Evidence of the Afterlife: Surveying NDEs

I was pleasantly surprised this week to note that a new book about near-death experiences, Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, had shot into Amazon's Top 10 (and is comfortably sitting within the top 100 a few days later). The book is written by Paul Perry and radiation oncologist Jeffrey Long, who is on the board of directors of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), and is an active researcher in the field of NDEs. Dr Long set up the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) website more than ten years ago, which provides information about this fascinating phenomenon, and also requests that NDErs report their experience through a form on the NDERF website. The data collected through this form has been compared and analysed by Dr Long, and he believes it shows evidence that human consciousness survives physical death:

Evidence of the Afterlife shares the firsthand accounts of people who have died and lived to tell about it. Through their work at the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, radiation oncologist Jeffrey Long and his wife, Jody, have gathered thousands of accounts of near-death experiences (NDEs) from all over the world. In addition to sharing the personal narrative of their experiences, visitors to the website are asked to fill out a one hundred–item questionnaire designed to isolate specific elements of the experience and to flag counterfeit accounts.

The website has become the largest NDE research database in the world, containing over 1,600 NDE accounts. The people whose stories are captured in the database span all age groups, races, and religious affiliations and come from all over the world, yet the similarities in their stories are as awe-inspiring as they are revealing. Using this treasure trove of data, Dr. Long explains how medical evidence fails to explain these reports and why there is only one plausible explanation—that people have survived death and traveled to another dimension.

No doubt helping the success of the book was Dr Long's appearance on The Today Show last week, which I've embedded below:

However, it does show that interest in this subject is high, as long as people are pointed in the right direction. While this book, with national publicity, has shot to the upper regions of Amazon's charts - indicating that people are open to the idea - other authoritative works on the topic such as The Handbook of Near Death Experiences (which Long is a contributor to) remain languishing in purgatory. Meanwhile, other works with perhaps even more importance from an evidential point of view, such as Robert Crookall's The Supreme Adventure(which looks at the the crossovers between early NDE accounts and descriptions of the afterlife 'through' mediums), aren't even available for sale.

Perhaps, with the original publication of Raymond Moody's seminal Life After Life being 35 years ago, new generations are only now discovering that there is in-depth research being done on this topic...and that, despite what skeptics say, it is worthy of consideration. I'm hopeful that is the case, as I think thus far (apart from the blip occasioned by Life After Life), the topic of afterlife studies is one that has been largely ignored by scientists and the public alike.

Previously on TDG:

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atsakiris's picture
Member since:
30 January 2007
Last activity:
1 year 15 weeks

picking up on your last point... it will be interesting to see how the science-media runs with this story.

His book just hit the NYT bestsellers list so maybe this will help, but then again, the science media often doesn't care about that.

I just interviewed Dr. Long in response to Kevin Nelson's comments on the last Skeptiko... he absolutely (but in a very appropriate way) blows skeptics out of the water... this guy has done the work... knows the science and can really deliver the goods to the media... he's great!

alex at skeptiko.com

Alex
www.skeptiko.com

Greg's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
11 hours 59 min
atsakiris wrote:

I just interviewed Dr. Long in response to Kevin Nelson's comments on the last Skeptiko... he absolutely (but in a very appropriate way) blows skeptics out of the water... this guy has done the work... knows the science and can really deliver the goods to the media... he's great!

Hi Alex,

I look forward to listening to the interview. While my reading of his book so far has been only superficial (and so I'm happy to be corrected if I've got something wrong), I would take issue with the idea that if lots of people experience the same thing, it must be 'real' (which I read in the chapter on the life review). Perhaps a better approach with the chapter on 'proof' in the life review would have been to discuss Robert Crookall's findings, where 'discarnates', talking through mediums (before NDEs were in the public consciousness) say that they experienced a life review at the time of their death.

I do need to have a bit more of an in-depth read of the book though.

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

thefloppy1's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
3 weeks 3 days

this seems to be a very common theme. It is explained in Celestine Profercies and a few other like books. An inteview, which I can't remember at this moment, with a retired Colonal about ET's and interaction with them mentions this as well after learning the "true" nature of humans and our place in the big picture. That guy who was hit in the head by lightning also mentions this.
I surpose it makes sence if there is an after experience and our "spirit, soul, conscienceness" continues, then for it to be of any purpose there would be a debriefing of sorts of that particular life.
We will all know for sure one day.RIP.

"Life can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you do what your told."
LRF.

rosewal's picture
Member since:
31 January 2010
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4 years 38 weeks

Towards the end of last year I re-read an Australian book from 1995 that got me hooked. Called 'Children of the light', I found it particularly heartening because of the fact they were the experiences of children. The innocence made the evidence more compelling.

I'm also of the belief that my 'imaginary friend', from when I was a kid, was actually visiting me from another plane and was not a figment of my imagination.

It's fantastic to see discussion of NDEs and other related fields making its way slowly into the mainstream.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
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17 hours 39 min

Re. imaginary friends: this news linked by Rick last Wednesday may have passed unnoticed by some, but I find it very interesting:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Nearly 1 in 10 seven- to eight-year-olds hears voices that aren't really there, according to a new study.

That's a really high figure. One is tempted to speculate whether a large part of the population is endowed with an ability that is later suppressed by cultural conditioning.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie