Survival of Consciousness after Death - Skeptiko Community Led List

#61
Hey Zach; Wormwood; Charlie; Jim, and others. My attention at the moment is spread thin, so apologies for not participating as thoughtfully in this thread as I might otherwise have. That said, I have had a quick rescan through it, and re the questions/issues in the most recent few posts, I would say:

  1. Include quantum mechanics, but put it way down the list - at best, it suggests that consciousness might - because, as an "observer", it causally affects material states such as whether a phenomenon is a wave or a particle - be in some sense "independent" of "matter". To go from there to "consciousness survives death" is "not quite conclusive", to put it euphemistically, but hey, it's a small and at least consistent piece of evidence, and, as Jim says in so many words, it might be more significant to others than it is to me.
  2. Veridical NDEs or OBEs? For sure! These are amongst the best evidence!
 
#64
I'm not sure veridical NDEs or OBEs really fit either.

Ghosts & Hauntings likewise for the aforementioned problem of proof
Veridical NDEs are about the most important piece of evidence IMO.

Ghosts are tough, because to be convinced, you simply have to listen to dozens and dozens of people tell their stories. When you see the sincerity on their faces and start to notice the consistency of all the reports, that’s when you start to take it seriously. But of course we can’t do that on one thread. Depending upon how the post is structure; I think it may be worth a mention perhaps, but I wouldn’t attempt to demonstrste it, because you really can’t. Same for QM. Maybe mentioned at the bottom like others have said. Veridical NDEs are the best thing we have IMO. People accurately reporting what is going on in other rooms when they are dead is about as good of evidence as you could dream for.
 
#65
Maybe demonstrate the best reasons we have to believe that consciousness is separate from the brain, and then go into why we believe that consciousness survives bodily death? It’s easier to believe it survives bodily death when you’ve demonstrated that it’s a seperate thing from the body
 
#66
Something like this perhaps

Why is Consciousness separate

1) Quantum Physics
2) Psi research
3) Placebo effect
Etc etc

Why does consciousness survive

1) NDE
—A) Veridical NDE
—B) the blind see the deaf hear
— C) etc

2) The Medium data
—A)
—B)

3) The universal experience across time and location of ghosts. (I can write something for this section since it’s the area I probably know the most about)
 
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#67
My thinking is it might be redundant next to the common NDEs. Is there something I'm missing about the phenomenon that adds? Would love to know what you're thinking about it...
I'd put it the other way around when it comes to objective evidence for the survival of consciousness: common NDEs are redundant next to veridical NDEs. Without the veridical component, an NDE is subject to dismissal as merely a subjective experience, i.e., in the same category as everyday dreams and "hallucinations", which can't be objectively proved to be anything other than "brain-based". Veridical confirmation objectively precludes such a dismissal; especially when the brain is dysfunctional, it proves that consciousness is independent of the brain, which strongly suggests the possibility that consciousness survives biological death.
 
#68
Something like this perhaps

Why is Consciousness separate
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html#facts_esp
(the original contains links to more info)
ESP is not produced by the brain.

There is ample proof that ESP is real. However it is not possible for ESP to be caused by the brain because none of the laws of physics, including quantum entanglement, can explain how the brain might produce ESP. And in the case of telepathy, the unique structures in one brain will be meaningless to another brain. The existence of ESP is consistent with and mutually reinforcing to many other lines of reasoning that lead to the conclusions that consciousness is not produced by the brain and that consciousness can exist separate from the body.

No physical mechanism in the brain has been demonstrated to cause ESP. ESP has been shown not to be limited by time and distance. ESP can reach into the past and future and is just as strong over short distances as it is for long distances. None of the known laws of physics can explain this. It has been hypothesized that quantum entanglement could explain ESP, because when two particles are entangled, determining a property of one particle will also determine a property of the other instantly, independent of distance between the two particles. However, quantum entanglement can not be the mechanism by which ESP occurs because for entanglement to occur, there has to be some mechanism by which entanglement is established. In lab experiments on entanglement, the entangled particles are created deliberately at the same time in the same location and then separated to demonstrate entanglement effects. While entanglement can occur in biological systems, as is seen in photosynthesis, in a biological system like photosynthesis, a mechanism for establishing entanglement is easy to explain because it occurs in a very small region at a specific time. However in the case of ESP, there is no mechanism by which entanglement between objects at separate locations could be established to produce forms of ESP such as telepathy and clairvoyance. Microtubules in brain cells have been proposed, by Stuart Hammeroff, as a mechanism for producing consciousness. It has also been proposed that quantum entanglement in that system could explain ESP, but again there is no way entanglement could be established between separate individuals.

Furthermore, even if there were some way to entangle a physical structure in one brain with, for example in the case of telepathy, a structure in another brain, there would be no correspondence between the meaning of those two structures to the consciousness of the individuals. The patterns in one person's brain will not make sense to any another person's brain. The pattens of neurons in the brain develop differently in each person according to their genetics and environment, and those patterns change over time due to neuroplasticity. The meaning of a physical structure or pattern in the brain of one person will be unintelligible to another person. Entangling two structures in different brains would not be able to convey any meaning to either person. Therefore, telepathy cannot be produced by the brain by means of quantum entanglement or any other physical means. The very existence of telepathy, therefore, is evidence that ESP is not produced by the brain, and also that consciousness is not produced by the brain i.e. that conscious is non-physical.

There are also several other independent lines of reasoning that lead to the conclusion that consciousness is non-physical and not-produced by the brain. One of these lines of reasoning, for example, is based on the fact that that consciousness is a subjective phenomena that cannot be measured objectively and therefore cannot be produced by physical processes since all physical processes are, in principle, measurable. The only way to know what is in the mind of another person is through ESP, such as telepathy, or telempathy, both of which are themselves subjective and unmeasurable by any objective physical means. Since consciousness is subjective and non-physical and cannot be measured by any physical process, ESP which can perceive aspects of another consciousness, must also be non-physical, and cannot be the result of any physical process in the brain.

People who believe that ESP is produced by the brain believe that some quantum effect must cause ESP because ESP is independent of time and distance. But there is a much better explanation for ESP that also explains why ESP is independent of time and distance. That explanation is the filter model of the brain. According to the filter model, consciousness is not physical and the brain does not produce consciousness but only filters it. The filter model explains all the facts that are explained by the production model such as the correlation between mental states and brain states, and the loss of functions due to brain injury. But the filter model also explains ESP and why it is not dependent on time and distance. According to the filter model, ESP is the means by which non-physical consciousness naturally interacts with its environment and because consciousness is non-physical it is not subject to the laws of physics or limited by physical parameters such as time and distance. The filter model also explains acquired savant syndrome where brain injury causes new talents to be uncovered and why brain injury sometimes result in development of ESP. These two effects are caused by brain injury that is like a hole in the filter that allows new aspects of consciousness to pass through it. The filter model explains loss of function injuries, such as amnesia, as being like a clog in the filter. The filter model also explains the unfiltered consciousness experienced by NDErs that includes veridical perceptions, 360 degree vision and colors not seen while in the body.

Philosopher Chris Carter believes consciousness is not produced by the brain and that the brain transmits consciousness. Parapsychologists who do not believe in survival have to explain afterlife phenomena as the result of ESP produced in the brain of a living person. Chris Carter's work demonstrates that those theories are pseudo-science.
1) Quantum Physics
2) Psi research
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/04/proof-of-esp-1889-1997.html
(the original contains links to more info)
Proof of ESP: 1871 - 1997. Beating the Odds at Ten Million Billion Billion to One.


This post reviews the history of ESP research from 1871 to 1997. It is based on information in The Conscious Universe by Dean Radin unless otherwise noted. (Many prominent pseudoskeptics, including Richard Wiseman, Chris French, Ray Hyman, Donald Hebb, and George Price, admit evidence for ESP meets the scientific standard of proof but they refuse to believe ESP is real because ... they don't want to.)
Clairvoyance

In 1889, Charles Richet, winner of the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine, conducted experiments where hypnotized subjects were able to identify the contents of sealed envelopes with the odds against chance explaining the result of 25,000 to 1 (Reference: Entangled Minds by Dean Radin).
Telepathy

In 1927 George Estabrooks at Harvard University conducted tests of telepathy between students in adjoining rooms. He obtained positive results that were highly significant. The odds against these results occurring by chance was greater than a million to one.

1930: Mental Radio was published. In this book, Upton Sinclair described his wife's ability to duplicate a sketch that someone else had drawn without her having to see it. After the book was published, Dr. Walter Franklyn Prince did an independent analysis of the data and concluded the results could not be explained by chance or by any other natural means.

1920s - 1965: Professor Joseph Banks Rhine and colleagues at Duke University conducted ESP tests using a deck of 25 cards with one of five possible symbols on each card. They found that subjects were able to guess the symbol on a card more frequently than could be explained by chance. One study of all similar card tests from various experimenters from 1882 to 1939 found the odds against chance were more than a billion trillion to one.

1966 - 1972: Montague Ullman and Stanley Krippner conducted dream telepathy experiments at Maimonides Medical Center. In these experiments, one person looked at a picture while another person was dreaming. The dreamer was then awakened and described her dreams. The descriptions were judged and it was found that the picture was included in the dreams often enough so that the odds against chance explaining the results were 75 million to one.

Mid 1970s: Charles Honorton began the Ganzfeld experiments. In these experiments a subject was put into a relaxed state for a period of time while listening to white noise with translucent plastic covering her eyes to help reduce mental "noise". While this was happening, a second person looked at a picture. Afterward, the subject was shown four different pictures, one of which was the picture the second person had looked at. The subject was able to identify which picture had been looked at a frequency greater than could be explained by chance. When the results of several experiments were combined they obtained odds of ten billion to one against chance.
Remote Viewing

Remote viewing is a type of experiment where a subject attempts to mentally view a remote location.

1973 - 1988: Edwin May reviewed all remote viewing experiments conducted at Stanford Research Institute (SRI). The experiments were successful overall, with combined odds against chance of more than a billion billion to one.

1989 - 1993: Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) obtained positive results that could not be explained by chance.

1978 - 1987: Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) remote viewing experiments produced positive results with odds against chance of 100 billion to one.
Precognition

1989: Charles Honorton and Diane Ferrari analyzed all "forced-choice" precognition experiments conducted by sixty two different investigators that were conducted from 1935 to 1987. In a these experiments, a test subject tried to predict which of a fixed number of objects would be selected at a later time. For these experiments, Honorton and Ferrari calculated odds against getting the same results by chance was 1025 or ten million billion billion to one.

Early 1980s: Holger Klintman conducted experiments where he showed a subject a color patch and asked the subject to name the color. Then the subject was shown a word for a color and asked to read the word. Klintman found that when the patch and the word were the same color, the reaction time for saying the color of the patch was faster even though the word for the color had not yet been displayed. He calculated the odds against chance for these results were 500,000 to 1.

Before the publication of The Conscious Universe was published in 1997, Dean Radin explored a similar phenomenon by measuring the skin conductivity of a person (which is an indicator of sweat gland activity) as a series of images were shown. Sweat gland activity always increased just before an image was shown to the subject as the subject was waiting to see the next image. However, Radin found that if the image was one that would produce an emotional reaction, sweat gland activity increased more than for other images. He called this phenomenon "presentiment". Professor Dick Bierman reported replicating this phenomenon in 1996.
Psychokinesis

William Crookes tested the psychic Daniel Dunglas Home in 1871 and proved telekinesis is real. Crookes tested Home under laboratory conditions that prevented fraud. Crookes described these experiments in his book: Researches into the Phenomena of Modern Spiritualism.

1935: J. B. Rhine, Lousia Rhine, and colleagues at Duke University began experiments to see if mental intention could influence dice rolling. In 1989 Dianne Ferrari and Dean Radin analyzed the combined results of fifty two investigators from 1935 to 1987. They found mental intention could influence dice rolling, and they calculated the odds against obtaining the result by chance was more than a billion to one.

1959 - 1987: In 1987 Roger Nelson and Dean Radin combined the results of experiments in which a test subject tried to alter the results of a random number generator. They considered 832 studies (597 of which were conducted at PEAR) and found a positive result. They calculated the odds against obtaining this result by chance were more than a trillion to one.
Psychic Healing

In The End of Materialism Dr. Charles Tart writes:
For many years, when talking about parapsychological findings, I referred to the "big four," the four psi phenomena for which there was so much accumulated evidence that we could take them as the foundational findings of the field: three forms of ESP (telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition), plus PK. Each had hundreds of well-controlled experiments supporting its existence. In the last two decades, though, enough positive studies of psychic healing have been published (see www. stephanaschwartz.com for an extensive, current bibliography, with abstracts) that I now speak of the "big five."
The bibliography Dr. Tart mentions is Therapeutic Intent/Healing Bibliography of Research Compiled by Larry Dossey, M.D., and Stephan A. Schwartz
 
#69
aftereffects of NDE's need further study , cause that should be good evidence to suggest something external may very well have happened
 
#70
aftereffects of NDE's need further study , cause that should be good evidence to suggest something external may very well have happened
And that’s another area where perhaps the only way to be convinced is to listen to case after case, and when you begin to see the pattern, you know. But I think the best we can do is to simply explain that. We could quote Moody or Long etc as I know they’ve spoken a fair amount about this.
 
#71
Anyone else think Quantum Mechanics doesn't fit? Maybe it should be scratched from the list.

Personally I don't know enough to say one way or another.
Dean Radin has this to say about the ‘observer effect’:

“That's a door that opens just a crack, for the nature of consciousness meeting with physicality".

For me it was my ‘eureka’ moment. It set me off on a never ending journey.
 
#72
And that’s another area where perhaps the only way to be convinced is to listen to case after case, and when you begin to see the pattern, you know. But I think the best we can do is to simply explain that. We could quote Moody or Long etc as I know they’ve spoken a fair amount about this.
i know there is a video on it, but it seems not to be given as much light as general NDE's but the after effects could be basically your proof, and maybe..... maybe could explaina way the reductionist explainations for NDE's

cause if it was all head based, then these after effects shouldn't simply happen right?
 
#73
cause if it was all head based, then these after effects shouldn't simply happen right?
I think that’s genrally true. AT LEAST it shouldn’t cause effects as profound as we see in NDErs. Their lives change profoundly and forever. I have dreams at night that I consider profound, but by the end of the day I’ve usually forgotten. And this fits the fact that NDErs state that their experience is not only dreamlike, but it’s more real than everyday experience. Ie-everyday life is a dream compared to the ultra real reality experience of the afterlife.
 
#74
I think that’s genrally true. AT LEAST it shouldn’t cause effects as profound as we see in NDErs. Their lives change profoundly and forever. I have dreams at night that I consider profound, but by the end of the day I’ve usually forgotten. And this fits the fact that NDErs state that their experience is not only dreamlike, but it’s more real than everyday experience. Ie-everyday life is a dream compared to the ultra real reality experience of the afterlife.
I would need to think on it

Cause the attitude changes could be ..... well explained away by the fact they were so close to death, so it giving them a new vigour of life?

but the physical changes, like electrical interference , objects failing, etc, defo ..... harder to explain away, unless there is some extra conductivity induced by chest paddles in cases of Cardiac arrest or .... somehow hospital medications increase your conductivity?
or maybe having metal stuff being in your flesh? i dunno

but then again would those explianations i say, be explained away if the intereferences have happened multiple times?

i gotta be careful with bias here
 
#75
I would need to think on it

Cause the attitude changes could be ..... well explained away by the fact they were so close to death, so it giving them a new vigour of life?

but the physical changes, like electrical interference , objects failing, etc, defo ..... harder to explain away, unless there is some extra conductivity induced by chest paddles in cases of Cardiac arrest or .... somehow hospital medications increase your conductivity?
or maybe having metal stuff being in your flesh? i dunno

but then again would those explianations i say, be explained away if the intereferences have happened multiple times?

i gotta be careful with bias here
If it’s a hallucinatory affect than it’s hallucinatory on a level not even remotely achieved by anything else in our experience. And everybody who has the experience will tell you they know it was real. More real than our present reality, unmistakable.This also line up perfectly with the other evidence, in conjunction with the blind seeing for the first time, people meeting dead relatives, the physical after effects (which you mentioned), accurate information recieved about the future, the consistency of the reports which involve a sense of no time existing, and almost always the fact that communication with occur beings occur telepathically. Strange thing for everybody to be hallucinating. Then indirectly of course, we have the reincarnation evidence, the double blind testing of mediums. But I’m beating a dead horse. And this thread isn’t for point counter-point.
 
#76
Thanks a ton Wormwood!

I'm thinking we may need to take a step back here and decide what the list topic should be. Ie 'Things to know about Survival of Consciousness after Death' vs. 'Things we know that prove Survival of Consciousness after Death is real'

I'm not sure that writing a list that proves SOCAD (my new acronym)
- love it... urban idctionary here we go :)

is as useful as listing the most striking, and perhaps unexplained, phenomenon associated with it. Ideas? Maybe a 'Top Ten' list isn't the best way forward?

Also, totally forgot about Ghosts/Hauntings!!!
top 10 list is a terrible idea... a wonderfully terrible idea :) I mean, maybe it what's lacking with the SOCAD meme. I don't think we need to oversimplify/dumbdown, but who among us would not have enjoyed having a more manageable way to get into this topic when we were starting out.
 
#79
Apologies on my misunderstanding of what veridical NDEs are, definitely needs inclusion...

So in my opinion we've got two points to sort and one we haven't discussed that I think needs some discussion

1. Ghosts/Hauntings - what kind of evidence do we really need for it to merit inclusion? Does it merit inclusion? Are there examples of hauntings which yielded prophetic information etc
2. After Effects of NDEs - I don't know enough about the topic to weigh in, but I think the podcasts with PMH Atwater #152 - and Piero Calvi-Parisetti #319 are worth throwing into the mix...

And finally let's talk about universal cultural symbols such as angels, God, the radiating oneness of existence as written about in religious literature throughout many cultures- which seem to gain an extra significance when seen through the lens of an NDE ??? something like that.
 
#80
I'm already biased on the ghosts/hauntings side as I've personally had an experience. To make a long story short, I was staying in an old country b&b, was haunted, asked around the next day and found out the ghost was most likely the previous owner of the land who'd died of an overdose as an addict of some form of opiate, laudanum etc. and that I was definitely not the first person to report an experience staying there.
 
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