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Science Attempts To Explain Heaven

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-gene-codes-for-the-harps dept.

Medicine 692

Hugh Pickens writes "Lisa Miller writes in Newsweek about the thesis that heaven is not a real place, or even a process or a supernatural event, but rather something that happens in your brain as you die. The thesis is based, in part, on a growing body of research around near-death experience. According to a 2000 article by Bruce Greyson in The Lancet, between 9 and 18 percent of people who have been demonstrably near death report having had an NDE. Surveys of NDE accounts show great similarities in the details, describing: a tunnel, a light, a gate or a door, a sense of being out of the body, meeting people they know or have heard about, finding themselves in the presence of God, and then returning, changed. Scientists have theorized that NDEs occur as a kind of physiological self-defense mechanism when, in order to guard against damage during trauma, the brain releases protective chemicals that also happen to trigger intense hallucinations. This theory has gained traction after scientists realized that virtually all the features of an NDE can be reproduced with a stiff dose of ketamine, a short-acting, hallucinogenic, dissociative anesthetic. 'I came out into a golden Light. I rose into the Light and found myself having an unspoken interchange with the Light, which I believed to be God,' wrote one user of his experience under ketamine. 'Dante said it better,' writes Miller, 'but the vision is astonishingly the same.'"

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Science... in my slashdot? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722562)

Get it off... get it off.

Everything I needed to know about science I learned from Glenn Beck.

IT'S A WORLD GUBMINT CONSPIRACY!

finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722566)

that explains it... finally...

but seriously, wasnt this exact theory discussed a few years back... I mean im all for believing it anything to shut up the extremest religionists, glad there is more "proof" this time around however

Re:finally... (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722798)

Didn't anyone tell them not to explain the joke?

Re:finally... (5, Insightful)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722878)

Well , i am skeptical towards this "proof" .

It just proves that there is a chemical reactions when you die , which explains the tunnels of light you see when you have a near death experience.
In other words , it explains that this experience itself, is not really heaven , but just a physical reaction . It doesn't say anything about heaven itself.

Re:finally... (-1, Offtopic)

lightspeedius (263290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722936)

Mod up parent.

Re:finally... (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722998)

Seriously, stop doing that. Want GPs post to get modded up? Don't post in this discussion (Oh dear! Too late now) and hope you get modpoints in the next few days. Every "Mod up parent" post I see when I have modpoints is one point lost to '-1 Offtopic'.

A '-1 whining about modding up or down' moderation would come in handy.

Re:finally... (4, Interesting)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722978)

If NDE's can be explained by chemical reactions, that means there's no evidence for heaven right? And even if we assume heaven exists, there is no longer any reason to believe we actually go there when we die (since obviously you can't be experiencing a NDE and be in heaven at the same time, since the NDE is all in you brains).

Surely this research says something about heaven: it tells us that an NDE is not part of heaven (when previously some people believed it was).

wow (1)

micronix1 (590179) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722568)

who knew all that drug use could bring a person closer to fakegod?

Hmm (2, Interesting)

trifish (826353) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722570)

How did they explain the out-of-body visions experienced by people who were born blind (and then actually saw things when their heart stopped beating)?

Re:Hmm (0, Troll)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722580)

Hush now. THIS IS SCIENCE.

Re:Hmm (0, Troll)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722618)

I had a weird experience when my arm was set but that was just the Ketamine.

Re:Hmm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722638)

If you ever have to say hush to a legitimate question, it isn't science. You seem to think science is like religion.

Science = religion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722686)

Science is religion, today people don't believe in religion anymore, they believe in science...

Religion tries to explain everything from above. Science tries to explain everything like a couple of blind people touching an elephant. Sometimes they will be close to the truth sometimes they are completely off.

The problem with science is that they are missing the moral factor, allowing them to do everything that only hurts us, or destroys our world. They are of course doing some good things too, but the question is if those good things outreach the bad things. Looking at our earth, I would say no.

Taking away our believes, in a better life afterwards, makes people lose hope for this live, losing the moral, making humankind do all kind of bad things, making live for themselves or for others unlivable.

People are living worse everyday, no moral anymore, lots of sickness, more struggles, no hope, and still science believes they are god...

Re:Science = religion (4, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722704)

Taking away our believes, in a better life afterwards, makes people lose hope for this live, losing the moral, making humankind do all kind of bad things, making live for themselves or for others unlivable.

It also takes away the power of people like the Vatican screwing over the poor for larger cathedrals, and more power of more people. Ever wondered what makes it right for a poor family in Phillipines giving their last Pesos to the church to bury a family member, whilst the Pope sits in a palace that dwarfs any king's palace. Now that's morals for you.

Re:Science = religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722718)

I do not approve of most religion, but I do approve of believing in something else.... Which is not religion... I just say if you use morality, you can make live with science very nice for people. But they current science doesn't do that.

Religion is something made by humans, based on something above humans that happened...

Re:Science = religion (4, Insightful)

dhalgren (34798) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722872)

Science and morality are not related. Neither are religion and morality, although those with a vested interest in religion try to make it appear so.

Re:Science = religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722890)

Agree that it's made by humans, just doubt somehow that it's the result of anything above humans that happens. We are very intelligent social beings, who interact in complex ways and always look for explanations trying to make sense out of things, so that we can integrate it in our already existing picture of the world and feel comfortable with it. I think morals and values are also just a product of some social and cultural evolution that have proved to be successful memes and survived. Nevertheless nothing is static.
Mankind advances on the scientific and technological level, which brings changes in society and culture and this also means changing morals, values, beliefs. That was my rational scientific self speaking ...

I mentally live in two worlds, the rational scientific one and the emotional spiritual one. I've found out for myself that I need/want to believe in certain things that lie beyond the scientific realm to feel well and enjoy life and that it would destroy the purpose of the beliefs that I just need to feel well in this world, if I started to tear them apart with science. So my spiritual self and my scientific self co-exist somehow and my scientific-self sees the need for my spiritual self and respects it.

Re:Science = religion (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722972)

It also takes away the power of people like the Vatican screwing over the poor for larger cathedrals, and more power of more people.

You don't need to disprove life after death to do that, and if you did (which these experiments did not) they would always find another hole to hide in.

Re:Science = religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722714)

You're posting on /., using a computer, almost certainly in a house that's heated and has lighting. All of those things are science, not religion. Many people can't live without religion, but we as a culture can't live without science. You'd be dead without science (Or rather, would never have been born. Science isn't just test-tubes and Petri dishes, even the thought that went into building that cross Christ was crucified on was made by science). The two don't have to be enemies.

Re:Science = religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722750)

Looking at science, if science was good to humans, ms windows wasn't such a pain to use...

We are living in a culture, were we can't live without science, yes you are right, but if you look where it is heading. At the moment it isn't heading in the nice star trek direction... It is more heading in direction of big calamities, terrorism (without science no boms), diseases, war....

Why wouldn't I have been born without science ??? People have been born for thousands of years without science... Science says we come from apes ? There is even proof we have been walking strait up for millions of years, and still science says we come from apes.

so you say science killed Christ, I rather lived without science then...

And yes I am using a computer, and use it for work... If there wasn't one, we would live different, doing other stuff. You can't jump from one situation in the other, people are not used to it...

The same when you grow up in a big town, you probably don't want to live some where without people, and the same way around.

This is a discussion were we can go on for ages, you believe your stuff, I believe mine.

I'm not Christian, Muslim, or the likes....

I just think science makes our lives more complex and slowly destroys our surroundings... Because money is involved, and moral isn't looked at...

Re:Science = religion (4, Insightful)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722784)

The problem with science is that they are missing the moral factor

That's no more a problem with science than it is a problem with lollipops, stars, and waterfalls.

And actually, I find that tying ethics with religion is deeply problematic. It leads to failing to question moral teachings brought about by a religion which might in some cases be bad, very bad. You need to examine and think critically and philosophically abour morals and ethics, for yours to actually be moral and ethical.

allowing them to do everything that only hurts us, or destroys our world...Taking away our believes, in a better life afterwards, makes people lose hope for this live, losing the moral, making humankind do all kind of bad things, making live for themselves or for others unlivable.

The dominant religions on this planet teach that there will be a world-ending apocalypse but the faithful will be whisked away to a better place. *That* allows people to destroy our world. Lacking belief in an afterlife makes this world far more precious; a thing that must be protected because there is, as yet, nowhere else for us to go.

I would astonished to hear that religious non-scientific people polluted more than scientific non-religious people; I know of absolutely no evidence of this. This of course excludes the category of scientific-religious and non-scientific-non-religious, which your post also seems to exclude.

This brings me back to your original statement:

Science is religion, today people don't believe in religion anymore, they believe in science...

I'd like you to define "science", because it's not the standard definition. Strictly speaking, if you don't believe in science, you're an extreme moron. Religion is a set of unproven beliefs taken on faith, science is a process that explicitly excludes faith. Science works, that's how we figured out how to make computers, and refrigerators, and so on. It's up to you to figure out if the process of science has lead to conclusions that contradict your religion. I think it does, but you're not necessarily an extreme moron if you disagree.

I'm pretty sure you're confusing science with some set of conclusions from some scientists, but I'm not going to set up straw arguments, I need you to tell me.

People are living worse everyday, no moral anymore, lots of sickness, more struggles, no hope, and still science believes they are god...

People are living better today than they ever have in the history of the Universe, "no moral anymore" is a context-free statement but I can tell you that at least in the US and Canada youth violence is at an all-time low (and, as they say, children are our future), disease is similarly at record low levels for the past several decades, "more struggles" is again ill-defined (there are more people alive than there used to be, so I don't doubt we have more absolute struggles), there's a whole tonne of hope all over the place, and "still science believes they are god" doesn't mean anything at all and is frankly confusing.

Re:Science = religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31723000)

Strictly speaking, if you don't believe in science, you're an extreme moron.

Sorry, I beg to differ.
If you understand science you should have an habit of questioning everything, including science and your own ideas.

If you believe in it, it's not science anymore.

Re:Science = religion (2, Informative)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722804)

With regards to content, this may as well be a troll, but it reads serious. I'll bite.

Religion tries to explain everything from above. Science tries to explain everything like a couple of blind people touching an elephant. Sometimes they will be close to the truth sometimes they are completely off.

1. Science and religion are trying to explain completely different things (religion tackles moral issues, science tackles the workings of reality). 2. Hence, if I want to know what the elephant looks like, I'll listen to the blind guys. If I want to know where the elephant came from, I'll listen to that other blind guy who goes to the zoo every Sunday.

The problem with science is that they are missing the moral factor, allowing them to do everything that only hurts us, or destroys our world. They are of course doing some good things too, but the question is if those good things outreach the bad things. Looking at our earth, I would say no.

Science does things. It is up to the consciences of the user of science and observer whether science is used for, and whether that use is, good or bad.

Taking away our believes, in a better life afterwards, makes people lose hope for this live, losing the moral, making humankind do all kind of bad things, making live for themselves or for others unlivable.

You're saying that unless there's the fear of consequences in the afterlife, people won't bother doing good in this life. On the contrary: all the rules of law in human history make doing good for your fellow man profitable now.

People are living worse everyday, no moral anymore, lots of sickness, more struggles, no hope, and still science believes they are god...

I don't know whether this is true or false (only way to know the state of the world is via the media, and the media is useless), but if science is the cause, it's only accelerating the inevitable.

Re:Science = religion (5, Interesting)

Ruke (857276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722810)

Science makes no claims towards what it is not. Science comes with error bars. Science tells us, "This is exactly how wrong I am." Science takes your pet theory, that really elegant one that you WANT to believe is Truth, and tells you, no, there's no strong correlation. That is the morality of science. When you do an experiment, and determine that your hypothesis is unsupported, you pick a different hypothesis, not a different experiment.

Yes, sometimes scientists seem like they are stumbling about in the dark. They might pick the wrong conclusion. But science is based around revisiting prior assumptions and refining them as you gather more data. What religion has such a mechanism built in? What religion describes how to amend its holy books in the event that they are demonstrated incorrect?

You're right that science takes away beliefs. But it can only harm false beliefs. How could you use science to demonstrate something incorrect? That is the strength of explaining everything from the ground up. There is a strong foundation, not based on strength of faith, but rather on a series of repeatable experiments. If you take issue with how an experiment was done, do it yourself. If you get different results, publish them. The scientific community thrives on that. If you get the same results, know that the truth of the matter has nothing to do with how willing you are to stomach it.

The one thing I will grant you is that the media does a very poor job of representing the scientific process. These scientists did not prove that there is no heaven; they did not set out to, and their experiment is not set up in a way to demonstrate that fact one way or another. What they can demonstrate is that a chemical released by the brain under extreme duress can produce strong hallucinations accompanied by a feeling of the numinous. That's not terribly exciting in and of itself, so the press fancies it up, makes the bold claims that science cannot, and releases it in comprehensible chunks to the public.They have a difficult job, trying to represent incredibly technical work to a public without the background to understand it, and often having to make it entertaining as well. Much is lost in the translation.

Re:Science = religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722848)

Well basically, religion is the first generation of science. Like human behavior we mostly fear and oppose change. For each generation, a small percentage will expand on the knowledge of the past generation and this is the continual progress of science. Sure the definition of science would differ but don't forget that the definition itself was arrived at through the very same progress.

Morals are bullshit and a delusion. There is no such thing as good or bad. Something inherently good for you is always bad for someone else (You eat an apple you deny someone else that apple). If you remove the subjective view, it doesn't bloody matter (this is something not many can do).

Over the past millions of years man has killed each other over food and partners with and without any beliefs just like any other animal. The most violent episodes in our history are contributed to religious cults focused on the afterlife...

Currently, the stage in human development is better than ever before... Better in your sense of moral consciousness, yet we are still human. We cannot, ever, reach any level of godliness or eternal peace. We can achieve something close, like immortality, through science. A stage where we are aware that nothing makes a damn difference and simply are able to enjoy our lives with no regrets or 'morals'... if this turns on a red flag in your head, I'm spot on.

Brain matter is highly plastic (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722614)

Blind people still "see." Brain pathways have simply been remapped so that the "vision" parts of the brain are now associated with other senses.

If you blindfold yourself, and navigate the world by touch, you will still instinctively build a "picture" of the world around you. The spatial cognitive portions of your brain that are usually excited by vision, will come to be associated with touch, or other senses. After years, your neural pathways will remap themselves.

In people who are born blind, those spatial picture generating portions of their brain are still functional, but more closely attuned to nonvisual senses. So they can still "see" in that they generate a spatial impression of the world around them.

They've done experiments with artificial vision systems based on the receptors in your tongue, remapping and training the brain to "see" via your tongue's tactile receptors rather than your eyes.

Re:Brain matter is highly plastic (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722758)

Experiments? Try commercial technology. http://vision.wicab.com/technology/ [vision.wicab.com]

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722622)

you dont understand the concept of hallucinating do you?

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722634)

Since blindess from birth might be caused by mutliple factors, optic nerve or eye abnormalities among them, it's rather safe to say that larger areas of the brain might still experience those effects, don't you think?

Anyway, describing such experiences as plain "seeing" by those people is probably a stretch. Especially considering that in many of them visual cortex does process some information, just not from the eyes; or that supposedly some might experience similar things to when you close and push your eyes (or you'll hit yourself in the head) - but is that really "seeing"?

Re:Hmm (5, Interesting)

buttersnout (832768) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722636)

I'm also curious about people who see hell which none of the articles mention. I've read accounts of people feeling that they move to hell when they die and experience either eternal loneliness or demons eating them, etc. Apparently a small minority of NDEs are negative. None of the articles linked mention negative NDEs. I wonder if hell may be the effect ketamine has on some people just like some drugs have different effects on different minds. Or perhaps a different chemical is produced entirely maybe hell is part of the trauma that occurs if ketamine is not released. I've noticed an apparent similarity between waking and NDE. In both circumstances a small amount of time can seem feel very long. It would be very interesting to learn how a defensive chemical interacts with the activity in the brain that occurs as one is dying and comparing to other psychological phenomena

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722644)

Bad trip is bad.

Re:Hmm (1)

buttersnout (832768) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722680)

But what I find interesting is that the article seems to imply that the effects of ketamine are similar in different individuals: tunnels of light, the presence of god, etc. If that chemical has these specific hallucinations as effects, perhaps there are other factors that cause the negative NDEs such as different chemicals or different neural activity or different brain architectures

Re:Hmm (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722732)

Or simply mental states, expectations. You will agree after all that those do influence so called "subconcious" brain activity, dreams, and so on.

That migth be also part of an explenation why bad trips don't manifest themselves nearly as often on ketamine - when given it people are probably more likely to have positive approach, trying hard to convince themselves that everything's cool. Like during a planned surgery (if it's serious you can add "people try to be at peace with themsevles" here) or outright experiment. But in case of "natural" NDE they might have been terrified in a "wrong" way just before it.

That's easy to explain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722670)

It's the k-hole. The easist way to find the k-hole is k + lots of booze .

Re:Hmm (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722674)

[Citation needed]

Re:Hmm (2, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722754)

How did they explain the out-of-body visions experienced by people who were born blind (and then actually saw things when their heart stopped beating)?

Blind people are quite capable of 'seeing' things. A blind persons brain may be more re-wired to take input from the other senses but indeed the visual parts of their brains are still intact.

I have a family member, blind from birth, who believes what she 'sees' in her imagination to be what sight would be like. Indeed she thinks she sees colors in her dreams, and can give a good verbal description of colors and what objects would be that color. Usually quite to the surprise of a sighted person assuming a blind persons world is all black.

You point suggests that the science here can't account for that anecdotal evidence, but anecdotally... blind people see colors on LSD and other halluciogens.

In much the same way being hypnotized once made me realise just how tenuous our grasp on reality is, my personal experiences of hallucinogens (er 100% legal of course) means I dismiss near death experiences out of hand.

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722796)

How did they explain the out-of-body visions experienced by people who were born blind (and then actually saw things when their heart stopped beating)?

They "saw" things? What is "saw"? You mean their eyes were open when their heart stopped beating and they actually responded to visual stimulus? They were shown pictures of the 1933 Yankees and recognized Babe Ruth? What is "saw"?

Am I "seeing" when I dream? Is that heaven I'm seeing? I mean it could be, but last night I had monsters chasing me in my dreams and I hope there are no monsters in heaven or there's been some false advertising going on. The dream I had where I was banging Izabel Goulart, now that might have been heaven. (Go ahead, google Izabel Goulart, I'll wait...Seriously. It's worth it.)

Let's take your question again:

How did they explain the out-of-body visions experienced by people who were born blind (and then actually saw things when their heart stopped beating)?

Perhaps you should write to the researchers who are mentioned in the article above and ask them why their theory doesn't explain every single thing in the world that the superstitions might want to present as evidence for an afterlife?

Please understand, it's possible these researchers were not actually trying to spoil your Easter by disproving the existence of God, OK? So don't get your eternal soul in a twist.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

SadielCuentas (1253300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722814)

How did they explain the out-of-body visions experienced by people who were born blind (and then actually saw things when their heart stopped beating)?

They didn't. They just explained the heaven visions. Not explaining apparent extrasensory perceptions does not invalidate the ketamine thing.

Question (2, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722844)

What I want to know is how do they deal with the inherent bias of materialistic western science (I suggest there is one).

  I'm not saying that Western science is wrong, or invalid (not at all) but that it is inherently materialistic in it's outlook and in the tools it uses to measure things and test them. Is it EVER possible that the methodologies of science (as it now is) could ever validate 'spiritual' experience if it WERE true as a thing in itself, or is there an inherent bias that makes the methods and means of testing such things unfit for purpose: that it would always reduce any spiritual or transcendental experience to a physical, chemical or biological basis (and nothing more)?

Valid question?

Re:Question (1, Flamebait)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722980)

How can one test that which does not exist?

Asking science to study God is like asking it to study Tom Bombadil. It can't. It's FICTION.

Re:Hmm (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722854)

If they have been able to see, same as with everyone else: Imagination and dreams.

If they haven't been able to see: How the fuck can they tell they where seeing in the first place? They don't know how it is? Right? So not really seeing, just imagination and dreams.

Next?

Re:Hmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722908)

Science, man's continuous attempts to justify theory's... God exists. Even Stephen Hawkins accepts there must be some kind of power setting the parameters of everything. Quantum theory, as big and as clever as it sounds, does not explain 'how' quantum mechanics came to exist! You can keep coming up with theories, but at the end of the day, we weren't around when the universe was created, we don't understand it, cannot understand it (love the idea that the universe is expanding, expanding to 'where'???) Our stupid little brains cannot even cure aids. Scientists are like the emperor, and the public are the people. So when the emperor says he's got some new clothes (theories), the people daren't say how dumb they are for fear of being treated like an IDIOT for thinking there IS a God!

Well, there is a God, and He did create 'existance', and it's in your interest to accept Him and be thankful for your life!

Happy Easter!

Re:Hmm (3, Insightful)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722934)

Science isnt about "explaining" things, it is about trying to understand things. Theres a difference.

Damn You, Science! (5, Informative)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722578)

Next you'll be trying to tell us God doesn't exist.

And we all 'evolved from apes'.

And the iPad is a game-changer.

Re:Damn You, Science! (5, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722822)

Next you'll be trying to tell us God doesn't exist.

And we all 'evolved from apes'.

And the iPad is a game-changer.

Only two of those correct.

Re:Damn You, Science! (4, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722996)

Wait, are you one of those wacko scientologists who believes men evolved from clams?

Re:Damn You, Science! (3, Funny)

FakeRichardDawkins (1782636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722852)

Dear Bottles,

I would like to inform you that your insidious yet gross attempt to sell me an IPad has failed.

Regards,

--
Richard

Re:Damn You, Science! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722882)

LOL - I don't care who you are, that shit is funny

Re:Damn You, Science! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722910)

Hate to disappoint, but if God does not exist since we could pinpoint the brain area responsible for it, then rationality does not exist either, nor logic cause we can easily shut down those areas as well. But probably that type of reasoning only applies to religion and the like.

The beauty of science is to hide facts.

Harsh Blue background...white text (1)

nazariuskappertaal (1666797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722582)

http://www.mindspring.com/~scottr/nde/jansen1.html [mindspring.com] , can itself cause a NDE. Geocities is that you?

Re:Harsh Blue background...white text (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722918)

That gives a whole new meaning to the Blue Screen of Death!

ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722584)

my boner just had a near death experience reading that damn article [slashdot.org] about the stupid driver who brained herself on a wall at 100 clicks

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722808)

Dear Douchebag,

I realize you are trying to be somehow cool by using the word "click" as if it were some kind of non-US version of speed. However, "click" is slang for a unit of measure, not a unit of speed.

Nice try at virtually sucking our cocks, though. It is the thought that counts.

Regards,

Everybody

NDE is "near" death (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722586)

This doesn't state anything about what happens when you're dead (probably not much), just what happens when you're on the point of death. It doesn't "explain heaven" at all.

All we've discovered here is what cats have known all along: it's comforting to purr when you're dying.

Re:NDE is "near" death (4, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722668)

This does explain the prevalence of concept though.

It's safe to assume people were experiencing various NDEs for a looong time, especially in more dangerous times - remember they didn't have to survive their injuries for long, just long enough to tell somebody. This even fits as one of the factors why people were so much more fixated on religion in brutal times.

Colour me skeptical (3, Insightful)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722832)

This research is probably accurate in explaining near death experiences, however I think that's as far as it goes. If you study religions, the concept of an afterlife varies quite a bit. In non of them is the "white light that is God" mentioned (to my knowledge). If you look at these near death experiences; all the cases appear in relation to where modern medicine has literally brought the person "back from the brink" (that is to say that they were very near to death indeed by modern standards) Certainly, they were not conscious during the experience. How then could primitive man regale his story when it would have lead to actual death while unconscious? More damning to the idea, though, is simply that these depictions are not represented in any of the religions.

Re:Colour me skeptical (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722906)

What? You supposedly study religions and missed the prevalence of "good light"/etc., reunification with ancestors, a path and border point (remember, they can have differing forms depending on the culture) imagery?...

How then could primitive man regale his story when it would have lead to actual death while unconscious?
Well, religions themself claim that all it takes is one prophet...

Re:Colour me skeptical (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722982)

In some religions they have a concept of hell, but people are not supposed to go to it after they die until some date much further in the future. Someone coming back from the brink and reporting this wouldn't reinforce the story.

hmm.. (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722588)

Now we know what Michael Hutchence was going for.

Re:hmm.. (1)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722896)

He got there in the end ;p

Not just with drugs (3, Informative)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722590)

I remember that Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Paralax books mentioned that religious experiences can be triggered by electrical fields as well, kind of a reverse MRI i think? I'm pretty sure that part was based on actual research.

Hmmm, a quick google search turns up this article on reading such experiences with an MRI [guardian.co.uk] , but i think there was a way to trigger them too.

Practice and prepare yourself for death . . . (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722628)

This theory has gained traction after scientists realized that virtually all the features of an NDE can be reproduced with a stiff dose of ketamine, a short-acting, hallucinogenic, dissociative anesthetic.

. . . by taking stiff doses of ketamine. You don't want to enter such a difficult level as death without enough experience.

Re:Practice and prepare yourself for death . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722658)

i thought dmt was the major drug released during death. ayahuasca sure feels like heaven to me.

Re:Practice and prepare yourself for death . . . (1, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722728)

This theory has gained traction after scientists realized that virtually all the features of an NDE can be reproduced with a stiff dose of ketamine, a short-acting, hallucinogenic, dissociative anesthetic.

. . . by taking stiff doses of ketamine. You don't want to enter such a difficult level as death without enough experience.

Speaking from experience Ketamine may have been isolating the part of my brain which records long term memories from other parts of the brain, so that the recording from that period was largely noise. The normal clocking which gives us a feeling of time passing was missing so I had no real sense of time but time definitely had an arrow. My visual field was filled with surging fields of coloured dots. I heard a roaring in my ears. I don't want to go back there, but I am not typically a drug user, either.

I didn't see anything resembling stereotypical heaven in there. If that is what life after death is like you can count me out. I imagine it is a lot like being paralysed and brain damaged.

And another old saying... (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722630)

...comes back to us: the experiences to be had with certain drug-induced states truly widen the minds. Queue the bitter bunch saying "makes it delusional, you mean. bah."

Just because you can pick a lock... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722640)

...Doesn't mean that there is no key.

Re:Just because you can pick a lock... (1)

Bobby Onions (735795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722664)

thanks for that, aristotle.

Chicken or the egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722646)

Hallucinations are frequently heavily influenced by preconceptions.

There's even a case mentioned that sounds suspiciously similar to experiments made in getting people to accept and elaborate on suggestions made about events that have not transpired.

Life imitates art (2, Informative)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722682)

Connie Willis wrote a novel "Passage" about scientific investigation of NDEs. I rate it as the second best book by the best author I know. (Warning: Willis's books generally fall into the categories of 'comedy' or 'tragedy'. Which do you suppose a book about what you experience when you die is going to be?)

In Passage, the protagonists are following a two pronged strategy of interviewing patients who have had NDEs naturally, and simulating them in volunteers by using a drug, while the volunteer is in a brain scanner.

To say more would stray into spoiler territory, so just go out and buy the book and read it.

(For what it is worth, the book which beats "Passage" is "To Say Nothing Of The Dog", a time-travel Victorian farce.)

Props for trying! (1)

deisama (1745478) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722688)

I can't even explain it Philosophically, let alone with science!

I mean, if life is hard here because God gave us Free Will, but Heaven is Perfect with no pain. Doesn't that mean there's no free will there?
And wouldn't that be way worse than life here? Are you really YOU without the ability to make your own choices?

If he lets us keep our freewill, and only lets people in who won't make things bad, than wouldn't that mean a pleasant personality trumps true acts of good? Would you rather have an asshole cop who saves lives every day, or a guy who makes witty comments and makes everyone laugh?

Re:Props for trying! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722760)

The best recent, IMHO, not well thought out mental masturbation of that kind is the concept that hell is the state of absence of gods (concept that gains traction here and there, from what I see). Of course that makes sense only for those who need to reinforce themselves with the conviction in value of their beliefs.

The rest of us says - great, just what we want! ;p

PS. Adding to what you say (last portion also not well thought out BTW...), early depictions of heaven in Abrahamic religions do involve, basically, loss of individuality. Wasn't very attractive, I guess...

Re:Props for trying! (3, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722870)

I mean, if life is hard here because God gave us Free Will, but Heaven is Perfect with no pain. Doesn't that mean there's no free will there? And wouldn't that be way worse than life here? Are you really YOU without the ability to make your own choices?

I think there are a few people who would be comforted to know that they would no longer be capable of bad decisions. To view it another way; everyone finally knows _why_ all the bad decisions are bad, and thus do not choose them.

If he lets us keep our freewill, and only lets people in who won't make things bad, than wouldn't that mean a pleasant personality trumps true acts of good? Would you rather have an asshole cop who saves lives every day, or a guy who makes witty comments and makes everyone laugh?

Acts of good are just that; actions; singular events. If Heaven is eternal, I'd rather have a mousy guy who makes everyone laugh than an asshole who saves lives. To be eternally annoyed by an asshole sounds like hell. Oh, and saving lives isn't much use somewhere where everyone's dead (or living forever).

Always disturbs me to explain religion (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722690)

I think real scientists should stay well away from this kinda crap, if you got to research what happens when people die, don't link it to heaven.

It is like "scientist" trying to explain Bible myths. How could Moses have parted the seas, what could have caused the plagues etc.

That is like a bad episode of myth-busters where they test movie stunts. What they do first is try to convince people that a scene in the movie is somehow real and has to follow real world physics and then disprove it... learn to seperate fantasy from reality for Christ damn, for god's sake oh fuck it.

All the happenings in the Bible can be explained very simply if you think of it as a bunch of Fantasy written by people who wanted to create a religion. There is even clear evidence that the Bible is fabricated. Even its followed accept that the New Testament was created from seperate books, edited with some parts and books left out completely. So we know that it is edited. No truly religious person would dare to edit the word of god, so what made the person who edited the new testament decide to think he could do this?

And low and behold, if you think of it as a bad hack job, then suddenly it all makes sense. And we know religions can be entirely fabricated. Scientology anyone?

It is amusing to see a program on trying to explain the story around Moses, when nothing in the historical record mentions this at all. Explain the parting of the red seas, but not why an exodus of slaves was not mentioned in Egyptian records. Now that is science. Up next, myth-busters and the geographic channel examine how a grandmother and a little girl can fit in a wolves stomach whole. Leave your brain at the door.

Re:Always disturbs me to explain religion (5, Insightful)

professionalfurryele (877225) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722720)

The widespread belief (well, perhaps better described as a delusion) that there exists an afterlife is a legitimate scientific phenomena.

"If there is precisely zero evidence for heaven, why do people believe it exists?" - This is a legitimate scientific question that isn't satisfyingly answered at present.

This kind of research strengthens the case for disbelief and I therefore consider it very valuable. Next time someone describes how their great aunt saw God just before she died I can now point out that their aunt was probably confusing God with special K.

Re:Always disturbs me to explain religion (1, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722770)

""If there is precisely zero evidence for heaven, why do people believe it exists?" - This is a legitimate scientific question that isn't satisfyingly answered at present."

People are just afraid to die.

Re:Always disturbs me to explain religion (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722960)

And humans like to fill in for themselves what they do not know.

"How did we got here and what is all this?"
-"Oh, God created us and this is a testing ground to see if you are a good person or a bad person. If you are good you will go to a cloudy place called heaven and if you are bad you will go to the earths core and burn there which they call hell"
"Ah I see"

Lol.

Re:Always disturbs me to explain religion (1)

Ravon Rodriguez (1074038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722970)

I think it's more than that. I think the ego can't/won't let a person perceive a state of nonexistence (try it, you can't do it), so it logically follows that people would make up an afterlife to account for this.

Re:Always disturbs me to explain religion (2, Insightful)

dorre (1731288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722734)

I'm with you. I dont understand how anyone can believe that god's word are supposed to be passed from person to person and that you are supposed to find the right chain of delivery to be accepted into heaven.

I like a concept I've chosen to call 'Contamination by free will'. When you recieve a bible or coran or whatever, some human being (with free will) have written it to the format it is distributed in.

There is no way a human being can be able to recognize the difference by words of god and man. And as you personally cant check the whole delivery chain from god to you yourself, god cannot demand that you find the words that are truly his. All information a person can get is 'Contaminated by free will'.
The only way a person can get in touch with a divinity is through himself if at all possible. Although I'm personally a sceptic, I honor this possibility.

Basically my point is that the only truths anyone should accept are those that he or she understands. No god would demand more.

Re:Always disturbs me to explain religion (1)

supercrisp (936036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722866)

Dorre, there are several thinkers who are onto the same idea as you. Sadly the only one I can remember this morning is Thomas Paine. Anyway, their basic argument generally goes along the lines of revealed religion is revealed in an unsharable experience. What Moses saw on the mountain has nothing to do with me because it wasn't revealed to me. You can see this as a product of of Enlightenment skepticism: anyone can claim revelation, but that anyone is your contaminant.

Re:Always disturbs me to explain religion (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722920)

I think real scientists should stay well away from this kinda crap,

No, they should finally wake up and go into all those areas that outdated, barbarian folk-lores want to mark "out of bounds". Those of us who've been interested in these things already have an intuitive understanding that the entire card house of religion will come crashing down once some real research has been done. Death, heaven, god - it all appears to not only be entirely non-supernatural, but also embarrassingly simple, when you look at it.

Sure, you'll not cure the really faithful, religion is like terminal cancer, you can ease the suffering, but you can't cure it. But the more you know about it, the less people need to get it.

Re:Always disturbs me to explain religion (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722926)

You deride the pursuit of knowledge because it's in the name of explaining religion? I don't think that makes much sense. If you choose to not believe religion, why would you object to research which explains the phenomena in a scientific context?

learn to seperate [sic] fantasy from reality for Christ damn, for god's sake oh fuck it.

Well, the reality is that people DO see these things. This is fact. How do you explain it? You don't want to investigate it scientifically, yet you obviously don't believe in religion, so what's your point?

No truly religious person would dare to edit the word of god, so what made the person who edited the new testament decide to think he could do this?

The party line on that one is that the early councils which decided what to include, change and delete were 'inspired' by God. "The bible didn't arrive by fax from heaven" (to quote The Da Vinci Code)

I'm just saying... your arguments appear to be inconsistent.

Slashdot summary != actual research (1)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722928)

The actuall research was related to why people have these weired and wonderful experiences when they almost die. There is also a fare degree of similarity in the experiences, which has made it all the more fascinating. This research posits a possible reason, which is very interesting in my personal view. Any extension of "it explains heaven" is really not relevent to anyone except those that believe this to be a glimpse into an afterlife (the exception being anthropologists, however I think this is flawed as given in my previous post). As to your off topic biblical rant; do some research! There are plenty of reasons to disregard the Christian religion, however "the edited bible" is not one of them. The new testament is textually stable, and has more source material than any other ancient document. It is not on these grounds that you should make your case! If we go down this road, however, be prepared for pages of discussion and plenty of links. Textual criticism is not a light topic!

Re:Always disturbs me to explain religion (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722932)

There is even clear evidence that the Bible is fabricated. Even its followe[rs] accept that the New Testament was created from seperate books, edited with some parts and books left out completely. So we know that it is edited. No truly religious person would dare to edit the word of god, so what made the person who edited the new testament decide to think he could do this?

The Bible isn't a book. It is a compilation. None of the individual books or letters are edited (unless by editing you mean current translations). Yes, there were councils held to determine canon, largely because they had a lot of chaff to winnow through. If I might be allowed a little inflammatory metaphor for comparison's sake: it would be like Scientologists 200 years from now having to determine which works of fiction were _really_ L Ron Hubbard inspired, and which weren't. Should the Battlefield Earth movie be included in their compilation? Should the text from wikileaks? Should the rantings of some guy on /.? Should a letter written to the IRS threatening that Scientology be included as a religion? Should a similar letter (written to the IRS threatening that Scientology be included as a religion or mass auditing process R2-45 will begin in the IRS building but found on a site negative to Scifientology)?

In short, the "editing" was about determining which books and letters to determine as real, and which were of undetermined origin or worse: fakes. If one thing would have to have been changed in a book to make it worthy of inclusion, they just threw out the book. That's a far cry better than falsely making the change and including it.

How I faced my death (5, Interesting)

sciencewatcher (1699186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722712)

I was in bed in the early morning, I just awoke a couple of minutes before. Without prior warning it felt like all my internal organs started to move up through my trachea. I sensed I was paralyzed, unable to stop it and immediately I felt something like a heart stroke. I thought I had only a few seconds left. In those few seconds everything I had done, still had wanted to do, the implications for my family members went through my head. The brain has an enormous extra capacity when it is needed. I never felt the urge to resist or panicked, just to accept the inevitable. It later turned out my diaphragm had ruptured and my stomach had gone through that hole, collapsing my left lung and displacing my heart by 10 centimeter. It took five years to diagnose correctly.

So many things wrong with the article (4, Insightful)

LS (57954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722724)

heaven is not a real place, or even a process or a supernatural event, but rather something that happens in your brain as you die

I challenge anyone create a testable hypothesis on whether there is a soul or life after death or heaven etc. What this experiment is testing for is a correlation between chemical processes in the brain when a person nears death and the subjective experience of said person. Where does the existence of heaven or supernatural events even come into this? Those are questions that shouldn't come into play when speaking of science. Whether an objective explanation of a subjective experience nullifies the "reality" of it or not is philosophical has nothing to do with the experiment in question. This is a bunch of horseshit.

LS

Re:So many things wrong with the article (5, Interesting)

LS (57954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722744)

Sorry about replying to myself, but the following quote of a statement made by the researcher referred to in the article that conducted the ketamine experiments is relevant to this discussion:

Dr. Jansen has the following to say about the journal article that follows:
'I am no longer as opposed to spritual explanations of these phenomena as this article would appear to suggest. Over the past two years (it is quite some time since I wrote it) I have moved more towards the views put forward by John Lilly and Stan Grof. Namely, that drugs and psychological disciplines such as meditation and yoga may render certain 'states' more accessible. The complication then becomes in defining just what we mean by 'states' and where they are located, if indeed location is an appropriate term at all. But the apparent emphasis on matter over mind contained within this particular article no longer accurately represents my attitudes. My forthcoming book 'Ketamine' will consider mystical issues from quite a different perspective, and will give a much stronger voice to those who see drugs as just another door to a space, and not as actually producing that space'.

Re:So many things wrong with the article (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722766)

Far from it being horseshit. This line of study is taking shots at the "horseshit" that is the evidence for there being a god and a soul/spirit. For many people, these near-death experiences are their primary evidence of the existence of a god and that they have an eternal spirit/soul. By explaining yet another "supernatural phenomenon" with science, we continue to chip away at the god myth. Birds once flew because it was god's will. The sun travelled around the earth because it was god's will. Animals all over the planet were the product of "spontaneous generation." Illness was caused by the invasion of demons and evil spirits into our bodies. (And saying "bless you" after a sneeze kept them from re-entering!) Do I really need to list all the nonsense that scientific understanding had cleared away from our beliefs?

We are still clinging to supernatural beliefs though. Many of us still believe in faith healing. Many more still believe that good fortune will come to them if they give money to their church leaders. Many people believe it is acceptable to criticise sexual orientation (which is a fact of nature just like sex and race are) while at the same time, criticism of religion is beyond reproach.

Religion is nothing more than a reality distortion field and the sooner we clear it away from the mind of man, the sooner we can become more than we are today and stop holding ourselves back.

Re:So many things wrong with the article (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722956)

Far from it being horseshit. This line of study is taking shots at the "horseshit" that is the evidence for there being a god and a soul/spirit. For many people, these near-death experiences are their primary evidence of the existence of a god and that they have an eternal spirit/soul. By explaining yet another "supernatural phenomenon" with science, we continue to chip away at the god myth.

I think you might be confusing spirituality with god myths and religion. While I do agree that most of these myths can be traced back to primitive naturistic practices, which are in turn extended and codified by organised religion, of which 99% are complete nonsense, there is a lot we don't know about the universe and our place in it. Its entirely possible that some day science will discover new realms and concepts that were previously the purview of the religious, just as it has with all the otherconcepts you mentioned, including the persistence of some segment of the consicousness after the biological machine fails for the last time. I don't think it will be what anyone is expecting though.

Re:So many things wrong with the article (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722992)

"More than we are today"? Why, do you seriously believe mankind has some untapped potential that is being held back by "religion"? Is that why Albania, the "world's first atheist society" so advanced? Is that why communist countries were so much advanced than anyone else?
News for you, loserboy: humans are animals, nothing more. We're competitive, aggressive, predatory animals. We don't do things because we have some magnificent destiny to fulfill, but because there are gains in it. Believing or not believing in some imaginary entity does absolutely nothing to change this fact.

However, making ALL of mankind aware that this is the ONLY life they'll ever had, and that there's nothing else will not magically make the world better. Instead, the poor and dispossessed who often turn to religion for comfort will be deprived of even that solace, and realizing they have NOTHING to lose will rise up in arms to demand their share of the cake. This will lead to massive, worldwide bloodshed and the collapse of civilization in a beautiful orgy of violence.

The sooner it happens, the better. You'll see what happens when nothing holds us back, then, and wish it never happened. It will be good. It will be AWESOME.

Re:So many things wrong with the article (1)

Island Admin (1562905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722812)

This is the whole issue ... science cannot measure that which is immeasurable. Just because we cannot currently prove that something exists, does not mean it does not exist.

Science cannot prove that consciousness is a result of brain chemistry .... yet we don't dispute its existence.

But we will always have the issue of: How do you prove something does not exist? Until that is solved, these debates will carry on until our extinction.

I think I've the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722756)

I think the answer may be easier than it seems:

Particles in movement are more heavy than non-moving particles. When you die your brain stops, so no electrical charges are in movement, no more extra-weight.

NDE is an endnote of dying brains (1)

gvmetm (1782612) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722776)

I think NDE is an endnote of the dying brains ( just as the sound of dying engines are all alike) assuming there's no afterlife. The human mind is very good at creating reality. I once had a NDE after I lost total control of my voice and my muscle which means I can't move a finger of mine. Then I went through this tunnel so fast I felt the dragging of my feet. The decoration of the tunnel is like that of the red bricks screen saver from Windows 3.1 or 95. I didn't see any bright light but I came to a sphere(planet) where I saw massive greenish looking buildings. Our tallest skyscrappers would look thin and skinny in comparison. The people there wore blue uniforms and very discipline in the way they walked. This happened about twenty years ago before I've heard about X-seed or any of the massive buildings that we're planning to build. Thanks for reading.

After death studies on live people? (5, Interesting)

mrcalire (1734480) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722780)

I've heard about these type of studies for years, and the explanations they pose. The problem is, most of the time when people experience NDE, they, are, um... dead. They have no brain waves and no heart beat. The key item being is NO BRAIN ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY. Science, I love you, but dead men dream no dreams, including about the after life. So please explain to me how a brain that is flat line on the monitor is producing, and i quote you "intense hallucinations"

Re:After death studies on live people? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722968)

The key item being is NO BRAIN ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY. Science, I love you, but dead men dream no dreams, including about the after life. So please explain to me how a brain that is flat line on the monitor is producing, and i quote you "intense hallucinations"

Maybe before anyone explains this to you, you could explain why you think that NDEs happen when there is "no brain electrical activity". What makes you think that NDEs only occur when there is a electroencephalogram flatline? Anyone who has come back from such an experience must have gone through a stage of limited brain functionality both going in and coming out of that state. How do you know when exactly a near death experience occurs?

There is no point us trying to justify a situation that is only your guess about what is happening.

The ultimate high (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722786)

So odds are, if you off yourself, you'll get the last word in euphoric mind fucks. Best not let this get out. Oh wait it's been /.ed. Nevermind.

Tripping (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722788)

Don't these researchers at least look at trip reports from the Internet? Going further one has to question their credentials, their lack of first hand experience with hallucinogenic drugs implies they never really went to university.

If drugs can induce NDEs and indeed some even more fantastical experiences than your basic Im-dead-tunnel-of-light-OMG-aw-crap-im-back fare, this kind of shuts down any proof of a afterlife possibly presented in NDEs. It's at once depressing - oblivion after all - and kind of exciting... I'm going to visit my dealer now.

Ketamine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722792)

Man do I love a yearly heavy dose of Ketamine. I would describe it as packing a year of psychotherapy into an hour. No better way to change who you are than to see yourself as others do.

What if they got it wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722802)

What if certain drugs/chemicals created inside the brain or introduced in the body from outside just stimulates the right parts of the brain so that we are more sensitive to what we call supernatural ?
The fact that they discovered the mechanism that makes us experience NDE does not eliminate the possibility of it being more than just an in-brain experience.

Brain scientist describes her own stroke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722892)

You may want to check something similar:

http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

She had a stroke, something that she knows very well what it is, yet she doesn't think of it as a plain scientific experience. Science can only bring us so far.
In any case, explaining the mechanism of NDE doesn't eliminate the possibility of something existing for our consciousness beyond the death of the physical body.

if you wanna know, go and find out. (1)

awsome_opposum (1368221) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722900)

i'm frustrated that most people who try to talk about transcendence, faith, or "supernatural phenomenons" whatever you want to call it..are the people who had no expirience with it whatsoever and link amazing things like that to organized religion..

Well please don't be fooled and realize that organized religion is here to take control of peoples natural urges to expand their consciousness and to pacify them with a preset truth that will for the people that take stuff as its given to them (90% of the population :/ ) block any chance of exploring your mind, your self and the world without the standard cultural preconceptions that shape and distort the world as you see it..

Science is a great, but a bit to cocky to try and explain things that are in these day surely out of our analytical scope...

So my advice to you is if your proud to be a skeptic then be a true skeptic and try some thing out for yourself.. try meditation, have an out of body experience, take a hallucinogen don't take anybodys word for granted be it scientist or "flake"

Try it for yourself don't pay anybody anything, and dont belive anybody who wants to explain it to you... this is a subjective thing that will help you see the world clearer in many ways... just be in a safe enviroment and with people you love and trust if you're gonna choose the quickest way and drop some acid :) or take any kind of drug
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