Skeptic supports reincarnation research

Discussion in 'SCIENTIFIC and ANECDOTAL research' started by John, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. John

    John New Member

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    As you know, Carl Sagan is a noted scientist, teacher and skeptic.

    Sagan was a founding member of a group that set out to debunk unscientific claims, and wrote the book The Demon-Haunted World. Yet he has said that there were several areas in parapsychology which deserved serious study, and one of these 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."

    Washington Post article
     
  2. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes, I read about that elsewhere.

    I like Carl Sagan. A very interesting man with a sharp and enquiring mind. I like both his science writing and his science fiction.
     
  3. christram

    christram New Member

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    I think any good-minded skeptic would support reincarnation research - if claims are being made, all the better if that claim can be verified, right?
     
  4. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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  5. ButterflyPsyche

    ButterflyPsyche Senior Registered

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    Thanks for bumping, Deborah!


    John, what a fascinating statement. I would not have expected this from Sagan.
     
  6. EggWHITES

    EggWHITES Eating Machine

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    "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."


    This is where critics, should be exploring most in my opinion. The hypnosis and similar techniques are extremely difficult for people like me to believe. IN which it should be.


    I have my beliefs, they differ from most people on this board, but the stories of children cannot be ignored and should explored in detail.
     
  7. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Hey Eggwhites. Long time no see. :)


    Have you heard of Dr Helen Wambach? She was a classically trained Freudian psychiatrist who would regress her patients in the accepted manner, in order to explore their childhood traumas in order to find the cause of their issues. But she became puzzled as to why people so often bounced into a previous life where a 'trauma' took place which was much more powerful than anything she had been able to locate in their childhood and to her surprise her patients often felt much better afterwards.


    She did some really huge, double blind studies using thousands of subjects in the 1970s and came up with some very interesting and pretty compelling results. She had a number of different people hypnotising subjects (so that it could not be said that she was cueing them in some way) from a wide cross section of society, asking them all the same questions, using exactly the same methods, etc. and taking them all back to the same year in history in the 1800s. She was originally a sceptic and was setting out to scientifically disprove reincarnation, but she ended up being convinced by the results.


    She had expected everyone to think they were rich or famous or had very interesting lives, but actually it turned out that the results matched the demographics of the day exactly: lots of cobblers and poor people and so forth and a very small minority of aristocrats. Sometimes the historical details, types of utensils and so on, people described seemed to be wrong but when they researched them closely, they turned out to be dead accurate.


    There is a link to some of her writings here if you want to check it out.
     
  8. EggWHITES

    EggWHITES Eating Machine

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    I am going through some really intense exam finals right now. I will go through that thouraghly soon.
     
  9. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    This is an old thread - but great topic. Bumping up if others want to comment. Carl Sagan's sister-in-law was one of the first 100 people to join the forum and use to frequent it often. She lives in New York and gave us great insight. To bad she hasn't been back in years.
     
  10. argonne1918

    argonne1918 Senior Registered

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    Wow! That's really interesting. Did she have any PL memories of her own?
     
  11. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Yes, and many spiritual experiences. A wonderfully compassionate person.
     
  12. Marc Ross

    Marc Ross Senior Registered

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    Cont...


    We need more skeptics like Carl Sagan!
     
  13. TMarie33

    TMarie33 New Member

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    Carl Sagan and Anne Druyan wrote a recommendation on the back of "The Search for Omm Sety".... Considering the fact that in modern science, funding can be effected by what you publicly state to believe, I do often wonder what they both really believed off the record. ;)
     
  14. ZeonChar

    ZeonChar Senior Member

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    Carl Sagan was an amazing man. The way he talked about science and the universe was very spiritual in a way. It does not surprise me that he would be keen on reincarnation.
     
  15. TMarie33

    TMarie33 New Member

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    I totally agree! My son is actually named after him, his middle name is Sagan! :)
     
  16. Marc Ross

    Marc Ross Senior Registered

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    Wikipedia description includes 'Reincarnation in the West.' Carl Sagan's viewpoints are mentioned.


    LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation#Reincarnation_in_the_West


    The quality media outlets e.g., PBS are hesitant to do broadcasts discussing reincarnation e.g., Ian Stevenson's case-studies in depth, as the topic is still treated as "new agey" - quite the opposite of concrete scientific viewpoints.
     
  17. argonne1918

    argonne1918 Senior Registered

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    PBS is afraid of alienating their core base of donors, who are mostly intellectual and scientific skeptics.
     
  18. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Bumping this up for new members to comment, review and enjoy.
     
  19. SeekerOfKnowledge

    SeekerOfKnowledge Learner

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    Does the name "Walter von Lucadou" say anything to you people?
    He is researching "paranormal" incidents with pure science methods. Thanks to him, it also is possible to study parapsychology besides physics or psychology at the university of Freiburg, Germany.
    When somebody reports an incident (like, as an example, a haunting), they are trying to find another explanation first, but in 20 per cent of all cases, they have to admit that it cannot be explained with "normal" science only. That there must be something behind it our current "knowledge" can't explain.
    Reincarnation is only one of many topics here, yet still... I like the idea of scientific research of the so-called "paranormal".

    I also love the idea of sceptics open-minded enough to continue research, and be it to disprove a topic like reincarnation.

    Like the father of James Leininger, who made the case of his son even more believable by his desperate tries to disprove.
     
    briski and Speedwell like this.

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