Everyone has heard of near-death experiences (NDEs). They’re a category of hallucinations that some religious people experience while comatose. Other common forms of hallucinations are seeing ghosts, out-of-body travel, etc.
One example of an NDE is making the news in the form of a book by Eben Alexander, described in this article in the Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper based in Toronto: Heaven or hallucination: Are near-death experiences proof of the afterlife?
It will not surprise you, dear reader, to learn that although they dismiss the overwhelming evidence supporting Darwin’s theory of evolution, these strange tales of heavenly visions are eagerly embraced by the neo-Luddite, neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
The latest article at the Discoveroids’ blog is Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test. It’s by Michael Egnor, a neurosurgeon who is an occasional contributor to the Discoveroid blog. He is also a signer of the Discoveroids’ Scientific Dissent from Darwinism. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and his links omitted:
Over the decades, Darwinists have proven themselves to be famously gullible. Think of the fairy tales that have been spun about fossil fragments in various rocks (Nebraska Man, Piltdown man, and Archaeoraptor come to mind). Today as well the evidence for standard Darwinian narratives of life’s history remains startlingly sketchy and ambiguous.
That’s in contrast to creationists like the Discoveroids, who always have rock-solid evidence for the miraculous deeds of their magical designer — blessed be he! — whose existence is as obvious to them as the Pacific Ocean, yet is somehow denied by the “Darwinists.” Egnor continues, mentioning what he claims is sketchy evidence for human evolution, and the fact that there is no solid evidence yet for the origin of life, and then he says:
Contrast this for a moment with Darwinists’ contemptuous dismissal of the life-changing experiences of millions of people. At Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne takes a swipe at the report of an out-of-body/near-death experience of formidably distinguished neurosurgeon Eben Alexander (photo at right), who was in a coma for a week due to meningitis. Widely published, Dr. Alexander teaches at the University of Virginia Medical School and has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. An excerpt from his forthcoming book, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, was published in Newsweek. A week before publication it is the #2 bestseller on Amazon.
It’s an outrage! The Darwinists contemptuously dismiss Dr. Alexander’s tale of his unconscious trip to heaven, yet they cling to the theory of evolution. Egnor, as we will see, is of a different mind. He believes Alexander’s ethereal tale and he’s contemptuous of Darwin. He gives us what we assume are a few quotes from Alexander’s book, which we find delightful:
Toward the beginning of my adventure, I was in a place of clouds. Big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky…
Oooooooh! How pretty! Let’s read on:
Higher than the clouds — immeasurably higher — flocks of transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamerlike lines behind them.
Jet trails? Spider silk? It doesn’t matter, it’s just heavenly! Alexander’s dream continues:
It gets stranger still. For most of my journey, someone else was with me. A woman. She was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face.
A heavenly hotty! We’re starting to like this. Here’s more:
Without using any words, she spoke to me. … The message had three parts, and if I had to translate them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this:
“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”
“You have nothing to fear.”
“There is nothing you can do wrong.”
Wow! What did Alexander do then? Had this encounter been ours, we would have reached out and grabbed her by the — Well, never mind. Alexander says this:
What happened to me demands explanation.
That’s all right, Dr. Alexander. There’s no need to explain. Your Curmudgeon understands these things. Anyway, back to Egnor. He tells us:
Such reports are very common among people who are comatose or who have near-death experiences (NDE). I know of several reports by patients in my practice, and I have spoken to neurosurgeons who have had patients with experiences that can be confirmed.
Confirmed? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Moving along:
From a scientific standpoint, I think that we need to consider these personal reports as real evidence, of varying credibility.
Evidence? Evidence of what — heaven, or a heavenly hallucination? Egnor tells us what he means in this next excerpt:
The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species, which is never.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It seems that Egnor will believe virtually anything — except the theory of evolution. But then he hedges a bit:
As to the veracity of the actual content of these reports, the issue is very complex. It is very hard to say scientific things about massively anecdotal non-reproducible unpredictable experiences of millions of people. The corroborated NDE’s do offer an option to do science, but they have not been carefully compiled and critically analyzed, to my knowledge.
Awwwww. No one is seriously studying this stuff. Hey — why don’t the Discoveroids do it? It’s the perfect subject for them. One last excerpt:
Materialists hate these accounts, because they (especially the corroborated ones) are very difficult to square with a materialist picture of reality.
The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. … Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
So there you are. It’s time to decide, dear reader. Do you want to be one of those narrow-minded materialist Darwinists, or do you want to open your mind to the glory revealed in near-death experiences?
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