One of the more fantastic innovations of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica is the design of the Cylon raider. From the outside, a carbon-blasted space ship with a glowing red visor; on the inside, the gooey meat mechanics of a living being. In BSG, the Cylons’ spaceships are alive, and the only way to fly one is to treat it like an animal.
It’s far-fetched sci-fi at its finest. But is it really so far-fetched? Scientists at the University of Florida have grown a brain in a petri dish and taught it to pilot an F-22 jet simulator; a task that the non-sentient dollop of cerebral goo accomplished quite ably, even keeping the F-22 on its flight path in a virtual hurricane.
Oh, yes, it raises all sorts of terrifying questions about the nature of life and man’s ultimate place in the universe. Do we have souls or are we just hunks of bloody flesh? Yadda yadda. But personally, I welcome the days when I can fly from Berlin to Boston in a commercial jet driven by a pickled brain in a jar while I watch Battlestar Galactica on my iPod cornea implant.
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