X-Message-Number: 19591
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 12:36:13 -0700
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: Another cell biologist mouthing off.

Here is something I posted over at Rand Simberg's site. I don't know if he is
signed up but he  sure is defending cryonics with great effort and doing a good
job. Someone only known as Jim and claiming to be a cellular biologist posted
the quoted text below. I simply had to respond.

"Good Grief! I have to say that all this cryonics blather has really eroded your

The only blather and lack of credibility is yours, Jim. I am amazed you seem
never to have heard of nanotechnology. That's what's incredible about the

cellular and cryobiology people is that they have such a narrow scope. They make
these blanket statements poopooing cryonics without so much as a smidgen of the
knowledge even the amateurs, of which I am one, have on the subject.

"What makes anyone think that the techniques used today will facilitate thawing
and bringing back to life later? It seems highly likely that the means used
today are more liekly to result in a very expensive memorial to the deceased
than to herald their return."

Would you agree that molecular manipulation of the building blocks of cells is

going to be possible? Does it violate any physical laws? Do I get a yes and then
a no? I should or again you haven't done your homework. Go here to study up my
friend. http://www.merkle.com/

Next would you agree that routinely people are now brought back to life from a
hypothermic state? Another 'yes' I suppose? Then if we can one day bring the
body cell by cell back to a pristine state while still quite cold then warm it
up to the same temperature as hypothermic surgery, what pray tell what is the
difference between the two?

"I would expect this kind of stuff on the floor of a star trek convention from a
bunch of teenagers, but not from supposedly intelligent adult comentators."

Posted by jim at July 19, 2002 04:06 PM

If remaining childlike in our imagination means we have the foresight to see the
wonderful possibilities the future holds then we my friend will live and you
won't and maybe the gene pool will be better for it.


"No Hubris. I am just amazed at the star-eyed innocence displayed by those who
believe that science has all answers and over time will be able to surmount
everything, even death."

Are you kidding me? Science not have all the answers? Since when does it not? In
a past life your were a Cardinal chastising Galileo, right? Sure there may be a

tiny few that we will never determine, like what existed before the big bang, is
there really a god and a way to know it without doing to meet him/her and such
as these but not much more than this. Everything can be reduced and deduced and
little by little will be Mr. Jim. BTW, why didn't you have the intestinal
fortitude to post your email address?

"Perhaps science will one day allow for the cryopreservation of a body and the
thawing and reviving of the same. I think it foolish to assume that today's
methods would facilitate that. In just freezing samples of tissue we can
experience huge losses. It is easy to freeze a homogenous cell suspension. All
the cells can be preserved pretty well and losses can be minimized. Even then,
viabilities of 90% would not be unreasonable, but such would be fatal for a
whole organism."

If you can admit that it might one day be possible then I suggest you get K.
Eric Drexler's book "The Engine's of Creation"
http://www.foresight.org/EOC/EOC_Chapter_9.html and Dr. Robert Freitas' book
"Nanomedicine" (visualize it here:
http://www.foresight.org/Nanomedicine/Gallery/index.html). I have them both, in
fact Robert autographed his for me. Available at amazon.com.

"In a heterogeneous specimen different cell types have different requirements
for storage. Amongst white blood cells, for instance, granulocytes have very
different requirements from mononucleated cells such as lymphocytes and
monocytes. A preperation which spares the latter cell types will effectively
destroy the former."

Yea yea yea, we concede the enormous damage. Despite that we strongly feel we
will be able to piece by piece, molecule by molecule, atom by atom, rebuild the
various cells. Read here for how even the brain can be repaired with nanotech:

"My point is simply that, while this might be a goal to aspire to, today it is
nothing more than a scam for the fleecing of the star eyed futurist."

Be careful what you say Jim, it borders on libel. Cryonics is not a scam. To say
something is a scam you must purport that those taking the money have
intentionally set out to defraud the customers. This is simply so wrong on so
many levels it's near to blasphemy. Firstly, everyone involved is also a member

themselves. The companies are non profit. The employees wages are abysmal and so
the benefits unless you count being able to keep an eye on your relatives and
friends to ensure their survival.

There are many more reasons why cryonics is not a scam but my case is enough, I
believe, to dispel this myth for good. Please see the following (page down to

the July 16 section): http://www.msnbc.com/news/750150.asp?0si=-. It tells about
how the founder of cryonics donated $13,000.00 of his own estate to start my
cryonics fund. I am a quadriplegic and dependent on social security disability.

Because of this it is illegal for me to have assets that could pay for cryonics.
My health is too poor to obtain life insurance, the method most use to pay for
it (contact info for cryonics insurance ).

If it's a scam wouldn't it be pointless to give away such a large sum toward
paying for it? Your accusation like all others is groundless and based on

"Even should the freezing and thawing of the body be successful, there is the
additional assumption that science can still cheat death or cure diseases. The

human genome project has not lead to cures but to a greater appreciation for the
complexity of cell biology. Even long before the full genome was decoded, genes
for diseases such as Huntington's Chorea have failed to lead to cures.
Transcribing the genome is only the first step."

Where have you been the last 50 years? Did you just get teleported from the 19th
century? I think maybe you guys that spend so much time in your one field miss
out on the entire spectrum of development that's going one. I'll get to more of
that later but for now let's do a thought experiment. Imagine that in all the
billions upon billions possible worlds in the universe there actually is life

elsewhere than here. Could we extrapolate what civilization development for them
might be based upon our own experience?

Would you expect other civilizations to go through something akin to a

hunter-gather stage, then animal husbandry and agriculture? Would as it did here
agriculture lead to trade? I expect so. Can we follow this line of development
to include technological advancement? I think so. How about eventually the

development of science and technology to the level we have today? Now imagine, I
know it's hard for you but I'll help ok? Again imagine that this hypothetical
civilization is 1000 years or even 10,000 years beyond ours. Would you expect
them to have conquered death? I would. I'd be very surprised if it was

Once a civilization reaches the point of manipulation of matter at the atomic
level all bets are off. How can a disease remain a threat if nanobots course
through our bloodstream or even residing within each cell constantly repairing
cellular damage? You really need to read Robert Freitas' book Nanomedicine or
try to get the video "Cutting Edge Science" from The Learning Channel.

"Should we be able to cure disease, there will be the remaining question of
cellular aging. Dolly the sheep has shown signs of accelerated aging due to the
shortened telomere length on her DNA. Unless there is therapy for that you are
revived only to be back on death's door."

Oops! Again you missed the recent developments. Telomers have already been
rejuvenated and therapies are in our time being developed to rejuvenate a human
being back to youthful vigor. Then there is tissue engineering and stem cell

tissue replacement therapy and then genetic manipulation to switch on our body's
dormant amphibian DNA properties for limb regeneration. Ways to safely turn
genes on and off are being developed.

"Lastly, let's assume that sometime in the distant future your dream becomes
reality and it is possible to revive these frozen corpses. In what is likely to
be several centuries from now, how many people will be frozen? Who will pay to
have these people thawed and treated? Will it not be within the realm of

possibility that the revivification of these people will be prevented to to lack
of resources, financial or otherwise? Would you promote thawing out of
potentially thousands of people, who would be a drain on the society since they
are functionally uneducated and quite possibly functionally illiterate due to

changing language usage. Even if technology exists at some leter date there is a
distinct possibilty that it will not be allowed."

Sure it's within the realm of possibility. Anything's possible. But it's not in
the realm of probability. Here you need to get in touch with what we call the

Or ask yourself what the economy will be like when everyone has their own
replicater technology. Again we are back to nanotech. However, imagine
commanding your personal nanobots to create an apple for from dirt, water, air
and some energy. Impossible you say? Nay, an apple seed does the same thing but
it merely takes longer. Based on stereo lithography concepts an apple could be
built by nanrobotics atom by atom before your very eyes. So could your shelter,
clothing, transportation, etc. etc. What will you need money for? Costly to
revive people? Not very likely.

However, suppose it is expensive just the same. Ever heard of compound interest?
Suppose the cryonics organizations have invested in technology stocks over the
coming century or two you acquiesce might be the timeline for revival. How much
would a $10,000.00 investment be worth by then? Can we say millions? Tens of
millions? How about more likely hundreds of millions?

Not be allowed? I suppose you are projecting this century's lack of respect for

life onto the future. What do you base it on? It really miffs me when people get
apocalyptic about the future. You accuse us of too much sci-fi enthusiasm but
you seem to have too much sci-fi pessimism. Stop reading doomsday crap man!

You're likely to work subconsciously toward fulfillment of your dark nightmares.
Garbage in equals garbage out. The proof is that here you are dissing something

that is life affirming, respects life and seeks to perpetuate it for all. Rather

than be constructive and contribute your talents and knowledge you prefer to try
to drag it down.

How about that? What if all the naysayers could instead decide it was a noble
goal and get on board and help out? How soon could we transform society? Not
just cryonics but the entire life extension phenomenom. How much more

appreciative of life would people be if they knew that barring terrible accident
they could live and love for a thousand of years, perhaps more? What of war or
of crime? Would people be so willing to die or send their children to die in

useless war? I think not. There would be so much more to lose... so much more to
live for. Wouldn't it accelorate progress if knowledge encapsulated within a
fragile human vessel was not lost to oblivion in just a few short years? Are
these not noble goals? If so then tweak your memeset Jim, contribute!

"And while most anticipate some futuristic paradise, it is equally likely that
you will wake to a futuristic servitude. The freedom we enjoy today is an
anomaly in human history. It would be very unlikely for you to wake up to the
same situation."

I guess you're not a history buff. If you were then you'd have to notice, I'm
surprised you don't anyway, that life is a lot better now than it was 2000,

1000, 500, 200, 100 even 50 years ago. How can you have missed the trends? For a
really good source for interpreting the trends in technology and science please
go here and study deeply. http://www.kurzweilai.net

"It just seems that there is a lot of unfounded optimism and very little
critical thought on what the barriers are and what the real outcomes might be."

The lack of critical thought is in your camp fella. You have to know something
to think critically about it but you have demonstrated incredible lack of
knowledge of the subject you purport expertise in. How on Earth could you miss
all the work done these days on anti-aging, cell regeneration, tissue
engineering, gene therapy, therapeutic cloning and nanotechnology. What remains
to be seen is if this ignorance is willful. Are you redeemable?

Serendipity happens and so the radio happens to be playing this very minute The

Grateful Dead, "Please don't murder me." That's my admonition to you and all the
cryonics naysayers. Either learn about it fully or shut the hell up before your
memes end up murdering me, those I love and even the future.

James Swayze
MY WEBSITE: http://www.geocities.com/~davidpascal/swayze/
A COLLECTION of photos of me and some of my artwork:
A RADIO INTERVIEW on Dr. J's ChangeSurfer Radio program with me and the father
of cryonics Prof.
Robert Ettinger, author of "The Prospect of Immortality":
A RELIGION I actually recommend:
A FAVORITE quote: Last lines of the first Star Trek the Next Generation movie.
Capt. Picard: "What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived,
after all Number One, we're
only mortal."
Will Ryker: "Speak for yourself captain, I intend to live forever!"

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