MehWhy the focus on cryonics? — Oxyaena Harass 10:20, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
- I was Googling, trying to figure out what neuroscientists' opinion on cryonics is in 2019. The Rational Wiki article is one of the first results that comes up for any search relating to cryonics. The article as I found it had several major factual errors and omissions. First, it hadn't been updated to mention major experimental work on mammalian brain cryopreservation from over three years ago.
- Second, it falsely claimed (or was worded such as a reader could reasonably infer) that there is no scientific evidence that brain cryopreservation keeps people's long-term memory intact. This is not true today because of the aforementioned research.
- Third, the article is written ambiguously. It ambiguates between two separate questions or debates: 1) the ability of current cryopreservation techniques to preserve long-term memory and 2) the ability of technology that will exist 500 or 1000 years from now to either repair frozen brains or retrieve long-term memory from frozen brains and put into a new (digital or biological) brain and body. (1) is a scientific question we can investigate with experiments, and so we should demand scientific question. (2) is a question for futurism, not lab experiments. Of course in one sense there is "no evidence" of what technology will exist 500+ years from now. That doesn't mean thinking about far future technology is inherently irrational or unempirical.
- If we could revive frozen humans today, we would already have the technology to be essentially immortal. We would skip the whole freezing part in the middle and just revive people as soon as they died. So, we would have no need for cryonics. It should be taken for granted that as long cryonics exists, revival is impossible. Cryonics exists because revival is impossible. Observing that we don't know how to revive people isn't an argument against cryonics; it's a basic conceptual misunderstanding of cryonics.
- Fourth, the article overlooks credible, mainstream work on organ banking. Organ banking is not considered quackery or pseudoscience by the scientific community or the medical community. Cryonics is just organ banking for one specific organ: the brain. It's brain banking. And the requirements of cryonics are less stringent than short-term organ banking, since the goal isn't short-term transplantation. To say brain banking is pseudoscience while organ banking is mainstream, credible science is a contradiction. That is, unless brain banking is expected to be fundamentally different or fundamentally harder than banking other organs. —Professormagic (talk) 11:19, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
- Your implication that you're some sort of neutral researcher, and not an advocate, is belied by your fourth point, where you try to conflate actual cryobiology with cryonics, and implicitly credit the latter with the results of the former. This sort of thing is why the Society for Cryobiology kicked the cryonicists out - David Gerard (talk) 11:25, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
- As I understand it, organ banking attempts to cryopreserve organs like hearts using the same techniques cryonics organizations use to preserve brains. Why would one be science and the other pseudoscience? The answer: it isn't. Brain preservation is embraced by mainstream cryobiologists and neurobiologists. The wiki articles notes in a footnote, but not the main text, that the Society for Cryobiology no longer has a ban on cryonicists. Its latest statement on cryonics is diplomatic and neutral. Professormagic (talk) 11:38, 26 June 2019 (UTC)