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Tags ian stevenson , reincarnation

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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:27 AM   #1
Space_Ed
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Reincarnation Is A FACT!!!!!!!!

Hi. I just did the dramatic thread title to get your attention... buuuutt there does appear to be pretty strong evidence of reincarnation. The evidence is predominantly events where young children appear to know many facts about other places that they could not have been to and people that they could not have met in their life. They claim that they know these facts because they were someone else in a previous life. Some of these claims are backed up by correlations between birth marks and wounds on the body of the 'previous personality'.

I am not expecting all of you to agree with me (mostly the opposite) but I would like to point you in the right direction to start your own research and make your own mind up.

This started a few weeks ago when I went to a debate about the existence of god (which was highly entertaining! ) and evidence of reincarnation was brought up. I had to check it out and to me it seems that after the bit of reading I have done so far it seems to be the most likely explanation of the facts.

A good start is the wikipedia article (note the scientific research section):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation

This is the 'bible' of reincarnation research (which I have not read):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Twenty-Cases...7159670&sr=1-8

Here is a book I recently read and I recommend it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Before-...7159847&sr=1-1

Objective and intelligent comments appreciated. Dogmatic 'sceptical' rudeness NOT appreciated. Thankyou.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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Sure. . .if by "fact" you mean wishful thinking based on nothing but anecdotes.

What is it that survives after death and enters the next body?

How could it be that all the things we associate with consciousness seem to be so strongly connected to the physiology of the brain? (If you introduce alcohol, it affects the CNS and results in an altered state of consciousness. Does the "soul" or whatever get drunk at the same time?)

In these children who (according to the anecdotes) are able to remember information about their previous lives, how are those memories carried? Is there a different mechanism for that kind of memory compared to normal memory (which we know is dependent on the function of several brain structures)? Maybe the memories are uploaded into a different--non corporeal form and then downloaded into the new body? Care to speculate on that mechanism?

In assessing the "evidence" for reincarnation, I'd advise you to remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. (Or put another way, remember to take into account ALL pertinent evidence--including everything we know about the relationship of language, memory, personality to the function of brain structures.)

The claim of reincarnation is pretty far out in that in pretty much requires a non-corporeal "thing" to do the same sort of things that the brain does. It also requires that the non-corporeal thing would somehow interact with physical structures in the body. Since reincarnation comes with all this overhead (that is, that it would raise a helluvalot more questions than what it purports to answer, and that the anecdotes or the phenomena that it purports to explain has more parsimonious explanations available).
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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:50 AM   #3
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We are of one mind.

You cannot dismiss the evidence as anecdotal until you have looked at it and as I put this thread up 3 minutes ago that is hardly enough time for you to make a fair evaluation.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
We are of one mind.

You cannot dismiss the evidence as anecdotal until you have looked at it and as I put this thread up 3 minutes ago that is hardly enough time for you to make a fair evaluation.
I've read these things in the past.

You got something that is not anecdotal?
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
I've read these things in the past.

You got something that is not anecdotal?
Using the "it's only anecdotal" strategy here seems a bit bizarre.
How could you do a non-anecdotal experiment in this area?
Of it's nature the data in this area has to be anecdotal.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:15 PM   #6
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Ok if you have read these over these types of studies and the methodology please could you tell me why I can dismiss them?

'anecdotal [ánnik dṓt'l]
adjective
1. based on anecdotes or hearsay: consisting of or based on second-hand accounts rather than firsthand knowledge or experience or scientific investigation
anecdotal evidence'

The methodology of their investigations is scientific in nature.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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Could you possibly include links to actual research showing positive results, instead of books that we would have to buy? Not believing in reincarnation myself, I will not spend any money on the books, but I will read anything free that is online.

There may be links in the Wiki article, but skimming through, I only saw what was described before, anectodal evidence.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Careyp74 View Post
Could you possibly include links to actual research showing positive results, instead of books that we would have to buy? Not believing in reincarnation myself, I will not spend any money on the books, but I will read anything free that is online.

There may be links in the Wiki article, but skimming through, I only saw what was described before, anectodal evidence.
I would like to point out that I don't 'believe' in reincarnation either, it appears to be the rational conclusion from their 40 years of research. I havn't looked online other than to buy a reliable text... but the guy who has headed this type of research is called Dr Ian Stevenson. You might be able to find some of his research papers online.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
I would like to point out that I don't 'believe' in reincarnation either, it appears to be the rational conclusion from their 40 years of research. I havn't looked online other than to buy a reliable text... but the guy who has headed this type of research is called Dr Ian Stevenson. You might be able to find some of his research papers online.
I will look into him. In the meantime, are you saying that after reading the rational conclusions and investigating the facts that support reincarnation that you still don't believe in it?
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:28 PM   #10
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I would like to point out an objection I have to dismissing all anecdotal accounts of events based on first hand testimony:

Much of recorded history is based on first and second hand accounts which have been recorded in journals, texts, art etc. Undoubtedly much of it is not reliable, hence history is an art and not a science. However, if all first and second hand accounts are to be dismissed for being 'anecdotal' then there goes all recorded history out of the window. Many of the events of history that are not backed up by physical evidence did not happen. What a shame that would be.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:30 PM   #11
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I have been doing a little research on Ian Stevenson, and it seems to me that he never speaks about the methods that he uses to ensure that his tests are carried out properly.

He seems to think that even birthmarks and deformities are due to reincarnation, suggesting that a man that died of a catastrophic shotgun wound to the side of the head was reincarnated as a Turkish boy with a severe facial deformity in this same area.

The boy could tell the doctor that he remembers being shot in the head in a past life and the doctor could go looking and picking through cases until he finds a match...

Until I see his methods for connecting the *reincarnated* individual with their past self, I cannot believe any of this, and neither should you.

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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Careyp74 View Post
I will look into him. In the meantime, are you saying that after reading the rational conclusions and investigating the facts that support reincarnation that you still don't believe in it?
I mean that although the evidence does appear to be strong, I have no memory of being reincarnated and I have never met anyone who says they have been reincarnated. Although highly unlikely the entire thing could be a hoax... but the fact that they guy is internationally acknowleged and he has a PhD in biomedical sciences makes him all the more credible.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:33 PM   #13
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Reincarnation Is A FACTOID!!!!!!!! *









*fixed yer title fer ya!!
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Gate2501 View Post
I have been doing a little research on Ian Stevenson, and it seems to me that he never speaks about the methods that he uses to ensure that his tests are carried out properly.

He seems to think that even birthmarks and deformities are due to reincarnation, suggesting that a man that died of a catastrophic shotgun wound to the side of the head was reincarnated as a Turkish boy with a severe facial deformity in this same area.

The boy could tell the doctor that he remembers being shot in the head in a past life and the doctor could go looking and picking through cases until he finds a match...

Until I see his methods for connecting the *reincarnated* individual with their past self, I cannot believe any of this, and neither should you.
Surprisingly enough I am pretty sure I have read about that case. That was not their methodology at all. I can't really be bothered to go leafing through my book to get you excerpts of their methods but I will just this once...
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:38 PM   #15
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Here I found a bit he writes about his methods

Quote:
My investigations of these cases included interviews, often repeated, with the subject and with several or many other informants for both families. With rare exceptions, only firsthand informants were interviewed. All pertinent written records that existed, particularly death certificates and postmortem reports, were sought and examined. In the cases in which the informants said that the two families had no previous acquaintance, I made every effort to exclude all possibility that some information might nevertheless have passed normally to the child, perhaps through a half-forgotten mutual acquaintance of the two families.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:43 PM   #16
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Actually I don't think I can do that without it being blocked by the censors because of the copywrite issues.

The children often give names of the people that they say they were and then the investigators find their records. If the birthmarks match that is one thing, but when the child is able to name complete strangers under controlled conditions that makes the possibility of coincidence or subconscious suggestion less and less likely.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
I would like to point out an objection I have to dismissing all anecdotal accounts of events based on first hand testimony:

Much of recorded history is based on first and second hand accounts which have been recorded in journals, texts, art etc. Undoubtedly much of it is not reliable, hence history is an art and not a science. However, if all first and second hand accounts are to be dismissed for being 'anecdotal' then there goes all recorded history out of the window. Many of the events of history that are not backed up by physical evidence did not happen. What a shame that would be.
Absolutely.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:46 PM   #18
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How did scientific studies of reincarnation come about? Did the scientists see an abundance of phenomena which, upon investigation left them with no other reasonable conclusion that reincarnation was true? Or did they take a centuries-old belief and attempt to find evidence for it?

While the answer to this question does not settle the matter, I think it is important to know.

Children have very active imaginations. I wonder if these same children were spoken to by other scientists, or if follow-up interviews were conducted when they were adults. Among other things, coaching of children, dishonesty on the part of the children or scientists involved, or even general credophilia need to be ruled out.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:49 PM   #19
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Gate 2501- I think i understand your objection. You think that he sees a boy with a birthmark who says its a wound from a past life then goes to find evidence to support it?

Their general approach is to try to not lead the investigation towards any definate conclusion i.e. they have come across fakers. They will only investigate a 'claim' i.e. i was so and so. So they will only look at autopsy reports of the person the child claims to have been.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
I would like to point out an objection I have to dismissing all anecdotal accounts of events based on first hand testimony:

Much of recorded history is based on first and second hand accounts which have been recorded in journals, texts, art etc. Undoubtedly much of it is not reliable, hence history is an art and not a science. However, if all first and second hand accounts are to be dismissed for being 'anecdotal' then there goes all recorded history out of the window. Many of the events of history that are not backed up by physical evidence did not happen. What a shame that would be.
Historical claims in the absence of physical evidence are accepted provisionally when the claims are relatively ordinary. Historical claims that include supernatural elements are considered by most historians to be false to the degree the supernatural elements are necessary. In other words, reincarnation is an extraordinary claim and isn't properly accepted based on evidence adequate to reasonably establish that, say, Jesse Bullard was born in Salem IL in 1839 and became the town's biggest millner.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by prewitt81 View Post
How did scientific studies of reincarnation come about? Did the scientists see an abundance of phenomena which, upon investigation left them with no other reasonable conclusion that reincarnation was true? Or did they take a centuries-old belief and attempt to find evidence for it?

While the answer to this question does not settle the matter, I think it is important to know.

Children have very active imaginations. I wonder if these same children were spoken to by other scientists, or if follow-up interviews were conducted when they were adults. Among other things, coaching of children, dishonesty on the part of the children or scientists involved, or even general credophilia need to be ruled out.
I think these objections go without saying.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:54 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
Actually I don't think I can do that without it being blocked by the censors because of the copywrite issues.

The children often give names of the people that they say they were and then the investigators find their records. If the birthmarks match that is one thing, but when the child is able to name complete strangers under controlled conditions that makes the possibility of coincidence or subconscious suggestion less and less likely.
Man... I am reading more about this, and all of my BS detectors are flashing. I don't mean to be rude, so do not take my comments as such.

In one case with a village boy (5 years old), one of the *verified facts* that Stevenson uses in this case is this:

-The 5 year old boy said that in his past life " I lived in a home with a full well, and an empty well".

-Stevenson *verifies* this when he goes to the house of the dead man that is supposedly the past life of the boy, and finds two vats used for storing grape juice. In the rainy season the deeper vat would gather water, and the shallow would not due to evaporation.

This is pure rubbish. Again I do not mean to be rude, but this is not science.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
Absolutely.
This is a good word. Not the right word, since there's a reason why historical claims can reasonably be accepted on hearsay evidence while paranormal claims cannot, but still, a good word.

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Old 2nd April 2008, 12:58 PM   #24
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No.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:02 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Gate2501 View Post
Man... I am reading more about this, and all of my BS detectors are flashing. I don't mean to be rude, so do not take my comments as such.

In one case with a village boy (5 years old), one of the *verified facts* that Stevenson uses in this case is this:

-The 5 year old boy said that in his past life " I lived in a home with a full well, and an empty well".

-Stevenson *verifies* this when he goes to the house of the dead man that is supposedly the past life of the boy, and finds two vats used for storing grape juice. In the rainy season the deeper vat would gather water, and the shallow would not due to evaporation.

This is pure rubbish. Again I do not mean to be rude, but this is not science.

Yeah that is dodgy. Not all of the things they say I agree with. It is the amount of evidence that is one of the main factors in leading me to think that they might be right.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:05 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mister Agenda View Post
Historical claims in the absence of physical evidence are accepted provisionally when the claims are relatively ordinary. Historical claims that include supernatural elements are considered by most historians to be false to the degree the supernatural elements are necessary. In other words, reincarnation is an extraordinary claim and isn't properly accepted based on evidence adequate to reasonably establish that, say, Jesse Bullard was born in Salem IL in 1839 and became the town's biggest millner.
haha lol yeah but can you trust Julius Caeser's account of the civil war completely? Ofcourse not lol.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:05 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
I think these objections go without saying.
Really? In the OP your evaluation of the evidence is that it is "very strong". Until these objections are addressed, such an evaluation is improper.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:06 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Gate2501 View Post
Man... I am reading more about this, and all of my BS detectors are flashing. I don't mean to be rude, so do not take my comments as such.

In one case with a village boy (5 years old), one of the *verified facts* that Stevenson uses in this case is this:

-The 5 year old boy said that in his past life " I lived in a home with a full well, and an empty well".

-Stevenson *verifies* this when he goes to the house of the dead man that is supposedly the past life of the boy, and finds two vats used for storing grape juice. In the rainy season the deeper vat would gather water, and the shallow would not due to evaporation.

This is pure rubbish. Again I do not mean to be rude, but this is not science.
But then again though the boy wasn't wrong. He is a little boy remember.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
But then again though the boy wasn't wrong. He is a little boy remember.
Those are descriptions of two completely different things. This seems to be an example of the credophilia I mentioned previously.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:11 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
'anecdotal [ánnik dṓt'l]
adjective
1. based on anecdotes or hearsay: consisting of or based on second-hand accounts rather than firsthand knowledge or experience or scientific investigation
anecdotal evidence'

The methodology of their investigations is scientific in nature.
Just because Reincarnation is one of the most pervasive delusions of humanity, doesn't mean that it is true, just look at the hysteria surrounding the theory of Anthropogenic-Global-Warming!

As per the definition offered, all research in this area is anecdotal because the investigator must rely on hearsay of the individuals reporting the claim. There really is no way to scientifically test the claim of reincarnation.

A researcher might try to approach the subject with a scientific bent to the methodology, but at the outset the data is flawed/tainted, so the results are already suspect...

The problem with the whole methodology is that by the time an "scientific" investigator comes on scene, the "scene's" memory has been tainted by the assumptions of those pushing the child forward as an exemplar...

Further, human memory is so notoriously unreliable in this lifetime, never mind a prior life...

Cheers.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:11 PM   #31
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Right im off to do some revision. I won't be back for a while. My recommendation is: if you are up for really going through their claims then buy that Life Before Life book. Lots of the objections you guys are coming out with are addressed in there. I really cannot be bothered to counter all your arguments by quoting from the book.
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How does any epidemic begin if not locally?

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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:12 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Mister Agenda View Post
This is a good word. Not the right word, since there's a reason why historical claims can reasonably be accepted on hearsay evidence while paranormal claims cannot, but still, a good word.
Thanks. I looked it up in the dictionary and everything.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:12 PM   #33
Garrette
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Others have dissected Ian Stevenson's "proof" before. I have done it for a few cases put forth as best evidence by Montague Keen. They do not stand up. I did this in another forum. If I can find my postings there, I'll copy the relevant bits to here.

Meantime, Space Ed, so that we don't make this a wild chasing of gooses round random mulberry bushes, perhaps you could pick the one case (or at most two cases) from Ian's Twenty Cases that you thing is strongest.

It serves everyone very little to come in and say "Debunk everything!"
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:12 PM   #34
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There is a very good write-up of Ian Stevenson and studies by similar researchers in Mary Roach's book Spook. Her summary of his work is as follows:

Originally Posted by Spook
Unconstrained by biology, Stevenson is free to extend his theory wherever it strikes him. Facets of a past life are suggested as explanations for complexion irregularities, stockiness, third nipples, albinism, posture, gait, fear of women, fondness for toy airplanes, cleft lip, pimples, speech impediments, widely separated upper medial incisors, and a "fondness for eels, cheroots and alcohol." Viewed through such a broad eyepiece, reincarnation is an easy sell. Take a child and all her hundreds of unique features: How hard would it be to find one or two that seem linked to a feature of someone you know has died?

http://www.amazon.com/Spook-Science-...7166817&sr=8-1

This is a great book, and it also offers a plausible explanation for all the reincarnation experiences studied by the likes of Stevenson. In India, when a child is found to be the reincarnation of someone, they are often the recipient of gifts and attention from the family of the person who died. The parents of that child are often the direct beneficiary of these gifts. If you are a poor couple living in India, why not convince the world that your child is the reincarnation of someone richer in order to receive the benefits of such an arrangement?
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:13 PM   #35
cloudshipsrule
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Reincarnation is fact!

http://image.motortrend.com/f/editor...ris-farley.jpg

http://www.funnyleague.com/data/chri...incarnated.jpg

Edited by prewitt81:  Rule 4 - Please do not Hotlink.

Last edited by prewitt81; 2nd April 2008 at 01:18 PM. Reason: as noted
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:14 PM   #36
Space_Ed
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Originally Posted by Arkayik View Post
Just because Reincarnation is one of the most pervasive delusions of humanity, doesn't mean that it is true, just look at the hysteria surrounding the theory of Anthropogenic-Global-Warming!

As per the definition offered, all research in this area is anecdotal because the investigator must rely on hearsay of the individuals reporting the claim. There really is no way to scientifically test the claim of reincarnation.

A researcher might try to approach the subject with a scientific bent to the methodology, but at the outset the data is flawed/tainted, so the results are already suspect...

The problem with the whole methodology is that by the time an "scientific" investigator comes on scene, the "scene's" memory has been tainted by the assumptions of those pushing the child forward as an exemplar...

Further, human memory is so notoriously unreliable in this lifetime, never mind a prior life...

Cheers.
Again I am aware of these problems and so are they.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:15 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by cloudshipsrule View Post
LMAO
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How does any epidemic begin if not locally?

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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:16 PM   #38
Mister Agenda
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
haha lol yeah but can you trust Julius Caeser's account of the civil war completely? Ofcourse not lol.
You are, of course, correct. Much of what we take for history is pretty dodgy. There's lots of degrees of certainty, motivation to embellish is certainly something to take into account when examining claims. Not a few sources have been altered, as well. I suppose the most trustworthy historical fact would be a very boring one corroborated by multiple sources.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:18 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Space_Ed View Post
I would like to point out an objection I have to dismissing all anecdotal accounts of events based on first hand testimony:

Much of recorded history is based on first and second hand accounts which have been recorded in journals, texts, art etc. Undoubtedly much of it is not reliable, hence history is an art and not a science. However, if all first and second hand accounts are to be dismissed for being 'anecdotal' then there goes all recorded history out of the window. Many of the events of history that are not backed up by physical evidence did not happen. What a shame that would be.
Indeed it would be a shame to dismiss history because it is second-hand and anecdotal. However, history does not make reliable predictions of the future. Science does because of its demand for repeatable, unbiased measurements.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 01:19 PM   #40
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I really wish that Chris Farely were back .

Unfortunately my brother thought he was a pterodactyl when we were little, does that mean he was re-incarnated? Magic 8 ball says 'Yes'
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