Skeptic's Corner

      

NDERF Home Page
Susan Blackmore/Greg Stone Debate
NDE Medical Explicability Controversy
NDE Rhetoric, Debunking the Debunkers
Jody's Nutshell Review of: Near Death Experience In Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands
Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense
SNAP FAQ's TO QUOTE
 

REM Intrusion & Blanke's OBE studies are fatally flawed!  Definitive article on how not to make the same mistakes and assumptions that researchers make.  Dr. Jeff and Janice Miner Holden PhD

 A Remarkable Discussion of the book:  Dying to Live: Near-Death Experiences by: Susan Blackmore, Ph.D.  A controversial title in the field of near death studies is Susan Blackmore’s Dying to Live. Dr. Blackmore arrives at the conclusion that the near death experience is the product of a dying brain, that the NDE does not support the existence of a spirit and an afterlife. Some years ago, I wrote a critique of Dying to Live, taking issue with both her approach and conclusions. This critique has a appeared on a number of NDE related web sites. A recently-edited version is presented here.  Additional commentary by Dr. Jeff Long.  (Article updated and republished 8/10/04)

NDE Rhetoric, Debunking the Debunkers, by Jody  NDE Rhetoric was written to highlight the common arguments for and against NDE.

A Reply to Shermer, Medical Evidence for NDEs, by Dr. Pim van Lommel In his "Skeptic" column in Scientific American in March, 2003, Michael Shermer cited a research study published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal, by Pim van Lommel and colleagues. He asserted this study "delivered a blow" to the idea that the mind and the brain could separate. Yet the researchers argued the exact opposite, and showed that conscious experience outside the body took place during a period of clinical death when the brain was flatlined. As Jay Ingram, of the Canadian Discovery Channel, commented: "His use of this study to bolster his point is bogus. He could have said, 'The authors think there's a mystery, but I choose to interpret their findings differently'. But he didn't. I find that very disappointing" (Toronto Star, March 16, 2003). Here, Pim van Lommel sets out the evidence that Shermer misrepresented.

NDE... Medically Explicable???

Dr. Jeff of NDERF was recently (12/16/01) interviewed on ABC News with Peter Jennings (national TV) to discuss the article regarding NDE in the prominent medical journal The Lancet.  This NDE article is discussed in more detail in a
Press Release already posted on NDERF.  Dr. Jeff defended The Lancet article’s conclusion that NDE was not medically explicable.  As part of this ABC broadcast, another physician was briefly interviewed who asserted that NDE was medically explicable.  Dr. Jeff e-mailed this physician a brief and partial list of reasons he felt NDE was not medically explicable, and asked this physician to respond and explain his position that NDE was medically explicable.  Three weeks have passed without a response from this physician.  This is unfortunate, as we welcome open and constructive debate on this issue.  If he responds at some future time, it is anticipated his comments will be posted on this web site (if he is agreeable).  For the benefit of NDERF readers, attached is Dr. Jeff’s correspondence regarding this issue.  This correspondence is now an open letter to anyone willing to rationally respond and defend the position that NDEs are medically explicable.  Click title above, or click here. 1/20/02.




SNAP FAQ's TO QUOTE 
Correction of common misperceptions about NDE

Jody's Nutshell Review of:  Near Death Experience In Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands, Pim van Lommel, et al, THE LANCET • Vol 358 • December 15, 2001 ,  2039-45.  3/6/02 The is the largest prospective study of NDErs and published in a major British medical journal, the Lancet.  The 8-year old study involved 344 consecutive cardiac arrest patients who died and were subsequently resuscitated.  Specifically, the test addressed skeptical concerns regarding the proper use of scientific methodology, whether the NDE was caused by brain chemistry, if and how drugs might affect the occurrences or perceptions of NDEs, and whether fear or other psychological factors might account for NDEs.  Id. at 2039.

A New Look at Some Hindu Concepts, by V. Krishnan.  Skeptical look at …Ultimate reality.  Mystical experience. Monism.  Is this world immoral? Afterlife. Reincarnation. Karma. Salvation. Prayer… 
 

Great Foundation Questions for SkepticsExcerpt from Book Review of Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense, by Michael Shermer.  A Column by Jim Richardson and Allen Richardson reprinted with permission from the authors and The AnomalistFor the full book review click here.

"Boundary Detection Kit"

1. How reliable is the source of the claim?

2. Does this source often make similar claims?

3. Have the claims been verified by another source?

4. How does this fit in with what we know about the world and how it works?

5. Has anyone, including and especially the claimant, gone out of the way to disprove the claim, or has only confirmatory evidence been sought?

6. In the absence of clearly defined proof, does the         preponderance of evidence converge to the claimants conclusion, or a different one?

7. Is the claimant employing the accepted rules of reason and tools of research, or have these been abandoned in favor of others which lead to the desired conclusion?

8. Has the claimant provided a different explanation for the observed phenomena, or is it strictly a process of denying the existing explanation?

9. If the claimant has proffered a new explanation, does it account for as many phenomena as the old explanation?

10. Do the claimants personal beliefs and biases drive the conclusions, or vice versa?


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