X-Message-Number: 11324
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 12:28:10 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #11318

Thomas Donaldson writes,

> Yes, we can no doubt make
>replicas of various predecessors, human and other, but those replicas 
>would not constitute resurrection.

Exact replicas (and sufficiently close copies) would constitute resurrection, 
in my view. But as Thomas sees it:

> The problem is that the information needed for a true resurrection will have
>been lost. (This is a judgement based on my own estimate of what science
>will be capable of, even in the far future. I do not claim it is
>unshakably true, but will say that so far no evidence exists against it).
Here I think Thomas is agreeing that, with adequate information, true
resurrection would follow. If, for instance, I had an exact description of
some person or creature down to the atomic level and used advanced nanotech
to create a replica based on that information, I would have resurrected that
individual. The problem, then, is that except (possibly) with cryonic
suspension or other means of preserving tissue, the surviving information is
likely to be too incomplete for this. My way around this depends heavily on
the idea of a multiverse, i.e. parallel universes, in which, basically,
there is a large variety of individuals that must be considered on an equal
footing. When we lose information about a creature, in effect our own past
becomes ambiguous. Different varieties of that creature are equally
"authentic" possibilities for our own past. History does not have a unique
timeline. "We" actually are not even unique individuals, but extend over the
"leaves" of the multiverse, in multiple instantiations that are constantly
diverging and thus splitting into separate selves. 
By making a creature that fit our surviving records, and filling in details
we didn't already have, by guesswork, we would construct a being who was
present in one of our authentic timelines, and thus carry out a true

But, as I've often said, I do see an advantage in a resurrection that *does
not* have to invoke parallel universes in this way, but is based
straightforwardly on the surviving information alone. For this reason, I
remain a firm advocate of cryonics, despite the other possibilities I see.
By way of a rough analogy, I would be thrilled, not indifferent, at the
discovery of an ancient manuscript of some literary work previously thought
lost. I know I could obtain that text, even without this discovery, by the
British Museum Algorithm (i.e. random generation) if I spent long enough at
it (and if I am immortal, I will have long enough). But there is something
highly meaningful in the simple, unambiguous recovery of history, when this
is possible. 

Mike Perry

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