X-Message-Number: 4559
Date:  Tue, 27 Jun 95 15:22:49 
From: mike <>
Subject: "oldest future human"

This is in response to Hal Finney's post (#4535, dated June 
22) asking about the 
oldest cryonics patient, i.e. the first to be born. This would appear 
to be James Bedford, who was born April 20, 1893. (Dr. Bedford was 
frozen at age 73 on Jan. 12, 1967, and was also the first person to be 
cryonically suspended, i.e. frozen under *controlled conditions*
for eventual reanimation. Bedford 
is still frozen, which is sadly not true of most of the early
suspendees,  and is currently a patient of Alcor.) As for whether Dr. 
Bedford, assuming he is reanimated, will wind up being the oldest 
living human, this is a function of how widespread cryonics becomes 
in the future, and also, of when biological immortality is achieved. 

For instance, I know of a living (i.e. animate) cryonicist who was 
born in 1896, not far from Bedford's birth year, and this is the 
oldest such person I am aware of. It is possible that 
someone born before Bedford (and thus more than 102 years old)
will be persuaded to sign up, or will be frozen as a last-minute 
case, though certainly the options are narrowing. On the other hand, 
it is possible that treatments delaying, preventing or reversing the 
effects of aging will be developed swiftly enough to save someone 
born before Bedford, though again the prospects seem iffy. The oldest 
living human today, as far as I know, is Ms. Jeanne Calment of Arles, 
France, who was born Feb. 21, 1875, some 18 years before Bedford. If, 
within the next 15 years or so, significant breakthroughs against 
aging are made, someone older than Bedford may not have to be frozen 
at all.

In any case it seems reasonably likely, from an optimistic cryonics 
standpoint, that someone born before the present century will survive 
to the time of biological immortality, and thus live a very long 
time, maybe forever. This would have interesting 
consequences for one religious group, the Jehovah's 
Witnesses, who, I understand,  believe that *some* people born
in 1914 or earlier will still be living at the time of the Second 
Coming of Christ. Barring life extension breakthroughs, and 
discounting cryonics, that latter event will have to happen soon, 
within about 40 years, or the JWs will be out of luck. (The date of 
1914, which saw the start of World War I, is when Satan was thrown 
out of heaven, according to their beliefs, meaning other end-times 
events can be expected relatively soon.) On the other 
and, if the Second Coming isn't imminent, it would seem the JWs will 
be forced to become supporters of scientific life extension to save their own

Mike Perry

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