Science fiction certainly puts some odd ideas into the heads of human beings, not the least of which is teleportation. One can easily think that the ability to transport a person from one place to another almost instantaneously would be nothing short of amazing, but even in Star Trek, this has been seen to cause a few problems. Maybe this is one reason why some people like Star Wars instead, there’s no dissembling of people on a molecular level with the hope that they’ll be reassembled correctly on the other end. Think of the teleportation device like a phone call, the connection between the caller and the person being called needs to be solid for every bit of information to be processed and delivered successfully. If there’s a problem with the line, then the information gets garbled and confusing. Now think of that when translating it to transferring information in the form of a human body from one place to another, and let the horror show begin. But it does sound as though there are those that believe that we’re within a century of seeing this work, even if the best guess is that with the current power sources we have it would take a long time and drain a great deal of energy. Many have already stated that teleporting just one human being would be problematic since it would take so long, but teleporting as easily as it’s been seen on TV and in the movies is something that needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt.
It’s likely closer now than it was nearly a century or even half a millennia ago, but the theory of it is great, while the practice is something that’s going to need a lot of fine-tuning to really get right since one is talking about deconstructing the human body on a molecular level while transporting that matter across space and time in order to reassemble it, or copy it, in another location based on the signal that’s been sent with said information. To hear that a human body has been reduced to some type of code is kind of difficult for many people, but from a biological standpoint that’s what we are, a genetic code that can be unzipped and figured out by those that have the knowledge and understanding of how to do so. Of course, given that people are still willing to argue about genetics and what makes up the human body, be it simple, fundamental genetic building blocks or the intangibles such as a spirit/soul that many people would agree to, it’s easy to think that anyone being teleported is essentially a copy that has all the necessary programming to act like the person they’ve been copied from. There are so many discussions that can come from this one idea that it’s necessary to focus on the simple idea of teleportation, which really isn’t that simple when all is said and done. There are a great number of risks that go into this kind of thing as well.
The Fly would be a good way to detail the dangers of teleportation since it only took a housefly to put a damper on this idea, considering that the fly ended up being absorbed into the scientist and even took over his entire personality and form at one point. Then there’s the classic Star Trek teleportation, which is problematic as well since people have been lost in the middle of transporting, proving that accidents can happen. Galaxy Quest is another movie that shows the dangers of teleportation since when the pig monster in the movie was sucked up it was done in such a way that the creature turned inside out and then exploded. That doesn’t instill a lot of confidence simply because it implies that the process isn’t perfect, as the genetic information being processed from one place to another can be reassembled in a very haphazard fashion. While science might be starting to catch up with the idea and tools that are needed to teleport people from place to place, it’s still quite a way from being able to replicate what’s seen on TV and in the movies. Plus, once such a thing becomes available, it’s enough to ask just who’s going to be the test subject, since risking one’s life for this type of thing is a bit different since there’s no such thing as a safety net. Once a person’s DNA is scrambled it doesn’t feel likely that there’s a way to undo the process, at least not in a perfect manner. Even Star Trek doesn’t appear to have solved that issue.
At this point the idea of teleporting is still looked at with as much trepidation as one might look at any mode of instant transportation in the Harry Potter novels, it’s certainly an interesting idea, but it’s not bound to be looked at with anything but skepticism by many.