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Evidence for paranormal aspects in NDEs
#1
If we accept well documented case studies as scientific (in the sense of scholarly) evidence, we must conclude that there is plenty of evidence for paranormal aspect of Near-Death Experiences.

In fact, the best cases of anomalous NDEs are described in the book The Self Does Not Die by Rudolf Smit (Smithy), Anny Dirven and yours truly.

However, if we want to limit scientific or scholarly evidence exclusively to easily repeatable data in experimental research, there is absolutely no evidence for anything paranormal in the field.

In my view, limiting evidence to experimental evidence, and dismissing case studies or clinical data as useless anecedotes, is downright foolish and indefensible.

Here is what we say about it in our book: 

Quote:Kinds of Evidence
There are roughly two views of the proper scientific method in the empirical sciences. Some researchers argue
that in any kind of investigation, one should strive to stimulate or elicit phenomena using the experimental
method, whereby all the conditions under which the phenomenon occurs are kept under control as much as
possible. When, for whatever reason, this procedure cannot be performed in practice, investigators must strive
toward an approach that is as close as possible to the experimental method. This, in fact, is the attitude behind
the worldwide AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) Study headed up by physicians Sam Parnia,
Peter Fenwick, Stephen Holgate, Robert Peveler, and others. Reflecting research methods from five similar
studies dating back to the late 1980s, they are attempting to determine whether patients are able during an
NDE to see visual targets: pictures placed outside their physical field of vision but presumably within an NDE
field of perception. In early 2013, Parnia published a book titled Erasing Death in the United States and The
Lazarus Effect in the United Kingdom, in which he discussed the initial results of this investigation. Several
new (not previously published) pieces of evidence for the continuation of consciousness during cardiac arrest
that meet our own criterion of external confirmation do, indeed, appear in this book.
Until now, however, not one patient—in this or any of the previous studies—has observed the visual targets.
In other words, experimentally, even this most recent study has not yet produced evidence of an experimental
nature. Parnia (2013) therefore argued for adapting the experimental setup in a follow-up study. In December
2014, various aspects of Parnia’s study that he had reported were reiterated in an AWARE Study report in the
peer-reviewed journal Resuscitation.
This method involving visual targets, preferred by investigators like Parnia and his predecessors, conforms
to earlier experimental (parapsychological) investigation of extrasensory perception during intentionally
produced out-of-body experiences (OBEs). During an OBE, a person perceives his or her consciousness to be
functioning outside of the physical body; though the experience is usually spontaneous, as during an NDE or
circumstances not involved in a close brush with death, some people report they are able to induce the
experience at will. Probably the most well-known example of a positive result in investigation of such
individuals is that of parapsychologist Charles Tart’s research subject, Miss Z, who observed a number
containing five digits during an OBE (see “Two Investigations Into Out-of-Body Experiences,”
https:// youtube.com/ watch?v=UwmZ1JohClc). Other famous test subjects in this area are Stefan Ossowiecki,
Alex Tanous, Ingo Swann, and Keith (Stuart Blue) Harary. Some of the field’s best-known investigators are
Stanley Krippner, Karlis Osis, and Robert (Bob) Monroe, the last of whom experimented particularly with his
own OBEs. In Spain a few years ago, successful out-of-body experiments were conducted by someone using
the nickname “qbeac.”
According to proponents of the experimental approach, the closer investigators stick to the ideal of
experimental research, the more scientific—and, therefore, the more credible—the investigation is.
Convinced of this perspective, proponents can go so far as to believe that only experimental research can
really be called “science.” All other kinds of investigation, then, are based on anecdotes, which can at best
offer a rationale for “real” scientific research, although they themselves are not classified as such research.
Proponents of another view hold that the experimental method simply is not equally suitable for all scientific
fields. Some phenomena can rarely, if at all, be summoned on command. For these types of phenomena, it
might be better to examine spontaneous cases that are studied or reconstructed as much as possible.
According to this view, these different methods are complementary, and the experimental method does not
constitute the sole or ultimate criterion for scientific research. So, from this perspective, it is wrong to dismiss
all the evidence that is not experimental as purely “anecdotal” and thus unscientific. It is possible to document
someone’s story and to support it with third-party witness statements. From this perspective, the more evidence
there is that a particular NDE entails verified paranormal aspects, the stronger that “case” becomes.
We are explicitly among the proponents of this second view. Obviously, we think it is fantastic when
evidence of paranormal aspects of NDEs is collected under strictly controlled circumstances. But that does
not mean that all other cases automatically become unscientific. There are simply many kinds of evidence,
and they can all have scientific value. For Parnia’s investigation, this perspective would mean that specific
cases of extrasensory perception that, strictly speaking, do not meet his experimental requirements should still
be considered scientific evidence.
Reducing scientific evidence to experimental evidence logically implies taking an agnostic position
regarding phenomena that cannot be demonstrated experimentally. Notably, if not surprisingly, skeptics
usually do not assume this agnostic view, opting instead for a militant naturalism. This stance applies to leading
authors like Susan Blackmore, whom we mentioned before, and Kevin Nelson, as well as other currentparlance
skeptical spokespersons such as Dick Swaab, Michael Shermer, and the late Rob Nanninga. From a
purely rational perspective, however, it is either/or: Either one seriously accepts as evidence case studies of
reported phenomena that can be duly investigated as cases or one takes an agnostic position with respect to the
reality of those phenomena (Barrington, 1999).
Besides the experimental and case-oriented approach, there is also the possibility of investigating reported
NDEs for patterns. Through this process, investigators can, for instance, try to determine just which attributes
NDEs might have in common. This method is important for finding out whether something like an NDE
phenomenon exists at all. It is also important to be able to systematically compare NDEs with related
phenomena such as the preexistence memories of young children (memories of a nonphysical existence as a
spiritual being without a physical body, prior to conception or birth) and to compare NDEs across cultures. The
possible outcome that they strongly correspond with each other could indicate a common or comparable
source or cause of the experiences. We are, however, of the opinion that encountering patterns in large
numbers of NDEs is not in and of itself enough to determine whether NDEs have paranormal aspects. Rather,
we believe that proper investigation of paranormal aspects must involve evidence at the level of the individual
case. We differ in this respect from experts such as radiation oncologist Jeffrey Long (2011) and his wife and
colleague, attorney Jody Long, even though we sincerely value their work in other respects.
And finally, we offer this point. Critics of this book should know that we certainly are not under the illusion
that we did not make any mistakes in our case summaries. However, if critics do find errors, we request that
they ask themselves how important those errors are in light of all the information presented; minor errors
presumably would not nullify an otherwise substantial amount of material. In any event, we will correct in any
future edition any errata of which we become aware.
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#2
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/the-science...ggest.html
Quote:Furthermore, science is not the only means of obtaining truth. It is possible to know things without science. Science has been around for barely a few hundred years, yet people have amassed huge amounts of empirical knowledge for millennia. Drop a scientist into a desert or a tropical jungle and he will be dead in a day or two, unless he happens to have native inhabitants of those environments to show him how to survive in the wilderness. Look at the ruins of past civilizations and you will see great architectural accomplishments that were accomplished before any one ever thought about the scientific method. Willow bark was used as an analgesic long before science discovered the aspirin in it. Moldy bread was used to treat infections long before penicillin was discovered.


On a similar topic I wrote:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-...lternative
Quote:When deciding the best explanation for a phenomenon, the beliefs of experiencers must be considered. They are there on the spot. There is no one more qualified to asses their experiences than they are. NDErs consistently say their experiences are real and that is a strong argument in favor of the reality of their experiences.

The opinions of non-scientist experts should also be given due weight. The expertise of mediums is shown above in the links to different forms of mediumship. Mediums live with afterlife phenomena every day. They know all the fine details that do not get published in books and parapsychological studies. Many mediums also experience other forms of ESP and they can tell the difference between spirit communication and ESP. Mediums say they perceive and communicate with spirits. They are the foremost experts in spirit communication and there are no better qualified experts on ESP and survival of consciousness.
The first gulp from the glass of science will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you - Werner Heisenberg. (More at my Blog & Website)
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#3
(09-01-2017, 11:56 AM)Jim_Smith Wrote: http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/the-science...ggest.html


On a similar topic I wrote:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-...lternative

Thanks, Jim, that's useful!
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#4
(09-01-2017, 10:14 AM)Titus Rivas Wrote: If we accept well documented case studies as scientific (in the sense of scholarly) evidence, we must conclude that there is plenty of evidence for paranormal aspect of Near-Death Experiences.

In fact, the best cases of anomalous NDEs are described in the book The Self Does Not Die by Rudolf Smit (Smithy), Anny Dirven and yours truly.

However, if we want to limit scientific or scholarly evidence exclusively to easily repeatable data in experimental research, there is absolutely no evidence for anything paranormal in the field.

In my view, limiting evidence to experimental evidence, and dismissing case studies or clinical data as useless anecedotes, is downright foolish and indefensible.

Here is what we say about it in our book: 

Hi, Titus

"Until now, however, not one patient—in this or any of the previous studies—has observed the visual targets.
 In other words, experimentally, even this most recent study has not yet produced evidence of an experimental
nature. Parnia (2013)"

As far as I understand it (and I may be wrong of course) the only patient (in a prospective study) who has had an OBE
in a research area, or an area where there was a hidden target, is Penny Sartori's patient 10. And he claimed that he "didn't twist his 'head' around that way, apparently.

I agree with the vast majority of what you've said there but I feel very confident that now the 'target' (laptop on a pole) is being taken to the patient, someone will eventually see it. The 'sceptical' crowd are not honest in this regard, they always incorrectly (on purpose in my opinion) state that no one saw the targets and therefore the experiment failed, when it's just not true.
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#5
(09-01-2017, 12:45 PM)tim Wrote: I agree with the vast majority of what you've said there but I feel very confident that now the 'target' (laptop on a pole) is being taken to the patient, someone will eventually see it. The 'sceptical' crowd are not honest in this regard, they always incorrectly (on purpose in my opinion) state that no one saw the targets and therefore the experiment failed, when it's just not true.
Hi tim
What makes you say it didn't fail?
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#6
(09-01-2017, 02:45 PM)Obiwan Wrote: Hi tim
What makes you say it didn't fail?

Hi, Obiwan. No one reported an OBE in an area with a board fitted (research area). So they were unable to objectively test the claim of patients who report(ed) being out of their bodies and looking down from the ceiling.

As I understand it, a failure would have been if dozens of patients reported OBE's in research areas (with a board fitted) and no one saw the target. 

"that 78% of CA events took place in areas without shelves illustrates the challenge in objectively testing the claims of VA in CA using our proposed methodology."

So 22% took place in a research area but no one reported an OBE in such an area.
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#7
(09-01-2017, 10:14 AM)Titus Rivas Wrote: If we accept well documented case studies as scientific (in the sense of scholarly) evidence, we must conclude that there is plenty of evidence for paranormal aspect of Near-Death Experiences.

In fact, the best cases of anomalous NDEs are described in the book The Self Does Not Die by Rudolf Smit (Smithy), Anny Dirven and yours truly.

However, if we want to limit scientific or scholarly evidence exclusively to easily repeatable data in experimental research, there is absolutely no evidence for anything paranormal in the field.

In my view, limiting evidence to experimental evidence, and dismissing case studies or clinical data as useless anecedotes, is downright foolish and indefensible.

Here is what we say about it in our book: 

Personally speaking 'Paranormal' is just a label for something we don't understand... there are masses of scientific studies that show reproducible effects in organisms that are not well understood, and a load more effects that are not understood and unique, or difficult to reproduce. Eventually people will come up with a way of understanding these effects, and incorporate them into the scientific literature. I think it's going to be difficult to get very far with hospital studies, it's just not an ideal environment to conduct experiments, we can't control them at all well.
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#8
(09-01-2017, 12:45 PM)tim Wrote: Hi, Titus

"Until now, however, not one patient—in this or any of the previous studies—has observed the visual targets.
 In other words, experimentally, even this most recent study has not yet produced evidence of an experimental
nature. Parnia (2013)"

As far as I understand it (and I may be wrong of course) the only patient (in a prospective study) who has had an OBE
in a research area, or an area where there was a hidden target, is Penny Sartori's patient 10. And he claimed that he "didn't twist his 'head' around that way, apparently.

I agree with the vast majority of what you've said there but I feel very confident that now the 'target' (laptop on a pole) is being taken to the patient, someone will eventually see it. The 'sceptical' crowd are not honest in this regard, they always incorrectly (on purpose in my opinion) state that no one saw the targets and therefore the experiment failed, when it's just not true.

I don't think anybody is going to recall hidden, secret, real time information in AWARE II, and if they do... the possibility for sensory leakage will cause any hits to be dismissed. AWARE II's lack of hits is going to get used as evidence that NDE OBE's are just sensory leakage, or information leakage etc. A real pity, but the proponents of the idea that something is leaving the body, seem determined to do it. Instead, I think we'll see breakthroughs coming from laboratory studies in the fields related to magnetobiology.
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#9
(09-01-2017, 04:34 PM)tim Wrote: Hi, Obiwan. No one reported an OBE in an area with a board fitted (research area). So they were unable to objectively test the claim of patients who report(ed) being out of their bodies and looking down from the ceiling.

As I understand it, a failure would have been if dozens of patients reported OBE's in research areas (with a board fitted) and no one saw the target. 

"that 78% of CA events took place in areas without shelves illustrates the challenge in objectively testing the claims of VA in CA using our proposed methodology."

So 22% took place in a research area but no one reported an OBE in such an area.

On the other hand, the study did produce a veridical NDE, so it was actually successful. Just on a small scale.
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#10
(09-01-2017, 05:25 PM)Max_B Wrote: I don't think anybody is going to recall hidden, secret, real time information in AWARE II, and if they do... the possibility for sensory leakage will cause any hits to be dismissed. AWARE II's lack of hits is going to get used as evidence that NDE OBE's are just sensory leakage, or information leakage etc. A real pity, but the proponents of the idea that something is leaving the body, seem determined to do it. Instead, I think we'll see breakthroughs coming from laboratory studies in the fields related to magnetobiology.

"....and if they do... the possibility for sensory leakage will cause any hits to be dismissed"

No, I disagree, Max. Double blind carried out correctly is good enough and we don't have any reason to suggest that the study coordinators won't do it right. If you are trying to suggest that someone is going to somehow accidentally see the laptop picture on the pole and tell the patient, one might reasonably ask why this didn't happen with one of the 22% of patients who had a cardiac arrest in a area with a board fitted. In other words, why didn't a nurse climb up and look at the picture and then accidentally tell someone that had had a cardiac arrest, what was up there ?

 "AWARE II's lack of hits"

When was this announced ?

"A real pity, but the proponents of the idea that something is leaving the body, seem determined to do it."

Of course and why wouldn't they ? Are we not supposed to listen to the patients ? They are adamant that they were on the ceiling and they back it up with accurate reports. What they don't say is that as I was lying on the gurney, "my compromised energy field interlocked with the attending doctors uncompromised energy field and produced a real time crystal clear visual view of my resuscitation which I then automatically altered to a birds eye view because that's how OBE's are nearly always reported !  

"I think we'll see breakthroughs coming from laboratory studies in the fields related to magnetobiology."

The only way this phenomenon will ever be studied, is on the assumption that "something" is leaving the body...or not. Thereby testing the claims of patients, not the claim of someone with a novel theory that doesn't have any evidence to back it up.
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