Dr. Michael Shermer on Near-Death Experience Science |379|
Published May 1, 2018
    Download
    Add to queue
    Copy URL
    Show notes

    Dr. Michael Shermer isn’t swayed by near death experience science, but has he read the literature?

    photo by: Skeptiko
    Today we welcome Dr. Michael Shermer back to Skeptiko. Dr. Shermer is a bestselling author and creator of Skeptic Magazine. His latest book on consciousness and the afterlife is, Heavens on Earth:
    Alex Tsakiris: A couple of years ago I interviewed Jan Holden from the University of North Texas, who, along with Dr. Bruce Greyson from the University of Virginia, two of the most prominent names in near-death experience research, they compiled the book, “The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences,” mainly for people in the medical community, so that when they encounter someone who comes up out of a cardiac arrest and says, “Hey, I had this incredible experience,” they can be, at least, familiar with what they tell them.
    At the time they published this book Michael, in 2009, they had over a hundred peer-reviewed papers they included in their book. By now, there’s over 200 peer-reviewed papers. I don’t see any of that in your book.
    Michael Shermer: I think it’s important to make it… Well, look, I don’t have to cite everybody that’s ever written on the subject.
    Alex Tsakiris: But you don’t cite any of them.
    Michael Shermer: Yes, I do, oh yes, I do.
    Alex Tsakiris: Pim van Lommel, Sam Parnia, who else?
    Michael Shermer: Yeah, yeah.
    Alex Tsakiris: You misrepresented both of them, but you at least cited them.
    Michael Shermer: But anyway, let’s back up for a second and…
    Alex Tsakiris: And I’d have to say, Eben Alexander, I want to talk about him, but technically he’s not a near-death experience researcher, he’s a Harvard neurosurgeon who had a near-death experience and wrote a book about it, right?
    Michael Shermer: That’s right, but he knows a lot about it, he knows as much as you do, as much as I do, because he’s…
    Alex Tsakiris: But he hasn’t published peer-reviewed papers on looking at the science.
    Michael Shermer: A peer-reviewed paper thing, that’s a red herring. I’m not denying that people have real experiences. You’re treating this as if the experiences represent some other dimension, a heaven, a place to go, and that is not at all what these peer-reviewed papers indicate. All they say is that the people that have the experiences, have very real experiences, which I agree. The experiences these people have are very real.
    The question is, is do they represent just neural activity or neural activity and something else, and I claim that none of the research I’ve read, none of the stories, none of the papers are evidence of an afterlife.
    (continued below)

    Click here for forum discussion
    Click here for Dr. Michael Shermer’s website
    Read Excerpts:

    Alex Tsakiris...
      15
      15
        0:00:00 / 0:00:00