Letters, Apr. 15, 1996

CAN MACHINES THINK? THE HUMAN BODY IS A MAterial machine that accompanies consciousness [TECHNOLOGY, March 25], and it is conceivable that someday we can put together a machine that exactly duplicates the body, with structural details matching every fundamental particle. In the age of artificial hearts and babies born from long-frozen embryos, it is also conceivable that such a "machine" will act as a sentient being capable of experiencing life just as does a human. But does that diminish the mystery and glory of consciousness? Does it change its unique place in the fundamental scheme of things in this universe? Can...

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