As long as materialist scientists rule the allocation of funds for studying this sort of thing, we'll see materialist results. However, scientists like Dr Greyson, Dr Kelly ("Irreducible Mind") or Dr Beauregard ("Brain Wars") neuroscientists, psychiatrists, physicists are allowing the data to lead them in a new direction. Looking for funding outside the box of traditional sources is the way of the future. As Dr Greyson says in his talk, it was xerox founder Chester Carlson who funded his program at UVA. Tons of money gives people access to new ideas, and there are folks who want to help science find the light at the end of the tunnel. If you can, watch the entire talk - it's pretty MIND BLOWING.
Dr. Greyson is pretty much the foremost authority on near death experience, (NDE) and is the foremost scientist studying it. This talk is from his nearly 1000 cases. As he says in the talk:
"This evidence is not accepted or known by most American scientists – nevertheless it is there, and it is reliable and reproducible evidence – we have cases of people whose brains have been deteriorating for years suddenly think clearly on their deathbeds, people who function normally sometimes with high intelligence who have virtually no brain tissue, NDE experiencers who think more clearly than ever when their brains are not functioning, and we have very young children who can barely speak, who talk about their past lives with accurate details. These phenomena, all well investigated by modern scientific methodologies, and building upon decades or centuries of prior research, strongly suggest that under extreme circumstances, consciousness can be produced and can function without the intercession of the phsycial brain."
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