Stephen Hawking on the Brain

Stephen Hawking in Time magazine (15 Nov 2010) responded to Elliot Giberson’s question “What do you believe happens to our consciousness after death?” as follows:

I think the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer program.  It will cease to run when the computer is turned off.

Robert Bickmeyer (Troy, Michigan) responding in Time’s Inbox (29 Nov 2010) stated:

. . . Stephen Hawking compares the brain to a computer.  A brilliant invention by humans, the computer is still inferior to the human brain given to us by our Creator.  No human can create a brain.

Robert, today it may be true that no human “can create a brain,” but it will not always be true.  Someday soon, humans will be able to create something equivalent to the human brain.  Someday soon, humans will be able to greatly enhance the human brain, ie. improve our senses, improve our memory bank, etc.  The world better start getting ready to deal with it.  Sticking our heads in the sand will not cut it.

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This entry was posted in atheism, Religion, Technology, transhumanism. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stephen Hawking on the Brain

  1. roger hansen says:

    Stephen Hawking as quoted in Time magazine (30 May 2011):

    “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

  2. IrishLDS says:

    But he asserts this with no observable evidence. How scientific is that?
    Besides, functionalism as a philosophical model of the mind is not without its critics.

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