View Full Version : The Spirit World, Part 1

12th April 12, 02:44 PM
I’m going to open this up by quoting Wernher von Braun:

“My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?”

Reese, and Feryk I believe, have challenged me to present evidence of the spirit world (or I should really say, spiritual reality instead of indicating a separate world as such but I’ll use the term “world” just for coherency’s sake) first as an opening to any further discussion on religion or any kind of spiritual matter. So rather than muck about like I usually do with half-formed arguments and segues trying to get someone to think of something in a new light I sat down and took the time to just straightforwardly present the best evidence I can of the existence of a spirit world, and I will present the leading skepticism on it as well and then my take. I’ve had many many avenues of research I’ve been doing in this and everything was getting so convoluted and disorganized… and LONG that I decided to just split things up and talk about one topic at a time instead of trying to explain my thought-web.

So to start things off in this discussion here is post #1 in the series where I’d like to talk about NDE’s, or Near Death Experiences. I really have to apologize for taking so long to get to posting this… I spent a lot of time tracking down materials and related videos, looking for studies, and trying to understand and tie everything together. I then had a massive amount of material to go through and I eventually took the time to edit it and narrowed it down to these 8 pages in Word to start off a discussion. Then of course I lose my internet (I’m posting this from a borrowed laptop at a wi-fi spot).

One of the interesting, but falsely applied, things about NDE’s is the name itself: “Near Death”. The people who experience NDE’s are actually clinically dead as in their respiratory and circulatory systems have stopped as well as having absolutely no brain activity (although there is an exception with deep coma as well). The pattern of death, however, leaves the core tissues and cells in the body suspended just long enough that resuscitation through advanced medical knowledge can occur within a small time frame… although the main point is that consciousness is completely shut off in a core near death experience (there are some other experiences that don’t fall under this category of core near death experience like temporarily leaving your body when trauma occurs that, while interesting, aren’t being studied in an empirical fashion as of yet). Modern science has created a definition of consciousness that says that consciousness, or “the mind”, is a product of the brain and brain chemistry; that it is literally generated by the brain. NDE’s challenge that core assumption in numerous ways.

First, the reference materials. Here is a documentary that you’ll find is an amazing introduction to the phenomenon. Produced by the BBC, it was broadcast in 2003 and a few times after. It was never released on video and tracking it down on the net has been difficult as any copy that can be found is usually taken down within hours of it being put up and the only torrents of it were in Russian. I did manage to capture a crappy flash upload once though and attempted to upload it to no avail. However, someone did manage to upload the entire thing in better quality than I have on YouTube just recently (I was pretty happy when I found it there). You can watch it or not. But I will be pulling many things straight from the video and you might get a much better understanding from watching it first. If it gets pulled from YouTube let me know and I’ll see if I can’t find another host just for us to view my copy if anyone still wants to view it when I get net access again.

From this documentary I was prompted to do further research. I will provide more information on some quick intro materials here:
UK Skeptics Article by Jason Braithwaite outlining the Dying Brain Hypothesis: http://www.ukskeptics.com/the-dying-brain.php
Skeptiko Article by Alex Tsakiris interviewing Dr. Eben Alexander on his own NDE: http://www.skeptiko.com/154-neurosurgeon-dr-eben-alexander-near-death-experience/
Pertinent IANDS articles (there are so many good ones there to choose from beings it is the main site advocating more research into NDE’s, but these are as good a start as any):

Medical and Scientific Peer Review Journals that cover NDE:
The Lancet
Journal of Near-Death Studies
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
British Journal of Psychology

If you have access to college networks or academic paper searching tools to find the articles on and related to NDE’s in those Journals use these search terms or the names of the important people I will list below:
NDE, Near Death Experience, Consciousness, Out of Body Experience, Spirit, Spirituality

Key persons from the references (although there are many more this is who I’d like you to remember):
Raymond Moody, M.D. Ph.D. – American psychologist and medical doctor; wrote Life After Life, a collection of anecdotal accounts that kicked off NDE research
Bruce Greyson, M.D. – American doctor/professor/researcher; student of Moody’s who kickstarted the objective research into NDE’s and has written many journal articles on the subject and developed the ‘NDE scale’
Sam Parnia, M.D. – British cardiologist; pioneer of NDE research in ruling out purely anecdotal or subjective accounts from people who haven’t objectively reached clinical death and created a model to study the dying process
Peter Fenwick, M.D. – British brain expert/neuro-psychiatrist/researcher; pioneer of NDE research who published over 200 papers on brain function and states of altered consciousness
Pim van Lommel, M.D. - Dutch cardiologist; pioneer of NDE research who developed controlled conditions in order to properly study objective NDE cases in which people who are having out of body experiences in an NDE have experiences of what’s going on around them and lining them up with exact times
Robert Spetzler, M.D. – Neurosurgeon who operated on Pam Reynolds
Pam Reynolds – Singer/Songwriter who became ill with a deadly aneurism (one of the worst recorded cases ever in the middle of the base of her brain) and later became the experiencer of one of the only NDE cases with irrefutable clinical evidence conducted under the most stringent monitored conditions where every known variable was under observation where she was frozen, the blood was even drained from her head, and she would be clinically dead for a whole hour while the procedure was done. She witnessed her own surgery, in detail, from outside of her body and then went on to the spirit world where she saw family members, had an encounter with divinity, and was told she’d have to go back in to her body… everything she saw of the surgery corresponded to what happened, even though she didn’t understand at all what was going on (cuz brain surgery).
Vicki Noratuk – Person blind from birth (even her dreams were only taste, touch, and hearing but no sight) who received sight during her near-death experience where she saw her own body and started to recognize things that were on herself until she realized that she was seeing, and seeing herself as paramedics were trying to resuscitate her.
Susan Blackmore, Ph.D. – British writer and lecturer in parapsychology; the main skeptic (even won awards from skeptic societies and magazines for her prolific work on NDE’s) of any spiritual associations with NDE and presents a hypothesis that NDE’s are generated by a dying brain and stored in memory until resuscitation wherein they are retrieved or further elaborated on; believes it’s an open and shut case with no room for argument and any other explanation is delusion. Her work on memes has also been backed by Richard Dawkins.
Jason J Braithwaite, Ph.D. – British lecturer in psychology; main supporter of Susan Blackmore’s work who contends that while the evidence and data gathered by NDE researchers cannot be contested, their conclusions should be. Presents arguments that measurements of EEG’s can’t account for all brainwave activity unless surgically implanted and thus some patients could have been having deep activity in the brain and thus “not really dead” and that researchers don’t often take into account the “rate of anoxia” (or how fast the brain dies from person to person) when collecting data thus refuting Blackmore’s claims but strengthening skepticism.
Michael Shermer – American editor of Skeptic magazine, founder of The Skeptics Society, producer of the series Exploring the Unknown, and TED Talks speaker. Convert from fundamentalist Christianity to humanistic atheism and staunch supporter of Susan Blackmore’s work.
Stuart Hameroff, M.D. – American professor and anesthesiologist; a skeptic of any “spiritual” explanation of NDE but believes the out of body accounts of NDE are so strong that they cannot be dismissed like many skeptics do and has been working with Sir Roger Penrose in finding a physical solution based off quantum theory.
Sir Roger Penrose, Ph.D. – British mathematician/physicist/philosopher; eminent scientist working at Cambridge who shared the Wolf Prize with Stephen Hawking and is developing a quantum mechanics explanation for NDE’s.
Wilder Graves Penfield, M.D., OM, CC, CMG, FRS – Canadian Neurosurgeon hailed as the “greatest living Canadian” when he was alive. Experienced researcher and doctor treating epilepsy. After living a full life contemplated and wrote on finding a scientific basis for the discovery of the human soul. His maps of the sensory and motor cortices of the brain are still used today practically unaltered.
Pam Kircher, M.D. – Colorado physician who has experienced an NDE herself. She has taught at Baylor College of Medicine, and was Chief of Family Medicine at Memorial Southwest Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Eben Alexander, M.D. – prominent neurosurgeon who experienced an NDE himself (you can read about his encounter in the article I linked above) and has since gone on to research further into NDE’s.

The Mind-Brain Separation:
This is a theory that has developed in order to explain how people who have no brain activity can have experiences; that consciousness is experienced by the mind which is separate from the brain somehow, and the brain is like a receiver of consciousness and experience is then stored in brain circuitry in the way that memory is understood by science (like a computer) but that information, that consciousness, is retained outside of the brain and is only fixed in the physical memory. Another thought being that memory and information are stored in the brain in ways that are completely not understood by modern science.
Scientists have agreed that they do not know what the mind exactly is or how the brain can generate consciousness even though up until NDE research it was commonly agreed upon that consciousness had to be a physical product of the brain as there was no other scientific explanation.
Now with the knowledge and study of thousands of NDE cases wherein people who experience NDE’s gain knowledge of things they could not or should not be able to know have prompted scientists working on NDE’s to come up with this explanation of the mind being separate from the brain and the brain merely acting as a receiver of consciousness in a way that science cannot understand.
The Dying Mind:
This is the major theory purported by skeptics of NDE’s (first put forward by Susan Blackmore). They state that NDE’s can be explained as fabrications of a dying mind. The “light tunnel” is said to be explainable by nerves firing in a closing circle as you go into unconsciousness because the density of vision cells is far greater in the center of the eye than the perimeter. The experience of being outside the body is really just a coalescing of memories you have of yourself and meeting lost family or friends is really just wishful thinking. And then everything is stated to be colored by endorphins that are released in the brain as you die. All of this is processed instantaneously within the 8 seconds you go from cardiac arrest to brain death in the dying process and is stored in your brain’s memory, and then you recall this as you are resuscitated with additional elaborations due to the ecstasy of life again.
The Quantum Explanation:
The fact that core near death experiencers retain coherent perception and memory while clinically dead with no brain activity has prompted researchers to turn to Quantum Mechanics for a solution as to how memory and consciousness can be retained outside of the brain (because the brain isn’t working at all) and then later recalled by it after a resuscitation. A proposal is that structures deep within the network of the brain cells which are known as micro-tubules (these act like architecture in that they form the shape of the cell and act as a sort of microscopic nervous system in a fashion enabling your brain to process information akin to a computer) are actually quantum computers acting on the level smaller than atoms that create the “mind” of a person. They say they are quantum in that they must somehow be able to participate in the quantum ideas of superposition, or the ability to be in two states or places at once, and quantum entanglement, which lets information exist outside of the brain in the “universe at large” as Professor Hameroff states until it is able to be recalled by a resuscitated brain.

What followed was the creation of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (wikilink here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IANDS)) which is an organization that encourages scientific research and education on the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual nature and ramifications of near-death experiences. Among its publications are the peer-reviewed Journal of Near-Death Studies and the quarterly newsletter Vital Signs (from the informational brochure at www.iands.org). Even with the establishment of the IANDS, grants, media, and general interest have been really scarce for research on NDE’s comparitively.
My argument:
I put forward that the spiritual experiences people are experiencing with NDE’s are real. The strongest evidence for this is in cases such as Pam Reynolds’ where the person experiencing the NDE gains knowledge, from a perspective outside of their bodies, about what is going on in the physical world while they are physically dead. That and the people experiencing deep core NDE’s all have very similar experiences. They usually spend an amount of time (ranging from short to long), observing their bodies, roaming outside of their bodies, and experiencing the physical world as some kind of uninhibited spiritual observer. If they are resuscitated during this time that is the totality of their experience of the NDE. However, if they are not resuscitated during this first period they are then almost always “caught up” by the tunnel of light and either experience a vision of heaven or a waiting place or even, occasionally, of hell. Then you get into the specifics of whether they met certain people, spiritual beings, or God and all of those things can differ from person to person.

“In the end, I conclude that there is no good evidence, in spite of new methods such as the employment of stimulating electrodes, that the brain alone can carry out the work that the mind does. I conclude that it is easier to rationalize man’s being on the basis of two elements, brain and mind, than on the basis of one. But I believe that one should not tend to draw a final scientific conclusion in man’s study of man until the nature of the energy responsible for mind action is discovered as in my opinion it will be.” - Wilder Graves Penfield (The Mystery of the Mind: A Critical Study of Consciousness in the Human Brain, page 114).
Contesting Dr. Susan Blackmore:
To counter Dr. Blackmore’s claim that the ‘tunnel of light’ is the experience of a dying optical nerve-brain function I will put forward something that I am pretty sure is a common experience. She says that the optical nerve is receiving patterns of being shut off as you slip out of consciousness that form an ever tightening circle of darkness, forming a tunnel. However, as someone who’s been choked to unconsciousness before I can say that I’ve experienced the same thing… but as someone who’s eyes were open and observing the physical world through an ever shrinking tunnel vision. This same phenomenon can be experienced by anyone losing consciousness with their eyes open and even experienced by jet fighter pilots (or even carnival ride enthusiasts) who are experiencing massive G-forces that is pulling the blood out of your brain. A person will see their field of vision tighten ever closer in a circle and the vision in the middle is pretty bright and clear. I can’t say with authority that they are the same thing, but they seem similar enough and are brought about by a similar process (lack of oxygen in the brain) that they very well could be. Even Penn and Teller, in their very short and poorly made effort at tackling NDE’s on their “Bullsh!t” program used the fact that astronauts and jet pilots put in the gravity chamber for testing and training can experience a sort of euphoria and tunnel vision and they claim that’s what’s really going on in NDE’s. However, neither of these explanations can account for the fact that usually before people see a tunnel of light they are seeing their own bodies and the scenes of their accidents or dying bodies as well as the teams of people trying to resuscitate them. Sometimes deep core near death experiencers will roam about outside of their dead bodies for quite some time before the light appears and they continue onwards into the more spiritual aspects of the experience and sometimes it never appears if they are resuscitated quickly enough.
She also states that when people view their own body after dying they are really just participating in this dying brain dream and the brain is providing them with all of the visual information they need to create this vision through their memories of themselves. However, this is probably most easily and most dramatically countered by all of the experiences of blind people receiving sight during their NDE. The most prominent case being of Vicki Noratuk who was blind from birth and had never seen anything, ever, until her NDE. She states that it took her quite a while to get used to the sensation of being able to see as she had never done it before but she was able to see and perceive her surroundings after her accident and eventually a spiritual place during her NDE. And she’s not alone as there have been a few more cases of the blind receiving sight during their NDE’s which you can read about and hear their stories in the research.
Another claim of hers is that the feelings of euphoria or anything spiritual are all colored by endorphins that are released as you are dying. Now as you can see here on TalkOrigins which is debating that endorphins being released at death are the sign of a merciful creator since there is no evolutionary pressure to develop them as a way to ease the suffering of a dying creature, one of the counter points raised by strict abiogenesists is that endorphins are also released in such a way by relatively minor traumas as well and thus could be selected for (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB370.html). Dr. Blackmore contests that endorphins and the feelings of euphoria are helping the brain create a delusional memory (she says your brain creates this memory really quickly right before dying and also right after being resuscitated and then kind of mashes everything together like a quick dream) of experiencing this dramatic spiritual awakening, which to almost all experiencers of NDE’s have reported as being a really great feeling. However, a quick counter point to that is if endorphins are also released in a similar manner for much smaller physical traumas than dying… and often these traumas can result in unconsciousness as well, then why aren’t NDE’s being experienced then when the brain is even more active than a dying brain? Why isn’t this happening all the time then? The argument I mentioned earlier from Penn and Teller wherein they describe people in a gravity chamber losing consciousness really doesn’t do a good job of explaining it either. That evidence has been looked at by NDE researchers and they have come to the conclusion that those experiences are not indicative of a core NDE, even though they may share in some of the outlying aspects of one. There’s also a pretty huge difference between being unconscious with brain activity that can be measured in a way akin to sleeping and being clinically dead with no brain activity whatsoever. Another counter point is what about the people who visit hell during their NDE? Do endorphins color that experience as well?
Having a distressing NDE is rare, although researchers believe part of it may be due to people just not reporting them … they outlined several factors including things like shame of the experience, the experiencer discounting it as not a “real” NDE because the person having the distressing NDE didn’t experience the same thing others who have NDE’s experience, amongst other psychological reasons that were discovered from people who have reported having one. NDE’s can also be categorized as distressing if someone feels judged by a spiritual entity rather than the ecstatic love that others describe, or if they experience negative spiritual entities (such as demons or… other things). It doesn’t always mean that the person “died and went to hell”, as it were, just that their experience was negative and distressing. More information on distressing NDE’s can be found here: http://iands.org/distressing-near-death-experiences.html
However, there is the fact that many people who have distressing NDE’s when they come back tend to radically revolutionize their life and fervently believe that the distressing NDE was a warning to change while they still have time. And when I say radically I mean radically…
Then of course there’s the signifier of core NDE experiencers when they are deathly ill or of advanced age that can be used as a predictor of their final death time as they decide to take care of unfinished business then slip into death; and other NDE experiencers who develop abilities that enable them to be more profoundly connected with other people and can read other people better. How does having an experience entirely centered in and of the self by a dying brain enable these things?

“People who had more of certain aspects of the NDE (e.g., tunnels, light, life reviews) were labeled core experiencers. Having a core experience was a predictor of death over the next 30 days at a probability of .0001. That means that there is a 1-in-10,000 chance that those results would have occurred by chance alone. Why would that be?
Two very different hypotheses come to mind. One is that people with very deep experiences might be so taken with the experience that they simply allowed themselves to slip over to the other side. (The will to live is crucial in people who are extremely ill. Though it doesn't predict whether or not the person will die, it can have a bearing on when their death occurs. For example, people who are terminally ill frequently put off their own deaths until after they have finished waiting for an important day such as their daughter's wedding.) The sense of what lies ahead of NDErs may be so peaceful, that they simply complete unfinished business here and then let go into death. Another possible interpretation of the data, however, is that the depth of the NDE may be related to the severity of the illness of the person. In a statistically precise study of NDErs, Dr. Bruce Greyson found that psychic abilities are more common after a core NDE (Theta, 11:26-29, 1983). Since we have not had studies until now that interviewed large numbers of people within 30 days of their NDEs, the reasons for the relationship between the depth of the NDE and impending death have not yet been identified.” – Pam Kircher

Addressing the Quantum idea:
I think the quantum mechanics explanation is a good attempt at trying to get a foothold in to a purely physical and skeptical understanding of the data regarding NDE’s which is undeniably strong. However, I couldn’t help but feel, as a knee-jerk reaction to hearing about it, that it’s likely a scientific grasping at straws that may have found one that just happened to be more firmly rooted than expected. The aspects of quantum mechanics physics itself that are used in attempting an explanation of NDE’s and consciousness existing outside of the body and brain (such as superposition) aren’t as understood as well as, say, the physics of the Theory of Relativity. I will also admit to not being super-knowledgeable about all of the ins and outs of quantum mechanics theory (not liking math doesn’t help me any here). However, what does intrigue me greatly about it are the ideas I’ve heard of getting down to the space between spaces of atoms and there being a “background noise” to the universe; the ideas of superposition and that the theory has a playful idea of if you run at a wall enough times that there’s a chance, however small, in quantum theory that you could pass through it. All of these things seem a bit miraculous, no? I’ve always had these ideas since I was a kid of God literally holding the universe together at will and that the supernatural isn’t supernatural to God at all… but just natural. What if quantum theory is really just describing the puppet strings to the laws of the universe? And is it so farfetched that the physical universe, being birthed from the spiritual, can have its strings pulled by the spiritual One who made it? What’s walking on water when you can simply pull the atomic hydrogen bonds tighter beneath your feet to support you? What’s the feeding of 5000 when you can superposition the same fish and bread matter over and over? Are these things supernatural to God or simply the natural expression of His will? I mean He is referred to as the Master and Lord of His own creation. I remember Reese/Moleculo asking me how does the brain act as a spiritual receiver of sorts when I mentioned it before. I think that knowing how our brains act as a computer with all of this neuroscience research (and isn’t it odd that when we made computers out of calculators we eventually found the “neural net” idea which allowed us to make even faster and more complex computers that are… sort of like us in how they think) and that the new research into NDE’s where people are able to recall specific events happening around them whilst they are braindead has pretty much proven, albeit contested, that consciousness can exist outside of the brain and is not even really generated by it. I like the idea raised that the microtubules act as part computer and part antennae for “quantum data” that is brought up with the quantum explanation. Could these really be our “receiver” organs in our brain that intimately connect the physical and spiritual? Could this also be why people can have powerful mind-bending, quasi-spiritual experiences when using drugs that alter brain chemistry such as LSD? Like I mentioned before in other threads, couldn’t it be that they are just picking up the “background spiritual noise” all around them and their brain interprets it in varied ways depending on the trip because their inhibitors that normally keep all that blocked out have been jolted by the drug somehow? Is that why sometimes crazy people can say really profound things before their grip on sanity is gone again? Is there something wrong with the receiver part of their brain?
Of course I am just waxing eloquent at the moment but as you can see, the quantum explanation only raises more and more questions than the answers it hopes to provide at this point of time as they have yet to find formulas or understanding for how any of the quantum information existing outside of the brain could work and specifically how the quantum structures in microtubules can pick it up even though they are working pretty diligently on it. Although, they do happen to be interesting and pertinent questions in relation to the consciousness/mind/brain body of understanding with perhaps spiritual implications that the quantum researchers don’t see or comprehend or perhaps just don’t care to investigate as it would then fall out of the purview of science. Although I say that somewhat mockingly… as the beginnings of western science was invented by devout Christians seeking to know the how of God doing what He does.

“If you look through science what’s amazing is that the things that any group of scientists often believe is completely black and white, I mean completely correct. If you look 50 years later most if not all of them have been changed. And I think with this subject as well, in the future, we’ll find that actually the mind may well be a separate scientific entity that can continue functioning when we’ve reached the end of life and the brain has stopped working. That will have huge implications for all of mankind, there’s no doubt about it. It will revolutionize our whole way of scientific thinking and will open up a whole new field of science that has yet been undiscovered.” – Dr. Sam Parnia

"Before my NDE it was very clear in neuroscience that the brain gives you consciousness and everything else, and when the brain dies there goes consciousness, soul, mind—it’s all gone. And it was clear. Now, having been through my coma, I can tell you that’s exactly wrong and that in fact the mind and consciousness are independent of the brain. It’s very hard to explain that, certainly if you’re limiting yourself to that reductive materialist view." – Dr. Eben Alexander, neuroscientist

Further Reading (print sources):

12th April 12, 03:21 PM
No way in hell I am reading all of that. I + repped your goofy ass for the effort though.

12th April 12, 04:25 PM
There's a lot of material there and I commend you for your effort.

This book may be of interest to you resolve:-


12th April 12, 04:31 PM

I am absolutely going to make the time to watch the videos and follow your work. It will take me some time, but I will do it.

Bravo on your efforts, sir. Bravo.

Aphid Jones
13th April 12, 02:53 AM

Why don't you search, with the same tenacity, for evidence that the body exists after death? Why only one organ of it?

13th April 12, 02:54 AM
Because nobody is disputing that. Resolve is searching for evidence of something that he thinks exists but many people dispute.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
13th April 12, 05:00 AM
Nice one.

That and the people experiencing deep core NDE’s all have very similar experiences. They usually spend an amount of time (ranging from short to long), observing their bodies, roaming outside of their bodies, and experiencing the physical world as some kind of uninhibited spiritual observer. If they are resuscitated during this time that is the totality of their experience of the NDE. However, if they are not resuscitated during this first period they are then almost always “caught up” by the tunnel of light and either experience a vision of heaven or a waiting place or even, occasionally, of hell. Then you get into the specifics of whether they met certain people, spiritual beings, or God and all of those things can differ from person to person.

What's your take on the cultural differences in NDEs?


Taken from Cultural differences in NDEs. (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/HNDEs.html#differences) Lots of references for you in there as well.

I havent finished reading your take on the Quantum take on things but will when I get the time.

13th April 12, 06:44 AM
Why only one organ of it?

Which organ?

I'm pretty sure Resolve's suggesting that the OBE is evidence of a spirit that is independent of the body and all it's organs.

While the scientists are suggesting that it is a combination of the effect of oxygen deprivation on the brain and your overactive imagination post recovery.

And, as Max has posted, I also had heard there were significant cultural differences in NDE, which is taken as evidence that this is a effect produced by the brain rather than anything spiritual.

Also I think I've mentioned Dr. Penny Sartori's experiments before in relation to OBE's.

More info here:

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
13th April 12, 09:22 AM
....as the beginnings of western science was invented by devout Christians seeking to know the how of God doing what He does.

This is a joke right?

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
13th April 12, 09:38 AM
(and isn’t it odd that when we made computers out of calculators we eventually found the “neural net” idea which allowed us to make even faster and more complex computers that are… sort of like us in how they think)

I like some of your ideas surrounding QM and miracles :)

The above quote isnt quite correct though. The idea of neural networks and learning was first put forward by Donald Hebb in the 1940s sometime. The genius that was Alan Turing then applied these ideas to machines, have a look at unorganized machines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unorganized_machine) if you get the time, this was really the start of artificial neural networks. To date they still havent fullfilled their potential IMO.

13th April 12, 12:10 PM
This is a joke right?

It was true of Newton at least.

13th April 12, 12:30 PM
And Grosseteste, and Bacon

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
13th April 12, 12:37 PM
Yep those pre Christian era Greeks had nothing to do with it what-so-ever, or those pesky Hindu & Muslim mathematicians...mmmmmmmm........

Not saying Christians didnt have a major input into science's formulation just saying they werent the only contributors!

........as the beginnings of western science was invented by devout Christians seeking to know the how of God doing what He does.

13th April 12, 12:53 PM
I think he was defining western science as the bit of science invented in Western Europe.

13th April 12, 12:54 PM
Yep those pre Christian era Greeks had nothing to do with it what-so-ever, or those pesky Hindu & Muslim mathematicians...mmmmmmmm........

Not saying Christians didnt have a major input into science's formulation just saying they werent the only contributors!

They contributed large bodies of knowledge, but the appearance of the scientific method itself in the west can be attributed to Christian thinkers.

Note: This should not be interpreted as Christianity bestowing higher powers of scientific reasoning, but an artefact of the reality that academic thought in Europe was completely dominated by clergymen for centuries.

Robot Jesus
13th April 12, 02:18 PM
I wish I had a link for evidence, but I heard somewhere that in Japan NDE are usually termed as crossing a river as opposed to going towards the light.

cultural differences in NDE kill them as evidence of anything to my mind, unless there are many different afterlifes based on culture.

13th April 12, 02:21 PM
It shouldn't. Cultural context makes sense if in fact, there is an afterlife.

Vieux Normand
13th April 12, 03:44 PM
I wish I had a link for evidence, but I heard somewhere that in Japan NDE are usually termed as crossing a river as opposed to going towards the light.

cultural differences in NDE kill them as evidence of anything to my mind, unless there are many different afterlifes based on culture.

That's not much help to the "only-one-true-faith" contingent, to which several religions belong.

13th April 12, 04:02 PM
That's not much help to the "only-one-true-faith" contingent, to which several religions belong.

Simple: everybody else is seeing demons.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
16th April 12, 04:20 AM
Simple: everybody else is seeing demons.

Unfortunatly I thnk that may be the essence of resolve's reply.

25th April 12, 05:28 PM
Not really. I don't see how seeing something different while crossing over disproves anything.

There was even this one incident I remember, one of the most well documented missionary events ever (since authorities became involved) with a huge documentary made on it and even a hollywood film later on, wherein a Native South American kills a missionary and sees his spirit "cross the river" or something like that in front of him.

It's sort of related to NDE's but I'll need to figure out the specifics so I can give you an accurate reporting of it if anyone cares to read it.

Right now I need to go over those cultural differences you guys brought up in that research.

I do have some limited net access again now through my current job.

25th April 12, 07:26 PM
Careful with your web history at work resolve, best do your research in your own time and at the library/home. Hope the move went well?

Hedley LaMarr
25th April 12, 11:14 PM
Just put on some smooth jazz and smoke some DMT. If you're crunched for time and don't feel like dealing with the black market, try salvia.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
26th April 12, 04:42 AM
It's sort of related to NDE's but I'll need to figure out the specifics so I can give you an accurate reporting of it if anyone cares to read it.

Yep definitly interested.

26th April 12, 06:01 PM

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
8th June 12, 05:56 AM
So errr as you are back resolve.............