X-Message-Number: 10064
Date:  Tue, 14 Jul 98 16:28:16 
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: More "scientific evidence"

Actually, there is really a rather large amount of 
evidence I consider scientific that cryonics will work. An example 
is that some brain cells revive after warming from liquid 
nitrogen temperature (as established by appropriate laboratory 
experiments). This puts some sort of cap on the amount of damage 
freezing causes--e.g. we never see a cell revive from cremation. Of 
course it is indirect evidence, and far short of any *proof*. But 
similarly, there are other pieces of evidence, scientific by 
reasonable standards, though indirect too, 
that point toward the desired 
conclusion. A lot of indirect pointers like this may add up to a 
pretty strong case, even though each is weak individually. In the 
case of cryonics I think the case overall is reasonably strong but 
still uncertain; we have to consider negative indicators too, such as 
the freezing damage that has been observed. (Informational 
and thermodynamic considerations provide at least
a partial counterweight to this one indicator.) And, of course, 
there *are* ongoing, controlled, scientific experiments in 
cryonics--but for obvious reasons none of these has been completed 
yet nor is likely to be soon.

But anyone who offers the curt dismissal, "cryonics doesn't work" is 
speaking prematurely, just the same as if someone were to deny that 
the lifespan of a laboratory mouse could be extended by some method, 
without waiting to see if the mouse would really live longer. (The 
difference, of course, is that the non-cryonicist cannot simply wait 
till the experiment is over!) If confronted by someone, 
particularly a non-cryonicist, who wants to deny that there is any 
scientific evidence favoring cryonics, I would try to explain why, in 
my view, there *is* scientific evidence favoring it, though not any 
proof. This I have done before--on a radio interview, for instance. 
This then will lead to a discussion of what is 
"scientific evidence"--if the other party 
is interested (often they aren't), and any differences in views can 
be aired. I still think the position Paul Wakfer brings up in 
#10038 is the right one. Cryonics, as a scientific 
endeavor, *is* different from a conventional laboratory science, and 
must not be held to the same standards--though it does have 
appropriate standards of its own.

Mike Perry

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