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Thanks for the heads-up Michael.
I was starting to think Science and the Afterlife Experience wouldn't be out until next year, so this was such good news to me I ordered it immediately after reading your post.
I've read Science and Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics and Science and the Near Death Experience several times over, and I anticipate relishing this book as well.

Chris is such a fantastic foil for pseudo-skepticism, I hope he becomes more publicly available now that his trilogy project is done. I would pay serious money to watch him debate Dawkins, Hyman, Randi, or any of the major skeptic squirrel-heads. He would mop the floor with them without even breaking a sweat.

BTW, speaking of books, what did you think of Nancy Evans-Bush's Dancing Past the Dark?

I'm working on Science and the Afterlife Experience right now and I can tell you it's a really great read. I'm planning on starting a thread on the book over at the Skeptiko forum shortly so that people can engage in a sort of "book club" and talk about their reactions there. It's definitely worth having on your shelf if you're even slightly interested in these types of topics!

I second Rabbitdawg's comment. I read the first two books and found them very interesting and well-written. I am looking forward to the latest one in the UK but don't expect it until sometime next month.

Having read both of Chris' books, I would agree with what everyone says - this is likely to be outstanding. Both of his other books certainly were. I'm really curious to see what he has to say about apparitions. Still waiting to figure those out.

"BTW, speaking of books, what did you think of Nancy Evans-Bush's Dancing Past the Dark?"

I've had a hard time getting into it. There don't seem to be many cases discussed, and most of the ones that are included really don't seem all that nightmarish to me. A lot of the book, at least so far, involves a general overview of NDEs, religious views of the afterlife, etc. She writes well and knows the subject thoroughly, but I haven't found it compelling enough to finish, though I do intend to get back to it.

Michael said:
A lot of the book, at least so far, involves a general overview of NDEs, religious views of the afterlife, etc. She writes well and knows the subject thoroughly, but I haven't found it compelling enough to finish, though I do intend to get back to it.
Yeah, it does have a bit of an intellectual text book-ish feel in certain parts, but for some folks that's part of the appeal. Nancy uses stories and cases studies to illustrate points, but I believe hellish experiences have been sensationalized so much she deliberately avoided the campfire story approach.
Hang in there, because she doesn't pull punches describing and discussing the depth, trauma and repercussions of distressing NDE's. Also, she brings up a several intriguing insights and interpretations of what's really going on.

Again, thanks for the Science and the Afterlife Experience alert. I should have it by Tuesday.

RabbitDawg you are always interesting and always informed. Many thanks for all your contributions and insights.

Yeah, it does have a bit of an intellectual text book-ish feel in certain parts, but for some folks that's part of the appeal.

RD, what struck me most about Nancy's book was it's rather non-text book feel. It seemed more like Nancy was sort of sitting there talking to me about NDEs rather than like I was reading a book. It came across more as a book for experiencers of distressing NDEs than anyone else. Also, it felt like it was targeted at folks who had struggled similarly to Nancy, who couldn't put their NDE in a proper context without readjusting their theology.

Philemon, I know what you mean, and in a very real sense you're right. Dancing Past the Dark has appeal from several different vantage points. In certain areas I saw it as a text book because of Nancy's obvious appeal to medical professionals.

One of my favorite quotes illustrating this:
It will be extremely helpful when health care professionals, psychotherapists, and clergy are able to help an individual deal with whatever the experience was, no matter what academics name it. (The difference is rather like telling a child there is nothing to cry about because he was stung by a wasp and not a hornet—the problem is the pain, not the label.) Page 105, paperback edition.

I have met so many people and have received so many emails from people who have a significant fear of death. So may I hope to receive a reply from you how we can overcome this fear?

@lara - the answer is knowledge. The best was to address this fear is to do some research.

Lara, Paul is right. You can start by following this blog and searching its archives. Also, here are a few additional internet sources you might want to look at for straight information about the continuation of consciousness: and its sister forum @

That's just the tip of my personal internet iceberg, but reviewing these blogs (and their archives!) should help you get a feel for what a rational blog focused on spiritual issues looks like, and these blogs have further suggested web links embedded in their blogroll.

Since there is obviously a lot of wistful, pseudo-scientific and pseudo-skeptic stuff out there, keep a reasonably wary, healthy common sense perspective. I've found the biggest problem is wannabe "experts" that have an axe to grind (beware of angry undertones) or an agenda to sell (as in filtering stuff through a religious or primarily commercial perspective).

Books, seminars and meetings abound, but at the end of the day, you have to do the research yourself and draw your own conclusions. But then, that's what makes discovery feel so wonderful and fulfilling.

Lara, another form of knowledge is direct experience. A couple suggestions off the top of my head:
1.Have a reading done with a reputable medium. I'm sure Zerdini and some other folks on this blog could suggest some names. 2.Attend training at the Monroe Institute (it's been around for a while and seems respectable) and learn to have an OBE. This would help convince you that the mind/personality complex can exist independent of the physical body just as people who have experienced NDEs say.

Direct personal experience is definitely best if you can find a way to obtain such an experience in a way that gives definite proof that the experience is genuine, especially when you look back at it. Unfortunately, that seems to be somewhat difficult to achieve. So while you seek your personal proof, you might want to do some research around the subject as suggested by Rabbitdawg.

Looks like a great book to pick up. I found this particular question posed by a skeptic a professor of Physics Robert Park he says of Psychokinesis. I wonder if anyone here would like to rebut it.

[I]f the mind can influence inanimate objects, why not simply measure the static force the mind can exert? Modern ultramicrobalances can routinely measure a force much less than a billionth of an ounce. Why not just use your psychokinetic powers to deflect a microbalance? [...] The reason, of course, is that the microbalance stubbornly refuses to budge.

My answer to this is psychokinesis is not a physical phenomenon so it obviously isn't going to show any effect on a microbalance.

Hello, Leo.

Criticism of Robert Park supposed psychokinesis can affect classical objects, ie objects where the effects of quantum physics are not noticeable, because a microbalance object remains a classic object. Evidence indicates that this assumption is false because psychokinesis, when it is voluntary, it seems to affect only quantum processes, ie microscopic psychokinesis, varying probabilities of occurrence of certain events, without causing any transfer energy, which not violate the principle of conservation of energy. On the other hand, we have the macroscopic psychokinesis, as cases of poltergeists, psychokinesis macroscopic but usually involuntary, so we could hardly have a macroscopic psychokinesis experiment under reproducible conditions.

I think Alzheimers rules out the Survival Hypothesis you just need to witness a Family member suffer through it to know conciousness won't survive Physical Death.

It's the best evidence to show that conciousness is confined to the Brain there has to be something else going on with NDE's, Mediumship and Reincarnation cases just not sure what it is.

I can't see why Altzheimers necessarily tells us anything about the survival of consciousness.

Loss of memory or change of personality due to disease doesn't seem to me any different to any of the other physiological causes for disruption of these faculties (eg inherited conditions, trauma etc). The transmission model for consciousness appears to fit just as well as the production model IMHO.

This is without even considering NDEs and other psi-related phenomena which have been investigated over the years.

Paul is right, Alzheimer's disease does not exclude the afterlife, because the brain can be an interface that when damaged by diseases such as Alzheimer prevents consciousness manifest properly in the realm of ordinary life, but when it is destroyed, the consciousness is free to manifest in other realms that would be the afterlife.

Then there is the phenomenon of lucid briefly before dying: if consciousness is produced by the brain and dementia destroys memories, then amnesia is irreversible. But amnesia is reversible as evidenced by these cases of demented patients recovered lucidity before they died, which suggests that dementia does not destroy memories, but difficult to access, so that the brain is an interface of consciousness, what consciousness which allows to operate in other realms after brain death.

Concerning Alzheimer's Disease, My mother just recently died after several years of senile dementia which some might call Alzheimers. She was in mental agony for the last 7 or 8 months of her life, but In spite of her lack of memory, paranoia and other mental aberrations, from time to time she would say to me, "Why am I like this? "What's wrong with me?" That is, it seemed that there was an intact consciousness somewhere behind the Alzheimer's symptoms, observing what was happening to her. I agree watching someone with Alzheimers disease is a real challenge to spiritual beliefs.

After my recent experience with my mother, I have my doubts. If it were not that I believe that I heard my father, who died in 1993, call to me in his very special anxious way a few days before my mother died and that one day before she died I saw what I think was an example of synchrony and a message to me on the side of a large truck stopped at a stop light with me that said "It's time to let me go." I know these things are meaningless to anyone else but to me they provide some meager evidence that maybe there IS something more than just the physicial.

Good point Juan.

Hi Amos. I think losing anyone is a blow to one's spiritual beliefs, whether to Alzheimer's or in some other way. Unless there is an experience to the contrary, nothing looks more final.

I don't think your experiences are meaningless to others, perhaps just not as evidential to them as they are to you. You know what you experienced, you don't have to justify it to anyone else.

I am not a fan of beliefs per se unless I understand the reason why a person holds them. Beliefs which don't have a rational basis are usually very sensitive to counter information and collapse under examination. That's why I favour beliefs based on research where possible, the more research the better.

"I think Alzheimers rules out the Survival Hypothesis you just need to witness a Family member suffer through it to know conciousness won't survive Physical Death." - Liam

Liam, have you heard of terminal lucidity? It's the process where people who have dementia and other mental illnesses "wake up" right before dying. They recognize people they'd forgotten who they were years ago, they talk like they are normal, and all of a sudden they get it all back. It really is amazing and it is a real thing. It's been witnessed numerous times.

Also the human brain has been compared to a radio or a TV, where instead of producing consciousness the brain just channels it. Sort of like if I dropped a coke on my computer and it suddenly lost the internet. The microtubules in the brain act to collapse quantum waves or something similar. Another words, brain dysfunction no more proves the material hypothesis than a television generates the programs it shows.

I am sure Liam will mention what about Frontotemporal Dementias that affects personality and speech. My response to that is personality is tied to memory so knowing that many patients with terminal lucidity have there memories back before death show that personality in frontotemporal dementia probably also comes back shortly before death.

I found this particular question posed by a skeptic a professor of Physics Robert Park he says of Psychokinesis. I wonder if anyone here would like to rebut it.

[I]f the mind can influence inanimate objects, why not simply measure the static force the mind can exert? Modern ultramicrobalances can routinely measure a force much less than a billionth of an ounce. Why not just use your psychokinetic powers to deflect a microbalance? [...] The reason, of course, is that the microbalance stubbornly refuses to budge.
Leo M.

Aren't there some psychic "stars" who could do that, at least occasionally? Even occasional success would be problematic for Skeptics, because it should Never happen. This would make a great rebuttal to Randi's Prize, if so.

Hi Alexander,

Regarding Hammond's theory, to quote a phrase, it sounds like bollocks to me!

talk about convoluted!

Hello Alexander1304.

I think the Hammond hypothesis on microtubules is not supported by the evidence and there are phenomena that seem to contradict this hypothesis.

To begin, we have cases of deathbed visions, where the dying person perceives deceased loved ones around, even the dying person can perceive loved ones that he or she believed alive but who had died. Also some of these apparitions can become perceived by persons accompanying the dying. Hence the deathbed visions point to the existence of spirits of the dead whose organic bodies were decomposed.

Then by the same line are cases of apparitions of the living and dead, who point to the existence of a vehicle of consciousness that remains after biological death, known as the etheric or astral body, and that can sometimes become visible.

And finally there are the experiments that indicate the existence of astral body such as Durville experiments on sensitivity exteriorization and Karlis Osis experiments as the psychic Tanous.

So all the evidence suggests that the afterlife is via a vehicle made ​​from a currently unknown form of energy independent organic body, both neuronal system as microtubular system.

And all this without the mental and physical mediumship, which also points to the same conclusion.

Hi everybody. Science and the Afterlife Experience is since a few days available in the iTunes Store, as well as the other two titles of Chris Carter. So if you have an iPhone or an iPad you can read it on these devices.

Thanks,Douglas and Juan.
I really need to stop to look through Internet for some original/pet afterlife theories...This time it happened because I've read about Tony Peake theory(also kind of dream-like afterlife),and then found that "one american physicist independently reached the same theore as Peake"...though they differ in details.But...I've read David Fontana's review of this book,and he expressed his difficulty with this book precisley because it very contradicts the evidence gained by SPR.The key question becomes - how credible the evidence?For example,I've recently read "Afterlife Unveiled","Afterlife Revealed",now reading Chris Carter - all these(and many other) books look very consistent.So maybe it is good criteria - whenever new pet theory comes,if it sharply contradicts the overall evidence we hav so far - it should be put into the doubt.Is it rational approach?

I will follow where the evidence leads and so far the evidence isn't compelling from the other side of the fence, but can I please see these reports of Terminal Lucidity before Death? and I will see how convincing I find them and if I change my mind any, thanks Liam.

Liam, on this page there is an article on the terminal lucidity, but be subcriptor to read the full article:

Also keep in mind that cases of terminal lucidity are just another kind of phenomena that suggest that the brain does not produce consciousness but it is interface of consciousness, because we also have NDEs, the deathbed visions, the apparitions of the living and dead, experiments on the etheric body, etc.

Hi Liam

I'd have appreciated a reply to my response to your original question. There doesn't seem much point in posting questions if you are going to ignore responses. Do you know about the different models for consciousness for example production -v- transmission? What about juan's observations?

Exactly what evidence have you looked at that you haven't found compelling - there is a lot of it, but in your search you don't seem to have crossed the 'terminal lucidity' concept so far, that puzzles me. If you are setting to out to do the research then fair enough, but that would mean it is early days on that journey.Perhaps you should reserve judgement until you have read more?

RabbitDawg gave you loads of links, are you seriously saying you have read them and didnt find any evidence that was compelling (if true)?

Whether you change your mind is up to you. I don't think it's anyone's job here to do the research for you. If you don't agree with other's views why not explain the reason?

Juan:"experiments on the etheric body"
And immediately A.Findlay "On the Edge of the Etheric" and Edward Randall "Frontiers of the Afterlife" come to mind.
Interesting, in England orginized conference at the end of August= "Sublte Body",approaching it from historical and scientific perspective

The post by Vimax, about 40% downthread from the top, is spam and should be removed.

Paul, Yes I know about the Transmission Theory of Conciousness but it still has a lot of holes in it and is not a sound theory I am not trying to avoid questions I just want some solid Evidence to prove that I am wrong.

I looked at the Site Juan posted and he is right you need to be a subscriber I seen the Summary of it though and doesn't sound all that convincing to me regarding Terminal Lucidity, Why is it most of the reports come from the 1800's and and not more recent reports? Please give me something more solid if I am to be swaded any, Liam.


Thank you for replying.

What are the holes in the transmisson theory in your view?

Why does it matter that reports come from the 1800s? Where would you draw the line?

Why, specifcally, is the summary of terminal lucidity not convincing to you?

The issue I have is that you seem quick to dismiss information but don't explain why. It is therefore difficult to enter into discussion about the matter.

As for solid evidence, I suspect that may need to be of a personal nature, I don't think I you will achieve it simly by reading.

I am getting the slight impression that you think there is some obligation on posters to provide answers to your questions, it may just be a 'style thing'. This isn't an information bureau who do you imagine is bothered whether you personally are swayed or not?

If you really want to engage, I suggest you contribute a bit more about why you have reached your conclusions.

Liam, have you read Chris Carter's most recent book (which is what this blog post was about in the first place)?

Liam, I found this article on the terminal lucidity:

It is true that most of the cases presented in this article are the nineteenth century, but there are some cases of the twentieth century, in addition to being of a distant past, these cases should not be automatically discarded.

About the holes in the transmission hypothesis, I think these objections are already answered by Chris Carter in this article:

Finally, it is true that terminal lucidity cases do not prove the transmission hypothesis, but the key is to grasp the big picture and make abductive reasoning, like fossils, homologies, etc. and biological evolution: psi abilities, deathbed visions, terminal lucidity, apparitions of the living and the dead, mediumship, apparent memories of past lives, etc., are evidence that converge towards the existence of a form of afterlife.

There is also other evidences as well that point towards consciousness being separate from the brain and they are

Acquired Savant Syndrome'

In acquired savant syndrome, people suffer brain damage, and rather than lose cognitive capacity they gain incredible mental abilities. This is not what one would expect if the brain is the producer of consciousness, if the brain did produce consciousness one would expect brain damage to lead to less cognitive function.

The third, 'Severe Hydrocephalus'- the fact that people who have less than 5% of their brain mass can go through life normally (and sometimes, even be above average mentally). Of course, it is sayed that that if you remove small parts of the thalamus of the brain you can lost consciousness forever. However, that is obviously the assumption that the brain somehow produces consciousness.

Paul I am not say posters here are obligated to give me any type of answers just cause I happen to have a different "belief system" to yourself and others here I am not trying to grind an axe, I am just trying to see what good evidence you and other people here have to show me why what I believe is wrong in the production model of Consciousness?

I look at the evidence from Neurology and past split-brain experiments which is I have to say rather damming to the Transmission model of Consciousness as it shows no evidence of an Immaterial Soul, My own theory of what is happening in NDE's for example is the brain is just going into a chaotic state as it is shutting down cause it knows death is approaching nothing Spiritual about them at all and they are called NDE's for a reason cause the people are Near Death not really Dead, Thanks Liam

Liam. Yes you do have a different belief system, but you don't engage in the dialogue, just cite neurological research for the mind = brain position. What about addressing the long list of types of evidence accumulated for the survivalist view. A partial list of areas:

Esp, psi
Mental mediumship
Drop-in communicators and cross- correspondences
Proxy cases
Death bed visions
Terminal lucidity
At-death remote appearances
NDEs with veridical features
Physical mediumship
Reincarnation evidence

This evidence has been developed over more than a century of parapsychology research by hundreds of well qualified investigators.

You evidently exclude all this material. Is this by assuming it is all worthless anecdotes, bad research, fraud, etc.? If so, you need to indicate on what grounds, separately for each category of evidence.

Hi Liam

I think you will find a range of opinions from posters on this blog from strong scepticism to full acceptance of survival based on direct personal experience. I don't think you have an axe to grind.

You have told us your view, which isn't an uncommon one but you still haven't answered my question about what, specifically, you think is wrong with the production model. Without this it is difficult for anyone to engage in meaningful discussion.

In fact you haven't answered any of the questions I asked. I have had a couple of unsuccessful goes at trying to get this information out of you, based on your own research. I don't think i am going to get anywhere so I am going to butt-out of this conversation for the moment and leave it to those who have an appetite for this type of exchange.

Sorry I meant you think is wrong with the transmission model, specifically. I note also that you haven't commented on the links offered by other or the comments by Juan.

Over and out.

All debunkers of NDE consciousness and the afterlife disregard the existence of non-human consciousness. Prenatal and perinatal psychology has found that the fetus has two distinctly separate "sensibilities." One is the somatic feeling of a wet, tight confinement. The other can only be described as a "consciousness." But it is far more developed and aware that the immature fetal consciousness. It has been called the "transcendent source of consciousness" and is said "to predate and survive human life." It also has been described as the "soul." At the risk of sounding promotional, check out "Spirituality Beyond Science and Religion" on Amazon.

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