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DreamRebel

Scientist claims proof of Afterlife

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Thats wicked, I was never really sure of ghosts, I used to think that your conciousness could linger and what would happen is you would have to wait for a certain ammount of time which varys for each person until you get re-incarnated and when that happens you have a new memory so you cant remember your past life.

I dont remember the specifics but when my brother was little he was talking to my mom like they had just met, he told her his name, which was different (I cant remember what it was) and he was telling her about how he was walking across the street and had got hit by a car. that pretty much proves reincarnation for me becaues my mom wouldnt lie, and my brother was so little (2 1/2) I doubt he would make it up.

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Congrats Dr. Schwartz, its about time!

Unfortunately, I still don't think the scientific community is going to take it very seriously... which means this area of research will probably remain underfunded for quite some time to come.

But still, progress is being made and that is what counts!!! thumbsup.gif

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I'd like to see the statistical significance of their study!

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This is amazing ! It is a wonderful when our beliefs are verified. About time...

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A really good example of scientific thinking on this question - thanks!

On the basis of 10 peoples results a pronouncement is made about the whole existance of life after death, and even putting that aside, they ignore the fact that the earths population fluxtuates, if there is a set number of spirits that recycle themselves why did the Earths population rise dramatically at the end of the Medieval age? How can a spiritual factor be attributed to the reason for population growth ie. trade/advancement in health.

Utter tripe.

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The experiment simply confirms the existence of the medium phenomena. But what it is.. remains a mystery. Another possible explanation is mind reading ability of the medium. Also it is interesting that if "survival of consciousness" is indeed correct:

1. The concept of reincarnation has been disproven. Once the soul is reincarnated our past consciousness ceased to exists, or at least forgotten, and our spirit/soul/whatever won't be able to communicate with the medium.

2. The concept of heaven also contradicts the data. The spirits in heaven should not be able to communicate with the medium (and one of Jesus' parrable mentions this)

So if the conclussion is correct, the afterlife is:

1. No immediate reincarnation.

2. The spirits are still arround in this world, at least for a couple of years.

It looks like we are going to haunt the world for eternity crying.gif

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Good point that this, in the strictest sense, only really proves the existance of ESP or super psi but my own predjudice (and lets face it believer and sceptic we all tend to bring our predjudice/beliefs to this subject) questions whether the mind reading theory is stretched a little too thinly to cover this as an explanation. I also agree with the article that differing areas of afterlife research do tend to dovetail or support each other.

As to whether this contradicts reincarnation, I can't see any major problem. It may be that only in an altered state of consciousness or post mortem existance can we access past life memories as otherwise they would interfere on our present physical and spiritual path too much, as for what Jesus or the bible says that's just using one untestable theory to disprove another.

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2. The concept of heaven also contradicts the data. The spirits in heaven should not be able to communicate with the medium (and one of Jesus' parrable mentions this)

Actually, the church's concept of heaven contradicts reincarnation, but folk tales do not.

According to Judeo mythos there is a place in heaven called the Guf where all souls come from. It is literally a pool of souls.

It can easily be assumed since souls originate in heaven they can be returned to Earth in much the same way as they first came.

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I'm afraid that it might end up proving nothing at all. If his tests were as invalid as this report claims, then his data is meaningless

Review of Afterlife Experiments

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I don't have time to read the artical but I already firmly beleived that our soulslived on after death. I don't not beleive in recarnation, I actually laugh when I hear people beleive that. Our souls go to eather Heaven or Hell. They enter one of these and there they are forever. And why don't you think a little kid would make up such a story? I know for a fact that kids that age repeat everthing they hear so its very likly your little brother did the same. and why would God reuse souls if he could just make more? Spirits live on but not on earth.

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A really good example of scientific thinking on this question - thanks!

On the basis of 10 peoples results a pronouncement is made about the whole existance of life after death

There are actually hundreds of accounts of NDE's it's just a shame they only chose 10 people to do this study ,a really good site on the subject can be found here.

Link

and even putting that aside, they ignore the fact that the earths population fluxtuates, if there is a set number of spirits that recycle themselves why did the Earths population rise dramatically at the end of the Medieval age?

And what if it isn't a set number of spirits , what if it is just a huge ethereal glob that only pieces are used at any one time . What if souls dont just re-incarnate automatically. That would explain flactuations in the population.

How can a spiritual factor be attributed to the reason for population growth ie. trade/advancement in health.

Why should a spiritual factor be attributed to trade growth or advances in health ?

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if there is a set number of spirits that recycle themselves why did the Earths population rise dramatically at the end of the Medieval age? How can a spiritual factor be attributed to the reason for population growth ie. trade/advancement in health.

Have you considered the fact that aliens being reincarnated on other planets can equal out the imbalance. Reincarnation could also be a more permanent thing. The Source could be constantly sending out souls in a purification process so it seems that reincarnation cannot be disproven this way.

Also when people talk to people that have passed over, they may not actaully be talking to them. It may just be like a part of their consciousness that was left in the ether or astral when their bodies left. It could also be an aspect of their current consciousness be communicating while they're actually incarnated in their new body.

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Yes, but then you are making one of the same mistakes that this study made, namely using a method which has not been validated (mediums) to provide proof of a process which has not yet been validated (after-life).

After several hours, I was finally able to get a copy of the statistical data from a friend of mine. As soon as it gets here in the mail, I'll take a look at the results. But I admit to a bias, as my friend already told me that it consists of 'Cold-Reading 101'.

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Have you considered the fact that aliens being reincarnated on other planets can equal out the imbalance. Reincarnation could also be a more permanent thing. The Source could be constantly sending out souls in a purification process so it seems that reincarnation cannot be disproven this way.

I can't disproove reincarnation because a "source" could be permanent? the source could be constantly sending out souls?

Thats alot of coulds, It would seem then by your logic that I could disproove any prooven scientific fact by saying that "ghosts" did it.

And yes, I considered the fact that aliens might be being reincarnated on other planets....then I dismissed it. It is sheer human egotism that is making you assume "aliens" will be consciously and spiritually connected to us, if indeed life does exist out there, then it formed independantly and why would it be collectively joined to us?

no "Because it just is..." replies please.

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Workmonkey, all paranormal discussion has to be, to an extent, speculative, it does not have the certainties of empirical science based fact because if it did it wouldn't be discussed in paranormal terms. That's why there are so many theories floating around some more bizzarre than others. I suppose it comes down to the fact of whether we veiw a willingness to consider such theories as a sign of stupidity or open mindedness, is there even a clear cut defining line. Some believe nothing others believe anything, neither attitudes are healthy or productive.

One thing that seems clear is that materialist science has not been able to adequately explain certain anomolies within our world so therefore I tend towards open mindedness albeit keeping my own hopes and fears distinct from that as best I can

As to whether or not humans and aliens are spiritually and consciously connected, if you take a the eastern veiw that all things in the cosmos are interconnected at some level then it is not such a conciet as it first seems.

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Workmonkey, all paranormal discussion has to be, to an extent, speculative, it does not have the certainties of empirical science based fact because if it did it wouldn't be discussed in paranormal terms.

And this is the problem with it, all these people can claim they have paranormal powers and such but when asked to proove it under controlled conditions are unable, blaming the chair they were sitting on or some such its too much based on believing what people say, without any hard figures to proove it.

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Posted (edited)

I honestly think people do not give science enough credit. There have been some particularly wild theories proposed that initially caused derision among the scientific elite, but were eventually accepted due to the validity of the data that was presented. This data was gathered through the exacting methodology of science, not through speculation or assumption.

There seems to be the foregone conclusion that the only way to test paranatural powers is to ignore the rules of science, but frankly, that is a cop-out. If there is a law of nature that we are to discover, then it needs to be done in the exact same way that every other law of nature has been discovered; through hard work, repeated testing, and peer review.

As for 'anomolies', the great majority of events that I have seen claimed as such turn out to be well documented phenomena ranging from self-delusion to misunderstanding of statistical information. It may well turn out to be that there are no anomolies at all, and that we do not need to turn to the supernatural to describe events that do not exist in the first place.

Edited by aquatus1

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And this is the problem with it, all these people can claim they have paranormal powers and such but when asked to proove it under controlled conditions are unable, blaming the chair they were sitting on or some such its too much based on believing what people say, without any hard figures to proove it.

And that's what they did, but then the data and methodology is criticised as not being stringent enough, (which has been refuted by the way) meanwhile similar experiments are carried out by Archie Roy at Edinburgh university and come up with similar results using carefully controlled experiments and again it's methods are called into question as not being strict enough. Perhaps the problem lies with this perception of an awe struck and childlike scientific community standing their wide eyed and pleading 'show me these wonders' then being continiually frustrated rather than the more cynical reality of a community riven by petty rivalry, peer pressure and a basic intolerance of anyone willing to stick their neck out and investigate 'fringe subjects', God forbid any peer review would be slanted or the investigator slated. Of course that's not true of all scientists but it's more prevalent than it should be in a discipline that is based on objective and unbiased observation. It's not only the paranormal field that is full of the disingenious and corrupt.

As for 'anomolies', the great majority of events that I have seen claimed as such turn out to be well documented phenomena ranging from self-delusion to misunderstanding of statistical information.

The great majority may be just that, but it's that significant minority that's of real interest.

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Back to topic....

I think Ray Hyman brought a good point in his critics.

Medium reading:

The first thing being shown to me is a male figure that I would say as being above, that would be to me some type of father image. . . . Showing me the month of May. . . .They're telling me to talk about the Big H-um, the H connection. To me this an H with an N sound. So what they are talking about is Henna, Henry, but there's an HN connection. (p. xix)

is definitely a different task than the control reading (the experiment performed by non-mediums to compare the medium's accuracy over random guessing).

What was the relation of the deceased to the sitter?

What was the name of the sitter's husband?

In what month did he die?

How was he described by his friends?

Therefore the control reading has no value to provide a baseline for the medium result.

However most of his article is trying to discredit the experiment, and must be dealt with skepticism (yes, be skeptic to skeptics).

For example, is the case of "white crow" sitter:

GD (George) is the sitter

Campbell is the medium

Campbell apparently stated that the recipient of the reading was named George (true) even though she was supposedly completely blind to his identity. She also correctly indicated that the primary deceased person for GD was a male named Michael (true). She also provided the name "Alice" and later, during the interactive part of the reading, correctly stated that this was GD's deceased aunt. Among the list of names she included in her reading was one that she said sounded like Talya, Tiya, or Tilya. GD has a friend that he calls "Tallia." Campbell mentioned a deceased dog whose name began with an "S." GD had a beloved dog with an "S" name (but not the name used by Campbell). Other names were also relevant including that of GD's father "Bob." The researchers cite other qualitative hits that they believe provide powerful evidence that Campbell is getting information from a paranormal source.

This paranormal source, the authors argue, is not simply extrasensory perception based on GD's thoughts. This is because in the interactive phase of the reading "not only were each of the four primary people described accurately by Campbell, but four additional facts not known by GD and later confirmed by sources close to GD indicated that exceptionally accurate information was obtained for GD's deceased and close friends."

This is indeed a breathtaking reading. In the article Hyman said that GD may lied to Schwartz about the four additional facts, since Dr. Schwartz didn't confirm it directly. However we should note that GD could not lie about the direct hit on his name "George."

Schwartz then performed a double blind experiment, where the sitters are given two readings, one is his real reading, and the other one is the reading for another sitter. They are supposed to rate the readings, and decided which one is supposed to be his/her own reading.

It is said that only 4 out of 6 chosed the correct reading (very close to 3 out of 6 by coincidence) and the other two do not give significant difference in the rating. Statistically speaking, this study is inconclusive. However with the case of the "white crow" sitter GD, we have this anomaly:

they discovered that in the case of GD, who had been the star sitter in a previous experiment with Campbell, he not only successfully identified his own transcript but also found nine dazzle shots in this transcript and none in the control.

Hyman failed to explain this, but rather divert the attention of the reader that this is not significant as the experiment did not meet its designed goal (where 6 out of 6 sitters are supposed to choose correctly), and mentioned that the first and the 2nd reading are significantly different (although both of them are accurate).

I would say that the experiment is still inconclussive, but it is definitely not useless as Hyman claimed: "Probably no other extended program in psychical research deviates so much from accepted norms of scientific methodology as this one."

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Posted (edited)

Isn't asking CSICOP flunkie Hyman to review this a bit like asking Osama Bin Laden to rewrite God Bless America.

Gary Schwartz rebutts Hyman here,

My Webpage

Edited by spectral

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Posted (edited)

I seem to have been ignored . Work monkey I redirect you to my post . Any coments?

Edited by Kismit

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Isn't asking CSICOP flunkie Hyman to review this a bit like asking Osama Bin Laden to rewrite God Bless America.

Are you seriously comparing a skeptical review to a religiously fueled diatribe?

We aren't talking about someone stating their opinion in a patriotic song and dance, we are talking about the analysis of the scientific methodology used in order to validate the conclusions arrived at from the data.

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Despite his extreme bias, Hyman brought several good points. However Schwartz' study is definitely not worthless as Hyman claimed. More research must be done.

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Posted (edited)

Are you seriously comparing a skeptical review to a religiously fueled diatribe?

We aren't talking about someone stating their opinion in a patriotic song and dance, we are talking about the analysis of the scientific methodology used in order to validate the conclusions arrived at from the data.

It's a little sarcastic comparison (don't take it quite so literally) the point being that neither individual can be counted on to approach the relevant task without heavy negative bias.

Edited by spectral

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