I have a single, simple question for you. It may at first seem frivolous, but I assure you that I am dead serious and consider its implications profound and its answers revelatory of the Christian mindset.
If I believed in a compassionate, all-powerful God who answers prayers, I would pray every day for Him to eradicate all human disease.
My question is predicated on the a priori assumption that you do not do this.
My only question for you is: WHY NOT?
Well you might be aware that Cardiac Arrest patient's EEG usually flatlines around 10-20 seconds after cardiac arrest. No electrical pulses means flat EEG, so in that 10-20 second space a patient may still have brain function without a pulse, so they would be "clinically" dead and still retain brain function, that I will concede, but the EEG flatlines within seconds. This is proven by the fact that they do not even retain a gag reflex which is among the most basic of brain functions. Also the patients pupils are fixed and dilated.If there is no brain activity you cannot retain or create any memories. Once a person's brainwaves have ceased, indicating that all mental activity has stopped - perceiving, thinking, and remembering - how do we explain their accurate perception of events going on around their 'deceased' body (both sight and sound), and their accurate reporting of events taking place even at significant distances from their clinically-dead body? The dying brain theory has been very much debunked by cold hard medical facts. The reason Penrose would throw his weight behind such a phony quantum based theory is because this is a genuine mystery. If the debate was so simple then millions would't be spent on so much research. I personally am an undergraduate planning on going into the medical field and one of my professors, an agnostic by the way, has had access to some of the files of the massive forthcoming University of Florida study on NDE's and he says that from what they have discovered so far there is no correlation between religious belief and experience of NDE's. Of course the study isn't published yet so I cannot give you a link, sorry.
"Our most striking finding was that Near-Death Experiences do not have a physical or medical root. After all, 100 per cent of the patients suffered a shortage of oxygen, 100 per cent were given morphine-like medications, 100 per cent were victims of severe stress, so those are plainly not the reasons why 18 per cent had Near-Death Experiences and 82 per cent didn't. If they had been triggered by any one of those things, everyone would have had Near-Death Experiences." (Van Lommel 1995)
Plus Tracey, Dr. Parnia is still a skeptic and he is really trying hard to find a medical explanationhttp://www.skeptiko.com/sam-parnia-claims-near-death-experience-probably-an-illusion/
I think if you read the entire piece you will realize that that the title is a bit optimistic, anyway he also makes a slight mistake, he said that aristotle and plato and different views on the soul, they did not really, the greek philosopher and pseudoscientist Epicurus was the one who said that the soul was a product of bodily functions and it died along with the body. CPR in a way does restart the brain. The brain cannot function without a steady stream of oxygenated blood, the CPR provides that blood and restores brain function when there previously was none.
NDE is a bit of a misnomer, if their EEG is flat and they have no pulse, the're dead.
The DMT theory is being thrown around, as it the CO2 theory, but neither of them are really being taken that seriously. I am not saying that there is no possible way a natural process can account for these NDE's but as of today there is none.
Check out Dr. Kenneth RIng's study with people who are born blind having NDE where they can see.
Also read up on John Eccles, a nobel prize winning neurophysiologist and devout theist, catholic by the way.
Strict Materialism and Religious Fundamentalism are two sides of the same coin guys, at least keep an open mind.
Hi John Baptiste,
I have read the original paper as reported in the Lancet and it seems that Dr Parnia is doing nothing short of quote-mining....to serve their own purpose...
Seriously, ANYONE who says...." I started out as a sceptic"...is much like the beginnings of near EVERY Penthouse Forum story...starting with ..." I never believed these stories were true until.... MY experience...."
Again, cardiac arrest is NOT BRAINDEAD. CPR does NOT jumpstart the brain again, but the HEART.
As well as Dr Parnia stated, there are "key" features in those who've had NDE (THE NEAR is "key" here...they AIN'T DEAD).... is that over 72% of those claiming to have had NDE either have religious affiliation OR have heard of what an "NDE is "like" prior to having one themselves.
As such, all this really "proves" is the unconscious mind has the capacity to bring forth stored information. It related ZERO to any afterlife scenario. If the "findings showed that EVERYONE having been through the trauma and associated clinical death and subsequent CPR... then there WOULD be conclusive evidence. In the Study though he originally cited FROM the Lancet, there were 344 cardiac patients involved and of those.. only 62 actually had this "nde" experience...whether in assumed" core form or more superficial.Less than 20% had NDE.. as I said shows more about information they have stored, due to religious beliefs and indoctrination.
So...yeah.. cheers to you too.
There is a difference between a flat EEG and the irreversible necrosis of the neurons, And yes you are right about cold water drowning, the low temperatures prevent the cells from dying, it is the same principle that applies to cryogenics. And in this state there is no brain activity, none, their EEG's are flat but the neurons can be coaxed back to life with a flow of oxygenated blood. The skin tone is not related to brain functions, any brain stem activity would be given away by a gag reflex, or pupil contraction as a response to light. The reviving of the patient follows the same principle in both the cold water drowning and cardiac arrest patient, it's just that the cold water patients can be revived far later, when normal cardiac arrest patients brain would be damaged beyond repair.
I'm impressed. This is the first I've heard anyone mention the work of Roger Penrose. I find it odd however, that you would not put much stock in it. I think it is the last best hope for a medical explanation of human consciousness that might be independent of the scientific method.
Penrose's work is not well understood by the lay public. But basically, there is a fundamental difference between what Penrose is talking about and the "usual" Quantum Mechanical behaviors observed in nature. Penrose is talking about what is called "Objective State Vector Reduction" which is an extraordinarily rare occurrence in the universe. It is the only process in nature that is truly non-deterministic and non-algorithmic. This means that it is inaccessible to the scientific method. This is precisely the kind of candidate one needs to speak of the "supernatural"; by definition.
If I were an apologist I would have latched onto this a long time ago but I've yet to see anyone pick it up. Despite how rare it is, it happens literally thousands or millions of times per second in layer 5 of the cerebral cortex of the human brain in what are called large pyramidal or "Betz" cells. This should be a red flag for further research. But no one seems to quite understand the significance of this.
As for being brain dead, I don't think that data will tell you anything. The Quantum Coherence that occurs in the water within microtubules "reduces" to a classical state whether the brain is alive or dead. Shifts in the density and location of water inside the microtubule as a result causes the microtubule to change shape. Changes in the shape of the microtubules cause changes in the growth of the cytoskeleton, which in turn shapes the direction of axonal and dendritic growth. This also occurs even after brain death.
This is significant because the probability of a neuron firing depends partly on something called spatial and temporal summation; the location at which dendrites synapse with neighboring neurons and the spatial distribution of those synapses on those neurons. This is ultiamately influenced by objective state vector reduction, which is a process inaccessible to the scientific method (one cannot predict the outcome of that system with a given, initial set of conditions). There is your "god".
btw, I think Penrose is also right in saying that "artifical intelligence" and other such schemes at mimicking human intelligence will fail because human consciousness is a fudamentally different animal. The human brain is not a computer and any computer that can "think" will be something of a kind and type we would not today call a computer. Penrose made this argument quite well also. The mystery of human consciousness is an extremely challenging one and not one that's going to be solved by software engineers.
This is significant because the probability of a neuron firing depends partly on something called spatial and temporal summation; the location at which dendrites synapse with neighboring neurons and the spatial distribution of those synapses on those neurons.
Should have read:
This is significant because the probability of a neuron firing depends partly on something called spatial and temporal summation; the relative time at which dendrites synapse (and fire) with neighboring neurons and the spatial distribution of those synapses on those neurons.
Oh, and, no offense to software engineers. Its no issue of brains, its an issue of specialty.
We now have the technology and scientific knowledge to begin exploring the ultimate question,” says Dr Sam Parnia,
I admire his confidence in science.
But I seriously doubt it.
If anything we are awash in hubris. We are a LONG, LONG way from understanding human consciousness, imo. I think we'll have viable fusion reactors before we have a complete understanding of human consciousness. In fact, I'd argue that the question of human consciousness is going to vex the scientific method and community more thoroughly and ruthlessly than anything we've ever encountered, in my little heterodox, wicked little opinion. ;-)
Finally, whew! that link you provided is awful. The author doesn't understand anything he's talking about, despite his great effort. What Roger Penrose was saying was what the eternal optimist of a scientist would say when faced with what he discovered:
Well, gee, the scientific method flat out fails completely to explain human consciousness, we already know that, its the only thing we know cannot be explained by the scientific method, so, maybe, quantum mechanics is just wrong and we'll figure it all out later.
Wrong. What objective state vector reduction tells us is that the laws of nature itself bar any investigation into this. Sorry, but its a fact. I'm a deconverter, why do you think I avoid this topic? ;-)
The lunacy of prayer can be illustrated quite well in the Middle East where you have differing religious factions praying fervently to Allah and Yahweh to smite their enemy: Jews and Palestinians, Sunnis and Shiites, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. On and on. Or the Tim Timbo's praying to their god for favoritism in a phreaking football game. Or winning a lottery. Rarely is there time to beseech their god for healing of the disease stricken or starving masses around the globe. And why should prayer even be necessary in the first place? If a being capable of creating the universe is aware of the trials, tribulations, and misfortunes of needy human beings on planet Earth why would you need to bring it to the god's attention. Is this some sort of sick game he/she/it plays with humans. Beg and I might, just might, answer your pleadings. It's ridiculous and preposterous.
If prayer actually worked I believe there would be a lot more callouses on the knees of theists.
well. i have prayed when i was a christian for god to heal the world and all that. nothing happened. so i stopped. (it was only years later i deconverted)
"well. i have prayed when i was a christian for god to heal the world and all that. nothing happened. so i stopped."
He sent His son, that sounds like an adequate answer to your prayer.
If you believe that this is all there is, then I can see how that wouldn't seem like it did anything, but if you hold reconciliation higher than life or health, then Christ's coming is an extravagant answer to the prayer for the world to be healed.
Should a man gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? Would you value a limb over a relationship?
"He sent His son, that sounds like an adequate answer to your prayer.
If you believe that this is all there is, then I can see how that wouldn't seem like it did anything, but if you hold reconciliation higher than life or health, then Christ's coming is an extravagant answer to the prayer for the world to be healed. "
I was not always athiest you know. i used to be pentecostal dude. i have believed some of the same bull you do now. at the time i didnt believe that this is all there is. i believed in life after death. i believed that god would answer my prayers. i prayed. i had faith. i loved god. nothing happened.
your on an athiest website. im just saying. your just asking for it. why did you sign up to an athiest website? there are plenty of christian websites for yall out there?