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(Newsweek)   Many people have claimed near-death experiences, but few are as interesting or detailed as that of one neurosurgeon who describes seven days spent in Heaven while his brain was completely inactive   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 543
    More: Interesting, scientific explanations  
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28035 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Oct 2012 at 12:39 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-08 01:16:42 PM  

freewill: Mr. Coffee Nerves: Sorry, folks. The afterlife is an eternity waiting on a Cinnabon line at O'Hare during a snowstorm on the day before Thanksgiving.

Is there heterosexual farking? If so, we'll probably be able to copeulate.


As long as you have your United Club card handy.
 
2012-10-08 01:19:05 PM  
images1.wikia.nocookie.net

Neelix calls bullshiat.
 
2012-10-08 01:19:26 PM  
So your "higher" brain was "dead" but you make no mention of the hindbrain or the limbic system and those seem to be unaffected by your infection so one wonders if you left those facts out of your story on purpose because, politician jokes aside, they are billions of life forms on this planet that live very active lives with those primitive brains, so this story really seems to proves is that humans knowledge of how the brain really function is limited.

Still a neat story, religious fanatics can take this as proof there is heaven, and those in the neuroscience should not dismiss since clearly the seeds of human consciousness lie in places beyond the cortex.
 
2012-10-08 01:20:36 PM  

nmemkha: I find Atheists interesting. They dismiss anything that does not fit their narrow worldview out-of-hand and are generally mocking and condescending to the views of others.


If the faithful just kept their moronic beliefs to themselves and didn't try to control every facet of other people's lives maybe we wouldn't need to shout you down so much.
 
2012-10-08 01:20:47 PM  
Twaddle.
 
2012-10-08 01:22:32 PM  

xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.


There is some scientific interest here: the part of his brain that shut down is the part that, according to our current understanding, should have been responsible for experiences like this. That doesn't necessarily mean his interpretation of what happened is correct, of course. But it does mean that we've missed something: if what he saw was a dream (which I think it was), then something can give rise to dreams which we hadn't considered. That has implications for neuroscience.
 
2012-10-08 01:22:51 PM  

nmemkha: Pathman: nmemkha: I find Atheists interesting. They dismiss anything that does not fit their narrow worldview out-of-hand and are generally mocking and condescending to the views of others.

uh - no, those people are called assholes.

There's a difference?


between someone who doesn't happen to believe what you believe and an asshole? i suppose that's a matter of opinion.
 
2012-10-08 01:23:29 PM  
...while his brain was completely inactive

I know people wandering around like this everyday. Not sure if they're in a coma or not.
 
2012-10-08 01:24:29 PM  

ELF Radio: RAAAARGH SHUT UP ALL YOU WEAK, SNIVELING BABIES WHO THINK LIFE HAS MEANING OR SOME GAY SHIAT LIKE THAT. WE ARE ANIMAL-MACHINES THAT SPRANG INEXPLICABLY FROM NOTHING AND WE EAT AND FARK AND DIE AND THAT IS ALL. NOTHING ELSE EXISTS AND ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHER WISE IS A LAME DICK WHO CANT DEAL WITH REALITY.

WHY DONT YOU FAIRIES GO BECOME REPUBLICANS AND VOTE FOR MITT ROMENY IF YOU BELIEVE THIS NANCY QUEER AND HIS HALLUCINATROY BULLSHIAT.


All CAPS strawman == weapon's grade stupidity == welcome to ignore
 
2012-10-08 01:24:43 PM  
I'm having a near death experience as I type this. I'll respond back with my findings once it's over. If you don't hear back from me within the next 2 weeks assume that this episode was more death than near.
 
2012-10-08 01:26:05 PM  
Let's see, we have a bunch of atheists who cannot even consider the possibility that they might be wrong, and therefore dismiss every confirmed fact known about the neocortex, saying "we just don't know how the brain works", even though that's been a well established fact for some time now. The hilarious thing is that you people are so quick to throw out science and say "the jury's still out" when your world view is challenged.. You know who else throws out well established science when their world view is challenged? Yep, you people aren't any better than a young earth creationist. I'm not saying his testimony is irrefutable proof that there is an afterlife, but anyone who dismisses it based on this reasoning doesn't occupy higher ground than a creationist.
 
2012-10-08 01:26:28 PM  

Raharu: Oh Boy Time for Some Skeptoid.

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4261 - Near Death Experiences
Link
A comparison of the effects of hypoxia to the reports of a brush with the afterlife.

tl;dr podcast link - http://skeptoid.com/audio/skeptoid-4261.mp3
Link

Penn and Teller Ouiji Board and Near Death Experiences

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLFV4DTPCPc Full episode.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLFV4DTPCPc


Supposedly the K-hole does the same thing as give you an NDE.

PirateKing: I had a similar experience. I saw a soft light, and a beautiful blue sky, and swirling entities. I heard wonderful chimes, and then i seemed to see words that gave me great comfort:

[blog.politekniktelkom.ac.id image 640x360]


I expect I'll probably blue screen.

:/

ELF Radio: RAAAARGH SHUT UP ALL YOU WEAK, SNIVELING BABIES WHO THINK LIFE HAS MEANING OR SOME GAY SHIAT LIKE THAT. WE ARE ANIMAL-MACHINES THAT SPRANG INEXPLICABLY FROM NOTHING AND WE EAT AND FARK AND DIE AND THAT IS ALL. NOTHING ELSE EXISTS AND ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHER WISE IS A LAME DICK WHO CANT DEAL WITH REALITY.

WHY DONT YOU FAIRIES GO BECOME REPUBLICANS AND VOTE FOR MITT ROMENY IF YOU BELIEVE THIS NANCY QUEER AND HIS HALLUCINATROY BULLSHIAT.


SOMEBODY needs a hug...

Millennium: xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.

There is some scientific interest here: the part of his brain that shut down is the part that, according to our current understanding, should have been responsible for experiences like this. That doesn't necessarily mean his interpretation of what happened is correct, of course. But it does mean that we've missed something: if what he saw was a dream (which I think it was), then something can give rise to dreams which we hadn't considered. That has implications for neuroscience.


Like someone else said in this thread, the brain is a weird organ. A lot like my penis.

/I think with both, too
 
2012-10-08 01:26:47 PM  
So he's becoming a cult leader now?
 
2012-10-08 01:27:21 PM  
That's right, spin, spin for all you're worth! There is no such thing as sufficient evidence when it contradicts your preconceived notions. No reputable scientist disagrees with you, because anyone who disagrees with you is by definition not a reputable scientist. Anything that does not make sense TO YOU is objectively nonsense and can be safely dismissed.

Keep your self-esteem nice and buffered. Because that's what's important.
 
2012-10-08 01:27:35 PM  
In the entire documented history of near death experiences, out-of-body experiences, visit-to-heaven experiences, etc., nobody has ever come back knowing some objective fact that they couldn't previously have known. Not even something as trivial as the fact that open-mined neurosurgeons have placed a piece of paper on top of one of the shelves in the operating theater that says "If you can read this, you are having a real out-of-body experience".

There's nothing in this article or any other similar account that is more compelling than a dream.
 
2012-10-08 01:27:44 PM  

L.D. Ablo: You don't have to die to shut down those transmissions. You should try it:

www.keeptalkinggreece.com


That cat looks REALLY happy.
 
2012-10-08 01:28:52 PM  
webspace.ship.edu
 
2012-10-08 01:30:22 PM  

Sofa King Smart: hmmmm... wonder if this guy read 'Heaven is for real'?

"Heaven Is for Real" was published in late 2010, became a word-of-mouth best seller and has spent 59 (nonconsecutive) weeks as the No. 1 nonfiction paperback on The New York Times's best-seller list. Recently the publisher, Thomas Nelson, spun off a children's picture book, now also a best seller, with illustrations verified by Colton. And sometime in 2014, courtesy of DeVon Franklin, vice president of production at Columbia Pictures, who considers his faith "a professional asset," a movie version should be released in theaters.

I've never had a reason to punch a child before, but that book made me wanna do it. His father needs a severe beating too.
 
2012-10-08 01:31:44 PM  
Not Impressed

www.freewebs.com
 
2012-10-08 01:31:50 PM  

czetie: There's nothing in this article or any other similar account that is more compelling than a dream.


Who says dreams can't be real?

I had a dream last night Johnny Depp and Hugh Jackman were taking turns giving me massages.

/I want to believe
 
2012-10-08 01:32:36 PM  
I read somewhere that the brain produces a high amount of DMT-like chemicals while dying which could produce the "heaven" hallucinations a lot of people experience.

What would be really funny is if a Christian having a near-death experience ran into Vishnu or Mohammad.
 
2012-10-08 01:33:25 PM  

Millennium: xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.

There is some scientific interest here: the part of his brain that shut down is the part that, according to our current understanding, should have been responsible for experiences like this. That doesn't necessarily mean his interpretation of what happened is correct, of course. But it does mean that we've missed something: if what he saw was a dream (which I think it was), then something can give rise to dreams which we hadn't considered. That has implications for neuroscience.


It could also be that this experience happened as the "human" part of his brain woke back up, As in dreams they seem to take a long period of time but are really just very short. As blood was re-flowing and the brain was "rebooting" all kinds of strange things could have been happening to it.
 
2012-10-08 01:33:36 PM  

MisterLoki: Twaddle.

 

What do you mean? Religion has accomplished its goal, allowing us to interpret such neurological phenomenae as religious experience and not worthy of scientific understanding. It's self-selection bias and narcissism all in one convenient little package. Yay religion.
 
2012-10-08 01:33:55 PM  

xanadian: Ya know, I had always thought of the brain as little more than our own personal radio. It picks up transmissions from what we call "our soul" and interprets them in such a way that it manifests as what we think of as reality. Just because the radio's switched off (or run over because you left it out on the driveway while washing your car, then never bothered to pick it up before running it over) doesn't mean the transmissions aren't still there, nor that the signal isn't stored in some other way for future retrieval.

However, one doctor's anecdote does not constitute proof of anything, really, either my POV or anyone else's. We also may find that the "human" part of our brain is NOT the seat of consciousness, but it rests elsewhere, or it's a synergistic effect of many different parts of the brain.

The jury's still out.


I've played with that idea before as well. I read a supposed quote by Tesla that suggested the same, but now I 'm wondering if it was an actual quote of his since I can't seem to find it anywhere else. Either way, if there is the possibility for the existence of a part of our makeup that comes from without the body, then it only stands to reason that there has to be some sort of communication between these parts. I get sillier still thinking that other part's separation from myself could possibly extend past space or even time.

It's all a load of unprovable wishful thinking and I accept it as it is. It doesn't help that I have had 1 NDEs and a couple OBEs in which I experienced a clear separation between what I felt was my body and myself. I don't recall anything of the first experience since I was 2. Apparently my mom found me collapsed on the kitchen floor. I wasn't breathing and she couldn't find my heartbeat. Apparently she was able to resuscitate me with CPR which means either I did have a very faint heartbeat or I was one of those rare cases where the chestpumps actually restarted a heart. As for the OBEs, those are very personal experiences of mine that no one here would gain from them. All I'll share about them is that this seems to be one of those things in which only your personal experiences will answer the questions you have and even then if you do find an answer even more questions will pop up.
 
2012-10-08 01:34:23 PM  
As after-death experience reports go, I give it a C-. I mean really--blue eyes and golden brown tresses? If he'd told me it was a short, fat, balding man of vaguely Mediterranean experience with a raspy voice and a goiter, it might have been a C. You give me axe-swinging Vikings and endless hallowed fields of ice and crystal, we're maybe talking B-. You tell me you had to stand in line at something like a DMV, and they told you that you had the wrong form--now I'm a believer.

But a lovely young woman with blue eyes and golden brown tresses? That booming sound you heard was the sound of a dozen laptops banging out the script for the inevitable TV series based on the bestseller book THIS FALL ON FOX. "America's Got Angels." "So You Think You Can Vegetate." "Angels Gone Wild."
 
2012-10-08 01:35:38 PM  
I died once. Hard death, during a heart attack. Was clinically dead for 15 minutes.

My consciousness continued during my "death".

I don't share details, because doing so would be pointless. If my experience was simply under-the-radar brain activity, the experience is moot. If it was an experience of existence beyond death, my observations are hearsay, and will convince no one of any "truths" I learned.

What did I see? Well... it certainly wouldn't classify as Christian, that's for sure. Not "hell" either. Very interesting, for certain.

Personally, I now believe my existence continues beyond death. Your mileage and experience may vary.

/ Glad to be alive
// Happy to know more about myself
 
2012-10-08 01:35:38 PM  
I'm waiting for the part where he was actually dead, so he can discuss whether or not there is an afterlife.
 
2012-10-08 01:36:27 PM  

SandMann: Things Newsweek could have put on the front cover:

New Revelations about the Benghazi Attack

The Presidential Debate

Israel and Iran at the UN and Nuclear Brinksmanship

Turkey vs Syria

Spain and the European Economic Crisis

Venezuela's Election

Newsweek is worthless fishwrap.


"They read Newsweek instead of nothing!"
 
2012-10-08 01:36:44 PM  

Babwa Wawa: xanadian: The jury's still out.

Well, yeah. If one has "proof" of something or another, then one no long needs "faith" in order to believe in it.

The whole "life after death" obsession strikes me as silly and indicative of perpetual juvenility.

You're not going to know jack sh*t until you are dead. Dead-dead, not "turned-off dead". Anyone claiming certainty on the matter is either delusional or a charlatan. When you've got a book deal like TFA, I'm banking on the latter.


Santa is REAL goddamn you!
 
2012-10-08 01:37:21 PM  

Poppa Boner: nmemkha: I find Atheists interesting. They dismiss anything that does not fit their narrow worldview out-of-hand and are generally mocking and condescending to the views of others.

If the faithful just kept their moronic beliefs to themselves and didn't try to control every facet of other people's lives maybe we wouldn't need to shout you down so much.


Shout you down? I'm sorry I thought rational people enjoy civil discourse and debate. So you adopt the same tactics that you claim to despise in Theists?
 
2012-10-08 01:37:22 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Let's see, we have a bunch of atheists who cannot even consider the possibility that they might be wrong, and therefore dismiss every confirmed fact known about the neocortex, saying "we just don't know how the brain works", even though that's been a well established fact for some time now. The hilarious thing is that you people are so quick to throw out science and say "the jury's still out" when your world view is challenged.. You know who else throws out well established science when their world view is challenged? Yep, you people aren't any better than a young earth creationist. I'm not saying his testimony is irrefutable proof that there is an afterlife, but anyone who dismisses it based on this reasoning doesn't occupy higher ground than a creationist.


This is the problem with people like you ... you really have no concept of how science works.

"cannot even consider the possibility that they might be wrong" - From a scientific point of view the only thing we know is that we are always wrong to some degree or another.

"dismiss every confirmed fact known about the neocortex" - There is no such thing as "confirmed facts" when it comes to subjects of scientific research. There are things that we have extremely high confidence in that we treat as if they are facts - a necessary evil in science or we could never make any progress. When it comes to how the brain works our confidence isn't actually that high for most of it.

"say "the jury's still out" when your world view is challenged" - We are not a group. We do not have a collective "world view". An anecdote is not challenging anything because it is not real evidence of anything.

You desperately want this to be real so it justifies all the time and money you've wasted believing magic is real. Sadly this is not evidence ... so it cannot be the evidence you are desperately looking for. Have some faith it is real ... so far there is no evidence.

S
 
2012-10-08 01:38:27 PM  
I look forward to a multi-locational, double-blind experiment, with a significant number of subjects, to replicate these findings.
 
2012-10-08 01:38:37 PM  
Modern physics tells us that the universe is a unity-that it is undivided.

Ignorance truly is bliss, in this case. They don't call it quantum physics just because it sounds cool.
 
2012-10-08 01:38:47 PM  
One big thing separates the atheists from other sides in the ongoing religious debates: only atheists insist that their opponents do not think. Sometimes other sides will claim that the atheists' use of their minds is the whole problem -the Catholic Church was once infamous for that- but even in an argument like that, there's an implicit acknowledgement that the other side has functioning minds behind the faces.

There is a disturbing element of dehumanization in the argument that one's opponents do not think. It also the concept of debate useless: there is no point in a meeting of minds if one of those minds doesn't acknowledge the other. It's also one of the most fundamentally dishonest arguments a person can make about other people: we think. It's what we do. It is a pity, then, that this line of argument has become fashionable among the atheists of our time to use it, because it makes it so easy to ignore such people as the zealots they are. They damage their own side more than they realize.

Worse still is that the meme spread from there to political debate, where the consequences of halted dialogue are all too real. People suffer for this, all because one side insists on clinging to the notion that it is the only side that thinks, making debate pointless and resolution impossible.
 
2012-10-08 01:38:51 PM  

xanadian: Ya know, I had always thought of the brain as little more than our own personal radio. It picks up transmissions from what we call "our soul" and interprets them in such a way that it manifests as what we think of as reality. Just because the radio's switched off (or run over because you left it out on the driveway while washing your car, then never bothered to pick it up before running it over) doesn't mean the transmissions aren't still there, nor that the signal isn't stored in some other way for future retrieval.

However, one doctor's anecdote does not constitute proof of anything, really, either my POV or anyone else's. We also may find that the "human" part of our brain is NOT the seat of consciousness, but it rests elsewhere, or it's a synergistic effect of many different parts of the brain.

The jury's still out.


You theory does not adequately explain the PROFOUND personality changes that can come with brain injuries.
 
2012-10-08 01:39:23 PM  

JuddyBuddy77: Can we get someone who has had an out of body experience to take DMT and then tell me. If it's the same, because I would really like to know. I mean sure, I can take some DMT and get my own experience, but I'm not all into having a near death experience. No matter how controlled, they make scary movies about that kind of thing.


yeah, reading his descriptions sounds quite similar to descriptions of DMT, right down to the beautiful lady guide.
 
2012-10-08 01:39:33 PM  
Yes, there is a between-life period. Its still part of "the illusion"
 
2012-10-08 01:40:23 PM  
"pottie
I remember heaven. She was a petite blonde with eyes the color of a spring morning. She had freckles on her nose and an infectious smile. She is the one I will always regret losing, the one that haunts my dreams and makes me melancholy even on the brightest day. I remember heaven."


The brain can create strange delusions all right... Her hair was red.
 
2012-10-08 01:40:49 PM  
Based on the teachings of Belinda Carlisle during my formative teenage years, I was led to believe that heaven is a place on earth. Now this?
 
2012-10-08 01:41:03 PM  
Here's a theory for you to disregard: We know that his neocortex was shut down for part of the period of his coma, based on the CT scan. He obviously wasn't being that carefully studied during the entire time, though, you can't do that. You also wouldn't be aware of an interruption of your stream of consciousness. I also find it highly doubtful that his neocortex went from completely on to completely off instantaneously, completely off for seven days, and then completely off to completely back on instantaneously. Could it be that his NDE occurred during the period his neocortex turning off or turning back on? I don't know enough about neuroscience to comment, but maybe someone with a better background could shed some light on this.
 
2012-10-08 01:41:28 PM  
Deman
As for the OBEs, those are very personal experiences of mine that no one here would gain from them. All I'll share about them is that this seems to be one of those things in which only your personal experiences will answer the questions you have and even then if you do find an answer even more questions will pop up.

Your sense of 'location' is a biological function of an organic gyroscope which can be messed with. I'm sure your local streetcorner pharmacist can help you replicate the experience chemically.
 
2012-10-08 01:41:46 PM  
How does he know that any of these thoughts/experiences occurred during the time he was mostly braindead? Haven't you ever had a dream that seemed to last all night only to discover you've woken up just an hour or two after falling asleep? Who's to say a huge jumble of thoughts weren't released when he was going into the coma or coming out of it and he just thought he was having experiences?

Stories like these make me more intrigued to understand our brains better rather than make me more likely to believe in any kind of religious afterlife.
 
2012-10-08 01:41:59 PM  
For those crowing about how atheists are close minded and lash out when their world views are in question because of "proof" such as this... there is NO proof here. None. Dude wants to tell his story fine. It is indeed interesting but don't claim it as proof of anything. You cannot change the definition of a word to suit your own selfish agenda.

Go be oppressed somewhere else.
 
2012-10-08 01:42:07 PM  
Perhaps this entire experience happened in the moments his brain was bouncing back to life, somewhat like how a dreamer may dream a whole day in the span of minutes.

/Devil's advocate
//Jungians would have a field-day with his experience
 
2012-10-08 01:43:19 PM  
Perfectly complements an issue of Newsweek.
 
2012-10-08 01:43:26 PM  
FTFA: There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind-my conscious, inner self-was alive and well.

There certainly is a scientific explanation. You just don't know what it is. As a scientist (so you claim) it's your responsibility to search for that explanation. Not throw your arms up and just claim, "God did it

I'm sure the guy is very knowledgeable on the topic of the human brain. Certainly he is more knowledgeable than I am. However, he makes a lot of claims in TFA about how this and that is impossible. Well, clearly it isn't.

How convenient... a version of what happened to you that doesn't require hard work and reasearch... GBTW!
 
2012-10-08 01:44:05 PM  

nmemkha: I'm sorry I thought rational people enjoy civil discourse and debate


You called all atheists assholes. How very civil and rational of you. I'm sure Christ would be proud.
 
2012-10-08 01:44:06 PM  
THIS perfectly complements an issue of Newsweek, serve at room temperature.
 
2012-10-08 01:44:07 PM  

Markoff_Cheney: i can only hope that my brother went to that place a year and a month ago.
i can only hope i get to see him there when i am done.


also, this thread farking sucks.
i may be as science as they come and agnostic as all hell, but this thread farking sucks.
'i serve no god, no god has served me'.
i hope i am wrong.
 
2012-10-08 01:44:21 PM  

Mugato: logistic: Although I considered myself a faithful Christian

Loses any trace of credibility at this precise point. Not arguing one way or another, but his opinion is nixed by this statement.

You didn't finish the sentence. I was so more in name than in actual belief. So according to the Bible, he wouldn't be in heaven, he'd be in Hell!

/how come no one has near death experiences of Hell, anyway?


A friend of mine tried to kill herself with a bowl full of pills and a fifth of vodak. After her 3 day coma ended, she told of demons ripping her skin from her body and other such funhouse terrors. Swore she was going to straighten her life out, get sober and stop trying to kill herself because her husband was leaving her.

She hung herself a few months later, so apparently the whole Hell experience wasn't real enough to deter her from trying her best to get back there.
 
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