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Micheal, thank you (and thank you Subversive Thinking blog) for bringing this book to our attention. It seems that most NDE related books lately are rehashed "campfire stories", or pseudo-scientific treatises with a New-Age spin.

I'm on my second reading of Science and the Near-Death Experience right now, and I can tell that before long, I'll need to buy a another copy. I don't usually want to fully read the same book twice, but this is the best book concerning NDE's and the continuation of consciousness that I have read yet. Seriously.

Your comparison to Irreducible Mind is spot on, but Chris Carter makes a clearer, more comprehensive, easier to digest case here. Yet the content is deep and fairly complex.
If I had to think of a way to describe it, Science and the Near-Death Experience is like Irreducible Mind, with even more information and well developed arguments, but without the eye-glazing, mind-numbing prose.

Another good thing. Mr. Carter never uses the word "proof". By avoiding the P-word, while presenting such an overwhelming case, he gives the concept of the continuation of consciousness very real credibility. He's not afraid to take on any skeptic, from any direction.

"a crash course in quantum mechanics and its major interpretations (though omitting David Bohm's "holographic universe");"
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Sigh! That makes me sad. I find the connection between NDEs and the holographic universe theory to be one of the most evidential things about near death experiences.

"I literally had the feeling that I was everywhere in the universe simultaneously." - excerpt from mark horton's nde, http://www.mindspring.com/~scottr/nde/markh.html

"The next thing I recall was being shown the universe. I remember thinking, "So, THAT'S how it is! I was in awe. It was like a huge net, or chain link fence, everything in the universe is connected." - excerpt from Kelly K's NDE, http://www.nderf.org/kelly_k's_nde.htm

"The last impression I can recall lasted a brief instant. I was moving at high speed toward a net of great luminosity." - excerpt from Victor Solow's NDE, http://tatfoundation.org/forum2003-12.htm

"I had the realization that I was everywhere at the same time...and I mean everywhere. I knew that everything is perfect and happening according to some divine plan, regardless of all the things we see as wrong with the world." - excerpt from Carl Turner's experience, http://www.beyondreligion.com/su_personal/dreamsvisions-kundalini.htm

"Time lost all meaning. The odd thing was I had clear vision, and I am legally blind w/o my glasses. I also was able to see in many directions at once. I was looking down on my body, and out of my body's eyes simultaneously, as well as behind me and outside of the tent doors...(snip)...I was part of a collective consciousness, the universe. everything was connected....(snip)...Time had no meaning, everything was one and everything was so awe inspiring. I had no realization of who I was humanly anymore, everything was me and I was everything and everything was all connected." - excerpt from Cara's NDE, http://www.nderf.org/cara_m_nde.htm

compare to The Universe as a Hologram (excerpt):
"If the apparent separateness of subatomic particles is illusory, it means that at a deeper level of reality all things in the universe are infinitely interconnected. The electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are connected to the subatomic particles that comprise every salmon that swims, every heart that beats, and every star that shimmers in the sky. Everything interpenetrates everything, and although human nature may seek to categorize and pigeonhole and subdivide, the various phenomena of the universe, all apportionments are of necessity artificial and all of nature is ultimately a seamless web. In a holographic universe, even time and space could no longer be viewed as fundamentals. Because concepts such as location break down in a universe in which nothing is truly separate from anything else, time and three-dimensional space, like the images of the fish on the TV monitors, would also have to be viewed as projections of this deeper order. At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously."
http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

The connection, congruence, corroboration, parallels, however you want to explain it is obvious. People don't just come up with this stuff off the top of their heads. The parallels between NDEs and the holographic universe are obvious.

Michael, thanks for the review. I hope your personal situation is OK. I wish you well on that front.

I'm looking forward to this book. I don't read as much about NDEs as I would like to. It just hits too close to home I guess. I'm almost afraid to taint my own experience by reading too much on the subject.

Thanks for the review . I have just ordered it from Amazon UK.

Art love's his holograms!

Michael, Thank you for an excellent review. Will probably buy it now.

Chris Carter has recently produced a brilliant response to Wiseman's recent criticism of parapsychology. It can be found here:

http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controversies/Carter_Wiseman.pdf

I hate to sound mean but does Keith seriously deserve a comment in Carter's book? His arguments are just rehashing what has been said by other NDE Skeptics.

OMG! First Art makes a very "Art-like" post, and now Kris does the same. *sigh*

Makes it all feel very much like a comfy familiar hangout. :)

Skeptics are just AFRAID of the world. They FEAR what they don't know or understand and protest it any way they can.

Perhaps they secretly feel that conceding the evidence for paranormal phenomenon means there may be monsters under the bed too.

Chris Carter's Wiseman response was good.

Wiseman is anything but.

Sandy don't you find the congruence between this strange?

from The Universe as a Hologram:
"Unlike normal photographs, every part of a hologram contains all the information possessed by the whole."

and, "I had the realization that I was everywhere at the same time...and I mean everywhere." - excerpt from Carl Turner's experience

and, "I literally had the feeling that I was everywhere in the universe simultaneously." - excerpt from mark horton's nde

Two near death experiencers making statements that almost verbatim match a characteristic of a holographic piece of film? And then numerous physicists make statements that they believe our Universe has "holographic" like qualities? Don't you find that evidential?

The implications are mind boggling. It means whatever is "here" also has to be "there." All the things in this life that we have "lost" will still exist on the other side. All the separation that we have experienced in this life won't exist in the next.

and read in conjunction with numerous articles written in reputable scientific journals the implications are startling and amazing.

"If this doesn’t blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger shock in store: ‘If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram.’" - excerpt from The holographic universe: When it pays to be first, http://blogs.monografias.com/sistema-limbico-neurociencias/2010/02/19/the-holographic-universe-when-it-pays-to-be-first/

I wouldn't call it strange, Art. Things are what they are. Actually, things are pretty amazing.

Sandy

Keith has no UNIQUE ORIGINAL arguments, therefore by dealing with the arguments that he has Carter has dealt with Augustine. Carter has to deal with arguments. He is not obligated to mention every person who has used those arguments.

I haven't read the book but as for his section on neuroscience, I think he cited who he did because I think within neuroscience, a non-materialist view is a minority in that field so Carter pretty much picked out the few guys who support that view.

I think neuroscience isn't going to budge much unless soul and the spiritual world becomes something that can be observed and quantified. I continue to here skeptics harp that parapsychology (and other paranormal fields such as UFOs, Bigfoot, etc.) are "arguing from ignorance" because they continue trying to prove phenomenon exists while apparently never trying to explain why such phenomenon exists. E.g. Things like Ganzfeld shows PSI may exist, but no attempts are (apparently) made to explain how that PSI works.

Kris, I wasn't disagreeing with you. I was just enjoying how comfortable things are when people do what they do.

Aftrbrnr, there are attempts being made to explain how psi works. Michael Persinger, for instance, certainly seems to be looking at mechanisms.

http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/13/4/515

"I had the realization that I was everywhere at the same time...and I mean everywhere

.>>> I knew that everything is perfect<<<

and happening according to some divine plan, regardless of all the things we see as wrong with the world." - excerpt from Carl Turner's experience, http://www.beyondreligion.com/su_personal/dreamsvisions-kundalini.htm

I have never had such a "feeling" and it seems to clash with almost everything in this "vale of tears".
The treatment of women since the year one is a glaring example of this. e.g Another mammal, the giant panda, gives birth to a cub that weighs 1/800 of her body weight (i.e about 4 ounces).It seems very unlikely that any female panda dies in child birth. And they have been around for over 5 million years
Even E.Katharine Bates, in her book "Seen and Unseen" mentions a friend who had trouble with the aphorism "God is in his heaven and all is right with the world" (IIRC this was Mrs.Tennant)
Is this an example of the definition of "faith".i.e to believe the unbelievable?

"Things like Ganzfeld shows PSI may exist, but no attempts are (apparently) made to explain how that PSI works." - Aftrbrnr
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That's what Michael Talbot's whole book, The Holographic Universe, is about.

"Talbot explains in clear terms the theory and physics of holography and its application, both in science and in explanation of the paranormal and psychic. His theory of reality accommodates this latest thinking in physics as well as many unresolved mind-body questions. This well-written and fascinating study is recommended for science collections.
- Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, Cal.

"The remaining 2/3 of the book is a discussion of how the holographic paradigm may provide a rational basis for interpreting a wide variety of phenomenon located around the fringes of established science." - Damian Nash, master's degree in neuroscience and chaos/complexity theory

Thanks for that quote on EM, Michael. The Eliminative Materialist argument is about as cogent as an argument for solipsism. And that tells you how competent some of these people are able to be when dealing with unusual events.

They ONLY WANT the usual suspects.

They are not on a voyage of discovery, they are pouring pots of hot oil over the ramparts on anyone who tries to climb the walls.

Michael: I agree with you about the structure and ordering of the book. The discussion of quantum physics up front may be a difficult hurdle for some people to clear. (Of course, that may be his point - to make it clear that this is not a touch feel book of wonderful stories.)

That said, I felt he did a better job in the physics discussion here than in Parapsychology and the Skeptics. He really delivers a crushing blow to the Randis and Shermers of the world. He clearly demonstrates that the world of classic applied materialism (which skeptics like to call 'science') simply DOES NOT APPLY in quantum mechanics, the "most battle tested" scientific theory ever. If their version of ‘science’ doesn’t actually apply to science…then they are doing nothing more than making uniformed faith-based assertions.

He also, without directly stating it, he also exposes the short comings of the type of linguistic-logical philosophy of the last century, which tended to define truth within internal logical constructs. This is most clearly seen in his descriptions of Gerd Hovelmann argument of ‘linguistic slovenliness’ as a refutation of the survival hypothesis. The vapidity of the argument is made clear in short order.

Carter does not break new ground here, nor does he claim to. But the book is a great summary of the current state of near death studies and the increasingly clear implications that we survive our bodily deaths.

Sandy don't you find the congruence between this strange?

Art, you keep refering to Mark Horton's NDE. Have you even investigated if the man ever existed? It could be someone just making a joke?

In a way, the object of Science and the Near-Death Experience is to present a well researched and thought out declaration for the scientific basis of dualism, and the continuation of consciousness. A very strong case is made for seeing the brain as a tool for the mind to use, and not the source of consciousness - we are not computers made of meat.
Chris Carter simply uses NDE's to illustrate the point.

This book was not intended to explore or explain the full nature of the Universe, or otherworldly realms. To do so would have have been a distraction from his case. Holographic, Plasma, Big Bang, Superstring/M-theory presentations would have muddied the water.
Part of the appeal of the book is that he is so unrelenting and focused.

I like what one of the Amazon reviewers posted:
"He never flinches, yet he meets this dogma, which depends so heavily on ridicule, without ridicule of his own. His arguments have the feel of a Zen swordsman, dispassionate but deadly accurate."

"Art, you keep refering to Mark Horton's NDE. Have you even investigated if the man ever existed? It could be someone just making a joke?" - ubs
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If that were the only near death experience I had ever read and it was the only one that paralleled or was congruent with the holographic universe theory that might be true. I have however read thousands of near death experiences and a large percentage of them say things that are congruent with the holographic universe theory.

I have been reading about and studying near death experiences, death bed visions, and the holographic universe theory for 10 years and have read numerous books and articles about it.

I am not the first one to notice the connection and am in good company with Dr. Ken Ring, Dr. Melvin Morse, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Dr. Oswald Harding, and many others making note about the obvious connection between NDE's and the holographic universe theory.

I'm sorry I seem to have turned on the italics and can't seem to get it to turn off.

I turned them off. It wasn't you, Art.

RabbitDawg, that's a great quote.

Michael, thanks for a great review of this book. I've just been reading the Kindle free excerpt online, and I'm already blown away . . . by the foreword!

It's written by Neal Grossman, and what a beautiful little piece it is. He starts with the obvious but powerful fact that:

"The history of science is replete with examples of ideas, concepts, and theories that at one time were accepted as true, but which are now known to be false. Once upon a time, it was quite reasonable to believe that Earth is the center of the universe, that it is flat . . . that women are inferior to men . . . "

It's an often-expressed thought, I know, but once again it reminds me how absurd it is that anyone could ever feel arrogant or smug—much less certain—about the facts.

And he moves forward from there, building to this:

"There is a message hidden in all this research, and it is a message that successful academics do no want to hear. The message is universal love. Every near-death experiencer is convinced that the purpose of life is to grow in our ability to give and receive love. And NDE researchers—as well as mediumship researchers—have themselves come to this same conclusion, but academic life is the opposite of loving. . . .They believe, and need to believe, that the purpose of life is to 'win'. . ."

Anyway—not new ideas, perhaps, but nicely said. If the book lives up to the foreword—and having read Carter's previous book, I suspect it will—I'll be mightily pleased.

"It's an often-expressed thought, I know, but once again it reminds me how absurd it is that anyone could ever feel arrogant or smug—much less certain—about the facts."

The certainty sneaks in later. They know they are making the inductive leap and that there is no certainty in that, but before long the uncertainty part gets dismissed — perhaps reappointed at times to defend themselves during arguments with those who call their BS — and then they return to that comfy sofa afterwards, speaking in the assuring tones and inflections that lie.

I haven't read the book yet (on my list), but I AM glad that someone like Carter is challenging the nonsense.

"There is a message hidden in all this research, and it is a message that successful academics do no want to hear. The message is universal love. Every near-death experiencer is convinced that the purpose of life is to grow in our ability to give and receive love. And NDE researchers—as well as mediumship researchers—have themselves come to this same conclusion, but academic life is the opposite of loving. . . .They believe, and need to believe, that the purpose of life is to 'win'. . ."

I saw Social Network today. There were two decent people in the entire movie. A woman whose cousin went to Harvard tells me that he'd never seen so many people out of touch with what it is to be human in one place, a view which that movie also conveys.

I came away from it thinking that a good portion of the world's problems can be solved just by closing down Harvard, and schools like them.

"They know they are making the inductive leap and that there is no certainty in that"

Actually, DM, I wonder whether many—maybe even most—people skip that step and that awareness, and simply "inherit" the certainty of others.

"I came away from it thinking that a good portion of the world's problems can be solved just by closing down Harvard, and schools like them."

One of my favorite books, "Expecting Adam", was written by a woman who, while a grad student at Harvard, learned that she was pregnant with a Downs Syndrome fetus. She writes about how everyone at Harvard—her professors, doctors, and most of her classmates—were adamant that she abort the infant.

But along with her pregnancy—because of it, in fact—she began to have an assortment of spiritual experiences that ripped her out of her previously atheistic mindset. She gradually came to realize that having that infant was the greatest gift of her life, and describes how bringing the child to term and finally giving birth to it in the context of the Harvard community, was like living in the enemy's camp.

Some of the key scenes in the book take place in William James Hall. The fact that a Harvard building is named after James always strikes me as pretty ironic, considering how those academic folk must view his most mature work.

Not just his most mature work, actually, but his best. Anyway, that's how I see it! (And I'm totally unbiased.) ;o)

Always wanted to try out that wink thing.

I think we might be giving too much credit to how materialistic academic places like Harvard are. While it maybe a strong view, I think a lot of people here think everyone at a university is a materialist, which I think is far from the truth.

The university I attend has a church on campus, and as far as I know so do places like Harvard. This might seem like a weak argument to some, but I've noticed my school does give allow delays for students on things such as religious beliefs. This is my opinion, but if materialism had as strong as a grip on society as we thought, I don't think things such as the above would exist on universities. Heck, things like the Duke parapsychology lab shouldn't exist if that was the case, nor should some of the research that Sandy mentions that goes on about things like PSI and remote viewing, or Schwartz's experiments over in Arizona.

I'm not saying materialism isn't a dominant force in academia, but if you consider some of the above things that goes on at some institutions, those things really shouldn't be if materialism was that strong of a belief.

On page 138 of the book Chris Carter compares NDEs from India to those from America. In both countries NDEers sometimes get the message that it is not their time and are apparently sent back by otherworldy figures.

In America they receive the message that they are being sent back because they still have work to do or that they have obligations to those who are still living. In other words they get sent back because of some unfinished business. To me this certainly seems sensible enough and is plausible.

However those people who have undergone NDEs from India report that these otherworldly figures informed them that they had been a mistake and therefore needed to go back!

Now I submit that it is clearly ludicrous to imagine that a mistake had been made! But regardless of whether we consider it to be ludicrous or not, it seems highly unlikely that Americans and Indians get sent back for different reasons.

Hence we seem to be obliged to conclude that neither the reasons given for the Americans to return, or the reasons for the Indians to return, are actually true.

Which means these otherworldly figures are not actually telling NDE experiencers the truth. I think that this must give some evidence against the hypothesis that NDEs are a glimpse of the afterlife realm. What do others think?

Some of the key scenes in the book take place in William James Hall. The fact that a Harvard building is named after James always strikes me as pretty ironic, considering how those academic folk must view his most mature work

Yeah that really kills me too. When I was applying to psychology graduate programs in the seventies the only graduate school that I knew of at the time that emphasized Jame's Radical Empiricism method was Duquesne University's Graduate School of Psychology which emphasizes the work of the late 19th and 20th century phenomenolgists, especially Edmund Husserl. James wanted to take psychologist into the direction that Alan B Wallace is trying to resurrect almost 120 years later i.e.subjective experience can be studied empirically. Alas, my training occurred during he Behavioral "the mind is irrelevant"era. The mind began to slip back slowly into American psychology only very slowly with the early cognitive pioneers, especially the entertaining curmudgeon and funny Albert Ellis.

My point in this is that I believe that Consciousness studies and Transpersnal Psychology is in the early stages of once again becoming a viable academic subject for research. I'm closing my career of over 30 years just at the time my field is legitimizing what I wanted to do in my twenties. Oh the Irony!

Heck, things like the Duke parapsychology lab shouldn't exist if that was the case

Unfortunately the Duke Parapsychology lab has been closed for a long time. Thank goodness for Gary Schwartz's ability to get his DMT research back into academia. I think that his MD was an important factor.

Interestingly the preeminent American scholar of Comparative Religion,Huston Smith, partook in the famous Easter Sunday LSD study done at a chapel at Harvard Univ in the early sixties before psychedelics was marginalized and criminalized thus ending legitimate academic research for almost 30 years. Stan Grov was a voice in the wilderness during that period. I grieve those lost years of research in consciousness and subjective transpersonal states that could have occurred in my field during those lost 30 years. For me, it's like grieving the loss of music that as never written after the untimely deaths of George Gershwin, John Lennon, Buddy Holly and Sam Cook.

"Which means these otherworldly figures are not actually telling NDE experiencers the truth. I think that this must give some evidence against the hypothesis that NDEs are a glimpse of the afterlife realm. What do others think?"

I think that whether the words used are "there's been a mistake" or "it's not your time," they practically amount to the same thing that can be explained by how different cultures employ the words used.

If it's not your time, then why are you in peril of crossing over? there's been a mistake — even if we regard such mistakes as some lesson to convey to others, some people may describe that as a mistake.

Either way, the idea is that something is happening which is not to be completed yet. The result anticipated by the NDEr is misguided and should not happen yet.

I think that the 'pre-crossing over' stage that most NDEr's experience is more like a holding stage. Many experiencer's report that if they crossed a certain boundary (river, wall, light barrier, etc...), they could not turn back. In fact, some children report that they chatted with "a nice man", or relative, played with a pet, or even talked to an image of a living person (like a favorite teacher) for a while, and that the experience served to comfort them while they waited to return. There does seem to be an illusory aspect to the experience, yet it is quite real at the same time. Often, experiencer's report that the images dissolve into bright lights.

The 'near' part of the Near Death Experience seems to be designed to cushion the impact. It doesn't strike me a a lie, so much as a compassionate, loving welcome. Sort of like a mother holding, cooing and soothing her newborn baby.

DMDuncan took the words out of my mouth, or the pixels off my screen, or whatever.

I would add that some Western NDEs clearly suggest that a mistake has been made. I remember one in which the NDEr was heading down the tunnel and saw his (or her) mother at the end. The mother appeared welcoming at first, but all of a sudden she looked upset and started waving her hands in such a way as to signal "Go back!" The clear impression was that the mother had suddenly realized there was a mistake, and the NDEr was not supposed to be there yet.

The "bureaucratic" nature of Indian NDEs may be explained by cultural expectations - such as the belief in yamadoots (impersonal messengers of death), as Carter mentions.

I think you have to remember that when an NDEr describes their experience, they are stuck using words. But the experience itself is beyond language. Words suck. So you end up translating that experience as best you can using words that just don't fit the context.

I think the cultural differences may come about because all you can do is translate an experience that can't be described into something more familiar. So of course your culture influences how you do that.

I have several family members who either attend Harvard now - or graduated - and a bunch of others at/or graduated from similar Ivy League institutions, including 2 sisters.

I - on the other hand, went to a school more in line with my intellectual assets and skill set - a local University that had a great beer pong program..:-)

The idea that a disproportionate amount of people at Harvard - or an Ivy league school would support aborting a fetus with down's syndrome - or are bad people in general - or are "anti-spiritual" - is just plain silly.....specious.....wrong...and is more a reflection of your own world view, and the sort of people you bump up against in everyday life.

Surely you must realize that some of the most ardent supporters and pioneers of the alternative health/wellness and spiritual science practitioners emanate from these very schools.....making the William James library feel, in retrospect, a tad less ironic)

(even though WJ is much less known for his paranormal interests than other pursuits anyway)

Just my 2 cents..:-)


"Surely you must realize that some of the most ardent supporters and pioneers of the alternative health/wellness and spiritual science practitioners emanate from these very schools"

Boy, you grabbed my attention with that, Felipe. "Spiritual science practitioner" from Harvard or other Ivy League school? Can you give me a name or two?

exactly Sandy, and this is reflected in childrens NDE accounts, which use typically immature ways of describing essentially similar experiences that adults have.

"My point in this is that I believe that Consciousness studies and Transpersnal Psychology is in the early stages of once again becoming a viable academic subject for research."

Good to hear from you, Rick! Yes, things do change. I can hardly believe that in a couple of weeks, here in California, I get to vote on legalizing marijuana. Did I really just type those words?

Bruce - John Mack was a very respected "paranormal" researcher who I believe was teaching at Harvard at or around his time of death (even though some of the faculty had issues with his area of focus later in life) Dr. Gary Schwartz, often cited here for yay or neigh.....is affiliated with Harvard (I believe either undergraduate or taught) as is/was Andrew Weil.....as is/was the Princeton lab, Etc, etc.

The scalpel and the soul (I forget the doctor's name...and the exact name of the book if that ain't it..:-) I believe was Harvard, if not another IVY, etc.

There is certainly NO lack of academics who are interested in this whole field - and the notion that an IVY league education is somehow an impediment to the topics we discuss here is just flat wrong. (and of course, like any other broad generalization or silly stereotype, not fair either)

BTW - didn't Chris Carter - the author whose work we are discussing on this VERY post - go to to Oxford?

From an academic elitist ego perspective - I think Oxford is one of the very few that trumps Harvard amongst those who keep score.:-)

Ignorance or enlightenment, in my experience, has very little to do with where one went to college.

" John Mack was a very respected 'paranormal' researcher at Harvard . . . . (even though some of the faculty had issues with his area of focus later in life)"

That's putting it mildly, Felipe! He had to fight to hold on to his tenure there:

"The book [Abduction] led Harvard Medical School, where Dr. Mack had been a tenured professor for several years, to appoint a committee to review his research methods and consider censuring him. After 14 months of investigation, it released a statement saying that it ''reaffirmed Dr. Mack's academic freedom to study what he wishes and to state his opinion without impediment.''

So I guess you could praise Harvard for their final decision, or fault them for making Mack's life hell during that long period.

I do hear what you're saying, though, Felipe. And I agree that it's easy to fall into the "us vs them" trap, which I don't want to do.

Nevertheless, I think you'd have a hard time making the argument that mainstream academia has been a supportive environment for pursuing research in consciousness, parapsychology, or spirituality.

Just ask Rick49, who struggled within that system for 30 years, and whose post above speaks volumes.

On second thought, i guess you can't really lose tenure, huh? By definition? Not quite sure how that works.

Anyway, censuring doesn't sound pretty.

"Bruce - John Mack was a very respected 'paranormal' researcher who I believe was teaching at Harvard at or around his time of death (even though some of the faculty had issues with his area of focus later in life)"

Calling Mack a paranormal researcher is a stretch. He studied abduction stories as a professional psychiatrist and thought he couldn't explain what was happening through the usual explanations, which doesn't mean that he thought aliens were really abducting people. That hardly makes him a paranormal researcher.

Mack was also the target of an intense investigation by Harvard Medical for what he was doing, so the faculty was hardly high five-ing him in the hallways for his open mindedness.

"BTW - didn't Chris Carter - the author whose work we are discussing on this VERY post - go to to Oxford?"

I don't know. But did Oxford make him smart? He wouldn't have been Chris Carter if he went to his local community college instead?

How many colleges are doing paranormal research right now? Anyone know of any?

I found a quote from an interesting review of Carter's Parapsychology and the Skeptics which I think neatly encapsulates what skeptics do; this is from T. Rowe:

"If real, replicable evidence were found it would instantly become a huge story in science journals. Until then,"

Leaving aside the question of whether he is justified equating "real" evidence with "replicable" evidence, his words correctly acknowledge that science is tentative, leaving open the possibility that evidence may indeed be found some day, but then he writes:

"believers in psychic powers will have to go on living in their own fantasy world."

In the next sentence it instantly becomes a "fantasy" which is something incapable of ever providing evidence of some possible reality.

The position is logically incoherent. He opens the door, and then slams it shut.

Actually, DMD - in the context of the above comment, it's not a stretch at all.

Mack wrote much about the spiritual, transformative nature of the "abduction" experience, wrote and spoke about PK - spoke at several conferences that were sympathetic to survival, and clearly was open to work of his peers in these areas we speak of here, as many of the eulogies reflect.

But really - who cares - that wasn't the point I was trying to make - only that a Harvard degree doesn't make one predisposed to skeptical thought - or killing fetuses with down syndrome - or voting for Tea party candidates, or any other bad ideas.

And like you mention above - I don't care if Chris Carter went to Oxford - or Oklohoma State - I just tend to be less suspicious of folks with fancy degrees on their wall than others here, I guess...and don't find the "us verus them" drumbeat productive, interesting or intelligent.

"Mack wrote much about the spiritual, transformative nature of the "abduction" experience, wrote and spoke about PK - spoke at several conferences that were sympathetic to survival, and clearly was open to work of his peers in these areas we speak of here, as many of the eulogies reflect."

Clearly he was open to it and that's probably the main reason he was investigated for it. If I remember correctly from my reading of him years ago, he took it seriously but did not make conclusions to the paranormal; I think he repeated it often enough that a true explanation, in his professional view, eluded all the known psychological explanations, and that was about it.

"But really - who cares - that wasn't the point I was trying to make - only that a Harvard degree doesn't make one predisposed to skeptical thought - or killing fetuses with down syndrome - or voting for Tea party candidates, or any other bad ideas."

Well if you mean more likely to hold skeptical views, how do you know? Your relatives? John Mack (versus a committee)? We aren't talking about going to a bar, but to a school. A place where teachers DO influence your thinking about the world. Of all the universities in America, how many have paranormal studies? That number will tell you exactly how seriously it is taken.

Also, I certainly don't feel like it's "us versus them." It's more like "them versus reality." I don't care if they believe or not. Ask me how many I've tried to persuade.

I agree with Felipe that the "us vs. them" mentality isn't really helpful and I think it arises from the hostility that some skeptics have had over the years towards proponents and their views. As I've said early here, I don't think materialism has as firm of a grip on academia as one may think.

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