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Scientific Evidence For Reincarnation

Scientific Evidence For Reincarnation

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Published by Ian Thorpe

Life after death. Is it possible the essence of what we are somehow survives physical death? Scientists, philosophers and followers of religions have argued about this question for centuries. Here we examine the best evidence amassed so far of the possibility that something of us lives on, that we are more than just biological machines. Don't expect conclusive proof, in the end all the arguments come down to one set of beliefs versus another. make up your own minds.

Life after death. Is it possible the essence of what we are somehow survives physical death? Scientists, philosophers and followers of religions have argued about this question for centuries. Here we examine the best evidence amassed so far of the possibility that something of us lives on, that we are more than just biological machines. Don't expect conclusive proof, in the end all the arguments come down to one set of beliefs versus another. make up your own minds.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Ian Thorpe on Dec 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/17/2013

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Has Scientific Investigation Proved there Is Life After Death? 
The question of what happens to us after death has been with us from the earliesttimes. Neolithic burial sites show that the rites involved with a person passing out of this life was believe to be going on to another kind of existence. From Hindu andBuddhist reincarnation beliefs to the Christian idea that the good are raised to another life in The Kingdom of Heaven while the souls of the not-so-good may, according todifferent branches of Christian belief, serve time in purgatory cleansing their souls before going on, or may descent into a dark abyss where they will be torturedthroughout eternity.What is the truth. Is there some kind of afterlife or is our physical death simplythe end. My personal belief tends to the latter but after certain personal experiences Idon't cling to that belief with any great certainty. As Hamlet says to his friend Horatioin Shakespeare's play, "There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than aredreamed of in your philosophies."Horiatio's and mine too as it turns out because one great thing I have learnedthrough growing older is how little we truly know and understand of the nature of thisworld we live in and of the characteristics that make us human. It seems Socrates wasright all those years ago, the greatest thing we can know is that we know nothing.A certain kind of "scientist" will always be eager to scoff and sneer at the notion
 
that people engaged in researching a subject such as reincarnation should bedescribed as a scientists. This only proves that certain kind of scientist does not trulyunderstand the meaning of the word "science." All too often these people conflatescience with mathematics, insisting the universe works according to a mathematicaldesign and trying to reduce the human condition to a series of mathematicalequations. We should pity them, their narrow minds run on railway tracks and theyare always too ready to start a witch hunt against anything that challenges their mathematical certainties. (Anyone who wants to know the true value of mathematicalcertainties should try to make a living backing racehorses or playing the roulettewheel.)So is there any chance reincarnation could be possible?Dr.. Ian Stevensonformer head of the Department of Psychiatry at the Universityof Virginia, and now Director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the Universityof Virginia. is a psychiatrist who has spent many years studying cases of youngchildren who remember details of their past lives. Most of these children live in India,and some live in the Middle East. There have been very well documented cases in theUSA and Europe but the nature of western culture is such that many examples are probably dismissed as the vivid imaginings of the childish mind. Not surprisingreally, what kind of parent would risk subjecting a young child to the rabidharassment of white - coated inquisitors or the rabid attention of the tabloid press?Unlike many researchers in to the paranormal before him, Dr. Stevenson does notuse hypnosis in his research, he is adamant that under hypnosis both adults andchildren are far too suggestible for anything they say to be treated as reliableevidence. Thus to maintain objectivity in his studies he and his team rely oninterviews with fully conscious subjects, their family and friends and people withwhom they might have been acquainted in the past life. What emerges from theseinvestigations is then verified by documented evidence before it is accepted as agenuine case of reincarnation. (Dr. Ian Stevenson on You Tube)Instead of relying on hypnosis to verify that an individual has had a previous life,
 
the investigator instead chose to collect thousands of cases of children whospontaneously (without hypnosis) remember a past life. Dr. Ian Stevenson uses thisapproach because spontaneous past life memories in a child can be investigated usingstrict scientific protocols. Hypnosis, while useful in researching into past lives, is lessreliable from a purely scientific perspective. In order to collect his data Dr. Stevensonmethodically documents the child's statements of a previous life. Then he identifiesthe deceased person the child remembers being, and verifies the facts of the deceased person's life that match the child's memory. He even matches birthmarks and birthdefects to wounds and scars on the deceased, confirmed by medical records. His strictcontrols systematically rule out all possible "rational" explanations for the child’smemories.A reincarnation investigation might start with a child telling parents or familymembers from the moment he or she is able to speak coherently about her "other family", giving details such as previous name, the name of the village or town, themanner of death, and the names of her parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, etc.Such children, to attract the attention of Dr. Stevenson or other researchers intothe paranormal, must also show behaviour patters and the emotions that would fitwith the past-life person. Some may feel themselves to be of a different religion (or inthe case of Hindus, caste), or to be of a richer or poorer background than the biological family.There are even documented cases of such children actually being able to speak almost fluently in the language the former person spoke (this is calledxenoglossy, or may remember stories, songs or dances from the previous lifetime.When these cases occur word will get around about the child's statements and inthe small, close knit communities of rural India and the middle eastern countries,someone in another village will recognize a story about the a person they knew in the past, who died years before. The past-life family is contacted, and arrangements aremade for a visit. This is all rather vague and informal so where does Ian Stevenson'sclaim to have carried out his research with scientific rigor come in.

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