What do you make of this quote about NDEs?

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pork232's picture
What do you make of this quote about NDEs?

Recently, there was a study done on rats which stated that when rats are at the Near Death stage, there seems to be a huge surge of activity in their brains. Some people believed that this may explain NDEs, but this one host at the Skeptiko website claims that the rat experiment was stupid, and that it cannot be used as a useful NDE explanation. This what he said:

Alex Tsakiris: The correlation isn’t that strong. It contradicts earlier research that looked at Co2 in the blood. But here’s the real kicker, and it’s what relates to the work that you’ve done both in your personal experience in adventure travel and about your book. That’s that the media has this perception that the near-death experience is about hallucination. It’s about all these symptoms that are associated with lack of oxygen in the blood, which is what this research is really about.
The elevated Co2 levels are really a by-product of not getting enough oxygen in the blood, as you point out quite correctly in your book. If you look at near-death experience research, which is well established now for 20 years, what we find is exactly the opposite. People who have a near-death experience have an increased level of lucidity; an increased level of awareness.
The most recent research that we reported on here where they interviewed extensively 1,000 near-death experiences, 76% of them said that their experience during the near-death experience was more conscious than their everyday life. And the data that they report is not hallucinatory at all – 98% of the data that they report is realistic and real. So if you have a dream and you see you’re in a car and then suddenly the car turns into a lion, these are hallucinations. These things don’t occur in the near-death experience.

After reading this quote, do you think it is possible that NDEs are actually real experiences?

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ThePragmatic's picture
@ pork222

@ pork222

I googled Alex Tsakiris to get an idea of who this is:
"Alex Tsakiris produces the pseudoskeptical podcast Skeptiko — Science at the Tipping Point, which, despite its name, advocates various forms of quantum woo, parapsychology and evolutionary teleology."

I wouldn't trust this guy to tell anyone how the world works. He makes money of promoting pseudo science.

Alex Tsakiris: "If you look at near-death experience research, which is well established now for 20 years..."
Say... waat?

Anyone with actual medical knowledge in the field, feel free to correct me...

But the only thing that can be studied on a significant scale for this is recollections from people who have been in a state of mind that is unknown and unpredictable. Apart from dizziness, medication, pain, etc, it's well know that people interpret and confabulate.
In other words, what is studied is patterns in the interpretations and confabulations, not the actual near death experiences.

--- Edited to add ---:

I kept reading about this Alex Tsakiris...

"The apparent claim of skepticism in the name, and the name confusion with the Skeptico blog (which is not happy about this[1]), has fooled skeptics such as Massimo Pigliucci, Ophelia Benson[2] and Jerry Coyne[3][4] into appearing.
Tsakiris likes to sandbag interviewees with sudden changes in plans just before recording, and is unapologetic about doing so.[5] He has a habit of post-editing interviews with voiceovers when things are not going his way, e.g. the Benson interview."

"Stuart Robbins of Exposing PseudoAstronomy has analysed in detail[9][10] Tsakiris' misunderstandings of how science works:
1. Confusing papers' conclusions and their original data.
2. Confusing argument from authority with scientific consensus.
3. Picking guests from Amazon best-seller lists rather than finding credible scientists with a peer-reviewed track record.
4. Confusing a class of outcomes with a single cause, i.e., not understanding that one effect can have multiple causes (including mundane ones).
5. Telling experts they don't understand the area of their expertise when they don't agree with him.
6. Claiming a phenomenon should be studied before even establishing it exists.
7. Appeal to quantum mechanics.
8. Appeal to an individual researcher's unduplicated results.
9. Relying on eyewitness memories decades after the fact.
10. Not understanding that it's up to the claimant to provide the evidence.
These are down to natural human cognitive biases, which is why science is hard. But when experts in all the scientific areas you deal with tell you that you're full of it, it may be an idea to consider the notion."

chimp3's picture
Let me ask you this. Say a

Let me ask you this. Say a person you know needs CPR after a heart attack. Is rescucitated , intubated, and placed on a vent for 24 hours to be stabilized. They are in a chemically induced coma. When revived the person asks to see you. They tell you they had a vision. You are to gain untold riches. All you have to do is sell your home, car, furniture, and golf clubs and invest in a particular stock by this time one week. Would you do it?

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