X-Message-Number: 15519
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 13:22:34 EST
Subject: Wakfer notes

A few points:


>Frankly, I don't know what kind of "professional" biologist would
>attempt to experiment with sheep heads obtained from a slaughterhouse!

The professional cryobiologists were Dr. Pichugin and associates, as Wakfer 
very well knows, and they did it because we asked them to and paid them to do 


>medical research never does experiments on
>cadavers, the results of which are meant to apply to live persons.

Medical research sometimes uses cadaver tissue, including frozen brain 
tissue, to compare with other specimens. In fact, frozen/fixed tissue from 
cadavers is sometimes used as the standard of "normal," although generally 
not at the ultrastructure level. 


>   differences are bound to happen in a "fringe" area such
>as cryonics which by its nature attracts independent minds. IMO, it is
>far better to have this than a bunch of unquestioning yes-men who have
>little indepth understanding gathered around the revered founder.

Yes-men? I have often been overruled by a majority of our Board. Rather, I 
have sometimes been overruled. Most often it doesn't get to the point of a 
formal vote, but my suggestions have often been shot down. Our (CI's) people 
are just as "independent" as anyone else's, but more cooperative and less 


>how stable are CI perfusates? How long are they stored with
morticians before replacement? 

They are very stable, and have been tested after one and two years by a 
commercial lab for possible growth of microorganisms, with clean results. 
CIHQ currently has no old perfusate. Only Albin has a relatively old one, and 
that will soon be replaced by our new set. 

This next is delightful. I had characterized one of his paragraphs as 
tiresome and pretentious. Now Wakfer:

>It is, of course, an old dodge to denigrate ones critic by impugning his 
>character. If Mr Ettinger is tired ("tiresome") perhaps one of his 
well-known >afternoon naps will help renew him for the challenge of truth and 
exact use of >language.
The beauty of this is that Wakfer at this point didn't even realize the 
damage he was doing himself. The average reader is not likely to be favorably 
impressed by Wakfer's suggestion that I take too many naps. (I'm not sure who 
told him I take afternoon naps, but it's true. Sometimes morning naps too. On 
the other hand, I often work late at night.)

More generally, I repeat, any irritation I have shown has followed 
provocation. Wakfer has repeatedly used terms like "fraud," and "deliberate 
misrepresentation" and so on, which I have not done. I am still far behind in 
the insult department, and have a lot of catching up to do, if I feel like it.

And I reproduce again the following Wakfer gem, which I characterized as 
pretentious and tiresome pontificating:

> There are no accepted views of what preservation "methods" are best for
> brains, since "best" implies a specific purpose, and the purposes of
> some uses of brains are not at all the same as other uses. Finally,
> "best" is by its very nature not an objective of science which is the
> investigation of reality and the discovery of the facts thereof. "Best"
> is a purely subjective term of valuation and as such is totally
> non-scientific. However, even in subjective practical terms, no one in
> cryobiology or any other branch of science (except perhaps those at INC
> and 21CM) currently has the purpose of restoring life as their purpose
> for preserving brains!

He later tried to explain and regroup, but I leave the reader to agree or 
disagree with my characterization.

Now Wakfer's latest:

>Without any restorations having
>been done, it is logically impossible to state which current preparation
>will allow the easiest, most complete, or any recovery at all. There is
>no possible way to know what is the best procedure at the present time.
>We will only know that at some time in the future. "All the criteria we
>are able to apply" may in the future be found to be so much nonsense!
>That having been clearly understood (which Mr Ettinger appears to be
>incapable of doing), we can then proceed to apply the most reasonable
>criteria that we can imagine, and we hope will be important for future
>success in patient restoration.
The kindest thing one can say about this is that it is poorly expressed. Any 
ordinary reader, I believe, would construe the first part to mean, in effect, 
that any old procedure is as good as any other, or as good as no procedure. 
The second part seems to contradict this, and acknowledge that we can and 
must use our best guess as to the currently most desirable procedure. 

Wakfer, concerning a statement by one of the parties involved that the 53% 
viability referred to each and every cell:

>I do not recall where this was stated or by who. Would you please enlighten
>us with that information in a direct quote?

Wakfer published it. I leave him the job of looking it up, although if push 
comes to shove and he denies it I will find and reproduce it. But I remind 
Wakfer that the scientist doesn't want his name mentioned.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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