative Belief System

Happy birthday Alan, I hope to meet you someday

Today, June 23,  is the Centenary of Alan Turing’s birth in London. During his relatively brief life, Turing made a unique impact on the history of computing, computer science, artificial intelligence, developmental biology, and the mathematical theory of computability. Continue reading Happy birthday Alan, I hope to meet you someday

The physics of miracles and the problem of evil

We may be bots in a reality-wide simulation, and perhaps the player(s) from above can violate our simulated physics when they want. In a more popular formulation of the same concept, called Religion, the player(s), called God(s), created our reality and can perform miracles. The two formulations are equivalent for all practical purposes. Many religions assume that Gods are omnipotent and benevolent, but then we have the problem of evil: how can omnipotent and benevolent Gods permit evil and suffering?

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Talk on Turing Church unlimited – Transhumanist Religions 2.0, London, July 14, 2012

On Saturday, July 14, 2012, in London, I will give a talk on Turing Church unlimited – Transhumanist Religions 2.0, organized by David Wood and the London Futurists Meetup group. The talk is free to attend – no charge. I look forward to seeing all my friends in the area, and meeting new friends. Continue reading Talk on Turing Church unlimited – Transhumanist Religions 2.0, London, July 14, 2012

The first Terran shots against the Cosmists

Hugo de Garis, author of The Artilect War, agrees that our cosmic destiny is to transcend biology and build/become “Artilects”, but thinks that flesh-and-blood humans (the “Terrans”) will resist and wage bloody wars against those who want to move on (the “Cosmists”). De Garis fears that “species dominance” wars may result in billions of deaths, and perhaps he is right. Continue reading The first Terran shots against the Cosmists

The unbearable stasis of Dale Carrico’s critique of fictional straw-man transhumanists

An essay by Dale Carrico on “The Unbearable Stasis of ‘Accelerating Change’” has been praised by two of my favorite science fiction writers,  Bruce Sterling and Charlie Stross. This does not change my opinion of Carrico’s “critique of Transhumanism” (more correctly, his critique of his own fictional straw-man portrait of transhumanists), which I find more and more static, tired, and boring. Continue reading The unbearable stasis of Dale Carrico’s critique of fictional straw-man transhumanists

Biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon

I support the space program, and I hope to see people walking on the Moon again, and then Mars. We need to see people in space to reboot our dreaming engine. At the same time I am persuaded that, ultimately, space will be colonized by our post-biological mind children, who will leave their flesh and blood bodies behind and become cyber angels living as pure software in robotic or virtual bodies. Many astronomers and space enthusiasts share this view. Continue reading Biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon