AwareofAware

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

COOL news

OK, so Werner and Z both added links to Dr Parnia’s updated website.

Parnia’s research website

Z said there was nothing new, but buried in the list of studies there is something of great interest to those of us who have been following this field for the last 15 years, and it is this:

Conscious Awareness During Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest

In our studies of cardiac arrest and its effects on consciousness, our data led us to hypothesize that higher-quality resuscitation is associated with a higher level of conscious awareness during cardiac arrest and resuscitation, which in turn is associated with improved survival, less severe brain injuries, and a smaller incidence of disorders of consciousness.

A novel way to study consciousness in a setting that biologically mimics clinical death besides cardiac arrest is to study patients undergoing deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA), a medical technique in which a patient’s temperature is cooled to approximately 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), shutting down blood circulation and major organ function. This approach is often used by surgeons who need to operate on major blood vessels.

Because DHCA biologically mimics clinical death, but is very well controlled, it provides an excellent opportunity to study consciousness and awareness in a population, which unlike cardiac arrest, has a very high survival rate. We are developing new methods to determine what happens to consciousness before, during, and after this shutdown. We are using various technologies including portable EEG, cerebral oximetry, and visual and audio tools to test implicit and explicit learning as well as recall and memory.

This study complements our work in AWARE II, and we anticipate that we will discover exciting new aspects of the human mind.

This is basically very similar to the COOL study that was started in Montreal, but ended when the surgeon who performed the processes left. It is very exciting since there have been a number of reports over the years that have shown that doing this does indeed create NDE like experiences with OBEs. The key point, that Dr Parnia makes, is that the conditions are predictable and controlled. While there will be many more CAs than these procedures, there is also a much lower chance of survival or recall with a CA, so this route has a chance of producing results more consistently. Very excited to see this happening, and the fact that it is already ongoing, and may lead to results sooner rather than later. Case reports would be very interesting indeed.

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  1. Lukas on said:

    The problem here Ben is that Dr. Parnia claims After Death Experiences and that death is a process based on a Pig study which is a animal. Wood Frogs are also animals who do the same thing.

    Humans on the other hand are not special they are a part of the animal kingdom and are animals. Many of our experiments are done on animals which are then used on humans even in Near-Death Experiences take for example the Borjigin study on rats who had a final surge in brain activity in 2013 which was again shown that the same thing happens in Chawla 2009.

    Therefore in my opinion humans do not have a special consciousness if yes neuroscience would not be also done on rats or other animals like pigs. It would be then useless and again Dr. Parnia would then not draw conclusions from it if we would have a different consciousness or a way of dying.

    Also Ben animals have the same neurons like our brains so I do not get your reply.

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    • No, the pigs and the frogs are two different things. The pigs are at room temperature and the process of cell death is well under way, and the brain is no longer fit for purpose. The frogs are frozen, and no one is arguing that cells can’t theoretically be kept viable indefinitely when “frozen” in the right kind of way.

      You believe that humans are not unique. I believe they are. While we may share similar physiological traits to other species, I believe that humans do have a conscious that is a separate “eternal” entity that resides in our brains while our bodies are alive, and then goes to an “afterlife” once the body is no longer able to host that brain. I, like many others regard NDEs as evidence of that…not proof, but evidence.

      We have discussed the rat experiments and final brain surges multiple times on this blog and concluded that they bear no relevance to the NDE phenomenon.

      You are welcome to express your opinions etc, but I am beginning to smell troll like behaviour.

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      • Lukas on said:

        I do not agree that humans have a unique consciousness from animals.

        We have data for that and even many parapsychologist agree on that matter for example Rupert Sheldrake did experiments on animals and telepathy. Buddhism for example allows reincarnation of animals and human beings.

        Good we can be clear here and if you take this as troll behaviour then I will not post because I take this as a dictatorship and a one sided discussion that I cannot be critical of things. I do not have to agree with the admin on this site or Dr. Sam Parnia.

        Also calling this smelling troll behaviour is too much. I just want to know the truth and that is all and be a part of the discussion.

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      • You can be critical of ideas etc if you use related evidence to support that criticism, not just your personal beliefs. You can state opinions but trying to assert those opinions over others using conflation is tiresome and in the long run a distraction from genuine debate and discussion, and in the long run not welcome on my blog. However, if you contribute positively with genuinely thought provoking arguments backed up with real evidence, rather than just beliefs, that contradict the majority on here, you are welcome.

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      • David on said:

        I completely disagree. Read Nagles what isca like to be a bat. This is just an ideology pushed by one religion. Many species also pass the mirror test. Also the ADEs hint strongly at reincarnation. I sure dont consider it trolling. I wou
        d also add many Christians donr believe in an afterlife until a physica resurrection until the end of time.

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  2. Lukas on said:

    No Chad I am saying that NDEs cannot be claimed as After Death Experiences like Dr. Parnia is claiming because those frogs are frozen and they are like dead actually they can be described as clinically dead they have no heart beat and are not breathing. Yet they are alive when they thaw they are normal and alive.

    Therefore Dr. Parnias definition of NDEs as After Death Experiences is not valid. NDEs are not After Death Experiences if they were these frogs would be dead in Dr. Parnias definition.

    NDEs could only be claimed as After Death Experiences when there will be bulletproof hits but when we do not have them then lets just call NDEs normal what they are and not After Death Experiences.

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    • Chad on said:

      Are you saying if a person isn’t a rotten carrion 10ft under then anything they experience cannot be afterlife? I’ve already mentioned, there’s nothing special about life, life is not alive to begin with. Cell death just means its mechanical parts are not longer organized enough to function. If consciousness is present with no brain activity, it IS afterlife, doesn’t matter if the cells aren’t dead. You should stop placing an emphasis on “death” because life to death is just a continuous loss of organization.

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      • Max_B on said:

        But on the question of consciousness apparently being present when there is no activity, the sticky part is in deciding what you mean by activity, and deciding when there is none of it.

        Because we don’t know how the brain works to produce consciousness, it’s not clear how to measure consciousness. Is measuring EM fields, with crude metal sensors, the way to measure if there is or is not activity? Is it fair to claim that crude medical EEG measurements are telling us the whole story?

        No, I don’t think it is fair.

        What we’re seeing with NDE/OBE’s is evidence that neuroscience has only part of the picture, and is probably way off target, and that there are probably other deeper mechanisms at work that have not yet been discovered.

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  3. Lukas on said:

    Ben tell me where did I not used evidence? Dr. Parnia himself in his Coming Back from the Dead article is using a cooled down 53-year-old Frenchman and brought back to life as a evidence of After-Death Experiences.

    I only counted it with animals who do this on a normal basis and we normally do not call those frogs dead but Dr. Parnia does that to the Frenchman.

    I produced evidence and links. I am not destroying NDEs I am just pointing out that calling NDEs actual After Death Experiences is not true and that it will hurt the study because no one of the materialistic side will believe that you are dead when just the heart stops. That is all.

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    • An example of non evidence is

      “We have data for that and even many parapsychologist agree on that matter for example Rupert Sheldrake did experiments on animals and telepathy. Buddhism for example allows reincarnation of animals and human beings.”

      Saying we have “data for that” suggests evidence, but what you cite, experiments from parapsychology and Buddhist belief are not evidence. The fact that rats have neurones is not evidence they have a conscious like ours. There are a number if other examples.

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    • NDEs are, if the EEG is totally flat, are ADEs as far as humans are concerned. We do not hybernate, and we die if did something like those frogs. The moment your EEG goes flat the process of death is starting, so you aren’t “near – death” you are at the beginning of the process of dying. If somebody then rescues you, or your body somehow recovers, then the process stops and you revert to life. There is, of course, a point of no return on this process but, as Parnia and others imply, no consciousness, thought and even dreams should be happening at this first step of the dying process, let alone total awarness with corroborated evidence of what is going on around you. That alone shakes what we view as “death”, and AWARE II should just be the extra proof needed to validate many yers of anectodal, yet verified, evidence.

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      • Lukas on said:

        Researchers from the Univ. of Montreal and their colleagues have found brain activity beyond a flat line EEG, which they have called Nu-complexes (from the Greek letter). According to existing scientific data, researchers and doctors had established that beyond the so-called “flat line” (flat electroencephalogram or EEG), there is nothing at all, no brain activity, no possibility of life. This major discovery suggests that there is a whole new frontier in animal and human brain functioning.

        Source: laboratoryequipmentcom/news/2013/09/brain-activity-seen-after-flat-line-eeg

        Just add the three ws and a dot. To get the source.

        Findings like these show why we need hits. Look I said once I will accept after death experiences when there are bulletproof hits. Beyond that I will not accept it and neither will the materialistic scientist.

        I have no problem with after death experiences or a soul because actually nothing will radically change. I just want to be sure that is all. That is all I have to add to this discussion for now.

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      • Lukas on said:

        The problem is that clinical death is not real death. Real death is a person who is brain dead. Also by cooling down a person you can achieve a similar effect to the frogs not so long but the person is not dead. If yes then the doctors would be resurrecting people during Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and no materialistic scientist is claiming that Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest is actual death.

        At best its clinical death and that is not taken as real death at all. You are really dead when you are brain dead and that is the legal definition of death.

        On the contrary they criticizes it. Here is a example:

        Nowhere in all the literature is a case made that the phase of death where life can be turned around by means of CPR or reanimation, should be seen as actual death.

        Source: Do out-of-body and near-death experiences point towards the reality of nonlocal consciousness? A critical evaluation PF CRAFFERT

        Can be found online as pdf.

        There are all the arguments pro and cons for NDEs with a critical eye and what Dr. Parnia needs to disprove to make NDEs into After-death experiences.

        So therefore if Dr. Parnia has not hits then it is always near-death experience and not after death experiences.

        Have a nice day.

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      • Raf on said:

        I disagree, the study you linked showed some brain activity in a coma patient and drug induced come on cats. It can’t be compared to real CA,where there is no blood flow to the brain. If consciousness resides in the brain, and the brain flatlines, you are in the first “step of death”. Your aren’t near it, just close to it. And without a functioning cortex, such as during a flat EEG, no awareness/consciousness should be expected. Parnia knows this, but has seen dozens if not hundreds of cases where this didn’t happen at all. He was having dead patients report veridical, accurate OBEs, I really don’t get why you need the hidden target so much. Wasn’t Pam’s account hidden? Dentures man? Mario Beuregard patient? They all should have never been able to have awareness during their condition.

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      • raf on said:

        The coma – brain activity thing is why Eben Alexander NDE can’t be considered as good study, or even considered at all. He had not a CA+veridical OBE, he was in a coma “probably drug induced” but his heart was still beating. Death is clinical death, legal death is only something we made up because we understood that people can be brought back after dying.

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      • Max_B on said:

        “but, as Parnia and others imply, no consciousness, thought and even dreams should be happening at this first step of the dying process”

        But that is an assumption, one which NDE/OBE’s certainly appear to suggest is probably an incorrect assumption.

        The evidence suggests that our ideas about how the brain works are probablyincomplete/wrong.

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  4. Lukas on said:

    No I do not deny NDEs I deny to call them After Death Experience without a bulletproof hit. That is all.

    Second thing I thought you knew about these? Also to clarify I made the statement of Sheldrake so people can google him. If I would wait for every post with links to be approved then the discussion will be too long for me and I have a normal life too you know.

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    • Of course I know about pets in NDEs. Anyway, I am in church now then having a family lunch.

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    • David on said:

      Lukas there is no such thing as bulletproff evidence in anything. The heiocentric universe was bulletproof forcablong time.

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      • Lukas on said:

        However it was disproven and that with evidence so the heliocentric theory was not bulletproof because with new observations it was disproven.

        There are theories that are bulletproof. Take for example Einstein Theories. No one can disprove Einstein Theories which let to the Atom Bomb.

        Besides if Dr. Parnia has hits then he can claim After Death Experiences if not then its not honest in my opinion.

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      • Actually Einstein goofed on the cosmological constant because he had a constant universe worldview.

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      • Raf on said:

        Einstein’s theories are all but bulletproof. They are solid, and enlightened, but not 100% accurate all the time.

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      • Agreed, but it is important to recognise that even amongst the greatest minds, internal bias can corrupt thinking.

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      • Raf on said:

        “aren’t all bulletproof” I meant to say

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  5. Lukas on said:

    So enjoy your Sunday. Thanks for the discussion. It is nice to exchange some thoughts about this.

    I wish you a nice day. See you in the future maybe.

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  6. David on said:

    Science is simply the collection of the best observatikns we can make. The debates about what it means are metaphysical or epistemological. Statements about animals are an example of a metaphysical position. A bad one in my opinion.
    Peopke demanding this absolute proof from Aware cant get it. There are no perfect observations in science . What Parnia had in Aware 1 was very good .But what does science even explain? I amban ani realist. I disagree with Descartes on all his metaphysical prepositions. We cant escape his demon. We can only guess about the underlying nature of reality maybe we are close to it but maybe not. We can only do what we do. And Parnia does a good job at it . Tale a look at reproducibility in most medical studies.

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    • Raf on said:

      AWARE I would have given a perfect proff had the OBE happened in the right room. That is why Parnia is running AWARE II, he had a veridical NDE (so much for skeptics saying that the patient recreated everything watching medical drama on TV, that explanation is totally cringy and shouldn’t even be mentioned) that lacked an important component to be considered real proof. I believe,by the way he is talking now, that he has one hit from AWARE II and is searching for more proof to be ironclad against critics.

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    • Lukas on said:

      David I agree to a part. Science can explain a lot of things but its limited like our own human understanding.

      However that is not discussed here in my opinion. Dr. Sam Parnia made the claim that he can prove that NDEs are after death experiences and that is why he put the iPads up and the same thing happened in AWARE I and other researchers did the same like Penny Sartori.

      Therefore its up to him to prove it. That is why also we are waiting for the results if there is a hit. We are not waiting for other NDEs stories because if yes the Internet is full of them.

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      • Raf on said:

        Again, after 20/30 seconds from a CA a human gets a flat EEG and he is dead. It is not a drug induced coma, it’s different. The difference between clinical death and legal death si something we made up because we learnt that sometimes people can be brought back to life. If the NDE is proven to happen during a CA+flat EEG then it is a true ADC. AWARE I was really close, but sadly it happened in the wronf room but the veridical perception was there.

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      • Lukas on said:

        Raf AWARE I and AWARE II is about to convince the skeptics and the material scientist to take these studies seriously. Therefore you need the iPad and things like that.

        Second a hit would convince the skeptics that clinical death is death. I am also not convinced and that is bad or what?

        You also said yourself he is looking for more hits for ironclad critics. Okay so I wait in the meantime I do not agree with him that these experiences are after death experiences like you do not agree with me on many things.

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      • Raf on said:

        But why should it not be classified as death? Parnia has always said death is a process. CA+flatline EEG is the beginning of the process. We know for sure that consciousness can’t be present in those conditions, yet we have a lot of veridical, corroborated OBEs with extra sensory perception. It is an ADE, just the first stage of it.

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      • Max_B on said:

        As you say Lukas, they are not after death experiences, they are dying experiences.

        But as similar near death experiences also occur to people who are not dying, there is probably some common denominator between the physiology of both types of experience.

        My own view that these experiences are related to a drop in power of the brains own EM field, either across the whole brain, or parts, or patterns of power drop.

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  7. Raf on said:

    http://Www.laboratoryequipmentcom/news/2013/09/brain-activity-seen-after-flat-line-eeg

    BEN could you please email this to parnia or dr Van Lommel? The title seems total clickbaiting to disprove NDEs, as the study was conducted on drug induced coma and we already know that people can have some perceptions in a coma, this is way when researching NDEs (or ADEs actually) we examine CA+flat EEG. This is way no serious researcher should ever include Eben Alexander NDE on his works, as it was coma induced and not with a veridical OBE.

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  8. Lukas on said:

    New update on Dr. Parnias research send by a friend of mine:

    https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/life-after-life-does-consciousness-continue-after-our-brain-dies

    He is adressing the questions of the skeptics here – if there is a EEG during cardiac arrest, people will have placed headphones to heard words during the cardiac arrest and the iPad will be placed in the place where the eyes are:

    He’s now conducting AWARE II, and would welcome Canadian collaborators.

    His goal is to study 1,500 people in cardiac arrest. When a “code” is called, participating researchers will be alerted and dispatched to resuscitation rooms carrying backpacks consisting of portable brain oxygen monitoring devices. The plan is to measure, second by second, the oxygen levels inside the brain. There will also be a portable EEG to measure whether the brain is functioning. As well, patients will be fitted with wireless headphones, through which random words and sounds (which need to remain secret until the study is over) will be transmitted via a tablet. Images will also be beamed upwards as people undergo CPR. Parnia doesn’t expect anyone to open their eyes. No one ever does in cardiac arrest.

    Also he is looking for Canadian Collaborators.

    So we will see how it goes. Hope no one opens his eyes like my friend has said.

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  9. David on said:

    There was nothing new in the National Post story and there us EEG in some comatose patients. I am sure Parnia is well aware. And he uses ADE innthis story and I am consistant ADEs happpen and animals should have them too. I doubt Plants do but heck maybe I am wrong on this.
    Science is by its nature provisional. A 1 was a good study. It had a hit. to deny it would be to to assume the team engaged in some conspiracy.

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  10. JP Rand on said:

    I am in the David camp on this one. There are verified moments where people experience consciousness without a functioning brain and heart. Aware 1 had it’s hits. Aware 2 will just help to push said hits more into mainstream. I mean what happens really is too impressive to dismiss as a conspiracy. People are able to recall surgeries and seeing themselves in operating rooms with remarkable details. This leaves surgeons and other medical practitioners astonished when they occur.

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  11. So really at this point those who accept it or not is dependent on the person’s view of what can be considered evidence but I think it is there. It’s just not well publicized. Some people define death as “not able to come back” but in reality cardiac or circulatory arrest could be considered as dead even if it is temporary as all body functions cease but the consciousness as shown does not. Not every cell needs to be dead to be considered dead. It’s the lack of communication and function between the cells that determine whether an organism is living or not. If the neurons ain’t firing it doesn’t matter if they are alive or not. The person as an individual entity is classed as “dead”. Therefore there are two forms of death. Death of all cells or irreversible death or reversible death where functions have stopped but can be restarted (cardiac or circulatory arrest). Since consciousness occurs during these periods of reversible death it’s safe to say that consciousness is not the brain. What is it then? Well that’s the thing. We know the brain is either a transmission device or a vessel that the true self controls and in turn control the body. But what exactly the true self is that continues to persist despite such immeasurable odds is an enigma.

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  12. David on said:

    Exactly both regan and jp. If we had to wait for every cell to die we would have to charge every Jew and Muslim and mortician and cryonics fan and docotor and lawmakers and lawyer and on and on because they are all disposing of corpses without waiting for every cell to die! I just did a reductio to show where this line of argument takes you.

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    • Raf on said:

      Exactly, and anyway all of this is because “extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof”. Because, if even without a flat EEG, somebody would have had a verified, corroborated OBE validated by medical personnel it would still be proof of extrasensory perception, showing how the consciousness can act outside of the body. In this case Pam reynolds NDE would be enough, as the only uncertain part of her OBE is that wheter it happened while under totally flat EEG or not, but we know for sure that it wasn’t anesthesia awareness because she was constantly monitored and under burst suppression. If Parnia’s studies confirm that these experiences can happen during flat EEG (and I think that by now he has something under his belt, he is growing more bold in his statements) then it would be proof that the mind can separate from the brain even with the brain turned off. Of course Parnia, or any other medic, can tell what happens to consciousness if you don’t get resuscitated (if you cross the border that many NDErs encounter, probably) but it would be ground shaking none the less

      Liked by 1 person

      • Raf on said:

        “Can’t tell” I meant to say

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      • Max_B on said:

        He’s not going to get any hidden, secret, real-time target hits anyway.

        But I don’t think that these experiences prove the mind can separate from the brain anyway… I think they show that in these particular physiological brain states, ones sense of ‘self’ can relocate (as if it has left the body), and the anomalous information recalled from some of these experiences suggests that sensory data may be being obtained from third parties.

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  13. David on said:

    I think that is why he wants to do the Cool studies and yes we should cohntbyhe Pam Reyonolds OBE even if she was not dead she stll was cut off from the world. How can I say this its really a common but hard to grasp phenomenon. The CIA did ESP tests for years and thought there was something there but it was sporadic insight and not usable in intellegence.

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  14. Raf on said:

    Here is some more comparison between pre AWARE I Parnia and 2019 Parnia

    https://skeptiko.com/sam-parnia-claims-near-death-experience-probably-an-illusion/

    this was a 2010 interview. Parnia was 50/50 on NDEs, and prone to tell that they were “illusions” or “tricks of the mind”. He was basically much skeptic about it. Mind you, skeptiko isn’t a good source of info (theyare fullof UFO conspiracies, PSI powers and stuff like that) but the interview is real and shows Parnia’s ideas at that moment.

    Now, read again Parnia’s statement here:

    https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/life-after-life-does-consciousness-continue-after-our-brain-dies

    “In addition, “people are coming back and describing real events that have occurred and that doctors and nurses have verified, validated.” So, by definition, they can’t be hallucinations, because they’re describing real events, he argues.

    This isn’t the “locked-in” syndrome, where people are conscious and can think and reason but unable to speak or move. Or people in a “vegetative” state because of a severe brain injury. People who report near-death experiences describe their consciousness separating out, withdrawing from their bodies. Says Parnia: “They’re watching it, they can see it happening to them, but they’re not in pain and they’re wondering why everyone is worrying about them. ‘I don’t understand why they think I’m dead because I don’t feel dead, although I don’t know what I’m doing up here in the corner of the room.’

    this sounds much different than his previous ideas, and maybe he is talking about something he learnt during AWARE II. He sounds like almost a different person, he is nearly a beliver at this points. He rejects the skeptics claims firmly too. Really, how could he talk like this if AWARE II and this new COOL II study gave only negative results?

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    • I’m not sure he was ever that sceptical. After all he set up AWARE I because he was curious about the phenomenon. In his book the Lazarus effect he is quite clearly of the belief that they are real, but I do agree that his tone has changed. His public statements were once thought provoking and allowed for natural explanations, now there is no such allowance. He is convinced, and I have noted that on here for a while, basically since he started to massively increase recruitment activity for AWARE II, which does suggest that something has happened to yank him completely off the fence.

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      • I believe he, at this time, knows something more than we do. He can’t leak it out, as he needs more than even a single hit to be believed, and he has to keep up the mask that AWARE II is a study mainly about resuscitation techniques and not about consciousness. This mask keeps him moderately safe from hardcore skeptics, militant materialists and the likes. When the research is over he is gonna come out in the open, when at that point knowledge is so much that it can’t be stopped easily.

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      • Matthew Fuller on said:

        I have a tiny bit of insider info. It is a rumor but its from a good source: Jan Holden.

        The measuring equipment for the timing of the obe failed during the early stage of nde. To be clear, the heart stopped, the obe occured, the timing equipment failed, then this person had an nde. This is aware one.

        Please post more. I really like this website. I like skepticism if its done well. Perhaps post more about DNA and evolution? Natural selection is like magic when we don’t understand genetic networks. If a class is easy in college, that’s a sign we don’t understand it well!

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      • Hi Matthew, welcome. Thanks for the positive feedback about the blog. I’m curious about this insight from AWARE 1. What do you mean by the timing equipment? In AWARE I there were static images placed on shelves, and there was less in the way of electronic monitoring of events than there is in AWARE II.

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      • matthew f. on said:

        I am going by memory here so I might be a bit off. But, I thinking the equipment in question was an audible tone and a counter that plays after the heart stops. Perhaps i should go re-read the study?

        Basically, i told Jan ‘it’s not clear how one would time the NDE precisely’. As you know, there is a lag of time between the heart stopping and an obe/nde state.

        People complain about timing.

        In short their was an electrical failure of equipment during the nde. Which equipment? I dunno. That i do know — something electrical failed during ‘death’. I interpret this equipment to be a simple machine that counts intervals. Not sure if that is right.

        If you visit iands meetings, nde’rs have a hard time keeping time. Their watches fail. I kept thinking this was just absurd. Surely Sam Parnia has heard these claims.

        And i believe it was the absurd timing that made him change his mind with the present ‘materialist’ paradigm.

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  15. Eric on said:

    Most of the National Post’s piece recycled what we already knew from AWARE I. The one interesting thing is that it seems like AWARE II is still recruiting, so we should not be surprised that we only get a partial reveal in 2020 and it takes longer to get the entire cake.

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  16. Hi, I’ve been following your posts for some time now and never posted anything, I guess I just prefer to observe. A massive thanks to all of you for bringing information on Parnia’s study forward as well as other interesting reads. Just some food for thought, governments and societies have been known to keep information less important than ‘knowing of an afterlife or consciousness after death’, to themselves. One has to always question whether information such as Dr. Parnia getting a hit, would be immediately available to the public. I agree with people knowing the truth, but this could potentially have big implications, e.g mass suicides, murder etc., so I could really see the information being covered up. I feel like we’re walking towards a new dawn but treading on eggshells at the same time. I have hope Parnia had a hit, because as Raf rightly pointed out his statements have indeed become more bold.

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    • I am inclined to agree with you somewhat. I look at it more from the angle that it would threaten the modern secular establishment’s stranglehold on power. It would give credence to religious belief again and cause people to stop being so focused on material gain, which is the central motivating force keeping the current system alive.

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      • Well, let’s not go into conspiracy theories like the people on Skeptiko. Yeah, materialism is a well established culture right now, but religion anything but weak. In the West Catholicism is still strong enough that world leaders fly to speak with the Pope. Islam is incredibly strong, probably growing too. Asia, aside from china which I really doubt even know about Sam’s research, is often religious. Africa is divided, but most follow some form of religious belief.

        Materialism is just extremely vocal, and extremely well established because well, it look real 100% of the time. There are no leaps of faith there, at a first glance at least. The establishment is also totally divided, in my country (Italy) religious fanatics are in charge of the family bureau, and far right is rising nearly everywhere in Europe. Trump likes to speak about God sometimes, for his own agenda. Many middle eastern leaders are also religious leaders, sometimes extremists. The scientific community is mostly materialist atheists, but not world leaders. Religion can also be a powerful tool to keep people in check. If Sem’s research gives out good results we would have two outcomes:

        1) Materialists still reject it. They are gonna say that people was anyway revived so they don’t count as dead, that there are deeper parts of the brain yet unexplored involved in it, that they had some awarness, that the OBE is real but caused by the brain cells shutting down, and so on. Materialists always find a way out, like Randi’s said for his prize.
        2) Some people will be convinced that we, sometimes, retain awareness even after CA. But is after that? Are you sure you wanna instantly find out? about 10% of people have this experience, some of them even find it pretty hellish. No religion fits perfectly into this scheme for a variety of reason, but religious leaders would still run to explain how it would fit in their worldview. However nothing could be concluded at all from it, even the idea of afterlife would remain totally vague and uncertain as this study won’t, and can’t, study what happens to you after this initial death experience.

        In any case, the world will be shaked for a while but will adjust nonetheless. and materialsm would even still be there. Also, Parnia has been rather smart to cover his research as “awareness during resuscitation”, as a way to just show how much better resuscitation techniques can become, in short as showing consciousness studies as only a side effect of his work. This is clearly not the case, i’m pretty sure is main focus is consciousness at this point, but he isn’t showing it. He also says he doesn’t want to speak about afterlife, doesn’t speak about souls or religions and stuff like that.

        I think his research will be fine. It also too deep in the process to be stopped now, with so many hospitals working along Parnia for AWARE II.

        Like

  17. David on said:

    Yes lets not go jnto the conspiracy theories. The establisment Orson speaks of are a bunch of self appointed loudmouths good at getting media.

    Like

    • Raf on said:

      Yes, they are very vocal and most importantly they are seen as the only authority in the medical and scientifical communities. All the others are considered naive at best, or pseudoscientists at worst. They also have a pretty solid grasp on the media, usually. But they don’t have the world on their side for sure, they just act like it. Also, AWARE II is going under the radar, just look at Sam’s twitter account he isn’t a celebrity for sure and the study is also “disguised” as a resuscitation study. If he gets enough hits sure, we can expect him to become a celebrity of sorts but until then it’s just going to be another study that nobody cares too much about. I bet most of the medical community don’t even know about it, and most of it also think of AWARE I as a failure.

      Like

      • David on said:

        A1 of course was not a failure. Most medical studies get less attention. I am new at the twitter thing most old guys are. Read some of the UFO stories of the last week and compare to what the skepics said in 2019.
        They are silent or engaging in conspiracy or ad hominums.

        Like

      • Jon on said:

        I agree. I recently read aware 1 again. What I thought was interesting is in the obe state the man saw the man with the blue scrubs back. Not his face. So that seemed to corroborate the other obe anecdotal accounts. I’m other words if he would have somehow saw something materialistically he would have saw the docs (blue scrubs) face. He even saw detailed enough to know he was bald from where his scrub hat was positioned. I just thought that was interesting to think about.

        Like

    • Chad on said:

      David, there’s a bit of a conspiracy, Fenwick said in a video he and parnia got rejected for funding OBE research many times, the people said they can do anything they want except put up the hidden pictures. Greyson also got rejected at his own university’s hospital. NDE research is being actively denied in funding and in hospitals. Materialists come in many varieties, some are just being realistic and will change their mind when evidence is strong enough. Unfortunately the opposite extreme is quite populated, people like dennett/pinker (and many other philosophers/neuroscientists) will never change their mind if they themselves had an OBE seeing a 100 digit number. From my impression, anyone working in neuroscience not adopting “the mind is what the brain does” meat computer premise, will not get very far and have their rep ruined. It’s understandable to deny afterlife and take brain as necessary for consciousness, but another thing totally to deny consciousness/free will and say we are meat robots. Materialism is a religion, it has all the characteristics of a religion, science is NOT materialism yet the general public think this. What i’ve learned is physicists are on average far more open minded than neuroscientists, they will be first ones to accept parnia’s research if he gets hits.

      Like

      • In one of the few emails I had from Parnia a few years ago, he alluded to their being considerable opposition to what he was doing from others, and that he had tread very carefully. I have worked in science all my life, and surrounded by people who are often atheist or agnostic…some are open minded, but some are fanatically hostile. Some have an irrational hatred of belief in anything other than material explanation for phenomenon like NDEs or the origin of life. In my recently self published book I spend most of the first section discussing the history of the current secular establishment and provide some possible explanations of this deep intolerance to non-materialistic explanations (plug over).

        Like

      • Raf on said:

        Oh for sure, getting founding for non materialistic research is gonna be hard and, also, most of the scientific community will make fun of you. But there isn’t going to be some big Dan Brown like conspiracy to stop Parnia/take him out or something like that from doing his work, especially now that it is well under way.

        Like

    • Chad on said:

      Not to mention, aware 1 was funded by some passed away rich guy interested in afterlife research. The funding was given to a materialist philosopher (forgot his name), and he gave millions to strict materialist research projects on the brain and only $200k to aware 1 (came in as 10th place i think). When the philanthropist’s dying wish is do to afterlife research and the guy in charge give it all to projects denying afterlife… if this is not conspiracy i dont know what it. Aware 2 is 100% privately funded, im surprised 25 hospitals allowed parnia to do his thing.

      Like

      • Raf on said:

        Interesting, do you have a source for the AWARE II founding? I can’t find it, but for sure getting money for consciousness studies is pretty hard. Have you ever looked at mediumship research? Zero funding for it. Most of it really bad anyway, and I don’t get why a medium should ask for 200$+ for a single reading, I mean you have super powers proving afterlife exists yet you ask a load of money for a single reading? I call BS on that.

        But the people at http://www.windbridge.org/ are doing some good work, all self founded through donations and stuff like it, and their mediums aren’t getting paid for the research so, at least while under study, they don’t seem to be in it for the money. Some of their results look very interesting, as they employ very rigourous blinding in their studies and there is actually no way somebody could do cold or hot reading there, use vague statments (mediums are required to answer rather specific questions) or be a fraud. Reports indicate that under all these conditions some mediums managed to report rather accurate informations about deceased individuals. That is weird, to say the least. Maybe it was rater bias, but this chance was lessened by having the sitters (raters) score two different readings, one a decoy and one intended for them (target reading). Turns out the target reading was usually rated much higher, or chosen as favourite, than the decoy. How the heck is that even happening baffles me a lot.

        Like

  18. David on said:

    Ok Chad you are wrong.it was funded by the Templeton foundation. Sir John was a mainline Christian. He was also a big supporter of science and gas funded people of all beliefs. He fiundation was to focus on the intersections of religion and science and there is no way NO way they would put restrictikns on Parnia. He was a class act before the current Wall Street era and so is his foundation.

    Conspiracy. Yes Chad you and O are right . I meant for Aware 1 or 2 or Parnis work to be wrong he and is team would have to be in an elabirate conspiracy and that is totally ridiculous for.

    And yes Jon if his results did not have such profound implications A1 would have settled it. I went over A1 with an MIT trained molecular biology who said it is absolutly not explainable.

    Like

    • Alan on said:

      “I have worked in science all my life, and surrounded by people who are often atheist or agnostic…some are open minded, but some are fanatically hostile. Some have an irrational hatred of belief in anything other than material explanation for phenomenon like NDEs or the origin of life.”

      If a person is “ensouled” (or something like) why would such a being violently oppose it? That would be denying it’s nature. OTOH, if just a computer made of meat (a materialist) why would this meat also oppose it angrily? I mean, the latter would have to be certain for all future inquiry to an arbitrary time. So, I really believe the materialist suspects a soul (or something like) but doesn’t want science to investigate it. i.e. they are posing.

      Like

      • Raf on said:

        Materialism is just easier to accept, contemplate and look at. It’s just super easy, that is why it’s so alluring. Also science has been hindered by religions often, so the scientific community reacted violently through atheism. Religions all over the world have their faults too, by stopping progress, being at constant war between themselves and generally basing themselves on “misterious stuff” that nobody can see or hear. They made a bad name for themselves and atheism started filling the gap.

        Like

      • Spot on Raf. The church got it completely wrong on so many issues, and when it was powerful it victimised scientists, and this I believe lies at the heart of much of the antagonism that some in the scientific community has towards people of faith. The bitterness has been carried down through generations of scientists in different forms.

        Like

      • Chad on said:

        Raf & Ben you clearly haven’t touched neuroscience literature if you think scientists react violently because of what the church did. These guys are literally are saying consciousness/free will must be illusions and any other position is “woo”, even emergent materialist positions that does assume consciousness is produced by the brain. It’s not about their hatred for religion at all, it’s sheer arrogance and self grandiosity. I think you guys are talking about biologists who get angry when religious people say earth was created 6000 years ago?

        When i go on youtube and watch biology/evolution vids, i see creationists making ridiculous arguments and attacking materialists with personal insults. When i watch NDE vids, the exact opposite happens with materialists attacking proponents.

        Like

      • Raf on said:

        I have to disagree Chad, a the emergence of positivism was somewhat correlated to the failures of the church. Also, it’s much easier to grasp positivism than any other concept, as it only considers real what you can see, hear, touch and so on. Religions instead base themselves, usually, on something unknowable in which you just have to believe. They are often contradicting themselves too, like christianity with the whole heaven/hell concept BUT still contemplating the final resurrection. Religions also started a lot of wars, based on… “woo”. This is why the scientific community views religious people as either naive, gullible, stupid or anything in between, and I understand them. Without NDEs or credible miracles I would have had a really hard time believe in anything religious, but I always had this thought that there must be something more to life than the material. NDEs and a few, verified miracles strenghten my belief.

        Like

      • Chad on said:

        No you’re talking about the original scientific view. Positivism, eliminative materialism are NOT based on rational world views. Positivism has long lost traction, e.g. the inside of a black hole cannot communicate with the outside, does that mean the side doesn’t exist? The “establishment” is much more sinister than what you said. You should read into neuroscience, and try to even suggest consciousness cannot be explained by physical mechanisms on forums, to appreciate my last comment. I’ve dealt with insane hostilities and insults on forums for saying very mild things, and i know what the general trend of thinking neuroscientists have, they don’t believe the mind exist, it’s all just input output to them. A lot of materialists demonstrate the exact behaviour religious fanatics do.

        Like

      • Raf on said:

        I agree with you that neuroscientists are often religious fanatics. They are like ISIS, but with atheism in mind. They deny all that goes against their views, and even more they are sure of something they can’t prove in any way, the idea that consciousness is only a brain product. That’s fanaticism. Many psychiatriasts are like that too, do you have a mind problem? Take this drug which know nearly nothing about and the only testing is through empirical evidence (valid only when it suits their needs) and be good with it. Horrible side effects included,but they will tell you some stuff about what causes them while in reality they don’t have a clue. NDE research is in fact mostly driven by indipendent researchers and cardiologists/reanimators like Van Lommel and Parnia, the only neuroscientist I can think about is Fenwick.

        Like

    • Chad on said:

      David, the money was from John but he died and the funding for researching human mind was controlled by a materialist philosopher, who gave the vast majority to materialist projects. Just can’t remember that philosopher’s name, he thinks consciousness/free will are both illusions.

      Like

      • bippy123 on said:

        RAF , so you believe that religion is based on woo ??
        Did you ever have a shroud of Turin moment ???
        Or is that relic based on Woo.

        Or maybe that pesky historicity of the resurrection of Christ woo.

        To think that people from the religion of atheism have hostility towards religion based on woo is ridiculous . They have a hostility towards religion because they don’t like it that anyone should tell them what to do , whether it’s a religious leader or God himself

        Like

      • Bippy123 the shroud has been examinated, and no common ground was found. Carbon dating sets it in the middle ages, and while it remains a very interesting artifact (as nobody really understands how the image was formed, or why the blood type on it is AB like in many other miracles) we can’t know for sure if it is real or not. Some say that the carbon dating was wrong or a fraud, but the church could just issue new tests yet… they aren’t doing it.

        Yeah, most religions are woo. They tell a load of mystical stuff, origin of the world, origin of souls, destiny, reincarnation and so on, yet outside of a few unexplained miracles none is undeniably “true”. You just have to believe because someone told you to do it. Also, if one religion is right than the others are wrong, and this makes abolutely no sense from any point of view. That’s why they are “woo”, too generic and too contradicting in many cases.

        Like

  19. Raf on said:

    As a side note, any of you guys ever interested in the research at http://www.windbridge.org/ ? I have always thought mediumship as frauds, i mean they ask a load of money for a reading and that sounds like a fraud, but this people is doing some fully blinded testing with some really interesting results. Anybody scientifically trained could look at this study they published and give me their opinion?

    http://www.windbridge.org/factsheets/WRC_accuracy.pdf
    https://ecee.colorado.edu/~ecen5009/Resources/Mediumship/Beischel2015.pdf

    The second one isthe full study, is a bit “technical” for me but looks solid and serious,well structured.

    I know this isn’t directly related to NDEs, but some NDEer have reported mediumship or have undergone mediumship sessions themselves to re-live the events.

    Like

  20. David on said:

    Mediumship has had a troubled history. I will look at it but its tough to just grab some college kid for tgese tests like you can to see if there is a remite vuewing hit. Like the CIA did. I am hostile to Christianity . I love this because a lot if the fundies hate this worse than the materialists.

    Like

    • Yeah, but these aren’t doing sloppy work. Look at their blinding procedure

      “Mediumship readings were performed over the phone under controlled conditions that prevent any passage of
      sensory information and any use of fraud or deception. The peer-reviewed protocol (Beischel, 2007) involved
      five levels of blinding in which the mediums (WCRMs), sitters, and experimenters were all blinded:

      (1) the WCRM is blinded to information about the sitter and the discarnate before, during, and after the reading and asked questions about the discarnate’s appearance, personality, activities, and cause of death;
      (2) the sitters do not hear the readings as they occur; they score blinded transcripts of two readings, one for
      their discarnate (target) and one for another sitter’s discarnate (decoy) without knowing which is which;
      (3) the experimenter who consents and trains the sitters (Experimenter 1) is blinded to which mediums read
      which sitters and which readings were intended for which sitters;
      (4) the experimenter who interacts with the mediums during the phone readings and formats the readings
      into item lists for scoring (Experimenter 2) is blinded to information about the sitters and the discarnates
      beyond the discarnates’ first names;
      (5) the experimenter who interacts with the sitters during scoring (i.e., e-mails and receives by e-mail the
      blinded readings; Experimenter 3) is blinded to all information about the discarnates, to which medium
      performed which readings, and to which readings were intended for which sitters.

      During the scoring of 58 readings, blinded sitters provided an overall score (0-6) for each reading (target and
      decoy) and chose which reading of the two they believed was intended for their discarnate. For 31 of those
      readings, the sitters also scored each item in each of the two readings for accuracy.”

      under all these conditions, the target readings received significantly higher ratings or were chosen as favourite more than the decoys were. It sounds really odd that this was only chance, also because the mediums have to answer some pretty specific questions so they can’t make statements so general they would apply to anyone.

      Like

      • My great aunt was a medium. She did it for free and could be horribly accurate, she once refused to do a reading for some friends of my parents, but once the friends had gone she told my parents that the woman was pregnant, which they hadn’t yet revealed, but that she would have a miscarriage, which she did. She claimed to hear voice from as far back as she could remember and they’d tell her what would happen.

        To David’s comment, ignoring his hostility to Christians, since I am one, yes we detest the practise of mediumship because we believe it is real, but not from God, and the source may not be the most savoury of spiritual beings.

        Like

      • Wow Ben, outstanding story. I know Christians rarely accept mediumship as something good and tend to stay away from it, but I think that from a scientific point of view researching it should be pretty important. After all, it deals with the afterlife too, a bit like NDEs and some NDEers claimed to have acquired mediumship skills after their experience.

        Much of the work before this Windbridge group has been sloppy, flawed or full of frauds, but it seems they are keeping stuff under serious control. They don’t research future telling, like what your aunt did in the story, as well that would be nearly impossible to research, but they try to understand why and where the information about deceased people come from to the mediums. They call it “AIR”, anomalous information reception, and it seems to generally work. Ofcourse many times it also fails, but already providing correct or mostly correct informations about a deceased person without the possibility of cold or hot reading is baffling. How canthey tell he/she was tall or short, hair colour, hobbies and lifestyle, cause of death? Statistically one could expect avast amount of errors with maybe one or two correct statments due to sheer luck, but it isn’t the case here. The girl leading the research is Julie Beischel, PhD in pharmacology so she is competent in how statistics work and well… as far as their studies were going right now, they clearly beaten what the expectations were.

        Like

      • Max_B on said:

        The experimental design of Beischel 2015 prevents us from checking whether the information provided by mediums about the deceased was actually accurate. The judge of accuracy is left to the sitters alone.

        My suspicion is that there may be a problem in the experiment design which allows some information to pass between the 3 experimenters, such that the target reading is unconsciously signaled to the sitter. This would unconsciously bias the sitters scoring on statements that are more open to interpretation.

        Results from separate sitter scoring on the more factual statements about the deceased was not significant. Indicating that where interpretation by the sitter is reduced, the effect drops away, which would seem to support the idea of unconscious signalling to the sitter.

        This also suggests that the results obtained are due to something at the sitter end of the experiment, and probably have nothing to do with the mediums.

        It seems to me that the sitters are merely being asked to make a yes/no choice about two bits of information which are wide open to interpretation. The results are then caused by some bias, due to an effect between the experimenter and sitter, and probably has little to do with the accuracy of the information.

        Whether this effect is anomalous remains unclear, but it doesn’t appear to be related to the medium at all. If it were anomalous it seems more related to the experimenter effect, the UBC Ouija board study, hypnotism, etc. That is an effect caused by one person on another.

        Like

      • Max_B i’m not really convinced by your critique. Your point stands on the idea that, somehow, they screwed up their own blinding procedure and let the sitters know which reading was the one intended for them, causing rater bias, right?

        OK, let’s imagine that happened, and we have no proof of that. It’s baseless speculation/trying to disprove something that doesn’t fit our views with made up stuff. How did experiment 2 got more fives (obvious fit) than ones (no fit)? If no special capacity/mediumship exists I would have expected, in a setting like that were the medium can’t speak to the sitter or even see him/her, to get nearly only ones with some twos or threes, maybe a four too due to sheer luck or rater bias/interpretation. The “obvious fit” scores being more prevalent than no fit, even with a bit of rather bias, is still extremely odd. If rater bias was present at all.

        Information leak would explain why the sitters choose the target reading more than the decoy, higher coring on target readings and all that, but not the obvious fit.

        If the blinding procedure didn’t fail, as we may suppose it didn’t, then those results remain really weird to explain. The fact that the roughly the same results applied also to allthose experiments (conducted in years of time) and in the previous, smaller one (2007), would imply a hole in the process so big that happened every time. It sounds really strange, maybe some information leak happend, but all the time and in all tests?

        Like

      • “Results from separate sitter scoring on the more factual statements about the deceased was not significant. Indicating that where interpretation by the sitter is reduced, the effect drops away, which would seem to support the idea of unconscious signalling to the sitter.”

        also this, were did you learn that? Is there a source for this idea on the factual statements?

        Like

      • Max_B on said:

        “also this, were did you learn that? Is there a source for this idea on the factual statements?”

        It’s in the papers results.

        Like

      • I suppose you refer to this, about experiment 1 regarding the results of the five-questions VS free form:

        “The Five-Questions sections of the target readings were
        estimated to be 47.4% 5.2% accurate vs. those sections of
        the decoy readings that were estimated to be 35.6% 5.7%
        accurate. This difference is in the expected direction but is
        not significant (P ¼ .09).”

        But it is far from a failure, as the five question sections still gave better results than the decoy. And if we look into experiment 2, which was even more specific as it states “During those 12 readings, the Five Questions were randomized, subquestions (e.g., descriptions of the discarnateʼs hair, eyes, build, height,
        etc.) as well as additional questions (e.g., about the discarnateʼs job, favorite foods, etc.) were included,”, we get this:

        “In Experiment 2 in which the percentage accuracy was
        calculated from individual item scores, the Five-Questions
        sections of target readings received ratings significantly larger
        than those sections of decoy readings (52.8% 3.9% vs.
        36.6% 3.8%, P ¼ .002, one-tailed, Cohenʼs d ¼ 0.75).
        These data continue to demonstrate AIR under conditions
        that exclude ordinary explanations.
        Differences in the Free-Form sections were in the expected
        direction but not significant (43.0% 4.8% vs. 35.6%
        5.5%, P ¼ .10).”

        So this time, where the questions were posed by the investigators are extra specific, the results were much better than the decoy ones and, curiously, also better than in the free form section. Information leak also doesn’t explain the higher number of hits vs misses in experiment 2.
        Also, if the subjects were made conscious about which was their intended reading, we would have expected a spike in the “reading choice” section regarding the target readings. This didn’t happen, as the target reading were chosen more often than the decoys, as expected, but not in a massive way (63% and 67.7% for exp1 and exp2, respectively). I think that information leak is a biased, and unfounded, way of looking at the results. It is something I would expect from a “pseudoskeptic” who often resort to unfounded ideas to debunk these studies, but I am pretty sure this isn’t the case with you as I don’t expect to find pseudoskeptics in this blog, so I am pretty sure you are in good faith and just looked at the data from a wrong angle.

        Like

      • Max_B on said:

        It’s been a few years since I read this paper. But read it again tonight, and found it just as devilishly confusing as the first time, and lacking in crucial details of how the experiment was actually performed in practice. There are loads of places where one can raise red flags. It’s just not possible for me to conclude anything certain about their results. No doubt the results are accurate, it’s just that one can’t say much about how these results came about.

        Like

  21. David on said:

    Yes it is not sloppy.

    Like

  22. David on said:

    That is so cool about your Aunt. Samuel was calked up by a medium . Even though Necromancy was banned supposedly before than but it was probably a later development under Josiah. Archeology proves it.
    On to the supposedly unsavory beings I always ask my Christian friends and clergy friends are you sure you are on the right side.
    I need to get him on this site. He has had extensive personal experience witg the dying.

    Like

    • Hi David, I don’t get it are you into some kind of religion? I’m a… well, let’s say I can’t choose. So I suppose each religion got something right, but none is perfect imo. I really like the message of Jesus, he was preaching very good stuff for his times and seemed enlightened, but I don’t much like the Catholic Church and the moralism sorrounding it. After all, i’m left wing too and the Catholics tend to be a bit too conservative. Don’t know much about other religions, aside from Islam being way too conservative often, and some protestants being more open to innovation and change.

      I wouldn’t call mediumship necromancy, they don’t really do any kind of magic. No magical words, no rituals, nothing like that at least at windbrige. They just concentrate a minute on a given name and without knowing anything else, without even the sitter being there at all or being able to ask question, provide answers the a set of questions given to them. The fact that they are more often correct than not is, well, odd.

      Like

  23. David on said:

    I am Jewish but like mist of the family not great a practicing. The family was torn to shreds in the Holocaust and we are still finding survivors. Like most American Jews I am very liberal.

    Like

    • Oh, both sad and cool story. Sorry for your family, the nazis were horrible people and also my country helped them do what they did (Italy). I oppose fascists in anyway I can, although Italy is slowly going back to the far right.

      What is the stance on mediumship and NDEs from the Jewish community?

      Like

      • David on said:

        I posted an article from Haaretz on Jewish views of afterlife and really all of them or none are acceptable. There is also no differntation from animals intill 700 ad humabs and animals are found buried together. I would argue that A1 has proved at least Sheoul which is the orginal concept.
        Italy was far from the worst. Most of us are now in Germany UK and US.
        I still want my house in Essen back.

        Like

    • It’s surely an interesting study, although I see some problems with it.

      1) The placebo-issued test subjects scored above the NDE scale threshold. This is weird, as they should have felt nearly nothing. So, people may have been influenced into having some kind of experience due to sel thought.
      2) While DMT and other psychedelics have often been cited as cause of the NDEs, none of them have been proven to be found in quantities large enough in the human body, or brain, to cause hallucinations of such power. As far as I know, it is all speculation
      3) The test subject is very small. And, having a bit of experience with people using psychedelics as recreational drugs, the effects can vary enormously. They will end up scoring high on the NDE scale, but people often see aliens, robots, strange geometrical figures or fantastic animals.
      4) The most important part, no veridical OBEs. Most of the “strenght” of NDEs is found in veridical OBEs and, as far as I know, no drug ever reproduced this effect.

      A study about drugs and NDEs has been conducted by an italian medic, Davide Vaccarin. He compared it to kethamine and ayahuasca (basically DMT), and while similarities were found the experiences were pretty diverse. He thinks that, as these drugs “lowere the grip” of the brain on consciousness, lacking better terms for it, produce NDE like effects but are, all in all, a different experience. I would like to hear Ben’s stance on this.

      Like

    • Chad on said:

      One glaring issue with the dmt hypothesis is why no NDEr ever reported seeing geometric patterns, present in most if not all dmt hallucinations. Ofc materialist simply ignore anything problematic for them and only talk about things supporting their view.

      Like

      • I think the experience is different because it’s an actual experience and not a drug trip. Consciousness has fail safe mechanisms in place in the event it has no current access to a vessel to harbor it. Circulatory and cardiac arrest basically cut off all forms of blood flow to the brain and shut down brain communication so the consciousness just kind of floats there until either A. the vessel is revived to go back and inhabit it or B. the consciousness finds a new vessel to harbor it. There is also possibility C. where the consciousness goes to another existence entirely in a new universe/dimension. The experience is different because it’s actually happening.

        Like

  24. As for my religion. I have 2 actually. My father’s side is Jewish. My mother’s side is Roman Catholic.

    Like

    • In his most recent interviews Parnia has been pretty positive on the brain being shut down during NDEs and generally during anykind of CA. He also speaks a lot more like a believer than a skeptic, which means that he is either very hopeful in his research (so much to gamble his own career as a researcher) or he is onto something. Maybe a single hit, maybe partial, but something indeed. That is also way, I think, the project has been extended. If it was a total failure I doubt they would have kept going beyond the intended date.

      Like

  25. Jonas on said:

    In case you havent seen it, in this video Parnia speaks to the European Resuscitation Council about his work – NDEs in general and explanatory models for it -, and AWARE II with the instruments used.
    I think hes a good speaker, especially on this issue that is emotionally very loaded, yet he manages to get it across in such a calm and collected manner.

    Though, Ive got to say and eventhough I dont really have a reason for it, my pessimism (?) makes me anticipate that AWARE II likely shows that there is brain activity during the NDE, or at the very least that there wont be cases where patients identify the pictures. I just can not imagine otherwise.
    Then again, I was pretty shocked when AWARE I had its findings released, never would I have believed for them to get a case like they did, which checked out – even if there was no identification of a card

    Like

  26. David on said:

    He is still pretty sure on brain activity check back to the New York radio show on this thread.Aware 1 was a hit. There is not enough brain activity for visual or audio.

    Like

  27. Stefan on said:

    No doubt there still is brain activity during NDE. Question is, is that activity strong enough to continue some form of conscious awareness during NDE.

    I also don’t expect Parnia to get any hits and I also don’t think that is the main focus of aware 2.

    It would be impressive if we could get a NDE patiënt to give information about his resuscitation, that he could not have gathered through any normal means.

    So far I am not convinced that any previous case has established this without the possibility of there being other explanations. I remain on the skeptical side for now at least.

    Like

    • Chad on said:

      If there’s no CPR, there’s no brain activity. I don’t know why skeptics still try to use the “deep brain activity” nonsense in the complete absence of blood flow. And if CPR is continuously performed and there’s slight brain activity, there’s still the lack of dizziness/confusion from NDErs. The real skeptic argument is that these people confabulated hallucinations experienced after heart restarted with events observed during CPR (might be enough blood to observe and remember a few things), or nurses/doctors told them. Saying hyper lucid realer than real NDEs occur with complete cessation of blood, is stupid beyond measure.

      Like

    • We know for sure that brain activity is absent during CA. CPR may restore a bit of the blood flow, but not enough to activate the cortex and produce a functioning EEG. All our “understanding” of consciousness say that you need a functioning cortex to experience and recall concious activity, such as in NDEs. I don’t find this debunking of the “partially active” brain to be really solid, as it doesn’t explain much even if there was some deep activity where we can’t measure it with a normal EEG consciousness and memory should not be there, let alone verifiable OBEs about operations and such. It’s a bit like the AWARE I debunking, that was explained with “he got the info from TV medical dramas”, I mean what the heck? That’s something I would say if I’m totally out of arguments and can’t back my position with anything solid. Same way for the no hits, most media and skeptics report that “nobody saw the pictures” but they don’t tell that the OBEs happened in room without them! There was nothing to see at the time, so it really doesn’t mean much.

      Like

    • Jonas on said:

      “So far I am not convinced that any previous case has established this without the possibility of there being other explanations”

      One can make up any amount of auxiliary hyptheses as one wants, there will always be another explanation. The question is whether its a good explanation that trumps competing ones in terms of coherence, plausibility (while disregarding ones personal metaphysical assumptions) and explanatory power. Maybe a bayesian approach with respect to probability is in order.

      That said, I dont think there has been a good objection to the findings of AWARE I. Maybe I just missed the one, in which case Id like to ask you to share, but so far it seems to me critics do indeed go the route that Raf mentioned. For example, Steven Novella in his reaction refers to the time between the incidence, and the time of interview. So what? Firstly, this moves him in the comfortable position of there being no way of disproving him in principle, because no patient with cardiac arrest could ever be interviewed just the second after being resuscitated.
      Secondly, what exactly does he imagine for the scenario to have been? Sisters coming in, explaining to him what noises the machine makes that he was resuscitated with, and how exactly it works – and how many beeps it indeed makes every so-and-so minutes? Did then the bald doctor come in, tell the patient “look at me, Im bald, if I wear a hat you can tell from how it sits there. Also, I was resuscitating you that one night”? Did they do this in a matter of days, during which the patient was widely awake, or where they speaking to themselves while standing besides him when he was still recovering? Did they lose all memories of this alongside eachother, as well as the patient making up this oddly enough veridical yet false memory of what happened during his resuscitation? Since when do fabricated memories appear that veridical way? They surely practiced all of this well, making a patient be convinced of the truthhood of said memories. Too bad they forgot about it afterwards.

      If one has to make up weird conspiracy theories to feel secure in ones view, then maybe one should reconsider it

      Like

      • This exactly. It’s like Woorlee’s debunking on Pam Reynolds, it got accepted by media and wikipedia but, in fact, it wasn’t steady at all. He based it on anesthesia awarness, and that was nearly impossible to not notice under EEG burst suppression. Also, what kind of anesthesia awarness makes you feel that good, it generally doesn’t work that way and he as a trained medic surely knows it. Also, she should have filtered the 90/100 decibel clicks in her ears AND reconstructed nearly everything from just sound alone. That would be a feat for Daredevil, not for human in anesthesia awarness. It just isn’t a debunking at all.

        The idea that someone gave her a tour of the operating room and showed her the tools the doctors would use on her is totally absurd. I underwent surgery for kidney stones three times, and the doctors would have never, ever showed me the machinery in use. I can’t describe it, because they took care that I couldn’t see anything because frankly it is kinda scary. No surgical team will take a patient for a detailed tour of the operation room and of tools, never. They will give you, if you ask, a generic idea of what they are going to do and stop, no description of the machinery let alone seeing them in person.

        Like

      • matthew f on said:

        A study compared nde expeeriencers versus controls knowledge of the operating theater and procedures. The control group non experiencers were guessing.

        Like

      • Yes, I remember that study, it was very good. I have watched ER many times, and I could probably describe some of what goes on, but these people who have NDEs are able to give precise details and chronology.

        Like

  28. David on said:

    This will end the arguments once and for all. The Sceptic arguments are Trumpian and they are it will drive them crazy and indeed they are. They are elaborate conspiracies to claim the obvious did not happen. The guy described hearing the machine to a tee when there is no way his auditory system could be working. The explanation He must have known it from TV. Its a very Trumpian explanation. Perhaps from the Apprentice.

    Like

  29. Matthew Denton on said:

    I think the main reason materialists become hostile towards the consciousness after death theories and after death studies, is that materialists make peace and accept the fact that in their belief, there is only life and death, which is the absolute end. When someone attempts to suggest evidence to the contrary a defense mechanism of these absolute beliefs is to not give the alternative any thought. I see this in some of my friends and family I have spoken to who are atheists, they say the end is just the end, and they seem quite content with it. Yet I also see this reaction in some religious people for similar reasons. I myself am not content, out of fear and hope I guess. I don’t have faith, but I do hope. I believe there is much to be discovered about the brain and consciousness, as I had a peculiar experience of my own; in short, I was sat on my bed drifting off to sleep when I had this kind of half dream (for want of a better term) that a red haired lady in white said whilst smiling, “wake up, it’s not your time to die”. As I woke up, I could smell burning. I rushed downstairs to find that I’d left one of the electric oven hobs on which had a plastic wrapper over it melting. The fire alarm had woke me up. Now, I don’t believe this to be magical or religious, I believe that my subconscious was aware of the smell of burning plastic and the danger associated with it and therefore it manifested a warning in my dream. But how odd that your brain can do such things. This is what confuses me about the NDE’s, because unlike me being in a dream state where my consciousness is aware of smell and sound yet can only manifest into a person warning me, during the NDE there is no brain activity and supposedly no consciousness and they recall events as if they are observing it. I really do think that the area of the brain associated with mortal danger has a part to play in NDE’s.

    Like

    • Chad on said:

      Maybe for non academic layman materialists it’s used as defense, but I know for a fact academic skeptics simply think they know it all and resort to personal attacks, taking an extremely high horse “I’m intellectually superior than you and everything you say is worthless pseudoscience woo superstition” position.

      By all means, if for some reason completely bizarre and incomprehensible to me and others on this blog, they don’t want afterlife, I’m 100% sure the beings of light can annihilate them for good. No afterlife forces everyone to die forever whereas afterlife gives a choice for the 99.9% of us who do want eternal existence.

      Like

      • Jonas on said:

        Lets be charitable. Sure, someone that calls and prides himself as a “sceptic” might be this way. But there are plenty of physicalist philosophers that are being charitable and intellectualy honest themselves, yet clearly do not believe in near death experiences being some kind of glimpse of a non-material consciousness.
        Do not just pick and challenge the low hanging fruits.
        To be fair though, the people I talk about would possibly straight up admit that they havent invested too much thought into the issue of NDEs – ones mind can just handle that much research into different topics. They would possibly argue that the amount of evidence we have today is just not enough to change ones entire metaphysical outlook. And I think they would be right.
        I do think that their physicalism is obviously false though, so theres that. This does not automatically equal the existence of an afterlife, however

        Like

      • Chad on said:

        I didn’t mean all materialist academics are like this, but the most vocal ones who talk at ted/big think/public debates, are 90+% like this. I know a few well known materialists who are not what I said, e.g. Christof Koch, Galen Strawson, David Chalmers (technically they are panpsychists but they call themselves materialists who believe brain is absolutely necessary for consciousness). It’s the likes of Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Lawrence Krauss, Jerry Coyne I was referring to, they are the most vocals one and most well known (Dawkins seems much more busy in fighting religious people, don’t recall seeing him shoving meat robot ideology down people’s throat). Plenty more less well known staunch materialist academics who immediately resort to personal insults with non materialists and spam the words “woo, pseudoscience”.

        Like

  30. Hardcore materialists probably deny this because they are afraid. I can understand some people being terrified at the prospect of eternal life. But it just is the way it is. I have come to terms with this and have found peace and solace in doing so. I think everyone else should do the same. Just live. Life is an unending journey of discovery. Make it a good one.

    Like

    • Chad on said:

      Please explain how being terrified at having 72 virgins, no disease, no suffering, reuniting with dead friends/relatives/pets, no crimes, forever, is understandable. I’m sure beings of light will allow the materialists to stop existing.

      Like

      • Well, I can understand being a bit scared. It’s normal to fear the unknown, and what lies beyond surely is just that. We may havegot some glimpses, maybe, but losing everything that was “here” in the material is still a bit spooky. Yeah, nearly all NDEers would trade the “here” to “there” as they experienced pure bliss, but those who didn’t can’t really understand that and so can be scared by what comes next. I’m rather sure that the 72 virgins thing isn’t that true anyway ahah.

        Like

      • Chad on said:

        Everyone has an idea of what afterlife is like, very hard for me to understand them. 72 virgin is a joke obviously, I’ve read about isis suicide bombers wearing protection getting ready for the 72 beauties. So I do support the hardcore materialists trying to overturn religion, but some of them go too far and say consciousness/free will dont exist and we are all meat robots with no moral responsibility.

        Like

    • Eric on said:

      By now it’s learned behavior.

      Science was severely impaired for centuries leading up to the Enlightenment and the massive advances that took place in the -relatively short- time that has elapsed since tipped the tables in favor of the ones that were formerly oppressed. So, what does the scientific establishment do to preserve their newfound power? They adopt the same strategies of the Dark Ages-Church. The concept of an “afterlife” is dangerous, as it opens the door for spirituality, and eventually religion, to find its way back into the everyday of people that have abandoned it and, worse yet, removes science’s monopoly on miracles… Ergo, “heresy”.

      Like

  31. David on said:

    What Chad just said.Krauss smeared Frank Tipler but I dont think we will hear much from him. Google it.
    Krauss said he would never use the Star Trek transporter. Why not based on his position. Based on ours its a zombie machine.
    Actually it isnt anymore they retconned into a personal warp field.

    Like

  32. werner Bartl on said:

    We will be officially launching a the NYU Critical Care and Resuscitation Reserach Program in June. As we approach this, I will be providing information on our projects, including the AWAreness during REsuscitation (AWARE) II study. Thank you for all those with an interest….

    This is from Dr Sam Parnia via Twitter

    Like

  33. werner Bartl on said:

    What do you think is that more positive?

    Like

    • I’d say so, in particular after reading his thoughts on the nationalpost interview. I don’t think he would have made such statements without having something on his hands, since he is now coming up with an update.

      Like

  34. Lukas on said:

    After re-reading the National Post article.

    Dr. Parnia has one flaw in its design that will not convince sceptics:

    Images will also be beamed upwards as people undergo CPR. Parnia doesn’t expect anyone to open their eyes. No one ever does in cardiac arrest.

    Dr. Parnia assumes that no one will open his eyes however there is already a case where a person has opened his eyes and its even mentioned in the National Post article:

    In fact, McGill University doctors reported last year the case of a 38-year-old man who appeared to regain consciousness several times during CPR.

    Therefore I will have not big hopes that it will change the sceptics minds on this matter even when there is a hit with the Ipad because they will ask if the persons eyes were shut and Dr. Parnia should rather check this out.

    I am just pointing out what will be the first arguments against the study if there is a hit and I hope Dr. Parnia is prepared for it because according to the design of the study he is tackling the issues of the sceptics according to the National Post article if not he would not test if people who are in cardiac arrest would hear – many sceptics claim that people can hear during few episodes in cardiac arrest.

    Like

    • Samwise on said:

      It depends on what “beamed upwards” means. If it simply means that the ipad is turned upwards, towards the ceiling, then it is not a flaw. That is what I think it means because it is very hard to project the image upwards. However, If the image is projected and displayed on the ceiling, then a patient who is lying down could in theory see it and there is a possibility that anyone who reports seeing an image as they were over their body in reality saw the image that was projected on the ceiling, while they were lying down.

      Like

    • Chad on said:

      It’s at a height a standing person won’t see it. It’s done so that a fully conscious person on the ground can’t see the image. Really you should do more research before claiming these things, your last claim was similar.

      Like

      • Lukas on said:

        So why is Dr. Parnia claiming that no one ever has opened his eyes during a CPR if the person cannot see the images on the Ipad?

        He would not claim it when it was not visible with a opened eyes.

        Like

  35. Lukas on said:

    Please tell me Chad where do you got this information that the Ipad will be like you wrote: It’s at a height a standing person won’t see it.

    Because I cannot find any link that claims this. Thank you if you send it to me.

    Like

    • Hi Lukas. If you go to sam Parnia’s twitter and April 7th 2019 there is a video. At 54:23 he shows you what the setup will look like. He doesn’t directly say that someone from the ground can’t see the image in that video. Maybe Chad meant some other reference. You can see the ipad that he will use though. Unless there is a mirror on the ceiling, I don’t think you could really see a reflection. Hope this helps.

      Like

      • Lukas on said:

        Thanks for the video and nice reply Jon. Yes I seen it before but on the picture he is showing I cannot see the Ipad where it is? I have only seen Dr. Parnia with two women along with a lot of medical equipment and he only briefly in the video mentions that there will be sound and image stimuli and did not said where the Ipad will be precisely.

        The other thing what is bugging me is then why Dr. Parnia has said in his last interview that no one ever opens his eyes during a CRP. He would not mentioned it when it was not important. He would just ignore it or not use the sentence when describing the images are set-up.

        Thanks again for the reply and I wish you a nice day.

        Like

  36. Hey Lukas. On the video there is a pole to the right of the bed that sticks up it looks like there is a red square thing on top of the pole. My guess is that is where the iPad would sit. In my opinion the most logical and convincing skeptical argument is that people are opening their eyes during or right before ca and describing events. So my guess is that is why Parnia has the iPad. It has the same purpose of the shelves with images on it from Aware 1 but more cost effective because you only need a few iPads and you can get too more rooms.

    Like

    • Sorry Lukas forgot second part of your question. As far as people opening their eyes during a normal ca I don’t know if that’s possible maybe someone else can give expertise. For the rare occurrence if someone is awake or talking during ca I feel like they wouldn’t include them in the study. Keep in mind though the pics on the shelves in aware 1 and the iPad I assume are trying to make that argument not relative. Parnia is trying to set up that if a conscious person lying in a hospital bed is looking at the back of an iPad they can’t see what it’s displaying. Have a good day Lukas.

      Like

  37. Chad on said:

    Why do you assume his opening eyes has to do with the ipad? Opening eyes to observe what doctors were doing and if they are a bald chunky fella? Given how obvious this is I feel like your questions aren’t genuine.

    Parnia knows the skeptical better than all of us. He’ll done things to make sure there’s no skeptical arguments (other than fraud) if someone sees the images. The only way to do this is if a fully conscious person can’t see the images.

    Like

    • Exactly Chad. If someone doesn’t have a heartbeat, which is the time that Parnia is measuring various parameters, it is not possible to open your eyes.

      As everyone has said, the iPad is “beaming” images upwards. Nothing will be visible below the iPad, including to the resuscitation team. AWARE II is well designed, and will be hard for the sceptics to dispute without accusing the invesitigators of lying, or spiking interviews (which is why I have said repeatedly that interviewer must be “blinded” to the iPad content).

      I need to start a new thread soon…we are over 200 comments! I’m in NYC at the moment though at a meeting discussing the neuroscience of obesity, so may not get a chance for a little while.

      Great discussions though.

      Like

  38. David on said:

    Irs tge same with hearing as well just sayin.

    Like

  39. Lukas on said:

    First thing I did not know about the TV show Chad. My bad. I apologize for that.

    Second thing I was going from the article which was in the National Post and I was citing Dr. Parnia and according to his description of the event it would be like the images are up on the celling and everyone can see them just when he opens his eyes.

    I am interested in this if not I would be not posting here.

    I am happy that this is clarified. I think that no one here wants that this study would fail when it had a hit thanks to some small error which can happen Dr. Parnia and his team are humans after all.

    Also everything here we talk is a discussion without someone on the other side – even when I make errors there would be no discussion at all.

    Like

    • Chad on said:

      That’s good, I’m very edgy due to my experience with staunch materialists.

      Like

    • Glad you are here Lukas, I take back my suspicions of you being a troll! There are some out there, and I have to keep an eye out as I don’t want them here. Skeptics with well reasoned, thought provoking arguments are always welcome, but expect robust push back!!

      Like

  40. Yeah I agree logical materialistic arguments are good. Everyone is just trying to find the answers to the big questions. We’re all on the same team.

    Like

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