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Evidence: Life After Death


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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What is the scientific evidence to support the survival of the consciousness after death. This could overlap with hauntings, mediumship and even re-incarnation, all important topics within the paranormal field, hinged on the belief of life after death. So, is there any evidence?

Mysteryshopper
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There's no obvious evidence

There's no obvious evidence from hauntings to suggest any link with the question of life after death.

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Ian Topham
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I agree that there is no

I agree that there is no obvious evidence I know of that link it to hauntings. I'd say any evidence connected to hauntings points away from the possibility of Life After Death, but it is still a theory that some people follow so I put it on my list.

Mysteryshopper
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Ian Topham wrote:I agree
Ian Topham wrote:

I agree that there is no obvious evidence I know of that link it to hauntings. I'd say any evidence connected to hauntings points away from the possibility of Life After Death, but it is still a theory that some people follow so I put it on my list.

How does the evidence point AWAY? I'm curious.

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Away was not be the correct

Away was not be the correct way of wording it. I think there is evidence pertaining to hauntings and ghosts that points towards them being hallucinations possibly induced by certain EMF's. There is a counter argument that spirits materialising produce these fields but there is no evidence of this as far as I am aware and I personally seriously doubt there will be and I don't know of any evidence to support the Life After Death argument where hauntings are concerned. Therefore I think the evidence is tipped more in favour of a natural explanation that one that supports the survival of consciousness.

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Ophiel
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The scientific reality is

The scientific reality is that there is no evidence from any aspect of research to support the notion of the survival of human consciousness after death.

However.....

There are some typical areas where certain researchers (some who should know better) try to shoe-horn a 'survivalist' type interpretation in. These areas include, but are not restricted to;

1 - Ghosts / Apparitions = despite over 150 years of research there is no evidence, even from good cases of haunting, for the survival of human consciousness. Most resports pertain to apparitions that appear to be oblivious to their surroundings. This is consistent with a brain-based account - but in addition - even if ghosts were real - the best evidence suggests that they are not intelligent.

2 - Psychics / Spiritualistic mediums = Perhaps the most controversial area and rife with fraud, misperception, wishful thinking and logical errors. This is the least convincing area of research in my opinion.

3 - OBEs / NDEs - these have been researched extensively since the late 1970s. To simplify things - there are two views. One is commnonly referred to as the dying-brain account for NDEs. By this account, the images seen etc are hallucinatory and the interpretations / memories are delusional. They provide no evidence for survival. Others (often referred to as survivalists / dualists / trancendental) think that NDEs do provide evidence for survival of bodily death. People such as Ken Ring, Michael Sabom, Peter Fenwick, Pim van Lommel all think that consciousness is not a brain driven thing. However, their arguments are based on false premises concerning what brain science has to say and logically fallacious reasoning concerning their own data. This does not make for a strong case.

Mauro
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I met an investigator last

I met an investigator and I cannot but agree with what he told me "the Afterlife, at least for the time being, is not something for science to debate since it's a matter of personal faith and that requires careful handling to say the least".
Bear in mind that the person who told me this is a "skeptic" (yes, written this way) and a self-proclaimed debunker.
OBEs and NDEs have been researched but the research has been biased to say the least. For example a few Red Army doctors were required during WWII to list the dying soldiers' final words and to carefully note if the person involved was an Orthodox Christian, a Muslim, an Atheist etc. This project was initiated to support the petty theories of some important Politburo members and has since been discredited as "heavily biased".
While at the moment we may be starting to understand the basic chemistry of life (which is much more complicated than we thought) there still is suspended judgement on what "consciousness" exactly is. Personally I think it's best to leave it that way until our knowledge is more adavnced in that direction.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Mysteryshopper
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Maybe I'm being dim but what

Maybe I'm being dim but what has consciousness got to do with life after death? Consciousness is just that part of the operation of the brain which puts together a simplified virtual picture of the world so that we can operate in it. When we're asleep it's not even operating (except perhaps for dreams). If consciousness is related to life after death, what happens if you die in your sleep?

Matt.H
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As I understand it, there's

As I understand it, there's still some pretty major questions as to the pecise mechanics of consciousness, and some have suggested collective conscious - whereby elements of an individual's conscious are "stored" outside of the human body - as the mechanism for the survival after death of memory, and how mediums etc "contact" the dead.

Mysteryshopper
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I agree there is still lots

I agree there is still lots to learn about consciousness. However, given its known properties, it seems an unlikely vehicle for survival, as my 'sleep' paradox illustrated.

Matt.H
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It's not a question of

It's not a question of whether someone is asleep or awake, or even alive or dead. According to theories of collective conscious, certain elements of personality, memory etc are recorded completely independently of the physical body.



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