John Derbyshire has been asking questions about why frozen sperm survives freezing, and gets a knowledgable email on the subject. The emailer does understand the issues, except for this:
A good post-thaw viability (survival of cells) is around 60% of the total of cells– some people advertise >80% or 90-%, but that is a bit of a ‘lie via statistics’ game– they don’t count all the dead population in computing the percentage. We are working here with different, more efficacious, and non-toxic CPAs, of which the most promising appears to be arabinogalactin extracted from larch trees.
As you can see, this is the reason that we will never get Ted Williams back among the living. His frozen body consisting of billions of cells simply would not work with only ~60% of the cells surviving the thaw process. As one can say, God instills the soul when He wishes, and outsmarts us all.
This, of course, presumes that the only method we will have, now and forever, is crude thawing. It ignores the future possibility of different techniques for restoring the tissue to room temperature and viability (e.g., nanomachinery that repairs as it warms). It’s fair to have an opinion that we may never have such capability, but it’s quite foolish, I think, to believe categorically that this is so.