The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150071   Message #3494589
Posted By: Don(Wyziwyg)T
25-Mar-13 - 09:08 AM
Thread Name: BS: Militant atheism has become a religion
Subject: RE: BS: Militant atheism has become a religion
There was one nugget of real interest, which I would like to have had in a recent discussion.

""In Puebla, D'Souza featured near-death experiences as scientific proof of the afterlife. After a brush with death, some patients report having floated outside of their bodies or having entered a tunnel of light. This surely seems bizarre, but D'Souza failed to bring up new neuroscience of a small brain area known as the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ). This area gathers information from many senses (visual, tactile, and vestibular) to construct a single image of our body and its place in the environment. Normally, this image is nicely coherent across all senses, so that we know who and where we are. The body image is disturbed, however, as soon as the TPJ is damaged or stimulated with electrodes. Scientists can deliberately make people feel that they are hovering above their own body or looking down on it, or have them perceive a copy of themselves sitting next to them, like a shadow ("I looked younger and fresher than I do now. My double smiled at me in a friendly way"). Together with the hallucinogenic qualities of anesthetic drugs and the effects of oxygen depletion on the brain, science is getting close to a materialist explanation of near-death experiences.

Frans de Waal is the author of "Our Inner Ape," among many other works. He is the C.H. Candler professor in Emory University's psychology department. He has been named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People.

His credentials also seem impressive.

Don T.