Mod+ 276. DR. ALAN HUGENOT, IANDS AND THE FUTURE OF NDE RESEARCH

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, May 26, 2015.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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  2. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Alex, about Alan Hugenot being a "nationally recognized expert in physics"... I can't find any physics papers by him via Google Scholar! In fact, I can't find any papers (co-)authored by him at all!

    This is quite strange. Are you sure about his expert status? I would be very glad to be proven wrong in my suspicions... :eek:
     
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  3. Pollux

    Pollux New

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    I found some info about him here. He is not a theoretical physicist as an occupation as it seems, but he studied physics and mechanical engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He holds a doctorate of science in mechanical engineering, and has had a successful career in marine engineering, serving on committees that write the ship-building standards for the United States, and has a pretty impressive CV in his field of engineering.
    http://www.experts.com/Profile/ResumeClick?ResumeID=6075

    As a "nationally recognized expert in physics"; I would say he is more of a nationally recognized expert in the physics of engineering than theoretical physics. But that's not to say that he isn't a expert in physics in general.
     
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  4. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    Alex, since you acknowledge that the "observer effect" is a reality, do you think that your pessimism in regards to the imminence of the fall of materialism will set you up to experience a reality where this change occurs more slowly? Perhaps since you are intractably drawn to this controversy, you have set yourself up to experience more of it?
     
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  5. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's question at the end of the interview:

    Do you think that NDE research runs the risk of being co-opted by mainstream medical research?
     
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  6. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Interesting interview. Thx for posting it Alex and thx to Dr. Alan Hugenot for sharing his time for the interview. I am curious, for those of us who will not be able to attend the IANDS conference, will there be any live streaming provided for some of the speakers - or some kind of recorded video stream available later to look at? Given how fairly simple this is to do these days, it might be another way to make the conference more visible and more accessible to those of us curious about the current state of Near-Death Studies but don't happen to have the resources to attend said conferences.

    Regarding Alex's question whether NDE research will be co-opted etc. which is a good one. It's hard to make a guess. But then again, as was pointed out by Alan during the interview - quantum physics has now established many non-materialistic theories regarding the nature of our fundamental reality: including non-locality, determinism, and what appears (in my mind) to be a very strong indication of the role consciousness plays in the Observer problem (which Von Neuman, Schrodinger, Bohr, Heisenberg also concluded).

    However, perhaps the Observer problem is a good analogy to what might happen regarding the future of NDE research. As we all know, the Observer problem currently has a number of interpretations attempting to resolve or explain the empirical data presenting itself such as what has been repeatedly been established with the famous two-slit experiment. And we see the Materialists have been busy here for the last 80 years as well, putting out and defending different interpretations (and explanations) of the Observer problem in quantum physics such as the "Multi-worlds ... Multiverse" interpretation (the one Stephen Hawkings and other Skeptics often subscribe to) as an alternative explanation to the consciousness collapsing the quantum wave function interpretation. Then you have all the other interpretations .... decoherence, hidden variables, pilot-waves, many-minds, etc.

    Obviously the Observer problem controversy is still raging. Although my ears perked up when Alan or was it Alex? Mentioned Dean Radin had recently performed some new Double-slit experiments apparently supporting the "consciousness-collapse" interpretations which many of the original quantum physicists supported as well - most notably John Von Neumann, a scientist and thinker not to be taken lightly, along with Werner Heisenberg. I personally am with Von Neumann and the original thinkers on the Observer Problem, because 1) it makes the most rational sense 2) the other interpretations have a number of absurdly irrational holes in them that are simply ignored by their supporters or they hypothesize concepts that are even more absurd then the consciousness hypothesis put forward by Neumann and others 3) As Alan states in the interview somewhere, the overall context of NDE studies should also be taken into account with all the other empirical data that has been collected regarding consciousness especially by scientific institutions such as the SPR or Rhine institute or even the psychological data that has been collected by unconscious studies in psychology (also focused on the nature of human consciousness)

    So getting back to Alex's question. More likely than not, there is going to be an ongoing controversy with Near-Death studies - who knows for how long. Likely lasting longer than our own lifetimes. And you will have scientists like Sam Parnia attempting to put their twist on their view of the phenomena. It's really hard to avoid. Materialism does indeed though have a pretty deathly grip on science right now - moreso than it ought. Most of us who follow Alex here and the forums realize this pretty clearly. And we all know science itself is not suppose to be some kind of ideology but rather an epistemological method of acquiring knowledge, which has served us pretty well in making new discoveries about reality, and certainly has assisted us in many areas of applied sciences and the technology science has produced including the transistor and the microchip.

    It is also likely the Skeptics and a good amount of the mass media outlets they have access too will latch on to Sam Parnia's statements and wishy-washy results. And the study will not be taken in the context of the 65+ other NDE studies that have been published in the last 30 years. But there are other leading scientists still very much invested in NDE research and you simply cannot dismiss their opinions and scientific knowledge regarding NDEs based on one single recent study. Although many Skeptics will.

    I am not however as optimistic as Alan appears to be in this interview that we are on the verge of observing a collapse of the grip materialism has on science right now. And I agree with Alex, Shermer has not budged an inch from his hardline atheistic materialism. Witness his and Rupert Sheldrake's most recent online discussion here: http://www.thebestschools.org/special/sheldrake-shermer-dialogue-nature-of-science/ So Alan is far more optimistic IMO than he ought to be in some kind of change in the Materialistic faith and their believers. And note: it's been 80+ years now since Heisenberg and others founded Quantum physics, and although many classical materialistic paradigms were obviously shown to be wrong - the materialists like Shermer or Dawkins or Wiseman have certainly not given up the ghost on their beliefs - instead they've changed their game a bit by now calling materialism: physicalism i.e. well they can say, the quantum physicists were right in their discoveries - but what they discovered we now can call part of the "Physical world" since whatever we can detect in science by definition is "physical". However - this would also mean guys like Wiseman & Shermer should also declare psi phenomena as "physical" as well, since psi phenomena has also been detected by science. But we all know this won't happen, because today's materialist Skeptics (er Physicalists Skeptics) now get to arbitrarily decide what science has detected and what science has not detected - and psi doesn't fall under that "detected" category, while non-local/invisible fundamental particles do. Remarkably convenient eh?

    But you also now get to choose what Interpretation you want from the Observer Problem in quantum physics. Which has kept materialism alive and well now for over a century. How long the battle will go on - hard to tell. But Materialism is indeed an ideology a doctrine a metaphysical philosophical view of reality. Materialism is not science. Materialism has not been proven. And philosophy despite rumours to the contrary - is not dead. And there are plenty of unknowns still left in science. Perhaps the greatest unknown right now is consciousness.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
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  7. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Do you think that NDE research runs the risk of being co-opted by mainstream medical research?

    What I think is that Dr. Hugenot is an optimist, and Alex, a pessimist.:)

    All in all, this was a pretty frustrating interview, as much for Alex, I suspect, as for me.
     
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  8. Alex

    Alex New

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    my bad. I will correct in the copy, but probably not in the audio as it's not really central to show.
     
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  9. Psiclops

    Psiclops Member

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    Frustrating is the word for it!
    I don't really know where to start - from Sam Parnia's point of view, with friends like Alex, who needs enemies?
    Parnia's quote about seeing Jesus was perfectly reasonable, as Hugenot explained, the evidence is that people see what they expect to see ...otherwise Buddhists would be seeing Jesus and Christians would be seeing Buddha.
    Does Alex really think every god ever invented is waiting around to greet their faithful followers?
    Forget paradigm change - I'm wondering if Alex is about to turn born again Christian.
    Parnia is the closest NDE science has come to gaining any kind of respect in the mainstream world - why on earth do you think Alex that he worked so hard organising the AWARE study if he didn't ultimately believe that something is going on?
    The quote about when pushed Parnia said something about it might turn out to be traditionally explainable, was in all probability something to persuade his critics that he hadn't made up his mind and was biased....maybe a way to persuade them to release funding.
    I admired Hugenot for keeping calm faced with your constant mocking Alex.
    Why is Parnia's idea of images above beds so ridiculous in your view? It might be a long shot but if it finally pays off with just one solid case, it could move NDE science forward in one leap - and where will you be then Alex? Still criticising Parnia for moving to the materialistic 'dark' side?
    Of course mainstream science is clinging on desperately to its old ideas and it won't change overnight but for goodness sake, without people like Parnia and Hugenot, it will take another hundred years.
     
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  10. Alex

    Alex New

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    thx for pointing out. my bad. I wasn't too focused on this because I knew his background didn't relate to his NDE, but I should have made that more clear.
     
  11. Yes, just like they reduced Mesmerism to hypnosis, nothing paranormal here (no explanation either) move along...
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/11/mesmerism-how-science-adapts-and-adopts.html

    And Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, is doing his part to limit the NDE phenomenon:
    http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2014/03/was-buddha-just-nice-guy.html
    "... the primary anomalies associated with NDEs are reports of veridical perceptions that could not have been known or inferred from the perspective of the patient ... So the OBE aspects of NDEs do not necessarily imply an actual separation from the body, and hence NDEs can be interpreted as a particularly vivid form of clairvoyance in brains that are not operating normally."

    Anyone who thinks veridical perception is the primary anomaly of a phenomenon where a person with no brain activity has a conscious experience doesn't understand the phenomenon. Clairvoyance in brains that are not operating normally cannot explain veridical NDEs because some NDEs occur when the brain is not in an abnormal state and the abnormal brain states associated with cardiac arrest, before, during, and after the event are not capable of producing coherent lucid experiences.

    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html
    Anomalous Characteristics of Near-death Experiences
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/anomalous-characteristics-of-near-death.html
    From the transcript: "when I bring through somebody’s departed grandmother from 1894, and I have her name and I know what she looked like; and then they’ll bring me the picture and I [know] her nickname and everything else…And I bring that through because I’ve learned how to do this, and I’ve spent thousands of dollars traveling the world to learn how to do this for ten years. When I bring that through and the Noetic Society’s testing me and everything else to see how it’s done, they’ll turn around and say, well you’re just reading their minds with ESP."

    Scientists are entitled to say what the limits of the scientific evidence are. However science is not the only means to ascertaining the truth. When scientists ignore other sources of information and imply the limited scientific view is the only reliable view, that is a misuse of science it is Scientism.

    Superpsi cannot explain the evidence for the afterlife:
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/06/survival-and-super-psi.html
    Mrs Piper's mediumship cannot be explained by ESP
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html
    "Mediums live with afterlife phenomena every day. They know all the fine details that do not get published in books and parapsychological studies. Many mediums also experience other forms of ESP and they can tell the difference between spirit communication and ESP. Mediums say they perceive and communicate with spirits. They are the foremost experts in spirit communication and there are no better qualified experts on ESP and survival of consciousness."

    From my own experiences taking classes as in mediumship:
    Mediums routinely experience spirits not as flat files of information but as people with initiative and purpose capable of solving problems.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
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  12. I assume this is the Parnia quote:
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150303-what-its-really-like-to-die

    People don't always see what they expect to see.

    http://www.near-death.com/experiences/research22.html
    http://pmhatwater.blogspot.com/2007/09/are-there-ndes-in-which-buddhist.html

    NDEs cannot be explained by religious or cultural expectations:
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html#nde_explain_religion
    NDErs meet God
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/09/evidence-that-god-exists-people-who.html
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
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  13. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Well, I found it frustrating for a different reason. Alex had what he wanted to talk about, and Dr. Hugenot, what he wanted to talk about. They rarely engaged. Just one of those things!
     
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  14. Psiclops

    Psiclops Member

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    Jim Smith - thanks for tracing the Parnia Jesus quote which I still think is quite reasonable.
    And thanks for your relevant links.
    In short Atwater "discovered that religious figures usually conform to the predominant religion the experiencer was exposed to, but not always".
    I would expect exceptions because it would be rare for members of all religions not to be touched by others - and how would we know who would have an unconcious memory or belief slightly below the surface?
    In Long's study of children, he found the same 33 elements, but these are surely general patterns...tunnels, light etc....not specific religious figures.
    Jessica Haynes describes God - yes but not an old man with a beard but 'pure love' or 'light'.
    George Rodenaia saw a non-religious God of everything; Yenson didn't see God or Christ.
    Clara aged ten, did see the archetypal Christ, but at that age and presumably American, she would certainly have been exposed to pictures of a sandal wearing Jesus.
    So I'm still of the opinion that transcendental experiences can only be interpreted in terms of what we know or have been exposed to. So it's no surprise that when we try to describe the indescribable we dig around in our religious memory and come up with suitable imagery.
     
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  15. People might not be creating or interpreting what they see, the other side might try to come to them with the beings that will help them feel most at ease in a foreign situation. Maybe a Jew will be met by Jesus only if Moses is busy that day. Jesus was Jewish.

    The human idea of identity does not really match what exists at the higher levels in the afterlife.
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2015/03/realizing-ultimate.html
    https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/short_topics#short_topics_reincarnation

    When Parnia says "of course he'll see that" I don't know what he means. If he means the person will create his vision I don't agree that is reasonable. If he means "all people expecting to be met by Jesus and only those people will be met by Jesus" that is not true either.

    I think we need to get past the personality issue and look at other factors of expectation to see if the person is creating his vision. I think my quotes from Hogan and Long above show that people do not create what they expect.


    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html#nde_explain_religion
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  16. Steve

    Steve Member

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    Sam Parnia is kind of frustrating but one thing seems kind of apparent to me, towing the mainstream line is much more likely to get funding than making it obvious that your thinking is outside the mainstream. The question I would like answered is how come results from Aware are not more definite, it seems to be a teasing state of affairs ? People often come back from NDE's and after some years making what sense they can of the experience try to communicate any core messages, these are often common. If 'they' want to get these messages across - why don't they make it easier by making Aware a runaway success ? It is yet another of the many contradictions we see. It is more like nudges and hints in a game, rather than disappointingly giving away the answer outright ?

    I would love to know what Sam Parnia truly thinks, his co-workers probably have some idea - but maybe not ?

    I found the interview frustrating, Alex has definite opinions and Dr Hugenot frustrated him I think by returning to things about NDE's and consciousness that Alex has long since moved past here on Skeptiko. Even I squirmed a little when Dr Hugenot quoted Shermer and Susan Blackmore as evidence that 'we' we're making progress. Although fair does to Dr Hugenot, he only let Alex push so far without pushing back. You know that he's basically given up when Alex goes quiet. :)
     
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  17. Psiclops

    Psiclops Member

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    @Jim Smith (because I haven't mastered the quote system)
    No reason to believe those on the other side can't create as well as those just visiting! Or was that not tongue in cheek when you suggested Jesus might be busy?

    In one of your links I loved the comb analogy for oneness with the teeth all joined to the whole.

    But getting back to creating the welcoming figure which suits us.....I'm sure with all your research in this area you will accept that many accounts of life on the other side suggest self creation of circumstances? We hear of other siders creating neat little cottages to live in with cars to suit - even beer and cigarettes.

    So why should NDErs not also be able to create a guide-type figure?

    In fact the whole creation thing confuses me a little - if I go over and create a house, can I also create a person whether or not that person really lived on earth? So when I meet my mother, how do I know it is she or a mother I've created?
     
  18. Pollux

    Pollux New

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    Yeah, that is the question. Or could it be that The Power That Be tap into our desires, expectations, and memories, to create an environment that is comforting to us.

    Either way, it wouldn't be "real"

    I've read some claims from mediums who say that many people who cross over cant handle the transition, and goes into shock - and that they have to recover and convalescence for a while, before they can get a grip of the situation. If we hypothesize from that claim; it make sense that the initial contact would be with a person and environment that are known and familiar to the person crossing over, not to shock them.
     
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  19. Johnny

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    I have a very busy schedule this week but I read the intro to this interview and hope to make time to listen to it this evening.

    One thing I will mention is the difference of perception by people who mention beings of light or Krsna or Jesus.ect ect

    Is it possible that God is an infinite being, and can incarnate or even manifest into any shape or form by His plenary portions, An infinite being can cater for an infinite amount of conceptions,
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  20. I don't think the experiencers are creating the experience because they don't do it intentionally which is the usual way of creating things on the other side and the experiencers usually do not expect to be dead so it doesn't make sense that they would be creating it unconsciously. If it was unconscious why would so many see a tunnel, a being of light, have the life review, and all the other commonalities that were observed before the phenomenon became widely known?

    It seems to me that the other side is receiving them. Some NDEs are very brief just an OBE, a trip through the tunnel and a glimpse of Grandma, and "It's not your time yet". But other NDE's involve being greeted by an advanced guide and being shown different planets, the lower spheres, and being told important spiritual truths. Often people learn things that are not what they previously believed. They return to life with a mission - to tell the rest of us what they were taught during their experience.

    It seems unlikely that Howard Storm created his NDE. He was an atheist but in his NDE he was greeted by someone from the lower realms who led him into a hellish place where the other people there started eating him alive. Then he prays and Jesus pulls him out. Clearly not the expectations of an atheist. If he was experiencing his unconscious fears he would see Satan and be burning in hellfire not being led on a long walk for "days or weeks" into darkness among people who suddenly turn on him and start eating him. Dreams and nightmares, expressions of the unconscious, have frequent changes of plot and inconsistencies, and do not have the continuity, coherence, or duration that NDE's do.

    http://www.near-death.com/storm.html
    I think it's possible there could be some exceptions but my opinion from reading many reports by experiencers is that for the most part they are not creating the experience.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
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