IMG_2361
Blog powered by Typepad

« Abraham Lincoln, spiritualist? | Main | Graham Holderness clarifies his position »

Comments

I will observe real life consist of both hallucinations and vertical evidence, why should observation in the here after be any different?

MP,

Agreed with your last on this thread. That is what I was trying to say in your "Grab Bag" comments "My conclusions are that, at least in OBEs, there is some subconscious imagery that comes through that is entirely subjective imagination. Then there is much that is a subjective interpretation of objective reality. There is also fairly normalish perception of an agreed upon objective
reality by non-normal means (meaning I see what you see only I see it from a disembodied point of view). Then there is something stranger. Objective reality is not always what we think it is and in these states of mind (or spirit) we see reality as it is, but people in normal awareness can't relate because they are functioning from certain limited or delusional (if you
will) perceptions. This would be perception of a nonconsensual objective reality."

I assume the NDE is quite similar to the OBE in many important way. The only text I have found that jibes with my experiences is "The Tibetan Book of the Dead".

I do not buy this idea of everyone going into a beautiful light with peace, joy and total knowledge and angels for ever. Rather, we go where our internal "gravity" causes us to go. Where this is is determined by our beliefs, thoughts, emotions and something like Karma. We may see a light at first, but, like the book says, most slip away from it in due time.

There is probably as much mental noise associated with the NDE as there is with the OBE. Separate the wheat from the chaff. Focus on what is obviously above the noise.

Zerdini stated Luke 17:21 "everyone is already in heaven" and here are some more scriptures regarding the Kingdom of God, ie heaven.

Matt. 5 (FNT)
20 For I say to you that unless your justice abounds more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of the heavens.

Matt. 7 (FNT)
21 Not everyone saying to me: Lord Lord will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my father who is in the heavens.

Matt. 18 (FNT)
3 Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become as the child, you will not enter into the kingdom of the heavens.

Matt. 19 (FNT):
23 Truly I say to you that the rich hardly enter into the kingdom of the heavens. 24 But again I say to you it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Mark 9 (FNT):
47 And if your eye stumble you, cast it out, for it is good that one-eyed you enter into the kingdom of God than having two eyes be thrown into Gehenna, . . ..

Mark 10 (FNT):
23 How difficulty will those having possessions enter into the kingdom of God. 24 But his disciples were being amazed at his words. But Jesus again answering says to them: Children, How difficult it is for those trusting upon possessions to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for the rich to enter into the kingdom of God.

Luke 18 (FNT):
24 How difficulty those having possessions enter into the kingdom of God. 25 For it is easier for a camel to enter through a needle hole than for the rich to enter into the kingdom of God.

John 8 (FNT):
4 Nicodemus says to him: How is a man able to be born when he is old? Is he able to enter into his mother's womb a second time and be born? 5 Jesus answered: Truly truly I say to you, if someone not be born out of water and spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God.

Taoism posits that man may gain knowledge of the universe by understanding himself.

Yes, Zerdini. The parallels between those two words of Milton and Taoist philosophy are striking.

You can see the same thing in Jacob Boehme's writings - the fact is, once one sees what the hell they're talking about - for ourselves - we realize that every single one of the religions is saying the same thing.

The problems start only when other people start "interpreting" them.

It goes back at least as far as the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which warns the newly dead person against becoming caught up in a world of his own thought-forms.

I think it might be good for alive people to be warned about getting caught up in a world of their own thought-forms.

MP: Survivalists generally agree that important aspects of the NDE are the product of the experiencer's imagination. This is usually explained on the grounds that the environment experienced during an NDE is more malleable, more plastic, than earthly reality; it is said to be composed of thought-forms, and these thought-forms can be manipulated by the conscious or unconscious expectations, fears, and hopes of the experiencer.

For what it's worth, though "thought forms" are prominent in esoteric doctrine and the astral projection literature, to my knowledge NDErs don't generally regard their experiences as 'partially imaginary.' I'm not saying that anything follows from that; I just think it worth noting.

There are conceptual problems with the idea of a thought-form world that are nicely outlined in Ch. 21 of Susan Blackmore's _Beyond the Body_ (titled "Reassessing the Theories"), but given the reference I won't go into them here.

MP: In other words, what the survivalist would expect to find would be a mix of veridical and imaginary elements. This would be consistent with esoteric teachings and with survivalist theory. And, IMO, this is indeed what we do find.... I realize it can look as if the survivalist is trying to have it both ways - to eat his cake and have it too.

You say "hallucinatory thought forms"
and I say "veridical superpsi,"
You say neither and I say nyther;
Either, eyether, neether, nyther,
Let's call the whole thing off!

In other words, what the "ESP plus hallucination theorist" would expect to find would be a mix of veridical and imaginary elements. This would be consistent with parapsychological conjecture and with hallucination theories. :)

In reality, of course, I think that an appeal to superpsi is a kind of sophistry - but I could have my cake and eat it too by appealing to it if I really wanted to preserve my position against all potential discordant evidence. Appealing to thought forms seems to be a similar kind of a rationalization.

The problem with "no veridical perceptions" as a test is that they aren't equivalent to "false veridical perceptions." Not seeing a target is not quite the same as seeing a target but getting it completely wrong. The latter suggests something, the former doesn't.

Despite common belief that veridical NDEs are all over the place, in The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences, even including cases well before the last 30 years of near-death studies, Jan Holden counts only about 100 reports of NDEs that include any elements that could be potentially verified (or falisfied) against physical reality, or even a presumed "transmaterial" reality (which is testable, for example, by determining whether a relative seen in an NDE world was deceased or living).

100 is only 0.000125% of the (surely outdated by now) Gallup estimate of 8 million NDErs in the United States alone (and which was a valid count, even if it was then, only for generations still alive up until the year in which the survey was administered).

Kris: If a malfunctioning brain is what causes hallucinations, one might reasonably expect a "brainless" experience to lack hallucinatory features.

Isn't that assuming a malfunctioning Brain is the only possible cause of a hallucination?

Keith, honestly now, by your methods of "falsifying" or "negating" or "developing alternative explanations" or whatever it is that you call what you do, I think most people would have a hard time verifying absolutely that they were even conscious last Tuesday.

I actually went through a little execise with my daughter (home on leave from the Navy) wherein I played a you.

Me/You: So what did you do last Tuesday?
M: read a book, went out to eat talked K (her boyfriend), watched a movie...
Me/You: no you didn't. You slept all day and had some dreams or hallucinations that you did these things.
M:Well I watched (names movie) and that was HBO on Tuesday.
Me/You: Yes, we can see that it was playing on Tuesday, but it also played on days before and after. There are things called false memories. You could have watched the movie on a different day and then falely remembered that as being Tuesday. What else do you have?
M: Look, here (produced from her car) is the credit card receipt for the meal I had (at a restuarant) and it's date stamped Tuesday.
Me/You: (after a series of questions) well, it seems that you have had friends in your car that also eat at that restuarant and it is completely possible that the receipt is one of theirs that was left in your car when you gave a ride. The customer copy is not even signed so I cannot accept this a conclusive evidence.
M: Ask K if I talked to him on Tuesday.
Me/You: Well, I don't how good his memory is, but OK.
- I call the boyfriend. He remembers talking to M recently, but at first says he talked to her Monday. It is only after I suggest that it may have been Tuesday that he suddenly becomes certain that it was indeed Tuesday.
Me/You: I'm sorry, but I think your conversation with K was a complex hallucination; probably some sort of wish fullfillment fantasy induced kind of thing. He really is not certain as to when you last talked to him.

and so the conversation went. It was sort of fun, in a twisted sort of way, to frustrate my daughter's every attempt to prove that she was a sentient being last Tuesday. At the end of the discussion I was able to cast doubt on every single piece of evidence that she offered.

Thus, I am not surprised that you are unable to verify something so much more subjective, like NDEs, to your level of "rigor".

However, if even one NDE case proves veridical then that is enough to bring your paradigm down and force consideration of a new one. I suspect that is why you indulge in such pretzel logic to poke holes in each and every solid case of NDE with verifiable details.

I mean the whole nonsense about the flapping chicken arm surgeon being something heard post surgery. So this patient hears this weird tibit after he wakes up and then gets all mentally confused and incorporates what he heard into the body of what, according to you, was a complex hallucination that took place at the time of surgery. By what psychological mechanism? I think if you're going to propose alternatives you should speak to the probability of those alternatives occurring versus the susrvival hypothesis explanation, but you have a problem in your reasoning. It is not scientific. You've already decided that one hypotheis, survival, is a probability of 0 and therefore your propositions - no matter how far fetched - always have the greater probability, no matter how minute that probability may be.

You should have been lawyer Keith. You and Johny Cochran would've made a great team.

“However, if even one NDE case proves veridical then that is enough to bring your paradigm down and force consideration of a new one.”

Well stated: the white crow has been found therefore we need not look any farther to verify that not all crows are black.

Of course the materialist would just state that our white crow was a hallucination.

The materialist lives on a very slippery slope one unexplained paranormal phenomena and the whole materialistic paradigm comes tumbling down the slope.

I suspect that everyone that reads this blog even Keith has experienced a paranormal phenomena and it only takes one to invalidate the materialistic paradigm.

One more thought from me....

This idea of subjective "noise" in the NDE/OBE experience.

It really isn't as complicated or unusual as many make it out to be.

Play a piece of instrumental music - a CD - have 10 people listen to it intently and ask them to draw and/or describe the images that the music brings to mind. You will have 10 different drawings, but, there will be common feeling to most of the drawings. Each mind experiences and interprets the same thing in its own way.

Ask them to describe in words the music. You will have 10 different descriptions. Some will make sense to the Serious Experts in The Field; most probably won't.

Not everything in life is quatifiable and repeatable in a test tube and on elctronic scale. In fact, the best things in life are not.

Use materialistic science to prove a father's love for his daughter. Can't? Still doesn't mean it isn't real.

The more I think about it, science is for manipulating the material world and has little to do with the spiritual and vice versa and we know what happens when we try to serve two masters.

There is a little area of overlap between the science of materialism and spirituality, but walking it wisely is to be on the razor's edge.

William : I suspect that everyone that reads this blog even Keith has experienced a paranormal phenomena and it only takes one to invalidate the materialistic paradigm.

Suspicion is not enough, william - extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!

Kris said: "I am not quite sure if I am ready to apologize cause I think Keith has some mud on his hands too ( and I think he has at best some extreme tunnel vision) but still I think I am going to tone down some."

Oh come on, Kris! Show some mercy. The guy is gonna be gone for good in less than 100 years (non-survivalist, no afterlife for him...), while WE, survivalists, will live forever! :-) (sorry, Keith, couldn't help myself... Yet, there still time to repent :-) )

Julio

Just a brief reply to a rather long quote from Keith:

"Those who think of OBEs/NDEs as hallucinations generally publish their research in mainstream medical journals, e.g., Olaf Blanke (and his numerous coauthors) and Kevin Nelson most recently. (Susan Blackmore is an exception because she started out from parapsychology rather than something like neurology.) If you read the Handbook of Near-Death Experiences, you'll see that the contributors are rather frank throughout in maintaining that 'transcendental explanation' is required for any adequate account of NDEs (if they cover the 'ontology' of NDEs at all). In that climate, is it really surprising that skeptical researchers aren't regular contributors to near-death studies? No more surprising than that Philip Klass was never a regular contributor to the MUFON UFO Journal."

As a matter of fact, Keith, this above has much more to do with politics than with science...

Julio

Hey Julio, what happened to your articles on Keith's papers? You promised to having them ready before tuesday, and today is thursday!

You've already decided that one hypotheis, survival, is a probability of 0 and therefore your propositions - no matter how far fetched - always have the greater probability, no matter how minute that probability may be.

This is an smart and wise observation, Eric. And one that many people, including some survivalists and neutral observers fail to understand (this is an unexcusable naive mistake)

If you believe in naturalism, you have to disbelieve in supernaralism and hence in survivalism. Period.

If naturalism is true, the probability of survivalism is zero. This is the reason why any alternative naturalistic explanation (even in totally unproven or wholly speculative or arbitrary) has, a priori, more probability of being true than survivalism.

This explain why naturalists are debunkers of NDEs and survival research in general. They smartly deny this, and argue that their criticism is only evidence based. But they fail to see that their criticisms is also based on a priori considerations about what is probable and improbale, being survival maximally improbable given naturalism. Hence an assumed to be true naturalism is the background against which evidence for survival is "examined".

For them it's "natural" that a wholly speculative naturalistic "explanation" be more probable and hence a reasonably reason to reject the survival explanation.

This makes actually impossible that you can convince them through argumentation, because all what they have to do is invent or create wholly speculative alternative explanations coherent with naturalism to avoid accepting your conclusions.

Given that it's always logically possible to invent alternative explanations for any given data, and given that a priori any logically possible naturalistic explanation is more probable than survival, no evidence for survival will be sufficient for a naturalist.

They smartly insist that their position is logically falsifiable because proving one only instance of survival would refute their position.

But they hide the fact that, for avoid such logical falsification, they always will have at hand the trick of inventing ad hoc naturalistic alternartives explanations that will render the evidence worthless.

As Popper argued, the logical falsification operates if you accept the falsifiying evidence; but if you attack, misconstruct, dismiss, distortion or reject the falsifiying evidence, the falsification will never happen.

Naturalists accept the logical possibility of falsification of their position, while doing all they can to avoid accepting the falsifiying evidence.

I agree this is a smart strategy, but not one that any objective and honest person who wants to know the truth would employ.

Neutral observers unconvinced of the plausibility of my above argumentation would only should to consider that my explanation predicts:

-Naturalists will be debunkers of survival research. And this is exactly and demostrably what we found in "organized skepticism" (all or most of their members subscribe to some version of "naturalism")

-Naturalists will invent ad hoc logically possible naturalist explanations to account for the falsifying evidence (whether or not other of their criticisms are justified or evidence based. Some of them are)

-To avoid looking as close-minded dogmatists (and perhaps to convince themselves that they're not), they smartly will insist that their position can be falsified if good evidence for survival is found (while that, smartly and cleverly, they attack all the falsifying evidence against their position)

I think you have misread the gallup poll Keith. It does not suggest we have 8 million NDE accounts it suggests 8 million people have had NDES. Obviously only a few have been recorded. So it isn't surprising Holden can only get 100 possible vertical accounts.

Secondly real life contains hallucinations. Do you now think all of real life is a hallucination?

The reason I maintain the NDES are not explainable in terms of hallucination are as follows

a.) Strong vertical accounts
I. Maria's shoe
II. Pam Reynolds
III Al Sullivan
IV. Van Lommel Study
V. the Sartori Case

b.) The uniformity of the accounts. What part of the brain creates the following?
I. Seeing dead loved ones in the prime of their lives
II. communicating through telepathy.
III. Conflicts with traditional religious beliefs
IV. Being made to feel their negative actions on others.
V. Oneness with the universe

The fact the people who had the experience swear it was real. People tend to know when they hallucinate. I know I dreamed last night. People known when they had " bad trips". If NDEs were hallucinations the experiencer would know it.

There are conceptual problems with the idea of a thought-form world . . .

Yes. Endless problems. Because we’re living in a world of thought-forms, we cannot escape the fact that what we’re doing the conceptualizing with is also a thought-form.

It’s all thought, all consciousness, all mind – choose whichever term you wish - all are the same thing anyway. To attempt to explain any of this in a way that is intellectually satisfying is hopeless. Every mystic has always understood this – but let’s see what Plotinus had to say anyway, despite his expressed reticence:

You ask me to tell you how we know, and what is our criterion of certainty. To write is always irksome to me. But for the continual solicitations of Porphyry I should not have left a line to survive me. For your own sake and for your father's my reluctance shall be overcome.

External objects present us only with appearances. Concerning them, therefore, we may be said to possess opinion rather than knowledge. The distinctions in the actual world of appearance are of import only to ordinary and practical men. Our question lies with the ideal reality that exists behind appearance. How does the mind perceive these ideas? Are they without us, and is the reason, like sensation, occupied with objects external to itself? What certainty would we then have—what assurance that our perception was infallible? The object perceived would be a something different from the mind perceiving it. We should have then an image instead of reality. It would be monstrous to believe for a moment that the mind was unable to perceive ideal truth exactly as it is, and that we had not certainty and real knowledge concerning the world of intelligence. It follows, therefore, that this region of truth is not to be investigated as a thing external to us, and so only imperfectly known. It is within us. Here the objects we contemplate and that which contemplates are identical—both are thought. The subject cannot surely know an object different from itself. The world of ideas lies within our intelligence. Truth, therefore, is not the agreement of our apprehension of an external object with the object itself. It is the agreement of the mind with itself. Consciousness, therefore, is the sole basis of certainty: The mind is its own witness. Reason sees in itself that which is above itself as its source; and again, that which is below itself as still itself once more.

Knowledge has three degrees—opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second dialectic; of the third intuition. To the last I subordinate reason. It is absolute knowledge founded on the identity of the mind knowing with the object known. . . .

You ask, how can we know the Infinite? I answer, not by reason. It is the office of reason to distinguish and define. The Infinite, therefore, cannot be ranked among its objects. You can only apprehend the Infinite by a faculty superior to reason, by entering into a state in which you are your finite self no longer—in which the divine essence is communicated to you. This is ecstasy [Cosmic Consciousness]. It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness. Like only can apprehend like; when you thus cease to be finite, you become one with the Infinite. In the reduction of your soul to its simplest self, its divine essence, you realize this union—this identity.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/cc/cc13.htm

As I write this, there are now 165 comments in this thread alone, and the vast majority of those are focused on what Plotinus calls the “world of appearances”.

In many respects, it seems to me that the materialist, who posits that matter is the only thing that exists, is much closer to truth than the dualist who posits that matter and spirit are separate substances.

Well . . . matter is all that exists - until one realizes that matter is spirit, at which point one understands that spirit is all that exists.

There is only one direction of inquiry that can lead to truth, and it starts when someone asks the question, “What is the nature of this thing I’m investigating reality with?”

Those who follow that line of inquiry are on their way to understanding, and those who continue to focus on the “world of appearances” will find themselves still investigating the world of appearances until such time as they the change their direction of inquiry.

The funniest thing is that everyone will eventually understand that there’s never been anything to concern themselves with, and that they’ve not only always been on the proper direction of inquiry, but that they’ve always known the answers to every question they had previously asked.

Anyway, I need to focus on running a business for a while. I’ll keep tabs on you folks – best of luck in your search. You’re all “right” – from your current perspectives.

Erich: However, if even one NDE case proves veridical then that is enough to bring your paradigm down and force consideration of a new one. I suspect that is why you indulge in such pretzel logic to poke holes in each and every solid case of NDE with verifiable details.

Yes, if even one NDE case proves veridical I'll take that as a falsification of a hypothesis (not exactly a complete "world view") that in other respects is well grounded. The fact that I am open to discordant evidence should not count against me, however. What would it take to show that NDEs are hallucinatory to you? That is, what conceivable discordant evidence to your view would "bring your paradigm down and force consideration of a new one"?

Erich: I mean the whole nonsense about the flapping chicken arm surgeon being something heard post surgery.... I think if you're going to propose alternatives you should speak to the probability of those alternatives occurring versus the susrvival hypothesis explanation, but you have a problem in your reasoning.

I never said that Al Sullivan heard about the surgeon flapping his arms post-surgery. Really, he would only need to learn that any time before he was interviewed years later in order to know that the surgeon did this, but I didn't suggest that either.

Lester's point did not concern alternative explanations, though given the facts I'm sure that you could conjecture any number of them. Lester's point concerned what counted as corroboration for a case. In this particular case, the corroboration was rather far from ideal, not unlike a blind NDEr case whose corroboration was found wanting by then Religious Experience Researcher Centre director Mark Fox, who wrote:

"Although Ring and Cooper present this as a 'corroborative' case of sight during a blind respondent's out-of-body experience, it is clear that it is not. The witness does not remember clearly the events or the tie. She thus cannot corroborate the detail of the episode in question, but merely presents a testimony to Frank's apparent truthfulness and simply thinks that he was 'probably accurate' in the details given.... Once again, therefore, we must exercise care with the quality of the data presented.... More cautious commentators may be forgiven for suggesting that much stronger data are needed before they agree that existing scientific paradigms need to be hauled down and news ones erected." (p. 234)

Fox is simply being honest about the weakness of the evidence favoring veridical paranormal perception in this particular case. He is not offering alternative explanations, but pointing out the the evidence for veridicality in the first place is not exactly up to snuff. This is the same point that Lester makes for the Al Sullivan case. It's not that Lester or Fox have evidence for alternative explanations; it's that the evidence for veridical paranormal perception itself is weak in these cases. Those are two different points. If you're working from weak evidence to begin with, there's really little need to try to make sense of it (because if the data are poor, one cannot make sense of all the noise clouding the signal). Without really good evidence there really is no need to offer any alternative explanations; the reasons for believing veridicality dissolve under analysis of the quality of evidence cited in their favor.

As for you're little dialogue with your daughter, it misses the point for reasons Richard Carrier outlines in his digression on method here:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/whynotchristian.html#method

Namely:

If I say I own a car, I don't have to present very much evidence to prove it, because you have already observed mountains of evidence that people like me own cars. All of that evidence, for the general proposition "people like him own cars," provides so much support for the particular proposition, "he owns a car," that only minimal evidence is needed to confirm the particular proposition.

But if I say I own a nuclear missile, we are in different territory. You have just as large a mountain of evidence, from your own study as well as direct observation, that "people like him own nuclear missiles" is not true. Therefore, I need much more evidence to prove that particular claim--in fact, I need about as much evidence (in quantity and quality) as would be required to prove the general proposition "people like him own nuclear missiles." I don't mean I would have to prove that proposition, but that normally the weight of evidence needed to prove that proposition would in turn provide the needed background support for the particular proposition that "I own a nuclear missile," just as it does in the case of "I own a car." So lacking that support, I need to build at least as much support directly for the particular proposition "I own a nuclear missile," which means as much support in kind and degree as would be required to otherwise prove the general proposition "people like him own nuclear missiles." And that requires a lot of very strong evidence--just as for any general proposition.

This, in essence, is why "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Erich: It is not scientific.

Accepting something solely on the basis questionable testimony is what is not scientific. Even Jan Holden says that such isn't quite scientific short of controlled studies to verify the testimonies. In other words, in the presence of good experimental evidence for veridical paranormal perception in NDEs, then we can give the testimonies a little slack, because then we would have INDEPENDENTLY CONFIRMED that veridical paranormal perception really happens. But when the testimonies are all we have to go on, that's really quite a tenuous case for that conclusion.

Erich: You've already decided that one hypotheis, survival, is a probability of 0 and therefore your propositions - no matter how far fetched - always have the greater probability, no matter how minute that probability may be.

That's not quite right. Proponents of the survival hypothesis have the burden to show that survival is likely, and neuropsychology has produced independent kinds of evidence that it's rather unlikely. Given that state of affairs, it's not up to someone like me to "disprove" survival. It is up to survival proponents to prove it. This is simple balance of probabilities. If you don't have clear-cut evidence then there's really nothing much to discuss. Reporters at newspapers around the world do not treat survival as scientific fact because it is isn't. The vast majority of the world already believes in survival, and probably most reporters do to, so why is that? Because they recognize the difference between believing something and demonstrating it. Survival comes nowhere close to being demonstrated by the extant evidence.

william: Well stated: the white crow has been found therefore we need not look any farther to verify that not all crows are black.

And according to UFOlogists extraterrestrials are visiting Earth in spaceships and there is no need to look for any further evidence. Yes, if you assume that your position is already demonstrated, then nothing anyone else says will dissuade you of that. But that doesn't mean you've incontrovertibly demonstrated to the world that survival--or extraterrestrial visitation, or whatever--is scientific fact. Personal belief and demonstrated fact are two different things.

william: The materialist lives on a very slippery slope one unexplained paranormal phenomena and the whole materialistic paradigm comes tumbling down the slope.

True, but irrelevant to whether survival has been incontrovertibly demonstrated. If just one extraterrestrial spacecraft is recovered, the whole "terrestrialist paradigm" falls apart. But that doesn't mean that any extraterrestrial spacecraft have been recovered. Those are two separate issues.

ZC: If you believe in naturalism, you have to disbelieve in supernaralism and hence in survivalism. Period.

If you believe in survivalism, you have to disbelieve in naturalism and affirm supernaturalism. Period. (If those latter terms are to have any real-world meaning, anyway.)

ZC: If naturalism is true, the probability of survivalism is zero. This is the reason why any alternative naturalistic explanation (even in totally unproven or wholly speculative or arbitrary) has, a priori, more probability of being true than survivalism.

If survivalism is true, the probability of naturalism is zero. This is the reason why any merely possible veridical case (even when totally unproven or wholly speculative or arbitrary) has, a priori, more probability of being true than naturalism.

We can play this petty game of you reject my position because you hold your opposite position--or we can talk about the evidence for the positions. What's it gonna be?

ZC: Hence an assumed to be true naturalism is the background against which evidence for survival is "examined".

I don't agree with this. Established science (and history) is the background against which evidence for ANY particular empirical proposition is to be examined. Period.

It just so happens that this coincides with naturalism (at least currently) simply because established science has never discovered anything supernatural. In other words, evidence for survival needs to be examined against the background of what established science has discovered. If science had established the existence of human souls (which it could), or of miraculous events (which it could), or anything like that, then survival would have more initial probability than it currently does. But science has not made any such discoveries. The lack of such clear-cut evidence, in the background of clear-cut evidence that brain function appears necessary for mental function, is the only reason why survival has low initial probability.

Perhaps something like the AWARE study will change all that, but as it stands established science has never confirmed the reality of even one potentially supernatural event. If it had, naturalism would've been falsified already, and the initial probability of supernatural hypotheses would be increased. But in the absence of actual clear-cut evidence for the supernatural, it remains merely idle speculation--just like the possibility that sea monsters inhabit Loch Ness (even though that's not even potentially falsifying of naturalism), given background knowledge that such existence is unlikely (i.e., not enough fish in Loch Ness to support a population of plesiosaurs, no feces or skeletons, etc).

ZC: For them it's "natural" that a wholly speculative naturalistic "explanation" be more probable and hence a reasonably reason to reject the survival explanation.

This, again, mistakes the cart for the horse. The horse is actual science, and the cart it carries happens to be naturalism, but could've been something else (and might be something else in the future).

It's only natural that anesthesia awareness is initially more probable than veridical paranormal perception in the Pam Reynolds case only because science has clearly demonstrated that anesthesia awareness occurs, whereas that veridical paranormal perception occurs is still contentious. Again, AWARE might change that--but so far, no such evidence has been forthcoming.

ZC: This makes actually impossible that you can convince them through argumentation

If you want to convince skeptics, you need to provide them with evidence.

Would you be convinced that sea monsters exist absent dragging one to shore in a fishing net? Would you?

Why should skeptics be any less skeptical when it comes to human souls? Provide actual scientific evidence that they exist, and then we'll talk. Otherwise you've never move beyond tall tales that you favor (those implying survival) over others that don't pull you as much (those implying extraterrestrial visitation or the existence of sea monsters).

Show me. It's a simple, bottom-line request that's quite reasonable. You either have something to show for your affirmation that X exists or you do not. Changing the subject away from that evidence implies that you don't have anything to show for it.

ZC: Naturalists accept the logical possibility of falsification of their position, while doing all they can to avoid accepting the falsifiying evidence.

Saying so and demonstrating it are two different things.

You might as well say: Sea-monster deniers accept the logical possibility of falsification of their position, while doing all they can to avoid accepting the falsifying evidence.

If the "falsifying evidence" isn't up to snuff to begin with, such statements are just so much hot air.

Impugning the motives of sea-monster deniers is not the same as dredging up that sea monster in a fishing net. Plain and simple. The point is easy to see and undeniable when using an example of something that you don't believe it. The problem is that it applies equally to the things that you do believe in.

And it is easy to see with such analogies that appealing to all-powerful paradigms is just so much bluster, a red herring designed to misdirect you from the fact that, as a matter of fact, no sea monsters have yet been dredged up in a net. Your incontrovertible evidence of veridical paranormal perception simply doesn't exist. No misdirection will change that fact. Only providing such evidence, as AWARE aims to do, or as Ian Stevenson's combination lock test aims to do, will change it.

Until then, you say X, and I'll say Y--and let's call the whole thing off.

Kris: It does not suggest we have 8 million NDE accounts it suggests 8 million people have had NDES.

That's correct. I don't dispute that. If you want to be precise, of all those NDEs, we only have around 100 "testable" (not necessarily veridical) accounts of them.

Keith wrote, "I could have my cake and eat it too by appealing to it if I really wanted to preserve my position against all potential discordant evidence. Appealing to thought forms seems to be a similar kind of a rationalization."

Yes, I can see how it looks that way. But it is what it is. If the phenomenon of NDEs involves thought-forms, as centuries of esoteric teachings tell us, then that's how it works, whether we like it or not.

Personally I would prefer it if things were more clear-cut, just as I'm sure physicists would be happier if waves never behaved like particles and vice versa. But reality has a funny way of being more complicated that we want it to be.

Psi phenomena in general seem to blur the line between the objective and the subjective. An example is remote viewing, where the viewer will often give accurate details mixed with inaccuracies. Stephan Schwartz, who works with remote viewers on archaeological digs, feels that the inaccuracies are the result of "analytical overlay," i.e., the viewer imposing his own preconceptions, expectations, and assumptions on the material he's receiving. Something similar seems to happen in NDEs and OBEs.

The subjective quality of NDEs and other evidence for an afterlife is one reason why I'm doubtful that survival can be scientifically proven, at least beyond any doubt. In my opinion, it is an inference to the best explanation, but this is not the same thing as proof.

I would consider it the best explanation because it makes sense of a large amount of evidence, including NDEs, OBEs, apparitions, hauntings, poltergeists, past-life recall, EVP, mediumship, spontaneous or induced after-death communications, mystical experiences, possession, certain kinds of psychic healing, and the centrality of supernatural beliefs in most (maybe all) cultures throughout history (and probably prehistory). I would add that ESP and PK, while not evidence of life after death as such, do suggest some form of mind-body dualism.

Since I accept much of this evidence as valid, I naturally look for an overarching explanation, and the existence of a spirit world is the best one, I think.

Of course, if one rejects all of this evidence as ghost stories and tall tales, then there is nothing to explain. So it really comes down to one's take on the evidence, and this is a personal matter. That's why I characterize my position as a belief system.

I want to add that I really appreciate Keith taking the time to share his thoughts on this thread. Though we look at the world very differently, he always makes interesting points and provokes an energetic discussion. And it is dangerous to listen only to people who agree with us. This can lead to a kind of groupthink in which reasonable objections are overlooked.

I was tempted to write a long reply to Keith's lastest post, but it will resist the temptation, since that I want to stick to my decision of not discussing the afterlife with him.

However I'm extremely curious about the possible Keith's replies to the following simple and straighforward 10 questions:

1-Keith is the executive director of an naturalist organization whose explicit mission and purpose is the promoting and defense of a naturalistic worldview

http://www.infidels.org/

My straightforward question is: What does "promotion" and "defense" of a naturalistic worldview means, implies or entails when examining the evidence for survival?

2-Is accepting the evidence for survival (and hence for the supernatural) compatible with that explicit purpose of your organization? Does not it causes a conflict of interests?

3-If afterlife evidence were discussed in a cour of law, and based on the explicit purposes and mission of the secular web and infidels, do you think that such court of law would accept the testimony of a member of it as an unbiased expert testimony about NDEs?

4-How does Keith Augustine avoid, psychologically, that the purpose of your organization conflicts with the (possible, for the argument's sake) evidence for survival?

What method do you use for attaining such impartiality and objectivity, in spite of your professional and personal commitments with an organization with an explicit anti-survivalist mission?

5-How do you explain that most leading NDE researchers don't accept your hallucinatory hypothesis?

6-If your answer for the question 5 is that most NDE researchers are biased against the hallucinatory hypothesis, what prevent a member (like you) of the secular web, whose explicit mission seems to exclude survival, of having a similar bias (in favor of the hallucinatory hypothesis)?

7-You have said that a positive AWARE result will convince you of the survival hypothesis for some NDEs.

-What would you consider, exactly, a "positive" evidence in the AWARE study?

8-In reply to Gerald's question, Vitor mentioned a paper entitled "A CASE OP APPARENT COMMUNICATION THROUGH A MEDIUM BY A PERSON LIVING, BUT SUFFERING FROM SENILE DEMENTIA." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, nº 21, May 1923, pp. 87-92" which can be downloaded here:

Download link:
http://www.4shared.com/file/235208907/3f6d871a/piper1923.html

Gerald apparently didn't dare or want to comment or answer to it, in spite of being a relevant paper and straightforward reply to his explicit question.

My question for you is: Don't you consider such paper as evidence against the production hypothesis and in favor of survival?

I'm not asking if it's "uncontroversial" evidence, only if, in your view, it is evidence at all.

9-What would happen if, after examining the evidence for survival, you're reasonably well satisfied that the evidence is good but it's even controversial for other people?

Would you accept the evidence based on your own personal critical evaluation, or you'd dismiss it because it's even controversial?

Perhaps I could formulate this question in a better way like this: What kind of claim would Keith Augustine accept to be true based on scientific evidence, even if it's still controversial for mainstream science?

10-Would you abandon or leave the infidel organization if positive evidence for survival is found in the AWARE study?

Erich, your conversation with your daughter was hilarious. I like your style!

I also should respond to Keith's point about UFOs. Basically he says there is approximately as much evidence for UFOs as there is for an afterlife, so why not accept the existence of UFOs also?

Though I haven't studied UFOs, my impression is that there is such a large body of eyewitness testimony that *something* must be going on. However, I wouldn't say that extraterrestrial spacecraft are the best explanation. I would classify UFOs as part of a larger phenomenon of unexplained aerial apparitions, such as Marian apparitions (appearances of the Virgin Mary) and sailing ships floating in the sky (commonly reported in earlier eras).

Similarly, reports of encounters with aliens seem to be part of a long tradition of stories about leprechauns, fairies, elves, etc., which were the "little green men" of their day.

My best guess is that while some of these accounts are undoubtedly hoaxes or tall tales (like the "angels of Mons"), others involve some kind of paranormal phenomenon, possibly a perception of otherdimensional entities or the manifestation of (yet again) thought-forms, possibly focused by the collective energy of a crowd.

I've written elsewhere about alien abductions. My guess is that some of these experiences are OBEs that were mistakenly interpreted as physical, bodily events. The "abductees'" reports of aliens, spacecraft, etc., probably represent "analytical overlay" on their part - images formed according to their expectations. People in previous eras with different expectations might have experienced themselves being carried off by "little folk" in the forest, or by tribal gods, etc.

Incidentally, I don't agree with Keith's premise that the evidence for UFOs is on par with evidence for survival. It seems to me that the survival evidence is superior, because in some cases it allows for testing under controlled conditions. There are, for instance, detailed transcripts of sessions with mediums in which a great deal of evidential material was produced, often under conditions that make fraud unlikely or even impossible. Similarly, the AWARE project is an attempt to study NDEs under somewhat controlled conditions.

As far as I know, UFO studies rely almost entirely on eyewitness testimony, supplemented by photos and videos (which unfortunately can be and have been faked). Though I still think there is enough eyewitness testimony to indicate that something is happening, I don't think this kind of evidence is as good as the overall evidence for survival, which includes more than eyewitness testimony alone.


Zetetic chick said: "Hey Julio, what happened to your articles on Keith's papers? You promised to having them ready before tuesday, and today is thursday!"

It is almost ready (I mean, part 1. Part 2 and 3 are also regarding his papers on JNDS, so they will be about the same size, perhaps smaller due to some possible redundancy in comments that will be then left out. Part 4 is about the final letters that he exchanged with some guys there, so it won't be too big; part 5 is about his updated version on the web, and he has already told me that there has been little additions. So, most likely, I have already done a third of the whole work that I intend to put in that). I expect to send it to Keith tomorrow. I really would like to post it together with his comments. But maybe, if he wouldn't mind, I will post it before his comments, but after his reading the text. That would be not only corteous to him (and I must say, deservedly so, due to the quality of the exchanges that - I at least - have had with him) but that would also avoid, say, silly mistakes from me being left without correction (if Keith spots a problem with some thing that I say, he can immediately tell me and I can check it).

Well, Bruce Greyson replied to my email. He said: "No, you have confused two potentials that Spetzler described on page 869 of his 1988 article. The BAEP is the auditory (sound) evoked potential that was delivered by loud clicks in Pam Reynolds's ears, and they were delivered at a rate of 11-33/sec -- that is, 11-33 Hz. It was not that auditory stimulation (BAEP), but rather the SSEP (somatosensory evoked potential, a touch stimulation) that was Spetzler wrote delivered to the median nerve on the wrist at a rate of 4-8 Hz."

I took a look again at the article, and I basically think he is correct. So, how come Pam did not hear those damned clicks? If she was hearing through her ears (as materialists will have it), then she should have heard them.

Julio

Ben, she was actually getting upset towards the end of the exercise. It took a bit to get her laughing again.

Keith, I guess where we have to leave off is that I am wondering who appointed you (and your naturalist buddies) to be the judges of what is "extraordinary" or not. The answer is, of course, that no one did. You built your own throne and then sat in it. You assumed that role and I do not accept your assumption.

People experience paranormal (I hate that word becuase, by using it, the user necessarily buys into the agenda you have set) events every day. Many people regularly have NDEs, OBEs, ESP, precognition, etc, etc. These things have been a part of human experience since time began.

I have personally had these types of experiences. I am an actuarial by profession. I know how to think and evaluate. I do it all day long 5 days a week, year after year. A sufficient number of my personal experiences defy the odds of mere coincidence and/or other materialist theories. A sufficent number of my experiences correlate to a high enough level with those reported by other people that I have to conclude that there is something real going on here. I see nothing "extraordinary" about these experiences.

I could be a liar. I am willing to make personal contact and take a lie dector test (seriously).

But if you want to say that I am mistaken and/or deluded, then, again, I have to ask why I would even take meaningful notice of your criticism on those grounds, let alone allow myself to be persuaded by your assertions of such. Who are you to tell me what is or is not real?

Apparently, best I can see, you are of the self appointed chosen class who know better because.....well because....I surmise that you only believe in what's real defined by the criteria that can it by measured and repeated a la basic college science 101. If I bump into it will I get I bloody nose. It's real. Ho hum. Ultimately just another high priest imposing some form of low grade woo woo on the great unwashed........

I think I was somewhere between 10 and 12 years old when I realized the scientific method's usefulness, the value of materialism for producing material things and that, no badly how much I wanted it to be otherwise, physics wouldn't allow me to ski uphill. Then, having accepted the arena of materialism and its useful roll, I continued to mature and moved on to become interested in exploring the rest of life.

Yes, yes, yes, there are many people who make claims of possessing paranormal powers, seeing ghosts, UFOs and all that who are liars, insane, or generally fools of some sort. So what?

The same kind of people also make fraudulent or otherwise inaccurate scientific claims.

Personally, now that I have read some your naturalist creed, I find your position to be "extraordinary".

But that's just me.

All; esp Keith,
please forgive my somewhat venomous rambling in my last comment.

That labeling of "extraordinay" irks me.

Keith, your analogy of comparing a claim of NDE to someone saying that they have a nuclear missile is completely spurious.

NDEs are at, what was it, 8 million in our population. Nuclear missiles are far less ubiquitous.

NDEs being a naturally occurring phenomenon could be experienced by just about anyone. Nuclear missiles being intensely technology and specific knowledge based - not to mention containing materials controlled by international laws, etc - can be proven to be highly unusual; especially in the hands of an individual..............need I go on. The two claims are not in the least bit alike.

This has been an excellent thread, one of the best I can remember. I've learnt a lot. Thanks Julio, for tracking down the info on the clicks.

Julio your comments made my day :)

Ok I am going to man up and do it. I am sorry for a lot of the negativity I have directed at you Keith. I took some comments you made on paranormalia very personally but enough is enough and I want the negativity to end.

I am sorry for a lot of the negativity I have directed at you Keith

This is a good example of spiritual awareness, Kris.

Thank you for the new information, Julio. That was very helpful.

Kudos to Kris for his most recent comment.

I think this has been a very interesting and valuable exchange. My only concern is that some of us may be placing too much weight on the AWARE study. It is only one study, after all, and there is a certain amount of ambiguity and subjectivity in most psi research, so I would not expect AWARE to provide any definitive answers. Most likely it will only raise more questions ...

"and there is a certain amount of ambiguity and subjectivity in most psi research" - not more than any other area of science, and psi research is producing better quality and and more persuasive evidence by the day. Also, it is slowly (and quietly) being taken up by mainstream researchers, for example Dr Julia Mossbridge, a mainstream perception psychologist looking at the sense of being stared at. The link is from a mainstream neuroscience podcast site, and details her work.

The times, they are a changing!


http://neuroscene.com/index.php?post_id=418719

I think as things stand now it is game over for hallucination explanations in the Pam Reynold's case. It cannot explain how she heard the conversation around here. The only explanation that remains is the idea her consciousness was outside her body, just like Reynold's stated. We win :)

There is no "outside" or "inside" the body. In a holographic universe we are everywhere at once. The idea that we exist only in our body is an illusion. As Sir James Jeans said, "the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than a machine."

"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."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126911.300-our-world-may-be-a-giant-hologram.html?full=true

And by the way, the only reason my hands don't float right on down through the desk they are sitting on is because of the negative charges of the electrons in my hand repelling the negative charges of the electrons in the desk. Matter is mostly ghostly empty space, and the sub atomic particles in an atom are more like a swirl or eddy in a stream than anything we've come to know as matter.

Julio, thanks for the information.

For a correct and objective evaluation of particular cases, we need all the available details.

After all "The devil sits in the details"...

PS.
I look foward to read your critique of Keith's articles.

I would be very surprise if the majority undergoing an NDE would pause to notice and then remember the reader signs in the AWARE study, but then again we have reports of flapping chicken arms, shoes on ledges of buildings and other trivial details. So, maybe.

I would think that probability of a notice and a rememberance would be increased if the proper wording is used on the reader signs. Something situationally appropriate like, "Be at Peace" or "Everything is OK", "Remember love".........

Really big bold font too.

May be one or two will come back with an accurate hit and that should be all it takes to secure the proof that people like Keith are asking for.

If it was the dying brain Pam should have heard the clicks and nothing else. If it was the separation hypothesis Pam should have heard the conversation but not the clicks.

It has to be separation.

Kris, maybe you or someone else here is aware of work already done in this area, if so, please point it out to me.

What I would like to see is an unbiased quailified and respected expert make a point by point - probably largely qualitative - statistical comparison between the NDE experience and the perceptions ocuring within it to purely hallucinatory perceptions as experienced by the mentlly ill, normal people under various conditions and drug induced scenarious.

I find that the word "hallucination" is tossed out there far too casually and dismissively by people that have little to no experience with these things.

In my own self experimentations, full blown hallucinations are exceedingly rare; even on large doses of various types of drugs. Perceptual distortions occur regularly, one may see mandalas and other shifting patterns, sometimes hear fragments of music, sometimes sense the presence of "spirits", sometimes feel a merging into infinity, but seeing complete people, places and things and with events following a relatively orderly and predictable sequence (like the NDE often produces) are extremely rare - I never had this happen personally from drugs - and seem to be of an entirely different quality than those encountered during "paranormal" states.

I will say that full blown hallucinations do occur during hypnogogic states, but again, these are far more random and physcho/spiritually meaningless than the OBE/NDE reports. My guess is that there are few, if any, qualitative points in common.

If you drugged me, without out my knowing it, and put me in a room and let the drugs take effect and then asked me if I was experiencing a paranormal event, I would be able to tell you "no" and I would tell you that I habe been drugged.

I'm sure that fellow explorers I have known over the years would respond the same as we have had this conversation.

Has this line of thought occurred to anyone publishing? Thanks.

What I would like to see is an unbiased qualified and respected expert make a point by point - probably largely qualitative - statistical comparison between the NDE experience and the perceptions ocuring within it to purely hallucinatory perceptions . . .

He doesn't specifically address the NDE experience, but this paper, written by Smith and Tart, does address the differentiation between psychedelic experience and mystical experience from Smith's perspective. The abstract reads:

"The descriptions in the literature of mystical experience and psychedelic experience, such as that induced by LSD, are usually written by persons who have actually experienced only one or perhaps neither of the two states. Because many of the most important effects can be understood by direct experience but only partially described in ordinary language, such lack of direct experience is a major drawback. Since there is disagreement over the question of whether mystical experience and LSD experience can be 'the same', it would be helpful if an individual who has experienced aspects of both states would compare them. One of the authors (ALS) describes his experience with both states. A particular form of mystical experience, cosmic consciousness (CC), occurred spontaneously; no mind altering drugs were used. ALS later took LSD on 12-15 occasions. Both states of consciousness involved alterations in time sense, subject/object boundary, cognition, mood and perception. However, the changes with CC were qualitatively and quantitatively different from those of LSD. The authors conclude that CC and LSD can be quite different states of consciousness, although we cannot completely rule out the possibility that psychedelics might sometimes induce the same kinds of mystical experiences that occur for non-drug reasons."

http://www.paradigm-sys.com/ctt_articles2.cfm?id=19

MH, Thanks. That sounds about right to me.

I think there is entirely too much weight given to the assertion that NDEs, etc are hallucinations brought about by chemiccals induced during surgery or lack of oxygen. There has to be a scholary way to debunk this type of debunking.

read Recollections of Deaths. It discusses these hallucinations verses NDES

MP: I would classify UFOs as part of a larger phenomenon of unexplained aerial apparitions, such as Marian apparitions (appearances of the Virgin Mary) and sailing ships floating in the sky (commonly reported in earlier eras).

Similarly, reports of encounters with aliens seem to be part of a long tradition of stories about leprechauns, fairies, elves, etc., which were the "little green men" of their day.


I agree (since it's Saturday--other days I have other theories). Except that these things may not be illusory, but rather temporarily real.

Incidentally, let's say the gov't. has figured out that these things ARE "paranormal." That would account for its conclusion that they constitute no threat to national security and that there is no reason to investigate them further from an Air Force perspective.

A paranormal explanation would also account for the coverup and close-lipped behavior by officialdom. If they "told what they knew" they'd be mocked (imagine the cartoons) and disbelieved by most of the populace, and by 99% of the country's opinion leaders and pols (at least in public).


MP: As far as I know, UFO studies rely almost entirely on eyewitness testimony, supplemented by photos and videos (which unfortunately can be and have been faked).

There is some supplementary evidence in the form of concurrent radar contacts, which have sometimes been tape-recorded, as in the Stephenville TX case. There are also cases of missiles being shut down concurrent with UFO observations by guards.

And there is suggestive evidence in the form of "furtive movements" by the gov't. in trying to hide evidence it had (the Kecksburg PA case) or denying possession of evidence it later turned up it did possess, later revealed by FOIA requests. I think a collection of "furtive movement" cases would make a good UFO book, because it's an angle that hasn't been systematically explored yet.

I'm not "into" the subject very much, but googling UFO missile shut-down and Stephenville UFO should locate informative links, and the Wikipedia entry on the Kecksburg case gives evidence of gov't furtiveness. Reading about 20 such cases of shiftiness should create probable cause for an official investigation of the topic.

"If it was the dying brain Pam should have heard the clicks and nothing else. If it was the separation hypothesis Pam should have heard the conversation but not the clicks."

Prima facie, it would seem so.

But let's play devil's advocate.

We might conjecture that at some level of consciousness the dying brain can isolate the conversation from the noise of the clicks if the sounds of both are heard.

If that is possible, it's one more small step to conjecture that the "noise" might be purged from memory and only the conversation recalled in much the same way that we rarely recall every detail of a scene in which a conversation that we remember took place.

Now you would imagine the recollection of the clicks would be hard to forget, but I also live with tinnitus, and most of the time I do not notice the ringing although it is always there and available for me to focus on. I have lots of conversations and it is never a recollected part of those conversations. It's background noise, not noteworthy meaning.

In fairness to the truth we have to consider something like that as well.

I am usually one of the first to jump all over assumptions Keith makes about what conclusions he thinks the evidence warrants making, and I feel compelled to do the same thing here.

If I can think of the objection, a skeptic can too. So I wouldn't break out the party hats just yet.

Yes but the clicks would have blocked the sound of talking. There would have been no conversation to isolate.

She also 'saw herself' being 'shocked' just before she got back into the train 'wreck'(Hotel California playing on the sound system)
I'm with Kris.

Kris: I'm no sound engineer, so don't quote my expertise in sound engineering here, but I do believe you can isolate and separate to some extent different layers of sound in a recording.

If the mind can do something similar, then the information may be accessible at some level of consciousness, though it would not also be something you would be aware of consciously.

Something to consider.

but what mind are we speaking of. She was unconscious :)

Reynolds was under the deepest anaesthetic state possible, covered by multi-layered drapes with clicking nodules in her ears which emitted a very, very robust signal.

Spetzler has said more than once that it would have been impossible for her to hear or see anything. Note...Impossible.
On the subject of 'failed anaesthesia,' Spetzler has said more than once, "You might be able to make a case for that in the first couple of minutes after induction, but not after"

-On Reynolds seeing the midas rex bone saw

"There is no way she could have seen it before or after the operation"

The skeptics' assertions that Reynolds 'imagined' the implement based on what she heard and then convinced herself that she'd seen it(how do you do that by the way, can the skeptics tell us ?) are so far fetched, to believe it you would have to be either,

A. A stupid Idiot
B. A skeptic with a very creative imagination desperate to hang on to your ideology.

I think the skeptics on this blog fit B.

Hello

Anti

What is your source for the above. It would be very useful

Kris,
The statements were made by Dr Spetzler on an NBC special, Back from the dead, in 2001. I have an old video tape of it, and I can assure you that.. that is what he said.

Michael Shermer is also on there saying what he always says.

I would prefer a written source for obvious reasons but that is something I can look at.

'I would prefer a written source for obvious reasons'

Yes, a scientific paper/report authored by Spetzler would of course have been excellent, but nevertheless, Dr Spetzler is 'on the screen,' and therfore on record and the programme can be found. It's from the horse's mouth.

Another point is that Reynolds says she saw herself being shocked back to life just before she got back into her body whilst Hotel california was playing. Her brain would have been severely depleted of glucose after reperfusion(return of the blood flow). She could not have been conscious by any definition otherwise they wouldn't have been shocking her.

Hi Everybody,

I have finished the part 1 of my critique of the exchange of ideas between Keith and JNDS guys. It is online already, but I only revealed the link to Keith and to my friend and close colaborator Vitor Moura. I sent an email to Keith now telling him that I will post the link here tomorrow.

I first thought of putting a reply from him right after my text itself, but since he declined, I will make corrections in my text if his further comments (through email, and not to be published, at his request) lead me to consider that changes are necessary.

Best Wishes to all,
Julio

The comments to this entry are closed.