Samwise wrote:People experience REM intrusion immediately recognise their perception are not reality based,
This is false. You can be vivid dreaming in REM and mistake it for reality. I think you are confounding the REM phase with lucidity. The two may
go together but they are not the same and can be independent of each other. (REM doesn't necessarily encompass lucid dreaming and lucidity is simpatico with--though not always--the waking state.)
Samwise wrote:NDE'rs describe the experience as "realer than real".
What does that even mean? Lucid dreamers also talk about lucid dreams sometimes having hyper-real qualities, like 'reality on steroids'. It doesn't mean anything. These are only statements concerning the vividness of experiences which can be brought about by bursts of REM anyway. Also, you have disregarded memory of such experiences which often doesn't match the original as the brain is vulnerable to hyperbole, confabulations and false memory in general.
Samwise wrote:The REM intrusion hypothesis also fails to explain the documented cases of veridical perceptions,
What veridical perceptions? You mean organised hoaxes, sensationalism, and hearsay vouched for by quacks and pseudo-scientists? Of course it wouldn't. REM bursts are a possible explanation for those genuine cases where the brain comes back to consciousness and generates the NDE narrative which might later be mistaken to have happened during the equivalent of delta sleep.
Samwise wrote:the profound and long lasting after effects of the NDE (which don't occur with REM based dreaming),
Says who? Many lucid dreamers have had experiences which had a long-lasting impact. It is also not clear whether the NDEs are what had the most impact or the subsequent way in which they are interpreted which often panders to the fantasist--making him/her feel special. Meditation-born epiphanies can be just as impactful and yet they are nothing more than brain-generated as one's mental default mode is interrupted. Profundity is not a measure for the supranormal in conscious experiences. (I won't even mention the inspirational, ordinary dreaming of figures like Einstein!)
Samwise wrote:reports of visual like perceptions in the blind,
'Reports'! You said it. Also, there are many types of blindness and alterations in the brain which could produce the belief that vision was experienced. There are peculiar cases of people who are blind but refuse to believe it and claim perfect vision. Recently, I came across the paralysis case of a woman who claimed that her right arm was the doctor's, not hers. When the doctor asked her, 'Do I have three hands, then?' she replied, 'Perhaps!' You really want to talk about the reliability of reports, do you?
Samwise wrote:or the profound cases of healings that are documented with NDE's.
There you go again with the 'profound' and the documented hoaxes.
Samwise wrote:Also, all REM states we are aware of require a fully functioning brain to manifest.
Same argument, again? I've already explained when the experiences could have really arisen (as the individual is coming to) and REM bursts, or something like it, then becomes feasible.
Samwise wrote:REM based visuals would also be described as hallucinations, while past NDE research has found there are clear distinctions between NDE visual experiences and hallucinations.
What are you talking about? What a load of cobblers! You seem to be playing with semantics here. There are many types of hallucination. You get them in the waking state; you get them when you dream (sleep hallucinations); and NDEs could just be traumatically induced. Regardless of whether one chooses to call them hallucinations or not (going by some precise, and in my opinion, parochial definition), NDEs are most likely generated by the living brain. Your perception of the world and your body are entirely created by your brain, hence why it is said that a pain experienced in your arm really happens in your head (the brain's body image). This has been demonstrated in peculiar sciatic cases where phantom pain was experienced in limbs but the damage was found to be in the spine. One could, in fact, describe perception of the world as a very elaborate hallucination constrained by sensory input. I don't even see a sound basis for your argument here other than obscurantist semantics.
Samwise wrote:All of the NDE researchers I mentioned, among them highly educated physicians, cardiologists, resuscitation experts and neuropsychiatrists are not all liars and frauds.
Their qualifications and past credentials mean nothing if they suddenly stop doing science once they commence their cheating ways. You get frauds in all professions, Samwise. I shouldn't have to tell you this. But in science they all get found out sooner or later as exposed by peer-review. Sorry, but again, your statement does not reinforce your biased opinion. There cannot be a conspiracy theory in the scientific community hell-bent on hiding some paranormal truth, as you seem to imply, because what is out there is discoverable by everyone. I've already provided examples where mundane things, such as the light bulb and heavier than air flying machines, were doubted by sceptics and these were subsequently proved wrong. This isn't happening with the paranormal, my dear, because such claims simply aren't true. (What's worse, they've been around longer than those mundane things that science proved possible.)
Samwise wrote:To make such a statement shows you are coming from a highly biased viewpoint and it is very obvious you have not examined all the evidence available. Like I stated previously, all of these researchers very much subscribed to a materialist reductionist hallucinatory view of the NDE, but changed their stance based on their research findings.
Oh, come on ... You are wrong, Samwise. That's what those knavish experts claim. I could say the same thing about you being highly biased. I don't believe in the paranormal, or that OBEs are real as opposed to being mental illusions, not because I'm a physicalist of some sort--far from it!--I do not
believe because I have not seen one shred of convincing evidence for a transcendent metaphysical realm and plenty
, in neuroscience and neurology, suggesting the finality of death.
Samwise wrote:What about the cases where people have a flat line EEG but on regaining consciousness [my italics]
You said it! 'On regaining consciousness ...' Nothing further, Your Honour.
Samwise wrote:are able to describe in detail and with a very high degree of accuracy, the chronological order of events that took place when they were deeply unconsciousness with minimal brain activity, as mentioned previously?
Are you familiar with the philosophy of David Hume? We can't possibly check the veracity of all cases when they happen but ask yourself what is more likely: Hysterical sensationalism akin to the 'dance of the Sun' as sold by the Vatican (which happens all the time in tabloids and the media in general), or that an immaterial soul exited some body and could see and hear things independent of a brain--contradicting everything gathered so far neuroscientifically. Moreover, how could something non-physical ever interact with the physical? It would have to be physical by definition and thus we would be pressed to examine it in order to figure out how consciousness comes about. Since the brain, as the most complex organ we know, affects consciousness if we deliberately toy with it, what are we to conclude if not that awareness comes about through specific physical signatures in reality? Your dualism could never explain consciousness, it would only perpetuate the mystery.
Samwise wrote:I was never claiming that it did. It is just intriguing that the brain goes out with a bioelectrical bang, as oppose to a whimper. The high frequency gamma waves that are emitted are associated with brain synchronisation and altered states such lucid dreaming, ayahuasca intoxication and advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice.
It doesn't matter. The experience of a dying brain would then be nothing more than a pseudo-afterlife, the individual's last dream before the brain conks out.
Samwise wrote:Why do OBE's have to be paranormal? I firmly don't believe in the paranormal, or the supernatural, but in principle at least I'm open to the possibility that some phenomena now considered as supernatural will in the future be found to be natural once an explanatory mechanism is found.
I very much doubt that an afterlife or a soul will be discovered as extensions of physical reality. Something like the Higgs boson has been discovered which explains why particles have mass. And yet, a hypothetical soul, which is supposed to grossly control complex organisms such as our bodies, is nowhere to be found. You are persisting in entertaining an idea which has remained insubstantial with the advent and progression of the scientific method of enquiry.
Samwise wrote:Your example of lucid dreaming is an interesting case in point...before their existence was proved beyond doubt in sleep labs by Keith Hearne and Stephen LeBerge, scientists considered them "paradoxical and impossible", despite the many centuries of literature describing them, and of course people having their own experiences with them for very much longer.
So? This is what I mentioned before to show that eventually science gets there if it is something to be discovered. Scientists can make mistakes in their presuppositions too. But the beauty of science is that it formulates theories which are then tested against reality. This is a search for truth. Lucid dreaming is a truth and so it was found. Dualistic expressions are older than the first descriptions of lucid dreaming, and yet, the latter was found to be true whilst the former seems more preposterous than ever.
Samwise wrote:On the "proving" OBE's front, yes this is a challenge, but a fair number seem to have proven their objectivity, at least for themselves.
It shouldn't be a challenge if it is true. In fact, it should be easily demonstrable. And proving something to yourself means nothing when you are trying to convince the world. Stephen LaBerge knew this, which is why he used science to recreate and popularise the relevant scientific experiments. LaBerge knew that simply claiming to be a lucid dreamer would not do. Where is the equivalent for OBEs as real out-of-body viewpoints?
Samwise wrote:if you try and obtain physical proof for what seems to be a non-physical experience, you're gonna run into problems!
A non-physical experience could have physical origins. The brain appears to generate your experience of colours. You won't find those colours inside the brain but you will certainly find the meaty circuitry responsible for it. Tweak it a bit and one might become daltonic. Likewise, you won't find the realistic software images on your computer screen inside the hardware. You will find the circuits and mechanisms that help to create the illusion. Consciousness has a cause. Whether we have the capacity to understand it as human beings is another matter. But it is something which is, in principle, discoverable. And its explanation will have to start out with unconscious elements in reality because an explanation that starts with consciousness itself is no explanation at all.
Samwise wrote:Besides, compared to other areas of consciousness experiences, scientific research on OBE's is lacking.
I disagree. It's been well looked at in the realm of cognitive science an found to be an illusion thus far. The thalamus is a good candidate for distortions in proprioception for example. Also, hybrid brain states compounding wakefulness and dreaming can explain lucid dreaming (when one knows it's a dream) and OBEs (which are often erroneously interpreted to be real out-of-body travels).
Enra Traz wrote:As for consciousness, there is indeed an integrated information theory by Tononi, a theory which is being tested and hasn't been falsified thus far.
Samwise wrote:Yep I know this theory is the current darling of the brain = consciousness side of things, and it does seem to make sense, given the complexity of the human brain. But we're still a long way off from having a proven theory for how the brain = consciousness.
No theory will prove that the 'brain = consciousness' because the statement is simply a fallacy. A simple syllogism involving dead brains--as well as living, but unconscious brains--would refute such claim. The question is how
the phenomenon comes about in the brain. There are many physicalist theories, the most convincing employing functionalism
. Consciousness could be a phenomenal by-product of the working brain, but not necessarily an epiphenomenal one as we see that memory of certain experiences can influence future behaviour, hence an indirect influence in the physical world.
If percepts are illusions, then they are the greatest ones the world has ever seen. But I would contend against the idea that consciousness is an illusion because if you say that you seem
to be conscious, then you are in fact making an admission that you are in fact conscious. Consciousness cannot be an illusion as some cognitive scientists, like Daniel Dennett, claim in an attempt to dismiss a hard problem. See? I can disagree with the philosophy of certain experts and more in favour of that of others such as John Searle and David Chalmers. And yet, despite their differences, Chalmers does not disapprove of Dennett's research as he still wants all possible routes to be explored in their search for the truth.
Enra Traz wrote:Erm ... disclaimer: You don't know when said experience happens let alone how vivid NDEs are in general compared to what lucid dreams can be. Moreover, you can only be sure about the vividity of your experiences. There have also been reports of vague NDEs which you are conveniently not taking into account. Nothing further here.
Samwise wrote:In terms of vividness, we can only go by the subjective experience reports. And yeah of course NDE's are going to range in vividness, but to the people that experience them they often far transcend the vividness and clarity of waking life, which seems like a dream in comparison.
The analogy that NDEs make waking life seem like a dream is fallacious and misleading to say the least when we observe that dreams can emulate, or even exceed, waking life in perceptual quality. Lucid dreams don't even have to be mentioned in my rebuttal.
Samwise wrote:A key point you are neglecti8ng here, is that taken the experiencer's perceptions into account, all lucid dreamers by definition know that they are dreaming, irrespective of how vivid the experience can be.
Nope, this point wasn't neglected. It was mentioned earlier. Everybody who has experience with lucid dreams knows that knowing the experience to be a dream doesn't necessarily make it vivid. Likewise, an ordinary dream can be vivid whilst the dreamer is mindlessly inebriated in confusion or delusion.
Samwise wrote:NDE'rs often report their experiences to be "realer than real" and not remotely dream like.
You're repeating the same fallacy. Come on, Samwise ...
Samwise wrote:Also, as I've said repeatedly, there are documented cases of NDE's where people are in cardiac arrest or flat lining on an EEG and once they regain consciousness they are able to describe with great accuracy and in chronological order the events that occurred around them, and medical professionals working on the patients in question have corroborated these reports.
Have corroborated reports in agreement with the media. Don't be so naive. They have not proven anything and their stories are apocryphal. Andrew Wakefield's hoax about vaccines causing autism was published in The Lancet
as a verified fact and people bought into it and spread the rumour with serious repercussions--the result was that many children died because some parents refused to inoculate them. Wakefield's work was peer-reviewed, discredited, and he lost his licence (as he should).(And yet, even today you still find the odd doughnut who still believes that vaccines are harmful in that way. The truth is that there is no evidence that vaccines cause autism. Its causes can be genetic and sometimes intoxication (drugs/alcohol) during gestation. If you are not doing science, you will get found out.