X-Message-Number: 12278
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 23:51:24 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Cryonics Research

George Smith, #12664, says

"My whole and entire suggestion is that IT DOES NOT MATTER what is done in
'cryopreservation research' TODAY.

"I mean it.


I beg to differ with this conclusion, though I don't doubt that EVENTUALLY
reversible cryopreservation might well be achieved in fine style by
"outsiders" for various motives of their own. "Eventually" is not going to
help anyone who may be hurting in the meantime, i.e. dying before the
outsiders can, for whatever reasons, get around to making the necessary
advances. If, on the other hand, you are supremely confident that today's
procedures are adequate, you don't need to worry about any future advances. 

George in the same message also says,

"I am tired of the pessimistic nonsense which causes human lives to be lost.
Those who are considering cryonics for themselves and those they love will
read your words of pessimism and assume that today's scientific hubris is
trustworthy, and choose to not take the steps that could save their lives."

I too am strongly opposed to the kind of pessimism that considers it useless
to freeze those dying today. Freezing is better than the alternatives, far
better, I think.

It may be somewhat difficult to both advocate cryonics research NOW, which
means by cryonicists since they are the only ones interested enough to carry
it out, AND advocate freezing dying people today, using the best available
methods whatever their possible weaknesses. But that is what we have to do,
and many of us do advocate both courses of action, and don't feel that the
one must preclude or seriously hamper the other.

It is also easy to see possible ways that both freezing now and research now
could be of benefit. For instance, it may be that freezing now will prove
adequate, eventually, to reanimate the patient, but only after a long
interval of other progress. Research now, could reduce this lag
substantially. Or it may be that freezing now results in some (partial)
information loss that research now could find ways to prevent or
substantially reduce. Finally, research now could simply give us a better
understanding of the plusses and minuses of various freezing protocols,
including those in use now. If these are in fact adequate to the task, we
don't know that yet, and it would be great to find it out. (Among other
things, it should result in more signups and more lives saved.) But if they
aren't, it would be great to find out why and be in a better position to try
for something better.

Mike Perry 

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