X-Message-Number: 3780
Date: 02 Feb 95 02:03:37 EST
From: Mike Darwin <>
Subject: CRYONICS: nonbrain identity

Mike Price challenges me on my notions of "non brain identity."  I cannot
provide specific references, but I may take the time to look things up.

To sum what I was trying to say:  you can bet your sweet life that a concert
pianist or a typist or anyone who does skills oriented things not only makes
changes in their central nervous system, but in their peripheral nervous system

as well.  As is often said amongst craftsment and surgeons: the hands also teach
the brain and learn from it.

The structure of the peripheral nervous system is no doubt as partially random

in its development as the structure of the CNS.  Thus, great skill in acrobatics
or music or whatever may not reside solely in the brain but also in other
structures who's derivation during embyrogenesis, birth and growth are unique
and will be lost upon discarding.

Genetically identical cows do not have spots in the same places.  Bodies are
likely to be sojewhat different.  For most people it probably won't be a big
deal.  The point I was trying to make is that there is almost certainly
information in the body which influences behavior, feelings, etc that will be
LOST when going neuro.  As an extreme example, think of someone who due to
his/her mother's drug use get's born with a slightly higher adrenal output than

his genes would indicate.  This affects his behavior his whole life long, but in
these primitive times no one even notices.  Then he gets neuroed and comes back
with a body rebuilt from his DNA.  He now feels different, acts different.  Is
he the same?  I suspect that there are many environmental factors which effect
the body (including uterine environment) in ways which then in turn impact the
brain.  The INFORMATION about these things is not in the genes, may not even be
in the brain, but in the body alone.  Thow 'em away and you won't get 'em back.

Is a big deal?  Not for me, but is for others, lots of intelligent others too.
Jerry Leaf was staunchly whole body in part for this very reason.  My post was
just to point out that I think such non-brain, behavior influencing information

is likely to be lost by neuros.  I didn't say that it was a problem for ME.  But
then, as time has gone on I've learned to respect more how other people feel,
particularly if there is little rational way to bound the problem.

As to the nervous system: when you cut the cord you cut pretty much everything
except for the vagus nerve and a few others.  There is no evidence these impact
on the ability to walk and their innervating functions are pretty well

understood.  A cord cut is REAL brain disconnector except for the neuroendocrine
feedback between brain and body about which we are only now learning.

Mike Darwin

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