X-Message-Number: 9480
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 22:18:51 EDT
Subject: Darwin's Corpses


Judging from the responses, or lack thereof, most readers have missed the main
import of Mike Darwin's recent posts.

The main PURPOSE, using the bulk of the space, was to argue that BP and Alcor
procedures give better results than CI procedures. But the main IMPORT was
just in the last few paragraphs, including:

"Because of the lack of meaningful feedback ALL of cryonics is mostly

"Further, my own grave doubts about cryonics make it untenable for me to
continue operating a business with the primary goal of freezing corpses."

"…the traditional practice of cryonics (which I would characterize as stacking
up frozen corpses)…"

Darwin has now rejected the CENTRAL THESIS of cryonics, which is that freezing
(and other) damage irreversible today may be reversible by future technology.

Darwin is no longer a cryonicist. He is a just cryobiologist. As far as I
know, he doesn't tell people categorically that they should stay out of
cryonics altogether, but that seems to be import of his position.

Actually, it might be a little more accurate to characterize his apparent
position this way: "There is only an extremely small probability of revival of
people suspended by any of today's procedures, including those of CryoCare
(BioPreservation) or Alcor." 

Platt's position is similar. Only problem is, their alleged "estimates" are
not calculations of probability at all, but merely expressions of pessimism,
fraudulently offered with the pretense of authority, as is the custom with
In ENGINES OF CREATION, Drexler says in part: "…after Ettinger's proposal, a
few cryobiologists chose to make unsupported pronouncements about the future
of medical technology…Of course, these were the wrong experts to ask. The
question called for experts on molecular technology and cell repair machines.
These cryobiologists should have said only that correcting freezing damage
would apparently require molecular-level repairs, and that they, personally,
had not studied the matter."

Any pretense by anyone to having "studied the matter" MUST include some
detailed appreciation of
nanotechnology prospects AND some detailed appreciation of the foundations of
probability theory. For the former, please see e.g. Ralph Merkle's web site or
that of Foresight Institute; for the latter, please see the CI web site,
subsite "Cryonics: The Probability of Rescue."

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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