An image of cloud-to-cloud lightning taken in Albury NSW
An image of cloud-to-cloud lightning taken in Albury NSW

It’s Alive?! Frankenstein & Consciousness with George Mashour and David Andrijevic

Thennicke, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

Can we bring people back from the dead? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice discuss restoring dead cells, the nature of consciousness, Frankenstein’s monster, zombies, and more with neuroscientist, David Andrijevic and consciousness expert and anesthesiologist, George Mashour.

If you can bring cells back to life, can you restore consciousness? You’ll learn about recent progress in the restoration of dead cells in pigs. How far along are we? Is “reanimation” the correct term for what was done? Could we one day bring a whole being back to life? We learn about the technology used in the experiment and the practical application of the methodology in organ transplantation. Is death more of a spectrum?

What is consciousness? George walks us through some of the fundamentals of consciousness and how we define it. Is there a scientific basis for a near death experience? We discuss the surge of electrical activity in the brain right before death and whether you can set a time limit for how long a brain can be dead. Can we explain consciousness? Is there a quantum element? We discuss Roger Penrose, and whether anesthesia uses quantum mechanics. Is consciousness reproducible?

Is consciousness an emergent trait? We discuss the nature of consciousness and how anesthesia works in making people unconscious. How does it make you unconscious without killing you? Are you the same person after you come to? We explore zombies and whether reanimating the brain in its entirety would be possible. Is there such a thing as an objective reality? Is our perception all in our head?

Thanks to our Patrons Darrell McClendon, Baby Daddy, Chip Towner, Marylee Dewey, and Michael Brockman for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

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