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The Boy Who Lived Before - Documentary about a childs memories of another life


S

smcder

Guest
I'm not sure what "exotic" possibilities you might be referring to, but I don't think we can rule out every other possibility in the universe. I just think it would be substantial evidence that might allow for some progress. The reason that I believe it would be substantial, is that in conjunction with other verifiable, but less definitive evidence, such as times, locations, and numerous details about the deceased person's life, what other explanation could there be apart from an elaborate hoax, either by the claimant, or by some clandestine third party?
So the other thing is the idea that a discarnate consciousness would work that way - would be able to float up to the ceiling and look at something there and report back . . . but this is odd because it's the idea that a discarnate consciousness is just another kind of body that moves in three dimensional space - but one that can float and is invisible and (insert other properties here) - this is in line with some of the kinds of ethereal bodies postulated in traditional ideas . . . but other kinds of subtle bodies or other forms of consciousness, it's not claimed they work this way - so why do we think that if there is consciousness apart from the body it could and would perform the above task and that if it can't then we've proven that consciousness is localized to the brain?

Again the problem of mixing paradigms. So we do have assumptions in the above experiment - that consciousness, if it exists outside of the body, will orient itself in time and space the same way that physical bodies do and will remember or decide to go up to the ceiling, get the message and promptly return to the body - I'm assuming this is all at the will of the subject. And certainly anyway making that specific claim - the above is an appropriate test. But it doesn't seem appropriate for an NDE OOBE for example where the claim is that consciousness has suddenly (and perhaps traumatically) untethered itself from the body. If a sense of self oriented to that body is even retained . . . and based on reports of OOBEs and NDEs, people have all kinds of weird experiences - in many cases they don't seem to line up with an entity oriented to three dimensional space and time as we know it. Of course that doesn't prove it isn't a hallucination - but without a way to detect and validate that it is moving through some of kind other dimension or something, we can't really determine this from a materialist paradigm. Hagelin's idea of shadow matter is intriguing because he says they do have experiments planned at the LHC when it powers back up.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
So the other thing is the idea that a discarnate consciousness would work that way - would be able to float up to the ceiling and look at something there and report back . . . but this is odd because it's the idea that a discarnate consciousness is just another kind of body that moves in three dimensional space - but one that can float and is invisible and (insert other properties here) - this is in line with some of the kinds of ethereal bodies postulated in traditional ideas . . . but other kinds of subtle bodies or other forms of consciousness, it's not claimed they work this way - so why do we think that if there is consciousness apart from the body it could and would perform the above task and that if it can't then we've proven that consciousness is localized to the brain?
You've said it perfectly.
Again the problem of mixing paradigms.
Exactly so.
So we do have assumptions in the above experiment - that consciousness, if it exists outside of the body, will orient itself in time and space the same way that physical bodies do and will remember or decide to go up to the ceiling, get the message and promptly return to the body - I'm assuming this is all at the will of the subject.
I often suspect that many people derive their 'understanding' of the 'subtle realms' - choose a word/phrase - from Hollywood films, or now - from the ghostbuster shows on cable channels.
And certainly anyway making that specific claim - the above is an appropriate test. But it doesn't seem appropriate for an NDE OOBE for example where the claim is that consciousness has suddenly (and perhaps traumatically) untethered itself from the body. If a sense of self oriented to that body is even retained . . . and based on reports of OOBEs and NDEs, people have all kinds of weird experiences - in many cases they don't seem to line up with an entity oriented to three dimensional space and time as we know it. Of course that doesn't prove it isn't a hallucination - but without a way to detect and validate that it is moving through some of kind other dimension or something, we can't really determine this from a materialist paradigm. Hagelin's idea of shadow matter is intriguing because he says they do have experiments planned at the LHC when it powers back up.
Yep.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Right, once you break the paradigm to permit something outside of it - in this case discarnate consciousness, what rationale do you have to not permit any other possibility that is outside of the paradigm?
I never claimed to have a rationale that didn't permit any other possibility. I've only said that such a situation would be sufficient to take such a claim more seriously than the quality of evidence we have now.
Again, once the paradigm is broken . . . you have a lot of options. Really, you have every option ...
Sorry, but that makes no sense. What we're dealing with is a defined set of circumstances for which only so many alternatives are reasonable to believe are plausible.
Dean Radin did experiments in which showing the outcome of the experiment to the subjects affected the outcome and theorized this was due to precognition. So the information has to be controlled for all time or you have no way to say the person floated up to the ceiling and "saw" it or whether they got the information from the future. You can't really claim any of these as less likely than discarnate consciousness - they are all outside the materialist paradigm upon which the experiment is structured.
Sci-fi like conceptions of time travel and it's associated theories ( like the one above ) aren't possible and can be ruled out. So yes, I can really claim that such theories are less likely that a discarnate consciousness.
Perhaps the subject remains in the body but has some way of physically detecting the photons emitted by the device that doesn't require a discarnate consciousness, this latter is closer to the materialist paradigm we know and would set folks to looking at new ways that light can be detected (or new properties of light itself) rather than confirming an OOBE. Or there is Hagelin's idea of shadow matter.
Perhaps, but that's a rather large "perhaps" with no coherent supporting theory or evidence that would make it plausible, and therefore the objection carries no weight.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
So the other thing is the idea that a discarnate consciousness would work that way - would be able to float up to the ceiling and look at something there and report back . . . but this is odd because it's the idea that a discarnate consciousness is just another kind of body that moves in three dimensional space - but one that can float and is invisible and (insert other properties here) - this is in line with some of the kinds of ethereal bodies postulated in traditional ideas . . . but other kinds of subtle bodies or other forms of consciousness, it's not claimed they work this way - so why do we think that if there is consciousness apart from the body it could and would perform the above task and that if it can't then we've proven that consciousness is localized to the brain?
I never made the claim that, "... if it can't then we've proven that consciousness is localized to the brain ..." I've made the claim that if such an experiment were to demonstrate positive results, then we would have substantial evidence in favor of the theory that consciousness can survive the death of the body.
Again the problem of mixing paradigms. So we do have assumptions in the above experiment - that consciousness, if it exists outside of the body, will orient itself in time and space the same way that physical bodies do and will remember or decide to go up to the ceiling, get the message and promptly return to the body - I'm assuming this is all at the will of the subject. And certainly anyway making that specific claim - the above is an appropriate test. But it doesn't seem appropriate for an NDE OOBE for example where the claim is that consciousness has suddenly (and perhaps traumatically) untethered itself from the body.
NDE's, OOBEs, and reincarnation all contain similar notions, but only evidence gained after a deceased subject's body has been disposed of can serve as evidence for reincarnation.
If a sense of self oriented to that body is even retained . . . and based on reports of OOBEs and NDEs, people have all kinds of weird experiences - in many cases they don't seem to line up with an entity oriented to three dimensional space and time as we know it. Of course that doesn't prove it isn't a hallucination - but without a way to detect and validate that it is moving through some of kind other dimension or something, we can't really determine this from a materialist paradigm. Hagelin's idea of shadow matter is intriguing because he says they do have experiments planned at the LHC when it powers back up.
Abstract concepts involving logic can be proven with 100% certainty, and we can apply such logic to certain aspects of real-world problems in order to eliminate certain variables. For example when designing a container we can determine weather or not the materials we have are sufficient to meet the specifications. These types of discussions are not as obvious, but logic still eliminates reincarnation as a continuity of personhood, along with sci-fi type notions of time travel and alternate dimensions.

However we cannot be 100% certain about a number of other aspects of these problems. Discarnate consciousness is possible, but it can never be determined with 100% certainty along with many other types of problems. Most of the scientific findings we accept as facts aren't things we know with 100% certainty, and for that matter aren't possible to know with 100% certainty ( see the
Null Hypothesis ). However given substantial evidence, and critical thinking, we can be reasonably certain that theories are true or false or some combination thereof.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
A poster has written: "logic still eliminates reincarnation as a continuity of personhood".

'Logic eliminates reincarnation as a continuity of personhood' because there has never been such an assumption in the idea of reincarnation. The poster's understanding of the idea of reincarnation is inaccurate.

This is a curious statement being made purporting to describe a core element of the idea of reincarnation. I have never come across this idea of "continuity of personhood" in relation to reincarnation. If anyone has a source for this idea, please supply it.

For the sake of clarity on this thread, this idea is an idiosyncratic view being stated with persistence by someone who does not subscribe to the idea of reincarnation. The concept of reincarnation does not posit a "continuity of personhood".
 
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S

smcder

Guest
I never claimed to have a rationale that didn't permit any other possibility. I've only said that such a situation would be sufficient to take such a claim more seriously than the quality of evidence we have now.

Sorry, but that makes no sense. What we're dealing with is a defined set of circumstances for which only so many alternatives are reasonable to believe are plausible.

Sci-fi like conceptions of time travel and it's associated theories ( like the one above ) aren't possible and can be ruled out. So yes, I can really claim that such theories are less likely that a discarnate consciousness.

Perhaps, but that's a rather large "perhaps" with no coherent supporting theory or evidence that would make it plausible, and therefore the objection carries no weight.
I never claimed to have a rationale that didn't permit any other possibility. I've only said that such a situation would be sufficient to take such a claim more seriously than the quality of evidence we have now.

I think we can say some things about the quality of evidence that we do have now and have had for some time:

In The Conscious Universe chapter 6 Perception At a Distance - Dean Radin discusses the results of high-security ESP card tests involving " . . . nearly two dozen investigators from 1934 to 1939 and 907,000 trials . . . " - he discusses the cross-checks put in place to simultaneously compare the hit rate with chance by comparing subject's guesses for target cards in one trial with the actual targets from the next trial - the results were a hit rate of 29 percent for the experiments and 20.16 percent for the cross-checks (five cards so 20% is the expected hit rate from chance alone). He discusses the file drawer problem and other aspects of the experiments.

He also discusses the overall results from sixty years of experiments, 142 published articles and 3.6 million trials by 4,600 participants in 185 separate experiments.

The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena: Dean, PhD Radin: 9780061778995: Amazon.com: Books

And there is of course the website that Radin maintains here:

http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

. . . with over 100 peer-reviewed publications and thorough discussions by statisticians such as Jessica Utts and skeptics . . . so it has to be asked how the above experiment will be more convincing than the data already amassed in the many experiments already conducted?

One particular of your experiment is the use of a device to generate a signal and then transmit it to secure storage - this actually brings in new issues of control that weren't an issue in the experiments above. Is this a device designed for this experiment? If so, a skeptic would want independent oversight as to its design, construction and programming from the get go - otherwise it would be too easy to build in a backdoor or some surreptitious way to communicate with the subject.

Sci-fi like conceptions of time travel and it's associated theories ( like the one above ) aren't possible and can be ruled out. So yes, I can really claim that such theories are less likely that a discarnate consciousness.

Radin discusses the evidence for perception through time in chapter seven of The Conscious Universe. I don't know anything about it - but I do understand that physicists are looking at different conceptions of time and some are looking at the possibility of time travel - you could well be right in your claim above but you'll need to prove it. You'll also need some kind of theory that permits discarnate intelligence - you've stated that you now believe consciousness requires a certain level of organization, if it is discarnate how will that structure be provided?

"Perhaps the subject remains in the body but has some way of physically detecting the photons emitted by the device that doesn't require a discarnate consciousness, this latter is closer to the materialist paradigm we know and would set folks to looking at new ways that light can be detected (or new properties of light itself) rather than confirming an OOBE. Or there is Hagelin's idea of shadow matter."

Perhaps, but that's a rather large "perhaps" with no coherent supporting theory or evidence that would make it plausible, and therefore the objection carries no weight.


It's not an objection - the point is that if the results of the experiment are positive, people are going to try and interpret the results as close to the existing paradigm as possible rather than suggest something that hasn't been shown to be possible within that paradigm, in this case discarnate intelligence.



 
S

smcder

Guest
I never made the claim that, "... if it can't then we've proven that consciousness is localized to the brain ..." I've made the claim that if such an experiment were to demonstrate positive results, then we would have substantial evidence in favor of the theory that consciousness can survive the death of the body.

NDE's, OOBEs, and reincarnation all contain similar notions, but only evidence gained after a deceased subject's body has been disposed of can serve as evidence for reincarnation.

Abstract concepts involving logic can be proven with 100% certainty, and we can apply such logic to certain aspects of real-world problems in order to eliminate certain variables. For example when designing a container we can determine weather or not the materials we have are sufficient to meet the specifications. These types of discussions are not as obvious, but logic still eliminates reincarnation as a continuity of personhood, along with sci-fi type notions of time travel and alternate dimensions.

However we cannot be 100% certain about a number of other aspects of these problems. Discarnate consciousness is possible, but it can never be determined with 100% certainty along with many other types of problems. Most of the scientific findings we accept as facts aren't things we know with 100% certainty, and for that matter aren't possible to know with 100% certainty ( see the
Null Hypothesis ). However given substantial evidence, and critical thinking, we can be reasonably certain that theories are true or false or some combination thereof.
Discarnate consciousness is possible, but it can never be determined with 100% certainty along with many other types of problems.

Again - we need to know how consciousness exists outside the body - you've referred to organization - you believe it is the complexity of the underlying substrate that permits consciousness, is that correct? And is it an emergent property of that structure? If so, we'll need a theory to account for how consciousness is structured outside the body - what is the substrate and how consciousness is transferred or has some continuity (even if its only some form of duplication) from the brain to the new substrate - again this is dealt with elegantly in the idea of shadow matter:

Consciousness and the Paranormal | Page 37 | The Paracast Community Forums

I'm not supporting that idea - but it does cover the ground and Hagelin says the existence of shadow matter is to be put to experimental test at the LHC next year when it re-opens. Of course that doesn't prove that subtle bodies are composed of shadow matter - which Hagelin himself admits is a highly speculative conjecture.
 
S

smcder

Guest
A poster has written: "logic still eliminates reincarnation as a continuity of personhood".

'Logic eliminates reincarnation as a continuity of personhood' because there has never been such an assumption in the idea of reincarnation. The poster's understanding of the idea of reincarnation is inaccurate.

This is a curious statement being made purporting to describe a core element of the idea of reincarnation. I have never come across this idea of "continuity of personhood" in relation to reincarnation. If anyone has a source for this idea, please supply it.

For the sake of clarity on this thread, this idea is an idiosyncratic view being stated with persistence by someone who does not subscribe to the idea of reincarnation. The concept of reincarnation does not posit a "continuity of personhood".
The concept of "continuity of personhood" sounds to me like the idea of transmigration of the soul but it doesn't sound like anyone is insisting on that definition for the purposes of this discussion?

In looking at the specific research that Constance has referenced: Ian Stevenson's work and its continuation at the University of Virginia:

The Division of Perceptual Studies — School of Medicine at the University of Virginia

On that site there is a description of the cases being studied:

In many parts of the world, some young children, usually between the ages of 2 and 5, speak about a previous life they claim to have lived. At the same time they often show behavior, such as a phobia, that is unusual in their family and/or not explained by any current life events but that seems concordant with the child's statements about a previous life. In many cases of this type the child's statements have been shown to correspond accurately to facts in the life and death of a deceased person; in many of these cases the families concerned have had no contact before the case developed. Some of the children have birthmarks and birth defects that correspond to wounds or other marks on the deceased person whose life a child remembers. In numerous cases postmortem reports have confirmed these correspondences. Older children may retain these apparent memories, but generally they seem to fade around the age of 7 .

And here:
Ian Stevenson, MD Child Reincarnation Stories, Walter Semkiw, MD Reincarnation Expert & Ian Stevenson Advocate

. . . the phenomenon is described in terms of a common pattern with seven components - and this seems a useful way to define the phenomenon.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy also has a relevant entry:

4. Empirical Support for Survival? Parapsychology and Near-Death Experiences
Afterlife (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

For example:

The evaluation of this body of evidence is highly contentious. Clearly there are both motive and opportunity for fraud and fabrication in many cases. It is questionable, however, whether a responsible inquirer can afford to dismiss out of hand all cases that seem to defy ordinary naturalistic explanation. It counts against this approach that the phenomena have been attested as probably veridical by a considerable number of highly reputable investigators, including such philosophers as William James, Henry Sidgwick, C. D. Broad, H. H. Price and John Beloff. These men had little to gain personally by their investigations; indeed in undertaking them they endangered already well-established reputations. These investigators have approached the subject with finely-honed critical instincts, and have applied stringent tests in selecting the instances they consider to be credible, rejecting many cases they held to be fraudulent or inadequately attested.

The discussion in this article of "super psi" is also notable.
 
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S

smcder

Guest
I never claimed to have a rationale that didn't permit any other possibility. I've only said that such a situation would be sufficient to take such a claim more seriously than the quality of evidence we have now.

Sorry, but that makes no sense. What we're dealing with is a defined set of circumstances for which only so many alternatives are reasonable to believe are plausible.

Sci-fi like conceptions of time travel and it's associated theories ( like the one above ) aren't possible and can be ruled out. So yes, I can really claim that such theories are less likely that a discarnate consciousness.

Perhaps, but that's a rather large "perhaps" with no coherent supporting theory or evidence that would make it plausible, and therefore the objection carries no weight.
I never claimed to have a rationale that didn't permit any other possibility. I've only said that such a situation would be sufficient to take such a claim more seriously than the quality of evidence we have now.

Frontiers | A call for an open, informed study of all aspects of consciousness | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

The six points listed there are a good summary of the evidence.

"Again, once the paradigm is broken . . . you have a lot of options. Really, you have every option ..."

Sorry, but that makes no sense. What we're dealing with is a defined set of circumstances for which only so many alternatives are reasonable to believe are plausible.

It may make more sense if you look at the entire paragraph:

"Again, once the paradigm is broken . . . you have a lot of options. Really, you have every option. Otherwise you are saying reality is just as we have thought it was except for consciousness can be discarnate . . . but that would have all sorts of implications for the paradigm, wouldn't it?"

. . . the second part may help clarify my point.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
... it has to be asked how the above experiment will be more convincing than the data already amassed in the many experiments already conducted?
I've mentioned this before, but the believability of the experiments is based on statistical probabilities that appear to suggest something unexplained is going on. So if we are to use statistical analysis to determine the validity of a hypothesis, then the more secure the experiment is, and the higher the success rate it has, the the more reason we have to believe a given hypothesis is true. So in this comparison, what we would have instead of mountains of ambiguous data is a smaller set of unambiguous data, which would result in a significantly more definitive statistical result, and consequently provide more weight for believing the hypothesis is true.
One particular of your experiment is the use of a device to generate a signal and then transmit it to secure storage - this actually brings in new issues of control that weren't an issue in the experiments above. Is this a device designed for this experiment? If so, a skeptic would want independent oversight as to its design, construction and programming from the get go - otherwise it would be too easy to build in a backdoor or some surreptitious way to communicate with the subject.
True, and those details can be worked out.
Radin discusses the evidence for perception through time in chapter seven of The Conscious Universe. I don't know anything about it - but I do understand that physicists are looking at different conceptions of time and some are looking at the possibility of time travel - you could well be right in your claim above but you'll need to prove it. You'll also need some kind of theory that permits discarnate intelligence - you've stated that you now believe consciousness requires a certain level of organization, if it is discarnate how will that structure be provided?
The proof for the impossibility of time travel is based on deductive reasoning. I don't know if any other people have formally presented a proof, so I'll simply call the proof for the impossibility of sci-fi like interdimensional travel, Proof by Dependency. Proof by dependency is one in which the state of a given state of affairs is dependent upon a pre-existing state of affairs, and in the case of the concept of dimensions, each successive spatial dimension is dependent upon a preceding dimension within a dimensional hierarchy in such a way that there can be no higher dimension without the pre-existence of all the lower ones which come before.

In other words, area requires the existence of both D1( length) and D2(width). Volume requires the existence of D1, D2 and D3( height), and so on. Because D3 = D1 x D2, it is not possible to have volume without first having length and width, and this logic is infinitely recursive. So in a fictitious story such as "The Invaders from Dimension X", Dimension X would of logical necessity be composed of all our familiar 3 dimensions plus whatever hypothetical dimensions can be tacked on after that and before whatever dimension Dx is. This means that the invaders cannot simply pop in and out of 3D space as if they weren't already part of it.

Another consequence is that in any spatial dimensional system all possible dimensions must exist simultaneously everywhere. This means that it's not possible for someone standing on line A ( D1 ), to walk forward into an elevator (D2), ride it upwards into ( D3 ), and get off on the proverbial 13th Floor ( Dx ), as if it were isolated from everything else somehow. It may be tempting not to consider the above semantic a proof, but it is. I'm no expert at math expressions, but if I have it right, it should look something like:

Dx = D { ℕ < x } +1


What may be possible however is for something to travel between universes and appear to pop in and out of ours as though it were popping in and out of another dimension ( figuratively only ). The proof for the impossibility of sci-fi like time is little different, but is equally as sound logically. Time is simply a measurement of change within a system, and in this case the system is our observable universe, also sometimes called our spacetime continuum. So to go backwards in time would require everything in our universe to progressively revert to a previously existing state.

The upshot is that anyone who is part of such system will also revert to their previous state and be none the wiser for it. So although backward time travel might be possible, the only ones who would know it was going on would be those capable of looking into our universe from outside it and watching as things are undone. Hypothetically, it might be possible to cut someone out of the present moment, and paste them into some moment in the past, and that would seem like time travel to the experiencer, but in reality what would be happening is that a new timeline would be created consisting of an entirely separate universe identical to the one that the experiencer had been cut from at the point in time of reinsertion.

It's not an objection - the point is that if the results of the experiment are positive, people are going to try and interpret the results as close to the existing paradigm as possible rather than suggest something that hasn't been shown to be possible within that paradigm, in this case discarnate intelligence.
I must still be missing the point. Perhaps you need to be more specific about what you mean by "existing paradigm". In the meantime, there are only so many reasonable ways to determine what the results could possibly mean, and the best will be supported not by casual supposition or preferences for "existing paradigms", but by the weight critical analysis based on the quality of the evidence. For example the experience of seeing the message on the screen signifies that consciousness is an operative factor, and the degree of correspondence between the experiencer's perceptions and objective reality is a strong indicator of whether or not the experience reflects the perception of objective reality. Therefore by making the message completely unambiguous, unique, and known only to the experiencer, it follows that if the message is correctly recalled by the experiencer, that some element of consciousness was at least partially responsible for its acquisition. There are no holes in this logic, only room for a deception so complex as to present us with an equally interesting problem ( IMO ).
 
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smcder

Guest
I've mentioned this before, but the believability of the experiments is based on statistical probabilities that appear to suggest something unexplained is going on. So if we are to use statistical analysis to determine the validity of a hypothesis, then the more secure the experiment is, and the higher the success rate it has, the the more reason we have to believe a given hypothesis is true. So in this comparison, what we would have instead of mountains of ambiguous data is a smaller set of unambiguous data, which would result in a significantly more definitive statistical result, and consequently provide more weight for believing the hypothesis is true.

True, and those details can be worked out.

The proof for the impossibility of time travel is based on deductive reasoning. I don't know if any other people have formally presented a proof, so I'll simply call the proof for the impossibility of sci-fi like interdimensional travel, Proof by Dependency. Proof by dependency is one in which the state of a given state of affairs is dependent upon a pre-existing state of affairs, and in the case of the concept of dimensions, each successive spatial dimension is dependent upon a preceding dimension within a dimensional hierarchy in such a way that there can be no higher dimension without the pre-existence of all the lower ones which come before.

In other words, area requires the existence of both D1( length) and D2(width). Volume requires the existence of D1, D2 and D3( height), and so on. Because D3 = D1 x D2, it is not possible to have volume without first having length and width, and this logic is infinitely recursive. So in a fictitious story such as "The Invaders from Dimension X", Dimension X would of logical necessity be composed of all our familiar 3 dimensions plus whatever hypothetical dimensions can be tacked on after that and before whatever dimension Dx is. This means that the invaders cannot simply pop in and out of 3D space as if they weren't already part of it.

Another consequence is that in any spatial dimensional system all possible dimensions must exist simultaneously everywhere. This means that it's not possible to do something like start at point A ( D1 ), walk across a line ( D2), ride an elevator up ( D3 ), and get off on the proverbial 13th Floor ( Dx ). It may be tempting not to consider the above semantic a proof, but it is. I'm no expert at math expressions, but if I have it right, it should look something like:

Dx = D { ℕ < x } +1


What may be possible however is for something to travel between universes and appear to pop in and out of ours as though it were popping in and out of another dimension ( figuratively only ). The proof for the impossibility of sci-fi like time is little different, but is equally as sound logically. Time is simply a measurement of change within a system, and in this case the system is our observable universe, also sometimes called our spacetime continuum. So to go backwards in time would require everything in our universe to progressively revert to a previously existing state.

The upshot is that anyone who is part of such system will also revert to their previous state and be none the wiser for it. So although backward time travel might be possible, the only ones who would know it was going on would be those capable of looking into our universe from outside it and watching as things are undone. Hypothetically, it might be possible to cut someone out of the present moment, and paste them into some moment in the past, and that would seem like time travel to the experiencer, but in reality what would be happening is that a new timeline would be created consisting of an entirely separate universe identical to the one that the experiencer was pasted into.


I must still be missing the point. Perhaps you need to be more specific about what you mean by "existing paradigm". In the meantime, there are only so many reasonable ways to determine what the results could possibly mean, and the best will be supported not by casual supposition or preferences for "existing paradigms", but by the weight critical analysis based on the quality of the evidence. For example the experience of seeing the message on the screen signifies that consciousness is an operative factor, and the degree of correspondence between the experiencer's perceptions and objective reality is a strong indicator of whether or not the experience reflects the perception of objective reality. Therefore by making the message completely unambiguous, unique, and known only to the experiencer, it follows that if the message is correctly recalled by the experiencer, that some element of consciousness was at least partially responsible for its acquisition. There are no holes in this logic, only room for a deception so complex as to present us with an equally interesting problem ( IMO ).
I've mentioned this before, but the believability of the experiments is based on statistical probabilities that appear to suggest something unexplained is going on. So if we are to use statistical analysis to determine the validity of a hypothesis, then the more secure the experiment is, and the higher the success rate it has, the the more reason we have to believe a given hypothesis is true. So in this comparison, what we would have instead of mountains of ambiguous data is a smaller set of unambiguous data, which would result in a significantly more definitive statistical result, and consequently provide more weight for believing the hypothesis is true.

These concerns are addressed in the following links:

Common criticisms about parapsychology: Criticism 1
Apparently successful experimental results are actually due to sloppy procedures, poorly trained researchers, methodological flaws, selective reporting, and statistics problems. There is therefore not a shred of scientific evidence for psi phenomena.


Common criticisms about parapsychology: Criticism 1 - The Parapsychological Association

Common criticisms about parapsychology: Criticism 3
Parapsychology does not have a "repeatable" experiment.

Common criticisms about parapsychology: Criticism 3 - The Parapsychological Association

This article discusses criticism of the Rhine experiments:
Entangled Minds: My comments on Alcock's comments on Bem's precognition article

and (points 3-5 especially) here:
Frontiers | A call for an open, informed study of all aspects of consciousness | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

So in this comparison, what we would have instead of mountains of ambiguous data is a smaller set of unambiguous data, which would result in a significantly more definitive statistical result, and consequently provide more weight for believing the hypothesis is true.

If you have a link to a description of the experiment you mention above, I'll have a look but from the description it appears similar to those described by Radin in my post above and on his evidence page - so we would need to make sure the experiment addresses methodological flaws that haven't already been addressed in previous experiments (see the above links and also Jessica Utts home page for more discussion: JESSICA UTTS' HOME PAGE - Dean Radin also discusses methodological issues in his books and on his website and blog: Website of Dean Radin and see the peer reviewed articles collected here: http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm).

"One particular of your experiment is the use of a device to generate a signal and then transmit it to secure storage - this actually brings in new issues of control that weren't an issue in the experiments above. Is this a device designed for this experiment? If so, a skeptic would want independent oversight as to its design, construction and programming from the get go - otherwise it would be too easy to build in a backdoor or some surreptitious way to communicate with the subject."

True, and those details can be worked out.

Using other methods like sealed envelopes it appears the complexities introduced by using the device have been avoided in previous experiments while accomplishing the same end.

"It's not an objection - the point is that if the results of the experiment are positive, people are going to try and interpret the results as close to the existing paradigm as possible rather than suggest something that hasn't been shown to be possible within that paradigm, in this case discarnate intelligence."

I must still be missing the point. Perhaps you need to be more specific about what you mean by "existing paradigm". In the meantime, there are only so many reasonable ways to determine what the results could possibly mean, and the best will be supported not by casual supposition or preferences for "existing paradigms", but by the weight critical analysis based on the quality of the evidence. For example the experience of seeing the message on the screen signifies that consciousness is an operative factor, and the degree of correspondence between the experiencer's perceptions and objective reality is a strong indicator of whether or not the experience reflects the perception of objective reality. Therefore by making the message completely unambiguous, unique, and known only to the experiencer, it follows that if the message is correctly recalled by the experiencer, that some element of consciousness was at least partially responsible for its acquisition. There are no holes in this logic, only room for a deception so complex as to present us with an equally interesting problem ( IMO ).

See Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - there is a good discussion of the book available here:

The Partially Examined Life | A Philosophy Podcast and Philosophy Blog

Dean Radin also discusses the idea of paradigm in his books. A brief discussion can be found here: What is a paradigm? - The Parapsychological Association

I'll try to have a go at the time travel proof and will see if I can find the names of the physicists working on this or the basic ideas in the meantime have a look at the section "Precognition and Presentiment" here to see if the discussion of time travel is relevant.

http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
... If you have a link to a description of the experiment you mention above ...
It may be the case that you are not referring to an existing experiment, but of one I've proposed that is similar in principle to others that involve OOBE and NDE research. The specific flaws that the experiment I propose addresses is the exposure of anyone else but the potential subject to the information contained in the message, and the ambiguity of the information required to confirm that the person actually observed the message.
 
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smcder

Guest
It may be the case that you are not referring to an existing experiment, but of one I've proposed that is similar in principle to others that involve OOBE and NDE research. The specific flaws that the experiment I propose addresses is the exposure of anyone else but the potential subject to the information contained in the message, and the ambiguity of the information required to confirm that the person actually observed the message.
The specific flaws that the experiment I propose addresses is the exposure of anyone else but the potential subject to the information contained in the message, and the ambiguity of the information required to confirm that the person actually observed the message.

OK, then you can check that against the references above to see if those issues have already been addressed in previous experiments.

It may be the case that you are not referring to an existing experiment, but of one I've proposed that is similar in principle to others that involve OOBE and NDE research.

The reference I'm looking for is to the experiments going on now that you mention in this post:

There are already experiments going on that use a variation of this proposal. The message or image is placed up above the eye level of the patient where it cannot be seen by them. To make such an image or message more secure so as to remove the possibility of crosstalk between the experimenters and the subject, the screen with the message could be placed above and out of direct viewing range of all those in the room, for example facing upward on a stand that is above the viewing angle of everyone in the room. The process would be automated so that all that is needed is for someone to start it.

The random message would then appear after a countdown ( to ensure it's working ) and remain visible until the program was done, at which time it would be automatically stored to an encrypted file, for which the only key to open it corresponds exactly to part of the random message. The file itself would also have to be removed from networks and stored in a secure location to prevent access by hackers. That way the likelihood of someone other than the subject being able to open it would be very small.
I don't want to get us too far off topic though! :)
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
The reference I'm looking for is to the experiments going on now that you mention in this post:
I don't want to get us too far off topic though! :)
I've posted a link someplace already to at least one of them. I'll try to locate them again later. In the meantime, there have been more than one similar type of experiment involving doctors in operating rooms where the patient is undergoing surgery and is clinically dead for some small period of time during the procedure. In the one case I saw on TV, a scrolling text message was placed on top of a shelving unit where it would be visible only to someone above that level. I don't recall the actual location, but at the time that show was made, nobody had correctly "come back" and relayed the message on the scrollbar. You can probably find these experiments yourself if you Google around enough.

Another study that I have on a PDF someplace also got zero results, but also had no records of any experiences. Yet another was running a series of images that were part of a set developed for psychological evaluation purposes, and that had also yielded no results. So between the absence of more definitive results and/or experiences to begin with, my sifting of all this evidence combined with all the other stuff I've looked at over the years ( I've probably forgotten more than most people have looked at to begin with ), there is not as of yet any substantial evidence that such experiences aren't the product of purely subjective constructs ( as opposed to the real-time perceptual detection of objective reality by a non-localized consciousness ).
 
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smcder

Guest
I've posted a link someplace already to at least one of them. I'll try to locate them again later. In the meantime, there have been more than one similar type of experiment involving doctors in operating rooms where the patient is undergoing surgery and is clinically dead for some small period of time during the procedure. In the one case I saw on TV, a scrolling text message was placed on top of a shelving unit where it would be visible only to someone above that level. I don't recall the actual location, but at the time that show was made, nobody had correctly "come back" and relayed the message on the scrollbar. You can probably find these experiments yourself if you Google around enough.

Another study that I have on a PDF someplace also got zero results, but also had no records of any experiences. Yet another was running a series of images that were part of a set developed for psychological evaluation purposes, and that had also yielded no results. So between the absence of more definitive results and/or experiences to begin with, my sifting of all this evidence combined with all the other stuff I've looked at over the years ( I've probably forgotten more than most people have looked at to begin with ), there is not as of yet any substantial evidence that such experiences aren't the product of purely subjective constructs ( as opposed to the real-time perceptual detection of objective reality by a non-localized consciousness ).
Fair enough - let's move on . . . or back or up . . . or wherever we were!
 
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smcder

Guest
The specific flaws that the experiment I propose addresses is the exposure of anyone else but the potential subject to the information contained in the message, and the ambiguity of the information required to confirm that the person actually observed the message.

OK, then you can check that against the references above to see if those issues have already been addressed in previous experiments.

It may be the case that you are not referring to an existing experiment, but of one I've proposed that is similar in principle to others that involve OOBE and NDE research.

The reference I'm looking for is to the experiments going on now that you mention in this post:



I don't want to get us too far off topic though! :)
See Section 2.3 - looks like it addresses these concerns:

The specific flaws that the experiment I propose addresses is the exposure of anyone else but the potential subject to the information contained in the message, and the ambiguity of the information required to confirm that the person actually observed the message.

The following list of methodological issues shows the variety of concerns that must be
addressed. It should be obvious that a well-designed experiment requires careful thought and planning:

http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jutts/air.pdf
 
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smcder

Guest
. . .

The proof for the impossibility of time travel is based on deductive reasoning. I don't know if any other people have formally presented a proof, so I'll simply call the proof for the impossibility of sci-fi like interdimensional travel, Proof by Dependency. Proof by dependency is one in which the state of a given state of affairs is dependent upon a pre-existing state of affairs, and in the case of the concept of dimensions, each successive spatial dimension is dependent upon a preceding dimension within a dimensional hierarchy in such a way that there can be no higher dimension without the pre-existence of all the lower ones which come before.

In other words, area requires the existence of both D1( length) and D2(width). Volume requires the existence of D1, D2 and D3( height), and so on. Because D3 = D1 x D2, it is not possible to have volume without first having length and width, and this logic is infinitely recursive. So in a fictitious story such as "The Invaders from Dimension X", Dimension X would of logical necessity be composed of all our familiar 3 dimensions plus whatever hypothetical dimensions can be tacked on after that and before whatever dimension Dx is. This means that the invaders cannot simply pop in and out of 3D space as if they weren't already part of it.

Another consequence is that in any spatial dimensional system all possible dimensions must exist simultaneously everywhere. This means that it's not possible for someone standing on line A ( D1 ), to walk forward into an elevator (D2), ride it upwards into ( D3 ), and get off on the proverbial 13th Floor ( Dx ), as if it were isolated from everything else somehow. It may be tempting not to consider the above semantic a proof, but it is. I'm no expert at math expressions, but if I have it right, it should look something like:

Dx = D { ℕ < x } +1


What may be possible however is for something to travel between universes and appear to pop in and out of ours as though it were popping in and out of another dimension ( figuratively only ). The proof for the impossibility of sci-fi like time is little different, but is equally as sound logically. Time is simply a measurement of change within a system, and in this case the system is our observable universe, also sometimes called our spacetime continuum. So to go backwards in time would require everything in our universe to progressively revert to a previously existing state.

The upshot is that anyone who is part of such system will also revert to their previous state and be none the wiser for it. So although backward time travel might be possible, the only ones who would know it was going on would be those capable of looking into our universe from outside it and watching as things are undone. Hypothetically, it might be possible to cut someone out of the present moment, and paste them into some moment in the past, and that would seem like time travel to the experiencer, but in reality what would be happening is that a new timeline would be created consisting of an entirely separate universe identical to the one that the experiencer had been cut from at the point in time of reinsertion.


I must still be missing the point. Perhaps you need to be more specific about what you mean by "existing paradigm". In the meantime, there are only so many reasonable ways to determine what the results could possibly mean, and the best will be supported not by casual supposition or preferences for "existing paradigms", but by the weight critical analysis based on the quality of the evidence. For example the experience of seeing the message on the screen signifies that consciousness is an operative factor, and the degree of correspondence between the experiencer's perceptions and objective reality is a strong indicator of whether or not the experience reflects the perception of objective reality. Therefore by making the message completely unambiguous, unique, and known only to the experiencer, it follows that if the message is correctly recalled by the experiencer, that some element of consciousness was at least partially responsible for its acquisition. There are no holes in this logic, only room for a deception so complex as to present us with an equally interesting problem ( IMO ).
. . .

It looks to me like the proof above makes a number of assumptions . . . when you write "Abstract concepts involving logic can be proven with 100% certainty, and we can apply such logic to certain aspects of real-world problems in order to eliminate certain variables." I think you have to be aware of the assumptions you initially make within the system of that logic and you have to make sure that the real world actually works that way . . . which may be an empirical question.

I only made it through differential equations but in trying to make sense of this expression:

Dx = D { ℕ < x } +1

what I can say is that "{}" means a set or collection of elements, correct? and "ℕ" refers to the set of all natural numbers . . . so I'm not sure what you are saying here except that a dimension number x is equal to the previous dimensions plus one . . .

. . . and that's about as far as I can take except to suggest, as I did with your virtual photon theory that you present this for peer review. You could start a thread here on the Paracast, I noticed that member @PCarr Error | The Paracast Community Forums recently posted his CV and that he has a Master of Science in Applied Physics from John Hopkins and provides the following summary of his qualifications:

32 years continuous experience in aerospace industry, and 30 years direct involvement in system engineering, mission analysis, mission design, and operation of spaceflight systems for diverse missions and sponsors.

Leader of spacecraft design project and proposal teams on must-win competitive procurements, and experienced in project and line management.

Technically and methodologically current, with strong analytical and computer skills.

Committed to continuous process improvement and maturation.

U.S. Citizen with current DOD Secret Clearance.


So he, or others on the forum, may be qualified to assess your proof above and perhaps assist in publication.
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
I'm reading Dr. Jim Tucker's new book "Return to Life" at the moment, in which he describes several of his cases, including the "Barra Boy" one, which this thread is actually about. There is some additional information on the case (at least for me), mostly how the documentary came to be (which I did find interesting) and on the research Dr Tucker conducted in the background, which is not shown in the documentary.

Alex Tsakiris of the Skeptiko podcast did an interview with Dr Tucker about the book, both of which I can recommend very much. Besides the "Barra boy", there's several other cases, for example the James Leininger case which I thought I had heard and read everything about but still, there was new information for me. And of course, there is plenty of other cases, mostly in America, which I had never heard about. They are mostly closer to the "Barra Boy" in that they are not entirely conclusive. A case like James Leiniger's, where all the pieces seem to fit, where a deceased person can be found who fits the remarks and claims of the child, is absolutely an exception.

I'm halfway through the book and have yet to read about the meta-data they gained from entering all cases studied by Stevenson, Tucker and their assistants in a database and about the theories Dr Tucker has what all this might mean. Should be interesting.

The title in my opinion is not so much an allusion to reincarnation theory than to the process many of these kids seem to go through, from being totally convinced if not to say obsessed by these "memories" to eventually (mostly at ages 6 to 8) gradually forgetting about them and returning to their life in the here and now. Some of them, after going to the places they had been talking about for years, seem to arrive at some peace (often preceded by the sadness of the realization that things have changed and people they "remembered" weren't there). Which I think shows that this research is indeed important.
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I hadn't heard of this case of a reincarnation of Anne Frank. Interesting.....


TEXT, clearly written from a particular point of view: "Walter Semkiw, MD and Jim Tucker, MD discuss the reincarnation research of Ian Stevenson, MD, which involves children's past life memories that can be factually verified. Children's past lives provide evidence or proof of reincarnation and are presented as reincarnation stories at IISIS.net.

"Dr. Semkiw also introduces the reincarnation case of Anne Frank | Barbro Karlen. Barbro Karlen relates her childhood past life memories of being Holocaust victim Anne Frank. Barbro was a child prodigy writer, much like Anne, and Barbro has the same facial features as Anne. Anne Frank was persecuted as a Jew by the Nazis, whereas Barbro was born into a Christian family in Sweden 9 years after Anne's death.

"This case dramatically shows how religion and nationality can change from one lifetime to another, an observation that can transform society and make the world a more peaceful place. Note that if the Nazis knew that one could be born Jewish in one incarnation and Christian in another, then the Holocaust could never have happened. Reincarnation research also shows that we plan lifetimes to be reunited with loved ones & to equalize karma from past life relationships."

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