ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Marc Draco on April 8, 2012 at 10:20am

Kyu: although this isn't strictly part of the NDE, it's worth nothing that there are many types of blindness - including people who are blind from birth. It's been shown that some people are fully sighted but that the sight is only available to the subconscious - which is weird, but true. So in other words, they can see without being aware of it - this guy was probably an example of this phenomena.

Comment by Kyu on April 8, 2012 at 10:19am
Comment by Kyu on April 8, 2012 at 10:13am

news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3902864/Blind-man-navigates-obstacle-course-using-blindsight.htm

Comment by Littlejohn Dellar on April 8, 2012 at 10:10am

@ Chris Tidman

When we believe (as opposed to know) we have already closed our minds.

Comment by Marc Draco on April 8, 2012 at 9:50am

Seems like Kenneth Ring (Ph.D) is a bit of a Rupert Sheldrake! ;-)

A trained scientist who seems to have deserted the facts in favour of a personal fancy. There are some interesting reviews of his work on Amazon - and those from the more skeptical readers are cutting.

Frankly, it doesn't take a lot to see where he's coming from - and he doesn't strike me as much of an atheist... 

Comment by Jennifer Moran on April 8, 2012 at 9:45am
Chris Tidman: No idea how you arrived at those conclusions. Darwinism has nothing to do with a hierarchy. Creationists historically were great proponents of eugenics. Most of the US believes in creationism and still racism permeates society.
Comment by Marc Draco on April 8, 2012 at 9:39am

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/experts04.html

One study - and this is from people who want to believe it; that's hardly a scientific consensus. Note that this appears to have been done in the 1970s which was long before we figured out how to trigger NDEs in sighted people.

I've had two, by the way, so I know what it feels like first hand and I'm still an atheist - what does that tell you?

 

Comment by Susan Stanko on April 8, 2012 at 8:34am

Or posses a Pensive.

Comment by Marc Draco on April 8, 2012 at 7:54am

The BBC *still* doesn't get it - but the most popular commenters do - another fascinating debate on the BBC site with the UK's national broadcaster giving massive publicity to a religious mouthpiece and being called out by its viewers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17646549

Sort the comments by rating to see the results. 

Comment by Marc Draco on April 8, 2012 at 7:49am

Claims like this are difficult to prove or investigate since they rely entirely on a biased and unreliable witness. Now I'm not saying that these people are lying, but we can't easily test their claims. As John says, the visual cortex (the part of the brain that we "see" with) is probably involved in certain types of visual hallucination. 

However, we also have to consider the very real possibility of "false memory syndrome" where the patient believes they have experienced something just because their memory tells them they have.  Until we can actually read memories electronically, we won't be able to test this theory either.

 

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