Open thread: can life be simulated?

Slashdot reports: “Researchers at the Technische Universitat Wein have created a simulation of a simple worm’s neural network, and have been able to replicate its natural behavior to completely mimic the worm’s natural reflexive behavior.”

When it comes to bodies, at least down to the level where quantum uncertainty becomes important, there seems to be no reason why sufficiently powerful computer hardware could not produce an excellent simulation. In the long term, that could allow things like the development and practicing of surgical techniques on simulated bodies; improved testing for safety in diverse applications; and research into animal physiology.

Perhaps brains are different; there may be something about consciousness that keeps it from being modelled by any conventional computer, regardless of its memory and processing capabilities. Still, it’s possible that consciousness can also be simulated, or re-created in a digital form, perhaps with the aid of quantum computers.

One thought on “Open thread: can life be simulated?”

  1. Is simulating a neuron operating inside the brain fundamentally different from simulating run one running down an arm or a leg, or controlling a finger?

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