Bigelow Institute essays on life after death in PDF

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Something for the sceptics (weekend)

Bigelow Institute (all the essays)

 Corrected link:

Sam_Parnia_et_al.pdf (Parnia's)

(Quote) .."Yet, some people continue to dismiss these recalled experiences of death as being “unreal” – in part because they have been inexplicable using current models of understanding. Consequently, they have categorized them as “tricks of the mind” or “visions of a dying brain” – in essence unreal experiences that feel real to the person, but are occurring as either hallucinations, delusions or illusions. In this section, we will review the major limitations of this line of thought and what has facilitated the mischaracterization of these experiences as being “unreal”.

(Quote) "As people approach death, they transition into a coma and become unconscious from the perspective of others - physicians or otherwise – who may be observing them from the outside. However, during this period of deep unconsciousness, a fascinating transcendent experience emerges. This section will focus on the first dimension of this experience, namely a perception of a sensation of separation from the body and a realization of having died. As will be discussed and examined later, this is one of the major recalled themes that provides tremendous support for the continuation of consciousness in relation to death and runs contrary to the notion that these experiences are “unreal” (i.e., hallucinations, delusions or illusions)."

(Quote) "Based on the balance of probabilities and the evidence to date, it is proposed that the entity referred to as “consciousness”, “psyche” or the “self”, does not become annihilated; but instead continues after permanent death."
(This post was last modified: 2021-11-25, 10:22 PM by tim.)
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thanks I can't wait to dive into it
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  • tim
(2021-11-25, 05:48 PM)Larry Wrote: thanks I can't wait to dive into it

It seems to be a summary of the field and some of the data, retrospective and prospective (excluding Aware 2). And it's clearly composed fairly recently, so it looks like those who were hoping that Parnia and his colleagues might be finding evidence to support a materialistic perspective, may be disappointed, although I'm sure they will continue to be dedicated to the cause, nonetheless.

"...memories and conscious experiences consistent with a recalled experience of death or external visual awareness (authentic OBE) are quite different from the very rare phenomenon of CPR-induced consciousness (CPRIC), (Woerlee-my reference, not Parnia's)  which has an incidence of 0.3% during CPR attempts. During CPRIC, patients demonstrate visible external signs of consciousness. 

The most common sign of CPRIC is combativeness/agitation, groaning, and eye opening/rolling. Although more studies are needed, episodes of CPRIC likely represent a subset of patients who have regained a heartbeat and are emerging out of coma, but whose pulse remains undetectable when clinicians examine for it by hand."
(This post was last modified: 2021-11-25, 06:15 PM by tim.)
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(2021-11-25, 03:56 PM)tim Wrote: Sam_Parnia_et_al.pdf (Parnia's)

Corrected link:

Sam_Parnia_et_al.pdf
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  • tim
(2021-11-25, 08:14 PM)Typoz Wrote: Corrected link:

Sam_Parnia_et_al.pdf

Thanks, Typoz ! That was odd that my link didn't work. It did the first time when I posted it, because I checked.
(2021-11-25, 08:31 PM)tim Wrote: Thanks, Typoz ! That was odd that my link didn't work. It did the first time when I posted it, because I checked.

Sorry Tim, I should have explained. It seemed you had linked to a file on your own computer (somewhere on the C:/ drive). That link would work for you, but not for anyone else. I just followed the other link supplied by you, to find Parnia's essay in that complete list, then linked to that.
(This post was last modified: 2021-11-25, 08:50 PM by Typoz.)
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  • tim
Steve Taylor's essay is good, IMHO, albeit he keeps getting Michael Sabom's name wrong (Martin Sabom and yes I have told him). 

(Quote) "Even academics who favour materialist explanations of NDEs admit that the theories described above are problematic. As Harvey Irwin and Caroline Watt have stated, “It is fair to say that no current neurophysiological or psychological theory of NDEs is satisfactory.”

Earlier I suggested that when there are so many divergent suggested causes of a phenomenon (in that case, on how the brain might produce consciousness), it is likely that the assumptions that underlie the different suggestions are flawed. (Or in legal terms, a case based on so many varying testimonies would collapse.) And this applies even more to NDEs. 

The variety of different theories is bewildering, and there is almost a sense of desperation about some of them. You could compare it to a lazy school pupil who uses endless excuses to explain why they haven’t done their homework. No matter how ingenious the excuses, their sheer number diminishes the pupil’s credibility. 

There is also a similarity with how some fundamentalist Christians deny the evidence for evolution, based on their determination to defend a worldview, and a refusal to consider contrary evidence. The most logical way of looking at NDEs is to accept that they can’t be explained in materialistic terms. 

Like consciousness itself, they can’t be accounted for in terms of brain activity. They strongly suggest that our consciousness and identity are not simply brain functions, since they can continue when the brain is inactive. Together with the encounters with deceased relatives that NDEs often feature, and the conviction of life after death that they generate, this lends support to the idea that human consciousness may survive the death of the physical body."
(This post was last modified: 2021-11-26, 09:59 AM by tim.)
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(2021-11-26, 09:58 AM)tim Wrote: Steve Taylor's essay is good, IMHO, albeit he keeps getting Michael Sabom's name wrong (Martin Sabom and yes I have told him). 

(Quote) "Even academics who favour materialist explanations of NDEs admit that the theories described above are problematic. As Harvey Irwin and Caroline Watt have stated, “It is fair to say that no current neurophysiological or psychological theory of NDEs is satisfactory.”

Earlier I suggested that when there are so many divergent suggested causes of a phenomenon (in that case, on how the brain might produce consciousness), it is likely that the assumptions that underlie the different suggestions are flawed. (Or in legal terms, a case based on so many varying testimonies would collapse.) And this applies even more to NDEs. 

The variety of different theories is bewildering, and there is almost a sense of desperation about some of them. You could compare it to a lazy school pupil who uses endless excuses to explain why they haven’t done their homework. No matter how ingenious the excuses, their sheer number diminishes the pupil’s credibility. 

There is also a similarity with how some fundamentalist Christians deny the evidence for evolution, based on their determination to defend a worldview, and a refusal to consider contrary evidence. The most logical way of looking at NDEs is to accept that they can’t be explained in materialistic terms. 

Like consciousness itself, they can’t be accounted for in terms of brain activity. They strongly suggest that our consciousness and identity are not simply brain functions, since they can continue when the brain is inactive. Together with the encounters with deceased relatives that NDEs often feature, and the conviction of life after death that they generate, this lends support to the idea that human consciousness may survive the death of the physical body."

Thank for pointing out steve taylors interesting approach. Being an avid  follower  of Jeffery Mishloves podcast I didn't find much I wasn't familiar with. I would  be interested to know if anyone here has come across anything evidential which hasn't been discussed here or on skeptiko in past years?
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(2021-11-27, 05:48 PM)Larry Wrote: Thank for pointing out steve taylors interesting approach. Being an avid  follower  of Jeffery Mishloves podcast I didn't find much I wasn't familiar with. I would  be interested to know if anyone here has come across anything evidential which hasn't been discussed here or on skeptiko in past years?

There are a lot of essays, so hard to say at first glance. There's stuff I personally can't remember reading about but my guess has probably been covered in the past.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • tim
(2021-11-27, 05:48 PM)Larry Wrote: Thank for pointing out steve taylors interesting approach. Being an avid  follower  of Jeffery Mishloves podcast I didn't find much I wasn't familiar with. I would  be interested to know if anyone here has come across anything evidential which hasn't been discussed here or on skeptiko in past years?

It depends what you call evidence, Larry. Mainstream science by and large refuses to look at the mountain of evidence that already exists (because it isn't evidence to them...you can't have evidence for something that there is no evidence for) and even though new evidence is always emerging, they just wave it away.

Can Parnia convince assholes they have a soul? I don't know. But it's very encouraging to see the New York University school of medicine more or less (effectively) state that it exists (the soul).

(assholes in relation to their appalling behaviour)
(This post was last modified: 2021-11-28, 01:05 PM by tim.)
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