X-Message-Number: 13598
From: "Brook Norton" <>
Subject: What are the odds?
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:08:24 -0700

Mike Perry in Message #13595 says:
How slim? Have you checked it out? I looked on the Web just now and found a
1997 mortality table (or "life table" as it's called. If you're interested,
the URL was <http://www.cd.gov/nds/data/lewk3_97.pdf>; I believe it pertains
to the US only--a good enough start however). Starting with 100,000 people
at birth (age 0), there were 96,330 surviving to age 39, and 93,712
surviving to age 40. The fraction dying thus is (96,330-93,712)/96,330 or
2.72% or about one in 37. "Small" maybe, but not what I'd call "very, very

Thanks Mike for actually looking up some numbers.  My browser says it can't
find www.cd.gov when I try to look at the link you provided.  Are the
numbers you present really just from age 39 to 40 or did you mean 39 to 49?
The other aspect is that these stats are for a general cross section of the
population.  The odds would look better for survival if the study looked at
survival rates of people who were healthy and lived conservative life styles
at age 39.

I feel funny arguing this side of the argument because I promote cryonics to
friends and family and try to get folks to sign up.  But I believe harm is
also done in overstating our case.  A sense of overzealousness is
communicated when one says "You must sign up now.  Don't wait!" when to all
appearances there is no urgency.

Brook Norton

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