Trust the Science

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jordansparks
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Trust the Science

Post by jordansparks »

I happened to come across a recent video of Bill Faloon giving one of his many talks about anti-aging:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cHI6JtVLc8
I wouldn't necessarily recommend wasting your time watching it. My comments here are going to be very general. They would apply to this video as well as many similar videos/websites. Bill is sincere and knowledgeable. He's putting significant amounts of his own money into technological solutions that he feels are not being provided elsewhere. But that's not enough, of course. There are many many people out there making their own claims about their own favorite niche. How do we, the general public, discern who to believe and who to ignore?
Deciding who to trust must be based on science. The way science works is that the experts in each field arrive at a general consensus. This consensus can be found in published review papers. Citing individual research papers instead of review papers is a big red flag that the author is cherry picking instead of relying on consensus. When the topic is medical, as with Bill's discussion, this distinction becomes even more important. In fact, our society has recognized this danger as being so serious that we have additional layers of protection. We have doctors who must go through years of training, get licensed, and then be supervised to some degree by their peers. In other words, we should not trust the claims of anyone outside the medical establishment because such claims are almost universally false. And when choosing a medical provider with credentials, it's also important not to pick one who's on the fringe. The system isn't perfect, and there are a lot of providers who are clearly not following scientific consensus. Naturopaths and chiropractors come to mind as obvious examples. So, just because Bill found a doctor who agrees with him doesn't mean the treatment is valid, either.
I was struck by how Bill views the establishment as a wall. He even had a slide showing this wall that he wants to break through. This is not rational. The establishment exists to protect us from people like Bill. He does not possess some special insider knowledge that doctors lack. Instead, he is misusing the results of individual research papers to make unsupported claims.
And this brings us around to Oregon Cryonics. Can we be trusted? I would like to present some evidence for why I think we can. First of all, our services are not medical in nature. We make no claims about preventing or curing any disease. We step in only after the medical establishment has completely exhausted all their options. Secondly, our services do not contradict any established science. Our preservation techniques are mundane tissue preservation protocols that any scientist would find familiar. They are the same techniques that are used by anatomists, brain banks, and many researchers. No scientist fundamentally disagrees that we are using the best known science to attempt to preserve brain tissue.
The disagreement from scientists usually involves the following points:
1. Preservation quality is frequently poor.
2. We might not be preserving the information in the mind.
3. Revival technology might not be developed.
We agree with all of these objections. But an unknown chance of success cannot, by itself, be used to label cryonics providers as untrustworthy. Medical standards cannot be applied to cryonics yet. The choice to undergo cryonics is a personal judgement. I personally think that #2 above will be resolved within about 40 years when the first worm is successfully uploaded. There is also room within established science for us to work on #1.
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