Max More cryogenically preserves people’s bodies and heads in the hope that one day they can be brought back to life. It doesn’t make him popular…
The Alcor Life Extension Foundation has hundreds of clients who have signed up to be frozen. Is the ultimate goal immortality?
I don’t like the word immortality – that’s not what we’re offering. If you lived forever, I’m sure it would get awfully boring. What we do is freeze people with the expectation that one day it will be possible to bring them back to life into a world in which we can control the ageing process. Then we can stop it or reverse it and decide what age we want to be biologically. You won’t die of old age, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be immortal – you could be killed, have a fatal accident or choose to die.
How can you be so confident that it will ever be possible to bring frozen people back to life?
I don’t know if we will be able to bring people back, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to – it’s just a matter of time. There’s nothing here that violates the laws of physics. It just requires a better understanding of this incredibly complex machine that is our body and brain, and very fine medical tools that can repair cells. We’ve extended average lifespan by figuring out how to fix people, it’s inevitable that for some of our patients it should be possible to undo the damage that caused them to die – old age, a heart attack, cancer. We have to assume it will happen at some point.