OOBEs and scientific research

#1
Hello all,

I'm new to Skeptiko and the forum as well, so if the question was already addressed, please do let me know where I can find the information. My question is regarding the evidence for OOBEs :

The interesting issue about the scientists opposing the OOBE phenomenon being related to the non local consciousness is the fact that they say they are able to replicate it by stimulating a specific part of the brain and create the same "floating", out of body feeling. But the point is the following :

- The OOBEers say that they can perceive the scene from a different vantage point. Does the stimulated trials result in the same ? If yes, then they simply prove that the consciousness is non local !

- If the "out of body" feeling they create is just the feeling and not the same caracteristics as in the NDE situation for instance, then we are not talking about the same thing !

I would argue that what really important is, is the phenomenon produced and not HOW it was produced. Anyone who can perceive things from a different standpoint as the body confirms non local phenomenon and how this was done (by itself or by stimulating the brain) is not really important, IMHO. It's the nature of the phenomenon that really counts.

But the actual question I'd like to ask is this : There are also people who claim they can provoke OOBE at will, if I understand well.

Sam Parnia wanted to set up a very clear research scenario where he placed images on the top of places impossible to see from a regular angle, unless the perception happens from above the point where they are. He wanted to test this during an NDE situation but he couldn't get any results mainly due to the limited number of occurences. But :

- Would someone living such an extreme situation be interested in those images ? Or rather their own body or the action around ?
- We don't really know the nature of such a possible perception. Do those images really matter ?
- We miss perceiving things in our daily lives even under natural conditions. Maybe we didn't see a person with a funny big hat on the street while we were driving to work this morning, if this was not really something that is of interest to us.

However, if a person who can replicate OOBE's at will, outside a NDE situation, then that's different. So my question is, why isn't there any tests carried out with such people and do the same as Sam Parnia wanted to do ? It would be much more efficient, the subjects would KNOW what they should report after the experience and they would be under controlled conditions and specially without an extreme and frightening FIRST (and possibly only) experience of dying ... Why they never try to do that ?
 
#2
Sam Parnia wanted to set up a very clear research scenario where he placed images on the top of places impossible to see from a regular angle, unless the perception happens from above the point where they are. He wanted to test this during an NDE situation but he couldn't get any results mainly due to the limited number of occurences
That experiment is currently in it's second phase (Aware 2) . In the first study, he was only able to interview 100 patients (I think) and only two out of body experiences were reported but unfortunately neither occurred in a research area (a room with a board fitted)

* Apologies for repeating this, it's been done to death * (pun intended)

However, if a person who can replicate OOBE's at will, outside a NDE situation, then that's different. So my question is, why isn't there any tests carried out with such people and do the same as Sam Parnia wanted to do
Experiments like this have been carried out on OBErs such as Keith Harary and Alex Tanous for example. The sceptics always refuse to accept the results or find fault with the methodology or if that fails they say it could have been super psi etc.

*same again*

I have noticed a little bit of movement from some called sceptics recently. Lloyd Rudy's recounting of his patients OBE (which occurred when the patient was dead) naturally worried them and found its way on to dozens of sceptical websites and blogs. I found this piece from a poster called "Shen" on the Skeptics society forum. It's quite amusing to see the way he attempts to debunk it, even drawing some critical remarks (below) from his own allies.

http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=22188 :)

It's quite right to be sceptical, but equally one ought to also be sceptical of scepticism that is just throwing out any 'It might be....' that one can think up in an attempt to appear sceptical. There does come a point where the scepticism is clutching at straws even more than the original story and one is at the level of 'swamp gas' ( which even Hynek later admitted was stretching explanations too far ).

Surely the point of scepticism is not a stance of ' I am not going to believe in this under any circumstances ' that simply expresses a desire to find any alternative explanation even if it makes even less sense than the original, but is very simply a case of demanding 'where is the evidence ?'. To me that is all one needs to say about these cases. It's not for sceptics to prove that this isn't life after death, but for believers to prove that it is !

"There could even be a more better explanation then the anesthesiologist and that means they all were in a shock because a person is going to die by them and this could screw your nerves and you start to believe in strange things and even a hallucination with a feeling of a presence:"

This is an example of what I mean by the scepticism clutching at even more straws than the story.

The guy is a professional surgeon who has done loads of operations and had loads of people die on him. There's no particular reason why this case should be any different. It's highly unlikely that a professional medic with many years experience would experience 'shock' at the very regular occurrence of someone dying on the operating table. Nor does it explain why two trained medics would both experience this alleged 'presence'.

Also, once you start arguing that even the medics ( as well as the patient, one assumes ) are having hallucinations then you really do enter 'swamp gas' territory...as you could simply respond 'hallucination' to practically anything. How do I know my wife sitting next to me now isn't a hallucination ? Maybe the fly on a wall over there is a hallucination.

To my mind, the essence of science and scepticism is that the sceptic doesn't have to actually prove anything. The entire burden of proof is on the person claiming that these incidents provide evidence for life after death. And none of these anecdotal stories really prove anything of the sort. They are interesting, but inconclusive. That's all a sceptic really needs to say.
 
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#3
Hello all,

I'm new to Skeptiko and the forum as well, so if the question was already addressed, please do let me know where I can find the information. My question is regarding the evidence for OOBEs :

The interesting issue about the scientists opposing the OOBE phenomenon being related to the non local consciousness is the fact that they say they are able to replicate it by stimulating a specific part of the brain and create the same "floating", out of body feeling.
Depends on the physiological condition of the patient during the period from which the OBE recollection apparently occurs, and whether such recollection is veridical, and/or even verifiable.

In the example studies you mentioned, the patient is in normal wakeful conscious, is not energy compromised, and has fully functioning sensory input... So this physiological condition is not the same as a fear death type experience, under cardiac arrest, physical trauma, or sleep/dreaming, induced lucid dreaming etc.

But the point is the following :

- The OOBEers say that they can perceive the scene from a different vantage point. Does the stimulated trials result in the same ? If yes, then they simply prove that the consciousness is non local !

- If the "out of body" feeling they create is just the feeling and not the same caracteristics as in the NDE situation for instance, then we are not talking about the same thing !

I would argue that what really important is, is the phenomenon produced and not HOW it was produced. Anyone who can perceive things from a different standpoint as the body confirms non local phenomenon and how this was done (by itself or by stimulating the brain) is not really important, IMHO. It's the nature of the phenomenon that really counts.

But the actual question I'd like to ask is this : There are also people who claim they can provoke OOBE at will, if I understand well.

Sam Parnia wanted to set up a very clear research scenario where he placed images on the top of places impossible to see from a regular angle, unless the perception happens from above the point where they are. He wanted to test this during an NDE situation but he couldn't get any results mainly due to the limited number of occurences.
Follow up interviews during AWARE were severely delayed. Deeper experiences are generally correlated with the amount of time the patients brain was energy compromised, and these patients don't tend to live very long. Hence the follow-up delays meant that they probably lost the most important experiences. However, no OBE has yet recalled seeing a hidden, secret, real time target during the OBE.

But :
- Would someone living such an extreme situation be interested in those images ? Or rather their own body or the action around ?
- We don't really know the nature of such a possible perception. Do those images really matter ?
- We miss perceiving things in our daily lives even under natural conditions. Maybe we didn't see a person with a funny big hat on the street while we were driving to work this morning, if this was not really something that is of interest to us.
Cardiac arrest patients who recall OBE's come into possession of all sorts of visual information, which looks little different, (if not less interesting than the actual targets).
However, if a person who can replicate OOBE's at will, outside a NDE situation, then that's different. So my question is, why isn't there any tests carried out with such people and do the same as Sam Parnia wanted to do ? It would be much more efficient, the subjects would KNOW what they should report after the experience and they would be under controlled conditions and specially without an extreme and frightening FIRST (and possibly only) experience of dying ... Why they never try to do that ?
AWARE was about awareness during resuscitation. As far as I'm aware, there has been no success in recalling hidden, secret, real-time targets under any type of study.

 
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