Robert Ettinger, father of cryogenics, dies at the age of 92





Ettinger preferred to style himself an "immortalist", since he argued that whole body or head-only freezing ("neurological suspension") was only one means of achieving indefinite life. His rationale for pursuing this goal was contained in his book The Prospect Of Immortality (1964), which revealed him as an unquenchable optimist about mankind's technological future.

He drew on his experience as a physics teacher and his interest in science fiction to predict the evolution of machines which would manufacture from raw atoms all that man needed. He foresaw intergalactic settlement, and argued that science would produce medical machines which would cure all diseases.

What now seemed to be a fatal illness would be no more than a twinge by 2050. From this it followed that the dead might be "cured" by the doctors of the future.

Ettinger proposed that governments immediately initiate a mass-freezing programme. He suggested that this might have huge social benefits. To pay the premiums on their frozen families, people would need steady work and would be compelled to live responsible lives. He predicted that when immortality was achieved, crime would become extinct, since criminals would be afraid of justice pursuing them beyond the grave. Immortality would secure for man a higher, nobler nature....



comments powered by Disqus
History News Network