Re: Is cryopreservation a solution?

Geoff Smith (
Thu, 18 Sep 1997 13:51:30 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 17 Sep 1997, Joao Pedro wrote:

> Hi!
> Geoff Smith wrote:
> > Let us examine a specific case of genetic error, cancer:
> >
> > Would you say that the reason sharks don't get cancer is because they
> > have a simple genome? Firstly, I'd have a hard time calling sharks
> > primitive. I would, however, call a number of plants primitive, all of
> > which have been known to develop tumors. As human beings, we have a more
> > complicated and prone-to-error genome, but we also have more
> > sophisticated ways of dealing with these errors-- apparently, so do
> > sharks.
> >
> > I have another quibble in the form of a question: can you think of an
> > organism more primitive than a shark that DOES age?
> >
> > All this said, in principle, I agree with what you're trying to say.
> Thanks, obviously I was generalizing and there are many exceptions.
> IMHO, what happened was that some species evolved to correct their
> genetic errors while others evolved to become more complex and therefore
> having more errors (and, of course, some species evolved to become more
> complex and more perfect, others hardly evolved, etc). It can be argued
> that we correct more errors than sharks but since we are more complex,
> we have more errors and we will age while sharks don't.

If you admit you were generalizing, do you retract your statement that
human cells are neccessarily more difficult to cryosuspend than other
cells with smaller genome? (I see you have deleted this statement from
your post)

> > IMHO,

What does IMHO mean, I've always wondered.

> > > their evolution lead them to correct the errors in their genome while
> > > our evolution made us consecutively more complex
> >
> > Are you saying their evolution *did not* make them consecutively more
> > complex?
> Not in the same way as us. Our species appeared about 100 000 years ago
> while other species (such as alligators, etc) appeared much before. Of
> course that evolution made them more complex but at a lower rate than us
> and made them more 'perfect'.

I'd like to hear your definition of "complex" and "perfect" as it pertains
to this statement.

> BTW, sharks do get cancer, they get it a
> much lower rate than us but they naturally get it.

Really? Live and learn. When was this discovered?

> > > Transferring? Transferring what? Your brain? Your 'soul'?
> >
> > The functioning and abilities of my brain. I would call this
> > "consciousness" Some might argue with my use of this word.
> I continue not understanding what are you trying to say.
> "consciousness", what is that?

Look above and you will see the answer to your question.

> Is it something physical such as all your
> memory proteins (I remember reading somewhere about the existence of
> memory proteins but I'm not sure), the positions and connections between
> your neurons?

>From my limited knowledge of neurophysiology, I would say that appears to
have something to do with it.

> Is it something spiritual?

Please tell me... how exactly to you pull "something spiritual" from my
above phrase "functioning and abilities of my brain"??? If you think the
functioning and abilities of your brain are "spiritual" and unknowable,
then I cannot debate with you, because your ideas have been cemented by

> Is it something like, the design and constitution of your networks of
> neurons that can (or will) be duplicated on a computer to make it think
> like you?

Sounds feasible to me. But you never know.. this is the great thing
about not having faith... infinite possibilities ;)

> > > One idea (that I already though about years ago) is to increase the
> > > viability of our neurons with metal or whatever but this is a continuos
> > > process. Just like now, the atoms that compose my neurons are not the
> > > same that were a few hours ago, exception made to some molecules such as
> > > DNA, our neuron's atoms change continually and I don't complain.
> > > Connecting memory chips to our brain might not be a bad idea but that is
> > > a change and not a transfer.
> >
> > If your brain ends up in the same state after a series of "changes" or one
> > single transfer, what, exactly, is the difference?
> It has to do with identity, singularity or individuality. I already
> discussed that a couple of messages ago.
> Say, let's suppose you suffer a terrible accident and lose a part of
> brain changing your personality. Are you the same person you were?

You're different. But, as has been discussed before on this list, you are
also different after drinking a cup of coffee. If your body stays the
same through time, you are dead.

> > This idea you "thought about years ago"
> > is called "nano-replacement" Look it up.
> Really, I didn't knew that. For much you come up with weird ideas, there
> will always be someone out there thinking the same thing. I used to
> think I was the only crazy lunatic trying to fight aging! Well, I'm the
> only guy I know in Portugal who does.

Do women in Portugal get faces-lifts? Do they use anti-wrinkle cream? Do
they dye their hair? I'm sure you must know one of them.

I think you'll find the majority of people want to fight aging. The
majority of people also want to die, when it is "their time." Weird,
isn't it?

> > Obviously, before uploading can be achieved, we have to understand all the
> > functioning of neurons that contribute to consciousness and then be able
> > ot duplicate those functions on another platform.
> Let's suppose that someone builds another platform thinking exactly like
> you. Say, a computer. Note that you are not dead, you are looking at a
> computer who thinks just like you, is this computer you? What if you're
> dead? What if your brain is destroyed while the computer is built?
> Let's suppose you build another platform, how do you transfer your
> "consciousness" to that platform? How would you know the platform would
> be you?

I don't. I have no faith in technology(in the religious sense) This is
why I prefer the nano-replacement method-- I can stop it if it isn't

> > What about when I bang my head on the door, is that aging? I would say
> > no, yet my neurons die, never to grow back.
> Don't be provocative, you know what I mean. The great majority of
> neuronal loss, in normal persons, is aging.

I think you have entirely missed my point. I will give you 3 points will
together will give you much grief:

1. Your brain is fragile- you will lose neurons whether you age or not.
2. You have a finite number of neurons.
3. Your neurons do not grow back.
4. You (I assume) want to live for a long time.

My recommendation to you: you might want to research more than just aging
;) (unless you can live with a dwindling number of neurons)

> > Hey, if you have "good ideas" to stop aging, I'll be very receptive to
> > them.
> Give a laboratory so that I can try them out.

Ah, but I am just a student. Go where the money is-- not here.

> As for the ideas, unfortunately my site is not working but there is a
> section called "Solutions and Problems" where I place "good ideas" to
> stop aging as well as several problems attached to them.
> > Even in birds, where the neurons do grow back, the information contained
> > within those neurons is lost forever.
> What a flaw in my culture, I didn't know neurons in birds grew back. I
> read that the axon of the neuron in some reptilians does grow back but
> not the neuron itself.
> Tell me more about this birds capacity, for example, what happens, does
> the neuron itself grow back or is it just the axon? If it is the neuron,
> how does it happen, are there any replicating neurological cells, I've
> never heard of any but who knows? What about regeneration of whole
> members such as a leg, it happens in reptilians, I don't remember
> happening in birds, is this true? How do you explain it? Do you have
> links for more information?

I will research this for you. In the meantime, the only source of
information I can think of is a Discover Magazine from a few years back
with an article called "Bird Brains." Go to the periodical section of
your local library. Can anyone else help here?

> > If you have no evidence or proofs, what is the source of this "belief" of
> > yours. Also, what purpose does this belief serve? Are you afraid of
> > being "undecided"?
> I guess it's a bit irrational (when you don't have any evidences and
> need to draw conclusions, you use your balls right?)

No, I don't. I find my balls are very good at making logical
deductions. What do women do?

> I lived with my
> brain all my life and so far I had no problems. That's probably why I
> feel so reluctant in changing my brain.

Your brain is changing all the time. Personally, I'd like more control
over the way my brain is changing. Do you know anyone with Alzheimer's?
There's a change I'd prefer not to have.

> > What makes you think the brain is the only platform for consciouness? It
> > sounds like a very religious and anthropocentric assumption.
> It's my only platform for intelligent (I don't like much the word
> "consciousness"), I think there is intelligent life in the universe
> besides ours, I think in the future we will built computers much more
> intelligent than us. For me, as an individual, my only platform is my
> brain.

You're going to let computers become more intelligent than you? Haven't
you seen Terminator 2 ?!?

When computers are more intelligent than you, your only usefullness will
be in a zoo or museum.

I don't plan on being obsolete.