Dr. Jeffrey Long Responds to NDEs are an Illusion

Industry: Science

NDE Researcher Dr. Jeffrey Long Responds to recent comments by Dr. Sam Parnia regarding near-death experiences being a "trick of the mind".

San Diego, CA (PRUnderground) November 4th, 2010

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with physician and New York Bestselling author, Dr. Jeffrey Long. During the interview Dr. Long is asked to respond to recent comments by fellow NDE researcher Dr. Sam Parnia suggesting that the near-death experience phenomena may be an illusion, Dr. Long said, “… I strongly support a researcher that has a reasonable opinion about near-death experiences.

I think the one opinion that I think is not reasonable at this point in time is the absolute blanket statement that NDEs are illusions. There’s just too strong evidence forthcoming from my research as well as the research of others. I mean, by the time you have near-death experiencers with crystal-clear consciousness, the out-of-body observation seemed to be overwhelmingly correct in both prospective and retrospective studies, near-death experiences in those totally blind from birth, near atypical near-death experiences even while under general anesthesia, and it goes on and on. I think that’s pretty thoroughly refuted… when I read the interview it sounded to me more like Dr. Sam Parnia considered NDEs to be a research question. In other words, that’s why he’s doing this prospective study. The comment that stuck out more to me is ‘I don’t know’ in terms of what the cause of near-death experiences are.”

But when asked what evidence would suggest that Dr. Parnia’s suspicion is correct, Dr. Long presented a highly unlikely set of circumstances, “for NDEs to be accepted as an illusion then each and every one of all of the following must be true for all NDEs: 1) The predominately crystal-clear consciousness during NDEs would always have to be an illusion. 2) Accurate OOB observations (out-of-body observations) during NDEs must all be false. 3) NDEs reported under general anesthesia, they all must be false. 4) The consistency of NDE reports, both from very young children who are not socialized, and older children, and adults — the consistency of all those groups must be explainable by some yet unknown means. 5) We also have to explain the consistency of the content from NDEs around the world, including cultures very different from Western cultures. All that must be explainable.”

In conclusion, Long states, “therefore, the belief that NDEs are only illusions would require both: 1) the lack of acceptance of established and corroborated, extensive NDE evidence and 2) faith that science will someday have explanations for what we’ve already observed and find unexplainable.”

The Skeptiko interview with Dr. Jeffrey Long (audio and transcript) is available at: http://www.skeptiko.com/118-jeffrey-long-responds-to-parnia

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