ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags spirituality , near death experience , consciousness

Reply
Old 25th May 2007, 11:47 AM   #81
davidsmith73
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,697
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
Her description of the location and the shoe are too specific to be coincidence. You're just reaching to anything to explain it as being anything but a real OBE. The idea that the brain would create an image of a shoe and the location on top of the building and that it would match it perfectly is... well I'm sure you have a better chance of winning lottery than coming up with that. I'm not saying that it's not possible that she might have seen it, but it isn't likely from the description of the story, and if she didn't see it then something is definitely occurring. What that something is remains to be seen.
Perhaps you misunderstand my stance on this. I was just offering the third exlpanation for the shoe report based on what info you had given thus far. I actually find it quite likely that ESP-type information can be aquired during an OBE, although that is just my personal speculation not based on available evidence (although there may be evidence for this I am not aware of).
The set of experiments you mentioned before whereby we systematically examine if OBE'ers can aquire information about a remote target, I find to be a very worthwhile thing to do. And I agree that it would not get mainstream credibility for a variety of sociological reasons. And I suspect it may work!

But I do have an issue with your use of the term "real OBE". The experience of being out of body is the central aspect of an OBE and any hypothesised ESP-like information gained during such an experience, such as the shoe (considering we have ruled out coincidence or normal sensory information), is a separate issue for me. An OBE can be just as "real" whether apparently internal to the brain or apparently external, so to speak. Bit pushed for time right now but hope I've explained myself in this respect.
davidsmith73 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 11:56 AM   #82
hamelekim
Graduate Poster
 
hamelekim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,162
Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
Certainly--if a well-controlled, replicable experiment reliably showed (and those are not goalpost-moving words--that is the standard in all science) that even one person could view objects remotely, that would be outside the current understanding of biology, psychology, and physics. It would rock the world.

But...since magicians view things in sealed envelopes all the time, we know that some people who appear to view remotely are actually using trickery. A well-controlled experiment is, therefore, crucial.
I agree, we do need a well-controlled experiment that isn't filled with ridicule for those involved. One of the major problems, especially with NDEs, is that we can't just kill people and bring them back. It's nearly impossible to implement some kind of controls when you have a medical emergency and someone who has been shot twice in the chest has just been placed on the bed in front of you. You aren't thinking we need to follow a certain protocol in case they have an OBE. That's why all you ever have is circumstantial evidence. A little girl hears and sees her sister down the hall during an OBE. She tells her sister what she heard her saying and doing and her sister is completely shocked. Now did she overhear her sister somehow through a vent over the doctors and through the doors down the hall? Or did she overhear her sister talking about what she said to her parents in earshot of her sister afterwards and somehow she thinks it happened during the period of time when she had her OBE? Or was it really an OBE and she did actually see and hear her sister when she wasn't able to do so? How do you test something like that? It's nearly impossible to do so.

I'd definitely like to see a study done on OBEs with multiple patients in a controlled environment.
hamelekim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 11:59 AM   #83
hamelekim
Graduate Poster
 
hamelekim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,162
Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
Perhaps you misunderstand my stance on this. I was just offering the third exlpanation for the shoe report based on what info you had given thus far. I actually find it quite likely that ESP-type information can be aquired during an OBE, although that is just my personal speculation not based on available evidence (although there may be evidence for this I am not aware of).
The set of experiments you mentioned before whereby we systematically examine if OBE'ers can aquire information about a remote target, I find to be a very worthwhile thing to do. And I agree that it would not get mainstream credibility for a variety of sociological reasons. And I suspect it may work!

But I do have an issue with your use of the term "real OBE". The experience of being out of body is the central aspect of an OBE and any hypothesised ESP-like information gained during such an experience, such as the shoe (considering we have ruled out coincidence or normal sensory information), is a separate issue for me. An OBE can be just as "real" whether apparently internal to the brain or apparently external, so to speak. Bit pushed for time right now but hope I've explained myself in this respect.
When I say real OBE I mean your consciousness is outside of your body. A false OBE would be one where your mind has created a sense that you are outside of your body.
hamelekim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 12:48 PM   #84
SezMe
post-pre-born
 
SezMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 22,721
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
When I say real OBE I mean your consciousness is outside of your body. A false OBE would be one where your mind has created a sense that you are outside of your body.
How do you propose to differentiate between the two?
SezMe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 01:02 PM   #85
Mercutio
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,274
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
I agree, we do need a well-controlled experiment that isn't filled with ridicule for those involved. One of the major problems, especially with NDEs, is that we can't just kill people and bring them back. [snip]

I'd definitely like to see a study done on OBEs with multiple patients in a controlled environment.
Until such time, it might be wise to follow davidsmith's example ("I actually find it quite likely that ESP-type information can be aquired during an OBE, although that is just my personal speculation not based on available evidence (although there may be evidence for this I am not aware of)" ), which acknowledges which of his beliefs are backed by evidence and which are not.

With the level of experimental control in even the best NDE experiments, and the deplorable inconsistency in defining an NDE in the first place, there is insufficient justification for claiming to have found an anomaly that cannot be explained by current theories of sensation, perception, memory and consciousness. Remarkably, though, the claim is much much more than this--the claim is to have found evidence for the survival of consciousness after death.

First, demonstrate that the phenomenon reliably exists. Second, demonstrate that it is beyond explanation by our current views. Then and only then is it time to start speculating on what causal mechanism might be at play. Survival of disembodied consciousness, at that point, might be one of several competing hypotheses, and you will really have your work cut out for you.

Right now, though, you are still at step one.
Mercutio is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 01:07 PM   #86
Mercutio
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,274
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
When I say real OBE I mean your consciousness is outside of your body. A false OBE would be one where your mind has created a sense that you are outside of your body.
Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
How do you propose to differentiate between the two?
We can go one further--how do you tell the difference between either of those, and a third possibility that your body has created a sense that you have a mind that is separate from your body in the first place?


Oh, dear.

Mercutio is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 09:59 PM   #87
Slimething
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,790
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
I have no clue who idunno is and I am interested in the phenomenon of OBEs and NDEs so that's why I posted.
Doesn't really make much difference. You don't seem to be much of an improvement over idunno anyway. You may as well be the same person.

Quote:
Normal meaning being able to take in information and process and store that information. It's what your brain is doing right now and what it appears to be doing in some cases of NDEs.
Well, then you're wrong. My brain right now is taking in information, processing it, responding to it in an active manner, storing the stimulus and reaction. NDEs, which you have yet to define, could merely be a dying brain trying to resynthesize its usual environment with limited success. You have no idea what a dying brain is doing.

Quote:
No need to be so pedantic. supernatural or paranormal doesn't matter what the dictionary definition is. I'm saying that it's a misnomer to refer to things we don't understand with current science as supernatural or paranormal. Everything can be explained using science, we just need the technology to do so. I'm sure in 10,000 years that humanity will be able to discover if there is anything else out there besides what we see in the physical world. If there is a "soul" and some kind of heaven then they are both made out of something which can be explained by science. So yeah, supernatural is the wrong word to use to describe things like ghosts and souls and the afterlife.
It's pedantic in your world to request that you use precise terminology to state your point? Why are you even here? There is a vast difference between "supernatural" and "preternatural". The latter means that it is impervious to scientific scrutiny while the latter means that the phenomenon is natural but science has not reached it yet. See the diff yet?

Also, don't lecture me about science. I am a scientist. Not everything is within science's reach. You're fantasizing that science will one day define a soul but that's not possible. A soul is defined (by most) as immaterial and supernatural (ah, that word again). Science can only address that which can be measured. Woo stuff is off limits.

Quote:
Who says they extracted anything? You have all these assumptions which are baseless. You just come up with anything that sounds remotely plausible that will invalidate the experience. In all these cases the children are the ones that bring it up and describe it. They don't have their parents asking if they saw a silver string or anything else of that nature.
Yes, you caught me making a conclusion without evidence. Then you beat my leap by a mile. Care to post your evidence for the bolded part?

Quote:
Actually there is plenty of subjective evidence that consciousness exists outside of the brain (all science is interpreted through subjective eyes and there are biases that shape all scientific results).
WTF are you talking about? Do you know anything about science? The whole pursuit of science is to take subjectivity out of study. You're describing modern art. Again, there is NO evidence that consciousness exists outside the brain. NONE. Take it to the bank.

Quote:
Since when does the hypothesis that there is no soul hold up under scientific study? I believe that there hasn't been a scientific study to declare definitively that there is no soul.
See above. There is no hypothesis in science about souls or lack thereof. That supposed phenomenon is supernatural and is outside of science's bailiwick. You wanna play scientist and investigate, go ahead. Good luck with funding.

Quote:
If there is life after death it has major implications for the meaning of life and existence and that brings in God.
Ummm...no. Even if you proved this minute that there was some type of survival after death, that would not indicate the existence or non-existence of a god. Yours or anyone else's.

Quote:
I'm not idunno so stop being such a jackass. I really can't stand your obvious arrogance about your supposed logical way of viewing the world when you are completely illogical and clueless.
Too bad. Maybe idunno is really smarter than you are. It's a toss-up right now. As far as illogical or clueless, you're the one with no evidence, using the wrong words and ignorant of what science is.

Quote:
Oh and btw, I'm an agnostic and I don't believe in ghosts goblins or visages of the Virgin Mary in office building windows.
I don't believe you. (I consider that a personal failing.)

Quote:
I do believe that we don't know half of what we think we know


Quote:
and I believe that skeptics such as yourself are far more biased and stubborn that you make yourselves out to be.
Yeah, whatever. Thanks for playing.
Slimething is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 10:04 PM   #88
Slimething
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,790
Originally Posted by idunno View Post
...my comments were not mine but from one of the scientists, who wishes to remain anonymous as he regards this forum a die hard skeptics not really worthy
Your comments were from a "scientist" who feels this forum is not worthy? There are plenty of scientists on this forum. If he feels that we're not worthy, wait until he publishes this farce to an even broader scientific forum.

Frankly, I don't believe that you've got a scientist hiding behind you. Any scientist would post his own work and not use a know-nothing as a shill.
Slimething is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 10:14 PM   #89
Slimething
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,790
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
can't post urls until I have 15 posts...

h t t p : / / w w w . shaktitechnology . c o m / o b e . h t m

first site I came across. There are other sites that reference the same story and I'm sure that you could find the journal and read the story yourself. It's interesting but again there is a small chance she might have seen it somehow if it was at a height and location that could be seen from some higher vantage point in the hospital. There really needs to be an intensive and conclusive study of the phenomenon considering that millions of people have had the experience.
I went to the link you posted. Your quotation is quite disingenuous. At the very top of the webpage, it states that a nurse once said that she worked with a patient who claimed to have had an OBE and saw a red shoe on the roof and that it was verified by a maintenance worker.

Completely anecdotal and worth precisely nothing. Later on in the article, the story is rephrased to give it greater weight as if the publication author could actually verify this story. All we have here is another Fatima story.

Sorry, that doesn't work in science. For it to do so, a scientist would have to collect affidavits from, at the very least, the nurse (with verification of employment and presence), the patient, the custodian (again, employment and presence). Even then, the evidence would be tainted by the very real possibility that these people had concocted this incident together.

Sorry if science seems too rigorous and deliberate for you.
Slimething is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 10:56 PM   #90
hamelekim
Graduate Poster
 
hamelekim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,162
Originally Posted by Slimething View Post
I went to the link you posted. Your quotation is quite disingenuous. At the very top of the webpage, it states that a nurse once said that she worked with a patient who claimed to have had an OBE and saw a red shoe on the roof and that it was verified by a maintenance worker.

Completely anecdotal and worth precisely nothing. Later on in the article, the story is rephrased to give it greater weight as if the publication author could actually verify this story. All we have here is another Fatima story.

Sorry, that doesn't work in science. For it to do so, a scientist would have to collect affidavits from, at the very least, the nurse (with verification of employment and presence), the patient, the custodian (again, employment and presence). Even then, the evidence would be tainted by the very real possibility that these people had concocted this incident together.

Sorry if science seems too rigorous and deliberate for you.
If that's the proof you need then so be it. I doubt you will ever get that because they don't care about proving that NDEs are real. They know they are real because they experienced them and that's all that they need.

If you want real proof then the best way is to get people who have OBEs into a lab and test them there. In that sort of setting you have complete control of the situation and you can verify that everything is kosher.
hamelekim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th May 2007, 11:24 PM   #91
hamelekim
Graduate Poster
 
hamelekim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,162
Originally Posted by Slimething View Post
Doesn't really make much difference. You don't seem to be much of an improvement over idunno anyway. You may as well be the same person.
I care, really I do.
Quote:
Well, then you're wrong. My brain right now is taking in information, processing it, responding to it in an active manner, storing the stimulus and reaction. NDEs, which you have yet to define, could merely be a dying brain trying to resynthesize its usual environment with limited success. You have no idea what a dying brain is doing.
I know what a dying brain is doing according to you. It's releasing large amounts of DMT and causing a person to hallucinate so that they see a white light, beings of light, and a recreation of the room they are in from a vantage point above their bodies. That's exactly what the brain is doing, or consciousness leaves the body, take your pick.
Quote:
It's pedantic in your world to request that you use precise terminology to state your point? Why are you even here? There is a vast difference between "supernatural" and "preternatural". The latter means that it is impervious to scientific scrutiny while the latter means that the phenomenon is natural but science has not reached it yet. See the diff yet?
The terminology used is wrong. Supernatural denotes something that cannot be explained with science, but anything that exists in the universe or outside of it by definition if it exists then it can be explained by science. We might not have the technology to do it at any given point in time but in the future that can and will change.
Quote:
Also, don't lecture me about science. I am a scientist. Not everything is within science's reach. You're fantasizing that science will one day define a soul but that's not possible. A soul is defined (by most) as immaterial and supernatural (ah, that word again). Science can only address that which can be measured. Woo stuff is off limits.
You obviously aren't a very credible scientist given your manners and the obvious disdain you have for anything that is beyond your current understanding.
Quote:
Yes, you caught me making a conclusion without evidence. Then you beat my leap by a mile. Care to post your evidence for the bolded part?
It says so in the stories. The girl mentioned it to her sister. She mentioned he went out of her body and saw and heard her sister. Like I said you won't get the kind of evidence you want from hospitals.

It's almost like you want to accuse her parents and the doctors and nurses of twisting the girls words around to support their ideas of an after life, which is just ridiculous.
Quote:
WTF are you talking about? Do you know anything about science? The whole pursuit of science is to take subjectivity out of study. You're describing modern art. Again, there is NO evidence that consciousness exists outside the brain. NONE. Take it to the bank.
It is impossible to take subjectivity out of science. No, there's plenty of evidence, just not evidence enough for you. Obviously several billion people disagree with you but then might doesn't make right. I guess we won't find out until we die.
Quote:
See above. There is no hypothesis in science about souls or lack thereof. That supposed phenomenon is supernatural and is outside of science's bailiwick. You wanna play scientist and investigate, go ahead. Good luck with funding.
Again, it isn't supernatural and it should be looked at because it's an important issue with regards to the meaning of life, which should really be our main focus of research.

Quote:
Ummm...no. Even if you proved this minute that there was some type of survival after death, that would not indicate the existence or non-existence of a god. Yours or anyone else's.
I agree with you.
Quote:

Too bad. Maybe idunno is really smarter than you are. It's a toss-up right now. As far as illogical or clueless, you're the one with no evidence, using the wrong words and ignorant of what science is.
Ah, arrogance and insults, the hallmarks of a skeptic. Your narrow view of the world closes you off from seeing possible answers that you couldn't have found otherwise.
Quote:
I don't believe you. (I consider that a personal failing.)
What do you need a sign affidavit with 3 witnesses that can attest to the fact that I'm agnostic? I couldn't care less what you think of me. And again you personally attack me.
Quote:

Yeah, whatever. Thanks for playing.
Yeah, exactly, whatever. Thanks for proving that you're a jackass with the inability to think outside the box, something which should be the central tenet of scientists around the world. These days everyone is so worried about losing funding for research that is outside the norm.
hamelekim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 01:29 AM   #92
Slimething
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,790
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
I know what a dying brain is doing according to you. It's releasing large amounts of DMT and causing a person to hallucinate so that they see a white light, beings of light, and a recreation of the room they are in from a vantage point above their bodies. That's exactly what the brain is doing, or consciousness leaves the body, take your pick.
I made none of those claims. Those are solely yours. I don't know what a dying brain does either or I would tell you. Not that you would listen, "skeptic".

Quote:
The terminology used is wrong. Supernatural denotes something that cannot be explained with science, but anything that exists in the universe or outside of it by definition if it exists then it can be explained by science. We might not have the technology to do it at any given point in time but in the future that can and will change.
<Sigh> No. Religious people have concepts of soul, heaven, spirits, grace, etc that can never be measure by science because they are immaterial. What part of that is beyond you? Science will never be able to measure or characterize such things. If you don't believe I am right, post a protocol for such a test or a description of an instrument that could detect/measure such phenomena.

Quote:
You obviously aren't a very credible scientist given your manners and the obvious disdain you have for anything that is beyond your current understanding.
My disdain is for you, not stuff I don't understand. There's plenty I don't understand and a lot of it is already known and confirmed by science. The fact that you haven't encountered anything you don't "understand" is a glaring indication of your inexperience and ignorance.

Sorry to disappoint you. I don't get paid to suffer people like you. Come back when you've developed meninges and we may get along better.

Quote:
It says so in the stories. The girl mentioned it to her sister. She mentioned he went out of her body and saw and heard her sister. Like I said you won't get the kind of evidence you want from hospitals.
What stories? You haven't posted any stories at all. For a self-described skeptic, you sure pay a lot of attention to "stories", even in the face of scientific knowledge. Now, you want me to believe a kid's story told by another kid to whom in particular (an NDE investigator)? If I can't get the kind of evidence from a hospital as opposed to a kid's sister, then I guess you can't prove your point, can you? Sucks to be you.

Quote:
It's almost like you want to accuse her parents and the doctors and nurses of twisting the girls words around to support their ideas of an after life, which is just ridiculous.
Welcome to the world of repressed memory. Don't read the link unless you want to be educated. Your family may not recognize you.

Quote:
It is impossible to take subjectivity out of science.
This is absolute BS. What subjectivity is there in the measurement of the speed of light, the quantitation of molecular weight, the measurement of electromotive force, etc? Do you think that each TV, computer, radio, stereo is assembled by skilled artisans who balance the electronics "just so"? Better still, instead of asking you questions like these, why don't you post evidence that science must include subjectivity? Please.

Quote:
No, there's plenty of evidence, just not evidence enough for you. Obviously several billion people disagree with you but then might doesn't make right. I guess we won't find out until we die.
You haven't posted ANY evidence. If there's plenty, post just a teensy-weensy bit, won't you?

Also, "several billion people"? You know this for a fact? Post evidence.

Quote:
Again, it isn't supernatural and it should be looked at because it's an important issue with regards to the meaning of life, which should really be our main focus of research.
Again, science is not here for your convenience. The meaning of life, as it can't be measured, is off limits. Write your congressman.

Quote:
Ah, arrogance and insults, the hallmarks of a skeptic.
But you posted earlier that you are a skeptic, just like me. Are you also arrogant and insulting? I don't mean to be but I get really tired of people like you, who bother others without doing their homework first.

Quote:
Your narrow view of the world closes you off from seeing possible answers that you couldn't have found otherwise.
Maybe Mommy and Daddy will buy you an English textbook for your birthday. Who knows? One day you may be able to construct a logical sentence in English. That, however, may be even less likely than the existence of OBEs.

Quote:
What do you need a sign affidavit with 3 witnesses that can attest to the fact that I'm agnostic? I couldn't care less what you think of me. And again you personally attack me.
I know what you are. I don't need any witnesses to it.

Here's a tip: someone who doesn't care about what I think of them won't protest at what I write.

Quote:
Thanks for proving that you're a jackass with the inability to think outside the box, something which should be the central tenet of scientists around the world. These days everyone is so worried about losing funding for research that is outside the norm.
You're more than welcome. Thanks for accepting the reality that science as a profession, a culture, and a vocation does not have to stop investigating worthwhile causes to prove that what nutcases believe doesn't exist. Science is expensive. The people who do the research are highly-skilled and highly-trained and don't need some phony skeptic to call them off the search for new therapies, elements, reactions, and the like to investigate something they can't even define. Beyond that, it's not science's fault that people like you (and the billions of people you claim are on your side) can't come up with even enough money to start investigating what you want.
Slimething is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 05:27 AM   #93
davidsmith73
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,697
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
When I say real OBE I mean your consciousness is outside of your body. A false OBE would be one where your mind has created a sense that you are outside of your body.
As various people have pointed out, demonstrating the truth of a "consciousness outside the body" would be a tremendously hard thing to do. Primarily because we have the immediate problem of defining consciousness itself and how it could be separate from the body in a conceptual sense.

With OBE's (its strange how we now seem to be talking about a different category of experiences to NDE, perhaps Mercutio has a point when he talks about ill-defined categorisation), I think its more productive not to leap to any dualistic notions about consciousness and the body (or brain). Instead I think we should be talking in terms of mechanisms whereby the brain is able to aquire information about remote events by some novel means. And then we are getting into ESP-type territory but I think most people here would object to that approach because its simply replacing one mystery with another. But if the OBE experiments of the type you were suggesting were successful, I don't think we necessarily need to invoke a consciousness separate from the body. We might just need a novel mechanism whereby the brain aquires information about a remote target.
davidsmith73 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 05:41 AM   #94
davidsmith73
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,697
Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
By that criterion, N-rays exist.

Blondlott was not lying--he was reporting the results of an inadequately controlled experiment. Same thing applies here.
I'm not with you. We can't deny the fact that many of these reports have certain similarities. OK, we label these as NDE's and I see you objection about loose definition, but that is no reason to state that the experiences do not exist. You seem to be averting your attention from any verbal report at all simply because its a verbal report. How would that get us anywhere?
davidsmith73 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 08:22 AM   #95
Mashuna
Ovis ex Machina
 
Mashuna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,855
Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
As various people have pointed out, demonstrating the truth of a "consciousness outside the body" would be a tremendously hard thing to do. Primarily because we have the immediate problem of defining consciousness itself and how it could be separate from the body in a conceptual sense.

With OBE's (its strange how we now seem to be talking about a different category of experiences to NDE, perhaps Mercutio has a point when he talks about ill-defined categorisation), I think its more productive not to leap to any dualistic notions about consciousness and the body (or brain). Instead I think we should be talking in terms of mechanisms whereby the brain is able to aquire information about remote events by some novel means. And then we are getting into ESP-type territory but I think most people here would object to that approach because its simply replacing one mystery with another. But if the OBE experiments of the type you were suggesting were successful, I don't think we necessarily need to invoke a consciousness separate from the body. We might just need a novel mechanism whereby the brain aquires information about a remote target.
Well, as we already seem to have switched from NDEs to OBEs, a move to remote viewing shouldn't be too much of a stretch, and RV is a shorter acronym to type .
Mashuna is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 09:01 AM   #96
Mercutio
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,274
Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
I'm not with you. We can't deny the fact that many of these reports have certain similarities. OK, we label these as NDE's and I see you objection about loose definition, but that is no reason to state that the experiences do not exist. You seem to be averting your attention from any verbal report at all simply because its a verbal report. How would that get us anywhere?
Similarities are meaningless without reliable definitions. Birds, bats, butterflies, beetles, and flying fish all fly--but "flying things" is not a terribly useful category. Each of the components (birds, bats, etc.) do exist (as do the experiences we are shoehorning into one category), but that does not make the category "a real thing" (emphasis on "a"). A sparrow has more in common with a penguin than it does with a dragonfly; a butterfly has more in common with a walking stick than it does with a bat. It is entirely possible that some types of NDE/OBE experiences have more in common with meditation, others have more in common with hypoxia, others have more in common with sympathetic nervous system arousal. The researchers have thrown them together due to theory, not due to evidence of function or mechanism.

I am not arguing that the experiences do not exist. I am arguing that the categorical label is inappropriate and potentially misleading, and that an umbrella entity "NDE/OBE" does not exist (any more than the artificial category "flying things" does) in a meaningful, useful sense.
Mercutio is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 10:17 AM   #97
trvlr2
Muse
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 832
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
I care, really I do.

I know what a dying brain is doing according to you. It's releasing large amounts of DMT and causing a person to hallucinate so that they see a white light, beings of light, and a recreation of the room they are in from a vantage point above their bodies. That's exactly what the brain is doing, or consciousness leaves the body, take your pick.

The terminology used is wrong. Supernatural denotes something that cannot be explained with science, but anything that exists in the universe or outside of it by definition if it exists then it can be explained by science. We might not have the technology to do it at any given point in time but in the future that can and will change.

You obviously aren't a very credible scientist given your manners and the obvious disdain you have for anything that is beyond your current understanding.


It says so in the stories. The girl mentioned it to her sister. She mentioned he went out of her body and saw and heard her sister. Like I said you won't get the kind of evidence you want from hospitals.

It's almost like you want to accuse her parents and the doctors and nurses of twisting the girls words around to support their ideas of an after life, which is just ridiculous.

It is impossible to take subjectivity out of science. No, there's plenty of evidence, just not evidence enough for you. Obviously several billion people disagree with you but then might doesn't make right. I guess we won't find out until we die.


Again, it isn't supernatural and it should be looked at because it's an important issue with regards to the meaning of life, which should really be our main focus of research.


I agree with you.

Ah, arrogance and insults, the hallmarks of a skeptic. Your narrow view of the world closes you off from seeing possible answers that you couldn't have found otherwise.

What do you need a sign affidavit with 3 witnesses that can attest to the fact that I'm agnostic? I couldn't care less what you think of me. And again you personally attack me.

Yeah, exactly, whatever. Thanks for proving that you're a jackass with the inability to think outside the box, something which should be the central tenet of scientists around the world. These days everyone is so worried about losing funding for research that is outside the norm.

Things outside the universe cannot be examined.

Imaginary things cannot be demonstrated, either, without consensual agreement on the mechanism of demonstration;cf, mathematics.

Why not tighten up your definitions, gather some rigorously obtained evidence, then return to the argument?



Oh, never mind!
__________________
Conservatives: Proud Major Supplier of turds to the National Punch Bowl since 1969.
Some people are living legends; Republicans are living lies...
trvlr2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 11:21 AM   #98
hamelekim
Graduate Poster
 
hamelekim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,162
Originally Posted by trvlr2 View Post
Things outside the universe cannot be examined.

Imaginary things cannot be demonstrated, either, without consensual agreement on the mechanism of demonstration;cf, mathematics.

Why not tighten up your definitions, gather some rigorously obtained evidence, then return to the argument?



Oh, never mind!
Not at this time. At one time we couldn't examine molecules either. I don't see why I need to tighten any definitions. If it exists then we should be able to study it if we are technologically advanced enough.

hamelekim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 11:24 AM   #99
hamelekim
Graduate Poster
 
hamelekim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,162
Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
As various people have pointed out, demonstrating the truth of a "consciousness outside the body" would be a tremendously hard thing to do. Primarily because we have the immediate problem of defining consciousness itself and how it could be separate from the body in a conceptual sense.

With OBE's (its strange how we now seem to be talking about a different category of experiences to NDE, perhaps Mercutio has a point when he talks about ill-defined categorisation), I think its more productive not to leap to any dualistic notions about consciousness and the body (or brain). Instead I think we should be talking in terms of mechanisms whereby the brain is able to aquire information about remote events by some novel means. And then we are getting into ESP-type territory but I think most people here would object to that approach because its simply replacing one mystery with another. But if the OBE experiments of the type you were suggesting were successful, I don't think we necessarily need to invoke a consciousness separate from the body. We might just need a novel mechanism whereby the brain aquires information about a remote target.
That's what science is all about, figuring out mysteries. If there is such a phenomenon then we would need to study it and figure out what exactly is going on. Is it some extra sensory capability of the brain or is it something else.
hamelekim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 11:31 AM   #100
davidsmith73
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,697
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
That's what science is all about, figuring out mysteries. If there is such a phenomenon then we would need to study it and figure out what exactly is going on. Is it some extra sensory capability of the brain or is it something else.

I agree
davidsmith73 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 01:17 PM   #101
Mercutio
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,274
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
Not at this time. At one time we couldn't examine molecules either. I don't see why I need to tighten any definitions. If it exists then we should be able to study it if we are technologically advanced enough.
Without proper operational definitions, of course we cannot adequately study it, no matter how technologically advanced we are. This is why science has such a rich history of classifying things, and why it is so exciting to be able to use, say, genetic information rather than simple morphology to do so. If you and I both study NDE's, but due to lax definitional standards, you are using "retrospective accounts" and I am using "heart stoppage for 4 minutes or more" (other researchers may use different definitions than either of us), we will fail to find agreement about what a typical NDE looks like.

Seriously, I am dumfounded by the reluctance to use better experimental controls. Plain and simple: if there is a real effect, tighter controls will make it easier to see; if there is no real effect, tighter controls will show that too. If I were cynical, I could see this as researchers who know there is nothing there, trying to keep whatever source of funding they have. I am not that cynical, though, and so I am simply dumfounded. It's not that much harder to do the research well, than it is to do it poorly.
Mercutio is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 01:20 PM   #102
Mercutio
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,274
Originally Posted by hamelekim View Post
That's what science is all about, figuring out mysteries. If there is such a phenomenon then we would need to study it and figure out what exactly is going on. Is it some extra sensory capability of the brain or is it something else.
Remember step one? You need to tighten up methodology to even demonstrate the existence of this alleged phenomenon. Then demonstrate that it is not explainable by our current understanding. Only then do you get to your last sentence here.
Mercutio is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th May 2007, 07:51 PM   #103
hamelekim
Graduate Poster
 
hamelekim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,162
Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
Without proper operational definitions, of course we cannot adequately study it, no matter how technologically advanced we are. This is why science has such a rich history of classifying things, and why it is so exciting to be able to use, say, genetic information rather than simple morphology to do so. If you and I both study NDE's, but due to lax definitional standards, you are using "retrospective accounts" and I am using "heart stoppage for 4 minutes or more" (other researchers may use different definitions than either of us), we will fail to find agreement about what a typical NDE looks like.

Seriously, I am dumfounded by the reluctance to use better experimental controls. Plain and simple: if there is a real effect, tighter controls will make it easier to see; if there is no real effect, tighter controls will show that too. If I were cynical, I could see this as researchers who know there is nothing there, trying to keep whatever source of funding they have. I am not that cynical, though, and so I am simply dumfounded. It's not that much harder to do the research well, than it is to do it poorly.
Doctors recently discovered that the body can survive for hours after the heart has stopped beating. The key is to drop their body temperature and don't pump oxygen into the system right away. If you do this you can bring people back from being "dead" for hours. It really challenges the current understanding of death. Of course the brain doesn't last as long but it's still interesting to note.

But that isn't the issue here. You don't need to define what death is to discover if they are seeing things they shouldn't be able to, such as what someone is doing in the next room or in the hall. We can't tell if a persons brain has completely stopped all activity as people have mentioned in this thread. So why bother trying to do so? People have NDE's when they are having heart attacks and they are not dead and their brains are still working.
hamelekim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:28 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.