even if so, there is other hard evidence, that our body, spirit and soul are separated entities.
This is very far from hard evidence. This is one story that really amounts to no more than an anecdote.
Seriously, if even a fraction of so-called "out-of-body-experiences" could be reliably shown to be real, there would be a literal explosion in such diverse fields as medicine, religion, espionage...
That consciousness has something other than a physical basis is an extraordinary claim. So far, there is no reliable, repeatable evidence to back it up.
hard evidence, backed up by many more. http://www.near-death.com/evidence.html
Dr. Ken Ring published a paper in the Journal of Near-Death Studies (Summer, 1993) concerning near-death experiencers who, while out of their bodies, witness real events that occur far away from their dead body. The important aspect to this phenomenon is that these events seen far away are later verified to be true. Experiencers not only witness events from great distances, but they have been documented to hear conversations between people at the same events. Conversations such as these have also verified to be true. An even more fascinating phenomenon occurs when the experiencer actually appears in spirit to someone, usually a loved one, during their NDE and it is verified to be true by the experiencer and the loved one. It is evidence such as this, if scientifically controlled, that can provide absolute scientific proof that consciousness can exist outside of the body. A scientifically controlled NDE that can be repeated which provides such evidence would be the scientific discovery of all time. However, science does not yet have the exact tools to accomplish this. But, science is coming very, very close. This kind of evidence and others provide very strong circumstantial evidence for the survival of consciousness.
the case for a creator pg 163
One scientist whose opinions were reversed on the issue is Wilder Penfield, the renowned father of modern neurosurgery. He started out suspecting that consciousness somehow emanated from the neural activities in the brain, where synapses can fire an astounding ten million billion times a second. "Through my own scientific career, I, like other scientists, have struggled to prove that the brain accounts for the mind," he said.9
But through performing surgery on more than a thousand epileptic patients, he encountered concrete evidence that the brain and mind are actually distinct from each other, although they clearly interact. Explained one expert in the field:
Penfield would stimulate electrically the proper motor cortex of conscious patients and challenge them to keep one hand from moving when the current was applied. The patient would seize this hand with the other hand and struggle to hold it still. Thus one hand under the control of the electrical current and the other hand under the control of the patient's mind fought against each other. Penfield risked the explanation that the patient
had not only a physical brain that was stimulated to action but also a nonphysical reality that interacted with the brain."
In other words, Penfield ended up agreeing with the Bible's assertion that human beings are both body and spirit. "To expect the highest brain mechanism or any set of reflexes, however complicated, to carry out what the mind does, and thus perform all the functions of the mind, is quite absurd," he said. "What a thrill it is, then, to discover that the scientist, too, can legitimately believe in the existence of the spirit."
Similarly, Oxford University professor of physiology Sir Charles Sherrington, a Nobel Prize winner described as "a genius who laid the foundations of our knowledge of the functioning of the brain and spinal cord,"11 declared five days before his death: "For me now, the only reality is the human soul."14
As for his one-time student John C. Eccles, himself an eminent neurophysiologist and Nobel laureate, his ultimate conclusion is the same. "I am constrained," he said, "to believe that there is what we might call a supernatural origin of my unique self-conscious mind or my unique selfhood or soul."'
But is it really rational in the twenty-first century to believe in John Calvin's sixteenth-century claim that "the endowments we possess cannot possibly he from ourselves," but that they must have a divine source?16 Is the Bible's insistence that people consist of both body and spirit-a belief called "dualism"-a defensible assertion?17 Or is the human brain simply, in the famous words of MIT's Marvin Minsky, "a computer made of meat," with conscious thought as its wholly mechanical output?
Consciousness, declared Searle, is "the single most important fact about our existence, except for life itself." 18 It was clear to me that the answer to the mystery of our mind would either be a powerful confirmation of Darwinian naturalism or a persuasive affirmation of a far greater mind in whose likeness we were created.
SURPASSING THE BRAIN'S BOUNDARIES
It was a news dispatch from the front lines of the scientific investigation of human consciousness. Published by the journal Resuscitation and presented to scientists at the California Institute of Technology in 2001, the year-long British study provided evidence that consciousness continues after a person's brain has stopped functioning and he or she has been declared clinically dead.19 It was dramatic new evidence that the brain and mind are not the same, but they're distinct entities.
"The research," said Reuters journalist Sarah Tippit, "resurrects the debate over whether there is life after death and whether there is such a thing as the human soul."20
In their journal article, physician Sam Parnia and Peter Fenwick, a neuropsychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, describe their study of sixty-three heart attack victims who were declared clinically dead but were later revived and interviewed. About ten percent reported having well-structured, lucid thought processes, with memory formation and reasoning, during the time that their brains were not functioning. The effects of oxygen starvation or drugs-objections commonly offered by skeptics-were ruled out as factors. Later, the researchers found numerous cases that were similar.21
While large-scale studies are still needed, the once-skeptical Parnia said the scientific findings so far "would support the view that mind, `consciousness,' or the `soul' is a separate entity from the brain."22
He speculated that the brain might serve as a mechanism to manifest the mind, much in the same way a television set manifests pictures and sounds from waves in the air. If an injury to the brain causes a person to lose some aspects of his mind or personality, this doesn't necessarily prove that the brain was the source of the mind. "All it shows is that the apparatus is damaged," he said.
Active research is continuing in this area and into other aspects of human consciousness.24 Meanwhile, the scientists who are committed to finding a purely physical answer-appropriately called "physicalists"-are candid in admitting that they currently have no explanation for how the brain might spawn consciousness.
Conceded Searle: "We don't have an adequate theory of how the brain causes conscious states, and we don't have an adequate theory of how consciousness fits into the universe."2'
Still, Searle and many others find refuge in their unshakable faith that science will eventually discover a completely naturalistic explanation. Given Darwinism as a non-negotiable starting point, there's really no other choice.
"I am firmly in the confident camp-a substantial explanation for the mind's emergence from the brain will be produced and perhaps soon," predicted professor of neurology Antonio R. Damasio. "The giddy feeling, however, is tempered by the acknowledgment of some sobering difficulties."26
Eccles calls this kind of attitude "promissory materialism ... extravagant and unfulfillable."27 Instead, many researchers are following Eccles's example by pursuing the evidence of science and the logic of philosophy wherever they lead, even if they point toward dualism. Said anthropologist Marilyn Schlitz:
I would take the position of a radical empiricist, in that I am driven by data, not theory. And the data I see tell me that there are ways in which people's experience refutes the physicalist position that the mind is the brain and nothing more. There are solid, concrete data that suggest that our consciousness, our mind, may surpass the boundaries of the brain.28
As for the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments consistently teach that humans are "a hyphenate creature, a spirit/body dichotomy," said anthropologist Arthur C. Custance. Then, quite significantly, he added: "To this extent there is no quarrel between theology and the findings of recent research."20 Custance continued:
[The Bible] makes it very clear that when the soul or spirit leaves the body, the body is dead and that if the spirit is somehow returned to the body, the whole person comes back to life.30 This duality is repeated in hundreds of places in the Bible31.... Indeed the formation of Adam as the first human being is expressly stated as the result of the animation of a body by a spirit, constituting it as a living sou1.32
Do Christianity and contemporary research really support each other, while at the same time contradicting the Darwinian claim that the brain is solely responsible for consciousness? As I went looking for answers, I didn't have to travel far from my home in Southern California. It was just a short drive to the house of a prominent professor trained in science, philosophy, and theology, who has pondered and written about these topics for years.