X-Message-Number: 16380
From: "George Smith" <>
References: <>
Subject: Why also storing DNA makes sense for survival.
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 11:21:06 -0700

In message # 16377 Louis Epstein intelligently asked (in my posting
regarding applying survival principles to cryonics) about my placing my DNA
on ice already:

"But is there any reasonable expectation
that only fragments of DNA can possibly
result in the restoration of the deceased
self,as opposed to the creation of a clone
of the body of the deceased?

"By what scientific means could more than
that possibly happen?"

First, the entire issue I try to convey is that NO ONE KNOWS NOW WHAT MAY

My GUESS is that having my DNA, the blueprint for at least my physical body,
"saved" could benefit me in the following potential situations PLUS OTHERS

(1) A "back up copy" to match against the DNA I have now (if I don't die)
but need some form of future therapy based on my DNA.
(2) A physical "back up copy" if my personality has been stored in some
fashion (uploading, for example) but all physical traces including DNA of my
current body are lost.
(3) The possibilty that personality is, after all, in part or whole, stored
in perhaps so-called "junk DNA" or in some as yet unknown fashion.
(4) The possibility that personality traces whole or in part are accessable
through some future but currently unknown development such as, for example,
Rupert Sheldrake's Hypothesis of Formative Causation (the only modern author
granted the honor of having the prestigious scientific journal "Nature"
suggest his book was a candidate for being burned).  In such a case, a clone
might very well be necessary to enable retrival of the personality from a
"morphogenic field" or its yet unknown equivalent.

Again, enjoying the luxury of NOT having to narrow my chances for survival
on these issues, it is cheap and easy for me to store my DNA now (as I have
done) and assume that someday it might make an important difference to me.
The risk is zero.  The reward is potentially non-zero.  The risk/reward
ratio looks pretty good to me on this basis.  Based on proven wilderness
survival principles, it makes sense to do it.

The true key to my answer here and my original posting is found in the
phrase Louis used, "scientific means".  By today's 2001 "scientific means"
there is no reason to store DNA now to try and beat death.  In fact, by
today's science there is NO reason to do anything once the body is dead by
current definitions except to dispose of it through burial or cremation.

But cryonics is a gamble on what we hope will be discovered in the future.

If there is a future, I expect the science then will discover and apply
things we don't know now.

Storing my DNA now, before death, means it (probably) will be there for that
future science to work with, if need be.

It might make all the difference in the world to my survival.   So why not
do it?

Louis Epstein's question was a good one.  I hope I've succeeded in answering

George Smith

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