X-Message-Number: 10366
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 02:37:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Platt/Rowe

Ettinger () wrote:
> Whole animals HAVE been revived after freezing at liquid nitrogen
> temperature--several species of insect, in particular.

Okay, you can refer to an insect as an "animal," but you know very well
that Rowe was talking about mammals; therefore, I assumed you were talking
about mammals, especially since the ability to freeze insects isn't very
relevant to the problems of freezing complex creatures.

> 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. 

Sometimes I wonder if you have ever REALLY looked at a picture of the kind
of damage inflicted on the cellular level. Light microscopy does not
reveal this damage; you have to look at electron micrographs. Using the
kind of cryoprotection in typical cryonics cases at the time when Rowe
made his remark, the results should alarm anyone who is willing to look.
Structure is scrambled, and ice does indeed grind up tissue, much as
knives grind up meat. If you had taken the time to attend some of the
presentations at the Alcor Technology Conference in April of this year,
you would have seen this in slides shown by Fahy, Wowk, and (I think)

> Therefore we can also look at types of

> successful freezing other than with whole animals, and they are many, 
> cases of mammalian thin tissues such as skin and intestine, 

This is grossly misleading, as you must be aware. The structure of an
intestine is not remotely comparable to the structure of a brain. Simple
organs do not depend on complex structure for function. Brains do.

> many studies showing a considerable degree of survival by several criteria,
> morphological and physiological, after cooling to liquid nitrogen temperature

What is a "considerable degree of survival"? Which studies are you
referring to? How can we possibly take such a vague statement seriously?

> 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.

Sure, and Suda's cat brains exhibited spontaneous electrical discharges
after rewarming--but only for a brief period, because they suffered
massive damage. They weren't even frozen in liquid nitrogen; merely to dry
ice temperature. And their cryoprotectant was administered under optimal
conditions, using good equipment and technique, which is more than I can
say for many cryonics cases, which (I have to assume) must have suffered
much more.

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

Bob, I have never seen you offer any citation for ANY of your claims about
cryobiology, with the exception of work by Pichugin, whom you have quoted
often, but not always entirely accurately.

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

It is impossible for you to be certain of Rowe's motives or beliefs, and I
suggest it is inappropriate to present your highly partisan assumptions as
if they are proven facts, Also, calling a scientist a liar is potentially
actionable, even on Usenet.

The most that Rowe can be accused of is--perhaps--using some degree of
hyperbole to communicate a concept to the general public. However, I
believe the essence of his statement was correct, at the time he made it.
The cryonics community was outraged, but they were still in a state of
blissful ignorance, since they had not seen the first electron microscope
slides that Fahy made in the 1980s, revealing the degree of damage caused
by then-current cryoprotectant protocol. This came as an unpleasant
surprise when they were presented, as I recall, at a meeting shortly after
the death of Jerry Leaf. (This was before I became active in cryonics.)

Some people evidently still haven't seen those pictures, or other pictures
that followed; and thus they can continue living in blissful ignorance.
That's fine. I have no problem with people whose belief differ from mine.
But please let us not pretend that these beliefs are founded in a full and
thorough knowledge of pertinent research. 

--Charles Platt

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