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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 162
    More: Followup, Nobel Prize in Physics, cerebral cortex, imaging science, modern physics, Heisenberg, proof, bacterial meningitis, physical environment  
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2615 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 12:32:38 AM
Doc.... even if your brain had no activity, which I doubt, that does not mean the visions you had are proof of an afterlife. Whose to say you had those "vision" while your brain was offline? Most likely they arose when your brain activity was restored and your sense of time was distorted because of the trauma you suffered.
 
2012-11-25 12:48:55 AM
Interesting read, but...

Make no mistake: consciousness is a total mystery. As total a mystery now as it was 10, or 100, or 1,000 years ago. We simply do not know what it is. But consciousness is so familiar to all of us, so central to our identities, that we have learned to overlook this most obvious of facts.


This just ain't so. Consciousness is certainly a phenomenon we haven't understood completely, but we do understand what it is, we understand where it takes place, and we are rapidly learning exactly how it can be altered, damaged, or lost. It's an absolutely fascinating area where science is starting to explain morality, rather than the other way around, for example.

What happened to you, doc, is no doubt a life-altering experience, but it really doesn't bring our understanding of the conscience, (the "soul" to theologians) into question, it kind of adds to and enriches it.
 
2012-11-25 12:51:11 AM
I also experienced that transitional period, when my mind began to regain consciousness: I remember a vivid paranoid nightmare in which my wife and doctors were trying to kill me, and I was only saved from certain death by a ninja couple after being pushed from a 60-story cancer hospital in south Florida. But that period of disorientation and delusion had absolutely nothing to do with what happened to me before my cortex began to recover: the period, that is, when it was shut down and incapable of supporting consciousness at all. During that period, I experienced something very similar to what countless other people who have undergone near-death experiences have witnessed: the transition to a realm beyond the physical, and a vast broadening of my consciousness. The only real difference between my experience and those others is that my brain was, essentially, deader than theirs.

One of these things is real and the other is not real. I've concluded this based on nothing, which is the most reliable form of evidence available.
 
2012-11-25 12:51:52 AM
Yeah, iw as there too -- we were lucky -- welcome to the club, don't take it for granted cuz you haven't gone all the way yet
 
2012-11-25 12:52:38 AM

Relatively Obscure: One of these things is real and the other is not real. I've concluded this based on nothing, which is the most reliable form of evidence available.


Oh, someone who hasn't been there pipes his whistle
 
2012-11-25 12:57:06 AM

urban.derelict: Relatively Obscure: One of these things is real and the other is not real. I've concluded this based on nothing, which is the most reliable form of evidence available.

Oh, someone who hasn't been there pipes his whistle


I'm glad your brain malfunction gave you warm and fuzzies, rather than anything worse, and I'm glad you're alive.
 
2012-11-25 01:04:26 AM
You know your own brain can fake experiences in near death situations, and you suddenly decide to toss aside all of your knowledge once experiencing it yourself in favor of mystical happy-go-lucky bullshiat? Yeah, you're just out for money. Of course, putting out a book makes that plain.

At least you're not exploring your children for it, like that one book. I wanted to punch every single person that came in looking for that when I worked at B&N.
 
2012-11-25 01:05:37 AM
That bowtie, although not proof, is compelling evidence that this guy is a douche.

And a charlatan.
 
2012-11-25 01:17:32 AM
That should really not be 'exploring.' It should be 'exploiting.'
 
2012-11-25 01:42:47 AM

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

And a charlatan.


I couldn't agree with you more about the bowtie douchebag connection.
 
2012-11-25 02:03:07 AM
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.
 
2012-11-25 02:06:50 AM

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.


People say the same or similar things about psychics and astrologers.
 
2012-11-25 03:13:12 AM
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
 
2012-11-25 05:40:09 AM

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


I think you should kick her ass out.

/but that's like my opinion, man
 
2012-11-25 08:00:06 AM

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


Why the hell did you get married? Was there a gun to your head?
 
2012-11-25 08:06:58 AM

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.


I remember reports of a surgeon who often received reports of near death experiences by his patients who claimed their consciousness floated up from their body while on the operating table and they could watch everybody in the operating room. So he positioned some objects in the operating theater that couldn't be seen from the table but could be seen from a position above the table. Not a single patient reported seeing the plastic apple, the number 68, or whatever he was using.
 
2012-11-25 08:28:04 AM
And of course, we all know that the sun revolves around the flat earth!

Enough said.
 
2012-11-25 08:34:07 AM
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.
 
2012-11-25 08:43:17 AM
He's a neurosurgeon, not a neuroscientist. He's a highly-trained brain-plumber. I don't expect him to understand the way this actually works.
 
2012-11-25 08:50:27 AM
The weird thing I found the old tunnel of light and sound phenomenon can be reproduced by going into high g-forces to reduce blood flow to the brain and has been shown thousands of times but it is the most stated evidence of going to heaven on a near death experience. The feeling of floating has also been simulated and people do that regularly in non close to death environments. Delusional visions are also quite common with low blood flow to the brain. So really nothing there can't be explained, other than why they chose this interpretation, other than the need to satisfy a lack of faith in their own believes where they need physical evidence to say they are correct in what they read in Bronze age and Iron age books.
 
2012-11-25 08:53:28 AM
Least reliable mental state, period, subby. The mental state during death is *extremely* reliable.
 
2012-11-25 08:54:36 AM

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


It can sometimes work. My grandmother was a Christian and my grandfather was an atheist. But they loved each other and just agreed to disagree.
 
2012-11-25 08:57:47 AM

urban.derelict: Oh, someone who hasn't been there pipes his whistle


I've had a near death experience! I got the floating away from my body, the light and the tunnel and the whole shebang. Of coures, I wasn't actually near death. I had just fainted due to hypoxia. Turns out, when your brain doesn't have enough oxygen, that's what starts to happen.

lh5.googleusercontent.com
 
2012-11-25 09:02:56 AM
I've always felt that the brain may want to make the user feel happy before death - endorphins, hallucinations, mental clarity, whatever works. If the brain weren't a total assbag that makes think about jumping off the top of a parking structure for no goddamned good reason other than "love the height. Don't you just feel like jumping?".
 
2012-11-25 09:03:30 AM
I'm an atheist and my wife is a Christian (really a deist). It works just fine as she doesn't push it on anyone (including her voting record!).

Darwin was an atheist while his wife was a fundamentalist Christian (actually some interesting letters along that subject).
 
2012-11-25 09:06:08 AM

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.
 
2012-11-25 09:08:33 AM

t3knomanser: 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.


A lot of things about humanity have no evolutionary benefit. While you're probably right, I wouldn't put it past our cunning little minds to have all sorts of weird functions we're not really aware of, just for the hell of it.
 
2012-11-25 09:10:20 AM

gadian: A lot of things about humanity have no evolutionary benefit.


And they're mostly side effects of adaptive traits. Remember, evolution doesn't build the most efficient organism, it builds one that's efficient enough.
 
2012-11-25 09:10:42 AM
3 pages of pitching a book? Fark your and your jesus shiat.
 
2012-11-25 09:14:39 AM
Most hallucinations of this nature occur under the conditions of hypoxia (All those religious folks some of you like to take the word of as gospel tripped balls climbing too high up a mountain) or a premature release of endogenous dimethyltryptamine or a combination of both. Nothing to see here folks.
 
2012-11-25 09:21:27 AM
So if his brain was inactive and he went on this cosmic journey how was he able to lay down memory engrams?
 
2012-11-25 09:27:26 AM
Once upon a time, due to a loss of blood (blood work, so nothing major and not even a large quantity) while not having eating on over 12 hours and me getting up too fast, I lost consciousness.

I dreamed for what felt so many hours, some very wild stuff, very lively, very intense. I "woke" up from what felt like many many hours... I mean like it felt as it had been at least 12 hours, maybe even days.

I had been out for less than 5 seconds.

I was out of it for most of that day.

It was quite the experience, but in no way did I believe that I was out of my body, but I could imagine if someone would be suffering from a lot worse than I did (my thing was extremely minor), and how they could see and believe so much.

Even today, I remember how weird it had been... to have lived something that felt so long, but in reality, was a few seconds... it gave me a perspective of what the brain is capable of.

But who knows... maybe there's more to it.
 
2012-11-25 09:27:41 AM

m3000: /she said she was fine with me being an atheist when we married
//should have known better


Sounds like you are not fine with her. When are you going to betray your wedding vows, did you even make any?
 
2012-11-25 09:27:55 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.


FTFY
 
2012-11-25 09:29:32 AM

TheAgeOfEgos: I'm an atheist and my wife is a Christian (really a deist). It works just fine as she doesn't push it on anyone (including her voting record!).

Darwin was an atheist while his wife was a fundamentalist Christian (actually some interesting letters along that subject).


From Wikipedia:
Though he thought of religion as a tribal survival strategy, Darwin was reluctant to give up the idea of God as an ultimate lawgiver.
 
2012-11-25 09:37:38 AM
Where were you before you were born? Why all this complicated biological hardware if we have this ethereal soul?
 
2012-11-25 09:39:07 AM
He had a DMT experience. DMT flooded his pineal gland resulting in his NDE. I've experienced something extremely similar.
 
2012-11-25 09:39:27 AM
Isn't that whole thing able to be replicated in testing environments meant to simulate high G forces?
 
2012-11-25 09:39:45 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.


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

/Former atheist
 
2012-11-25 09:39:59 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 a Christian though I attend worship with a group that some would categorize as "not real Christians." I don't know whether there is consciousness after death and it doesn't particularly concern me. Either there will be or there won't and there is nothing I can do about it. I think it is more important to concentrate on how I live my life; to let my life speak. I don't think you have to be utterly convinced of an after-life to be a believer.
 
2012-11-25 09:40:31 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


I think this is the part where someone asks you what DMT is.
 
2012-11-25 09:42:31 AM

keepitcherry: He had a DMT experience. DMT flooded his pineal gland resulting in his NDE. I've experienced something extremely similar.


Barfmaker: 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

I think this is the part where someone asks you what DMT is.


Dimethyltryptamine doesn't flood your pineal gland, it is produced in the pineal gland. I don't see how hitting a DMT pipe would make you religious. In fact, an intelligent person would conclude the opposite.
 
2012-11-25 09:43:14 AM

t3knomanser: gadian: A lot of things about humanity have no evolutionary benefit.

And they're mostly side effects of adaptive traits. Remember, evolution doesn't build the most efficient organism, it builds one that's efficient enough.


Have you looked at the human body? I don't think evolution gets credit for even "efficient enough."

"Technically functional, for certain values of functional" is the best I'm willing to give to evolution.
 
2012-11-25 09:46:44 AM
A DMT trip is characterized by a genuine out of body experience and being surrounded by what some literature describes as "machine elves." Essentially they are formless beings that are perceived as being constructed by some ethereal energy but are nearly always seen as benign superpowerful figures. People under the influence of DMT in clinical trials report feelings of acceptance and peace of being with these... things. Religious folk believe them to be angels, backwards hicks report them to be UFOs, and really strange folk can come up with some wild ass explanations (In Rick Straussman's book "The Spirit Molecule" he reports a mark that believed he was being raped by two crocodiles, very interesting book). People who undergo these experiences are really hard to convince that they didn't enter another world, despite the fact that their hallucinations are characteristic of similar brain phenomenon.
 
2012-11-25 09:48:58 AM
After you die, your consciousness is uploaded to the resurrection hub for reassignment.
 
2012-11-25 09:50:24 AM
As far as an evolutionary purpose, it is all theoretical, but we do know DMT exists and is produced endogenously. Obviously nature wouldn't select for people that have the experience and then immediately die after, which is the majority of people (DMT seems to be consistently released during trauma right before time of death). However, people who tripped balls in this manner before they died and survived would generally be revered by more primitive humans as Shamans and religious heads. These people become remarkably successful in passing along their genes.
 
2012-11-25 09:52:10 AM

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.
 
2012-11-25 09:52:39 AM
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

/wonders if God came down and sat next to an Athiest if they would believe or have to denounce themselves :P
 
2012-11-25 09:58:19 AM

MisterTweak: Interesting read, but...

Make no mistake: consciousness is a total mystery. As total a mystery now as it was 10, or 100, or 1,000 years ago. We simply do not know what it is. But consciousness is so familiar to all of us, so central to our identities, that we have learned to overlook this most obvious of facts.


This just ain't so. Consciousness is certainly a phenomenon we haven't understood completely, but we do understand what it is, we understand where it takes place, and we are rapidly learning exactly how it can be altered, damaged, or lost. It's an absolutely fascinating area where science is starting to explain morality, rather than the other way around, for example.

What happened to you, doc, is no doubt a life-altering experience, but it really doesn't bring our understanding of the conscience, (the "soul" to theologians) into question, it kind of adds to and enriches it.


I disagree with your assertion and reaffirm his : we don't actually understand consciousness.

That's why we still have debates about a ghost in the machine.
 
2012-11-25 09:59:10 AM

LazarusLong42: I don't think evolution gets credit for even "efficient enough."


We're not extinct, yet. That's "efficient enough" by evolutionary standards.
 
2012-11-25 10:02:32 AM

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.


Agreed. There are also a number of nurses in hospice that report similar stories. Many people claim to see a figure in Black standing in the corner of the room and death comes almost immediately after. I was speaking with one hospice nurse (atheist) and she said that the tall shadowy figure phenomena was a better indicator of nearing death than vital monitoring because some patients "perk up" I before death while others don't.
 
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 10:26:12 AM

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.
 
2012-11-25 10:28:50 AM

born_yesterday: 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.


4.bp.blogspot.com

/totally unbelievable... the book convinced me.
 
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 10:31:12 AM

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?
 
2012-11-25 10:32:52 AM
The proper conclusion.
People with limited brain activity believe there is a heaven.
 
2012-11-25 10:33:54 AM

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


see.... now that was funny... i swear, some people need to take a lesson here on humor.
 
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 10:36:57 AM

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 an awful lot like the flat earth people to me...
 
2012-11-25 10:37:33 AM

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


42?
 
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 10:47:22 AM

Kurmudgeon: 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.


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

/It was the peote wasn't it?
 
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 10:53:31 AM

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

/yes he proved it... but AFTER his gut feeling :)
 
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 10:56:11 AM

Farking Canuck: 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.


I never made any such statement. Read my posts again... from the first one to see how this digressed into this horrible mess.
 
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 11:00:12 AM

Mentalpatient87: HindiDiscoMonster: (that hold a phd btw)

Link


thats all you got from my post? wow
I neither support nor deny his claims.
My point was a simple one... right from Weeners: Using the same arguments against someone else that you biatch about them using is hypocritical.

Then we digressed into this clusterfark of epic proportions in which people attributed positions to me I did not express in any way. I guess I wasn't spelling it out enough, and thought that some of the people here would be intelligent enough to see what I was saying. Oh well.
 
2012-11-25 11:01:14 AM

Schroedinger's Glory Hole: 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.


and in circles we go... what I really like is how you cherry pick one thing out of my post and ignore the rest... thats just so clever.
 
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 11:04:18 AM

Arthur Jumbles: 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


I agree and wholeheartedly endorse this :)
 
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 11:12:47 AM

Kurmudgeon: 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.


I try never to bloviate... i don't swing that way :P
 
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 11:24:17 AM

cthellis: 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?)


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

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.



Oh I never meant to say that all inspiration was good... only that hypothesis in science start with an idea/inspiration.
 
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 11:50:32 AM
I honestly cannot understand how one one hand we have people who say things like "peer review" while failing to see the irony in that... Where would we be if Pythagoras kept his radical theory to himself instead of going against conventional wisdom (aka known scientific theory)?

On the other hand, we have people absolutely accepting this as PROOF!... Proof is quantifiable. There are several problems here not the least of which is that you can never have Proof of God or an Afterlife because that would negate faith.

The bottom line is quite simple... you either believe or do not. Discussions about proof are irrelevant... it can never be. All of the wannabe scientists here need to wake up and smell the irony. Science changes daily. Dismissing any theory (no matter how wackadoo) just out of hand is exactly the same thing that contemporary science has done since day #1 in science. Thank God/FSM/{insert_diety_nondiety_here} that there are visionaries too... otherwise we would still be living in mud huts and wouldn't even have beer...

/What world is worth living in without beer? SAVE THE BEER
 
2012-11-25 11:50:55 AM
Let me tell you what farkers- the money made from this is real
 
2012-11-25 11:51:50 AM

Farking Canuck: 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.


I have no doubt about that either... in fact, if I were a betting man, I would bet on it.
 
2012-11-25 11:52:47 AM

haterade: Let me tell you what farkers- the money made from this is real


nah... it's probably just some 1s and 0s... :P
 
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.
 
2012-11-25 02:01:50 PM

Farking Canuck: 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?


Like someone who can't tell "who is" from "whose"?
 
2012-11-25 02:14:28 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


That's what they all say, along with "I won't try to change you, honey!" (with their fingers crossed behind their backs)
 
2012-11-25 02:19:00 PM

bookman: 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....


Has there ever been any modern (past 100 years or so) scientific consensus which was wrong but was shown to be wrong by non-scientific methods?
 
2012-11-25 02:19:49 PM

Bontesla: That's why we still have debates about a ghost in the machine.


Yeah, a lot of people keep arguing that Synchronicity was better, but I think Ghost In The Machine was the best album by The Police.
 
2012-11-25 02:20:07 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Farking Canuck: 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?

Like someone who can't tell "who is" from "whose"?


shiat happens. I don't usually get caught by these types of grammar errors but I type faster than I think sometimes.

/Nice bust! I can just imagine all the Cheetos stained high-5s you must be getting around the 'grammar police' squad room.
 
2012-11-25 02:27:25 PM

bookman: 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.



While I'm not sure what you mean by "living" evolution that is somehow decoupled from survival and therefore natural selection, be aware that there is a body of work that attempts to tease apart the adaptive significance of religious thought (or discounts it as an incidental side-effect of cognitive adaptations or 'mind').

Off the top of my head, two adaptive explanations are increased social cohesion and costly signaling in terms of ritual, but I've only had the briefest of exposure to the literature. What we need right now is an evolutionary anthropologist, or we could pull up some papers if you're interested.
 
2012-11-25 02:34:55 PM

Farking Canuck: Quantum Apostrophe: Farking Canuck: 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?

Like someone who can't tell "who is" from "whose"?

shiat happens. I don't usually get caught by these types of grammar errors but I type faster than I think sometimes.

/Nice bust! I can just imagine all the Cheetos stained high-5s you must be getting around the 'grammar police' squad room.


Considering that his smarmy grammar retort to your other post wasn't actually structurally correct, I'm pretty sure he's just getting head-shakes from his squad mates.
 
2012-11-25 02:37:37 PM

Damnhippyfreak: While I'm not sure what you mean by "living" evolution that is somehow decoupled from survival and therefore natural selection,


Besides genetic drift, of course.

/should get a slap on the hand for that
 
2012-11-25 03:50:25 PM
If there is a consciousness I have after complete death, I hope it's not some bad shiat. Otherwise I'd prefer nonexistence, which is what I think happens when one dies.

/atheist
 
2012-11-25 04:05:53 PM

cthellis: 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.


Amen :P
 
2012-11-25 04:08:06 PM

Farking Canuck: 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)


oh scientists can burn steaks too...

westpointsteakhouse.com

/mmmmm steak
 
2012-11-25 04:10:15 PM
*Cough* ... endorphins ... *cough*

When the body in in trouble and shutting down it releases endorphins, natural opioids. in high enough doses we see heaven, while lights or whatever. When my time comes (in many years time) I intend to relax and enjoy the ride.
 
2012-11-25 04:10:20 PM

FuryOfFirestorm: 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

That's what they all say, along with "I won't try to change you, honey!" (with their fingers crossed behind their backs)


or.... "I'll always swallow"

wait what?
 
2012-11-25 04:48:31 PM
"C'mon guys--I'm trying to sell a book here."
 
2012-11-25 05:08:17 PM
Yet in spite of the complete absence of neural activity in all but the deepest, most primitive portions of my brain, my identity-my sense of self-did not go dark. Instead, I underwent the most staggering experience of my life, my consciousness traveling to another level, or dimension, or world.

Last night I had a dream where I was smoking a joint with Bill Murray. It was like my consciousness was traveling to another level.

But it wasn't real, either.
 
2012-11-25 05:29:58 PM

MacWizard: Yet in spite of the complete absence of neural activity in all but the deepest, most primitive portions of my brain, my identity-my sense of self-did not go dark. Instead, I underwent the most staggering experience of my life, my consciousness traveling to another level, or dimension, or world.

Last night I had a dream where I was smoking a joint with Bill Murray. It was like my consciousness was traveling to another level.

But it wasn't real, either.


that reminds me of a dream... it involved Jim Morrison and a half-naked Indian dude...
 
2012-11-25 05:34:05 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.


In the Old Testament, Moses says god took him up in a ship, and Moses relayed seeing "the round of the earth." So yeah, somebody did.
 
2012-11-25 05:36:43 PM

s2s2s2: 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.

In the Old Testament, Moses says god took him up in a ship, and Moses relayed seeing "the round of the earth." So yeah, somebody did.


I think the important question we have to ask is.... did it have warp drive?
 
2012-11-25 05:44:47 PM
I also experienced that transitional period, when my mind began to regain consciousness: I remember a vivid paranoid nightmare....But that period of disorientation and delusion had absolutely nothing to do with what happened to me before my cortex began to recover.

Strong believer in Science boy is asserting that it's impossible to have two or more dreams in sequence?
 
2012-11-25 05:49:32 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: 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.


And you base this on what evidence? Gut feeling?
Well at least you prove that's a shifty way forward.
 
2012-11-25 05:50:13 PM

Farking Canuck: 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)


... = "yet"
 
2012-11-25 06:26:34 PM

Lunaville: 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 a Christian though I attend worship with a group that some would categorize as "not real Christians." I don't know whether there is consciousness after death and it doesn't particularly concern me. Either there will be or there won't and there is nothing I can do about it. I think it is more important to concentrate on how I live my life; to let my life speak. I don't think you have to be utterly convinced of an after-life to be a believer.


This man is a gentleman and a scholar.

The point of Jesus' teachings weren't as much to get you to believe in some system of an afterlife or cycle as much as they were to teach how to be a good person.

Of course, the afterlife is a nice addition to support some of the arguments made in the Bible, but it's neither here nor there to me in the context of the Gospels.
 
2012-11-25 06:29:08 PM

MacWizard: Yet in spite of the complete absence of neural activity in all but the deepest, most primitive portions of my brain, my identity-my sense of self-did not go dark. Instead, I underwent the most staggering experience of my life, my consciousness traveling to another level, or dimension, or world.

Last night I had a dream where I was smoking a joint with Bill Murray. It was like my consciousness was traveling to another level.

But it wasn't real, either.


I'm wondering how he could time-stamp his "experiences" and directly compare them to his EEG readings.
 
2012-11-25 07:08:48 PM
s2s2s2
In the Old Testament, Moses says god took him up in a ship, and Moses relayed seeing "the round of the earth." So yeah, somebody did

[citation needed]. Unless you were saying this sarcastically. I can't tell because my sacasti-meter malfunctioned over thanksgiving listening to kentucky hillbillies talk about "Obamer".
 
2012-11-25 08:50:49 PM
Sounds pretty interesting to me. Ordered the book this morning.
 
2012-11-25 09:15:31 PM

Buddha Belly: Sounds pretty interesting to me. Ordered the book this morning.


One sucker identified.
 
2012-11-25 10:10:27 PM

HindiDiscoMonster: Dismissing any theory (no matter how wackadoo) just out of hand is exactly the same thing that contemporary science has done since day #1 in science


Wackadoo hypothesis are dismissed out of hand when they have no credible evidence supporting them. The crazier the idea (as in, the more it contradicts established science) the more evidence is needed before it should be taken seriously. Some guy's near death experience barely registers on the evidence scale and flies in the face of what we do know about the brain and consciousness. Why should we take him seriously when all he's given us to go on is his word?

/Give me evidence or give me a near death experience!
 
2012-11-25 10:41:21 PM
Let me just ask those who want to believe, "how does this guy's near death experience shed any light on afterlives, heaven, or hell?"

As the earlier comments have pointed out, while you're experiencing hallucinations caused by an oxygen starved or malfunctioning brain, the experiences that you have are not to be considered reliable. This is common sense and the simplest answer to the question of how to interpret what he saw.

This author seems to be seizing upon an opportunity to become rich by becoming the next enlightened one in a society that "wants to believe". To paraphrase Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims, extraordinary evidence..." Keeping in mind that a story about a vision doesn't really qualify as evidence at all, much less extraordinary evidence.
 
2012-11-26 12:29:59 AM
let me help you atheist blowhards out.

thought requires relationships between neurons built on Biochemical activity.

Biochemical activity is built from particle physics. Particles have to have a relationship with one another in order to interact.

Where do particles come from? And why should they have relationships with one another?

Our best guess is from another dimension... String theory -or the multiverse via the other side of a singularity... but they are unscientific, but creative guesses built from mathematical models without a known way to measure them.

For all we know, the source of particles is Heaven.
 
2012-11-26 01:15:59 AM

threeoclockrock: let me help you atheist blowhards out.

thought requires relationships between neurons built on Biochemical activity.

Biochemical activity is built from particle physics. Particles have to have a relationship with one another in order to interact.

Where do particles come from? And why should they have relationships with one another?

Our best guess is from another dimension... String theory -or the multiverse via the other side of a singularity... but they are unscientific, but creative guesses built from mathematical models without a known way to measure them.

For all we know, the source of particles is Heaven.


Ok, but aren't you just telling us what we don't know? To state it differently, "For all we know, the source of particles is Hell."

Neither statement accomplishes anything.
 
2012-11-26 02:09:39 AM
The guy had a tower vision. Wooo good for you. Your brain went spastic for whatever reason and you got to see the starter motor for conciousness.

Been there. Done that. Although being blissed out for three days solid was a nice after effect of the experience I do admit.
 
2012-11-26 02:13:44 AM
I think you're all missing the more important point here.

FTFA: I remember a vivid paranoid nightmare in which my wife and doctors were trying to kill me, and I was only saved from certain death by a ninja couple after being pushed from a 60-story cancer hospital in south Florida.

Now why the hell isn't he writing a book about that instead? That sounds awesome!
 
2012-11-26 02:29:24 AM
I actually read the book. Basically he had zero brain function so some things mentioned here like a DMT flood he discounted since that would only work if the part of his brain that responds to that was also working. He goes through a list of possible things that could cause it and rules them out based on his knowledge as a neurosurgeon. He also goes into a coma in the first place after being infected in a 1 in ten million chance and then survives six days of being comatose which is several days longer than they would normally try to keep you alive considering the raging out of control infection and the fact that it is almost a total certainty that you will be a vegetable if you do survive the entire ordeal.

He manages to not only survive it but to not lose any functionality to the point where he resumes treating patients and performing surgeries again. The guy is a highly educated specialist doctor and surgeon who was worked at places like Harvard etc. His resume is really bulletproof. To say he is writing the book for money makes little sense when you consider he most likely earns a fortune as a brain surgeon. He also wasn't much of a believer or church goer before the experience but started up afterwards. He admits to being a kind of atheist but in the passive way a doctor would who is convinced he knows about all the biology and functioning of the human body and when you are dead your truly all done.

One of the things he does after he recovers is starts a scientific inquiry into the phenomenon and funds a kind of information collection and review operation so its not like he just runs for the ghost writer and waits for a payday. I found the book to be very interesting and thought provoking and if you are inclined to take the word of a pilot who sees a UFO from the cockpit of a jet over a drunk in a bass boat who claims to be abducted by aliens you have to admit that he makes probably the most compelling written account of NDEs ever made. He is able to tie all of it together with his medical experience in a way nobody else has ever been able to do and frankly I believe the guy.

/yeah I said it.
 
2012-11-26 02:49:12 AM

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

 
Are you sure about that?


OK, clearly I haven't thought this all the way through. I would have Bill Nye's babies if I could.
 
2012-11-26 04:10:17 AM

Schroedinger's Glory Hole: Most hallucinations of this nature occur under the conditions of hypoxia (All those religious folks some of you like to take the word of as gospel tripped balls climbing too high up a mountain) or a premature release of endogenous dimethyltryptamine or a combination of both. Nothing to see here folks.


That's completely unfair. I'm sure that some of them were tripping balls from eating ergot or something similar..
 
2012-11-26 04:14:07 AM

Son of Byrne: threeoclockrock: let me help you atheist blowhards out.

thought requires relationships between neurons built on Biochemical activity.

Biochemical activity is built from particle physics. Particles have to have a relationship with one another in order to interact.

Where do particles come from? And why should they have relationships with one another?

Our best guess is from another dimension... String theory -or the multiverse via the other side of a singularity... but they are unscientific, but creative guesses built from mathematical models without a known way to measure them.

For all we know, the source of particles is Heaven.

Ok, but aren't you just telling us what we don't know? To state it differently, "For all we know, the source of particles is Hell."

Neither statement accomplishes anything.


For all we know, the source of particles is a huge amount of time, quantum randomness, and a local peculiarity where anti particles repel normal matter when they clump together.

But of course that makes less sense than heaven to some people ....

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

 
Are you sure about that?

OK, clearly I haven't thought this all the way through. I would have Bill Nye's babies if I could.


Hey!

Bowties are cool.
 
2012-11-26 07:01:58 AM

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


None. Evolution weeds out such mistakes. See: Middle East
 
2012-11-26 09:14:11 AM
Supposedly, there is a second book coming out that is based more in the science realm of his experience that gives a lot of detail about his position and the various explanations of NDEs and how they dont fit with his experience. I believe its coming out sometime next year.

The interesting thing about NDEs and some OBEs are that for all the scientific explanations that people try to throw at them, none of them completely explain why this is happening. Most of them are best-guesses (evolutionary comfort of dying, a random shutdown of the brain) or half-explanations that don't fully explain why or explain the experience (DMT dumps, lack of oxygen, etc). They are also the most significant and life changing experiences of these peoples lives. They remember them in full detail, never forget them, and they alter people's attitudes and perceptions about pretty much everything once they have experienced it. Even materialists (atheists isn't the right word, since you can believe in spirits and consciousness after death and not believe in a god) tend to change views after having one. The only famous ones I know of that didn't were Susan Blackmore and A.J. Ayers.

There is something behind all of this, and we may find out about it soon enough. However, dismissing it because of some half-ass explanation like a DMT dump is being intellectually dumb.
 
2012-11-26 09:35:09 AM

dready zim: Son of Byrne: threeoclockrock: let me help you atheist blowhards out.

thought requires relationships between neurons built on Biochemical activity.

Biochemical activity is built from particle physics. Particles have to have a relationship with one another in order to interact.

Where do particles come from? And why should they have relationships with one another?

Our best guess is from another dimension... String theory -or the multiverse via the other side of a singularity... but they are unscientific, but creative guesses built from mathematical models without a known way to measure them.

For all we know, the source of particles is Heaven.

Ok, but aren't you just telling us what we don't know? To state it differently, "For all we know, the source of particles is Hell."

Neither statement accomplishes anything.

For all we know, the source of particles is a huge amount of time, quantum randomness, and a local peculiarity where anti particles repel normal matter when they clump together.

But of course that makes less sense than heaven to some people ....



you still are not dealing with the question. Where does it all come from? Why should there be anything at all?

I'm not trying to make a case for Heaven.. I'm just saying we don't know enough to rule anything out.
 
2012-11-26 12:36:48 PM

threeoclockrock: dready zim: Son of Byrne: threeoclockrock: let me help you atheist blowhards out.

thought requires relationships between neurons built on Biochemical activity.

Biochemical activity is built from particle physics. Particles have to have a relationship with one another in order to interact.

Where do particles come from? And why should they have relationships with one another?

Our best guess is from another dimension... String theory -or the multiverse via the other side of a singularity... but they are unscientific, but creative guesses built from mathematical models without a known way to measure them.

For all we know, the source of particles is Heaven.

Ok, but aren't you just telling us what we don't know? To state it differently, "For all we know, the source of particles is Hell."

Neither statement accomplishes anything.

For all we know, the source of particles is a huge amount of time, quantum randomness, and a local peculiarity where anti particles repel normal matter when they clump together.

But of course that makes less sense than heaven to some people ....



you still are not dealing with the question. Where does it all come from? Why should there be anything at all?

I'm not trying to make a case for Heaven.. I'm just saying we don't know enough to rule anything out.


Not ruling things out is all fine and dandy. The problem arises when "not ruling it out" becomes "my religion is the only correct one and we need to base public policy one it; therefore, no gays, no abortions, no women's health care, religious wars need to be started, we need to mandate prayer in public schools, evolution can't be taught and creationism must be taught in high school, global warming isn't real, and we need to back Israel no matter what."

/I may have forgotten some.
//For select brands of religion only.
 
2012-11-26 12:44:30 PM

deanayer: To say he is writing the book for money makes little sense when you consider he most likely earns a fortune as a brain surgeon.


Then why sell it?

To understand this followup article and the original excerpt in Newsweek, you must understand that they are basically advertisements. Publisher gets free space and Newsweek gets filler it does not have to pay for that seems timely as they are promoting the book all over the place. The followup is his "defense" of his experience and everybody saying that this is not proof of anything like "heaven."

He will need the money as he may have sold out his credibility as a specialist.
 
2012-11-27 11:50:31 AM
Maybe it's merely the product of a electrochemical reaction, or maybe he in fact did "remain fully conscious but journeyed to a stunning world of beauty and peace and unconditional love".

You can't rule anything out unless you know. And you can never know until you pass from the world of the living to either something, or nothing. You can argue, fight and kill each other over it, but that fact remains a constant. The only way you'll ever really know is to die, and that's assuming there's an afterlife. And if there is no afterlife, you won't know, 'cuz you'll be dead.

So really, it's pointless to argue. It is what it is. (or isn't, as the case may be.)
 
2012-11-27 01:23:15 PM

GibbyTheMole: Maybe it's merely the product of a electrochemical reaction, or maybe he in fact did "remain fully conscious but journeyed to a stunning world of beauty and peace and unconditional love".

You can't rule anything out unless you know. And you can never know until you pass from the world of the living to either something, or nothing. You can argue, fight and kill each other over it, but that fact remains a constant. The only way you'll ever really know is to die, and that's assuming there's an afterlife. And if there is no afterlife, you won't know, 'cuz you'll be dead.

So really, it's pointless to argue. It is what it is. (or isn't, as the case may be.)

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

― Isaac Asimov

"you don't get to put your unreason on the same shelf as my reason"
― Bill Maher

Not trying to go all Bevets here with the quotes (at least these are as the authors intended them) but they both are reaching for the same point. Just because we cannot say our current knowledge is 100% for sure ... this does not mean that your can throw in completely unsupported theories into the hat and say "these are just as good as yours".

So ... can we know for sure? No. Can we look at all the evidence and see what is likely and what is not likely? Yes. Most definitely. And what is not likely is the idea that his brain was is reliable source of evidence for the period when it was 'dead'.
 
2012-11-27 06:24:23 PM
Farking Canuck

"So ... can we know for sure? No. Can we look at all the evidence and see what is likely and what is not likely? Yes. Most definitely. And what is not likely is the idea that his brain was is reliable source of evidence for the period when it was 'dead'."

You & I pretty much agree. I'm just more neutral about it. As an agnostic, I shrug my shoulders & say "eh". And I don't worry about it. I'm not a fan of organized religion, though.
 
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