X-Message-Number: 10363
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 12:39:10 EDT
Subject: Rowe/Platt

Charles Platt, Message #10360 [Cryonet], wrote:
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 20:12:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Hamburger

On Sun, 30 Aug 1998, Bob Ettinger wrote:

> First, Arthur Rowe's notorious sound bite about reviving a frozen person
> as difficult as turning hamburger back into a cow: As I have pointed out
> before, this is a plain and conscious lie. Many lower animals have been
> revived after freezing, none after grinding.

With all due respect, Bob, I find your statement more misleading than
Rowe's "hamburger" statement. First of all, he was clearly talking about
people, not highly specialized animals that have adapted to subzero
temperatures. Second, as you will know, no whole animals of any kind have
been revived after freezing in liquid nitrogen, which is what Arthur Rowe
was talking about. And having seen photomicrographs of brain tissue frozen
using the cryonics procedures that were in use at the time Rowe made his
statement, I find the "hamburger" analogy not too far from the truth.
Certainly, the structure was "ground up" in many cases. 

Thus Rowe certainly did NOT lie, consciously or unconsciously, so far as I
can see. Fortunately there has been some progress away from the
"hamburger"  condition, and we can look forward to progress in the future.
If Rowe becomes aware of this, and still sticks to his original statement,
then we may be able to accuse him of, perhaps, willful blindness to the

--Charles Platt
Platt has his facts wrong, as well as his perspective, and Rowe--who could not
possibly be so ignorant--is indeed a conscious liar. 

Whole animals HAVE been revived after freezing at liquid nitrogen
temperature--several species of insect, in particular. The larvae of the slug
caterpillar Cnidocampa flavescens survived (although development thereafter
was not fully normal) with two-step cooling, but no cryoprotectant, and final
immersion in liquid oxygen, which is almost as cold as liquid nitrogen.
European cornborers similarly, after immersion in liquid nitrogen. A
chironomid larva, after pre-drying, was cooled in liquid HELIUM (much colder
than liquid nitrogen) and survived to develop normally. Nematodes have also
survived liquid nitrogen.

Further, the central lie does not revolve around the question of which animal
is involved or what type of treatment. The central lie is that freezing damage
is of the same order as grinding damage. Therefore we can also look at types
of successful freezing other than with whole animals, and they are many,
including cases of mammalian thin tissues such as skin and intestine, and a
few small mammalian organs such as adult rat uterus and embryo chicken hearts.
They can be frozen and revived; they cannot be ground up and revived. (Some
cells might survive coarse grinding, but not the organized tissues or organs.)

As for mammalian (including human) brain and other nervous tissue, there are
many studies showing a considerable degree of survival by several criteria,
morphological and physiological, after cooling to liquid nitrogen temperature
and rewarming. Pichugin's rabbit brain pieces showed coordinated electrical
activity in networks of neurons. There are no such indications for grinding,
and no reason to expect any.

I can supply citations for all of the above, but will not bother to do so now.

Repeat: The damage done by freezing is NOT comparable to that done by
grinding, and Arthur Rowe is a conscious liar.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=10363