• We have updated the guidelines regarding posting political content: please see the stickied thread on Website Issues.

The Afterlife Experiments

Spudrick68

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
3,668
I have just finished reading about this, being from the U.K. I knew little about it beforehand. But having been featured on the HBO channel, those from the U.S. may be more aware of it. On balanceI can see that the intention of the experiment is honest enough, but that it did suffer from flaws in its design. I must applaud someone who has at least attempted to design something along scientific lines to try to prove life after death.

I have included a link from Dr Shwartz and his spat with the insufferable James Randi. I need to bleach my brain to remove the image of James Randi pushing a peanut accross Times Square with his nose, naked.

http://www.dailygrail.com/Guest-Article ... y-Schwartz
 
What flaws did you see in the design?

When I read this, I discovered the limits of my personal capacity to believe, as I couldn't spot a weakness in the design, but found I was physically unable to believe that John Edwards was anything but a fake. Which makes my opinion useless in the case - any unfalsifiable belief necessarily skews one's judgment. If he had been left out, I would have accorded my usual provisional acceptance (always subject to the fallibility of interpretation). Had he been included, and scored poorly, I would have been more inclined to accept the results!
 
Urrrrhn! I haven't finished reading it yet, but already, it stinks of some bunkum nut case trying to save face by having a go at s omeone behind their back! I very much doubt that James Randi is the one talking bolocks. Let's weigh it up... Someone who is a very distinguished, and disciplined individual, who neither imbibes alcohol or drugs, just to keep level headed, strives to stop charlatans and liars in their tracks from frauding the populace, or someone who tries to prove something fantastical, by using methods which are equally as fantastic, and holds on to equally fantastical beliefs, using theatrical liars such as Allison DuBois and that nutter off Crossing over, and said, " "There is no question this is not a fraud, some people really can do this, and Allison is one of them." Indeed...
I haven't read the book, but his site made my toes curl! :evil:
 
I bought the book second hand a few years ago, read it and lent it to my father, and was given it back after his death last year. I was looking at it t'other day, thinking, I must read that again just to make sure it really was as much tripe as I found it first time! :lol:

It all seemed like a big gimmick to me, for promoting stage mediums and TV shows.
 
What an interesting site! :D
 
Thanks for that Titch. I;m off to work now unfortunately but shall peruse the linky when I get back.
 
Pim van Lommel's idea of the brain as a transceiver is quite compelling. There's also some splendid Sheldrake on there with morphic resonance.
 
I bought Rupert Sheldrake's "Seven Experiments That Could Change the World " in the '90s. It made a nice door stop, until I binned it. ;)
 
coaly said:
I bought Rupert Sheldrake's "Seven Experiments That Could Change the World " in the '90s. It made a nice door stop, until I binned it. ;)
Shooting fish in a barrel :lol: Any response to the Horizon research or can't you get a connection under your bridge? No offence ;)
 
Serious studies of NDEs, seems fascinating to me, but, I fear some people are missing the point, and jumping the g un, as it were. Conciousness after brain death? Says who? Patients reporting sensations and images etc, when they were clinically dead, is determined how? Why is there no suggestion that the experiences are formed either before, or after 'death'? There is no way of judging when these thoughts have occurred, (Apart from the realistic one, of the extremely high probability of them not being at any point after 'death'.)
So, any experiences before, during, and after, cannot be ascertained, as dreams etc, don't have any real baring on time. (The whole NDEs could happen in a milli-second before, or after the fact.)
But I'm all for proper research into these things, by all means. I've always looked forward to so me serious research. (This means ommiting spiritualists, and other biases towards one way or the other.)
I hope that's a good enough response.
 
coaly said:
I hope that's a good enough response.

Not really. How do you explain the consistency of phenomena, similar motifs and engagements? Sam Parnia is quite clear on the matter, when your heart stops you are dead. As a senior clinician who sees people die and brought back to life on a regular basis I'd expect his findings to be detain you further than the usual knee jerk.

Linky: http://vimeo.com/11302423 17 mins in, for examples.
 
Ooooh! Dr Sam Parnia uses the same reasoning in number two on the NDE explanations as I suggested. :)
Interesting, but once the brain is damaged, there no longer is the "self" as it was before the damage, therefore, revival after death, resulting in the continuation of the personality, has nothing to do with brain and mind independance. And don't forget, this video is just a bloke discussing NDE (in a great way)... but not explaining it in any way.
(Still watching the video).
 
coaly said:
Ooooh! Dr Sam Parnia uses the same reasoning in number two on the NDE explanations as I suggested. :)
Interesting, but once the brain is damaged, there no longer is the "self" as it was before the damage, therefore, revival after death, resulting in the continuation of the personality, has nothing to do with brain and mind independance. And don't forget, this video is just a bloke discussing NDE (in a great way)... but not explaining it in any way.
(Still watching the video).

At least you stuck around long enough to find a bit you like the sound of. As for there no longer being a self with brain damage, on what evidence do you base that? How do you know for instance, that the true self isn't struggling to break through physical limitations.

If you accept the possibility (and I suspect you never will despite any evidence) that people out cold without a heart beat can perceive things they have no right to, then surely mind and brain have a completely different relationship to each other than materialistic science currently allows for.

The problem with an archly skeptical position - apart from the fact it gives you a curly lip - is it assumes current scientific models are reliable. As there are no reliable models for consciousness within scientific data that go much further than wakefulness/sleep, I'd have thought the scientific community would welcome any experimental proposals that take us beyond our extremely limited and mechanistic knowledge of brain function.

Even if you believe the visions are the result of brain stem function shutting down, which evolutionary biological process results in the notion that death is so thoroughly agreeable that those who have experienced it prefer it to life, which much of the data appears to suggest? And those who do come back from the dead take a more pragmatic and centred approach to the life process? (Van Lommel, etc)
 
I do welcome research which delves further into any phenomena, and being a sCeptic, rather than an absolute accepter (which I class as the opposite)...I am deeply interested in seeing the results in full.
I don't believe everything science offers, but use it as a most probable/possible, as science changes and evaluates, based on findings and facts. As soon as you shove a medium, or the ilk, into the equation though, then it goes tits up!
The NDEs people speak of, are pure anecdotal. There's no evidence but hear-say and spoken words so far, so, until valid experiments show that people who have been clinically dead, correctly identify objects/images, which are placed out of physical sight, and do this to an amount acceptable, then that's what they will remain. Do you see what I'm saying here? I won't accept something is so, no matter how subjective it seems, without necesarry back up. It doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but it does mean that it doesn't show up on radar, as it were. *grinwinkchuckleswerve*
 
coaly said:
I won't accept something is so, no matter how subjective it seems, without necesarry back up.
But your entire life is built on an arbitrary construct you label 'consciousness'. There is no absolute, fundamental, bottom line objective fact, merely apparently reproducible phenomena within the limits of your belief structures. Skepticism in its popular cultural form is no more than the fashion for taking current explanations and saying that can be all there is. It is a continued reversion to a temporal present in explanation terms. Propositions which advance knowledge are based on intuition, faith and a willingness to fail, not dogmatic resistance to new paradigms.

When you wake in the morning you become a creature of habit and routine, not an analytical observer. I consider myself a true sceptic, including the here today, gone tomorrow shibboleths of materialistic skepticism. I have no idea what consciousness is and nor do I believe has anyone else. That being the case the dismissive, 'show me the proof' posturing of the skeptic is pure dilettantism, the 'popular thing to wear, for a while'. With in your case not nobs on, but smillies.
 
You appear to have a bit of a hangup about people who don't agree with you, so I shall be brief.
I experience something, the majority of the poulation say they do too, and show me, I show them, we see others doing it, it's in books and video, it makes sense, it is the norm'. We don't fully understand it, but maybe that's because the puddle is trying to look in on itself. Trapped in darkness, one can feel one's forehead, but trying to see it is impossible, for now. But it's still there, to one. Then many many more people co me over, in the darkness, none of these hypothetical persons having vision, or met or heard anyone with it, and say they can feel that person's forehead, and they too have foreheads. They all feel each other's foreheads, and come to the conclusion that they have them, but don't know why or what they are for.
Trying to understand fully, the mind, might need times a thousand, the power of the mind, I don't know. But trying to decypher something, using limited resources, is always difficult. Maybe it's impossible to understand the brain, because to do that, means using twice the brains we have. It's akin to counting to a trillion, out loud, in ones.
 
coaly said:
You appear to have a bit of a hangup about people who don't agree with you, so I shall be brief.
I experience something, the majority of the poulation say they do too, and show me, I show them, we see others doing it, it's in books and video, it makes sense, it is the norm'. We don't fully understand it, but maybe that's because the puddle is trying to look in on itself. Trapped in darkness, one can feel one's forehead, but trying to see it is impossible, for now. But it's still there, to one. Then many many more people co me over, in the darkness, none of these hypothetical persons having vision, or met or heard anyone with it, and say they can feel that person's forehead, and they too have foreheads. They all feel each other's foreheads, and come to the conclusion that they have them, but don't know why or what they are for.
Trying to understand fully, the mind, might need times a thousand, the power of the mind, I don't know. But trying to decypher something, using limited resources, is always difficult. Maybe it's impossible to understand the brain, because to do that, means using twice the brains we have. It's akin to counting to a trillion, out loud, in ones.

What a tortuous analogy. Progress in all its forms requires creativity, the ability to think outside the box, in the current trope. Skepticism is the inclination to doubt, turned into a creed. At the limits of knowledge the logical thing is to say 'I don't know'.
 
Sceptical people do say, "I don't know.", but usually, "It's highly doubtful" Whereas the gullible would say, "It is a sign from (insert mythical thing)" etc. I am sceptical about most things, simply because I'm not a trusting person, and it's saved my arse on many occasions. We'd all love for life to be full of fantastic things like ghosts, esp, telekenesis, monsters and space ships, and that's probably the only thing fuelling it all. I'm not Spock!!
 
colpepper1 said:
At the limits of knowledge the logical thing is to say 'I don't know'.

At the limits of knowledge the logical thing is to say, "I don't know, but it's going to be a lot of fun trying to find out".
 
coaly said:
Sceptical people do say, "I don't know.", but usually, "It's highly doubtful" Whereas the gullible would say, "It is a sign from (insert mythical thing)" etc. I am sceptical about most things, simply because I'm not a trusting person, and it's saved my arse on many occasions. We'd all love for life to be full of fantastic things like ghosts, esp, telekenesis, monsters and space ships, and that's probably the only thing fuelling it all. I'm not Spock!!

You could have stopped at 'I don't know'. Everything else is marketing.
 
Dr_Baltar said:
colpepper1 said:
At the limits of knowledge the logical thing is to say 'I don't know'.

At the limits of knowledge the logical thing is to say, "I don't know, but it's going to be a lot of fun trying to find out".

But if you don't have the tools you're stuck with guesswork. Sam Parnia has dared to attempt a methodology. He deserves better than the 'believer' tag some ascribe to him. That's not skepticism, that's prejudice and ignorance.
 
colpepper1 said:
I have no idea what consciousness is and nor do I believe has anyone else.
So you dismiss all the research discussed in the Consciousness thread?
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9240

(No need to answer, we know you do!)

The research certainly gives interesting guidelines, even if it hasn't yet provided a full answer. But science continues to progress.

But you have no understanding of the scientific method, as is made evident by your repeated descriptions of it as materialistic or mechanical, even though it's been pointed out to you several times that modern science is anything but materialistic or mechanical - quantum physics is a product of a logical analysis of how the world actually works, and it's truly amazing.

I'm tempted to say more, but it would be counter-productive....
 
rynner2 said:
I'm tempted to say more, but it would be counter-productive....

I'm tempted to say more, but it would be counter intuitive and dismissed out of hand. As you contribute at least 50% of the board I assume you're more familiar with its threads than me.
 
colpepper1 said:
rynner2 said:
I'm tempted to say more, but it would be counter-productive....
I'm tempted to say more, but it would be counter intuitive and dismissed out of hand. As you contribute at least 50% of the board I assume you're more familiar with its threads than me.
Ooh, you're bigging me up! 8)

According to the viewing profile for my present incarnation (rynner2, since mid-December 2008), my posts are 2.07% of total.

My previous incarnation (rynner, since ~ 2001) does not now have any stats, but I doubt my posting rate was much different then, so I may have contributed another 7% in that period. So my total posts now are about 9% of the total.

But if that figure was adjusted to allow for the fact that I was one of the earliest members of this MB, my average posts per year would be much lower than 9%.

(Analysing the data is part of the scientific method, btw!)
 
Whereas common sense (no scientific method, finger in the air) says you pump out every bit of neo-rationalist propaganda you can lay your cursor on and use the board as a personal shop window. Only one of us can be right.

There's probably an equation somewhere that justifies it on a board relating to 'the world of strange phenomena'.
 
colpepper1 said:
Whereas common sense (no scientific method, finger in the air) says you pump out every bit of neo-rationalist propaganda you can lay your cursor on and use the board as a personal shop window. Only one of us can be right.
Fair enough. I leave that for others to judge...
 
But this is the FTMB, not ghoststudy. If this were Faulty Towers, then Rynner would be the General, but not mental. (Let's not use other characters now!)
Rynner posts what he believes (and many others) to be relevant, adding considerably to the discussion, usually, with material that has corroboration. There's room for all sorts on this board, and, as the mods will probably tell you... there are threads where us "rationalists" don't go and intefere.
(By the way, I'm no materialist mechanist existentialist either.)
 
colpepper1 said:
But if you don't have the tools you're stuck with guesswork. Sam Parnia has dared to attempt a methodology. He deserves better than the 'believer' tag some ascribe to him. That's not skepticism, that's prejudice and ignorance.

Attempting a methodology sounds like a very materialistic and mechanical approach to me. I thought from all your previous protestations at the scientific method that you'd rather he leave it at "I don't know" than reduce it to ugly nuts and bolts science.

I don't regard Dr Parnia as a "believer" incidentally. From what I've heard of him, he's aware that his results may be ambiguous but he also knows you have to start somewhere. For what it's worth, I agree with him.
 
Back
Top