AwareofAware

Evolving news on the science, writing and thinking about Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

DNA: the elephant in the lab – help needed!

Bespoke book cover art example from coverness.com

So this is what I have been up to for what seems like forever, but is actually only about 15 months. I know it’s not NDE related per se, however, it is directly relevant to the fundamental question of whether or not life is just a material thing. So it is in fact very relevant to the question of whether or not there is more to life than just eating, breeding and dying. This is also the question we look at with NDEs being evidence for the existence of a conscious that is not bound to the material realm. It does tie in…honest!

Anyway, I was “inspired” to write this after seeing the Governor General of Canada ridicule people who believe that life wasn’t the result of random processes (you tube link). This is a subject that I have some expertise in from my Ph.D. in organic medicinal chemistry where I messed around with nucleosides and amino acids, and my subsequent career in clinical research which involved drugs that affect DNA replication. I have also followed the literature on the origin of life over the years and read a number of books on the subject, but most of them are deathly boring…I have tried to break that trend and inject a bit of “life” into the subject. Apparently, according to one of my editors and my graphic designer, I have succeeded, and this is where you, my forum friends and lurkers can give me a massive helping hand.

  • Firstly, please buy a copy (I make about US$1.30 per copy whether it is paperback ($9.99 or ebook $2.99) – at worst, even if you don’t enjoy it, look at it as a donation for all the work I have done on this forum J . The ebook is available on Kindle, Kobo and most other ereaders in major markets (US, UK, Canada EU etc…it should even come to ibooks before too long as well). The paperback is more costly as it is print on demand, so the per unit production is the majority of the price. It is available at Amazon globally, and should be available in all other major on-line book stores within the next few days.
  • Secondly, if you buy it and enjoy it please please recommend it to all your friends through social media and write a positive review on the platform from which you bought it, giving some details as to why you enjoyed it. Without this it will flop and all the time and money that I have put into it will be for nothing…but more importantly, the truth about our origins will remain buried under the layers of fake news and misinformation that is propagated on this subject by the media and even scientists (examples given). If you hate it, PM me through the contact page as to why…please don’t post a nasty review…it may kill it. Likewise, if you find an error, please PM me.

Lastly the name…yes that is my real name on the cover, Ben Williams was the main protagonist in a novel I wrote years ago called Deadly Medicine. I have mentioned before that Ben is not my real name…so I’m sorry if you missed that and are disappointed that my real name is Orson Wedgwood. It may be that because of another blog I have set up, I may need to change my posting name here to Orson.

On that last point. This blog is about NDEs and specifically research into NDEs. It will remain that, and in fact I will become more active again as time goes by as I already have a working draft for a book that I will be writing on the subject. That working draft is Aware of Aware, but it is a bit rubbish and needs updating…when that is complete many of the regular contributors on here may recognize some of the things they have said since they help inform me and others. With that in mind…get me motivated to get on with that…buy a copy of DNA: the elephant in the lab and make me feel appreciated!

Links to the book at amazon.com are below but searching for “DNA elephant in the lab” on any  book retailer globally, including your local amazon market, should work as well:

amazon US paperback link

amazon US kindle link

Thank you reading this far, and apologies if it was off topic…there will be one more post on this in a few weeks time, but otherwise, back to NDEs!!!

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37 thoughts on “DNA: the elephant in the lab – help needed!

  1. Ordered paper back there Ben

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    • Thank you, much appreciated!

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      • I am correct Ben that your British and Catholic? If so would your views on science and theology be in the same lines as the like of John Polkinghore and the like? As opposed to the more American fundamentalism approach? (My view be in line with Polkinghorne)

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      • I am British (with Canadian citizenship), but go to the church of England…a less traditional one though. John Polkinghorne was C of E too, but my credentials are not as impressive as his.

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  2. Ah your only young in comparison to John polkinghorne sonplenry of time yet. I’m Irish but am half way between Catholic and Anglican in view

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  3. Hope you are feeling better Ben
    https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-what-is-the-jewish-afterlife-like-1.5362876

    Sometimes its behind a paywall sometimes it isn’t but the first paragraph pretty much says it all

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    • Thanks David. To be honest i was relieved when he finally passed, he was in a bad way in the end. I really do hope he isn’t having eternal lessons in the Talmud! Not sure that appears in any NDEs…not the nice ones anyway 😉 I have a lot of empathy for the Jewish traditions, teaching and people, and not just because we share so much in terms of the roots of our faith. I do enjoy reading the Old testament…provided I skip over Leviticus and some of the other unpleasant bits!

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  4. The ADEs allready seem to have proved a better deal than Sheoel so I doubt you will hear any Jewish objections. There is just a ban on necromany spiritualism don’t disturb them.

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  5. Hey, sorry, I dont know where else to ask this. Will buy the book when I have the money.

    So far, I have not seen any reply to Gerald Woerlees point about NDEs. That, as described in the Fick-equation, to a relatively small amount of people the bloodflow caused by cardiac massage is enough to keep the patients somewhat conscious – this small amount of people being the 20% of people with an NDE. Supposedly, the studies cited by Parnia to argue against this objection only establish that *on the average* the bloodflow wont be enough to support consciousness, something that Woerlee agrees with. Also, to argue for this point, Woerlee also cites the AWARE-study which does show that a certain percentage of people do in fact have conscious awareness during cardiac arrest, eventhough said episodes were not NDEs.

    All of this sounds fairly reasonable to me, yet I lack the neurological education to really evaluate these claims. So far, though, NDE proponents and opponents have been relatively unphazed by Woerlees objection, the former seemingly not taking it seriously, the latter not using it to support their case.

    Can you guys help me out? Maybe link me a source discussing this? Thanks in advance

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  6. Its not so much nllod flow its elecrical activity. That is off . The blood flow just keeps cells alive.

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  7. Atlantic has a great article on consciousness and animals this month. Maybe someone can link. I will be at my linking computer next week. I just can’t do it on mobile.

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  8. I’m excited to read your book, Ben/Orson. Bought a copy shortly after you posted. I’ve always been dismayed by popular headlines about the origin of life being settled in favor of materialism, but coming from a lay background couldn’t really evaluate claims much either way. Thanks for taking the time to explain the details for people with a non science background.

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    • Very interesting article. It ties in with the observation that people who have large of their brain damaged or even missing can still experience full consciousness. If consciousness is not a function of quantity of brain cells, then there is no reason why animals shouldn’t experience consciousness of some form.

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    • Oh wow, he’s saying NDEs are due to oxygen in CPR?

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      • No, he is saying that adequate CA is required to prevent damage that affects recall: “brain resuscitation may be associated with the occurrence of memory impairment in the post-CA setting.”

        Logically, memory impairment is not good to recall NDEs, or even your name for that matter. That has nothing to do with the “causation” of NDEs.

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      • *I mean adequate CPR

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    • I think the key thing to note in this that the 20% most likely relates to the number 40 given that only 40 survived. Given that is such a small sample size, it is not statistically meaningful or transferable to larger cohorts or to apply in a general context.

      David is right, the oxygen levels relate specifically to the improved cognitive function after CA, and not to NDEs. However, it may relate to memory of NDEs therefore in larger studies, such as AWARE II, there may be a correlation between better oxygen levels and reports of NDEs, but it is not necessarily causation.

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  9. I think Parnis work here shows recovery is better with less brain damage

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  10. I thought that too but then I read on and it strikes me it is really more obvious that recovery is better with less brain damage.

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  11. 20 % had NDEs in this sample which seems high. Notice the poor survival and condition. Most people who are in CA are not in good shape and dont recover. It makes ant NDE or realky ADE even more amazing and inexplicable.

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  12. That’s another thing I realized. Some people don’t remember NDEs and that I think is a valid explanation. It has to do with the the recovery and memories. Everyone has them. It’s just oxygen levels dictate how well they are recalled.

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  13. Let’s just be real. The mere fact that people are still having conscious thought despite the absence of electrical activity in the brain is just baffling. Hopefully we can find more information on where the consciousness originates from. It doesn’t seem to be the brain after all. The brain is more of a communications relay for it. If we can trace where the signal is coming from we might be able to learn more about who or what we exactly are. I think Parnia and similar researchers in this field are onto something here. I think these guys may have discovered natural indefinite lifespan or eternal existence by nature. I’m a hardcore extropian so I’m fascinated with the topic of continued life whether it be natural or manmade. So if I discover I’m eternal anyways it will bring a big smile to my face.

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    • Interesting thoughts, please expand on your on what you mean by by “natural indefinite life”. Nature is governed by physical laws, and while there is much to understand about quantum processes and how these might relate to consciousness, there is nothing that points towards a mechanism by which an entity could exist indefinitely. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems you are approaching this with a reductionist philosophical viewpoint.

      The book I have written, while not on this specific topic, relates absolutely to this. I argue, using evidence, that life could not exist without intelligent intention, and that extrapolates to consciousness too. Life came into existence contrary to all natural laws, and NDEs and to an extent the conscious itself defy all natural laws. To believe that indefinite conscious could be a natural phenomenon is a statement of faith, just as the statement that the appearance that life was a natural phenomenon. Theoretical physicists are just “imagineering” when they make such suggestions. That’s not to say that quantum mechanics does not play a part, and indeed I suggest in my book that the “universal conscious” that I call God, may manipulate “reality” through quantum manipulations, and that may explain how “it created” life…but that doesn’t mean that this entity is itself natural.

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  14. David on said:

    Yep Regen it sure is baffling. Btw we have non conscious intellegence in AI. Peopke keep noting how weird it is well because tgere is no one realky home. Its dangerous because of that. It will just do its programming. If Boeing is right it may be crashing planes. As to consciousness please read Nagles What is it like to be a bat.

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  15. I think I’ll be buying the paperback later this month to read during the vacation period. I hardly get enough time otherwise.

    As far as Parnia, he has been arguing that the experiences are only recalled in a reduced sample due to recovery complications since at least AWARE I. Its the reason why the interviews are to be done ASAP in the AWARE II protocol. This seems more concerned with that, rather than hits.

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    • Maybe he read my post way back about how the evidence could suggest that some people do not have eternal consciousnesses…I know that offended some people. I am not saying that is what I believe necessarily, but it is one possible interpretation of the data, along with the possibility that people could not recall it due to brain function etc.

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      • The only way that we will find out what’s motivating this line of inquiry is likely going to be a nice number of hits.

        Parnia doesn’t seem to enjoy dabbling that much into the metaphysical implications of his work. He has become more emboldened by time, but it will take a good push to see him speculating on matters pertaining to the “soul”.

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      • I think that is wise since he needs to retain credibility. He needs to stick to the science, and generate rock solid data that sheds light on the truth…one way or another.

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  16. Oh read book. It a good read. Even though you would most certainty disagree I would put it still in the theistic evolution area. As someone (maybe CS Lewis or Polkikingore referred to a miracle as that of not a distortion of nature but the opening up of it or something like that). I think it less cut and dry and more a gradual meshing of sorts between the physical and divine / spiritual. Your tone unique in the book too haha. A take it or leave it approach which made me laugh at times too.

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    • Glad you enjoyed it! Yeah, I disagree…I’m not a theistic evolutionist…I’m agnostic on ID etc. I have created a short video which I might post a bit later…just don’t want to spend any more time on the subject here where we discuss NDEs…but it is all related.

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  17. Yes I think it all related too. And I enjoy that we all have different perspectives. It healthy. Overall I gave a similar view. Just not the exact same. No bad thing anyhow. Hope the book sales are good any how

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  18. Truth be told lack of memory has to do with lack of oxygen levels. Not the loss of one’s consciousness. It’s like impairing a receiver. The receiver has trouble receiving signals due to it being impaired. Everyone who has went through period of no body function from the heart and brain has an experience but it’s hard to recall due to these factors. It’s sort of like you dream but you don’t remember all the details you had of said dream.

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