The largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences has discovered that some awareness may continue even after the brain has shut down completely.
It is a controversial subject which has, until recently, been treated with widespread scepticism.
But scientists at the University of Southampton have spent four years examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria.
And they found that nearly 40 per cent of people who survived described some kind of ‘awareness’ during the time when they were clinically dead before their hearts were restarted.
One man even recalled leaving his body entirely and watching his resuscitation from the corner of the room.
Despite being unconscious and ‘dead’ for three minutes, the 57-year-old social worker from Southampton, recounted the actions of the nursing staff in detail and described the sound of the machines.
“We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating,” said Dr Sam Parnia, a former research fellow at Southampton University, now at the State University of New York, who led the study.
“But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped.
“He seemed very credible and everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened.”
Of 2060 cardiac arrest patients studied, 330 survived and 140 said they had experienced some kind of awareness while being resuscitated.
Although many could not recall specific details, some themes emerged. One in five said they had felt an unusual sense of peacefulness while nearly one third said time had slowed down or speeded up.
Some recalled seeing a bright light; a golden flash or the Sun shining. Others recounted feelings of fear or drowning or being dragged through deep water. 13 per cent said they had felt separated from their bodies and the same number said their sensed had been heightened.
Dr Parnia believes many more people may have experiences when they are close to death but drugs or sedatives used in the process of rescuitation may stop them remembering.
“Estimates have suggested that millions of people have had vivid experiences in relation to death but the scientific evidence has been ambiguous at best.
“Many people have assumed that these were hallucinations or illusions but they do seem to corresponded to actual events.
“And a higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits.
“These experiences warrant further investigation.“ (Continue Reading.)
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
If naturalism is true, human consciousness is nothing but brain activity. Yet studies have repeatedly shown that consciousness can continue even when there is no brain activity. Why is naturalism considered a viable worldview when it has been decisively refuted by scientific research?
Saturday, October 4, 2014
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.Nevertheless, atheists often ask why God doesn't provide even more proof, such as writing his name in the sky. This objection assumes, however, that God is simply attempting to convince people that he exists. But this is not the Christian position.
Here's a short video by William Lane Craig on the atheist demand for more evidence.
Friday, October 3, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Up until the beginning of the 20th century, atheists typically argued that the universe was eternal and uncaused, so much so that even Albert Einstein "fudged" his equations and introduced a "cosmological constant" to avoid the conclusion that the universe began. After looking through Hubble's telescope and observing the red-shift in moving galaxies, Einstein acknowledged that the "cosmological constant" was the biggest blunder of his career.
Leonard Susskind is a professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University and one of the developers of string theory. In this interview, Susskind discusses cosmological fine tuning and the various ways of explaining it.