Afterlife

Stephen Hawking: brain could exist outside body

At premiere of film about his life, physicist says it’s theoretically possible to copy brain on to computer to provide life after death

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking with his sister Mary at the premiere of the documentary Hawking in Cambridge. Photograph: Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images

Stephen Hawking has said he believes brains could exist independently of the body, but that the idea of a conventional afterlife is a fairy tale.

Speaking at the premiere of a documentary film about his life, the theoretical physicist said: “I think the brain is like a programme in the mind, which is like a computer, so it’s theoretically possible to copy the brain on to a computer and so provide a form of life after death.

“However, this is way beyond out present capabilities. I think the conventional afterlife is a fairy tale for people afraid of the dark.”

The 71-year-old author of A Brief History of Time, who earlier this week backed the right for the terminally ill to end their lives as long as safeguards were in place, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21 and given two to three years to live.

“All my life I have lived with the threat of an early death, so I hate wasting time,” Hawking said on Thursday night, using the computer-generated voice he controls with a facial muscle and a blink from one eye.

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Comment:

brain-in-jarWhat a horrible thought.

Bottled brains hooked up to a computer.

This raises so many issues, that it’s frightening to even consider them.

For me this is taking things too far.

 

 

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