X-Message-Number: 9492
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 15:01:08 -0400
From: Rafi Haftka <>
Subject: Probability of survival

John P. Pietrzak's post #9489.

I think that the post gives the wrong impression that Ettinger's
calculation is based primarily on intuition.

I have read "Cryonics: Probability of Rescue", and I understood it a bit
differently. It is based on Bayesian statistics, where prior knowledge of
probabilities allows you to get better estimate when you have additional

I am not sure that you need the probabilistic apparatus that Ettinger has
put together for his argument to make sense. He is focusing narrowly on the
question of whether science will find a way to reverse freezing damage. The
argument essentially boils down to the following:

Given that in the past science and technology confounded the experts and
made advances that had been considered impossible, we can be optimistic
that this will happen in the future with respect to reversing freezing

I like the argument, especially that it also explains (MY INTERPERTATION)
why  most people shun Cryonics. For somebody who has not put a lot of time
resarching the question, the logical argument is as follows:

Given that in the past many people claimed that they found ways to cheat
death (mostly fountain of youth elixirs and such), and given the fact that
all proved wrong, the probability that Cryonics is worthwhile is very
small. So I should not invest time to understand it better.

        Raphael(Rafi) T. Haftka                      <  >
      University of Florida                  Phone: (352)-392-9595
 Department of Aerospace Engineering,         Fax: (352)-392-7303
  Mechanics and Engineering Science         http://www.aero.ufl.edu/~haftka/
     Gainesville, FL 32611-6250               (beware, a lot of graphics!)
Check the web page of the International Society of Structural and
Multidisciplinary Optimization (ISSMO) at  http://www.aero.ufl.edu/~issmo/
for details about the MicroAV competition!

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