Intelligent Design

It’s not just the ID guys, it’s everybody who still has a brain.

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In this column, George Will reveals that indoctrination and intellectual fascism has crept up on faculties other than science (Surprised? Why?):

A study prepared by the National Association of Scholars, a group that combats political correctness on campuses, reviews social work education programs at 10 major public universities and comes to this conclusion: Such programs mandate an ideological orthodoxy to which students must subscribe concerning “social justice” and “oppression.”

In other words, if you are a social worker and you have a different idea from the orthodoxy about how best to help your clients, you is da enemy of da people (in power, that is) …

Meanwhile, today at the Mindful Hack

So that’s why we don’t eat Grandma!

A professor of family medicine reviews The Spiritual Brain.

Can atheists have near death experiences? Yes, but only if they are REALLY good …

Mario’s and my interview with Michael Cook at MercatorNet, on why materialism does not make sense.

13 Replies to “It’s not just the ID guys, it’s everybody who still has a brain.

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Commenting on the atheist having a NDE, this is a very interesting one of Howard Storm:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Storm

    The link has video interviews at the bottom that you can watch that are very interesting;

    Here is a defense of the scientific validity of NDE’s

    http://www.nderf.org/vonlommel.....sponse.htm

    Titled:
    A Reply to Shermer
    Medical Evidence for NDEs
    Pim van Lommel

    And a short summary of probably the most famous NDE in America.

    A lady called Pamela Reynolds during brain surgery experienced a Near Experience with the body temperature lowered to 60 degrees, heartbeat stopped, breathing stopped, brain waves flattened …. and the drained from her head. Pam’s brain was found % ” by all three clinical tests of being ‘dead’

    (1) Her electroencephalogram was silent
    (2) Her brain-stem response was absent
    (3) No flowed through her brain.

    Also note that before her high risk brain surgery operation she is

    (a) heavily anaesthetized
    (b) instruments in ears produced clicks to measure brain stem response (no response, dreams show brain stem response)
    (c) eyes taped shut.

    To sum up briefly, she reported ……
    – She floats out of body via head
    – She watches down on surgeon and others perform operation, later describes surgical tool used and tool case.
    – She later describes parts of conversation during surgeon operation.
    – She enters a vortex, like a tunnel, hears her grandmothers voice
    – She sees her several ‘dead’ relatives with crystal clarity, all look in their prime, radiating light from their bodies
    – She is told she must return, she agrees
    – She re-enters the tunnel/vortex and is taken back by uncle
    She sees her looking body she doesn’t want to enter
    – She feels a force pushing her into body and entering feels like ice pool

    Pamela does not think her experience was dream like
    – ‘It was the most aware that I think that I have ever been in my entire life’
    – ‘It was not like normal vision. It was brighter and more focused and clearer than normal vision’
    – ‘It was a clearer hearing than with my ears. I trust that sense more than I trust my own ears

    I would also like to point ought that the NDE phenomena of seeing “The Being Of Light” is found to be a uniquely Judeo/Christian culture experience.
    The extreme rarity of seeing “The Being Of Light” in non- Judeo-Christian cultures for ‘Ad^ult” NDEers is an ominous mystery that is sobering to my faith to put it mildly!

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Please forgive this long post Ms. O’Leary and that it digresses from the main focus of Intelligent Design on this blog, but in answer to David’s question about NDE’s, I feel it warrants a thorough response.

    What are the current statistics on Near Experiences (NDEs)? A study (Gallup poll) estimates that 5% of all Americans or 15 million people have experienced an NDE. Almost 800 NDEs occur every day in the United States (Long, 2005). A German study (Knoblauch, 1999) indicates that 4.3% of all Germans have undergone an NDE, corresponding to 3.3 million. For France, the number of two million NDErs has been advanced. It is commonly accepted that about 20% of s (18% van Lommel, Lancet 2001), who experience a full cardiac arrest (temporarily die) have had a NDE.
    In contrast to s, our best research, so far, indicates that over 90% of children between the ages of 3 and 17, who experience cardiac arrest, report having a NDE (Morse 1994; Seattle Study) but their experiences differ from s. Children have more vivid recollections and see the “Being of Light” twice as often as s. Children have shown a tendency to temporarily forego their childhood identities and become “ageless and wise” beyond their years. In addition, the panoramic life review is absent in a child’s NDE. Very young children, as soon as they are able to speak, have reported NDEs they had as infants or in the process of being born. Even infants who were delivered by caesarean section have reported having NDE’s as soon as they were old enough to speak.
    The question that is begging an answer is, of course; “Why the 90% to 20% difference in NDE rates for children and s?” In my opinion, the answer seems to be fairly straight forward and direct. Children simply have not been corrupted into believing that it is impossible to live past the of our bodies.
    Some may argue that the s dramatic drop in percentage of NDEs from the percentage of children’s NDEs are for some other reasons, such as just not remembering them. Indeed, some of those other reasons may have a certain plausibility. Yet, these experiences are so profoundly life changing and real to the NDErs that do recall them that not remembering them is hardly an option that seems plausible (Rommer, 2000, pg.25). Especially since all deep NDEers say the experience was more real and dramatic than anything else they have ever experienced or witnessed in their lives.
    there is a vast body of evidence (thousands of documented NDEs) in which we can draw overriding conclusions from in making solid scientific observations. To those who remain skeptical about the validity of these experiences, I point out that there is a vast body of PhD level evidence readily available on the internet, for anyone who has access to a computer, establishing the validity of NDEs as authentic. Recently two fascinating scientific studies into Near Experiences have been completed. One was completed in the Netherlands and the other in the United Kingdom. The conclusions of both these purely scientific studies confirm that human consciousness can, indeed, survive physical , and that the mind and brain are, in fact, two different things. These two groundbreaking studies could very well force science to re-evaluate the current scientific “materialistic” of the mind-brain relationship. The best study of the two is the following: During 13 years, the Dutch cardiologist Pim van Lommel undertook a prospective study, including 344 consecutive cardiac patients who were successfully resuscitated after cardiac arrest, in ten Dutch hospitals. The result of this research study (published in The Lancet in 2001) indicates that 62 patients (18%) reported a NDE. Of these, 41 (12%) described a deep core experience. Occurrence of the experience was not associated with medication given or fear of before cardiac arrest. In other studies, cases in which was extracted at the time of the NDE did not support the anoxia or hypercarbia theories. It has also been established that the administered to the patients, such as pain-killers, appeared to inhibit and confuse rather than cause the NDE. The combination of all data from recent and retrospective research provides a large amount of evidence which can no longer be ignored or explained away. The fact that clear lucid experiences were reported during a time when the brain was proven to be devoid of activity (Aminoff et al., 1988, Clute and Levy 1990, de Vries et al., 1998) does not sit easily with the current materialistic belief system in science. Materialism holds that consciousness arises from the brain, so Materialism holds that we die when the brain dies. Current materialistic arguments are simply not plausible when this phenomenon is examined in the clinical area. Many different lines of evidence, other than the NDE studies themselves, establish that consciousness is indeed an independent phenomena that is capable of living past the of our brains (The John Hopkins Study; Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Studies). In other words, consciousness is proven with many concrete scientific evidences to be an independent and separable entity from the brain. In my view, the scientist who chooses not to believe this compelling evidence, once he has examined this compelling evidence, is not truly an unbiased scientist but merely a man stating a personal opinion.

    It has also now been established that the vast majority of NDEs (+95%), that occur in Judeo-Christian cultures, are positive or heaven-like in nature, but there is a significant minority of 4-5 percent that are described as being negative, distressing or hellish in nature (15% s, 3% children; PMH Atwater) (15% s, 1% children; Bonefant, 2001). The typical heaven-like positive “deep core” NDE of Judeo-Christian culture is extremely interesting. The NDE never deviates from the basic Judeo/Christian belief system of a heavenly paradise with a Supreme and Omniscient Creator, Who appears in the NDEs as the “Being of Light”. The positive deep core Judeo-Christian NDEs all talk of the “All-Knowing Light”, “Jesus”, “Supreme Being”. All references in Judeo-Christian NDEs to God/Jesus/Supreme Being are always referenced to the indescribably bright light coming from God. Overwhelming feelings of being loved by this “Most High Omniscient Being of Bright Brilliant Pure Light” are also mentioned in all deep Judeo-Christian NDEs. I also find it extremely interesting that this “Bright Brilliant Pure Light” is always associated with God, however “God” may appear to the person (whether purely as “Brilliant Light” or as the person of Jesus who gives off “Brilliant Light”). The Judeo-Christian NDErs always refer to this “Being of Brilliant Light” as alive, as all knowing, as all powerful, as the source of all life, as the source of all love; in other words, as the Lord God Almighty. Every deep Judeo-Christian NDEr says the most real and dramatic event to have ever occurred at anytime in their lives was to be in the presence of “The Being of Light”. The reports of the positive transformations in these people’s lives are profound and well documented. They are literally “changed for life”; no matter how many years past the NDE they are surveyed. These people who experience “The Being of Brilliant Light” become much more concerned with their fellow man. They come back to this world emphasizing the need for love of all people. Many NDErs who have experienced “The Light” find it difficult to cope in this “dog eat dog” world until they find a job that is more oriented to Human service.
    1 John 1:5
    This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

    John 12:36
    “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and, departed , and was hidden from them.
    Contrary to what was popularly believed for many years following Raymond Moody’s best selling book “Life after Life” in 1975, not all NDEs from around the world fall into the same definitive categories. Though it was, and still is, somewhat difficult to find differentiating factors of how a specific denomination of religion affects NDEs within the Judeo-Christian culture, it is now commonly known that profoundly different cultures have profoundly different NDEs. Though NDEs may be similar in their basic structure across cultures, they are vastly different in their level of pleasure to the NDEr. This is because of the differences between the cultures in prevalence of encounters with “The Being of Light” in a heavenly paradise. The only plausible explanation that makes sense is that the underlying philosophical basis, belief system or religious underpinnings, under which the society operates, has a major impact on the types of NDEs that occur within that specific culture. Several scientific studies (Pasricha, 1986, Schorer, 1985-86; Kellehear, 1993; Murphy 1999,2001) have indicated the phenomenologies of NDEs are indeed culture bound. It should be stressed that the NDEs of foreign cultures do not compare favorably with the Judeo/Christian NDEs of the western world.

    In the NDE cases studied in India by researchers Satwant Pasricha and Ian Stevenson, it is common that the subject does not spiritually view his or her mortal body, as do many subjects of Judeo-Christian NDEs. The Hindu subject is “taken” in hand by “messengers” and brought before a “foreboding official” who is often described as having a book or papers that he or she consults. The official discovers a mistake in the paperwork. The wrong person has been “sent for”. The person is then brought back by the messengers to his or her terrestrial life, or the subject is “pushed down” and revives. The error supposedly made is often a slight one, as a person of the same given name, but a different caste, or someone living in a different, but nearby village, should have died and been brought instead of the subject of the near-death experience. Whereas in Judeo-Christian accounts it is never a clerical mistake by a “foreboding official” that brought about the person’s .

    What is consistent in Hindu accounts with Judeo-Christian accounts is that some Hindu accounts do include a life review. However, in Judeo-Christian accounts the life review consists of seeing a panoramic view of a person’s entire life while in the presence of “The Being of Light” who fills the person with overwhelming love and forgiveness while reviewing their life. The Hindu accounts consist of having a “foreboding official” read bits and pieces of the person’s life (called the “akashic record”) and also consists of the person having deep remorse for not living a better life. No mention is ever made of the “Being of Light” or of overwhelming love and forgiveness that comes from the “Being of Light” in any of these Hindu “life-review” accounts (Murphy 99). In his study of Thailand, Murphy points out that many times the “foreboding official” reading the life review is anything but a “Loving Being of Light”. He states many times the “official” reading the life review, in non-western accounts, is notorious for his power to condemn people to hell. In Hindu circles, it is a traditional belief that the reading of a person’s akashic record occurs immediately after . This concept is widely believed by Hindus all over India. Though, there are a minority of somewhat “pleasant” NDEs for s in the India cases, it should be noted that these “pleasant” Hindu NDEs lack the stunning depth of beauty and overwhelming feelings of love and forgiveness from “The Being of Light” that are commonly reported in the majority of Judeo-Christian NDEs. There are a few exceptions to this preponderance of negative NDES in India. I found a few very pleasant children’s NDEs from India which compare favorably to Judeo-Christian NDEs. These include a reference to “The Being of Light”. The fact that young Hindu children see “The Light” while the Hindu s do not see “The Light”, clearly indicates the false beliefs we gather as we become s drastically influences s having a negative NDE. I have a feeling, as our knowledge grows, that a few of the NDEs from other cultures will have a few “special” s who experience “The Light”, but it seems certain this will prove to be a rare exception, instead of the norm, for any in a non-Judeo-Christian culture.
    The NDE reports from Tibet (a Buddhist country) are even more disturbing than the ones I’ve read from India (a Hindu country). Though there are some references to seeing light in these accounts, the Buddhist NDEr never encounters “The Living Being of Light”. The typical Tibetan NDEr emphasizes remorse, pain, fear, disappointment and disillusionment as does the Indian experiencer. Yet, the typical Judeo-Christian NDEr emphasizes overwhelming feelings of peace, forgiveness, comfort, painlessness and love. Here are the major episodes of the Tibetan NDE as given by Lawrence Epstein in his thesis from the University of Washington.

    Episode 1: Generally, the NDEr (das-log’s) is afflicted by an illness, and unlike the Western cases, has some time to contemplate its possible results. Although the onset of the NDE may be peaceful, it is most often characterized as painful and confusing.

    Episode 2: Whether or not the NDEr (das-log’s) recognizes the signs of elemental dissolution as given in the ‘chi-kha ‘i bar-do texts, the excruciating psychic and physical pain of the experience is emphasized. The NDEr usually does not recognize he has “died” for some time, perhaps until he has reached bar-do.

    Episode 3: The NDEr (das-log’s) encounters the primary light, secondary lights colors and sometimes the “dark tunnel” structure. Depending on the state of his knowledge he might recognize these signs for what they are, as he recollects the bar-do teachings. More often, he is confused and frightened by them. A partial life review may appear at this stage, emphasizing the ‘das-log’s remorse at not having led a better life.

    Episode 4: The NDEr (das-log’s) hears the noises associated with the chos-nyid bar-do, such as the roaring of dragons, the shouts of yamas, or the disembodied voices of supernaturals.

    Episode 5: The NDEr (das-log’s) systematically stresses the discomfiture, pain, disappointment, anger and disillusionment with others and with the moral worth of the world at large. The acquisition of a yid-lus and the ability to travel instantaneously are also found here.
    Episode 6: The NDEr, (das-log’s) usually accompanied by a supernatural guide, tours bar-do, where he witnesses painful scenes and meets others known to him. They give him messages to take back to the living.

    Episode 7: The NDEr (das-log’s) witnesses trials in and tours hell (it should be noted that the Buddhist concept of hell is of a transitional, temporary, nature, much like purgatory is in Catholic traditions) . The crimes and punishments of others are explained to him. d souls also ask him to take back messages to the living asking for help in obtaining “merit”.

    Episode 8: The Dharmaraja explains matters to the NDEr (das-log’s), exhorting him to lead a moral life and spread the word among the quick. The NDEr is sent back by the Dharmaraja.

    Episode 9: The NDEr (das-log’s) returns to his own body, with the same fear and revulsion with which he left it.

    Needless to say, this is absolutely horrifying. Thank God for the grace we have in God/Christ/Supreme Being if these accounts of Tibetan NDEs turn out to be truly as horrific as these first studies are indicating. The majority of non-Judeo-Christian NDE’s that I have read about in PhD level papers and science magazines are, for the most part, deeply distressing no matter which foreign culture I have read about (Japanese, Tibetan, Indian, Chinese, African, Saudi Arabian and Melanesian). Of the few somewhat pleasant NDEs I have read about from profoundly different cultures they lack the stunning depth of beauty, awe inspiring descriptions of paradise and overwhelming feelings of love and forgiveness from “The Being of Light”, so commonly reported in Judeo-Christian NDEs. Except, of course, for the few children’s NDEs in those foreign cultures I have read about. As a Judeo-Christian society, we should seek to conduct a major study on NDE phenomena throughout the world. It is our sacred duty as decent human beings to do our best to firmly establish the truth, so that we may warn the poor souls of any false religion how to avoid the horror. It is also apparent we should have a rigorous study sanctioned weeding out any false beliefs we may have in our own Judeo-Christian societies contributing to the minority of horrid NDEs we find in our studies, not to mention the fact that 80% of s in Judeo Christian cultures currently have no NDEs at all. Though some complacent individuals may argue that such a study is not that important, I strongly disagree!! I find the fact that we, as a whole, are thoroughly ignorant of such an important matter as our after-life to be very, very problematic to say the least.

    I also find it very interesting that the deep Judeo-Christian NDErs who come back are absolutely adamant about the importance of loving others and are also adamant about having a deep, loving and “spiritual” relationship” with GOD (as opposed to just having the “religious relationship” with God). Every NDEr who has been in the presence of “The Being of Light” will agree that these two following rules are the most important rules you can follow in your life. These two rules also happen to be the basis for Judeo-Christian ethics.

    Matthew 22:37-39
    Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all you soul, and with all your mind. This is the First and Great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Sometimes positive NDErs from a Judeo-Christian culture are also adamant about emphasizing we should be loving and tolerant of all religions from all other cultures. A few even change “religions” from Christianity to what they view is a more “spiritual” eastern religion. But then why do the hard facts of the NDE studies themselves betray this open tolerance of all religions? Do not be deceived by them for they are only searching for a deeper spiritual connection to the true God. They do not know that the true God is only found in Judeo-Christian beliefs. They are right to seek a deeper spiritual connection with God, yet they are very wrong to search through false pagan religions to find it. According to all afterlife studies I’ve seen it does indeed matter in what and in Whom you believe when you die! The NDEs themselves testify to this fact! It is my assertion, from the evidence that I’ve seen so far, that the Judeo/Christian belief system is by far the most desirable belief system one could have when facing imminent and that a purely Eastern philosophy is one of the most dangerous philosophies one could have. Until I see conclusive and rigorous evidence that indicates otherwise, I will not apologize for saying the Eastern religions are false pagan religions that are extremely dangerous to whomever holds their beliefs while facing impending . This may seem harsh but it is honest.
    John 5:24-25
    “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from into life.“

    I also find it extremely interesting, the examination of the Shroud of Turin indicates that it was indeed some type of “Super-natural Light” that scientists are not familiar with, which imprinted the image of the Man on the Shroud of Turin. Not only is the Light that made the image found to be supernatural, the image of the Man on the Shroud was imprinted on the Shroud by “Super-natural Light” that came directly from the body itself! Yes, you read that last sentence right. The “Supernatural Light”, that had to be used to make the image of the man on the Shroud, came directly from the body itself!!!
    This “Being of Bright Brilliant Pure Light” that is always referred to as God and is such a prominent feature of the Judeo-Christian NDE’s and of the Judeo-Christian Bible is, by all reasonable indications and logic, the same omniscient “Being of Bright Brilliant Pure Light” that was responsible for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, as evidenced by detailed scientific examination of the image of the Man on the Shroud of Turin.
    John 10:17-18
    While he was speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him.”
    Sources:

    Life after Life by Raymond Moody

    A Comparative view of Tibetan and Western Near-Death Experiences by Lawrence Epstein University of Washington

    India Cross-cultural study by Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia Medical School and Dr. Satwant Pasricha of the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India

    Dr. Satwant Pasricha of the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India, reports findings of another survey of NDEs conducted in a region of southern India. A population of 17,192 persons was surveyed and 2,207 respondents were interviewed for identification of NDE cases. Twenty-six persons were reported to have died and revived; 16 (62%) of these having had NDEs. Thus the prevalence rate of NDEs is found to be less than 1% for the general population of India. Whereas the rate in America is commonly given to be 5% for the general population.

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand: Discussion of case histories By Todd Murphy, 1999: the following is an excepted passage from his paper
    NDEs manifested within certain, special, groups have been studied that reveal typical variations. Pediatric NDEs (Morse, 1985), and those of pre-literate cultures, as well as those of India (Pasricha, 1986), Africa (Morse, 1992) have all been looked at, and patterns have been discerned in each group. However, the most common approach to discussing their typical features has been to compare them to the typical Western NDE; to the pattern shown in the Ring Scale. We would suggest that the near-constant comparisons with the most frequently reported types of NDEs tends to blind researchers to the features of NDEs which are absent in these NDEs. Tunnels are rare, if not absent. The panoramic Life Review appears to be absent. Instead, our collection shows people reviewing just a few karmically-significant incidents. Perhaps they symbolize behavioral tendencies, the results of which are then experienced as determinative of their rebirths. These incidents are read out to them from a book. There is no Being of Light in these Thai NDEs, although The Buddha does appear in a symbolic form, in case #6. Yama is present during this truncated Life Review, as is the Being of Light during Western life reviews, but Yama is anything but a being of light. In popular Thai depictions, he is shown as a wrathful being, and is most often remembered in Thai culture for his power to condemn one to hell. Some of the functions of Angels and guides are also filled by Yamatoots. They guide, lead tours of hell, and are even seen to grant requests made by the experient.

    The Gallup poll in 1992 was of U.S. s, and found 5% had NDE: .05 = (number of those surveyed with a prior history of NDE)/(total number surveyed). That equates to 15 million of a population of 300 million

    The Seattle Study; Pediatrics by Dr. Melvin Morse and Kimberly Clark Sharp

    Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in a Melanesian Society by Dorothy E. Counts

    There seem to be great cultural differences in beliefs about NDEs. In an Australian study, 58 percent of participants interpreted an NDE vignette as possible evidence of life after and 15 percent thought they were dreams or hallucinations. (Kellehear & Heaven, 1989). This is in stark contrast to a Chinese study in which 58 percent believed they were dreams or hallucinations and 9 percent believed they were evidence of life after (Kellehear, Heaven, & Gao, 1990)

    Several studies (Pasricha, 1986, Schorer, 1985-86) & Kellehear, 1993) Murphy 1999,2001) have indicated that the phenomenologies of NDEs is culture-bound.

    Researching Muslim NDEs, on the web at the NDERF home page, I find that there are only a handful of Muslim NDE experiences out of the thousands of NDE’s they have listed on their web site. There is only one really deep Muslim NDE in which there is a reference to “the Light”. Not surprisingly, this NDE occurred to a teenage boy. In the handful of somewhat deep Muslim NDEs that I have read about, the Muslim NDES never mentioned “the Light”, “Supreme Being” or a “Being of Light”. If this holds steady for all Muslim NDEs, then this will fall into stark contrast to the majority of deep Judeo/Christian NDE testimonies of s for the western world.

    The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of `going’. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific s, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves. (Murphy 99)

    The Holy Bible by various Authors under the inspiration of God

    Greyson and Bush (1996) classified 50 Western reports of distressing NDEs into three types:
    * The most common type included the same features as the pleasurable type such as an out-of-body experience and rapid movement through a tunnel or void toward a light but the NDEr, usually because of feeling out of control of what was happening, experienced the features as frightening.
    * The second, less common type included an acute awareness of nonexistence or of being completely alone forever in an absolute void. Sometimes the person received a totally convincing message that the real world including themselves never really existed. (note* according to one preliminary study , a similar type of this NDE may be common among the Buddhist culture in Chinese NDEs)
    * The third and rarest type included hellish imagery such as an ugly or foreboding landscape; demonic beings; loud, annoying noises; frightening animals; and other beings in extreme distress. Only rarely have such NDErs themselves felt personally tormented.

    The estimated incidence of distressing NDEs (dNDEs) for western cultures has ranged from 1% to 15% of all NDEs (Bonenfant, 2001). The results of prospective studies in which the researchers interviewed everyone who experienced cardiac arrest in one or more hospitals during a period of at least several months are noteworthy. In the four prospective studies conducted between 1984 and 2001 1, 2, 3, 4 involving a total of 130 NDErs, none reported distressing experiences. This finding seems to confirm that the experience is relatively rare in western cultures.

  3. 3
    O'Leary says:

    And to think, when I posted a link to a story at the Hack, the story was only about noted atheist A. J. Ayer’s account of his own experience. We should probably get back to ID soon. Any guesses on which the next banned book or Web site will be? cheers, Denyse

  4. 4
    Borne says:

    Don’t forget to define your terms of reference bornagain!

    NDE also stands for Neo-Darwinian Evolution – a very bad mistake if you haven’t defined your use of ‘NDE’ as Near Death Experience! Especially on a site like this!

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    LOL, Thanks Borne, will do, What do you think the percentage is for people who have had a Neo-Darwinian Experience in America?” LOL

  6. 6
    Borne says:

    bornagin: “The extreme rarity of seeing “The Being Of Light” in non- Judeo-Christian cultures ”

    I don’t think this is correct – the lack of statistics alone for other cultures can explain this.

    Read Dr. Diane Komp’s book “A window to heaven – how children see life in death” she recounts several examples wherein the children had no religious training whatsoever and yet still identified Christ very vividly.

    My mother told me that when she was very young, before the age of anesthesia and such drugs that doctors commonly told of experiences with patients on their death beds witnessing either angels, Jesus, singing or demons coming to get them.

    Many of these accounts can be found in old diaries – rarely in medical records since doctors did not want to pass for crazies.

    Whatever… doesn’t shake my faith any – any number of possible explanations may be true both for real-life accounts of those who have seen things and those who didn’t see or experience anything.

  7. 7
    Borne says:

    I’d the percentage is zero. They’d have to evolve into something other than human.

    Hmmm… Come to think of it, maybe there is a small percentage after all! 😉

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Borne,
    I stress the fact that children are vastly different in regards to Near De^ath Experiences in my report. In fact in other cultures it is ONLY children who report a blissful paradise with the “Being Of Light”!

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Borne you stated:
    I don’t think this is correct – the lack of statistics alone for other cultures can explain this.

    I disagree with that statement:

    Chinese have conducted a major study involving thousands of victims of a earthquake, that were weeded down to 81 survivors of NDE like experiences , (No “Being of Light” experience was reported; only past recollections of earthly life!)

    India, reports findings of another survey of NDEs conducted in a region of southern India. A population of 17,192 persons was surveyed and 2,207 respondents were interviewed for identification of NDE cases. (no blissful paradise, or “Being of Light” for adu^lts found!)

    17,000 is no small potatoes study!

    Japan did an in hospital study, much like Pim Van Lommel’s, in which 17 were identified for NDE out of over 100 who had died and been resuscitated. (No Blissful Paradice, – only distressful “dreams” were reported!)

    So I hold strongly to my claim that a d u ^ l t s of other cultures do not see the “Being of Light”.

    But I whole heartily agree with you that children are a different category all together. In fact children’s percentage here in the USA is 90% for blissful paradise whereas only 20% of a d u ^ l t s report so!

  10. 10
    magnan says:

    Bornagain77: “Several studies (Pasricha, 1986, Schorer, 1985-86) & Kellehear, 1993) Murphy 1999,2001) have indicated that the phenomenologies of NDEs is culture-bound.”

    This has been my impression, and you cite a number of studies to that effect. It is very hard to make any sense out of this, however, because so much of the data seems contradictory.

    – Western NDEers with no spiritual belief (atheists and materialists) and agnostics have been shown to statistically have the same percentage incidence of NDEs and basically the same core experiences as Christians. If the spiritual or metaphysical belief system conditions the nature of the experience, nonbelievers would tend either not to have NDEs at all or to have ideosyncratic, unpleasant and clearly hallucinatory experiences.

    – If NDEs are culturally conditioned, what is it about the Judeo-Christian cultural belief system different from Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims. etc. that causes only they to report floating out and observing their body? Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims commonly believe in some sort of immortal “soul” surviving physical death.

    – Western NDEer’s accounts often contain veridical (physically verifiable) components, such as rescusitation procedures, identification of individuals in the ER, etc. This can be taken to imply that the spiritual life-changing implications of Western NDEs may also be close to the truth. If this is the case, the “core” experience in Western NDEs is not hallucinatory but a glimpse of the truth. But why would a loving God (or souls, guides, angels, etc. as in New Age metaphysical beliefs) withhold the joyful life-transforming features of Western NDEs from the dying of other cultures just because they made the mistake of being born in Tibet, India, etc.?

    – I am not aware of studies showing that Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and other non-Western children tend to have NDEs similar to Westerners. However, if children in all cultures do commonly experience the same core features of Western NDEs, this would be explainable as being because they have not had time to become conditioned to their culture’s particular belief system. This would be evidence for the effect of cultural conditioning in NDEs.

    I think much of this data might fit a different model better, where NDEs are not a contact with the spiritual Truth, but a temporary merging with something like Jung’s “collective unconscious”, containing the underlying beliefs, anxieties and desires of large masses of humanity. Of course this still won’t explain the veridical aspects of NDEs.

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    bornagain77 says:

    Magnan you stated a lot but lets take this one statement first:

    I think much of this data might fit a different better, where NDEs are not a contact with the spiritual Truth, but a temporary merging with something like Jung’s “collective unconscious”, containing the underlying beliefs, anxieties and desires of large masses of humanity. Of course this still won’t explain the veridical aspects of NDEs.

    First, You mention contact with spiritual truth, so let’s see exactly what spiritual truth is:

    What is Truth?

    To varying degrees everyone looks for truth. A few people have traveled to distant lands seeking gurus in their quest to find “Truth”. People are happy when they discover a new truth into the mysteries of life. People who have deep insights into the truth of how things actually work are considered wise. In the bible Jesus says “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” as well as “I am the TRUTH, the way, and the life.” So, since truth is considered such a good thing, let us look for truth in a common object; a simple rock.
    Few people would try to argue that a rock is not real. Someone who would argue that it is not real could bang his head on the rock until he was satisfied the rock is real. A blind man in a darkened cave would feel the rock hitting his head just as well as a sighted man who saw the rock coming. The rock is real and its reality is not dependent on our observation. Having stated the obvious lets look at what the rock is actually made of.
    A rock is composed of three basic ingredients; energy, force and truth. From Einstein’s’ famous equation (e=mc2) we know that all matter (solids, liquids and gases) of the universe is made of energy. This energy is “woven” by various forces into the atoms of the rock. The amount of energy woven by these complex interactions of various forces into the rock is tremendous. This tremendous energy that is in the rock is clearly demonstrated by the detonation of atom . This woven energy is found in each and every individual “particle” of every atom in the trillions upon trillions of atoms in the rock. Woven energy is the “substance” of the rock. It is what gives the rock its physicality of being solid. Yet there is another ingredient which went into making the rock that is often neglected to be looked at as a “real” component of the rock. It is the transcendent spiritual component of truth. If truth did not exist the rock would not exist. This is as obvious as the fact that the rock would not exist if energy and/or force did not exist. It is the truth in and of the logical laws of the universal constants that govern the energy and force of the rock that enable the rock to be a rock in the first place.
    Is truth independent and nt of the energy and force? Yes of course, there are many philosophical truths that are not dependent on energy or force for them to still be true. Yet energy and force are always subject to what truth tells them they can and cannot do. That is to say, the rock cannot exist without truth yet truth can exist without the rock. Energy and force must obey the truth that is above them or else it can’t possibly exist. Since truth dictates what energy and/or force can or cannot do, truth tes energy and force. Energy and force do not te truth. If all energy and/or force stopped existing the truth that ruled the energy and force in the rock would still be logically true. Thus, truth is eternal. The logical truth existed before the rock existed. The logical truth exists while the rock exists. The logical truth will exist after the rock is long gone. It is also obvious that truth is omnipresent. The truth that is in the rock on this world is the same truth that is in a rock on the other side of the universe on another world. Thus, truth is present everywhere at all times. It has been scientifically proven, by quantum non-locality, that whenever something becomes physically “real” (wave collapse of entangled electron) in any part of the universe this “information of reality” is instantaneously communicated everywhere in the universe. Thus, truth is “aware” of everything that goes on in the universe instantaneously. This universal awareness gives truth a vital characteristic of being omniscient. This instantaneous communication of truth to all points in the universe also happens to defy the speed of light; a “truth” that energy and even gravity happen to be subject to. This scientific proof of quantum non-locality also proves that truth is not a “passive” component of this universe. Truth is actually scientifically demonstrated to be the “active” nt component of this universe. Truth is not a passive set of rules written on a sheet of paper somewhere. Truth is the “living governor” of this universe that has dominion over all other components of this universe.
    Well, lets see what we have so far; Truth is eternal (it has always existed and will always exist); Truth is omnipresent (it is present everywhere in the universe at all times); Truth is omnipotent (it has dominion over everything else in the universe); Truth has a vital characteristic of omniscience (it knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe); and Truth is active” (it is aware of everything that is happening and instantaneously makes appropriate adjustments wherever needed in the universe). Surprisingly, being eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and active are some of the very characteristics that are used by theologians to describe God. Thus, by the strict rules of logic this means spiritual truth emanates from God. So in answer to our question “What is Truth?” we can answer that truth comes from God.
    Jesus says that He is “The Truth”. This is a VERY fantastic claim! If Jesus is speaking a truth, which I believe He is from the personal miracles I’ve seen in my life, then by the rules of logic this makes Jesus the ultimate and all encompassing expression all God’s truth in this universe. In other words, all individual truths of this universe, such as all the laws of physics, and all the ones in philosophy, find their authority and ultimate expression in Jesus Christ.

    So in my foundational belief the reason why Judeo/Christian cultures have contact with “The Being of Light” in NDEs and other cultures do not is because we have accepted the ultimate truth into our spirits somehow.
    Of course the fact that a huge majority of children are automatically seeing the “Being of Light” means that we are born out of this truth and somehow lose our connection with this universal spiritual truth that has authority over everything!

    If you want I will prove to you consciousness is indeed separate from the brain. But I believe this is enough to chew on for right now.

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    magnan says:

    Bornagain77: “A rock is composed of three basic ingredients; energy, force and truth. …..If truth did not exist the rock would not exist.”

    Your argument about truth does not make much philosophical sense to me – it is basically a tautology, and tautologies are not very illuminating. Truth is defined simply as correspondence with facts. If anything whatsoever exists, facts about this also exist, and a truth corresponding to it must also exist. Therefore if truth did not exist absolutely nothing would exist. Does this tell us anything important?

    You have elevated what is really just a metaphysical/philosophical concept in the world of human ideas to the ontological status of the Godhead through some clever logic, but it is not convincing to me. Man has created the concept of truth, and has also created the concept of the omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence of God. So man also can weave clever reasoning about these ideas. But this doesn’t prove anything about reality.

    Please understand that I am a Theist. It is just that I distrust theological argumentation as leading to truth about the world. The common transcendental features of deep Western NDEs may be a glimpse of the spiritual Truth about humanity, but you appear to assume this is the truth based on religious faith in the face of at least some seemingly contrary evidence. My attitude is to avoid wishful thinking as much as possible (as hard as that is to do sometimes), and carefully consider all the data. Unfortunately the full range of evidences in the NDE and paranormal areas do not presently seem to lead to any single coherent theory, or in my opinion to the teachings of any single one of the present world religions. So many areas of experience seem to point to different theories, there is so much ambiguity. We just don’t really know enough to make a valid synthesis covering this huge area.

    “If you want I will prove to you consciousness is indeed separate from the brain.”

    No need. I am already fairly convinced of this and am familiar with the evidence, but as I mentioned, I still must reserve at least a slight touch of doubt, for absolute proof is probably unattainable. Even in this area there is a lot of ambiguity and contradiction.

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