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Forever Young - Frozen In Time
by Jack Wellman
2010-02-12 07:30:55
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There is a company that is making lots of money freezing people in the hopes of resurrecting them someday to find a cure for what killed them. As incredible as this sounds, people are being frozen today for a hoped-for future cure. The Alcor Life Extension Foundation [1] calls it Cryonics [2]. The process freezes your body close to the point of death, then fills your blood with anticoagulants to keep your blood in a solid state. Then your body is submerged into a capsule of liquid nitrogen, and you are chilled to minus 320 degrees.

The idea is that when a cure for whatever disease killed you has been discovered, you can then be thawed out and the advances in the medical technology can cure whatever disease you had that killed you in the first place.

Cryonics has been described as a theoretical life support for the future, but its also hoped that it will be used for space travelers someday, since the nearest star system (Alpha Centauri) is about 4.37 light years away. That’s roughly six trillion miles.

First, the patient has to be declared legally dead, which includes being Brain Dead. Alcor claims that there are no moral implications with this, since it has been endorsed by theologians and clergy. Alcor has been in operation since 1972 so this is not a new fade. Present technology does not allow humans to be revived, and no human has been revived before. The prospects indicate it is irreversible for the near future.

Even though Alcor accepts donations and they are technically a 501(c)(3) non-profit, costs for policies range from $80,000 to $150,000 per person [3]. There are about currently 89 people frozen at this time but Alcor‘s membership (those enrolled to be frozen) number over 900 [3]. Alcor estimates that within the next hundred years, Cryonics will be a common practice. Today, laws forbid making this arrangement while the patient is still alive [4]. We can safely assume that payment is to be made up front!
1. http://www.alcor.org/
2. http://science.howstuffworks.com/genetic-science/cryonics.htm
3. http://www.alcor.org/AboutAlcor/membershipstats.html
4. http://www.alcor.org/FAQs/faq01.html#revived

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Emanuel Paparella2010-02-12 09:45:24
Ah, the folly of modern man. In the deepest part of hell Dante does not have people in fire but people in ice. The betrayers of their friends and country are immersed in ice, frozen in time forever. It makes sense; with fire or with time machines that go back in time (since time and space are interrelated as Einstein well taught us...)there is a dynamism and evolutionary process of sort which resembles the dynamism of life. With ice there is only the stiffness and sterility of death, both physical and spiritual. Jung had it on target in "Modern Man in Search of a Soul," throw religion out the window and it will promptly came back, in a greatly distorted way, from the back door.

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