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There is Nothing Paranormal About Near-Death Experiences, Dr. Jan Holden Disagrees

Industry: Science

Interview with NDE researcher Dr. Jan Holden unravels the claim, “there is nothing paranormal about near-death experiences.”

California (PRUnderground) March 16th, 2012

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with University of North Texas professor, Dr. Jan Holden, co-author of, The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences. During the interview Holden discusses her research into near-death experiences:

Alex Tsakiris: I want you to help me work through this paper titled, “There is Nothing Paranormal About Near-Death Experiences.”

Let me start out with the first question, what are they reporting on here?  What’s the news?  Have they done any original research in this paper?

Dr. Holden: I didn’t see any original research. What I saw was a compilation of theories and results that have been published for quite some time, and have been answered in—you mentioned The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences.

What I noticed about this article is that it’s citing a lot of old sources that have been responded to, and they did not even mention, let alone respond to, those responses.

Alex Tsakiris:  Let’s get to the meat of their paper—I’ll give you this quote: “Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that there is nothing paranormal about these experiences. Instead, near-death experiences are the manifestation of normal brain function gone awry.”

I know from your continuing education course on near-death experience science there are at least 10 prospective NDE studies with in-hospitals patients. I don’t think one of them would support this conclusion.  What research are they citing to support their claim?

Dr. Holden: I don’t know.  The material that’s out there actually supports a different conclusion. To quote my colleague Bruce Greyson, “If you ignore everything paranormal about NDEs then it’s easy to conclude that there is nothing paranormal about them.”

And that’s what they have done.

The Skeptiko interview with Dr. Jan Holden (audio and transcript) is available at:

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