For Your Perusal

Posted in Science on  | 3 minutes | 2 Comments →

I added three new documents to the Papers page. If you don’t wish to download them, simply copy the URL and paste it into your browser’s address bar.

11. A Review of Near-Death Experiences Michael Schroter-Kunhardt [PDF 324KB] This paper is a fairly comprehensive overview of NDE studies and their findings. The author notes that NDE / OBE experiences are ubiquitous throughout culture and time, citing their existence in the Gilgamesh epic, 5th century Christian church reports, and 7th century Amida-Buddhist accounts. Various skeptical objections are responded to, with citations. Support is offered for the claim that sociological, demographic and psychological variables do not influence NDE. NDE are experienced by the very young and the very old. The author cites four studies in which patients apparently experienced NDE under isoelectric EEG, and even in the morgue after resuscitation efforts had been abandoned. The author makes an important point that I’ve alluded to before: via the problem of other minds, cessation of consciousness cannot be experienced or verified. It can only be assumed given various materialist presuppositions. The author makes another important point that tends to fall by the wayside in the NDE debate: “…all meaningful human behavior is associated with the temporolimbic region of the brain… the implicit statement of nearly all religious experiences to represent the reality of another world cannot be falsified by neurophysiological correlates.” Regardless of one’s inclinations on the matter, this is an excellent summary that cites over 160 scholarly papers and articles which would serve those interested in further research.

12. Quantum Interactive Dualism: The Libet and Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Causal Anomalies Henry Stapp [PDF 216KB] Materialists strike me as out of step with modern science, and the author echoes those suspicions: “In spite of this seemingly relevant twentieth century development in physics, contemporary neuroscience and philosophy of mind continue to base their quests to understand consciousness on an essentially nineteenth century conceptualization of the human brain, ignoring the facts that the older conception of reality has been known to be false for almost a century, and that, in stark contrast to the nineteenth century conceptualization, contemporary orthodox physics has specified dynamical connections between brains and minds built intrinsically into it. …the quantum ontological model is a viable (i.e., not yet disproven) and logically coherent conception of the way that Nature actually works. The same cannot be said of local deterministic materialism.” For those interested in the free-will debate, the author addresses the Libet data and the EPR paradox in a way that seems to preserve compatibilism.

13. Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop Hayden Ebbern, Sean Mulligan, Barry L. Beyerstein [PDF 128KB] A reprint of the Vol. 20, No. 4 Skeptical Inquirer article, July/August 1996, addressing the famous case of the tennis shoe on the windowsill. Following Hyman’s imperative to attack the best evidence, the authors exploit a range of possibilities to justify doubt concerning one of the more prominent NDE accounts in the literature. The authors conclude, “Our investigation cannot prove that Maria’s spirit did not leave her body and return, nor that Kimberly Clark’s recollections and interpretations are wrong. It does, however, show that this case, often touted as the best in the area of near-death studies, is far from unassailable, as its proponents assert.” Of course, if one is a committed skeptic, anything is assailable. It’s quite easy, in fact: all you have to do is doubt.


  1. TruthOverfaith


    Victor Stenger apparently has a detailed review of NDE’s in the recent anti Christian book “The End of Christianity”.

    I’ll have to check it out.

  2. cl


    Wow… a comment that doesn’t amount to insult. Actually, he doesn’t have a “detailed” review of NDE’s. He gives a cursory history along with cursory accounts of a few NDE’s.

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