Author Topic: New study on what happens when we die.  (Read 3805 times)

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Offline TownL7

New study on what happens when we die.
« on: September 19, 2008, 08:30:23 AM »
New article in Time;
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1842627,00.html

Two things in this I find very interesting.
First, why the stories are all very consistent.
Second, how can the patients know and describe what and where the doctors and nurses were doing in the room after they had died.
Like it says, this pushes the limits of science. 

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2008, 12:04:04 PM »
Well,if this is true,the atheism is going to hell.And so are we.

Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2008, 01:36:37 PM »
Near death experiences^ are similar because of how the body reacts to trauma.  This has been known for many years and did not need a study or Time Magazine to promote it.

References available on request.




^. Near death, not actual death.  Death occurs when total cell-level failure occurs.
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Offline TownL7

Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2008, 01:46:57 PM »
Near death experiences^ are similar because of how the body reacts to trauma.  This has been known for many years and did not need a study or Time Magazine to promote it.

References available on request.




^. Near death, not actual death.  Death occurs when total cell-level failure occurs.

This relates to a new study.  There maybe a biological aspect for near death, that would attempt to explain why people from different cultures would have a similar experience.  Then again, this could be taken as a theist argument.  According to the actual study, some of these patients were dead up to an hour.  None of this explains how hundreds of patients were able to see the doctor checking his text messages or scratching his ass while they were dead.

Offline velkyn

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2008, 01:51:55 PM »
this seems a bit stretching

"Now, if you look at the mind, consciousness, and the brain, the assumption that the mind and brain are the same thing is fine for most circumstances, because in 99% of circumstances we can't separate the mind and brain, they work at the exactly the same time. But then there are certain extreme examples, like when the brain shuts down, that we see that that this assumption may no longer seem to hold true."

Did they have ekg's or anything attached to the people who had these "experiences"?  If not, then they have no idea if the brain was functioning well, kinda or not at all. The brain is consistent, and I suspect that's why the "results" are so consistent.  There has yet to be anything that shows that the "mind" is anything more than what the brain does.  and it sure doesn't say anything about an "afterlife". 

The only people I can recall actually being what was seen as dead for an hour are those who were exposed to cold somehow and were revived, like those who get themselves into freezing water and drowning. 
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Offline JTW

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2008, 02:25:16 PM »
Yeah but then explain the OBE.

Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2008, 02:31:31 PM »
This relates to a new study.  There maybe a biological aspect for near death, that would attempt to explain why people from different cultures would have a similar experience.  Then again, this could be taken as a theist argument.  According to the actual study, some of these patients were dead up to an hour.  None of this explains how hundreds of patients were able to see the doctor checking his text messages or scratching his ass while they were dead.

Dead for an hour?  No they weren't.  Death is cell death.  What this covers is near death.

This new study hasn't been done yet, just the pilot.  Previous studies have shown that the signs above the patients never are seen.  I put this in the same category as the abstinence only research; expensive and not too enlightening.  It would be better to spend the money on something else, but if this and the verification studies make this definitive we won't have to deal with this waste in the future.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2008, 03:33:39 PM »
Yeah but then explain the OBE.

imagination, hallucinations.  I know what a operating room looks like from above. I can easily imagine the same of other places.  The brain was still aware enough to hear people and that was incorporated.  I know that there are mentions of various details that don't seem possible but a clock time could have been mentioned and incorporated into the hallucination.  And I know from personal experience, that people's eyes aren't always completely shut even if asleep, etc. I don't find explaining it terribly hard. 
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Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2008, 03:57:58 PM »
Yeah but then explain the OBE.

Ask a pilot who's pulled high Gs or has been in a centrifuge.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2008, 04:04:51 PM »
Additionally;

Quote
Where Am I?
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2006/05/05

Audio: http://audio.wnyc.org/radiolab/radiolab050506.mp3

Where Am I?

OK. Maybe you're in your desk chair. You're in your office. You're in New York, or Detroit, or Timbuktu. You're on planet Earth.

But where are you, really?

This week Radio Lab tries to find out where you are. This hour: stories of people whose brains and bodies have lost each other. We ask how does your brain keep track of your body? We'll examine the bond between brain and body and look at what happens when it breaks. We begin with a century-old mystery: why do many amputees still feel their missing limbs? We speak with a neuroscientist who solved the problem with a magician’s trick: an optical illusion. We continue with the story of a butcher who suddenly lost his entire sense of touch. And we hear from pilots who lose consciousness and suffer out-of-body experiences while flying fighter jets.

...

Out of Body, Roger

I was there. But I, like, wasn't there. I was floating. I was looking at myself from outside of myself.

If it hasn't happened to you, it's likely happened to somebody you know. And whether or not you believe it, about one in ten people report having had one. "Out of body" experience, it's a dirty word in many circles. Which is perhaps why pilots call it "G-LOC" (gravity-induced loss of consciousness, pronounced "G-lock" not "glok"). Turns out this kind of experience (call it what you want) occurs quite frequently among fighter pilots. Producers Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler bring us the story. We'll hear from pilots Tim Sestak, and Col. Dan Fulgham on what it's like to lose yourself, unfortunately for us skiddish passenger-types, while flying a plane. Finally we'll hear from Dr. James Whinnery, who simulates G-LOC by placing pilots in giant centrifuges. His research monitors their brain activity as they accelerate to speeds inducing this loss of consciousness. But Doc Whinnery isn't just a scientist, he's a subject. And his research has taken him to some surprising places.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline PingTheServer

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2008, 08:30:18 PM »
NDE's are very interesting given the detail and similarity between all that report it.  It is one of the reasons I still have "faith" that there is something more than the physical, describeable world.  I'm just trying to figure that last part out.

Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2008, 08:37:08 PM »
Listen to the Radio Lab report.  It's not even close to mysterious.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline GotMooo

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2008, 11:53:05 PM »
Additionally;

Quote
Where Am I?
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2006/05/05

Audio: http://audio.wnyc.org/radiolab/radiolab050506.mp3

Where Am I?

OK. Maybe you're in your desk chair. You're in your office. You're in New York, or Detroit, or Timbuktu. You're on planet Earth.

But where are you, really?

This week Radio Lab tries to find out where you are. This hour: stories of people whose brains and bodies have lost each other. We ask how does your brain keep track of your body? We'll examine the bond between brain and body and look at what happens when it breaks. We begin with a century-old mystery: why do many amputees still feel their missing limbs? We speak with a neuroscientist who solved the problem with a magician’s trick: an optical illusion. We continue with the story of a butcher who suddenly lost his entire sense of touch. And we hear from pilots who lose consciousness and suffer out-of-body experiences while flying fighter jets.

...

Out of Body, Roger

I was there. But I, like, wasn't there. I was floating. I was looking at myself from outside of myself.

If it hasn't happened to you, it's likely happened to somebody you know. And whether or not you believe it, about one in ten people report having had one. "Out of body" experience, it's a dirty word in many circles. Which is perhaps why pilots call it "G-LOC" (gravity-induced loss of consciousness, pronounced "G-lock" not "glok"). Turns out this kind of experience (call it what you want) occurs quite frequently among fighter pilots. Producers Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler bring us the story. We'll hear from pilots Tim Sestak, and Col. Dan Fulgham on what it's like to lose yourself, unfortunately for us skiddish passenger-types, while flying a plane. Finally we'll hear from Dr. James Whinnery, who simulates G-LOC by placing pilots in giant centrifuges. His research monitors their brain activity as they accelerate to speeds inducing this loss of consciousness. But Doc Whinnery isn't just a scientist, he's a subject. And his research has taken him to some surprising places.
Very interesting...

Offline hayzelee

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2008, 02:58:37 PM »
Is it possible that the body can shut down, with the brain and sense's still working?
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Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2008, 04:45:13 PM »
Is it possible that the body can shut down, with the brain and sense's still working?

I don't want to speculate about what you mean.  Can you be more explicit?
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Evolutions Golden Toad

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2008, 10:51:47 PM »
Is it possible that the body can shut down, with the brain and sense's still working?

I don't want to speculate about what you mean.  Can you be more explicit?

As the brain looses oxygen it can start to hallucinate and your senses can get worked into the hallucination if they are still active,
While progress the progress of science owes much to such admirable human traits as intelligence, creativity, perseverance, and precision, it is also retarded by equally human but less admirable characteristics such as prejudice, jealousy, short-sightedness, and stupidity~Biogeography textbook

Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2008, 11:33:43 PM »
Is it possible that the body can shut down, with the brain and sense's still working?

I don't want to speculate about what you mean.  Can you be more explicit?

As the brain looses oxygen it can start to hallucinate and your senses can get worked into the hallucination if they are still active,

[salutes the technical skill and knowledge of Golden Toad]

Thanks ... while I'm informed by your answer, I'm still confused about what Hayzelee was looking for with the question they asked.  To me the question seems to imply something not included in the question itself.

(To be explicit: I take it that "the body" is the superset with "the brain" being a defined organ and the "senses" crossing multiple organs including but not exclusive to the brain.  Read as the question is written, "if the body shuts down" then by definition, it's "down" .. including "the brain" and "senses".  As asked, the answer is obviously NO, but I don't think the person asking meant what they said.)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 11:35:55 PM by Hermes »
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline Evolutions Golden Toad

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2008, 12:39:49 PM »
Is it possible that the body can shut down, with the brain and sense's still working?

I don't want to speculate about what you mean.  Can you be more explicit?

As the brain looses oxygen it can start to hallucinate and your senses can get worked into the hallucination if they are still active,

[salutes the technical skill and knowledge of Golden Toad]

Thanks ... while I'm informed by your answer, I'm still confused about what Hayzelee was looking for with the question they asked.  To me the question seems to imply something not included in the question itself.

(To be explicit: I take it that "the body" is the superset with "the brain" being a defined organ and the "senses" crossing multiple organs including but not exclusive to the brain.  Read as the question is written, "if the body shuts down" then by definition, it's "down" .. including "the brain" and "senses".  As asked, the answer is obviously NO, but I don't think the person asking meant what they said.)

I suspect he is being an accidental dualist, and partially misconceived of body and mind being separate. 
While progress the progress of science owes much to such admirable human traits as intelligence, creativity, perseverance, and precision, it is also retarded by equally human but less admirable characteristics such as prejudice, jealousy, short-sightedness, and stupidity~Biogeography textbook

Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2008, 02:57:28 PM »
Yep.  Probably.  Just making sure.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline TownL7

Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2008, 03:31:15 PM »
Part of the study is looking into if the brain and mind are separate.  I looked up some of the conditions of the study.  There was a previous study that lead to this extended study.  Study is done by a group of medical doctors.  All patients had the following to qualify: no pulse(verified by machine/hospital study), no breathing, no brain function(verified by pupil reflex), then revived.     

Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2008, 03:50:29 PM »
So, inadvertent lack of brain activity, but not cell death.

FWIW;

Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFFMtq5g8N4[/youtube]

(This study can't report on an afterlife state, only "out of body experiences"; OBEs.  As such, if OBEs were shown to be real, they should be delectable potentially without danger to the person doing it.  My bet; waste of research funds.)
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Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2008, 03:52:44 PM »
Part of the study is looking into if the brain and mind are separate.  I looked up some of the conditions of the study.  There was a previous study that lead to this extended study.  Study is done by a group of medical doctors.  All patients had the following to qualify: no pulse(verified by machine/hospital study), no breathing, no brain function(verified by pupil reflex), then revived.     

That's a bad criteria.  Pupil reflex may not equate to brain function.  I'd hate to see someone use this as a reason to run this study again.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline TownL7

Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2008, 06:16:53 PM »
Part of the study is looking into if the brain and mind are separate.  I looked up some of the conditions of the study.  There was a previous study that lead to this extended study.  Study is done by a group of medical doctors.  All patients had the following to qualify: no pulse(verified by machine/hospital study), no breathing, no brain function(verified by pupil reflex), then revived.     

That's a bad criteria.  Pupil reflex may not equate to brain function.  I'd hate to see someone use this as a reason to run this study again.

AMA standards.  Here is what wikipedia had to say on brain death,
"A brain-dead individual has no clinical evidence of brain function upon physical examination. This includes no response to pain and no cranial nerve reflexes. Reflexes include pupillary response (fixed pupils), oculocephalic reflex, corneal reflex, no response to the caloric reflex test and no spontaneous respirations."

The purpose of the study appears to be two-fold: One, see if brain and mind functions are different.  Two, look for a way to slow down body functions, thus controlling damage to the body.  Kind of like putting someone into a coma. 

Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2008, 08:59:31 PM »
Part of the study is looking into if the brain and mind are separate.  I looked up some of the conditions of the study.  There was a previous study that lead to this extended study.  Study is done by a group of medical doctors.  All patients had the following to qualify: no pulse(verified by machine/hospital study), no breathing, no brain function(verified by pupil reflex), then revived.     

That's a bad criteria.  Pupil reflex may not equate to brain function.  I'd hate to see someone use this as a reason to run this study again.

AMA standards. 

Understand, I'm not criticising anything you've said.  I'm criticising the study based on the complete details that you've graciously posted.

While the AMA standards may be proper in normal use, my concern is limited to the gap in how the researchers plan on performing this specific research.  There is a gap that begs to be tested again in the future. 

They should take this extra research protocol into account as part of the procedure for the operation as long as they do not add to the potential harm of the patient.  If they can't do this, that is a necessary limitation of the study. 

My fear is that after this study, and the lack of verified OBEs or (worse) oxygen deprived brains causing what seem to be OBEs (but are not) yet are interesting enough to hint at potential direction for research, will cause this gap to be identified and more research money will be sucked up into a nearly identical survey that addresses this issue.   These new surveys will likely end also with a lack of verified OBEs -- wasting money the second time around. 

Research budgets are not unlimited and it would be good to put that money toward a project that could tell us something important that we are currently ignorant of.  If the money gets spent on projects like this, let's make it definitive the first time so there are no second times unless they do actually find something interesting (OBEs or something interesting and unexpected).

The purpose of the study appears to be two-fold: One, see if brain and mind functions are different.  Two, look for a way to slow down body functions, thus controlling damage to the body.  Kind of like putting someone into a coma. 

Since there is control over the situation (as much as there can be), there should be time to slap a few sensors.  If they don't spend the marginal money this time around, more money will be wasted later.  The per-patient cost over the cost of the study should be minor when compared to running the test a second (or third) time.
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Offline TownL7

Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2008, 09:46:04 PM »
Hermes-the first study did result in the begging of money for the upcoming study.  You maybe correct in saying we may just get another hand out at the end of this study. 
I have tried to provide as much information as I can without having to pay for a copy of the first study, which is what they wanted.  Some of the narrative documents regarding OBE from the doctors point of view was very interesting.

Offline hideousmonster

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2008, 09:53:16 PM »
This is not the only such study.  Our medical science is at least advanced enough to know how long it takes for brain activity to stop after a person's heart and lungs stop working. People are legally dead when the brain shuts down, yet some people have been able to describe everything that went on around their bodies even when no brain activity could be detected. And we're not just talking sounds. We're talking detailed descriptions of equipment. Do we really think the brain suddenly becomes extremely perceptive and both it and the five senses function perfectly when it runs out of oxygen to the point that it has no detectable activity? There are a few books that compile evidence of true cases which violate all physiological explanation. "The Art of Dying" by Peter Fenwick is a good one.
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Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2008, 10:52:34 PM »
The issue with those anecdotes and studies is that they tend describe things people could guess, but not things they could not otherwise know.  This does not mean that the people are intentionally deceptive or unusually delusional. 

Remember, part of your field of view is a fiction; your brain 'corrects' the blind spot in each of your eyes where the nerve bundle pokes through the back of the eye and no cones or rods are there to capture light.
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Offline JTW

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2008, 08:11:36 AM »
The issue with those anecdotes and studies is that they tend describe things people could guess, but not things they could not otherwise know.  This does not mean that the people are intentionally deceptive or unusually delusional. 

Remember, part of your field of view is a fiction; your brain 'corrects' the blind spot in each of your eyes where the nerve bundle pokes through the back of the eye and no cones or rods are there to capture light.

That's not what this study said. It said specifically, and the reason it's so interesting, is that these "dead" people could NEVER have known these things. The doctors were completely astounded. One Dr. had to just stop thinking about it - just basically pushed it out of his mind because he couldn't accept the ramifications.

So it's not "guessing" at all.

Offline Hermes

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Re: New study on what happens when we die.
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2008, 03:01:38 PM »
The issue with those anecdotes and studies is that they tend describe things people could guess, but not things they could not otherwise know.  This does not mean that the people are intentionally deceptive or unusually delusional. 

Remember, part of your field of view is a fiction; your brain 'corrects' the blind spot in each of your eyes where the nerve bundle pokes through the back of the eye and no cones or rods are there to capture light.

That's not what this study said. It said specifically, and the reason it's so interesting, is that these "dead" people could NEVER have known these things. The doctors were completely astounded. One Dr. had to just stop thinking about it - just basically pushed it out of his mind because he couldn't accept the ramifications.

So it's not "guessing" at all.

Let's see what happens under controlled conditions...and hope that the controls are complete enough to not require multiple runs of the tests.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer