Biggest Scientific Study Suggests Life after Death

LifeAfterDeathby Enza Ferreri   10/14/14
“First hint of ‘life after death’ in biggest ever scientific study”, headlines The Telegraph, going on to say: “Southampton University scientists have found evidence that awareness can continue for at least several minutes after clinical death which was previously thought impossible”.

Does this prove that there is life after death and that God exists?

Of course not, but it shows without a shadow of a doubt that there are many phenomena and events that science doesn’t explain about the nature of consciousness and of the mind in general.

Someone’s answer to that migtht be that science will one day explain everything: but that belief requires a deep faith in itself. Even though the object of that faith is science and not God, faith it is.

What is paradoxical about the way in which atheists – “unbelievers” is a misnomer, as they do believe without empirical or rational foundation in many things -, since 19th-century positivism to today’s Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking, have associated decline of religion with progress of science is that the advances in the latter, if anything, have demonstrated to us how many things in the universe, life and mind science doesn’t understand, most notably their origin. And there are very good reasons to predict that it never will, as they probably require other constructs, other ways of thinking and other kinds of explanantion.

The connection between the brain, a material object, and the mind, or rather how the physicality of the former can produce the non-physicality of the latter, has not become clearer the more it has been studied and researched by science, but in fact the opposite has occurred: the questions have multiplied, while the answers have diminished in proportion.

It’s perfectly true that it’s in the nature of scientific investigation that every new problem solved, every new question answered gives rise to new problems and questions, which inspired one of the greatest philosophers of science, Sir Karl Popper, to title his intellectual autobiography Unended Quest.

But there is a difference between the type of investigation in which science excels, where satisfactory theories that can survive rigorous tests are reached, and the type of investigation which displays an exponentially increasing discrepancy between problems and their solutions.

What the neo-positivists of the early 20th century, like the Vienna Circle – thinking that they were following Ludwig Wittgenstein but in fact misinterpreting him -, were saying was that questions which cannot be answered by mere logic and empiricism (hence one of their names, “logic empiricists”) should not be asked and pursued. Metaphysics and theology were nonsense. This was a way of limiting all intellectual search of knowledge to science.

This position has serious limitations. First a logical one: it is a self-contradictory position. If anything beyond the realm of science is nonsensical, what these philosophers (and their heirs today) are saying is nonsensical too, as it does not limit itself to logic and empirical evidence: they are engaging in metaphysics as well, albeit to oppose another metaphysical view.

And this takes us to its second serious limitation: if even people who have postulated boundaries for intellectual investigation cannot confine themselves to them and remain within them, that by itself is an indication that those boundaries are too narrow and unsatisfactory. And that science cannot provide all the answers that are necessary for a curious mind to be satisfied.

Even more, what if science itself, as it seems to be the case the more it expands and deepens, points to something outside itself?

EnzaEnza Ferreri is an Italian-born, London-based Philosophy graduate, author, and journalist. She has been a London correspondent for several Italian magazines and newspapers, including Panorama, L’Espresso, La Repubblica. She is in the Executive Council of the UK’s party Liberty GB. • (1085 views)

This entry was posted in Essays. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Biggest Scientific Study Suggests Life after Death

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    …were saying was that questions which cannot be answered by mere logic and empiricism (hence one of their names, “logic empiricists”) should not be asked and pursued. Metaphysics and theology were nonsense. This was a way of limiting all intellectual search of knowledge to science.

    In understanding the retarded mind of the Left (and I mean the word literally, not as a slander), the above cannot be repeated enough.

    If we had to deal only with what could be completely proved and/or that which was measurable by science, we humans couldn’t live. There would be no place for art, poetry, ethics, and so many other things — religion being one of them.

    We’d have no room for wondering about our place in the universe since such a question was not amenable to being put under a microscope or smashed in a particle accelerator.

    A species who has more than two brain cells to rub together can come to the sane and wise conclusion that there are many subjects which, although we may never have absolute certainty about them, are worth pursuing nonetheless. And things such as law must be pursued because many realities are not an option. They are thrust upon us. Only nitwits and prima donnas (and perhaps Mr. Kung would say “would-be monsters”) make statements to the effect that anything that cannot be answered by logic and empiricism is thus nonsense.

    A species who has more than two brains cells to rub together can easily come to the conclusion that there are important areas of life about which our judgments will be necessarily tentative and probabilistic, rather than hard and certain. And isn’t fundamentalism, of any type, the attempt to cram certainty over things which are inherently not amenable to certainty? Materialists/naturalists are not alone in their fundamentalism. Metaphysicians, heal thyself.

    The good news is that we humans do have more than two brain cells to rub together. We need not artificially reduce or retard our minds according to the mindset (such as it is) of the Left.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, there obviously is some link between the state of the brain and the mind, or we would not have intoxicants such as alcohol and marijuana, and brain damage wouldn’t have the effects it does on thinking. The idea that there might be biochemical causes for mental disorders such as paranoia goes back at least to the 1960s, though I don’t know that any such links have yet been established.

  3. Rosalys says:

    Even more, what if science itself, as it seems to be the case the more it expands and deepens, points to something outside itself?

    Why, then science either just ignores it or declares it doesn’t exist! Kind of reminds one of the Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz telling Dorothy and her companions not to pay any attention to that man behind the curtain. I once had a chemistry teacher – a substitute for the last six weeks of school, who was between jobs as a chemist for the corporate world – who said to us, “Some of the biggest jerks I know are PHDs!”

    I found this at Wikipedia under Scientific Method.

    “The chief characteristic which distinguishes the scientific method from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself…”

    That is precisely what the Leftists, those self proclaimed keepers of all truth and knowledge, will not do!

  4. There are 3 ways we can know something: we experience (or experiment) and observe, we apply logic to that which we have observed, or we just believe what someone else has told us about what they have either experienced or deduced, i. e. faith. Most of what we learn we learn by faith. If you ask my name, I’ll tell you and you’ll just believe it; you won’t demand my drivers license. A mom tells her child that the 4-legged creature on the back porch is a dog and the child just accepts that. The problem is that “science,” which should be all about empirical evidence, all about logic, has slipped off its bearings and is based mostly on faith, all while castigating those of us who admit to faith in God. They believe the unprovable Darwinian, global warming palaver without demanding evidence. I suspect that once you deny what is obviously true, then just about anything else will look possible. This was a thought-provoking piece. Thanks.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This is something I’ve noticed before, that the Darwinists have traded place with the creationists. In the Scopes trial, the creationists relied on faith and the evolutionists on science. Now the intelligent design people make scientific criticisms, and the evolutionists respond by treating Darwin as a prophet. (It’s interesting to consider that in Inherit the Wind, Henry Drummond objects to the large “Read your Bible” sign at the court and wants to remove it — or add an equally large sign saying “Read your Darwin”. Foreshadowing?)

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:


    I may be splitting hairs, but in this instance I would use the word trust as. It is true faith involves trust, but the word generally has a religious connotation which is not necessarily connected with the gaining of (temporal) knowledge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *