Atheist Debates Existence of Soul with Near Death Experience Believer

Industry: Science

Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris and atheist blogger Greta Christina square-off for a debate on near Death Experience (NDE) science.

San Diego, CA (PRUnderground) January 21st, 2011

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview discussing the existence of the soul and the science of Near Death Experience. During the interview Tsakiris points out the lack of research among NDE skeptics, “And really, if we’re going to play the kind of credential game, you really wouldn’t want to stack Dr. Bruce Greyson, Dr. Jeff Long, Dr. Pim Van Lommel, one of the most highly regarded cardiologists in the world who’s been studying near-death experience for 30 years—you wouldn’t want to stack them against Keith Augustine, who really doesn’t have any kind of medical credentials. So I’m talking to you about published research in these cases.”

Ms. Christina responds, “There is what seems to me to be extremely shaky research and there’s no consensus about it in any sense—in fact, the overwhelming consensus among neurologists is that no, these people are, I’m not going to say crackpots, that’s too strong a word. But these people are mistaken. They’re being led down the garden path by their wishful thinking. And again, when you look at the history of thousands and thousands and thousands of years of human knowledge, where supernatural explanations consistently get replaced with natural ones and it’s ultimately when the research has been really done and it’s been really examined, it’s never been the case that it’s happened the other way around.”

Near the end of the debate, Ms. Christina sums up her argument “…even if I conceded everything that you’ve said in this whole conversation, all that it proves is that consciousness is weird and that we don’t understand it. That’s all that it proves. It doesn’t prove anything about there being an immaterial soul that animates consciousness. It doesn’t prove anything about immaterial soul surviving death.”

Tsakiris responds, “I don’t mind hearing your opinion, but you’ve got to back it up. You’re saying that every time somebody gives you research you go and look at it and it’s debunked. Well, tell me. Tell me what’s been debunked. You haven’t cited any real NDE research. You cited Keith Augustine and then you want to say Skeptical Inquirer and Skeptical Magazine?”

The Skeptiko interview with Greta Christina (audio and transcript) is available at: http://www.skeptiko.com/atheist-debates-existence-of-soul-with-near-death-experience-believer/

About Skeptiko:

Skeptiko.com is the first scientifically oriented Podcast exploring new research in controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, parapsychology, near-death-experience, psychic detectives, medium communication, reincarnation, and after-life encounters. Each episode features open, honest debate on new scientific discoveries. The show includes interviews with top research scientists and their critics.

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