Everyone is afraid of death, and that is why death is portrayed in such a dark, evil manner in pictures and pop culture. We have all heard of Near Death Experiences (NDE) and of course people have had to wonder, true of false? Wonder no more! Dr Jeffrey Long has researched this issue, and has a book written about it called ‘Evidence of the Afterlife’, where he validates NDE’s and takes on the burden of proof issue. I’ll be looking to read this book soon. Anyhows, I picked up this story from the Skeptiko podcast, which is an excellent show to listen to, and you can also read the transcript of each show.
Science has studied the near-death experience for more than 20 years. Most research has concluded NDEs are real and unexplainable, but scientists have been slow to accept consciousness beyond death. A new scientific study by Jeffrey Long, M. D. may change that. The research compiled in his new book, Evidence of the Afterlife, represents the largest, most comprehensive study of near-death experience and according to the study’s author is, “a real game-changer”.Dr. Long explains, “we looked at nine lines of evidence that indicate the reality of near-death experiences and their consistent message of an afterlife. With each of these lines of evidence we carefully reviewed all prior scholarly research on the subject and made our contributions with our original research… from my point of view, the scientific term is compelling, but you can put it another way — the nine lines of evidence that I present is proof of the reality of near-death experiences.”
The conclusions of Dr. Long’s research are paradigm smashing for near-death experience skeptics who’ve argued that limited brain functioning may explain NDEs. “What near-death experiencers see correlates to their time of cardiac arrest and it is almost uniformly accurate in every detail. That pretty much refutes the possibility that these could be illusionary fragments, or unreal memories associated with hypoxia, chemicals, REM intrusion, anything that could cause brain dysfunction”, Dr. Long stated.
“I looked at over 280 near-death experiences that had out-of-body observations of Earthly ongoing events… If near-death experiences were just fragments of memory, unrealistic remembrances of a time approaching unconsciousness or returning from unconsciousness, there is no chance that the observations would have a high percent of completely accurate observations. They’d be dream-like or hallucinations. But 98% of them were entirely realistic… In fact, these observations of Earthly ongoing events often include observations of things that would be impossible for them to be aware of with any sensory function from their physical body. For example, they can see the tops of buildings. They can see far away. In my study over 60 of these near-death experiencers later went back and independently attempted to verify what they saw in the out-of-body state. Every single one of these over 60 near-death experiencers that reported checking or verifying their own observations found that they were absolutely correct in every detail.”, Dr. Long said.
While some near-death experience researchers have been reluctant to make the leap from NDEs to proof of the afterlife, Dr. Long is convinced by his research findings, “I’ve gone over every skeptic argument I can get my hands on. At the end of the day, I have no doubt in my mind near-death experience is for real. It’s a profound and reassuring message that we all have an afterlife. Every single one of us. And it’s wonderful. It is probably the greatest thrill of my life to be able to carry forward that important message to the world. I wouldn’t do it if I weren’t absolutely convinced that it’s correct.”
The conclusions of this research will be controversial, but Dr. Long stands ready to take on the critics, “I would be delighted to debate any near-death experience skeptic, any time, any place, on any media, as long as they’re scholarly, well informed, and as long as it can be a very high-level, intellectual debate.”
Jeffrey Long, M.D., is a physician practicing the specialty of radiation oncology (use of radiation to treat cancer) in Houma, Louisiana. Dr. Long has served on the Board of Directors of IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies), and is actively involved in NDE research. His book, Evidence of the Afterlife (HarperCollins), was published in 2010.
Source: Skeptiko3 comments