Scientific Evidence of Reincarnation and Ghost Possession

(Randy) #44

Waaaaaait. Ether ?


Did you see any of this going on in Niger? In poor countries, where mental health care is inadequate or non-existent, people suffering from mental illness are actually chained up in “prayer camps” because mental illness is seen as a spiritual problem. It’s really heartbreaking And I don’t believe in demon possession.

(Randy) #46

It is indeed heartbreaking. there were possession or deals there, even in Muslim areas, where there is syncretism. I haven’t actually seen anybody chained up, but there was no Mental Health Care there either. I saw people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders wandering around, rather unkempt, but they were usually relatively harmless. We as children avoided them, because sometimes they could Theoretically take a whim and chase us, but we never really had any trouble. I did hear of them hurting other people, but I think most people understood that that was because of their illness. That’s a great question. I will have to ask my friend if they were ever subjected to exorcisms.

(Randy) #47

I just want to add, that there was no money at all for any sort of healthcare, let alone Mental Health. I fantasize about bringing a lot of Risperdal out. I would also like to have some morphine for those who have hospice. There’s no hospice per se, but for those who are dying, especially of cancer, there is no pain control. The strongest they can get is tramadol, and that’s only occasionally.

(Andrew Cirel) #48

Hi Randy, thanks for the encouragement.
In my previous post I mentioned a friend with a mental health problem where they were told they were possessed. This was at a Pentecostal Camp in England 25 years ago. They tried an exorcism on her. When I said it was “unhelpful”, that was a massive understatement, it wrecked her identity as she couldn’t tell what was her very troubled childhood self and what was the “demon”. 25 years later she still can’t talk about it without getting uncontrollably upset!

(Randy) #49

Good for you! There was a recent story on BBC that had a very similar outcome, and I wonder if that’s the sort of thing you’re referring to as well. sorry to hear about that.

(Christy Hemphill) #50

Actually, there isn’t. Any. As far as I am aware of.

Scientific study on reincarnation or ghosts is an oxymoron. Scientific studies require the use of the scientific method, which rules out appealing to supernatural explanations or objects of inquiry.

(Shawn T Murphy ) #51

Why do you immediately disregard new ideas without any basis? Stevenson and his team used approved forensic science techniques that have been third party verified. He assumes no such explanations as you claim. Read at least one of his papers or books before making such accusations.

(Christy Hemphill) #52

Because I have experience doing academic research and I can recognize legitimate academic sources. You aren’t providing them. I think you are just another person on the internet who thinks they have single-handedly discovered the key to understanding the mysteries of the universe. I’m not interested in those kind of “new ideas” to be honest. I don’t think most people here are.

I’m not going to read a “scientific” paper on ghost possession. Ghosts are by definition outside the realm of scientific study since methodological naturalism requires that supernatural explanations not be considered. Ghosts are not part of the natural world and cannot be studied by science. Yes, that is a “bias” I have, but why would I waste my time on answers to questions that don’t interest me when I have a long list of books I would love to read on questions that do interest me by authors that are respected scholars in their fields?

(Shawn T Murphy ) #53

I understand this forum to be an intersection of science and theology. As a scientist and philosopher I am laminating my comments to those that are backed by real science. The research I am speaking of requires no supernatural assumptions. It is measurable impact on human subjects that are not explained by any other means.


I am a little less harsh in theory. If someone could actually set up a experiment showing a reliable and reproducible paranormal phenomena, with all the appropriate controls, I would have no problem seriously discussing it. The thing is, no one has ever done that! Yes, there are some published studies in parapsychology journals, but they always fail to be reproduced and even in the original paper it is always some really marginal effect that is much better explained by statistical flukes. Lets do it like that: If anyone ever claims one of the several prizes for evidence of the paranormal (see, then I will read the paper and seriously discuss it with you. But you should keep in mind that LOTS of people have tried and none of them has ever gotten close to that! In fact, I know of scientists who believe in paranormal phenomena and most of then admit that there is no evidence for them “yet”!

(Randy) #55

Maybe you can clarify. But, by beginning with a debunked term (ether) and using it as an axiom for research, I can’t trust this. Ich glaube es nicht, in Deutsch zu sprechen.

It’s like someone going to a physician and proposing to teach them about medicine using discredited Aristotelian “four humors,” ayurvedic or homeopathic medicine.

Ether: archaic A very rarefied and highly elastic substance formerly believed to permeate all space, including the interstices between the particles of matter, and to be the medium whose vibrations constituted light and other electromagnetic radiation.

‘the motion of the planets would be retarded by the ether through which they moved’

(Phil) #56

We try to address science and faith here, with the focus being how science impacts orthodox Christianity and vice versa. When we venture into such areas as the paranormal and areas that cannot be addressed by science and are outside traditional Christianity, I feel we exceed our bounds. Will just monitor for now, but unless substantive information is exchanged, will wrap this topic up and put a bow on it.


Here is a short video about the plight of the mentally ill in West Africa. At least some are getting the help they need.

(Randy) #58

Thank you for this. Oh, my. It’s in Togo, where my in laws work in a mission hospital (and my wife lived as a child). I will share it with them.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #59

Masaru Emoto? I suppose the Dr. could be put in front of his name but as outlined on his Wikipedia page:

In 1992, Emoto became a Doctor of Alternative Medicine at the Open International University for Alternative Medicine in India, a correspondence school which it is alleged requires no coursework.

Notable for me though is the fact that he was offered James Randi’s million dollar prize to demonstrate his work was legitimate under test conditions agreed by both parties. He declined to participate.

But certainly not for cosmologists because as I’ve said already, Dark Matter does not interact except via gravity of which all of this pseudoscience with water has nothing to do with gravity.

(Shawn T Murphy ) #60

This is exactly the point of the importance of the scientific research done by Ian Stevenson and JimTucker on reincarnation. Doesn’t the discovery of reincarnation impact orthodox Christianity, more so than evolution? I know the subject in Christianity is tabu and there is no research money in the field, but that does mean it is not important.


Change and Time are opposite world views. Please visit God’s Riddle for a great source of wisdom.

(Shawn T Murphy ) #62

Thank you for your comments. Yes, I am aware the prizes being offered for proof, but that is not the stated intension of this discussion. It is about evidence of the soul, not proof. It is about adding another possible treatment to a list of treatments for mental illness - sickness of the soul. I don’t think we need to prove the soul exists, we need to allow for the possibility, so that people suffering from past life traumas or from ghost possession will have more treatment options than just pharmaceutical.

I personally do not think you can prove the existence of ghosts for the following reason: ghosts are the souls of unenlightened people who have either chosen to remain here or don’t know any better. How can you set up repeatable experiment on intelligent beings that you cannot see and will most likely use their free will to ruin your experiment?

As long as the medical community refuses to accept the possibility of various soul ailments, people will continue to suffer and be medicated for an ailment that cannot be treated pharmaceutically. When it comes to human suffering, isn’t it better to err on the side of compassion? What is the harm from moving from “We cannot prove it, so it does not exist” to “We have not disproven it, so we cannot rule it out.”

I met Dr. Andrew McCarthy MD in Liverpool in 2004 at a neoplatonism conference. At the time, he was the chief neurologist at the National Rehabilitation Center in DC. On the first day of the conference he stood up and said, “I have come here to learn about the soul and here that you know about it.” He had treated some of the most severe neurological injuries and what he experienced in his patients was unexplainable to him. All his years of training had not prepared him for even the possibility of a soul, but this is the only he could imagine would explain his experience with his patients, including his “brain dead” patients.

I hope this explains my motivation for bringing this topic in the BioLogos discussion. It is not an academic argument and I am not trying to start a new religion. I am just trying to provide a voice to the many practitioners who have gained a lifetime of experience helping people with soul illness, but are being ignored by the academics responsible for training our doctors.

Why divine violence is in the Bible
(Brad Kramer) #63