X-Message-Number: 23944
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 09:32:41 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #23938 - #23942

Hi everyone!

Some perhaps heterodox (at least for here) opinions on the 2 
questions Mike Read asked in the 21 April Cryonet.

1. Total defeat of aging will be a hard problem. I think that we
   may well have means that will eventually be seen to double
   human lifespan, and used by some humans, in 50 years or less.
   Proof that these means do in fact double lifespan will take
   at least 100 years... and in practical terms, we'll have to
   also deal with various bogus though popular treatments which
   turn out NOT to work. However even doubling lifespans does
   not totally defeat aging, it merely pushes it off (I note that
   even mice calorie restricted before puberty do slowly age and
   die, though their aging doesn't happen in the same way as
   ordinary mice). I would suggest that it could take as long
   as 500 years to eliminate aging and know that we have done

2. Successful suspension, followed by the ability to bring the
   suspended person back to a state close to health (ie fix
   their heart disease or cancer, but not make them permanently
   young) may easily happen in less than 10 years. It may have
   even happened by now, though our vitrification methods are
   not yet perfect. We'd have to cure the suspendee's illness,
   too, of course, which will take varying amounts of time.

   The difference between developing successful means for 
   cryonic suspension and totally defeating death is simple.
   If we have successful cryonic suspension, we'll be able to 
   very quickly prove that we have it, with no questions about
   whether the techniques might not work on humans even though
   they worked on cats (suppose). Finding even a means to SLOW
   aging in human beings, and proving that it works, raises
   a problem which suspension does not have: it takes some time
   just to prove that a method works. (Various workers have 
   proposed means to speed up such proof; the problem is that
   even if we talk of genetic similarity, human beings are 
   among the longest-lived mammals and may already, due to 
   simple natural selection, have gotten the same mechanisms
   various scientists are successfully applying to animals.
   Even a verifiable test for aging in humans will take some
   time to develop (though it would then be a valuable tool):
   we'd need to verify it on human subjects, which again would
   take some time).

So, even if you're young, the most likely means to someday be
able to use some method which totally defeats aging is to 
arrange for your cryonic suspension.

             Best wishes and long long life,

                   Thomas Donaldson

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