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(The Atlantic Wire)   Now I know this'll come as a shock to you, but you remember that neurosurgeon who wrote a book claiming his experiences scientifically PROVED heaven existed? Turns out he ain't much of a doctor and science says he's full of shiat   (theatlanticwire.com) divider line 81
    More: Followup, neurosurgeons, experiences  
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5955 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jul 2013 at 2:48 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-02 02:49:42 PM
And like everyone promising heaven, he was doing it to make money.
 
2013-07-02 02:50:28 PM
Okay then.
 
2013-07-02 02:50:53 PM
The credulous rubes will still line up to buy his next book.
 
2013-07-02 02:51:13 PM
You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.
 
2013-07-02 02:51:29 PM
I'm shocked!  Shocked!
 
2013-07-02 02:51:52 PM
Why would this account of near death experience be any different than any other?
 
2013-07-02 02:52:45 PM
I wish I didn't feel guilty about lying.  I could make so much money off of the religious.  All it takes is an 5-8th grade writing level, and a lot of telling people what they want to hear.
 
2013-07-02 02:53:02 PM
No way!

And I'm also totally surprised that people of "faith" want scientific proof of their faith. Totally defeating the point, but what have you.
 
2013-07-02 02:53:28 PM
Just wait until you die and find out this is a big farked up MMORPG with shiatty tech support.
 
2013-07-02 02:53:30 PM
I'm going to start collecting these get rich quick ideas and unleash them all at once.
 
2013-07-02 02:53:46 PM

WTF Indeed: And like everyone promising heaven, he was doing it to make money.


Nyuh-uh! Because Jesus and the Holy Bible and stuff.

/ Peer reviewed by John himself when he was caught up to the seventh heaven after consuming some great rye bread.
 
2013-07-02 02:54:04 PM
You won't find out until it's too late to worry about it. So why worry? Why give money? If you believe in heaven/hell/etc. good for you.

If you don't, good for you too. I'm not pushing my beliefs on anyone either way. The joke is going to be on us no matter what.
 
2013-07-02 02:54:41 PM
There's a reason we say that neuroscience is about 50/50 with legitimate scientists and people who get the degree just to be able to "justify" their quackery.

Hell, both the quacks Mayim Bailik of The Big Bang Theory tv show, and Deepak Chopra - the king of all quacks - have advanced degrees in neuroscience.
 
2013-07-02 02:54:59 PM

impaler: And I'm also totally surprised that people of "faith" want scientific proof of their faith. Totally defeating the point, but what have you.


Science has won. It used to be, science was rejected when it contradicted faith. Now, the faithful are faking "science" rather than pointing at their Good Book.
 
2013-07-02 02:55:40 PM

impaler: No way!

And I'm also totally surprised that people of "faith" want scientific proof of their faith. Totally defeating the point, but what have you.


You will hear such incredible definitions of the word "faith" if you ask those sorts of people.  It's like a fascinating study of cognitive dissonance all in one tiny conversation*
 
2013-07-02 02:56:15 PM
In other news there was some article about some guy who said he could prove it.  I love follow-ups of nothing
 
2013-07-02 02:56:54 PM
`I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'
`But,' says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'
`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.
`Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
 
2013-07-02 02:57:55 PM
I suspect that most people understand that either way, there is nothing you can do
 
2013-07-02 02:58:26 PM
"Who is god?
You know, when you close your eyes and wish really really hard for something you want or need?
God is the guy that ignores you."
 
2013-07-02 02:59:02 PM
It seems his argument is that he couldn't have been hallucinating because his brain was shut down, but if his brain was shut down then how could he possibly remember it?
 
2013-07-02 02:59:45 PM

RockSteadyUSMC: "Who is god?
You know, when you close your eyes and wish really really hard for something you want or need?
God is the guy that ignores you."


So God is everyone?
 
2013-07-02 02:59:46 PM
I'm confused about how he "aint much of a doctor"...his creds are pretty impressive (Duke MD, Harvard, etc)
 
2013-07-02 03:00:36 PM

Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.



So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are trained in the scientific method at all.
 
2013-07-02 03:00:53 PM

maus: It seems his argument is that he couldn't have been hallucinating because his brain was shut down, but if his brain was shut down then how could he possibly remember it?


Probably something along the lines of his spirit/soul remembering it.
 
2013-07-02 03:01:35 PM

WTF Indeed: And like everyone promising heaven, he was doing it to make money.


Hey now. Some want power. And some are legitimately crazy. It takes all kinds.
 
2013-07-02 03:03:10 PM
I remember when I first heard of this guy and his book. I got a kick out of how his "proof" were things he said he saw. Lots of people are like that. As they say, seeing is believing. The thing is, we now know that what we see is not always reality, for a variety of reasons. Near death experiences in particular, since you're basically dreaming.
 
2013-07-02 03:03:20 PM
So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.
 
2013-07-02 03:04:32 PM

mgshamster: There's a reason we say that neuroscience is about 50/50 with legitimate scientists and people who get the degree just to be able to "justify" their quackery.

Hell, both the quacks Mayim Bailik of The Big Bang Theory tv show, and Deepak Chopra - the king of all quacks - have advanced degrees in neuroscience.


I'm a mathematician and I've spoken to God, but I don't have to prove it to anyone. When the cars honk, that means stop
 
2013-07-02 03:04:46 PM
I hope Dr. Laura Potter like the HIPAA violation lawsuit that is coming her way.

I'm just going to guess this guy didn't give her permission to speak about his medical treatment with the press.
 
2013-07-02 03:05:00 PM

eynonmcwanker: I'm confused about how he "aint much of a doctor"...his creds are pretty impressive (Duke MD, Harvard, etc)


For one, it depends on what you mean by "doctor." If you mean medical doctor, then he probably has pretty good credentials for his ability to perform medical tasks, such as neurosurgery.  If you mean research doctor, then he probably has pretty poor credentials, as his only publication that I'm aware of is a book, rather than publishing in peer reviewed journals.

In the sciences, it's not so much who you are, but rather the quality of your research.
 
2013-07-02 03:05:31 PM

HairBolus: So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.


Settle down Descartes
 
2013-07-02 03:05:57 PM
Religious faith is impervious to proof or reason. When faith is contradicted by reality, its owner simply regards the contradiction as an opportunity to strengthen their faith and dismisses the reality, thus creating their own.

farm4.staticflickr.com
 
2013-07-02 03:06:33 PM
Con men going to con, grifters gonna grift.
 
2013-07-02 03:10:10 PM

ch13fwiggum: Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.


So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are trained in the scientific method at all.


They're mechanics, not automotive engineers
 
2013-07-02 03:13:12 PM

HairBolus: So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.


It appears that I share reality with other sentient beings and it also appears that this reality follows certain rules. If these rules and other beings are indeed hallucinations, they are at least persistent enough that making something else up will not drive them away. Best try to understand both, if I'm stuck with them.
 
2013-07-02 03:15:18 PM

HairBolus: So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.


Eh. It depends on how you are defining hallucination.  Scientifically speaking, a hallucination is just a false sensory input that we confuse for a real one.  We experience these all the time.  Do you ever hear something that's not really there? Can you smell an orange when just thinking about one?  Do you dream?  Most of the time, we can tell that a hallucination isn't real; but sometimes we get confused. That latter confusion is what most people believe a hallucination is.

What you're banking on is that all of our sensory inputs are not reflective of reality.  Now, we can play with this hypothesis a bit and see where it takes us.  If all of our sensory inputs did not reflect reality, then we would expect that each and every one of us would experience different inputs, as nothing would be consistent outside of our own senses.  That doesn't just include humans, though; that would include all animals and all machines that are capable of sensory input in one form or another.  If humans, non-human animals, and machines are all receiving the same input, then we can safe claim that what is being perceived is actually real and not a hallucination.  Of course, this all assumes that we all exist independently of the observer.

Regardless
 
2013-07-02 03:17:15 PM

ch13fwiggum: Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.


So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are [not] trained in the scientific method at all.


Same with engineers

/engineer
//we're generally better at science than doctors though
 
2013-07-02 03:22:12 PM

ikanreed: impaler: No way!

And I'm also totally surprised that people of "faith" want scientific proof of their faith. Totally defeating the point, but what have you.

You will hear such incredible definitions of the word "faith" if you ask those sorts of people.  It's like a fascinating study of cognitive dissonance all in one tiny conversation*


I rememeber hearing a story of a woman who believed she was dying of AIDS, and suffering all the rapid physical and mental declines that come with endstage AIDS-who as it turned out, wasn;t HIV+ at all and all her physical symptoms were actually caused by the drug cocktail she took to fight the supposed infection.

As it turned out, her mis-diagnosis had been deliberate.  The woman working at the AIDS clinic knew the woman was a lesbian, and the clinic worker was hoping to convince the woman to come to the clinic worker's church and "repent".  The end game would be that after the woman was saved, she'd get re-tested, and of course be HIV-  and the worker would then be able to "prove" a miracle faith healing had occurred.

When you wrap your head around the mindset of someone who knowing perpetrates a fraud in order to validate and "prove" the truth of her sincerely and deeply-held beliefs to others- you begin to understand how such people think
 
2013-07-02 03:23:40 PM
"Popcorn!"
www.stfrancis.name

/obscure
 
2013-07-02 03:26:17 PM
Because you know, no one can stand up to an official off the books 'science debunking'.
 
2013-07-02 03:31:32 PM

Ned Stark: HairBolus: So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.

It appears that I share reality with other sentient beings and it also appears that this reality follows certain rules.


Maybe you are just hallucinating that others agree with your "perception" of reality. I've known lots of people who are sure that most everybody agrees with them which is much more common than "knowing" that everybody is out to get them.
 
2013-07-02 03:32:26 PM

Magorn: ikanreed: impaler: No way!

And I'm also totally surprised that people of "faith" want scientific proof of their faith. Totally defeating the point, but what have you.

You will hear such incredible definitions of the word "faith" if you ask those sorts of people.  It's like a fascinating study of cognitive dissonance all in one tiny conversation*

I rememeber hearing a story of a woman who believed she was dying of AIDS, and suffering all the rapid physical and mental declines that come with endstage AIDS-who as it turned out, wasn;t HIV+ at all and all her physical symptoms were actually caused by the drug cocktail she took to fight the supposed infection.

As it turned out, her mis-diagnosis had been deliberate.  The woman working at the AIDS clinic knew the woman was a lesbian, and the clinic worker was hoping to convince the woman to come to the clinic worker's church and "repent".  The end game would be that after the woman was saved, she'd get re-tested, and of course be HIV-  and the worker would then be able to "prove" a miracle faith healing had occurred.

When you wrap your head around the mindset of someone who knowing perpetrates a fraud in order to validate and "prove" the truth of her sincerely and deeply-held beliefs to others- you begin to understand how such people think


That was Charlene Riling. You can hear the story in Act 1 of this This American Life episode: "The High Cost of Living."

I cant confirm it, but I recall reading that the counselor or nurse who gave her the false information in order to trick her to converting to Christianity at Hope Ministries eventually went on to become a medical doctor, and never really suffered any penalties for what she did.
 
2013-07-02 03:32:42 PM

HairBolus: So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.


The idea that all of our experiences could just be hallucinations doesn't really change anything.  You still end up with hallucinations that are objective, consistent, predictable, and repeatable (i.e. the "hallucinations of science", as it were)  vs hallucinations that are subjective, inconsistent, unpredictable, and non-repeatable (i.e. the "hallucinations of religion").  The former we can build civilizations upon; the latter are simply useless.
 
2013-07-02 03:35:25 PM

HairBolus: Ned Stark: HairBolus: So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.

It appears that I share reality with other sentient beings and it also appears that this reality follows certain rules.

Maybe you are just hallucinating that others agree with your "perception" of reality. I've known lots of people who are sure that most everybody agrees with them which is much more common than "knowing" that everybody is out to get them.


In my hallucination, the hallucination follows some predefined rules, and I'm hallucinating that science is discovering these rules, helping the people that I hallucinate improve the technologies I hallucinate. So it's still valid.
 
2013-07-02 03:41:23 PM

mgshamster: That was Charlene Riling. You can hear the story in Act 1 of this This American Life episode: "The High Cost of Living."

I cant confirm it, but I recall reading that the counselor or nurse who gave her the false information in order to trick her to converting to Christianity at Hope Ministries eventually went on to become a medical doctor, and never really suffered any penalties for what she did.


We have mostly decided as a culture that there aren't penalties for doing something terrible if you do it for religious reasons.   The line we've drawn is when someone dies, and basically any other kind of horrible stuff is just you expressing your beliefs.
 
2013-07-02 03:48:08 PM

HairBolus: Ned Stark: HairBolus: So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.

It appears that I share reality with other sentient beings and it also appears that this reality follows certain rules.

Maybe you are just hallucinating that others agree with your "perception" of reality. I've known lots of people who are sure that most everybody agrees with them which is much more common than "knowing" that everybody is out to get them.


I never posited anyone else real or imagined agreed with my perception of reality. Just that they also inhabit it.

In fact, most of them seem to believe in things like a strong causal nexus. Quite mad, really.
 
2013-07-02 03:51:39 PM

WTF Indeed: And like everyone promising heaven, he was doing it to make money.


Done in one, and, well, duh.
 
2013-07-02 03:55:16 PM
It was peer reviewed by Jesus
 
2013-07-02 04:05:18 PM
I remember reading some passages from that book and thinking that this guy has a strange definition of "proof" that he was using quite liberally.
 
2013-07-02 04:21:46 PM
Wasn't there some surgeon who tested out of body experiences by placing an object on the top of a shelf in the surgical suite, hidden from normal view? No one who ever claimed to have an OOB experience could identify the object.


ch13fwiggum: Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.

So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are trained in the scientific method at all.


MD PhDs tend to be far more scientifically competent, but the MDs don't seem to like them very much for multiple reasons.
 
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