X-Message-Number: 814
Date: 08 May 92 04:14:47 EDT
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: Re: cryonics: #795 - #796

This is Thomas Donaldson, on the "bizarre" possibility that we will
someday find a way to regrow our bodies.

The main point I would make here is that, sure, we would lose some
'information. But not all information has the same value. If you 
find that your new body lacks a mole on the inside of your elbow, 
that simply isn't going to make you into a totally new person. We
have all, at one time or another, gone through physical changes which
affect or form considerably. No one claims that these changes (balding,
an injury leaving a slight scar, etc, etc) turn you or I into a 
different person in any more than the most trivial sense.

As for the technology involved, why should it be important that your
DNA lacks any program to grow a new body? It doesn't need such a 
program so long as we find ways to cause that to happen by outside
intervention. That OUTSIDE INTERVENTION is the key point here: repair
from freezing damage, even to a whole body, will require great powers to
modify an existing biological form. It's unreal to expect that it we 
find ways to do that then we will find the problem of growing a new 
body from a head any more than child's exercises.

You write that as we grow and change much more happens to us than our
DNA encodes. That is, of course, the whole point of cryonics itself:
freezing and revival aren't in our DNA either. YOU WILL NO LONGER BE
			Best and long life,

Date: 08 May 92 04:32:50 EDT
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: Re: cryonics: #795 - #796

By an error I thought that the discussion of recreating a body from a
head alone had been finished. This note will add a bit more to what I
said above.

First, no one has yet proposed that neural net learning occurs in the
spinal cord. I think that allusion to it in this case is simply a
mistake. But for the sake of argument, let's suppose that such a problem
existed (that is, the complete system would have to be exercised in order
to test it).

First, one advantage of growing a body from the head is that we can find
that information will be available from the head itself. If necessary, we
can recover the anatomy of the head, then do computer simulations to 
find just what attachment goes to what body part. (And these simulations
certainly need not take "years" or even "months"). Since we are controlling
that growth from the head, we can control how the parts link up ... all 
this without any need for a "long, boring period of exercise" before you
are repaired. Even without computer simulation, it isn't necessary for
you to be conscious in order to exercise a nerve pathway to your body.
(And please understand that I am arguing here from a hypothesis that I
do not accept in the first place, that nerve connections between our 
spinal cord and our body have a great deal of special individuality to
them). And of course, as you may have already heard, you will have that
same problem now: during freezing, stresses happen to the spinal cord 
which break it in several places.

				Best again

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