X-Message-Number: 8316
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 09:16:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Visser

I am impressed by Bob Ettinger's capacity for optimism, but at the same
time I am concerned that *unsubstantiated* optimism is extremely harmful, 
especially when it masquerades as factual reportage.

In a previous message Bob stated "their drug Virodene is nonmutagenic and 
noncarcinoganic in primates." That's what his message said. It did not 
say "According to Visser, at very small doses."

Before I can be remotely interested in Visser's claims, let alone excited
by them, I need to know what the claims are based on: what studies were
done, what dosages were used, how the drug was administered, what the
precise results were--in short, the basic clinical details that we would
expect from any bona-fide scientist. Since Visser has also been accused of
gross misconduct (with good reason!) I would also like some explanation
from her, addressing the facts of her case, which are damning. 

Currently we have none of this information, and so far as I know, none of
it has been published anywhere. If I wrote to Bob Ettinger and said I had
found this great new drug, Plattosol, which cures measles, halitosis, and
freezer burn, my statement would be just as empty as Visser's. And I would
not expect Bob Ettinger to summarize it on CryoNet in his own words, with 
uncritical optimism. 

In law there is a concept that I believe is called "compounding a felony."
This is what I believe we are guilty of, when we take a wild and possibly
fraudulent claim and give it wider circulation without any attempt to put
it in context or give it clear attribution. Sorry to sound so picky about
this, but cryonics has a long and unhappy history of unwarranted optimism
making the field look more like a faith than a science. I believe this has
always been extremely damaging, destroying our credibility not just among
scientists but among all rational observers with a reasonable degree of


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