Life after death,
October 23, 2000 6:15 PM   Subscribe

Life after death, interesting though short reading. Scientific materialism takes a slight beating? Maybe. Nice that somebody finally tested the low oxygen theory that's been flying around since the 70's.
posted by skallas (7 comments total)
Let's see ... "feelings of peace and joy, time speeded up, heightened senses, lost awareness of body, seeing a bright light, entering another world, encountering a mystical being and coming to 'a point of no return'" ... how many heroin users have had that experience? Isn't it possible that the brain floods with chemicals during trauma? Also, to say that someone has now "tested" the low oxygen theory is a vast exagerration.
posted by argybarg at 7:07 PM on October 23, 2000

When you suffer major trauma, death for example, you release a whole lot of dopamine to make you feel as good as possible before it's all over. I'm not sure if there are other chemical released by you, but serotonin's a good bet.
posted by Zool at 7:29 PM on October 23, 2000

Hmmmmm...sounds pretty dubious,
but then again it was on the BBC...
posted by lagado at 8:01 PM on October 23, 2000

Isn't it possible that the brain floods with chemicals during trauma?


Anything is possible, I wish they had a link to the study because article is pretty thin. Whether or not low oxygen has been tested or not, well we'd need the study. These aren't exactly controlled tests, so you take from it what you want.

Regardless, im much more in the camp of these things being unprovable/unknowable and am more interested in seeing how paranormal things are presented to the public and watching the typical credulous vs. pseudoskeptic reactions.
posted by skallas at 9:45 PM on October 23, 2000

I heard the interview this article is paraphrasing on the radio yesterday - the researcher was basically backed into a corner and admitted that the research was less than conclusive and that none of the experiences could be isolated to the time when the patient was clinically dead. There are an awful lot of chemicals in the bloodstream during and after a heart attack, some produced by the body and some given to the patient in hospital, since we don't have the ability to record thought, he had to admit that the anecdotal evidence was at best inconclusive.
posted by Markb at 12:53 AM on October 24, 2000

I'm confused by how a study, that claims seven patients revealed some sort of varied experience, out of 63 that were interviewed, can even be considered a "study." Statistically that seems real thin IMHO.
posted by cowboy at 6:11 AM on October 24, 2000

Stuff like this drives me crazy, frankly--I work on clinical cancer trials myself, and the numbers are just stupid here, not to mention the craptacular (thanks, Bart Simpson) reporting.

"However, seven had memories, four of which counted as near-death experiences."

What were the other three? Visions of tiny naked death-imps all shrieking, "Go back, you fool, it's a trick!"?

But this is my favorite, really. Headline: "Evidence of 'Life After Death' "

Final quote: " . . . I think there is little evidence for that at all."
posted by Skot at 8:30 AM on October 24, 2000

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