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Thread: Wings, is it possible?

  1. #1 Wings, is it possible? 
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    Curious, does anyone believe it would be possible for a human to fly?(With wings on their back) I mean, you would have to undergo surgery to lighten your body as much as possible, and still, they would have to be very powerful muscles. Don't judge me for it, but I have always wanted wings, and was just curious.


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  3. #2 Re: Wings, is it possible? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Teen
    Curious, does anyone believe it would be possible for a human to fly?(With wings on their back) I mean, you would have to undergo surgery to lighten your body as much as possible, and still, they would have to be very powerful muscles. Don't judge me for it, but I have always wanted wings, and was just curious.
    No, it's not possible. Humans cannot develop the muscle mass needed to lift their weight (even it's greatly reduced) Nor is our respiration rate, metabolism or maximum heart rate sufficient to deliver enough energy.

    To coin a little phrase here, winged flying is best left to the birds.


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    if you want to get on the road to flying, it's usually a good idea to start off small, i'd say as an upper limit the size of a rabbit or preferably less

    we're far too big to take that route now

    + if angels were real creatures, they could not possibly fly with those wings - where are the muscles to power them ?
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  5. #4  
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    No, it's not possible. Humans cannot develop the muscle mass needed to lift their weight (even it's greatly reduced) Nor is our respiration rate, metabolism or maximum heart rate sufficient to deliver enough energy.
    I agree with that, mostly, not entirely. There is great variation in all these parameters within the animal kingdom. A bee or hummingbird flight is nothing like the flight of a swan or a condor. The heavier birds are, the more they rely on steady aerodynamics of gliding versus highly dynamic flapping, where lift is created by unsteady vortices. The problem, of course, is to take off and stay in the air for extended periods of time. I don't know if you've ever watched a swan take off, it's quite impressive. Whether the pterosaurus could actively fly or just glide will probably always remain an open question. Taking that to the extreme of a human being, very ill-conditioned for flight, you'll probably have to settle for pure gliding. Once you're gliding, you can stay in the air with relatively little effort, by copying heavy birds: Make use of upwinds, either thermal or near a cliff, like eagles and vultures do. You'd still need very strong (superhuman) muscles to control wings large enough to carry your weight, though. Alternatively, a hang glider does the job, where your position relative to the wings allows you to control them.

    You can pretty closely imitate the gliding of a very large bird, for most parts. But to fly like a sparrow? Forget it.
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  6. #5  
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    [quote="M"]
    Once you're gliding, you can stay in the air with relatively little effort, by copying heavy birds: Make use of upwinds, either thermal or near a cliff, like eagles and vultures do. You'd still need very strong (superhuman) muscles to control wings large enough to carry your weight, though.
    I don't think you realized it but the first and last statements are self-contardictory. :wink: Since you would have to work very hard to keep the wings extended (they won't stay that way like the fixed wings of a glider), it would take considerable effort - as opposed to "relatively little effort." Certainly not as much as activly flapping but still a huge amount.

    Also, we shouldn't forget that the tremendous amount of muscle needed for all of this will add a great deal to the body weight as well!
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  7. #6  
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    Our physiology would have to drastically change to accomodate wings. Relative to us birds have a very large, protruding chest to which all the muscles for flapping wings attach. They used a computer simulation on a Discovery Channel show once to see how much a human would have to change in order to fly like birds, and the result was rather creepy looking, if nothing else. Flying is most certainly not possible if you still want to look like a human.
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  8. #7  
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    Immediately join any society or group advocating the colonisation of space via O'Neill habitats. At an appropriately low G you will readily be able to fly.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Immediately join any society or group advocating the colonisation of space via O'Neill habitats. At an appropriately low G you will readily be able to fly.
    Or at the very least "make giant leaps with a single bound." :wink:

    (With apologies to Marvel Comics.)
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  10. #9  
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    supposing we could come up with wings that were strong enough to support us, and adequate respiration, heart rate, etc., there's still the issue of attaching them. It would be very difficult to work in the wing muscles to the musculature of the back/shoulders or wherever, and you'd have to wire them to the CNS, to give you control of them, which would be rather difficult. And what are these wings made of? Are they biological flesh-and-blood wings? Because it'd be extremely difficult (as far as I see it) to synthesize muscle and bone and all that, if you're making them from scratch... That's how I looked at it while I was thinking about the whole thing...
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  11. #10  
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    I don't think you realized it but the first and last statements are self-contardictory. Since you would have to work very hard to keep the wings extended (they won't stay that way like the fixed wings of a glider), it would take considerable effort - as opposed to "relatively little effort." Certainly not as much as activly flapping but still a huge amount.
    No they are not contradictory, although I considered that misinterpretation. "Controlling" the wings and being properly attached to them are two different things. For gliding, all you need is a pair of large enough wings, rigidly attached to your body, and that's feasable. You don't need to exert any force to keep the wings extended if they are supported by an internal structure. However, even in that case you'd need a fair amount of force to "control" them, e.g. to move control surfaces. That this has nothing to do with flapping is obvious. That's why I am talking about gliding.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    For gliding, all you need is a pair of large enough wings, rigidly attached to your body, and that's feasable.
    that already exists - it's called delta wings, and i'm pretty sure it's not what Winged Teen had in mind

    after all, there's a substantial difference between gliding and flying (unless you go for space colonies - i'd love to join one of those o'neill habitats, but i'm afraid it might be too late for me if they don't hurry up)
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    I don't think you realized it but the first and last statements are self-contardictory. Since you would have to work very hard to keep the wings extended (they won't stay that way like the fixed wings of a glider), it would take considerable effort - as opposed to "relatively little effort." Certainly not as much as activly flapping but still a huge amount.
    No they are not contradictory, although I considered that misinterpretation. "Controlling" the wings and being properly attached to them are two different things. For gliding, all you need is a pair of large enough wings, rigidly attached to your body, and that's feasable. You don't need to exert any force to keep the wings extended if they are supported by an internal structure. However, even in that case you'd need a fair amount of force to "control" them, e.g. to move control surfaces. That this has nothing to do with flapping is obvious. That's why I am talking about gliding.
    Yes, they are still contradictory. Perhaps you might want to spend just bit of time reading up on avian wing physiology. In order to fly, the wings must have the ability to extend above the horizontal. And while gliding, the wings are held nearly horizontal (with small changes for trim) and it requires effort to do that. In fact, it's tiring to the point that many birds will land once in a while just to rest the wing muscles. That's not true of ALL birds (some sea fowl are excluded) but is of most species.
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  14. #13 Wow 
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    Hm. I believe I was just seriously shot down...Oh well Yeah, though, it seemed sketchy to me, but I was just wanting some input on it.
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  15. #14 Re: Wow 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Teen
    Hm. I believe I was just seriously shot down...Oh well Yeah, though, it seemed sketchy to me, but I was just wanting some input on it.
    Don't let it bother you, though. It takes a few hundred new ideas before one is actually a good one.
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  16. #15  
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    that already exists - it's called delta wings, and i'm pretty sure it's not what Winged Teen had in mind
    It doesn't have to be delta, although there is some advantage to that. Right, it exists, and right again, it's not what (s)he had in mind. That's my answer. That's all you get.

    Yes, they are still contradictory. Perhaps you might want to spend just bit of time reading up on avian wing physiology. In order to fly, the wings must have the ability to extend above the horizontal. And while gliding, the wings are held nearly horizontal (with small changes for trim) and it requires effort to do that. In fact, it's tiring to the point that many birds will land once in a while just to rest the wing muscles. That's not true of ALL birds (some sea fowl are excluded) but is of most species.
    Old Geezer, after you passed your avian wing physiology class, maybe you would like to follow me and finish your degree in aerodynamics. That V-shaped wings provide stability was never disputed. Neither did I mention the word "horizontal". marnixR got the point but maybe you didn't (was it too subtle?): I am not talking about two independent movable wings. Take the wing of a glider or a similar design, scale it down to appropriate size for a human, design a harness to attach it to your body... jump.. and glide. The wing will carry you with little effort on your side. How much effort is required to hold a rigid V-shaped wing to it's V-angle, whether it's 8 degrees or 0 degrees (horiz.): None! It's a rigid structure, designed to hold the angle.

    Of course, this is not what Winged Teen had in mind, and that's exactly my point. You can't have what (s)he has in mind, so this is as good as it gets. It emulates one aspect of bird flight (gliding/soaring), as well as humans can do. And, yes, marnixR, it already exists. Get out there and try it instead of talking about it. It's worth the experience. 8)
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  17. #16 Gender? 
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    (s)he?

    Well? which one am I? *Taps foot impatiently*
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    that already exists - it's called delta wings, and i'm pretty sure it's not what Winged Teen had in mind
    It doesn't have to be delta, although there is some advantage to that. Right, it exists, and right again, it's not what (s)he had in mind. That's my answer. That's all you get.

    Yes, they are still contradictory. Perhaps you might want to spend just bit of time reading up on avian wing physiology. In order to fly, the wings must have the ability to extend above the horizontal. And while gliding, the wings are held nearly horizontal (with small changes for trim) and it requires effort to do that. In fact, it's tiring to the point that many birds will land once in a while just to rest the wing muscles. That's not true of ALL birds (some sea fowl are excluded) but is of most species.


    Old Geezer, after you passed your avian wing physiology class, maybe you would like to follow me and finish your degree in aerodynamics. That V-shaped wings provide stability was never disputed. Neither did I mention the word "horizontal". marnixR got the point but maybe you didn't (was it too subtle?): I am not talking about two independent movable wings. Take the wing of a glider or a similar design, scale it down to appropriate size for a human, design a harness to attach it to your body... jump.. and glide. The wing will carry you with little effort on your side. How much effort is required to hold a rigid V-shaped wing to it's V-angle, whether it's 8 degrees or 0 degrees (horiz.): None! It's a rigid structure, designed to hold the angle.

    Of course, this is not what Winged Teen had in mind, and that's exactly my point. You can't have what (s)he has in mind, so this is as good as it gets. It emulates one aspect of bird flight (gliding/soaring), as well as humans can do. And, yes, marnixR, it already exists. Get out there and try it instead of talking about it. It's worth the experience. 8)
    Very sorry. You misunderstood me as I was not trying to be argumentative. I'm aware of fixed-wing applications but I was attempting to stay within the original question as I understood it - human-powered winged flight.

    But nothing is lost because we all agree that the concept is flawed.
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  19. #18  
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    (s)he?

    Well? which one am I? *Taps foot impatiently*
    LOL. No need to get nervous, there, just giving you the benefit (?) of doubt.
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  20. #19 HM??? 
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    Well? which one am I??? Figure it out
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  21. #20 Re: HM??? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Teen
    Well? which one am I??? Figure it out
    Why? Does it even matter?
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  22. #21 Well... 
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    I don't know, but I want them to figure it out
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  23. #22  
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    !girl I say!

    (and sorry if you're a boy)

    Edit: (I may get attacked for this, but...whatever) It is possible to have wings.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  24. #23 RP 
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    How would it be possible to have wings? *Pulls up a chair*
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  25. #24 Re: RP 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Teen
    How would it be possible to have wings? *Pulls up a chair*
    Ah...yes, I anticipated such a response.

    We could have wings if we were built in the way that many others in this thread have outlined. Thus, it is possible that we have wings, though highly unlikely. Possibility does not imply certainty; thus, certain things must be altered in order to fulfill a possibility. In this case, it is the human anatomy.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  26. #25 Continue 
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    Please Continue...
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  27. #26  
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    We've kind of been over this, haven't we? We talked about what types of physiological changes would be necessary, and how you most likely end up not very human-looking if they took place. Unless, as someone mentioned before, we were on a planet with a much lower gravity. Then the changes required to keep a human aloft may be less drastic.
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  28. #27 Re: Continue 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Teen
    Please Continue...
    That's about it...
    It's possible, because we can have them if our anatomy changes.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by M
    For gliding, all you need is a pair of large enough wings, rigidly attached to your body, and that's feasable.
    that already exists - it's called delta wings, and i'm pretty sure it's not what Winged Teen had in mind

    after all, there's a substantial difference between gliding and flying (unless you go for space colonies - i'd love to join one of those o'neill habitats, but i'm afraid it might be too late for me if they don't hurry up)
    I think this guy has the best idea of what it means to 'fly' (or glide). I wonder how addicted to adrenaline you'd have to be to do something like this ...

    go on, click it ...
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas999
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by M
    For gliding, all you need is a pair of large enough wings, rigidly attached to your body, and that's feasable.
    that already exists - it's called delta wings, and i'm pretty sure it's not what Winged Teen had in mind

    after all, there's a substantial difference between gliding and flying (unless you go for space colonies - i'd love to join one of those o'neill habitats, but i'm afraid it might be too late for me if they don't hurry up)
    I think this guy has the best idea of what it means to 'fly' (or glide). I wonder how addicted to adrenaline you'd have to be to do something like this ...

    go on, click it ...
    That's insane! I wanna try that (want to).
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  31. #30  
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    that sure is falling with style !
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  32. #31  
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    Nothing is really impossible. Wings on humans might be possible, but the question is will they be considered humans if they did?
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    I think that if there was wing like structures on your back with enuff muscle power you would still need a stringer set of lungs and heart to power this.
    I appoligize for mistakes in grammar, puncuation, and spelling. Cuz i suck at that stuff.
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  34. #33  
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    You'd need an entirely new brain wired to control them, it would not be possible during life.
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  35. #34  
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    cut of the legs, cut off the arms.

    Implant wings on back.

    Insert jet engine in the anus.



    should work.
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  36. #35  
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    some pterosaurs were upwards of 250 lbs....but then you have to realize that every little thing about their gross morphology was geared for flight; so it is possible for things as heavy as people to fly.

    However, you'd need a massive structural evolution within humans. Frankly, by the time that flight was attained by our lineage we wouldn't even be 'human' anymore.
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  37. #36  
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    Some dragonflies had a wingspan of 75cm.

    But that was all in the good old days. Just like the pterosaurus.

    Maybe conditions have changed.
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    lower oxygen since the carboniferous, in reference to the large odenates (dragonflies). Their method of breathing is a little bit more passive than the more aggressive vertebrate ways, so they need higher oxygen content to get larger.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Maybe conditions have changed.
    I've wondered if the metabolic optimums of large animals have been toned down by evolution of disease.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Maybe conditions have changed.
    I've wondered if the metabolic optimums of large animals have been toned down by evolution of disease.
    I don't think so. What affects one disease doesn't affect another; since the 'big boys' keep on changing as far as lineage is concerned, it really doesn't make much sense that there would be a very in depth relationship here.

    Large size actually has most to do with oxygen content overall. If you think about it, even today it makes sense. Just look at isopods; arctic isopods get to massive sizes, thanks to the cold water having a higher capacity for holding oxygen. Meanwhile, tropical species stay much smaller. This only fits for things actively breathing from the water, rather than coming to the surface. Essentially, if you compare oxygen rich to oxygen poor environments (those terms being relative to each other), you have a much larger capacity for bigger sized animals.
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    pretty much worthy of its own post since we are talking about human evolution:


    http://johnhawks.net/weblog/topics/e...poc3-2008.html

    Looks like evolution does happen in people, despite obvious pressures like predation falling off the charts and having the most polluted gene pool of any known extant animal...
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  42. #41  
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    Interesting, about the Amish. So in their culture it is advantageous parents/grandparents live longer? Conversely it is advantageous within other cultures we ...um, sooner make way... for new generations...?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    It would only be an advantage if increased age corresponded to an increase in functional lifespan. By this I mean that people could work longer; however, longer life generally means just longer in the elderly stage. This is a person to person basis, however.

    I really don't think this corresponds to a pressure or selected thing. Some things in evolution just kind of passively happen, especially if there is no real detriment or anything. I'm sure you're aware of it, it's called genetic drift :P.
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  44. #43 Re: Wings, is it possible? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Teen
    Curious, does anyone believe it would be possible for a human to fly?(With wings on their back) I mean, you would have to undergo surgery to lighten your body as much as possible, and still, they would have to be very powerful muscles. Don't judge me for it, but I have always wanted wings, and was just curious.
    Physically no. Wings that you see statues wearing or hear legends talk about are......the wings of your energy body. I can't explain it in one post to someone I am not certain is interested.

    The stories about human beings with wings are supposed to teach a human being that if they do the right things, they will feel like they have wings. Literally. You will feel wing like structures within your body, that move like you see wings of lying animals move.

    You cannot fly your physical body with the energy body wings. The energy body wings fly your energy body, your mind, your consciousness, up to the next higher level of consciousness.
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  45. #44 Re: Wings, is it possible? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Teen
    Curious, does anyone believe it would be possible for a human to fly?(With wings on their back) I mean, you would have to undergo surgery to lighten your body as much as possible, and still, they would have to be very powerful muscles. Don't judge me for it, but I have always wanted wings, and was just curious.
    Though I doubt we would be able to fly for any great distances, I don't see why it would be completely impossible to design some sort of mechanical wings controlled by the shoulder and back muscles. They would have to be enormous but I don't see why they could make synthetic limbs for amputees and not wings for the rest of us Earth-bound Homo sapiens
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  46. #45 Re: Wings, is it possible? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbokohutu
    ......the wings of your energy body.
    Is this what they mean by Happeh theory?
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  47. #46 Re: Wings, is it possible? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by mbokohutu
    ......the wings of your energy body.
    Is this what they mean by Happeh theory?
    I don't know. You should ask Q since he seems to know all about that Happeh Theory.
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  48. #47 Re: Wings, is it possible? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbokohutu
    The energy body wings fly your energy body, your mind, your consciousness, up to the next higher level of consciousness.
    Reminds me of the Falun Gong's "falun". It is a spinning swastika shaped energy object "installed" inside a follower's abdomen by the cult leader himself (in his astral travels). Cultivators may also grow additional eyes, even compound eyes, which are invisible to normal folk.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  49. #48 Re: Wings, is it possible? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbokohutu

    I don't know. You should ask Q since he seems to know all about that Happeh Theory.
    It's little wonder you would still associate yourself with "Happeh" considering you've been banned from numerous sites and that name has become synonymous with insanity. You've also created numerous sock puppets doing exactly the same thing you do now, pretending it isn't you, Happeh.

    So, why the charade?
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  50. #49  
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    There's a lot of off-topic sniping going on in this forum lately. Once again, stick to the topic, and leave the personal issues to PM. Further off topic content will be removed.

    /moderator mode


    mbokohutu, do you have any sources of empirical data that explain this "energy body wings" idea? Is this a psychological phenomenon?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  51. #50  
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    It's Happeh theory.
    This visualization of the energy body as an exact duplicate of the physical body, is extremely useful in demonstrating and discussing the movement of the energy body away from it's proper location, and the diagnosis of physical health problems that are caused by movement of the energy body.
    http://www.happehtheory.com/Energy/H...gyMainPage.htm
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  52. #51  
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    okay I laughed pretty hard at the URL there...
    Is it just me or does this energy thing seem a bit more like wishful thinking, new age spiritual ideaologies than it does like anything empirically backable?
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