X-Message-Number: 26022
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 10:17:41 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: comments on Walpurg & Flavonoid msgs

Comments on several messages on Cryonet:

While I am happy that the Skeptic Society has decided to discuss
consciousness, the choice of experts listed looks a bit odd. Some
of them might well have worthwhile things to say about consciousness,
while others look to me that they're far out in left field. It's
those scientists who are directly studying consciousness who will
probably have the most significant things to say. Neuroscience
contains lots of subfields, many of them more solvable than
the problem of consciousness.

Allman and Koch look to me like the only ones who will really have
something to say. As for Crick, I really must point out that he was far
from the first person to raise the problem of consciousness and how
it came from the biochemical workings of our brains.

About future medical expenses:

While I'm sorry that Basie has had so much trouble, cryonic suspension
has a major feature that makes it differ from present medicine. There
is no special reason why you must be revived as soon as the technolgy
for your revival has been devised. If that technology is too expensive,
there's no reason to revive you immediately. You could wait for 1000
years until that technology becomes so cheap and simply applied that
a child could revive you correctly and well.

And about development of cryonics:

Clearly present methods of drug and treatment development simply
don't apply to cryonics. They don't even apply to research aimed at
increasing our lifespan, where the problem is even worse. (In order
for a lifespan-increasing treatment to be officially accepted for
use in human beings, it must first increase the lifespan of human
beings... which means that we'll either have to wait a long long
time, or adopt it because of indirect evidence and then see if
it works after we start using it). 

Some of the same problem occurs with cryonics when it's used to 
deal with medical problems for which we presently have no cure....
one of the main uses of cryonics. However if we can suspend and
revive a large mammal (say a large dog) then at least we'll have
strong evidence that suspension itself will work, even if its
medical usefulness remains unproven. Doing the same with apes
would virtually prove it would work with us. Since even that
need not be done for cryonics to ultimately work (why have we
joined cryonics societies if not because we thought that its
damage could someday be repaired, along with everything else).
Suspending someone right now remains the right thing to do
even if it violates current requirements in medical research.
It's those requirements which have become faulty, not cryonics 
or research into cryonics.

          Best wishes and long long life to all,

               Thomas Donaldson

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