The teleportation test

Concepts pertaining to divinity or the supernatural have always been a peculiar philosophical problem and a major source of discord when subject to discussion. This, in my humble opinion, apart from the emotional arousal they often cause on their proponents, is caused by the fact that those concepts can by their nature only be proven, not disproven. Those who tend to have faith in such concepts have been capitalizing on this disparity forever, at the expense of their opponents, who are most of the time left with empiric arguments and human reasoning as their sole ammunition apart from unilateral proofs (or proofs that cannot disprove), which are in essence flawed tools. However, when the debate becomes stale, this type of proof nonetheless remains valuable as it can at least aid in the convincing of either party, or cause one to reformulate its argumentation. The only problems is that for supernatural phenomenon, most available methodologies for testing are empirical, therefore holding no value in the eyes of the believers, or are simply unrealisable due to the fact that they try to cause a supernatural concept to manifest itself through a rational medium.

While discussing of this problem with a few friends, I came to invent a test that in my view can prove there is a supernatural aspect to life, a certain metaphysical characteristic that differentiate between the inanimate and living, which I shall refer to as a soul. In short, this test, which I am about to describe, will aim at proving humans have a soul while having fair chances of being feasible at least in the far future. It relies on the technology of teleportation, which has been successfully applied to single particles, and, given the pace technology advances nowadays, is in the realm of feasibility.

The way teleportation works, or at least the type I am concerning myself with, is by first analysing and digitizing each and very atom that composes the entity to be teleported, thereby creating a digital representation of the entity or an exact copy of the state each and every particle was at the time of analysis. Once this digital version is acquired, it can be transferred at will through a communication system and can therefore be transfered at a different physical location; the received information describing the entity can be used to recreate it, atom by atom. Whether one or many copies are made is impertinent to this discussion, but what is important is that the original, in accordance with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (thus, the current laws of physics this teleportation mechanism is based onto) is destroyed in the sense that its next overall quantum state becomes uncertain rather than a consequence of its previous state. Actually, teleporting even the smallest object would be much more complex and intricate than this brief description, but for this exercise, this explanation is sufficient.

Now take Alice, a courageous lady that had volunteered herself to be the first candidate for teleportation trials on humans. Confident in the machine and the people operating it, she enters the digitizing chamber and gives a thumb up to the operator. At the press of a button, the machine then proceeds to measure the exact position of each and every atom Alice is made of, thereby creating a digital representation of Alice in its memory but also destroying the physical Alice in the process. At the other end of the teleportation system, say a couple hundred meters away, Alice’s relatives, who traveled there by foot, eagerly await the transfer of her information so that she can be recreated safe and sound.
Finally, the teleportation machine signals the process is complete and is successful, and the operator at this end proceeds to open the chamber. The actual test occurs at this point. If Alice walks out of the machine exactly as she was before, the test fails. For instance, it might be argued that Alice was only teleported physically, not spiritually; the debate is therefore intact. On the other hand, if Alice is found to lay inanimate at the bottom of the chamber and medical as well as technical authorities confirm that she is every bit as identical to her original self so that no bodily function has been harmed in any way, then there was a metaphysical property to life that could not be measured by physical means; it might not be a soul according to its everyday definition, but there nonetheless is something, which means the proponents of the supernatural nature of humans are at least partially right and that their opponents are totally wrong.

One Reply to “The teleportation test”

  1. Espérons que lorsque le jour viendra où l’humain pourra faire de telles expériences, le besoin de prouver de telles absurdités aura depuis longtemps disparu… N’empêche que je serais curieux de voir le résultat.

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