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Alexander Zlotnik
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Sorry for off-top: Michael,did You see newly released book "Myth of an Afterlife"? http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Afterlife-against-After-Death-ebook/dp/B00UV3VFW8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446131502&sr=1-1&keywords=myth+of+afterlife
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2015 on Fatal vision at Michael Prescott's Blog
Thanks for the response, Michael. Curiously, I opened the whole thread about it on Skeptico, and even one hardcore materialist skeptic there told he doesn't see how it presents problem for "transmission/filter" theory. As I understand this is just one of the arguments materialists try to bring, though perhaps one the most prevalent.I made search on internet and found many articles on skeptical sites about how split brain poses problems for soul. Rational Wiki even goes as far as postulating that this is the best thing demonstrating that mind is produced by the brain, though Rational Wiki is not the best source of course. I am in the middle of Chris's 'Science and the Near Death" and while Chris addresses many issues there , he doesn' talk about split brain challenge. I think it only for me were news,probably the rest if 'survivalist' community already aware if that,maybe asking directly authors of "Irreducible mind' would be also good idea.
Toggle Commented Aug 20, 2013 on Linkapalooza! at Michael Prescott's Blog
Hi Michael, I know You had a thread about split-brain before, back to 2009, but here is what I found recently, about Gazzaniga experiments: "Gazzaniga devised an experiment that had such a patient look at a dot on a screen. Then a word was projected on the screen to the right of the dot. This meant that only the right eye could see the word. When he asked the patient to identify the word, the patient had no problem. He would say “cat”. That is because the right eye is wired to the left hemisphere of the brain and the latter is where the language centers are located. Now what happened when a word was projected to the left side of the dot? The patient could not say what the word was. See above. However, and this is the fascinating part, the patient could draw a picture of the named object with his left hand. That is apparently because the more artistic, image processing modules of the brain are located in the right hemisphere. Whereas the left hemisphere could respond with language, the right hemisphere could respond only with a picture. If substance dualism were correct, and the seat of consciousness is an immaterial soul that is somehow connected to the physical body and brain, then this experiment shouldn’t have worked that way. Information gathered by one half of the severed brain should have been uploaded to the uncut, immaterial soul. It should then have been available to the other hemisphere, since the soul both receives information from the physical senses and commands the physical body. That is precisely what did not happen. Instead, cutting the corpus callosum effectively cut one human being into two. As long as the patient is looking at the world with both eyes, the two halves of the brain are working in tandem. The two half-brains in one skull are not aware that anything has changed. They can navigate the world well enough that no one else knows the difference, unless he is a neuroscientists conducting a clever experiment." http://naturalrightandbiology.blogspot.ca/2013/04/neuroscience-soul.html could You comment,please? The author uses this experiment to argue against the substance dualism
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2013 on Linkapalooza! at Michael Prescott's Blog
"whose only reason for their existence is: (to) EXTERMINATE! everything that looks like the paranormal, spiritual beliefs, and so on." What is more, it looks like they feel it is their DUTY to do so, to destroy "silly beliefs" and "enlighten" people. Pretty aggressive and militant. Of course, there will be no retraction or apology,but I am afraid we will see damaging but untrue claims from them
Toggle Commented Aug 16, 2013 on Esquire's ace in the hole at Michael Prescott's Blog
Hi Michael, Sorry for off-top, do You still get e-mails from obsessive sick troll Daryl? He seems to create innumerable accounts, and continue to shoot the garbage. Last time I got e-mail from his, as he appears under the name James Cash, trying to trash Leonora Piper.Such a garbage -unbelievable
Toggle Commented Aug 2, 2013 on A weblog and a wig lady at Michael Prescott's Blog
Michael (and folks), I'd like to ask : what is You take on personal insights of NDE survivors? Of course, we should respect attempting to explain it ,being it Pim Van Lommel/Bruce Greyson from one side and Gerry Woerlee on the other. I think their personal experience deserves the weigh, not less(maybe even more) than academic explanations.Do you agree? Julie Beischel also talks about something like that in her book about mediums, how she relies on what medium feels(though this is a little bit more problematic). Now,here I opened the thread about mystical experience of known physicist Fred Alan Wolf. He says that lucid dreams they are actually experiences of "parallel realities". As for his "lucid dream" - he is convinced that he visited astral plane of suiciders.Long story,here is the thread I opened for that: http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/5458-profound-mystical-transcendental-experience-famous-physicist.html If true, it would be interesting, because it reminds much of what mediumistic communications/channelining literature tell about "suicide plane". I have read about NDEs,OBEs, but never heard before about "lucid dreams" as experience of parallel realities. Wolf bring idea of hologram: [I]"There is something called "Holographic Reality" and the notion here is that a hologram is made up of overlaps of alternate realities, much like a regular hologram is made up from overlaps of different wave motions; light waves; in the case of an optical hologram or sound waves if it is a sonar hologram by which radar works and that sort of thing."[/I]
Art - "In the aggregate - if only one of the thousands of sightings are real - it changes everything." I think I agree with the statement that the best evidence of survival can be "very suggestive of survival at least in certain cases, but by itself is probably not enough to be definitive" But regarding NDE I found it interesting to read the stories on NDE experiencers themselves, not just academic explanations. For example, here experiencer says: "I now know that there is a life after death" http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/NDE_Experiences/bolette_l_nde.htm Such sentiments seem to be quite common in NDE experiencers/survivors, and they don't care what others think about that. They usually even don't use the word "believe", they us e the word "know".
Thanks for the responses. Paul - no, haven't read D.Fontana yet, reading mixed reviews ,still unsure if to purchase. Warren - thanks for the suggestions, I'll read these books. As for "not enough to be definitive" - I humbled myself that it may be the case of any separate lines of evidence(best cases) - strongly suggestive by not definite enough...But agreed, taken together it all becomes much stronger. Michael - my surprise came from 2 factors.1: that it came from Louisa Rhine, as I know she and her husband were more about ESP rather than survival. 2: I was surprised by her "certainty" - she insisted that in certain cases the initiative of the deceased personality was the only possible explanation
Excellent post,Michael. I know there is a great divide between people explaining NDE.Just recently I've ordered and read the new(relatively) book by David Wiebers "Theory Of Reality" - he provides excellent explanations why "reductionistic psychological/physiological" models fail to explain many common features of NDE - made sense to me.I recently have been in personal correspondence with few researchers,got insightful responses.I also contacted Rene Jorgensen,actual NDE experiencer and author,he moved to the town I'm living,suggested to meet personally.I've never talked directly to NDE experiences,may be interesting.I actually begin to value more their direct experience. The attempts to explain them away seem like academic exercise,having no bearing on experiencers feelings and afterward views.
Toggle Commented Jul 24, 2013 on The ABCs of NDEs at Michael Prescott's Blog
Hi Michael and others, Sorry for off-top,but that may be important question.We talked about "split brain".On Kevin Williams Near-Death I found one book on NDEs/Hallucinations by few authors,including Rhawn Joseph ,neuroscientist .He argues that his research confirmed "split-brain", kind of "2 minds" ,or 2 "spheres of consciousness",he has the site brainminds.com Here is the article that I find puzzling: http://journalofcosmology.com/QuantumConsciousness102.html [I]Quantum physics and Einstein's theory of relativity make assumptions about the nature of the mind which is assumed to be a singularity. In the Copenhagen model of physics, the process of observing is believed to effect reality by the act of perception and knowing which creates abstractions and a collapse function thereby inducing discontinuity into the continuum of the quantum state. This gives rise to the uncertainty principle. Yet neither the mind or the brain is a singularity, but a multiplicity which include two dominant streams of consciousness and awareness associated with the left and right hemisphere, as demonstrated by patients whose brains have been split, and which are superimposed on yet other mental realms maintained by the brainstem, thalamus, limbic system, and the occipital, temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes. Like the quantum state, each of these minds may also become discontinuous from each other and each mental realm may perceive their own reality. Illustrative examples are detailed, including denial of blindness, blind sight, fragmentation of the body image, phantom limbs, the splitting of the mind following split-brain surgery, and dissociative states where the mind leaves the body and achieves a state of quantum consciousness and singularity such that the universe and mind become one.[/I] Could someone comment on this?
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2013 on Who tube? YouTube! at Michael Prescott's Blog
Thanks a lot,Michael Paul,does Your statement apply to Irreducible Mind or to K.Augustine's book?
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2013 on A case of murder at Michael Prescott's Blog
Hi Michael, Sorry for off-top,perhaps I am late on Keith Augustine,and it eas discussed before,but have You read his last e-mail to Jime,about 4 years ago? http://subversivethinking.blogspot.ca/2009/09/keith-augustines-new-reply-to-my-post.html I wonder about 2 points made by Augustine: "There's no begging the question involved. Begging the question is assuming without argument. But there is an argument. In fact, the various heuristic criteria you mention in passing later--like simplicity, scope, predictive success, etc--are precisely those that render the productive hypothesis a better explanation of the data." and "In the whole of the evidence, the neuroscientific evidence is indisputable. The parapsychological evidence for survival is arguable at best. So there's no contest. That's why you are reluctant to discuss the issues framed in terms of the most straightforward interpretation of neuroscientific evidence versus the most straightforward interpretation of survival evidence. But this is the way you should discuss it. This is the way physicists discuss relativity theory vs. Newtonian physics when it comes to time dilation effects." Could You comment on that?Was it discussed before? Thank You
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2013 on A case of murder at Michael Prescott's Blog
"Speaking of Wikipedia, I received a lengthy email just today from someone insisting that all mediums have been debunked. (It may have been the indefatigable Forests.)" I received exactly the same oe-mail. Did the sender appear as "Leo Kennedy"? It is not doubt Darryl/Forests If he bothered with all that,I asked him to send me material where John Sloan and Emily French were debunked and considered frauds. Still passionely waiting
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2013 on Seth again at Michael Prescott's Blog
Folks,You will be laughing but our well-know friend-troll Darryl emailed me personally(I don't know where he found my e-mail),he found my negative post about Kastenbaum ,and e-mailed me personally how I am mistaken about this excellent book :). Anyway,I want to share with You one amazing story of visual After-Death Communication,please see here: http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/5386-incredible-story-could-you-believe.html
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2013 on In the news ... at Michael Prescott's Blog
Thanks Michael.Perhaps my post was premature. First,I by myself saw contradiction between what he wrote(1984) and what more up-to-date data indicates.Second,I email this to few well-known NDE researchers,they all pointed to the same issues,and how recent mainly researchs contradict most of his points.
Toggle Commented Jul 12, 2013 on In the news ... at Michael Prescott's Blog
Michael and folks. What I'm posting here may be a little bit off top, but it is related to NDE. just in case I found that former troll Darryl/Forests posted on Randi the post,where making a point that "NDE are not evidence for life after death", citing book by Robert Kastenbaum(1984). I don't know what to think about his point.He appear die-hard skeptic regarding afterlife ,here are his point: Quote: The case for the NDE experience of survival is weakened by a fact readily acknowledged by investigators and scholars. The mental state characteristic of the core NDE also occurs under other circumstances. One does not have to be on the verge of physical death to witness the blinding light, encounter spirit beings or have the sense of wandering away from one’s body. Such a state often occurs in the sacred literature of the both the East and the West and among individuals who have attained ‘mystical’ experiences independent of any religious belief. Furthermore, people have often sought and attained such a state through hallucinogenic drugs (as well as through fasting, withdrawing into the wilderness and other actions). Medical psychologist Ronald Siegal has shown that imagery similar if not identical to the NDE can be produced by commonly used anaesthetics in the operating room as well as by peyote and other established hallucinogens. Quote: Who should be more likely to have an NDE the person who objectively is very close to death, or the person who is in less extreme jeopardy of his life? By definition and usage, the closer to death, the more impressive the NDE. A study has addressed this question specifically and found that survivors subjective sense of being close to death was not related to the depth of completeness of their NDEs. Furthermore people who objectively had been in less perilous situation were more likely to report NDEs in the first place! In effect this study distinguished between near and very near death experiences - and the results indicate that fewer memories are reported the closer the individual actually has been to death. The survival hypothesis of the NDE is certainly not strengthened by results which show that people who are very close to death have fewer experiences to report. Quote: Ten thousand cases of vivid NDEs tell us nothing dependable about what experience, if any, a person has when death ‘lives up’ to its reputation for finality. Nowhere in all the available statistics on NDEs is there one scrap of evidence for similarity or identity between the experiences of those who return and those who do not. One cannot advise researchers to continue to waste their time in the hope that more cases; more numbers will change this situation. This is a fundamental flaw in NDE research – namely that we learn only from the returnees – and no viable alternative has been suggested. We must remind ourselves that all the nearly-dead did, in fact, have viable physical bodies remaining to them. No authenticated reports have come from people whose bodies were absolutely destroyed by say, explosion, avalanche or fire. The expression of mind has invariably depended on a relatively intact, if jeopardized, body. Were the ‘spiritual body’ really as free as some believe, then this strict dependence on an intact physical body should not be necessary. Quote: There is a problem which seems to have escaped all the researchers and advocates of NDEs as evidence of survival. No NDE study has pinned down precisely when the experience actually occurred. Most studies think they have – when what they have settled for is really only the period of time when the person’s life was in greatest jeopardy. This will not do. While what we actually know about the NDE is limited, it comes to us as a form of memory – and much is known about memory in its psychological and even its biological aspects. Any thoughts?
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2013 on In the news ... at Michael Prescott's Blog
I just went to library to read skeptical book "Investigation the Paranormal" by Tony Cornell. I had a brief look, he mostly deals with ghosts, poltergreists, physical mediums and mental mediums.The conclusion is like that - most caases are fraud,unconcious human creartion,only handful are paranormal,and they are explained by telepathy between living - although at the end ghe calls to keep an open mind. I was most interested in mental mediumship,and he had some experience. But he claimed that medium could just read his mind. Very arbitrary and subjective,to my opinion.Besides,he was of course remarcable figure in SPR,but I think Julie Beischel's book on mediums far more impressive and up-to-ddate
Michael(and others) - have You read/heard the book by Carl Becker "Paranormal Experience and Survival of Death"? I'd say ,interesting book,it unusual. Not so much focus on mediumship of any kind, but on reincarntaion,OBE,NDE and "subtle bodies". But seems too "pro-buddhist". Because the same year(1993) C.Becaser wrote "Death and Afterlife in Buddhism" - some chapters of these 2 books are almost identical
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2013 on Proof of life at Michael Prescott's Blog
@tsavo: "Ian Stevenson's work (Carol Bowman also) is probably the most hard core thing pointing me in the direction of survival, particularly Stevenson's association of physical attributes coinciding with past-life remembrances." We agree on this one. After I've read "Handbook to the Afterlife" I e-mailed to Pamela Heath,and she also mentioned "physical attributes " as the closest thing to proof. Shared NDE is also interesting subject. And I'm keen to mental mediumship because the case of it started my interest of an afterlife - and later I've got familiar with the books of above mentioned authors.
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2013 on Proof of life at Michael Prescott's Blog
tsavo: In September you wrote on this blog,that you "heavily lean towords some sort of survuval of human consiousness". On the other hand,you consider mediumship as "weak" form of evidence. Then you write that mediumship may be real. I'm lost...If you don't take mental/trance mediumship seriously,then what causes you to lean "heavily"(or anyhow) toward survival? It is exactly mental mediumship what many serious researchers consider to be strongest evidence for an afterlife(A.Gauld,S.Braude,D.Fontana...) Juan: thanks for taking time and having a look at Dommeyer.After reading it 5th time it didn't seem impressive at all.
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2013 on Proof of life at Michael Prescott's Blog
Juan: I agree with You on Oyur last point. Again, I think Gauld and Braude are very respectful researchers and treated "drop-ins"(and much more) in a very good way
Toggle Commented Jan 2, 2013 on Proof of life at Michael Prescott's Blog
tsavo:you stated you' read a good number of books about survival. Have you read A.Gauld "Mediumship and Survival" and S.Braude "Immortal remains"? . They both provide good critical examination of survival vs super-psi,and I second to S.Braude's view - so far the best treatment of the issue I've seen. Also latest Chris Carter's makes an excellent job about super-psi.Braude himself states: "Although the best cases are by no means coercive, the evidence for drop-ins, overall, seems to strengthen the case for survival...Moreover, the very fact that there are drop-in cases seems to strengthen the case for survival. As Gauld correctly observes, if there were no verified cases of "drop in" communicators the survivalist case would be considerably weakened. For if people do survive death with some at least of their former interests and affections, and if communication is a possibility, we should expect that not a few deceased persons would try to contact living persons for exactly the sorts of plausible-sounding reasons that "drop in" communicators quite often give. (Gauld, 1971, pp. 276-277)."
Toggle Commented Jan 2, 2013 on Proof of life at Michael Prescott's Blog
I had a look in to this book, and under "related books" found the book "Beyond Reality: Evidence for Parallel Universes" - Shelley Kaehr. I opened this book thinking Shelley Kaehr is a physicist, kind of M.Kaku or B.Greene, but no - she is past-regression and hypnotherapist.The ONLY hypnotherapist that her clients under hypnosis travelled to parallel universes...Gosh, I've never come across like that even in Weiss/Newton books(and I've read them and listened to Weiss yeaterday on AfterlifeTV).Travelling to parallel universes under hypnosis....my head blows. P.S. Original book(Weibers) looks pretty positive
I made the search on Google about "The Secret Language of Stone" - this is not new book at all,it is of 1988 and currently out of print.So, no "classic" by any means.But I found interesting review on googreads, I copy/paste it here: "This author proposes an intriguing theory about relationships between natural objects (especially stone) and the human nervous system which accounts (at least partially) for certain kinds of paranormal experiences. The ideas and facts described in this book are presented in a manner that is both compelling and enlightening. I learned a lot of cool stuff about science by reading this book. Unfortunately, I did not find his theory credible. Parts of it were solid, but its overall expanatory power was lacking. I liked what I read until I reached the last chapter. Then I was greatly disappointed. The author lays a brilliant groundwork, but then he (his theory) fails to deliver the goods. He provides evidence and explanations without adequately describing precisely how or why the phenomena occur. And he leaves very important questions unanswered. Having said that, the book is outstanding all the way up until the last chapter, so it is definitely worth reading.This is a fascinating topic." It just confirmed my got feeling and now I think I don't need to go further with this book/theory. See my italic and bold. I am sure that if that lawperson have found that it "failed to deliver the goods" and "left many critical questions unanswered", researchers of calibers like Gauld/Braude would be even more critical.The next my gut feeling is that the author of the book is not familiar deeply with SPR work,mediumship in particular.More and more I learn about the history if mediumship. more and more I see how complex the topic is,and it cannot be treated at general,but case-by-case
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2012 on IrrationalWiki at Michael Prescott's Blog
Stone Tape: I now that I easy believe everything I read, and that's the problem.To deal with it I come to this blog, to Skeptico blog, and in correspondence with Alan Gaul and Stephen Braude, authors of the books that considered to be "classics". Many of the things that I initially took seriously they pointed out that there is not reason to. Regadrind "Stone Language" - I wonder hiw many people would take it seiously.It is indeed far out. I also came to believe that the time is the best arbiter - good ideas stand the test of time, And this seems to be "one man idea".Actually,you know what? Noted parapsychologist William Roll also proposed idea of "memory traces" and "psi fields" - and it was criticized by Braude and Gauld.I f you gonna prefer "stone memory" over spiritualism hypotheis - good for you. I wonder,how mnay SERIOUS paranormal/afterlife researches would take is seriously?Even idea of "memory trace" seemed to no go further than Roll's idea. And I wonder how "stone memory" will account for proxy sittings and drop-ins.Simple criticl thining...
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2012 on IrrationalWiki at Michael Prescott's Blog