Is uploading desirable?

John Anderson anderson at cshl.org
Thu Dec 30 12:05:29 EST 1993

jmax at panix.com (John Hobbs) wrote:

>   3.  If it is possible to create a neural analogue, how can we expect
>   identity to 
>   remain intact when twins who are structurally identical do not have
>   identical 
>   personalities and identities?

Identical twins are *genetically* identical, but the stochastic nature
of developmental processes virtually ensures that the details of their
structures will be different.  See Figure 3-5 in GM Edelman's BRIGHT
AIR, BRILLIANT FIRE for an illustration of this in the case of the
nervous systems of genetically-identical water fleas; presumably the
same kind of variation occurs in human twins.  And since identical
twins have different life experiences, even if the nervous systems
were structurally identical, i.e. had the same three-dimensional
structure, learning and memory processes would probably have
established different patterns of synaptic weights.  I think these
differences in detail could at least partially account for differences
in personality and other behaviors. 

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