Joined: Dec. 2007
Oh man, Salon.com has crashed and burned, credibility-wise. They have a new article, Near Death Explained, subtitled "New science is shedding light on what really happens during out-of-body experiences -- with shocking results."
Oh good, a BS free explanation of what really goes on during NDEs, something that gets into the fact that the oxygen starved brain is wildly malfunctioning, kicking up all sorts of weird and illogical scenarios? We need something like that to balance all the BS peddled about NDAs. This was especially welcome because BA^77 has been peddling his usual line of "NDAs, therefore God" at Corney Land.
But then I read the article and it's a retelling of a couple of well known NDE stories, breathlessly relating what the patient allegedly said afterwards, with no details on how or when she said it or what the conversation was like or what kind of hints the questioner(s) may have given the patient about her NDE or anything else.
Crap like, "Thinking is vivid; hearing is sharp; and vision can extend to 360 degrees. NDErs claim that without physical bodies, they are able to penetrate through walls and doors and project themselves wherever they want. They frequently report the ability to read people’s thoughts." Yeah, right!
I really started to wonder WTF was going on when the author related "the experience of a woman named Maria, whose case was first documented by her critical care social worker, Kimberly Clark." Maria was a migrant worker who had a heart attack in Seattle. She was rushed to the hospital and had a cardiac arrest a few days later.
After she recovered, she related all sorts of wonderful things like looking down on her body as the doctors worked on her. "At one point in this experience, said Maria, she found herself outside the hospital and spotted a tennis shoe on the ledge of the north side of the third floor of the building." Clark went outside and sure enough, there the shoe was. Maria could not possibly have seen the details from her hospital room. A miracle!
Not mentioned anywhere in the article: The shoe was also visible from the ambulance entrance and would have been plainly visible to Maria as she was being carried into the ER.
The article goes on and on like this - relating miracle stories breathlessly and without a single word of rational explanation. "15 percent of cardiac arrest survivors do report some recollection from the time when they were clinically dead." Really? Did they relate those expriences while they were clinically dead? No, they relate them after they've recovered consciousness. After a long period of their brain still being oxygen deprived and dreaming freely. Like dreaming they were having an Out of Body Experience. But you don't see that in the article.
Then we read that a study of NDEs "concluded that what happens during an NDE affords another perspective to perceive reality that does not depend on the senses of the physical body. They proposed to call this other mode of perception mindsight."
And finally, "Despite corroborated reports, many materialist scientists cling to the notion that OBEs and NDEs are located in the brain." Materialist scientists? Are there any other kinds of scientists? What gullible idiot wrote this crap, anyway.
Page back to the beginning of the piece: "By Mario Beauregard". Oh crap! Not THAT Mario Beauregard? Page down to the end of the piece: "Mario Beauregard is associate research professor at the Departments of Psychology and Radiology and the Neuroscience Research Center at the University of Montreal. He is the coauthor of The Spiritual Brain"
That whizzing sound you heard was Salon's credibility plummeting to the ground.
One good thing: Clicking on "More Mario Beauregard" takes you to this article, so they apparently haven't published anything else by this nut. Also, the article was written April 21. There are already 19 pages of replies and most of them are of the, "Here we go again. The plural of anecdote is not data." type. Maybe somebody at Salon will read them and realize they've been rooked.
Like every other academic field, philosophy of religion has its share of hacks and mediocrities. Edward Feser