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

Brain Activity During CPR in AWARE II

More data from AWARE II. Eduardo picked this one up. This is also being presented at the AHA meeting this weekend, and while not as exciting from the NDE side of things, is very important because it appears to slay one of our holy cows…people cannot be conscious if they have had a CA.

Abstract 287: Bimodal Brain Monitoring Using Portable EEG and Cerebral Oximetry During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): A Pilot Study

As with abstract 387, the significance of this abstract needs teasing out (and after my last effort, please let me know if I have misunderstood it again!). It has to be said that this one is written using even more jargon. In this “experiment” 38 patients from AWARE II had simultaneous measurement of EEG and brain oxygenation during CPR. CPR lasted for between 10-60 minutes, and the correlation between brain oxygen levels and EEG was established. Various levels of brain activity were defined: normal/near normal, seizures, coma, absence of cortical activity, as determined by EEG. rSO2 (cerebral oximetry  levels) of 60-80% are normally required for normal brain function, including consciousness. However, this study suggests that levels as low as 30% are sufficient to produce cortical activity and that these levels are achieved at various points during CPR. From the conclusions:

…real-time bimodal brain monitoring provides insights regarding brain resuscitation and its dynamic interaction with patient factors. While ischemia may cause epileptogenic activity, there are periods of normal/near-normal cortical activity despite prolonged CPR >45-60 mins. A minimal threshold of brain oxygen delivery (rSO2>30%) may be required for cortical activity. These data raise questions regarding assumptions of irreversible brain damage with prolonged CPR, as well as the possibility of consciousness and cognitive activity during CPR

This, to me, at least suggests that periods of consciousness are possible during CPR after a CA and before full ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) is achieved. This is food for skeptics who will now claim that NDEs are a result of these kinds of brain activity. However, unless one of the NDEs in abstract 287 is directly correlated with rSO2 levels>30%, then these findings are irrelevant to NDEs. There is no mention of matching the patients in the two posters. What I would hope would be to see the subject who heard the noise from the headphones have an rSO2 of >30%, but the other 4 below those levels.

It would be good to have the whole poster or presentations for these. they may be available after they have been presented.

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78 thoughts on “Brain Activity During CPR in AWARE II

  1. Anton Efimov on said:

    Well, taking into account how Parnia supported the idea of consciousness with no brain activity and the fact that this data could not have been gathered in a week or 2 and has been analyzed at least for the past 1-2 years I am inclined to assume that, like you said, Ben, the patient who heard the noise from the headphones was in fact conscious with rSO2 over 30% and the rest of the patients who heard conversations did not have any cortic activity (rSO2<30%).

    In my opinion, such assumption explains al the facts we have on hand: a semi-conscious person with rSO2 over 30% heard the headphones, while the truly temporarily dead patients heard actual doctors conversations and did not hear the headphones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I am hoping that all our questions and confusion over this will be cleared up during the meeting on Monday. It is now clearly no coincidence that he arranged this one day meeting on this day, after the abstracts for AHA would have been made public. He would have submitted these and known the timings months ago. It makes me wonder, now that he has presented some data that scientifically supports the NDE phenomenon whether he will mention any confirmations of visual OBEs. It wouldn’t hurt his prospect for publication, and it may well be that he has another book in the offing.

      We will see. Exciting times though.


      • Anton Efimov on said:

        But it kind of hurts me to think that so much talk would be for nothing… I hope Parnia does have some good facts and did not hype up the situation by talking about mind/body separation without any facts or even facts that oppose this point of view


      • evan zhang on said:

        Based on the 2 recent articles,I think we take too much attention on some weak brain activities or oxygen level.
        remember , there are so many nders who can see their dead relatives ,got some information they can never know,
        and some OBErs definitely see the real events,
        all of them can not be produced by a almost shut down brain。

        Of course we all expect to get some incredible hits from aware 2, but if there are somthing beyond our life,personally i do not expect to see the proven of life after death.

        so be patient and optimistic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I believe you right Evan, but until we know more about the sRO2 levels of the 4 patients who had NDE-like experiences, we are just stating belief rather than science.


  2. Anton Efimov on said:

    Anyhow, in 2 days our questions will probably be answered


  3. Eduardo on said:

    And we must also see if these 38 people (all or some of them) were included or not in what Sam Parnia distinguished in his tweeter about cases in which there is such a weak heartbeat and that they are also treated with CPR, and not in the cases of “true cardiac arrests”, because as Parnia points out in the latter there are no signs of consciousness or brain activity. And in the first case the person can wake up.
    In the first condition the minimum 30% oxygen could be reached that would be required for normal cortical activity, but in the second one it is not (it is pure speculation that I do)


  4. (I posted this on the last thread but as I see, we’ve moved on) :

    We have to accept what they find whether we like it or not. And it does give sceptics a little hope, I’m not denying that. However after looking at it (the poster)in more detail, it really is only a little.

    Unless I’ve missed it or read it wrongly, they didn’t find any beta waves ? Beta waves are the type that we experience while we are normally conscious. The next one down, in levels of consciousness are alpha waves. From Scientific American :

    QUOTE “The next brainwave category in order of frequency is alpha. Where beta represented arousal, alpha represents non-arousal. Alpha brainwaves are slower, and higher in amplitude. Their frequency ranges from 9 to 14 cycles per second. A person who has completed a task and sits down to rest is often in an alpha state.”

    The vast majority of the brainwaves they found are not associated with consciousness (as we thought) and most of the patterns demonstrated complete absence of it > flatline –Burst suppression–coma=no consciousness possible.

    Delta waves=deep sleep–theta waves=pre sleep– erratic discharges are unpredictable but obviously not associated with clear thoughts.

    But it seems that one or more patients did have some alpha waves at some point which a determined sceptic could argue are sufficient to somehow cause an NDE.

    Remember what NDErs actually say, though. They tell us that their consciousness was heightened, expanded, with ultra quick cognitive ability. They tell us that their vision is incredibly clear and often they can see all around sometimes in 360 degrees. Can a period of alpha waves produce that ?

    Obviously not, but lets wait and see what Dr Parnia (the expert) has to say about this. It’s doing my head in now (the complexities of all this) as they say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree Tim with you … if the NDEs were hypothetically produced by the brain, at least beta and gamma waves were required, given the high percentage that he claims to have lucidity and mental clarity during the experience and a higher level of awareness and alertness than usual in everyday life Neither beta nor gamma are in the report.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Great analysis Tim, and really important points. For me this is all about the AWARE team crosses the Ts and dotting the i’s…they are looking at every possible aspect of consciousness during death or CPR, and insuring that they come to the most scientific answer. This lends enormous credibility to the study.


      • Thanks Ben and Eduardo ! I agree, they are going through all the possibilities to get the question answered to the satisfaction of everyone. We have to be patient and accept what they find (BTW I am not discounting any of the other very important studies already carried out such as Van Lommel’s excellent 10 year investigation).

        Just to reiterate, hearing is supposed to be the last sense to fail, isn’t it ? Sceptics have been appealing to this since 1975. They’ve always insisted that we have to go much DEEPER into the brain, beyond measurable cortical activity, to be sure that nothing is going on during cardiac arrest that could lead to patients somehow receiving information.

        That stimuli was fed directly into their ears (and hearing is a function of the deepest brain structure, the brainstem according to experts and the last to go) but even with the best CPR, only one patient in Parnia’s study heard it.

        And what about all the 100’s of accurate veridical OBE reports during CA already in the literature. Patients eyes are closed during cardiac arrest. They can’t be discounted just because of some EEG activity found in a couple of patients during prolonged CPR.

        @Chad There are several well known cases of veridical observations in the Blind. This JNDS article (by Dr Ken Ring) here in response to Keith Augustine.

        Click to access vol26-no1-70.pdf

        QUOTE: In addition, we believe that any open minded reader of our research, taking the evidence provided as a whole, would agree with us that the case for
        veridical perception in the blind is nevertheless very plausible, and that the accounts provided by our respondents are not easily explained
        away by any purely naturalistic explanation proffered so far.

        Italian cardiac nurse, Anna Siboni (in an online Italian documentary) recounts the case of a blind from birth music professor who was able to describe items of jewellery and clothing during an OBE in cardiac arrest.


    • The key issue remains the same… Are people recalling information following resuscitation that they could not know about according to our current understanding.

      Yes, subjectively, it appears they are.

      Assuming the recalled floating position of ‘self’ (during the typical hospitalised NDE OBE) as being literally correct, is just that… an assumption.

      There are far too many wakeful studies showing that ‘self’ can be relocated somewhere other than where ‘self’ would usually assume itself to be… by stimulating the brain with information provided from an alternative location.


  5. Regardless of that some people also have NDE, s or OBE, s before resuscitation is started. Like for example people who have an OBE right after a traffic accident.


  6. Samwise on said:

    These types of brain activities are surely correlated to consciousness but there is no conclusive evidence that tells us how they correlate or if they are even necessary for consciousness to occur. Therefore, I do not put much weight on these types of studies. IMO, a verified visual OBE is the only conclusive evidence that will show which side is right and if NDEs are real.

    Ben, I received your message but unfortunately I do not know of any other way to reach Dr.Parnia beside the email addresses that you mentioned. Hopefully, someone else here know because you had some good questions.


  7. This is what you would expect I think.

    We know CPR is useful in reducing brain damage following cardiac arrest, and that must be because it gets some blood flow and oxygen to the brain. If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t conduct CPR.

    I don’t expect it to be possible to have veridical recall of the everyday world without some sufficient number of neurons available to fire – to allow the networks to be synchronised.

    What we’re looking for is a drop in EEG power to allow the brain to become vulnerable to any compatible fields which intersect it… but not no firing at all.

    That’s exactly what we see here, where they induce Abnormal Body Perception during wakefulness.

    These researchers tested the claims of other researchers that the brains right Temporo-parietal Junction was the ‘key’ area responsible for abnormal body perception (ABP). Their research does not support that claim.

    Rather this team found that ABP seemed almost independent of their choice of cortical location, and instead they found ABP was best associated with a systematic decrease of the EEG power in all frequency bands.


  8. Ika Musume on said:

    Regarding consciousness during CPR, we have absolutely no idea what state of consciousness was experienced. Dr. Long has stated….

    “When you talk to the patients who have actually survived CPR, one thing that is very, very obvious is that the substantial majority of them are confused or amnesic, even when they’re successfully recovered. They may be amnesic for the period of time following their successful resuscitation or even for events prior to the time of their cardiac arrest.

    If you read even a few near-death experiences, you immediately realize that there’s essentially none of them that talk about episodes of confusion or altered mental status when they just don’t understand what’s going on. You really don’t see that at all.”

    For all we know, their experience (if they had one) could have been a state of incomprehensible confusion, unlike the vividness reported by those who experience an NDE. Other than that, I really don’t know what to make of both this study and the results in the last thread. To be honest, it’s making me a little less optimistic regarding NDEs being a true experience of separation of consciousness/soul from the physical body. But then again, I’ve always struggled being optimistic.

    More comments from Dr. Long can be found here.


    • I think point of this study is ongoing research, it is not focused on NDE, it rather focus on consciousness, which is very clever approach – NDE is undeniable phenomena, their (NDEers) experience is real (otherwise it would not lead to any factual positive changes in life) – also Parnia beautifully coined TED term, it has way more descriptive context than NDE – BUT this study is not aiming to proof “life after death” or any that sort of thing… it is aiming to shed the light on nature of consciousness and until this question addressed all other results (as you mentioned yourselves) doesn’t make much “for” or “against” – it is somewhat naive to expect something like… “ah, 20% of CA survivors have cortical activity and every 10% of those who has recollection correlates precisely with it – that is it!”.

      Skeptics or not can make whatever they want from whatever they want – none of the results will fundamentally shift it until someone explain what consciousness is and how it is arising, even if all and only NDErs turned out having brainwaves it doesn’t proof it is not real, it doesn’t make it less significant, it doesn’t explain even 10% of what it is… why it is similar, and why other features are similar (life review, feeling of pleasure, seeing deceased and etc)… so basically those are all just first steps toward understanding this phenomena with scientific methods, that is all.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I think this is a big hit proponents.

    If there is some EEG activity during CA, then most of the stuff told by Van Lommel and such has been proven false. The idea that the brain shuts down during CA is plain wrong.

    If there is activity, then some parts of the brainstem can be active too. This gives a lot pf credibility to a materialistic explaination of NDEs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • RAF, I respectfully disagree as the data from this abstract does not, at this point, correlate EEG activity with conscious recollections of any kind. It does, however, show that in a very few cases (and again the numbers aren’t provided) the brain is sufficiently oxygenated for near normal cortical activity to occur. Now, if they showed that the 4 “NDE-like” cases from abstract 387 had rS02 > 30% then this would provide very strong evidence for the hypothesis that brain activity is causing these experiences. But we are not told that.

      For me what this poster does is lend enormous credibility to the AWARE I/II/III project. They are looking under every stone and testing all possible explanations. It is excellent science.


      • Eduardo on said:

        Raf, it is not during cardiac arrest, but during CPR. In addition, in some of these cases the flat line was maintained throughout the CPR … We do not even know that in these 38 cases the resuscitation has been successful.


      • Eduardo on said:

        I find it hard to believe that ROSC is produced instantly as if by magic. It makes more sense to think that ROSC is achieved gradually, which makes sense that cortical electrical activity levels similar to normal or near normal occur at some point. Like when we go from sleeping a deep sleep to a waking state


    • RAF: Brains are not isolated from nature… we will require a better way of understanding nature.


  10. Thanks Ben – I didn’t mean to make it philosophical, it just turned out to be this way 🙂 yet it was reflection on “what do we make out of that study results” the answer – don’t make anything. Brainwaves correlate with mental activity but doesn’t explain it and so on and so off. I saw recently neuroscientist who seriously was explaining tunnel and light in NDE by some vision through fixated pupils – it is amazing how those people got graduated, and it was very famous name by the way. So there is nothing you can do with this. Thus… Parnia didn’t catch any visual perception – ah well, it took scientists to search for live latimeria fish somewhat 60 years… years of persistence and research, he may never get one catch on visual, it will work somewhat against “self” is separate entity, but it will never prove this is not the case, it will be slowly building up and at some point results in generalized understanding either conciseness or NDE altogether. Nothing magical can be presented on Monday that will flip the whole deal. I am confident, but sure it is very interesting and soooo fascinating. The fact there is cortical activity that can be registered leaving the door open for natural explanation of NDE or TED… lets assume this is the case, so then why light? why pleasure? why life-review? why relatives? why the heck it is pretty much the same for everybody?


  11. bippy123 on said:

    Oleg what do you make of ndes in people born blind ?
    How do you put a physiological explanation to these types of ndes ?


    • I don’t l make any. I am on the fence, neither skeptical nor advocate. I think phenomena is real, what is behind it – different story, among all researchers – Parnia is the most significant, he figured to go not after NDE but after consciousness. And he is careful, scientific and naturalistic enough not to propose really weird “stuff” like “non-local conciseness”, or just bluntly extend conciseness into the “different dimensions”…

      I cannot make anything even out of 😆 “trivial” things like tunnel, forget blind people visual perception, or life review with humanistic self-judgment… I have no clue frankly. And no one does.

      Yet, this is not the only unexplainable phenomena in this universe, there are quite more, for example – how life started, no one really knows and no mechanism is attribute to life-starter, or fine-tuning, or physical state in principal.

      NDE just happened to be close to us and due to matter of fact it is basically death experience and everyone is naturally afraid of dying, so then this is drawing attention, but this is not the only crazy thing out there.

      I can only repeat myself, until there is commonly regarded theory or explanation how the heck physic and chemistry give a rise to subjective experience there will no be any reliable model of NDE. Like seriously, we don’t know what thought is, how would we understand what is happening when we are dying, and what is dying?

      I got way to wordy, but basically I don’t believe we gonna explain it, we are dealing with “side-effects” of completely unexplainable process (raise of consciousness in biological organisms), none of those principals are explained in its entirety: what is life, how it started, what is conciseness, how it started and etc, but everyone excited to “finally” understand NDE, so good luck to us 🙂


      • bippy123 on said:

        Oleg , do you happen to know if there is any scientific research on whether people who are born blind experience visual imagery in their dreams or not ???

        Have you looked into it ?


      • Look, by no means I am authority on the topic. I have seen quite a few “researches” on NDE, in some, blind people vision perception has been discussed. I don’t have much trust to any of those researches from strict scientific point of view, plus there is no much explanation as usual. I do classify though Sam Parnia’s study is the most significant and following particularly scientific “regulations” so his cases are not anecdotal, he makes real science out of it but in the same time he is not studying NDE directly. There are lots of reference to blind people NDE and how and what they see, as I said it is easy to find those 7-10 names in the field who was leaving landmarks last 3 decades, but let me ask why did you ask me? You feel I don’t know something that others do? Or vice versa 😂 , know something that others don’t – let me assure you this is not the case, very ordinary person!


      • Oleg, about the issue of consciousness, no purely mechanistic explanation will ever work. How life began can be in principle explained mechanistically, I think they are trying to find a path for how simple organic molecules can “evolve” to proteins and to the first cell, basically natural selection on molecules. Consciousness is in a different realm from how life began, it is completely intractable by current mechanistic means. I dont see how understanding what is consciousness is required to explain NDEs, whether explaining how they are real or how they are just hallucinations. If someone can consistently produce full blown coherent meaningful NDEs in many people by various drugs, that would prove they are hallucinations, no need to explain consciousness. Dying is just a loss of organisation, what’s happening to a person’s conscious experiences while dying can be found through studies like Parnia’s, again no need to understand what consciousness is. The only time where consciousness may need to be explained is if Parnia got hits and people are wondering how on earth consciousness can exist after death, but the statement “consciousness exist after death” doesn’t require an explanation of what consciousness is. I think Galen Strawson made a very good point about consciousness, it’s not the mystery, [i]matter[/i] is the real mystery, the hard problem of matter is ignore by everyone for some reason

        Also to bippy123, I shouldnt be hijacking this since it’s directed towards oleg, but i’d like to add that a problem with congenitally blind NDErs is they dont know what it feels like to “see”, their descriptions of sight during NDEs may not have the same meaning as normal NDErs. However if a person had sight but lost it some time after childhood, and still reported accurate visual perceptions, then i’d be impressed, i dont know such a case.


      • Chad, I quite disagree on many levels. Like yes, you can give people anesthesia without clear understanding how it works but there will by cracks like NDE puzzling us all.
        Btw how life started is no less mystery, most of it is unexplained, and how conciseness got developed through natural selection equal mystery (if this is such an advantage why only human got it) and so on and on. Bunch of mysteries. I don’t propose any answers.

        Yet, without understanding of mechanics (if such exists) in principle what is conciseness, it is impossible to explain entirely what is NDE and questions around it. This is also the reason why I don’t think any findings of cortical activity would lead to natural explanations, it actually vice versa. If you can have portion of people have such an activity with significantly low oxygenating of brain, how this activity result in structured thoughts process and again what it has to do with light, tunnels, and what your deceased relatives are doing there? So then if normal thoughts (memories etc) possible with that level of oxygen it rather proof its low dependency on each other. I am not even bringing up clearness of thoughts reported and many more… for example if it gets you to thinking, like even in 10% cases there would have been correlating amount of reports on stem reflexes during CA, I don’t think it is there. So again findings of brain waves can lead to interesting science around CA but I cannot see how it will resolve NDE.

        So basically it certainly will feed speculations from both sides – skeptics and proponents but it explains nothing.


      • I dont want to comment on the origin of life, i know very little and tbh not that interested in it.

        “if this is such an advantage why only human got it”

        I’m pretty sure (and even most neuroscientists too) higher animals have consciousness.

        “and how conciseness got developed through natural selection”

        Consciousness is not a biological function. Your statement assumes a certain configuration of physical systems gives rise to consciousness, this is exactly what the intractable hard problem is. Maybe you mean how the human mind evolved, which is a behavioral property of physical systems (i.e. the brain). Consciousness and mind are not the same thing.

        “Yet, without understanding of mechanics (if such exists) in principle what is conciseness, it is impossible to explain entirely what is NDE and questions around it.”

        I’ve have said this many times, no mechanistic account of physical systems will ever explain consciousness. I took your statement ” explain entirely what is NDE and questions around it” to mean prove whether NDEs are real or not, but if you want a deep philosophical explanation of why they occur (in case they are hallucinations), that’s the same as asking why we get sad when someone close dies or why we feel anxiety meeting new people, it’s part of human mind our behavioral dispositions, a proper list of the neural correlates of consciousness and brain simulation at the cellular level will let us see the physical causation for these conscious experiences. Or if you mean what really happens to consciousness after death (in case they are real), yes a proper understanding of consciousness and its relationship to the brain is required. I’m sorry if this isn’t what you meant, i cant quite understand your statement here

        “This is also the reason why I don’t think any findings of cortical activity would lead to natural explanations”

        I never said it did. I said natural explanations will work if someone can induce classic coherent hyper lucid NDEs with drugs. But it does give pause to proponents.


  12. This was exactly what i was worried about. Some time ago i read about Woerlee’s “cardiac massage”, i already knew he was a pseudoskeptic so just laughed at him. But after seeing that rare case of waking consciousness during CPR, and now this, cardiac massage is seriously starting to haunt me.

    Maybe the 40% awareness (excluding the 2 OBEs) in AWARE 1 is due to this, and NDEs/OBEs are totally different since they are hyper lucid. Just like with OBEs, some are real some are not (ive had plenty of obes during rem intrusion, objects look extremely fuzzy up close, cannot see words). So with consciousness during CA, most are due to high enough oxygen delivery and are fragmented/fuzzy, hopefully the few hyper lucid coherent ones are real.

    Oleg, about “neuroscientist who seriously was explaining tunnel and light in NDE by some vision through fixated pupils”, unfortunately these “neuroscientists” look at things from their POV and publish it as law. I know what tunnel vision from lack of oxygen is like, peripheral vision becomes black and there are many sparks on the black background, no tunnel with visible walls ever. Ever wonder why psychologists fail so hard at treating depression, and the patients get so angry for being misunderstood? These “scientists” do some weak **** experiment on free will (libet’s experiment) with 60% accuracy, and then go on to announce the new law free will doesn’t exist and anyone who believes free will is living in the medieval era. They didn’t even think about behavioral dispositions/impulses and that free will is really about counterfactual definiteness? And 60%… by that standards telepathy is already proven. Dont even get me started on these morons. Who was the neuroscientist btw?


  13. Michael Duggan on said:

    These findings are clearly moving into the sceptic’s territory, it has to be said.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are moving into the sceptics territory, but they may end up answering the sceptics questions. As I said, if the 4 NDE-like cases had sRO2 > 30 % then it will provide evidence for the sceptic argument, but if their sRO2 is <30% then these recollections were not the result of physical brain activity, and the sceptics argument is proven false. At this stage all we know is that CPR does improve oxygen levels in the brain, in some cases, to an extent that conscious activity is possible. Crucially we don’t know if that correlates with the NDE-like experience, or the case where the subject heard the noise from the headphones (the non-NDE case of conscious recollection).


      • Everyone with brain activity had rSO2 > 30 %. However the study says: MVA/absence of activity was observed throughout CPR time and across all rSO2 ranges. So maybe there where also people with no brain activity who had rSO2 >30 %.


      • Everyone with brain activity had sRO2 >30%, however the study says:

        MVA/absence of activity was observed throughout CPR time and across all rSO2 ranges.

        So maybe not everyone with a sRO2 >30% had brain activity.


  14. Eduardo on said:

    Thinking about the ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation), by logic and common sense, should not occur abruptly during resuscitation but gradually. It makes no sense to think that you can pass in the EEG from a flat line to a normally active cortex in an instant. Parnía describes 13 different rhythms of brain activity … We know this now because in the AWARE II portable electroencephalography equipment is being used ….
    On the other hand Parnia thinks that the brain damage and toxic tsunami that arises from the abrupt lack of oxygen (flood of calcium in the cells, etc.) as a result of a cardiac arrest can also be prolonged during resuscitation, which means that It is surprising that it can be partly reflected in electroencephalography. And maybe the portable EEG is reflecting that too.
    But yes, it will lead to skeptics speak.


  15. Maybe we should stop worrying about the sceptics and focus on just our rigorous standards. The big probably does meet them.


  16. @Chad

    “ How life began can be in principle explained mechanistically, I think they are trying to find a path for how simple organic molecules can “evolve” to proteins and to the first cell, basically natural selection on molecules.”

    You could not be more wrong. You need to read my book on this exact topic. My background is that my Ph.D. was in organic chemistry (making drug candidates for HIV, HCV and HBV). I worked with nucleotides and amino acids. I have spent at least as much time pondering on and researching into the problem of the origin of life as I have the nature of NDEs, and I can say with 100% confidence that there is zero evidence supporting the belief that life could have appeared through an undirected natural process, lots of evidence against the possibility of it happening, and some evidence to support intelligent initiation. It’s all in my book:

    DNA: The Elephant in the Lab – the truth about the origin of life available at most on line retailers in paperback or ebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. And for those of you who are confused…who is Orson Wedgwood? That is my real name. Ben Williams is the protagonist in my first novel (nearly sold 10,000 copies!) Deadly Medicine, which also features a life changing NDE. Might as well plug that while I’m at it!

    In all seriousness I would love it if just a small percentage of the thousands who visit this blog regularly bought one or both of these (very reasonably priced) books. I deliberately don’t have ads here as I want it to be about NDEs and nothing else. Many who have read either of these books have been very positive in their feedback. On the other hand the book on the front page of this blog, Aware of Aware, is an absolute stinker (DO NOT BUY IT). I am in the process of completing a much better book on the topic.

    Again available internationally at most on-line books stores as a paperback or stupidly cheap ebook.


  18. @ Chad. “ I dont want to comment on the origin of life, i know very little and tbh not that interested in it.”

    But you did comment on it, and for me that is like a red rag to a raging bull as it something I do know a lot about and am very interested in since it is an area on which I have a considerable expertise in and points, with the biggest fattest scientific finger imaginable, towards an intelligent source. Don’t dip your toe in the water if you are afraid of being burnt!

    Just to add…I really appreciate your contributions Chad…really do, you are our resident smart and civil sceptic, and we need that.


    • bippy123 on said:

      Ben what do you think of Michael behe’s brand of theistic evolution/intelligent design view ? He believes in natural selection and directed mutation .

      I really like his articles on chloroquine resistance in malaria .


      • I am agnostic on intelligent design, which is Michael Behe’s hypothesis. I focus on the origin of life, which is pre-Darwinian evolution, and defies materialist explanation.


    • Actually there was some recent research I need to follow up on is that th genome has a lot of evolutionary potential. It seems more neo Lamarkian than Darwinian.
      As to origin Orson has focused on origin of the information. I focused on the fusion of information to energy the metabolism. ……we could really never figure that one out.


    • Yea after reading your reply i felt very embarrassed. I watch some videos on materialist explanations of origin of life and read some wikipedia articles, i hate to be that type who talks about something he isn’t well versed in.

      I appreciate your comment but i dont think im a civil person, tim can confirm that. I’m a skeptic sure, but obviously i REALLY want ndes to be real unlike most “skeptics”. Probably a better word is paranoid proponent.


  19. And by the way, look up Wedgwood-Darwin. I have a bit of heritage on this topic!


  20. Evolution can reconfigure gene networks to deal with Environmental Stress
    Molecular Biology and Evolution.

    Not big on Behe. It’s just old God of gaps which are getting filled by well the above. Note epigenetic mechanisms. That was taboo 20 years ago. Those of us who thought it has to be a factor in rapid evolution were nuts ….then.


    • I talk about ID, Michael Behe’s ideas in my book, and like you I regard it as an advanced form of “God of the Gaps”. However, the one idea that he expounds that I apply in my book (did I mention I wrote a book on this topic 🙂 ) is that evolution has no intent. It relies completely on a mutations being sufficiently “advantaged” to outperform competitors to thrive. This is central to Darwinian evolution, whether it be applied to the traditional context of biological systems or chemical systems. Ultimately, this is where “chemical evolution” falls apart.


  21. Also Darwinism tells on magic that the mutation matches the environment! The paper above shows the organism has a meaningful adaptation to the environment in rapid historic time. Were we to go with Popperian falsifiable we were sa y neo Darwinism is disproved. Net no one does….


  22. It sort of why I am saying we are being too tough on ourselves the Parnia can club.
    I dare you to find many studies that are as thorough as the audio hit.


  23. This is a German veridical out of body (therefore of a high standard –think BMW
    Volkswagon– very reliable–just kidding 😉 experience during surgery under general anaesthesia (bone marrow replacement surgery most likely) for leukaemia.

    If he is telling the truth, and I have no reason to doubt that he isn’t (although of course it is possible ) how can alpha waves in the brain explain it?

    Let’s remember and keep in mind the phenomenon we are dealing with and have been finding consistently over the years.

    And lest anyone think I am (again) trying to ram this down people’s throats, please feel free to ignore it.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I think that is why Parnia wants to study these kind of surgical situations.


    • @David, I agree. And the additional hypothermic cooling, (no brainwaves guaranteed/standstill) protocol of the cool study, will hopefully take it to a new level.


      • What will be interesting about the COOL II study is whether all the core elements of the NDE are retained, since they aren’t “dead”. Will they have the life review?


      • bippy123 on said:

        Ben why do you say that under cool 2 the patients won’t be dead ?? Isn’t a non functioning brain with flat eeg basically clinical death and isn’t clinical death really death ?


      • Bippy…great question, and of a philosophical nature, since they are in a medically controlled state with a very high likelihood of survival therefore death is an unlikely outcome. If NDEs are authentic, then surely the experience they have would reflect this state. I suppose you could argue that people who have regular NDEs, will be be coming back and that “the other side” should know this too, so there is no difference. But I think of the fact that most child NDEs do not have a life review, which is very interesting from a philosophical perspective considering they will have most of the other core elements.


      • Ben said >What will be interesting about the COOL II study is whether all the core elements of the NDE are retained, since they aren’t “dead”. Will they have the life review?

        With hypothermic cooling, they are dead (according to the experts). It’s just that it’s reversible and yes the NDE seems to be the same. There is no metabolic activity, heart beat, circulation, no blood in the brain, no brainwaves of course. (apparently).
        There are lots of articles about this online but my computer is playing up at the moment. I’ll see if I can find a quote.


      • Ben said >What will be interesting about the COOL II study is whether all the core elements of the NDE are retained, since they aren’t “dead”. Will they have the life review?

        Here is the article

        “The patients undergo induced hypothermia. Their body is cooled from its normal temperature of 37C (98.6F) to just 18C (64.4F).

        The patient is indistinguishable from someone who is actually dead.”


      • Tim…Pam Reynolds didn’t have a life review, I’m wondering if there any cases like this where a life review did occur.


  25. I will be asleep at the time Parnia does his livestream. Will it be available publicly afterwards or only available during livestream?


    • Don’t know. I will make sure to capture as much detail as possible before I fall asleep.


    • Ben said > Pam Reynolds didn’t have a life review, I’m wondering if there any cases like this where a life review did occur.

      That’s right, Ben, she didn’t report a life review. But all the rest of the elements were there in abundance, though. She didn’t of course meet the being of light, which often (reportedly) results in a life review.

      Personally, I don’t regard the absence of any particular (one) element such as the life review as being significant to make a distinction from other NDE’s. Do you have some specific reason in mind ?

      Pam Reynolds WAS shown her lineage which I thought was interesting. I think Dr Rajiv Parti had some degree of cooling during his life saving surgery (might be wrong can’t remember exactly) and he had an extensive NDE with a life review or so he said.


  26. It will be late if you are in UK. Weird thing happened . My wholehearted thinking I was in Jouy le Moutier France not the US Midwest. Well we kept it there since we usually her from the German relatives daily then we know the time
    Take a nap Orson we need your analysis.


  27. Just a note to new posters. I approve most comments (it may take a few hours or days depending on how busy I am), then once you have been approved once, provided you don’t post video etc you won’t need approval again. However comments like “that it’s then proves NDEs aren’t real” are not only not very informative, they do not reflect the discussion that has taken place and will not be approved. Sceptics are welcome, but not if their posts aren’t of value.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. If they start doing stuff like that or personal insults it just shows they have nothing


  29. Still having a hard time understanding why everyone is so arousal about brainwaves during CA. This is not causality in any case and there is enough data supporting structural thoughts while no brain activity is possible in principal. Again just to reflect- without clear understanding physics (chemistry or biology or whatever the heck is there to makes us who we are) of conciseness there cannot be any final conclusions drawn of how (why, where) NDE is happening. The similarity of experience is indicative toward something fundamental (and independent on individuals) behind it. That is all.

    Let’s say there is 100% correlation between those who have enough blood/oxygen and NDE, what does it prove? NDE is not real – it is certainly real for experiencer? NDE is naturalistic? – well you need explain how (why, where) at that level of oxygen that experience is forming, with particular materialistic model, it is clearly impossible unless you explain what is a thought, and how it looks on molecular/atomic/quantum level.

    Let’s say none of NDEr got into group with brainwaves – does it proof that NDE supernatural in principal? Absolutely not. It is so easy to happen that they weren’t registering brainwaves well enough. Just imagine what is happening during CPR, measuring brainwave is nice to have but not must. Then let’s say they were measuring well… still, you need to explain mechanism of NDE experience to proof it’s none naturalistic component, so it is by far so distant from modeling it.

    Bottom line is simple, it is all at best very shy small step toward understanding what it is, and you need to have thousands of cases to get it to statistically valid numbers. And even still after that correlation is not causation, you would have to explain the thing in principal 🙂


    • Medical EEG on the surface of the skin can’t measure anything but the very outer layer of the brain, and nothing deeper. Even then, medical EEG is just measuring the smeared post synaptic potential (the intracellular electrical currents which occur after firing), it is not measuring the firing itself. Medical EEG needs over 1/4 million synchronized firings directly beneath the EEG electrode to get any sort of reading. If the post synaptic Electrical fields are out of phase, they can cancel each other out leaving you with no readings. Even if your not picking anything up at your electrode position, an area of the brain just mm away can be active.

      Medical EEG is really not very good for these sorts of scientific studies, much better is invasive iEEG, where the electrodes are placed directly into the brain itself. Obviously that is out of the question in ER, unless somebody who already has electrodes implanted in their brain goes into cardiac arrest.

      Borjigin’s rodent study is the gold standard in this area. She used iEEG, very sensitive state of the art scientific measuring equipment, and shielded the rodents in a faraday cage. Also she did not bother to conduct CPR on the rodent, or try to revive the rodents in any way, she just left them to die naturally.

      She found that a few seconds into cardiac arrest, the rodents iEEG which was losing power as it went haywire, spontaneously re-synchronized itself to *strongly* resemble the EEG we see in wakeful primates and humans when they are undertaking a visual task.

      Now that it simply bizarre… why should the rodent’s haywire EEG measurements whilst it is dying, spontaneously change later when it’s EEG is at much lower power, to resemble the EEG of the human researcher undertaking the experiment?

      I still believe that Borjigin’s gold standard scientific study is the best clue we have to what may potentially be going on.


      • Yes, I understand – and generally and no easy way to make a straight connection between electrical activity – particular thought/experience and in particular you cannot explain experience by neurological activity, it says nothing about reality of that experience.

        It is interesting Sam Parnia clearly stating that but massive amount of NDE proponents or so called skeptics expecting “discoveries” – most of crowd is simply misunderstanding that those are two branches of research but in between there is very little to explain one thing through another. Remarkable!


  30. I agree with your points Oleg but if you have been dealing with the sceptics they really can’t say much about an audio hit with no brain activity at all.


  31. The livestream is working!


  32. Who the hell even proved that brain activity creates the mind? When someone proves first that the material (electricity) can transform into the immaterial (ideas, perceptions, etc), then materialists can claim that brain activity creates NDEs.


  33. Zayed on said:

    In his talk here
    Titled (Dr. Sam Parnia explores the concept of reversing death and what happens when we die.)

    At 49min:34sec he was talking about AWARE II study and he said that only 10% of people (who have clinically died) are having brain activity (seizures) during their cardiac arrest while 80% of them had absence of electroactivity so if anyone of them was indeed conscious that will support previous studies as you have said these findings will be irrelevant.


  34. David on said:

    Who proved that the mind is a byproduct of brain activity in the first place? No one did.

    and indeed there are now many books published by academic foundations such as Thomas Nagel (Mind and Cosmos) (Oxford University Press OUP), John Foster (The Immaterial Self) (Taylor & Francis), Richard Swinburne (Mind, Brain and Free Will) (OUP), Howard Robinson (Matter and Sense: A Critique of Contemporary Materialism) (Cambridge University Press CUP), The Waning Of Materialism (OUP), After Physicalism (Notre Dame University Press), Engines of the Soul (CUP), The Evolution of the Soul (OUP), From the Knowledge Arguments to Mental Substance (CUP), The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism (Wiley), Knowledge, Thought, and the Case for Dualism (CUP), etc all of which argue that Materialism cannot explain the Mind, indeed I don’t need NDEs to prove that the mind is not a byproduct of brain activity, Many Convincing Rational Philosophical and Logical Arguments did so.

    Regarding Sam Parnia work, I think he still supports the idea that consciousness is not a product of brain activity, In 30 September 2019 he said:

    “The fact that people seem to have full consciousness, with lucid well-structured thought processes and memory formation from a time when their brains are highly dysfunctional or even nonfunctional is perplexing and paradoxical.

    I do agree that this raises the possibility that the entity we call the mind or consciousness may not be produced by the brain. It’s certainly possible that maybe there’s another layer of reality that we haven’t yet discovered that’s essentially beyond what we know of the brain, and which determines our reality.

    So, I believe it is possible for consciousness to be an as of yet undiscovered scientific entity that may not necessarily be produced by synaptic activity in the brain”.

    And the abstract was published 11 November 2019, of course, He won’t change his mind in a month (keeping in mind that this data could not have been gathered in a month or so, and surely has been analyzed at least for one year).


    • Hi David,
      Apologies for the delay in approval. Anything with links or videos goes to a default position of needing approval. I have been buying a new house the past week, so been AWOL as far as the blog is concerned. I agree with everything you have said. Parnia has been very consistent about his position on this.


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