Mod+ 270. ASU PROF. LAWRENCE KRAUSS CALLS FOR DALAI LAMA TO STEP DOWN OVER REINCARNATION CLAIM

#41
I what way did Radin say he was mischaracterized?
You should read the comments section from his blog:
http://deanradin.blogspot.ca/2014/0...howComment=1397862223769#c8247669098282307934

Radin suggested that veridical perception in OBEs could be explained in more than one way, including via clairvoyance. Anonymous went on a bit of a rant after that and eventually got banned. Dean was amazingly patient and answered a lot of posts to explain his position. And Anonymous accused him of being a bigot.

Anonymous stated "Dean published an article in a medical journal that is saying NDEs are not real." That isn't what Dean said at all.
 
#42
I what way did Radin say he was mischaracterized?
There was a lot more in the comments at Radin's blog than I posted here. My reference here are sufficient to support what I posted here. I don't know what he thinks is a mischaracterization. One possibility is that he said the visions of the afterlife could seem to be real because people who are psychotic think their visions are real. I pointed out that NDE'rs are not psychotic. He was saying the psychotic argument is for plausibility. He thought I was accusing him of saying NDErs are psychotic. I meant it isn't plausible if they are not psychotic.

This is a common and serious problem scientists have - many of them assume ordinary people are too stupid to understand their own experiences. Many scientists are intellectual bigots suffering from perceptual bias.

Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander understands neuroscience and altered brain states better than Dean Radin. Psychiatrist Carl Jung understood psychology, psychiatry and psychosis better than Dean Radin. And psychic Joe McMoneagle understands ESP better than Dean Radin. All three had NDEs and all three believed they represented disembodied consciousness. These experiencers with qualifications to judge the phenomenon verify the conclusions of thousands of ordinary NDErs who believe their experiences were real.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/notable-near-death-experiencers-prove.html

People are capable of discerning the truth without having a scientists hold their hand:
1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-32117815?post_id=792454287_10153211564539288#_=_
 
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#43
http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2014/...howComment=1397862223769#c8247669098282307934
I was invited to write an article on this topic for Missouri Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the Missouri State Medical Association. You can read the journal online here: http://www.omagdigital.com/publication?i=177483. See the Sept/Oct issue for the beginning of a series of articles on NDEs.

My article was published in a 2014 issue, so it isn't available online yet. The bottom line of my argument was that 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.

For someone who is not familiar with clairvoyance, this type of report could be taken as evidence that the mind has literally separated from the body (i.e., gone OBE). The literal interpretation is consistent with survival of consciousness. But veridical reports of distant events is virtually the same as what we know as clairvoyance-in-the-living. 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.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Anyone who thinks veridical perceptions are the "primary anomalies" of a phenomenon where a person is conscious when there is no electrical activity in the brain doesn't understand the phenomenon. Radin is misrepresenting the phenomenon and putting the well-being of patients at risk.

"NDEs can be interpreted as a particularly vivid form of clairvoyance in brains that are not operating normally." No they can't. 1) When the brain is "not operating normally" going into, during, and coming out of cardiac arrest it is not capable of supporting the lucid conscious states NDErs experience. 2) ESP cannot be produced by the brain.
 
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#44
One word in favor of Krauss... let's not be too hard on him, this is the guy who wrote an entire book on the premise that empty space-time is nothing! :eek:
(Physics to this day has no idea what space-time is, nor how much energy it contains)
 
#45
Alex's questions at the end of the podcast:

1. From a scientific standpoint, is reincarnation nonsense? How would we explore such a question scientifically?
1. No. Scientifically, we still do not know what creates consciousness or what it actually is. There is not a single scientific fact demonstrating the brain produces consciousness. However, there is a growing amount of evidence pointing to the brain as some kind of mediator of consciousness or acting as a filter, or may even be a product of consciousness. This scientific evidence, however is in the class that Skeptics like Krauss usually don't even bother to look at - which he even admits in the interview here i.e. the empirical work in psi and nde research, and the work in psychology - which surprisingly, Krauss also had a fairly disparaging attitude toward - psychology! As if psychology is not even a science, or nothing worth looking at can be found in psychology.

How can one be so scientifically ignorant of a subject one disparages so much as Krauss? I could understand his attitude perhaps if it were just a bunch of yahoos who have done the research in psi or Stevenson's work in reincarnation etc. But that certainly is not the case. You have some leading scientists who spent their time in psi research, and in psychology as well. Some having won Nobel prizes in science. And yet Krauss is so sure of himself, none of these people should be listened to. It's a remarkable (at least to me) attitude to have if one calls oneself a scientist - this dismissive attitude toward your fellow scientists.

2. How can life have any meaning if we live in a meaningless universe?
Krauss I found logically consistent in his answer here, which philosophically (although, according to Tyson philosophy is dead) - is an existential answer: meaning is simply whatever we give to our lives. It is an old philosophical debate that has been ongoing since the birth of philosophy. Is meaning purely a subjective phenomena, or is there any kind of objective meaning to the universe and reality? Krauss clearly believes meaning is a purely subjective phenomena that is produced by the brain - which itself produces consciousness that ceases to function once the brain stops functioning. Meaning for the individual does not lie outside the individual - it is whatever that individual makes it.

There are a host of ethical philosophical problems with Krauss's belief system, athough in the interview he doesn't call it a belief system, he pronounces it as scientifically established - there is no questioning of the "facts". Which to me simply is a form of fundamentalistic thinking. He may be right - but he also may be wrong. Since scientifically, we still do not know the source of consciousness or what it is, which meaning at the very least, has a very tight correlation with. Why psychology is also a rather important aspect of studying consciousness - which I would not dismiss as Krauss does in the interview.

3. How can reincarnation be true when there are more people alive today than have ever lived before? (Alex doesn't know).
I liked Alex's answer. Instead of trying to argue with Krauss - he said I don't know. Whereas, apparently Krauss does know based (I guess) on arguments like the above. Alex appears to me here to be the real Skeptic. He hasn't adopted any hardcore belief system - he's looked at the reincarnational empirical data that Stevenson and his colleagues so carefully collected over decades, and as I think most reasonable people would - came away convinced Stevenson provided some intriguing scientific data pointing to something which at the very least, would be worth pursuing further in science, and to continue asking scientific questions.

There are of course, a number of hypothesis that could be constructed to explain to Krauss how more people alive today exist than the past. I imagine Krauss would refuse to hypothesize any of it as he has refused to look at the research performed.

By the way, Krauss's book "A Universe from Nothing" is the same kind of word tricks Skeptics use when redefining meaning. Krauss's "nothing" in his book is simply the quantum fields that particles come in and out of all the time. Krauss calls that "nothing", which is just word play. Krauss relies heavily on science discovered and ideas provided by quantum physics. Yet - nothing really should be nothing, not whatever a Skeptic like Krauss arbitrarily decides nothing to be, and then writes a book about it! The book doesn't answer where "quantum fields" come from, nor even, where the precise laws of quantum physics came from.

Same thing should be said about materialism. You find more and more these days as Skeptics are actually learning the scientific facts about quantum physics (since they never really bothered with it before IMO) - you find more and more of them redefining what "materialism" is - in this kind of schizophrenic attempt to keep their worldview of materialism safe from such spooky ideas like "non-local entanglement" or "quantum wave function collapse by the observer" - by calling this same phenomena as materialistic, which of course is silly.

My Best,
Bertha
 
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#46
Anyone who thinks veridical perceptions are the "primary anomalies" of a phenomenon where a person is conscious when there is no electrical activity in the brain doesn't understand the phenomenon. Radin is misrepresenting the phenomenon and putting the well-being of patients at risk.
So is mainstream media, almost any mainstream doctor, and most religious authorities.
If I were to accept your radical stance on Radin, I would say he's arrived too late to the party and it's not gonna make any difference.

Since we live in a society with freedom of speech I highly doubt that Radin's opinion will harm anyone. People who have had an NDE will struggle with their experience regardless of one article published in a semi-obscure american publication.

Then they will seek for more information and certainly will encounter the works of Moody, Greyson, Van Lommel, Long etc... who have a higher visibility given the large amount of material they have published.

And sure, they will also be able to read the critics, the hostile detractors and the undecided such as Radin.

Frankly, I don't understand your rancour with him.
 
#47
Sorry for repeating stuff but it is obvious that people are not reading my post.
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...er-reincarnation-claim.2093/page-2#post-62880


Dean Radin wrote:
http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2014/...howComment=1397671552280#c7109696302339332504

But until we find evidence that memory is not brain-centric, and that it too can persist without a body, then the question about precisely *what* survives remains unresolved.
What do you think it means when Dean Radin writes "...until we find evidence that memory is not brain-centric, and that it too can persist without a body..."?

How is it possible for an NDEr to remember vivid, realer-than-real experiences that occur when there is no electrical activity in the brain if memory is brain-centric?
 
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#48
Sorry for repeating stuff but it is obvious that people are not reading my post.
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...er-reincarnation-claim.2093/page-2#post-62880




What do you think it means when Dean Radin writes "...until we find evidence that memory is not brain-centric, and that it too can persist without a body..."?
He probably doesn't think the evidence for survival is that great. He's just trying to remain impartial as possible. That is what the process of science is meant to involve, as much as it can.
 
#49
Krauss says:

It’s hard to have a new idea and it’s hard to break through because science is done by scientists and they’re human. But there’s often a reason they are on the margin….
This again is a classic example of the 'sleight of hand/ moving the goal posts' trick that scientific materialists engage in all the time.
First we get the unacknowledged absolutism that the science community actually believes:

“People invent controversies where there are no controversies from climate change to evolution.”

There is no hint of the usual self-serving myth that “science never claims certainty and is always willing to change if new evidence is presented”. What we get is what we usually get from scientists: “We’re right. We know. And anyone who questions it is an idiot.”

Only when pushed to acknowledge the inconsistency between the principle they claim to represent and what they actually say do we get the faux humility: “Science is done by scientists and they’re human” – meaning that of course they are as invested as anyone else in preserving the orthodoxy that is the source of their collective authority against competing claims.

Then we immediately get the “BUT”….which amounts to saying, 'now let’s proceed as if what I just admitted about the embedded subjective bias of the scientific mainstream isn't relevant so I can go back to asserting the unimpeachable objectivity of myself and my peers.'
 
#50
Anyone who thinks veridical perceptions are the "primary anomalies" of a phenomenon where a person is conscious when there is no electrical activity in the brain doesn't understand the phenomenon. Radin is misrepresenting the phenomenon and putting the well-being of patients at risk.
Oh please. Radin even started his post with "On alternative interpretations of NDEs ..." Why are you so upset that he even posits other possibilities of what may be happening? Do all NDEs have to be the same? Isn't it possible that at least some are a form of ESP?

I don't always agree with Radin but he seems as open-minded as anyone attempting to bring materialist ("scientific") approaches to exploring non-physical.
 
#51
Talk about willful ignorance...he's not interested in looking at the scientific evidence for reincarnation because "it couldn't be real because it's not logical". I've met people like this, and you simply cannot have a good discussion with them, because they respond with sentences like this. They have too much invested in their own belief system and are not willing to experience the psychological state of cognitive dissonance.
 
#52
Krauss says he "doesn't have the time or inclination" to review the evidence for things he nonetheless definitively declares are "nonsense".

Why is this considered by so many to represent such a great departure from the kind of thinking that says "I don't have the time or inclination to review the evidence for Darwinian evolution because I already know that God did it"?
 
#53
Talk about willful ignorance...he's not interested in looking at the scientific evidence for reincarnation because "it couldn't be real because it's not logical".
As well as the other points you made, it isn't even a solid argument. I became interested in reincarnation precisely because it was logical. If one uses logic alone, one cannot reach a conclusion. It is necessary to look at the evidence.
 
#54
Krauss said:
"There are more people alive today than there have been in the sum of human history up to about 100 years ago so I don’t know where the souls".
I think this idea was circulating in the 70s which is now regarded as false. Conservative estimates put the total number of human beings who have ever lived at over 100 billion.

Even if it were true this argument could only stick if certain assumptions were made eg that everyone reincarnates, that people only reincarnate from other human beings and never animals, that no new souls are created, that we didn't have any other lives anywhere apart from Earth.

Krauss said:
"It’s extremely unlikely there’s a God. Just as it’s extremely unlikely there’s a teapot orbiting Jupiter".
Only a correct analogy if God is a physical thing in the world. Supposing this would be a remarkably naive conception of God.

Krauss said
"Certainly from a physics perspective there’s no mechanism; from a perspective of just counting numbers much less of a perspective of the fact there’s no evidence–any evidentiary existence for something you might call a soul".
And also certainly from a physics perspective there's no mechanism and no evidence for the existence of consciousness, even when embodied. In fact there could not be any evidence for consciousness in principle, at least as science is currently conceived since physics deals exclusively with the quantitative and consciousness is qualitative through and through.

Compare someone claiming that metal detectors never ever detect non-metal items, therefore only metal exists.
 
#55
I'm thinking of reports of NDErs saying they came across beings - other "souls" - who said, or the NDEr "knew", telepathically - they had never incarnated on Earth (such as in Natalie Sudman - check out her multi-part interview on Bob Olson's afterlife tv), as well as mediumistic communications or channeling relaying the same "info".

The fact that some souls have never lived on Earth no more renders the hypothesis that some souls have lived 2 or more lives on Earth false, than it renders some souls have only lived one life on Earth as being false.
 
#57
sure, but I think this kinda misses the point. I mean, Krauss' statement was pretty idiotic given that we have no understanding of how to even begin to approach these questions scientifically.
Krauss' argument against reincarnation fails because of his erroneous supposition. Therefore it cannot possible miss the point! Kinda or otherwise...
 
#58
1. From a scientific standpoint, is reincarnation nonsense? How would we explore such a question scientifically?

Reincarnation is not nonsense, no. But as regards the popular idea of reincarnation, I do think there are better explanations for the recollection of memories which appear out of place,

2. How can life have any meaning if we live in a meaningless universe?

Yeah, I don't live in a meaningless universe, I see meanings all around me, all the time.

3. How can reincarnation be true when there are more people alive today than have ever lived before? (Alex doesn't know).

This really only applies to the popular idea of reincarnation, and I think it's a rather weak argument anyway.
 
#59
I found the below piece on the Facebook page of UC Berkeley Professor Edward Frenkel which is relevant here:


Lawrence M. Krauss is a well-known physicist and author. I have great respect for him. This week he wrote a very nice piece in The New Yorker entitled "Teaching Doubt": http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/teaching-doubt
in which he argued that it's important and necessary for each person "to doubt his or her own beliefs." I agree with that. The irony, however, is that in the next breath/tweet (see the screenshot below) Krauss went on to castigate the Dalai Lama for talkin...g about his soul!

It is Krauss' right, of course, to believe that he doesn't have a soul. But shouldn't he also doubt HIS beliefs? And this surely is a belief that science can't settle. Or does Krauss think that his admonition to doubt one's beliefs applies only to some "other people" but not to him?

I quipped on Twitter -- paraphrasing his tweet -- that the "lip service" Krauss has paid to "the importance of doubt" was just that, lip service. smile emoticon

Seriously though, we should resist these misguided attempts to make science into a new religion. In fact, we scientists have something to learn from the Dalai Lama, who wrote in the NYT: "If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/12/opinion/12dalai.html

How can it be that the Dalai Lama is prepared to renounce his beliefs, and a scientist -- who is supposed to take nothing for granted -- is not?!

It is time to stop making science into a dogma, pretending that it's a panacea for everything. That's not what science is about. Great scientists understood that. Here's Max Planck:

"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve."

We best take that to heart.
 
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