We have provided evidence for the reasonableness of cryonics (and always acknowledge the considerable uncertainties). You will find much of it here: http://www.alcor.org/Library/index.html#scientific
Neuroscientist Sebastian Seung thinks cryonics worth testing for its ability to preserve the connectome. He discussed this in the last chapter of his recent book, and will engage in dialogue at the Alcor-40 conference in October. There are published papers, and we have several lines of evidence that cryonics through vitrification, under reasonably good conditions, is probably preserving identity-critical information.
It’s irrelevant that my dissertation was not written for a biology department. I was responding to your ignorant view of death being absolute and simple. It’s convenient for you to position all cryonicists as scared of our mortality, but that doesn’t make it true. I’m not scared of dying. I am scared of the dying process if it involves intense, prolonged pain or cognitive decline. But being dead is like nothing at all. I want to avoid death not because it terrifies me, but because I like living and want to do more of it.
It’s a cheap shot to say “the mistake you are making -- and making for a living, I'm afraid, which is pretty bad I must say”. I have supported cryonics for well over 25 years. I’ve been paid for working in cryonics for 1.5 years.
I said to you that extraordinary claims require extraordinary support and then you refer me to Alcor promotional materials, apparently forgetting that I have pre-emptively repudiated the usual Robot Cultic diversion of attention from the marginality of their assumptions and aspirations onto what I called "the noisy circle-jerk of True Believers whomping up glossy brochures for the rubes."
I cheerfully agree that, say, organ cryopreservation to facilitate transplantation, exploring methods of organismic suspension (including medically induced therapeutic comas), and so on are worthy of medical research dollars. One doesn't need to start handwaving about magical drextechian nanobots or cyberspatial soul-migration or any of that nonsense to grasp that sort of thing.
My utter rejection of such foolishness certainly provides no justification for you to declare my "view of death" to be an ignorant or simplistic one. Even on terms that would interest you, I have long maintained that medical techniques and monitoring devices have befuddled long orthodox conceptions of the beginning and end of life, properly so-called. To be honest, I think transhumanists share with anti-abortionists an opportunistic recourse to such befuddlement to flog their (different) marginal and counter-intuitive aspirations (as when anti-abortionists exploit sonogram imagery to render more apparently plausible pseudo-scientific "partial birth abortion" or when techno-immortalists exploit revival from once-fatal heart attacks to render more apparently plausible pseudo-scientific "uploading"). Nobody who declares my recognition of human mortality an error or a matter of choice has any business deriding my view of death as "ignorant."
You say you are not scared of dying and I truly hope that is true, since I have known too many people who are obsessed with techno-immortalism who not only never manage to overcome their mortality (since everybody, including every Robot Cultist, is indeed going to die) but do manage to become a little less alive in life for their fear of dying.
Like many others, I do share your distaste for disease and decline. Of course, one doesn't have to join a Robot Cult to see the good sense of defending, you know, actual medical science or access to healthcare... which is why so many more people defend actual medical science or access to healthcare than belong to your Robot Cult no doubt. But I definitely disapprove of the ways in which techno-transcendentalizing frames derange our sense of what legitimate medical research actually consists and displaces at least some dollars onto snake-oil scams that might have gone instead into actual medical research and the support of more sensible healthcare policy.
It’s a cheap shot to say “the mistake you are making -- and making for a living, I'm afraid, which is pretty bad I must say”. I have supported cryonics for well over 25 years. I’ve been paid for working in cryonics for 1.5 years.Everything you are and everything you have as a public figure is connected to your flogging of techno-transcendental wish-fulfillment fantasies like cryonics, nano-santa, GOFAI, and so on as a so-called transhumanoid eminence of twenty-years' standing (I think that's about when I became aware of you at any rate). I don't know to what you refer when you say you have been "working in cryonics for 1.5 years" presumably in some more official capacity as a bottle washer or whatever, I don't exactly breathlessly follow the vicissitudes of your career as a futurological flim-flam artist on a blow by blow basis, but I do know you've long flogged this crapola in something like a professional capacity. No doubt you'll still think that is a cheap shot -- more than one I daresay -- but it isn't quite the one you seem to think I'm making.
Scroll down to read the earlier turns this conversation has taken. Ridiculous though I find his views, I do appreciate that Max More (it really is hard not to laugh every time I write that) is exposing his views to scrutiny in this fashion, even if he is using it as an occasion for a little judicious spamming, too.