Monday, January 5, 2009

The Transmission Theory

The reasons why the transmission theory can explain the mind/body problem are as follows.

1] Can explain both the third and first experience
2.] Can account for psi, evidence for survival
3.] Is compatible with Physics


sbu said...

It is however not compatible with the fact the people who suffers brain damage/alzheimers disease gets their memory damaged. Surely memory and consciousness must be related phenomena.

Leo MacDonald said...

More like restrained, why? there are scattered reports of people apparently recovering from dementia shortly before death. The eminent physician Benjamin Rush, author of the first American treatise on mental illness, observed that "most of mad people discover a greater or less degree of reason in the last days or hours of their lives". Similarly, in his classic study of hallucinations, Brierre de Boismont noted that "at the approach of death we observe that ... the intellect, which may have been obscured or extinguished during many years, is again restored in all its integrity". Flournoy mentioned that French psychiatrists had recently published cases of mentally ill persons who showed sudden improvement in their condition shortly before death....

[Other examples of more recent vintage follow. Then:]

Such cases are few in number and not adequately documented, but the persistence of such reports suggest that they may represent a real phenomenon that could potentially be substantiated by further in traditions. If so, they would seriously undermine the assumption that in such diseases as Alzheimer's the mind itself is destroyed in lockstep with the brain. Like many of the experiences discussed in this chapter, such cases would suggest that in some conditions, consciousness may be enhanced, not destroyed, when constraints normally supplied by the brain are sufficiently loosened.

sbu said...

The problem with these reports like all other psi/paranormal evidence is the anecdotal characteristics of the observations. All attempts bringing PSI research to a scientific level have so far been inconclusive like the Ganzfeld experiments. A lot of the 'evidence' for paranormal phenomena was produced before 1940 liek the cross correspondences, Leonora Piper etc.. Also the sensational nature of PSI research makes it tempting for some scientist to exaggerate their results of make unscientific conclusions in order make people to buy their books. I believe Gary Schwartz with his after life experiments to be such a scientist.

Myself I try to remain openminded but if you read about substance dualism on the wikipidea this article suggests that almost no well-respected scientist believe in 'real' dualism today. If parapsychology is to survive among academics someone needs to produce convincing results with a high scientific standard pretty soon. I see the AWARE study by Sam Parnia and others as such an attempt. If this study produces negative results it will be a major blow.

Reckless Divinity said...

Dr. Parnia's study will produce negative results or inconclusive results. This is the second time they are attempting to conduct this study, they felt their first study was inconclusive, however if you read interviews with Parnia now compared to then you can see that he is more in the middle in terms of whether survival is a reality whereas in the beginning he was for the affirmative.

sbu said...

The experiment have been attempted multiple times by among others Janice Holden and Bruce Greyson all with negative results. However after my understanding the main problem so far has been due too few subjects reporting an OBE during their NDE, probably due to too few subjects in the experiment. Also it is difficult to place the targets since obviously an experiment like this must not impact the normal function of the operation theatre.
I could imagine it is difficult even to get clearance to conduct such an experiment in a hospital.

Can you point me to an article describing this first study by Parnia that yielded inconclusive results?

Reckless Divinity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reckless Divinity said...

I'll try to find the link to it, it was part of the horizon research in which he did a small scale study within south hampton - the "reason" why the results were inconclusive were because not enough obe's/nde's took place and word had spread within the hospital that such an experiement was taking place, thus contaminating/eliminating the controlled variables. I believe this was in 2005, but I will try to find the link and get back to you ASAP.

Reckless Divinity said...

Here is one link that mentions the previous study in a passive manner.

But I will try to find you something more definitive.

Reckless Divinity said...

Article dated in 2005.

"Reports of OBEs and NDEs are often simply anecdotal, but the hospital environment allows Sam Parnia to monitor and compare oxygen, carbon dioxide and salt levels in the patients who did and did not have either experience.

His study also involves a novel method of testing if the "self" actually does leave the body during an OBE. Sam has suspended boards below the ceiling and these have images on the upper side. The idea is that if people do look down from above, they may recall the extra information. As yet, no patients have reported seeing these images"

Leo MacDonald said...

Hi Sbu

There are many problems with near death experiments. One is that people who are out of their body are far more concern about their lifeless body on the operating table. Then about some sign up above. Also I notice that in one study Dr. Penny Sartori said they may have seen the signs but because of their view that have to be considered inconclusive results.

Their is however one experiment that was done by Charles Tart

One of the best books that you can read on the net for free. Is called 21 days into the afterlife. This documentes the best evidence for survival. It shows too how natural explanations have been carefully ruled out.

As far as the ganzfeld goes, it looks like now their has been more replication for psi. The auto ganzfeld experiments have been going on since 2003 and are probably still going on.

Reckless Divinity said...

One thing Leo has a point on is, if someone is having an out of body experience during an NDE, the experience itself is completely new and it can only be hoped that they see the sign but I highly doubt it is something they will truly look for if they themselves are making sense of the NDE while experiencing it, and even if they were to see the sign there is the possibility that once the experiment is over they may forget, as with dreams. So what Scientist hopeful is to find repeated evidence on a large scale but it seems like at best we may only end up with small scale inconclusive data.

sbu said...

Sam Parnia's first study back in 2001 only included 63 patients and 7 of these reported a NDE. None of these reported an OBE during the NDE. I think this sample is too small to be conclusive. The new study is a large scale study involving 1500 patients. So I don't agree you can just rule out upfront that the new study can't add new information. On the other hand since so many already have tried to proof this without success I'm very pessimistic the new study will be positive. But if the study is negative it will definitely be the last time ths experiment is going to be attempted. A negative result ofcourse doesn't 100% rule out that something paranormal is going on. Maybe you more 'sense' your surrondings during a NDE rather than actually 'see' anything.
Another explanation as, Leo says, could be that people are more focused on their lifeless body than looking for hidden sign during a NDE.

Believing that the famous Miss Z actually saw that hidden number 35 years ago is the same as believing that Jesus left his grave on the 3 day. There is no reason to believe Miss Z(or Tart) didn't cheat to create the sensation. No other OBE experiments have ever been able to recreate true veridical perception.

To use the term 'evidence' it is required that an experiment is reproduceable by others and that the results can be objectively verified. That's why the Ganzfeld experiments was designed. IMO too much of the current paranormal evidence is anecdotal and comes from unreliable sources.

Reckless Divinity said...

Well it is fine if you don't agree with me, but the reality is your response is no different from mine. We are both pessimistic about the results.