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(Newsweek)   Neurosurgeon who says he saw Heaven during near-death experience responds to critics, insists he's a "deep believer in science" despite special pleading for experience during least reliable mental state short of death   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 139
    More: Followup, Nobel Prize in Physics, cerebral cortex, imaging science, modern physics, Heisenberg, proof, bacterial meningitis, physical environment  
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2619 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Nov 2012 at 7:40 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-25 10:04:46 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: the very thing Athiests biatch about with believers (lack of evidence, or the convenient i don't understand therefore God) is the very same thing they rely on when stories like this come out.


Except there is evidence. Evidence that near-death experiences are fantasies produced by the random chemical soup the brain is exposed to when it is near death.

You are suggesting that we should take an anecdote (from a guy who just happens to be selling a book based on that anecdote), which was produced when the subject's brain was clearly in a compromised state, as evidence of something?? If so, you obviously don't understand what constitutes quality evidence (or you have confirmation bias because you like what his delusions said).
 
2012-11-25 10:04:48 AM  
I'd bet being half dead was outside of this surgeon's experiential base and he grooved on it. That disembodied feeling was probably a lot like being high, ditto the dreamy hallucinations, just before the lights go out forever and you become the equivalent of a sparrow caught in a mousetrap.
 
2012-11-25 10:05:18 AM  

keepitcherry: MayoSlather: As an atheist I want to believe. In the off chance there is consciousness after death I'll be pleasantly surprised, but either way I won't be disappointed.

Extract some DMT and smoke 3 hits. You won't be an atheist anymore.

/Former atheist


Been there. done that, still an atheist. Just because I smoked some drugs and saw some REALLY crazy shiat doesn't mean that a deity exists. A DMT addled mind isn't exactly clear on the concepts of rational thought and "reality".
 
2012-11-25 10:06:59 AM  

MayoSlather: As an atheist I want to believe. In the off chance there is consciousness after death I'll be pleasantly surprised, but either way I won't be disappointed.


I'm agnostic-borderline atheist. I fully believe that continued existence can occur after death without the presence of a deity. Then again, I believe that life is more than neurons firing. That there is a ghost in the machine.

All I have are personal stories that no one would believe and absolutely no generally accepted scientific data.
 
2012-11-25 10:13:33 AM  

Farking Canuck: You are suggesting that we should take an anecdote (from a guy who just happens to be selling a book based on that anecdote), which was produced when the subject's brain was clearly in a compromised state, as evidence of something?? If so, you obviously don't understand what constitutes quality evidence (or you have confirmation bias because you like what his delusions said).


That's all the evidence I need to see what's going on here.
 
2012-11-25 10:15:47 AM  
I stopped at ninjas.
 
2012-11-25 10:30:18 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: Farking Canuck: HindiDiscoMonster: the very thing Athiests biatch about with believers (lack of evidence, or the convenient i don't understand therefore God) is the very same thing they rely on when stories like this come out.

Except there is evidence. Evidence that near-death experiences are fantasies produced by the random chemical soup the brain is exposed to when it is near death.

You are suggesting that we should take an anecdote (from a guy who just happens to be selling a book based on that anecdote), which was produced when the subject's brain was clearly in a compromised state, as evidence of something?? If so, you obviously don't understand what constitutes quality evidence (or you have confirmation bias because you like what his delusions said).

I am suggesting, that unless you are a neuroscientist like the person in the article, you are unqualified to judge his conclusions.


If the neuroscientist begins offering explanations for his own anecdote that are not consistent with the scientific consensus in order to sell a book, then yes, he no longer gets to represent himself as an authority.
 
2012-11-25 10:32:52 AM  
The proper conclusion.
People with limited brain activity believe there is a heaven.
 
2012-11-25 10:34:03 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Farking Canuck: HindiDiscoMonster: the very thing Athiests biatch about with believers (lack of evidence, or the convenient i don't understand therefore God) is the very same thing they rely on when stories like this come out.

Except there is evidence. Evidence that near-death experiences are fantasies produced by the random chemical soup the brain is exposed to when it is near death.

You are suggesting that we should take an anecdote (from a guy who just happens to be selling a book based on that anecdote), which was produced when the subject's brain was clearly in a compromised state, as evidence of something?? If so, you obviously don't understand what constitutes quality evidence (or you have confirmation bias because you like what his delusions said).

I am suggesting, that unless you are a neuroscientist like the person in the article, you are unqualified to judge his conclusions.

If the neuroscientist begins offering explanations for his own anecdote that are not consistent with the scientific consensus in order to sell a book, then yes, he no longer gets to represent himself as an authority.

oh i agree...

the earth is still flat, right?


Except nobody offered their own altered state of consciousness as proof of a spherical Earth. Instead there was specific empirical observations made: the top of a ship appears before the bottom as it comes in from the horizon, the earth casts an elliptical shadow on the moon, etc.
 
2012-11-25 10:36:18 AM  
What is the evolutionary advantage to believing/experiencing an afterlife/god??
 
2012-11-25 10:41:28 AM  

Mjeck: What is the evolutionary advantage to believing/experiencing an afterlife/god??


Shamans and religious leaders exist in nearly all human groups. Our current incarnation with the sex shaming doesn't seem to produce a lot of copies of genes. However in more "primitive" groups the religious leader is held in high reverence and central to copulation and other significant activities. A man who can channel god among a superstitious tribe gets to fark a lot. However, the religious head has to really really believe in what he is preaching. So for the majority, mental illness and a predisposition to attribute really trippy shiat to a god is pretty maladaptive. But for the guy who does it at the right time, in front of the right people, he gets to pass on a shiatload of genes. That is really a bastardized version of this lecture.
 
2012-11-25 10:44:03 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: don't you think it's just a little hypocritical to look at someone else conclusions (that hold a phd btw) and completely discard it because it does not fit your narrative?


You do realize where you are posting, don't you?
I had a NDE experience after a severe wreck I was in back in 1994.
It was interesting but I later realized I couldn't trust it's reality.
No biggy though, I only believe in life after death on Christ's Word, I believe what He said is honest and true.
So anything I experienced while knocked out or whatever is really beside the point concerning the after life.
Whatever you believe, it's all faith, you won't know for sure until you get there.
 
2012-11-25 10:46:20 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Farking Canuck: HindiDiscoMonster: the very thing Athiests biatch about with believers (lack of evidence, or the convenient i don't understand therefore God) is the very same thing they rely on when stories like this come out.

Except there is evidence. Evidence that near-death experiences are fantasies produced by the random chemical soup the brain is exposed to when it is near death.

You are suggesting that we should take an anecdote (from a guy who just happens to be selling a book based on that anecdote), which was produced when the subject's brain was clearly in a compromised state, as evidence of something?? If so, you obviously don't understand what constitutes quality evidence (or you have confirmation bias because you like what his delusions said).

I am suggesting, that unless you are a neuroscientist like the person in the article, you are unqualified to judge his conclusions.

If the neuroscientist begins offering explanations for his own anecdote that are not consistent with the scientific consensus in order to sell a book, then yes, he no longer gets to represent himself as an authority.

oh i agree...

the earth is still flat, right?

Except nobody offered their own altered state of consciousness as proof of a spherical Earth. Instead there was specific empirical observations made: the top of a ship appears before the bottom as it comes in from the horizon, the earth casts an elliptical shadow on the moon, etc.

i think you are failing to see the point still... i will spell it out: science is ever changing. new discoveries are made daily. things that should not be and we have no way (currently) to understand why they work that way just do (ie; quantum {insert discipline here})... don't you think it's just a little hypocritical to look at someone else conclusions (that hold a phd btw) and completely discard it because it does not fit your narrative?

sounds ...


And here is what you are missing, revolutionary conclusions do not come from somebody who just feels something in his gut. Especially when your proof is "I was in a coma." And you're a medical doctor, not a phd, so this isn't your field of specialty. And this is what the majority of your peers think of you, "Alexander's account rests on repeated assertions that his visions of heaven occurred while his cerebral cortex was "shut down," "inactivated," "completely shut down," "totally offline," and "stunned to complete inactivity." The evidence he provides for this claim is not only inadequate - it suggests that he doesn't know anything about the relevant brain science.""

Revolutionary conclusions are still based in empirical evidence, nothing will change that, no matter how many times you think god talked to you.
 
2012-11-25 10:50:17 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: (that hold a phd btw)


Link
 
2012-11-25 10:51:11 AM  
You are allowed to believe in science and God at the same time. I 100% trust that science and discovery will reveal what is really happening around us but I also believe in God.

No, not intelligent design or other BS like that. I just believe in God.
 
2012-11-25 10:51:18 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: i think you are failing to see the point still... i will spell it out: science is ever changing. new discoveries are made daily. things that should not be and we have no way (currently) to understand why they work that way just do (ie; quantum {insert discipline here})... don't you think it's just a little hypocritical to look at someone else conclusions (that hold a phd btw) and completely discard it because it does not fit your narrative?


You are the one missing the point.

Science advances and new discoveries will be made ... using good evidence. This example is discarded because it uses bad evidence. Not because of any preexisting narrative.

The fact that this guy is going to profit off of his story makes the evidence even more suspect.

An example:
A noted physicist does some research and presents a paper supported by documented research which others can replicate - this is something that is worth exploring.

This same noted physicist takes some peyote and tells us about the new grand unified theory he just dreamed about - this is something to be laughed off until he can produce some real evidence to support it.

Like the fictional figure in my example, this neuroscientist can be ignored because his brain was in an altered state (rendering its perceptions and conclusions suspect) and he produces no real evidence to support his conclusions.

You are the one falling to the logical fallacy of confirmation bias ... you want this to be real even though there is no real evidence to support it.
 
2012-11-25 10:54:00 AM  

Mjeck: What is the evolutionary advantage to believing/experiencing an afterlife/god??


There are several aspects to this which include our early susceptibility to suggestion from authority, which transmits information vital to survival quickly; ability to create constructs including through anthropomoprhization, which allows planning and collaboration not otherwise seen in animals; and reconstructed memories, which provides us with relevant information in context and to transfer context. The drawbacks are we are quite gullible, ascribe human motivations to inanimate objects, and can trick ourselves with nonexistent experiences and details, but none of those are disadvantageous to fitness, or at least not disadvantageous enough.

Not authoritative and simply providing my best understanding to an answer for this question.
 
2012-11-25 10:54:03 AM  

Mentalpatient87: HindiDiscoMonster: (that hold a phd btw)

Link


THIS and he is an MD.
 
2012-11-25 10:58:20 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Farking Canuck: HindiDiscoMonster: [snippidy do da]

And here is what you are missing, revolutionary conclusions do not come from somebody who just feels something in his gut. Especially when your proof is "I was in a coma." And you're a medical doctor, not a phd, so this isn't your field of specialty. And this is what the majority of your peers think of you, "Alexander's account rests on repeated assertions that his visions of heaven occurred while his cerebral cortex was "shut down," "inactivated," "completely shut down," "totally offline," and "stunned to complete inactivity." The evidence he provides for this claim is not only inadequate - it suggests that he doesn't know anything about the relevant brain science.""

Revolutionary conclusions are still based in empirical evidence, nothing will change that, no matter how many times you think god talked to you.

Now that is a more reasonable conclusion. I never said I supported his hypothesis, or rejected it now did I? I said i simply find it interesting that Athiests use the same arguments believers use, and Athiests shiat all over believers for it... then you wigged out and went on some sailor's shopping spree of curse words to inform me how wrong I was about the afterlife. See how not comprehending what you are reading can get you into a mess?

I think there is someone who may respectfully disagree with the bolded statement above:
[www5.pcmag.com image 350x250]

/yes he proved it... but AFTER his gut feeling :)


Were his gut feelings fueled by hallucinations or data that required a model to fit it into our understanding? And I curse as a farking infantryman, not a pussy ass squid. I think we've reached the same conclusion, except you still seem to believe the whole Athiesm as a belief system fallacy.
 
2012-11-25 11:01:59 AM  

Mjeck: What is the evolutionary advantage to believing/experiencing an afterlife/god??


1) This doctor will probably make a lot of money off this book off of weird hippie people. 2) Some hippie girls are HOT. 3)He's likely to bang a few of them and since he's rich the girls will be less likely to use protection 4) Cute doctor/hippie hybrids
 
2012-11-25 11:05:48 AM  

t3knomanser: gadian: I've always felt that the brain may want to make the user feel happy before death

There's no reason to expect that. There's no evolutionary benefit. It's far more likely that we find the experience pleasant simply as a side-effect.


You're awfully certain that pleasant NDEs have no evolutionary benefit. It's easy to imagine that quiet and calm deaths are beneficial to the surviving members of a monkey troop as it wouldn't cause predators to notice there's easy pickings in that cave over there. Have some of the monkeys survive the NDE, and BAM: evolutionary benefit.
 
2012-11-25 11:09:30 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: ummm what?
what does that have to do with my discussion with Schroedinger's Glory Hole?

/It was the peote wasn't it?


No, it's the topic of thread. Actually, I just thought you were bloviating.
My mistake was in taking you seriously.
 
2012-11-25 11:10:39 AM  
We have dreams and we have false memories. Everyone accepts that those aren't "real" - that they were just created by the brain. I fail to see how this is different. Even if he had no brain activity, the "memories" of what he experienced could have been created post hoc.
 
2012-11-25 11:19:10 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: Now that is a more reasonable conclusion. I never said I supported his hypothesis, or rejected it now did I? I said i simply find it interesting that Athiests use the same arguments believers use, and Athiests shiat all over believers for it... then you wigged out and went on some sailor's shopping spree of curse words to inform me how wrong I was about the afterlife. See how not comprehending what you are reading can get you into a mess?


Of course you'll find most self-identified atheists in the thread also shiatting all over this, too, so blanket statements are neither appreciated nor accurate. (Of course when are they ever?)

HindiDiscoMonster: I think there is someone who may respectfully disagree with the bolded statement above:


I don't think anyone disputes that flashes of insight are useful fuel for the engine of ever-increasing-knowledge, but they don't come out of nowhere, and the accuracy and value of them is confirmed the way you implied... through evidence. Einstein also had incorrect insights and "just-so" conclusions, but we don't include them in the tally or give them credence, or think about them much. Confirmation bias is a pretty powerful one, but we should never confuse that with "because insight, therefore..." Thousands of people have many more thousands of insights, but the way they get incorporated into the human knowledge set works exactly the same way.

AdrienVeidt: You're awfully certain that pleasant NDEs have no evolutionary benefit. It's easy to imagine that quiet and calm deaths are beneficial to the surviving members of a monkey troop as it wouldn't cause predators to notice there's easy pickings in that cave over there. Have some of the monkeys survive the NDE, and BAM: evolutionary benefit.


I suppose a way to test that hypothesis would be to look at species with complex-enough brains, but are not communal and would usually die alone. (Better if an earliest common ancestor with a social primate species was itself non-social.)
 
2012-11-25 11:24:13 AM  
Also, add me to the "you can believe in science and a deity of some sort" crowd. A lot of bits of physics and philosophy lend credence to the simulation argument. Of course that doesn't mean the runners of the simulation care about us any more than I care about the tanks I "simulated" in Civilization last night.
 
2012-11-25 11:33:10 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: That bowtie, although not proof, is compelling evidence that this guy is a douche.


www.popularmechanics.com 
Are you sure about that?
 
2012-11-25 11:34:24 AM  
FTA: "Initially, I'd planned on writing my experience up in a scientific paper. But as I struggled to place it within the context of everything I'd learned about the brain and consciousness up to that point, I realized that I needed to reach out beyond my fellow scientists. Specifically, I wanted to reach the public who listen most deeply and attentively to what scientists tell them. And I needed to reach those millions because for a long time now many scientists have been telling the public a story that is not quite true."

This is where he lost me (well, honestly, he lost me with his entire premise, but I was attempting to be open-minded, given his credentials). So, what you you are saying, doc, is that instead of publishing your findings and subjecting them to peer review and learned scrutiny, you wanted to make a buck by pandering to the science-illiterate masses desperate for some "proof" that their lives aren't meaningless.

Well, great job, I guess. I'm sure you'll make a mint on your little book. Congratulations, I suppose. Oh...and EABOD.
 
2012-11-25 11:40:26 AM  
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4261 - 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
 
2012-11-25 11:41:11 AM  

HindiDiscoMonster: Oh I never meant to say that all inspiration was good... only that hypothesis in science start with an idea/inspiration.


But these inspirations are not accepted as evidence of anything. They are merely jumping off points to start scientific investigation.

If the guy in this story took this experience and used it to generate some evidence then there would be something to look at. Right now there is absolutely zero reason to listen to him.

/I suspect he will be too busy rolling in his piles of book profit to do any actual research.
 
2012-11-25 11:42:00 AM  

So I guess this guy has finally seen the movie "Martyrs".


img.wonderhowto.com

 
2012-11-25 11:43:44 AM  
He saw "heaven" because during his near-death experience, his brain released en masse the chemical that helps people sleep. He saw "heaven" because he was having the most intense dream of his life. Nothing more.
 
2012-11-25 11:50:55 AM  
Let me tell you what farkers- the money made from this is real
 
2012-11-25 12:04:46 PM  
burn him at the stake for not being a deep enough believer in science
 
2012-11-25 12:10:32 PM  

HindiDiscoMonster: I agree... which is the point I was making :)


I figured it came close, but the internet (and Fark threads like this particularly) is full of all manner of crazy-to-trolling-to-jokery-to-snide-remarks-to-serious-extent so it can be hard to properly parse. :-Þ

HindiDiscoMonster: Oh I never meant to say that all inspiration was good... only that hypothesis in science start with an idea/inspiration.


Ah, but which came first, the inspiration or the knowledge and education and experience that inspired the inspiration? ;-)

I still think we put undue emphasis on "where something came from" after said thing has already borne fruit. It seems like evolution itself is an interestingly close parallel, with "inspiration" (or the like) treates as mutations. Knowledge evolves like a species, utilizing a host of ideas and inspirations and tests and trials, and we can identify key ones with 20/20 hindsight, find use in highlighting the negative ones for future comparison, but are not as concerned with the vast majority of neutral ones. Whether contained in an individual like Einstein or Feynman, a larger group like "the active scientific community," or the largest grouping we can think of, "everyone ever." :-Þ

It is, of course, a fantastically large and long-running system. But I find people most often highlight one or two things that confirm the Pleasing Tale™ they prefer, and ignore the rest of the scope and scale.
 
2012-11-25 12:13:04 PM  

AdolfOliverPanties: I reserve judgment on the whole near-death thing, mostly because tales of people seeing things happening a great distance from where they were "dying" and then recounting details of those events they could not have possibly seen or overheard while semi-conscious on an operating table or hospital bed.

The euphoria, seeing people who died long ago, life review, flood of memories...all that can possibly be explained by the massive release of neurotransmitters and feel-good chemicals in the brain.

But having knowledge of things happening simultaneously a distance from where you are while you are in between life and death? Unexplainable by science (so far.)

Sadly, when I croak I will not be able to come back and tell you all what's what.


Spooky quantum action at a distance, maybe?

/just reaching for the first pseudo-scientific thing that I can think of
 
2012-11-25 12:17:24 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Where were you before you were born? Why all this complicated biological hardware if we have this ethereal soul?


And why isn't a question an answer?
 
2012-11-25 12:18:13 PM  

falcon176: burn him at the stake for not being a deep enough believer in science


Who? The neurosurgeon?

He can believe what he wants ... especially a personal experience. That is much better than believing in god because your mommy and daddy said he was real.

That is not the issue here. The issue is that he is claiming that his anecdote that came from his oxygen-starved, chemically addled brain should be considered evidence of something.

It is an interesting story (not interesting enough to buy a book but that's just me). But it does not remotely come close to meeting the criteria of scientific evidence.

tldr;
He is not being mocked because of what he believes. He is being mocked because he is suggesting his anecdote is scientific evidence.
 
2012-11-25 12:22:58 PM  

Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: what i find interesting here on Fark is... the very thing Athiests biatch about with believers (lack of evidence, or the convenient i don't understand therefore God) is the very same thing they rely on when stories like this come out... (lack of evidence, he's not really a Neurosurgeon/bad evidence/looses his special club ring because he believes in something now).

[images.sodahead.com image 350x346]

/wonders if God came down and sat next to an Athiest if they would believe or have to denounce themselves :P

Shut your farking mouth you goddamn retard. The jackass got high on his own brain but in a context where he believed he was summoned to some other plane of existence. Guess what, when you think like that, you aren't thinking like a scientist. Nature doesn't work in ways so we can understand it in terms of our fantasies.


Yeah! Someone should burn that guy at the stake for not following the rules!
At the very least, house arrest!
 
2012-11-25 12:29:43 PM  

enforcerpsu: You are allowed to believe in science and God at the same time. I 100% trust that science and discovery will reveal what is really happening around us but I also believe in God.

No, not intelligent design or other BS like that. I just believe in God.


Why?
 
2012-11-25 12:35:04 PM  

s2s2s2: Yeah! Someone should burn that guy at the stake for not following the rules!


Yes. Science has very clear, well documented rules.

If you don't follow the rules you can't call it science. Which is what this guy is trying to do.

/scientists don't burn people at the stake ... that is what religious people do (historically anyway)
 
2012-11-25 12:38:17 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Cinaed: Isn't that whole thing able to be replicated in testing environments meant to simulate high G forces?

Tunnel vision. A result of decreased blood flow to the brain?
Interesting how this discussion devolves into religion and evolution.


Keep the discussion medical? And miss a perfectly good opportunity for a d!ck waving contest?

Did you forget this is Fark?
 
2012-11-25 12:51:29 PM  

s2s2s2: Quantum Apostrophe: Where were you before you were born? Why all this complicated biological hardware if we have this ethereal soul?

And why isn't a question an answer?


You don't want answers. Like a Space Nutter, all you want are fantasies.
 
2012-11-25 01:31:14 PM  
Wow, a doctor had a human reaction to almost dying. Then makes the leap of faith that it was "heaven". I wonder what he would call it if he had been raised in a different faith culture?
 
2012-11-25 01:37:26 PM  

m3000: My wife is making me read that damn book so I'll "believe in something". Halfway through and still nothing that can't be explained by normal dreaming.

/she said she was fine with me being an atheist when we married
//should have known better


Richard Marx tried to tell you.
 
2012-11-25 01:44:55 PM  

Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Farking Canuck: HindiDiscoMonster: the very thing Athiests biatch about with believers (lack of evidence, or the convenient i don't understand therefore God) is the very same thing they rely on when stories like this come out.

Except there is evidence. Evidence that near-death experiences are fantasies produced by the random chemical soup the brain is exposed to when it is near death.

You are suggesting that we should take an anecdote (from a guy who just happens to be selling a book based on that anecdote), which was produced when the subject's brain was clearly in a compromised state, as evidence of something?? If so, you obviously don't understand what constitutes quality evidence (or you have confirmation bias because you like what his delusions said).

I am suggesting, that unless you are a neuroscientist like the person in the article, you are unqualified to judge his conclusions.

If the neuroscientist begins offering explanations for his own anecdote that are not consistent with the scientific consensus in order to sell a book, then yes, he no longer gets to represent himself as an authority.


Because there has never, ever been any instance whatsoever of scientific consensus being wrong....
 
2012-11-25 01:46:16 PM  

letthepossumlive: The proper conclusion.
People with limited brain activity believe there is a heaven.


We call them 'low-information' brains.
 
2012-11-25 01:49:48 PM  

bookman: Because there has never, ever been any instance whatsoever of scientific consensus being wrong....


Has there ever been a case of a scientific consensus being proven wrong by one anecdote from a person who's brain was clearly compromised?
 
2012-11-25 01:53:31 PM  

Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Farking Canuck: HindiDiscoMonster: the very thing Athiests biatch about with believers (lack of evidence, or the convenient i don't understand therefore God) is the very same thing they rely on when stories like this come out.

Except there is evidence. Evidence that near-death experiences are fantasies produced by the random chemical soup the brain is exposed to when it is near death.

You are suggesting that we should take an anecdote (from a guy who just happens to be selling a book based on that anecdote), which was produced when the subject's brain was clearly in a compromised state, as evidence of something?? If so, you obviously don't understand what constitutes quality evidence (or you have confirmation bias because you like what his delusions said).

I am suggesting, that unless you are a neuroscientist like the person in the article, you are unqualified to judge his conclusions.

If the neuroscientist begins offering explanations for his own anecdote that are not consistent with the scientific consensus in order to sell a book, then yes, he no longer gets to represent himself as an authority.

oh i agree...

the earth is still flat, right?

Except nobody offered their own altered state of consciousness as proof of a spherical Earth. Instead there was specific empirical observations made: the top of a ship appears before the bottom as it comes in from the horizon, the earth casts an elliptical shadow on the moon, etc.


There are several problems with traditional scientific rules of evidence when dealing with internal subjective mental phenomena. Not the least of those issues is replicability. And there is no reason to ASSUME that "mind" is simply just another physical phenomena and that those rules of evidence MUST apply to it.
 
2012-11-25 01:55:57 PM  

Mjeck: What is the evolutionary advantage to believing/experiencing an afterlife/god??


In terms of living evolution (rather than survival), absolutely nothing. Which, of course, is why God and the afterlife is debated at all.
 
2012-11-25 02:00:30 PM  

bookman: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: HindiDiscoMonster: Farking Canuck: HindiDiscoMonster: the very thing Athiests biatch about with believers (lack of evidence, or the convenient i don't understand therefore God) is the very same thing they rely on when stories like this come out.

Except there is evidence. Evidence that near-death experiences are fantasies produced by the random chemical soup the brain is exposed to when it is near death.

You are suggesting that we should take an anecdote (from a guy who just happens to be selling a book based on that anecdote), which was produced when the subject's brain was clearly in a compromised state, as evidence of something?? If so, you obviously don't understand what constitutes quality evidence (or you have confirmation bias because you like what his delusions said).

I am suggesting, that unless you are a neuroscientist like the person in the article, you are unqualified to judge his conclusions.

If the neuroscientist begins offering explanations for his own anecdote that are not consistent with the scientific consensus in order to sell a book, then yes, he no longer gets to represent himself as an authority.

oh i agree...

the earth is still flat, right?

Except nobody offered their own altered state of consciousness as proof of a spherical Earth. Instead there was specific empirical observations made: the top of a ship appears before the bottom as it comes in from the horizon, the earth casts an elliptical shadow on the moon, etc.

There are several problems with traditional scientific rules of evidence when dealing with internal subjective mental phenomena. Not the least of those issues is replicability. And there is no reason to ASSUME that "mind" is simply just another physical phenomena and that those rules of evidence MUST apply to it.


But when has any other ANYTHING ever been metaphysical and not something physical? You could also assume, by your logic of evidence needing to disprove, that we are all computer programs and that everything in existence is just an illusion of sorts. With your definition of "proof", nothing can ever be truly proven. I think there are plenty of reasons to assume the mind is another physical phenomena... what are we supposed to do, doubt everything else? That's called faith... and is generally regarded as a case of the sillies when applied to science.
 
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