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From att!PROOF.ERGO.CS.CMU.EDU!Timothy.Freeman Tue Jun  5 22:12:19 1990
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Reply-To: Tim Freeman <>
Subject: Re: cryonics #181 - Re: Science Court 
In-Reply-To: Your message of Tue, 05 Jun 90 19:33:46 -0400.
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 90 22:03:23 EDT
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I'm not sure I understand you.

>The hard
>essence of science is that it is decided by the REAL WORLD, not by a court.

The real world won't have a verdict about cryonics for centuries
possibly.  I don't think we want to wait that long.

The purpose of the science court I'm considering running isn't to
decide what's true, it is to rub the opposing sides together in an
attempt to generate consensus, or at least carefully thought-out
arguments from both sides.

>If someone wants to have a debate, then that would be a good thing.

I think that what I'm proposing is an electronic debate, but it's
different from an ordinary debate in that the participants are
answering questions rather than giving a speech.

>Some people think of science courts as judging social issues. I do not think
>I would cease to work for cryonics because a group of people calling
>themselves a "court" decided that it was somehow socially harmful.

I hope the procedure I'm interested in deals with facts rather than
social issues.  The people I intend to ask to participate will be more
competent to speak about facts than social issues.

>In any case: my suggestion would be, if you want to hold a "court",
>to set it up separately (rather than as part of the ongoing message 
>system you're running). See if people come. If they don't then the court
>isn't popular (which may mean quite a number of things!). The REAL WORLD

Um, does "separately" mean holding the event live?  People have tried
holding the event live before, there weren't any representatives
available for the anti-cryonics side.

The message system I'm using is just electronic mail, it really isn't
something I run.  I guess I could let the real world tell me if people
are interested by going ahead and soliciting electronic participants
and seeing if anyone replies.  However, I'd like to have some feedback
on the procedure I posted before I do that.

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