Science of Reincarnation?

  • Thread starter Payton
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  • #76
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This thread is getting ridiculous.
getting? It's been a fairly uninformed discussion from the start ;-)
 
  • #77
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Again you really haven't understood the nomenclature that I am using. I am not making absolute statements, I am making statements in light of all available evidence. Whether or not I am correct is different to whether or not I am right. My statement that "if reincarnation existed we would expect corroborating evidence" stands because that's true of everything in nature.
ryan, we're just talking in circles at this point.

How about we just agree to disagree on this topic? ;-)
 
  • #78
I would like to know your opinion about the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty_Cases_Suggestive_of_Reincarnation" [Broken]

http://www.pureinsight.org/node/1165" [Broken]
 
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  • #79
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http://www.pureinsight.org/node/1165" [Broken]
Well there's no evidence there for a start.
 
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  • #80
Ryan_m_b
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I would like to know your opinion about the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty_Cases_Suggestive_of_Reincarnation" [Broken]

http://www.pureinsight.org/node/1165" [Broken]
Reporting on anecdotal claims is not science and it certainly doesn't count as evidence. If I gave you a book I just wrote with 1000 transcripts of conversations i'd had with people who claim to have seen unicorns would that prove unicorns for you?

It doesnt matter how many claims you have in a book because we have no way of knowing if the claims are real, if the people were telling the truth etc etc
 
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  • #81
Reporting on anecdotal claims is not science and it certainly doesn't count as evidence. If I gave you a book I just wrote with 1000 transcripts of conversations i'd had with people who claim to have seen unicorns would that prove unicorns for you?

It doesnt matter how many claims you have in a book because we have no way of knowing if the claims are real, if the people were telling the truth etc etc
Thats not a fitting analogy, since unicorn claims cannot be verified or falsified and are therefore unscientific.
But those children just starting to speak were telling detailed descriptions about the past lifes which they have no way to know, and which were verifiable, and matched the actual realities.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/10/AR2007021001393.html?nav=hcmodule

The evidence he did provide in abundance came not from past-life readings or hypnotic regressions but from using the techniques of a detective or investigative reporter to evaluate claims that a young child, often just beginning to talk, had spontaneously started to speak of the details of another life. In a fairly typical case, a boy in Beirut spoke of being a 25-year-old mechanic, thrown to his death from a speeding car on a beach road. According to multiple witnesses, the boy provided the name of the driver, the exact location of the crash, the names of the mechanic's sisters and parents and cousins, and the people he hunted with -- all of which turned out to match the life of a man who had died several years before the boy was born, and who had no apparent connection to the boy's family.

Here is an opinion of such sceptic as Carl Sagan:

But in 1996, no less a luminary than astronomer Carl Sagan, a founding member of a group that set out to debunk unscientific claims, wrote in his book, "The Demon-Haunted World": "There are three claims in the [parapsychology] field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study," the third of which was "that young children sometimes report details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation."
Here is a reevaluation of one case study:
http://www.webcitation.org/query?ur...lawar-revisited.html&date=2009-10-25+02:57:03
 
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  • #82
Ryan_m_b
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Thats not a fitting analogy, since unicorn claims cannot be verified or falsified and are therefore unscientific.
But those children just starting to speak were telling detailed descriptions about the past lifes which they have no way to know, and which were verifiable, and matched the actual realities.
It doesn't matter if their account is verifiable because the mechanism by which they have this information is unknown and unverifiable. This is why anecdotes like this are not evidence. The child could have been coached (intentionally or otherwise), the authors could have been lying etc. It seems harsh but if we started taking anecdotes as evidence we would end up believing a wealth of things that are wrong.

It is not scientific to take an anecdote and assume that there is no other way they could have the information other than reincarnation.
 
  • #83
It doesn't matter if their account is verifiable because the mechanism by which they have this information is unknown and unverifiable. This is why anecdotes like this are not evidence. The child could have been coached (intentionally or otherwise), the authors could have been lying etc. It seems harsh but if we started taking anecdotes as evidence we would end up believing a wealth of things that are wrong.
Dr. Stevenson recognised this:
But Dr. Stevenson himself recognized one glaring flaw in his case for reincarnation: the absence of any evidence of a physical process by which a personality could survive death and transfer to another body.
It is not scientific to take an anecdote and assume that there is no other way they could have the information other than reincarnation.
It was not assumed to be true, quite the opposite, the null hypothesis was standard skeptic explanation you speak of:
In interviewing witnesses and reviewing documents, Dr. Stevenson searched for alternate ways to account for the testimony: that the child came upon the information in some normal way, that the witnesses were engaged in fraud or self-delusion, that the correlations were the result of coincidence or misunderstanding. But in scores of cases, Dr. Stevenson concluded that no normal explanation sufficed.
Only after failure of the null hypothesis to sufficiently explain the observed Dr. Stevenson turned to alternative theories. And even then he seems to agree that it is certainly not a 100% proof since there is still a possibility he has overlooked natural causes, and also there are many other parapsychological theories than just reincarnation that can explain it (such as universal knowledge etc.). Hence the term suggestive of reincarnation.

The problem is his research has been ignored without being refuted or explained, while it shows evidence of unexplained phenomena.
 
  • #84
Ryan_m_b
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Dr. Stevenson recognised this:




It was not assumed to be true, quite the opposite, the null hypothesis was standard skeptic explanation you speak of:


Only after failure of the null hypothesis to sufficiently explain the observed Dr. Stevenson turned to alternative theories. And even then he seems to agree that it is certainly not a 100% proof since there is still a possibility he has overlooked natural causes, and also there are many other parapsychological theories than just reincarnation that can explain it (such as universal knowledge etc.). Hence the term suggestive of reincarnation.

The problem is his research has been ignored without being refuted or explained, while it shows evidence of unexplained phenomena.
Having the hypothesis;

"Personalities and memories transfer after death to another newborn person"

In spite of any indication that such a thing could occur is bad science. Trying to test that hypothesis by matching up anecdotes to history is not valid. Deciding that the hypothesis must be true because no other explanation has been found is bad science, talking about 100% proof is bad science.

It doesn't matter if an anecdotal case has not been explained. The onus is on the proponents of a claim to provide evidence for it. Stevenson may or may not say he acknowledges that he cannot explain why some children have knowledge of past events but he clearly does not actually acknowledge it because he keeps providing an answer with no evidence!

I'm struggling to see why you cant grasp this. Accounts of children having passed knowledge is not evidence for reincarnation, it is evidence that somehow children are receiving this knowledge. Figuring out how they got this information has not been done and there is no evidence for how they got it. Jumping to a supernatural claim is plain crackpottery
 

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