Author Topic: What Can We Make of This?  (Read 989 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline anthony_retford

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 629
  • Darwins +1/-0
  • Gender: Male
What Can We Make of This?
« on: October 10, 2012, 06:03:55 PM »
Dr. Eben Alexander has taught at Harvard Medical School and has earned a strong reputation as a neurosurgeon. And while Alexander says he's long called himself a Christian, he never held deeply religious beliefs or a pronounced faith in the afterlife.
But after a week in a coma during the fall of 2008, during which his neocortex ceased to function, Alexander claims he experienced a life-changing visit to the afterlife, specifically heaven.
"According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent," Alexander writes in the cover story of this week's edition of Newsweek.
So what exactly does heaven look like?
Alexander says he first found himself floating above clouds before witnessing, "transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamer like lines behind them."
He claims to have been escorted by an unknown female companion and says he communicated with these beings through a method of correspondence that transcended language. Alexander says the messages he received from those beings loosely translated as:
"You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever."
"You have nothing to fear."
"There is nothing you can do wrong."
From there, Alexander claims to have traveled to "an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting." He believes this void was the home of God.
After recovering from his meningitis-induced coma, Alexander says he was reluctant to share his experience with his colleagues but found comfort inside the walls of his church. He's chronicled his experience in a new book, "Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife," which will be published in late October.
"I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience," Alexander writes. "But on a deep level I'm very different from the person I was before, because I've caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right."
People are 'erroneously confident' in their knowledge and underestimate the odds that their information or beliefs will be proved wrong. They tend to seek additional information in ways that confirm what they already believe.
Max Bazenman, Harvard University

Online rev45

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1206
  • Darwins +37/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • Did your parents raise you to be an idiot?
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 06:32:18 PM »
I saw this article on Yahoo yesterday and I'll echo one of the main comments.  Since when is being in a coma the same as being dead? 

Aside from that the comment of "There is nothing you can do wrong" rubs me the wrong way.  So this guy can do like Sandusky and rape a bunch of little kids and that wouldn't be considered wrong?  Kill a convent of nuns?  Morality is thrown out the window with that sentence.

And the title of his book "Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife", leaves me very skeptical.  From the article this sounds like a personal, one time experience, not something that could be replicated.  What of others that have been in a coma and remember nothing?  Unless he brings some powerful evidence to the table, he hasn't proven anything.  We have just his word to go on.  And again, since when is being in a coma the same thing as being dead?  I don't know of anyone that has recovered from being dead.
Here read a book.  It's free.
http://www.literatureproject.com/

Could a being create the fifty billion galaxies, each with two hundred billion stars, then rejoice in the smell of burning goat flesh?   Ron Patterson

3sigma

  • Guest
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 06:46:37 PM »
He's chronicled his experience in a new book, "Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife," which will be published in late October.

It would be more accurate to entitle his book, “Proof of Belief in Heaven”. This is no more proof of heaven than dreams of flying are proof of Superman.

This is what he should have said:
Quote
"I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience dream," Alexander writes. "But on a deep level I'm very different from the person I was before, because I've caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality fantasy.”

Offline Nick

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10294
  • Darwins +177/-8
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 06:56:34 PM »
The guy should know that if you are still alive your brain is firing chemicals and you can imagine all kinds of sh*t.  Nothing here to see folks.

I did find it interesting that God lives in a black hole.  I guess the condo is full of the 12 apostles and many many saints.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline Quesi

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1986
  • Darwins +371/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 07:12:19 PM »
I'd never heard of the guy, but I found this video.  http://www.btci.org/bioethics/2012/videos2012/vid3.html

Not sure what the article says, but you guys will be pleased to know that there are waterfalls and flowers and BUTTERFLIES in the afterlife! 

Not sure if these  butterfly angels, are the souls of creatures that were once living butterflies.  But if they are, this is phenomenal!  Even insects get into the afterlife.  I get to apologize to the cockroaches that I killed when I lived in that dumpy apartment during grad school.  And if there are insects, then that means that there must certainly be mammals.  Old Fido will probably be there to great you.  You meat eaters get to thank the cows that died to give you your cheeseburgers.  It is going to be great.

However, it is possible that they were not REAL butterflies.  They might be eternal entities that just look like butterflies.  In which case, I guess, no cockroach souls.  No Fido.  No cows raised on McDonald's sponsored farms.  But it will still be really cool.

Also, it is important to remember that if there are waterfalls, there is gravity!  Perhaps someone would like to speculate about how that works. 

Sure hope this guy wasn't just having a dream, that was influenced by a swelling brain and all sorts of medications....

Offline Add Homonym

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2700
  • Darwins +219/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • I can haz jeezusburger™
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 07:52:22 PM »
The guy might have had total brain suppression at some point, but he obviously did not get better suddenly, which leaves a period of time when he was OK, and just in a coma. I just read to the "pink fluffy clouds" and then said "GIVE ME A FOOCKING BREAK".

I wrote this send-up of near death experiences 3 years ago. It's done in the style of the ABC Science show interview and transcript.



The Science Show, ABC Radio National.


Penetrating the Near Death Experience            29 Feb 2009

Robyn Williams

You'd hardly know it, but Colin Lazlo is a heartbeat away from death; standing almost casually on a Paddington street corner, Colin is about to throw himself in front of a truck in the name of science and philosophy.

There are many stories about what happens in the human brain near death, heard from people who've suffered heart attacks, or nearly died on the operating table. It is claimed to be a universal experience that transcends religious beliefs. Most see a tunnel of light. Some see lost relatives and experience a deep sense of reunion.

Colin, how's it going? I notice that you're starting to tense up a bit.

COLIN: Yeah, I'm feeling death approaching now, which is the mental condition that I'm really aiming for. As the stress kicks in, the hormones in the hippocampus and medula start to modify your body's self perception. You can start to feel disconnected from your body, and sometimes you feel as if you are hovering above yourself. I'm looking at the trucks. I saw a nice big one back there, but it wasn't going at the right speed.

ROBYN: Are you feeling any strange mental effects, now?

COLIN: Feeling kind of nauseus. That's pretty normal for me, this time of day on Monday. That's not going to distort my near death experience, though. I'm still doing a hell of a lot better than most people with a blocked artery in an emergency ward. That kind of health problem really distorts your perceptions, so I don't think those accounts could be all that accurate.

ROBYN: How different is your near death experience going to be if it's not done properly? I mean, surely it's not valid if you do it deliberately. It's like suicide, and the truck might kill you, so how will you report back to us what you saw on the other side?

COLIN: The truck will definitely kill me. That's the point! You can't be near death unless you are about to die. Typically, what is called a near death experience really isn't, because the person lived to tell a tale. I'm about to die, for sure, and I'll tell you what I see before I dive in front of the truck.

ROBYN: Surely, if you have a heart attack, and your heart stops, you are very near death?

COLIN: No, no. As I said, that's a common misconception. You are only near death if you died, straight after. Some of these people go on to live for years: I can be nearer death now, just standing on the side of the road. So can you.

ROBYN: That's a frightening thought, really.

COLIN: It is. People are near death all the time. Feel my heart, now.

ROBYN: I can feel it. It's going rather fast. How's that nausea?

COLIN: Yes, but did you feel it when it wasn't beating? In between the beats, I'm dead - just coasting on my life that once was.

ROBYN: People dying on an operating table are suffering from minutes of oxygen deprivation to their brain. Their situation takes them to the brink of death.

COLIN: And that's exactly why they can't be trusted. Their brains have been deep fried, and they've suffered a tremendous trauma.

ROBYN: But that trauma produces some strikingly similar results in each person.

COLIN: Ah, see. It's the trauma that produces it, not being near death. I have an advantage over them because the moment I get my near death experience, I can throw myself in front of a truck. People who are unconscious on a table can't do that. They have no control over the situation.

ROBYN: So, it's actually your commitment to killing yourself the moment you have a near death experience which makes you able to experience near death. Do you think your control over the situation might make your experiment a little different?

COLIN: Listen, I think the control argument is irrelevant really, because people who have claimed to have a near death experience are still alive. If they wanted to be taken seriously, they should have killed themselves immediately.

ROBYN: When I came here this morning, I thought you were going to deliberately throw yourself in front of a truck to induce a near death experience, but I can see that it's a bit more complicated than that. How long have you been trying to have a near death experience using this method?

COLIN: This method? This is more one of the pilot trials. I have only been doing this for a few weeks.

ROBYN: And has anything happened yet?

COLIN: Yeah, there was something a few days back. I felt like I was floating above my body and I saw lights in the sky.

ROBYN: That wasn't a near death experience?

COLIN: No. I didn't think so, and the fact that I'm still here proves it. It could have been gas, or weather balloons.

ROBYN: But, if you did get a real experience, you'd kill yourself?

COLIN: I have to, it's basically a contract if I want to have a near death experience.

ROBYN: Well, while we are just waiting here, perhaps we should discuss what has driven you in your life to research this area, and what your beliefs are.

COLIN: OK, well, during my university years I met an Indian spiritual teacher who was emphatic that near death experiences could be had as a matter of course in day to day living, and that they were part of a necessary preparation for death, and... *thud*

ROBYN: Oh! Shit. ..... He's been hit by a taxi.

Unfortunately Colin was killed by that taxi. It was fairly in-line with what he was aiming for, but as ever, we are left with a confusing legacy about what his message really was, prior to death. We have to take his work seriously because he gave his life for it. It's one of but a few controlled cases of a near death experience. We can only conclude that his near death experience was that of spouting complete crap to a journalist.

Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline shnozzola

Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 08:23:33 PM »
Alexander says the messages he received from those beings loosely translated as:
"You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever."
"You have nothing to fear."
"There is nothing you can do wrong."
If people only said those things to their children throughout life, the world would be a different place.
“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something."  ~ T. H. White
  The real holy trinity:  onion, celery, and bell pepper ~  all Cajun Chefs

Offline ParkingPlaces

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6310
  • Darwins +732/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Hide and Seek World Champion since 1958!
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2012, 09:37:32 PM »
If everything he says is true, WTF good does it do those of us who have no reason to believe his story. We are loved? By who? We can do no wrong? How come?

No, until someone can show me something more substantial than a memory, I will continue to doubt. Which I guess is fine, because I can do no wrong  :D

Either I'll find out I was wrong when I die, or I won't know diddly because I was right. In the meantime, if real, those that told the good doctor that he could do no wrong are doing us wrong by playing frickin' games with our lives.

And I'm jealous. How come I can't have an enlightening coma and write a book and get rich and live happily ever after? How come the good stuff only happens to folks who don't need it? I'm pretty sure that means I'm not loved by ethereal beings. (You real ones can barely stand me.)
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Online Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11906
  • Darwins +298/-82
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2012, 09:52:27 PM »
The thing I took away from the article is: he's not deeply religious but is a life-long Christian who attends church.

I died once, for a few minutes in 1997 after my head hit the windshield of my car twice. Died in the helicopter on the way to the UF Medical center in Jacksonville, Florida. I remember nothing, not even how the accident was caused.

So, I call bullshit. Also, how does being in a coma make one see Heaven?

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline changeling

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Darwins +15/-0
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 06:09:02 AM »
How did he know that satan didn't make him think that this
big black hole was heaven, as a cruel joke.
The level of dumb they have to sell, is only made remotely possible by the level of flocking their sheep are willing to do in the name of rewards for no thought. quote: Kin Hell

"Faith is the enemy of evidence, for when we know the truth, no faith is required." Graybeard

Offline stuffin

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 731
  • Darwins +26/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 09:56:22 AM »
This article was presented as proof of god by a member of a local news site I read.

My response was;

I'm sure if he was a Viking he would have found Zeus.

I must admit, the doctor has pretty good prose.
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run
 Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
Aristotle

Offline Add Homonym

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2700
  • Darwins +219/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • I can haz jeezusburger™
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 09:58:50 AM »
NDE = not dead enough
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12130
  • Darwins +646/-27
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 12:05:31 PM »
"According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent,"

Then he's either lying, mistaken or our current understanding is wrong.

"an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting."

If it is completely dark, how's he know how big it is?  How does spatial judgment work in the "afterlife"?



"I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience,"

No, he's not.  Or he was not much of a man of science before his "experience".  If he were a man of science still, he would be asking questions, not jumping to conclusions and writing books.   His medical license should be revoked.

Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline Noman Peopled

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1904
  • Darwins +24/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • [insert wittycism]
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2012, 05:50:09 AM »
"According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent,"

Then he's either lying, mistaken or our current understanding is wrong.
What he's remembering might not have happened when he thinks it did. Memories don't come with a time stamp.[1]


Over at Pharyngula, someone posted this:
Quote from: Dorkman
I don’t understand why people seem to think “I used to be an atheist, but then I got brain damage” is a persuasive argument.
I wouldn't even rely too much on memories of stuff that happened while I was sleep-deprived, much less in a fucking coma.
 1. I'm referring to the "experience" as opposed to "vision".
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
-xphobe

Online Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11906
  • Darwins +298/-82
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2012, 12:52:52 PM »
People like to validate their beliefs. Sad thing is, it's rarely for the non-believers[1] but themselves.

-Nam
 1. atheists
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline Gohavesomefun

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 94
  • Darwins +4/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2012, 08:27:55 PM »
Clearly, if someone is willing to risk themselves so much in the name of anything, call it science nor religion they need to revalue that decision, especially if they're healthy and have no reason to prematurely end what could well be; the only time they will ever experience.

Seems like a very big gamble to me or poorly calculated if he was expecting to be revived.
Quote
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. ”
A. Einstein

Offline Chronos

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 2317
  • Darwins +125/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Born without religion
    • Marking Time
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2012, 11:34:47 PM »
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.html

I saw the title and started reading it right until I encountered "Although I considered myself a faithful Christian ..." and that discounted the remainder of the article. If someone in the medical field is going to posit that god exists, and specifically the Christian god, then any number of experiences are possible.    /yawn/


John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline Lectus

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
  • Darwins +18/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • The messiah of mental freedom
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2012, 06:49:26 AM »
This kind of stuff only work with people who has a belief in God.

Why?

Because it's just something mysterious of the brain. It's not proof of after life.

I never seen an atheist experience such thing because it's not deeply rooted in his brain.
Religion: The belief that an all powerful God or gods created the entire universe so that we tiny humans can be happy. And we also make war about it.

Online Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6582
  • Darwins +515/-18
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2012, 07:38:56 AM »
There are many examples of persons who, having had some sort of brain damage, wake up to have other persons find their character changed.

There is a famous one in Canada where a perfectly normal man started to develop an unnatural desire for his daughter. He went to his doctor who referred him to a psychiatrist - the psychiatrist eventually ordered a brain scan and a benign growth was found. The growth was removed and the man reverted to normal. Then, about 3 or 4 years later the feelings started to return - another scan showed the recurrence of the tumour.

Basically, our brains tell us what reality is. The sudden, intense religious feelings that the surgeon had, were merely an artifact of the damage - it could have turned out that e.g. he became left-handed, or obsessed with cleanliness, or had improved hearing, etc.

All this is saying that religion is not real, but a state of mind.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline anthony_retford

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 629
  • Darwins +1/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2012, 09:29:54 AM »
Here is the link to Sam Harris' reply to that doctor.

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/this-must-be-heaven
People are 'erroneously confident' in their knowledge and underestimate the odds that their information or beliefs will be proved wrong. They tend to seek additional information in ways that confirm what they already believe.
Max Bazenman, Harvard University

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2012, 09:34:30 AM »
"I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience,"

No, he's not.  Or he was not much of a man of science before his "experience".  If he were a man of science still, he would be asking questions, not jumping to conclusions and writing books.   His medical license should be revoked.


Screwtape, 

Why are you allowed to "jump" to your conclusion as stated above but he is not allowed to "jump" to his ?


Offline changeling

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Darwins +15/-0
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2012, 10:02:42 AM »
The level of dumb they have to sell, is only made remotely possible by the level of flocking their sheep are willing to do in the name of rewards for no thought. quote: Kin Hell

"Faith is the enemy of evidence, for when we know the truth, no faith is required." Graybeard

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12130
  • Darwins +646/-27
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2012, 07:36:49 AM »
No, he's not.  Or he was not much of a man of science before his "experience".  If he were a man of science still, he would be asking questions, not jumping to conclusions and writing books.   His medical license should be revoked.


Screwtape, 

Why are you allowed to "jump" to your conclusion as stated above but he is not allowed to "jump" to his ?

In what way do you think I'm jumping to a conclusion?  What part of the process do you think I have skipped?

Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline kindred

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1115
  • Darwins +10/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2012, 08:39:48 AM »
Alexander says the messages he received from those beings loosely translated as:
"You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever."
"You have nothing to fear."
"There is nothing you can do wrong."
If people only said those things to their children throughout life, the world would be a different place.

Lies no matter how comforting have no place in a child's mind.

"You are loved" Very misleading. The kid will think it applies to all people and that EVERYBODY loves him when alot of people wouldn't bat an eye if he died. Human empathy is limited.

"You have nothing to fear" Really? How exactly is that conducive to a long life?

"There is nothing you can do wrong." I don't know, Timmy, you clearly made a mistake on this test.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 08:42:58 AM by kindred »
"Keep calm and carry on"

"I trust you are not in too much distress"

Offline Dominic

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Darwins +6/-9
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2012, 08:53:09 AM »
No, he's not.  Or he was not much of a man of science before his "experience".  If he were a man of science still, he would be asking questions, not jumping to conclusions and writing books.   His medical license should be revoked.


Screwtape, 

Why are you allowed to "jump" to your conclusion as stated above but he is not allowed to "jump" to his ?

In what way do you think I'm jumping to a conclusion?  What part of the process do you think I have skipped?

Do you really have the qualifications to state who can have a medical licence and who should or should not be allowed to write books ?


Offline kindred

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1115
  • Darwins +10/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2012, 09:01:38 AM »
No, he's not.  Or he was not much of a man of science before his "experience".  If he were a man of science still, he would be asking questions, not jumping to conclusions and writing books.   His medical license should be revoked.


Screwtape, 

Why are you allowed to "jump" to your conclusion as stated above but he is not allowed to "jump" to his ?

In what way do you think I'm jumping to a conclusion?  What part of the process do you think I have skipped?

Do you really have the qualifications to state who can have a medical licence and who should or should not be allowed to write books ?

He criticized the man's logic. You don't need a PHD for that.
"Keep calm and carry on"

"I trust you are not in too much distress"

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12130
  • Darwins +646/-27
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2012, 09:02:08 AM »
Do you really have the qualifications to state who can have a medical licence and who should or should not be allowed to write books ?

That doesn't answer my question - to what conclusions do you think I have jumped?

Also, I never said he should not be allowed to write a book.  I may not have said what I meant as clearly as I should have.  I should have said if he were a man of science, then he would not be writing a book claiming to prove there is a heaven based on his experience.  He needs data, and apparently there is none.  And as Sam Harris pointed out, he may be a neurosurgeon, but he apparently hasn't a clue as to how the brain works.

Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Online Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11906
  • Darwins +298/-82
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2012, 01:00:37 PM »
Does he have a Ph.D,or an MD? I don't remember. If an MD, can he be considered a "scientist"? Even if a neurosurgeon?

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline jdawg70

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1934
  • Darwins +347/-7
  • Ex-rosary squad
Re: What Can We Make of This?
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2012, 11:44:59 PM »
Does he have a Ph.D,or an MD? I don't remember. If an MD, can he be considered a "scientist"? Even if a neurosurgeon?

-Nam

Well, critical thinking doesn't really come to bear significantly in being a medical doctor.  Not often at least.  The important traits a medical doctor tends to need are the ability to recollect information quickly, source through reference material efficiently, exhibit a great degree of compassion and, certainly in the case of someone like a surgeon, have excellent dexterity for precision work.  Synthesis and generation of ideas isn't a big part of the picture really.

Differential diagnosis does rely on the examination of evidence and the drawing of conclusions therein, but the scope is technically narrow enough (even as wide as the scope of 'biological problems' is) to allow for a pretty high degree of compartmentalizing.

Kind of a broad generalization maybe, so take with the appropriate number of grains of salt.  But I don't think 'scientist' is typically an appropriate label for most practicing MDs.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard