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So awhile back I was watching this show on Reincarnation on the Sci-Fi channel, I forgot what it's called and I haven't seen it since so it probably was canceled.
And a guy who was a reincarnation researcher on the show said that Carl Sagan said that Reincarnation And ESP should be studied seriously, and quite frankly I was stunned.
So I tried to find what he said about it, either in his books or his interviews.
And this is what I found.





Quote:
At the time of writing there are three claims in the ESP field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study: (1) that by thought alone humans can (barely) affect random number generators in computers; (2) that people under mild sensory deprivation can receive thoughts or images "projected" at them; and (3) that young children sometimes report the details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any way other than reincarnation. I pick these claims not because I think they're likely to be valid (I don't), but as examples of contentions that might be true.
-Carl Sagan on Reincarnation and ESP in his book The Demon-Haunted World.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation_research#Dr._Carl_Sagan


So far this is what I found.

If you find any more things on what he said post it.

So my question to you is.....
Do you believe ESP and reincarnation should be studied seriously?
Do you think ESP and Reincarnation could possibly be real?
Discuss anything about the research on ESP and Reincarnation.
I remember something a while back on reincarnation. Think it was... the History channel? Why does the History channel have stuff like that all the time? Anyway, it seemed interesting, but I remain very skeptical about something like that. The skeptics on the show put a huge doubt on the whole ordeal, but afterward they reiterated all the same crap that the skeptics talked about, and acting as though it was still compelling evidence. I think they ended with some mystic sounding music too.

In a nutshell, yes I would say it's possible, but I wouldn't hold my breath on it. Not enough evidence for it if you ask me.
Quote:
Do you believe ESP and reincarnation should be studied seriously?

Yes, in that it is only through 'serious' (i.e. rigorous and scientific) study that we can begin to construct an accurate picture of the world. And besides, how would we know whether ESP 'deserved' to be studied if we did not test whether or not there is such a thing? -- which is in itself an act of serious study. It is only through serious study that we can disprove ideas about ESP, if they can be disproved.

What Carl Sagan was talking about was not studying ESP as if it were real, but looking into it as a possibility.

Quote:
Do you think ESP and Reincarnation could possibly be real?

I suppose there is a chance, but I think it is very, very unlikely: all signs point to 'no'.
Foetus In Fetu
Quote:
Do you believe ESP and reincarnation should be studied seriously?

Yes, in that it is only through 'serious' (i.e. rigorous and scientific) study that we can begin to construct an accurate picture of the world. And besides, how would we know whether ESP 'deserved' to be studied if we did not test whether or not there is such a thing? -- which is in itself an act of serious study. It is only through serious study that we can disprove ideas about ESP, if they can be disproved.

What Carl Sagan was talking about was not studying ESP as if it were real, but looking into it as a possibility.

Quote:
Do you think ESP and Reincarnation could possibly be real?

I suppose there is a chance, but I think it is very, very unlikely: all signs point to 'no'.

Is it massive amounts of DMT that your brain releases when you die?
Vryko Lakas's avatar

Wheezing Gekko

Raptor Mechanic
So awhile back I was watching this show on Reincarnation on the Sci-Fi channel, I forgot what it's called and I haven't seen it since so it probably was canceled.
And a guy who was a reincarnation researcher on the show said that Carl Sagan said that Reincarnation And ESP should be studied seriously, and quite frankly I was stunned.
So I tried to find what he said about it, either in his books or his interviews.
And this is what I found.

Quote:
At the time of writing there are three claims in the ESP field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study: (1) that by thought alone humans can (barely) affect random number generators in computers; (2) that people under mild sensory deprivation can receive thoughts or images "projected" at them; and (3) that young children sometimes report the details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any way other than reincarnation. I pick these claims not because I think they're likely to be valid (I don't), but as examples of contentions that might be true.
-Carl Sagan on Reincarnation and ESP in his book The Demon-Haunted World.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation_research#Dr._Carl_Sagan


So far this is what I found.

If you find any more things on what he said post it.

So my question to you is.....
Do you believe ESP and reincarnation should be studied seriously?
Do you think ESP and Reincarnation could possibly be real?
Discuss anything about the research on ESP and Reincarnation.

I suggest you read the whole book. Not only will you get a better idea for the context in which that was said, you will also get an idea of Sagan's opinions on such things. It's also just plain good reading.
What Sagan meant here is to do some rigorous, controlled, and sufficiently comprehensive studies to see if there is any merit to these claims in the first place. That means determining how you can disprove the claims (show that people can't affect random number generators, or that children aren't really remembering anything about a previous life). It is only if these initial studies show any compelling evidence for the phenomena beyond statistical error, then, that they should be open to further investigation. The point is that anecdotal evidence or poorly-constructed "studies" are not enough to claim validity for these kinds of things.

Sagan was personally vexed with the tendency of people to give these incredible claims even a modicum of respect, despite the poor showing of any of them with regards to being real. I think he pointed out in the book that newspapers were dropping their science coverage, but almost all of them had daily horoscopes despite astrology being debunked time and again. Why does the populace embrace pseudoscience and superstition so readily, but at the same time is wary of real science?
Yeah, I never really got interested in pokemon so I guess this thread isn't for me.
I say, yes, they should be seriously studied. As for Reincarnation Research, Dr. Ian Stevenson's Research is overall the best, most indepth, and most reputable research that exists currently. Dr. Ian Stevenson published some 200 scientific papers on some 3000 case studies he did around the world over 40 years on cases of children remembering past lives. He was one of those dead serious researchers that followed the scientific method as closely as possible. He personally rejected hypnosis claims of Reincarnation although he also studied Xenoglossy cases in connection with it (those who claim to remember past lives under hypnosis, concentrating instead on little children and youths who remembered past lives on their own accord), refered to the best of the best cases as "highly suggestive of reincarnation" (rather than claiming they prove something), and was himself Agnostic as to whether or not Reincarnation exists, even at the end of his life, and stated that despite the good data he gathered, research was still too premature to make absolute conclusions on. He collected the data, checked all avalible alternative explanations, and checked to see if the "memories" and "birthmarks" could be checked and verified.

"The children studied usually started recalling their past life story between the ages of two and four, yet seem to have forgotten it by seven or eight. There were frequent mentions of having died a violent death, and apparently clear memories of the mode of death. Stevenson also gathered testimonies as well as medical records of information on birthmarks, birth defects, and other physical evidence for reincarnation."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stevenson

Dr. Ian Stevenson's cases where he investigated birthmark phenomenon associated with Reincarnation cases are some of the most fascinating. Dr. Ian Stevenson would gather photographic / medical record evidence of such cases whenever possible.

"During his original research into various cases involving children's memories of past lives, Dr. Stevenson did note with interest the fact that these children frequently bore lasting birthmarks which supposedly related to their murder or the death they suffered in a previous life. Stevenson's research into birthmarks and congenital defects has such particular importance for the demonstration of reincarnation."

Dr. Ian Stevenson would go and check autopsy records, interview the Coroner who handled the body, etc, and compared the wounds / scars with the birthmarks of the child claiming Reincarnation of the deceased person in question. Example:

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- Hypopigmented macule on chest of an Indian youth who, as a child, said he remembered the life of a man, Maha Ram, who was killed with a shotgun fired at close range.

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- The circles show the principal shotgun wounds on Maha Ram. [This drawing is from the autopsy report of the deceased.]

Here are some important excerpts from an article online on this very topic...

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation01.html

For example, there is the Turkish child who, at the age of two, remembered a past life as an outlaw. This particular criminal had been well known in Turkey and had died in a standoff with the police only a few days before the child’s birth. Trapped by the authorities, knowing he could not escape, he had committed suicide, holding his gun under his own chin and pulling the trigger. The child grew up remembering accurate details of the criminal’s life and death, but what was even more striking was that he also had a birthmark underneath his chin that precisely matched the bullet entry-point of the criminal’s self-inflicted wound. When Stevenson investigated the case, he inquired about a second possible birthmark at the top of the head. Pulling the young boy’s hair back, he discovered a hairless birthmark on the scalp at the exact location of the bullet’s exit wound.

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I learned that there are, in fact, fourteen different cases that follow this same pattern. In all fourteen, Stevenson has documented a small, round birthmark corresponding to a bullet wound that a child remembers suffering in a previous life. And in each case, the birthmark is accompanied by a larger, more irregular-shaped birthmark on the opposite side of the body.

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“As much as possible, we verify that these birthmarks do in fact match wounds on the body of the deceased,” Tucker told me. “When we can, we get autopsy reports or medical records. If those aren’t available, then we try to obtain eyewitness testimony from people who saw the body and can talk about where the wounds were. Sometimes we even get police reports.” As Tucker showed me one picture after another of birthmarks taken from cases they have investigated, I couldn’t help but consider the implications of what I was seeing.

As I looked at the slide of a sixteen-year-old boy with round birthmarks littered across his chest, who remembered dying of a shotgun wound in a previous life, I wondered: How often does this happen? Why does it seem to happen in some situations but not in others? How might this affect our understanding of biology? Whatever the answers, there is certainly evidence of a remarkable correlation between memories of trauma suffered in a previous life and birthmarks or birth defects in the current life.

Birthmarks and birth defects were some of the more incredible aspects of the stories I heard in Virginia, but there were plenty of other mind-stretching cases hiding in those file cabinets.


This has to be one of the coolest ones...

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- Almost absent fingers (brachydactyly) on one hand in a boy of India who said he remembered the life of a boy of another village who had put his hand into the blades of a fodderchopping machine and had its fingers amputated.

I've written a very indepth article on Reincarnation Research that can be found here...

http://eteponge.blogspot.com/2007/09/reincarnation-examination.html

And will post below...

Examination of the Phenomenon and Research of Reincarnation

The most convincing aspects of the Reincarnation Phenomenon to me are the numerous well documented cases of Spontaneous Past Life Recall of young children (typically from the time they first begin talking until they are around seven years of age) where they recall numerous very important often obscure veridical details from a previous life that turn out to be correct, information they and their families couldn't have ordinarily known or obtained. Even if the previous person was totally obscure and living hundreds or thousands of miles away and seperate by a period of years or decades or longer. Often very specific "unknowable" details come through in addition to personal and life event details, such as where they hid important things, and family secrets unrevealed to outsiders, privite events in their life that are only known to the immediate family or a perticular family member, and even details not currently known, but later discovered to have been accurate. Numerous well documented cases where birthmarks or scars in the present life match those of death marks or injuries or scars in their previous lives. Numerous well documented cases of people having intense fears or phobias or physical problems in their present life that is traced to a previous life either through Spontaneous Past Life Recall or through undergoing Past Life Regression, that is then completely cured by them remembering it and confronting it. Numerous well documented cases where a person undergoing Past Life Regression speaks an unlearned foreign language in the manner of the dialect of the time, including persons who speak dead languages during their Past Life Regression. Several noted cases of people born blind who were able to see during a Spontaneous Past Life Recall or through undergoing Past Life Regression in which they had recalled living a previous sighted life. Etc.

The best cases do not deal with weak data, but with very specific veridical details, where not a few, but dozens upon dozens of key statements are verified. Key dazzleshot veridical details, obscure veridical details known only to the person and their closest family members, veridical details known only through painstaking research (not easily known, especially given the education of the person and their family), veridical details from their previous life (checked and confirmed to exist) that they, their family, and the investigators couldn't have possibly known, things known only to the previous person, or only known as a secret between them and their family, where they hid documents and other personal valuables, where they had scars or injuries on their bodies, obscure events in their life that was never written down or talked about until the previous family was told about it and remembered, etc. Details that are not confirmed until years later due to the current historical record not having that information, xenoglossy, curing of phobias and fears from these recalls, and the biggest of all, birthmarks in the present life matching death marks and scars from the veridically recalled previous life, complete with medical records and autopsy reports. These keep the phenomenon interesting.

(I will discuss individual best of the best cases indepth in an upcoming seperate article.)

***Answering Arguments Of The Skeptics***

Skeptic Argument # 1: Everyone who claims to have remembered a past life always remembers being someone famous, never anyone normal or ordinary, and several different people have claimed to have the same past life.

Ridiculously inaccurate beyond even being laughable. People who make this statement have obviously NEVER read the actual research on Reincarnation, nor any actual research cases, because if they had, they would realize that the vast majority of Reincarnation cases that are taken seriously and are well documented which contain numerous veridical details of past lives, ARE of people recalling normal ordinary lives. There are a very few seriously taken cases of people claiming to recall the life of some famous, and even then, most of the time it is someone obscure to the general public, such as a little known artist who is known to people in that profession, but not famous enough to be recognize by the general public, and the information that comes through is Veridical and Obscure enough to be taken seriously.

As for more than one person claiming to remember the same past life, it's all in the veridical details. You will find hundreds of gullible New Agers claiming they are peter pan, cleopatra, napoleon, marilyn monroe, or darth vader, but do their "memories" add up to things they couldn't have possibly known? That's the checker.

Skeptic Argument # 2: Most cases of Reincarnation are reported in countries where belief in Reincarnation is the norm, and it is even encouraged.

My Answer: Not true. Most of the Best Cases of Reincarnation that I have personally read have come from America or European Countries, where Reincarnation is not the norm, and where it is discouraged. Many of the people and families in these cases were Christians or Non-Religious People who did not believe in Reincarnation and it even went against the belief system that they were raised with and adhered to. There are a number of books and reports on these well documented cases in these countries.

In addition, even in cases in which Reincarnation is reported in countries that believe in Reincarnation (such as India) they often will happen to families that are of a Religious Belief that does not believe in Reincarnation, such as Muslims and Christians, to the dismay of their parents.

The reason many critics use this argument is because Ian Stevenson's earliest published research books that got widespread attention consisted of mostly cases from those countries (because they were more prone to discussing their experiences there, as opposed to America where reincarnation is greatly discouraged in families due to Christian Upbringings), but he later did a research book on many veridical cases of european and american families with reincarnation, and a number of researchers in the years after him have gathered many additional cases from american and european families.

Skeptic Argument # 3: During past life regression and even spontaneous past life recall, there is always the possibility of false memories coming out.

True. However, when a person under regression begins to speak an unlearned foreign language, or even a dead language, and comes up with veridical details that can be checked with historical sources, even very obscure information that takes tons of indepth research to confirm, some of which is not confirmed until decades after the fact, it's far more plausible that these are authentic memories of an authentic past life. There are also the cases where the person had a lifelong phobia or physical ailment that is cured after remembering details from a past life where the phobia or ailment originated. That also lends credence to it being an authentic past life. It's also interesting to note that most researchers point out that when such people describe the era they were reliving so vividly, they often describe it better than the best historians.

Skeptic Argument # 4: Linguist Sarah Thomason's attacks on Xenoglossy Research.

Linguist Sarah Thomason has written several debunkery articles attempting to discredit Dr. Ian Stevenson's Xenoglossy Work over the years. The title of her key article attacking the Xenoglossy Work of Dr. Ian Stevenson is, "Stupid Dead People Communication Tricks", which gives you an idea from the title as to how cynical and one-sided her approtch to the subject is. She has been completely discredited with opposing facts and evidence that was supplied to me by the good folks over at www.childpastlives.org which I will post below. In short... (and I quote)

"In his book "Xenoglossy" Dr. Ian Stevenson documented a study he made of a 37 year old American woman. Under hypnosis she experienced a complete change of voice and personality into that of a male. She spoke fluently in the Swedish language, a language she did not speak or understand when in the normal state of consciousness. Dr Stevenson's direct involvement with this case lasted more than eight years. The study involved linguists and other experts and scientists who meticulously investigated every alternative explanation. Others have followed in Dr. Stevenson's footsteps and offered up impressive cases for research and obtained similar results."

(The critic in question dishonestly acted as though no expert linguists were present with Dr. Ian Stevenson in his research, which is completely untrue, she also cherry picked the weakest Xenoglossy cases in existence to attack, with common languages such as german and french, ignoring the stronger cases of more remote languages and even dead languages coming through in Xenoglossy, especially in cases where the person lived in an area where there is no access to such languages, remote or dead. Many examples of these are provided in one of the key links I will provide below.)

I made two topics on www.childpastlives.org clearing up further Skeptical Arguments used against Reincarnation and Xenoglossy...

http://www.childpastlives.org/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=130 38 - Question Regarding Geographical Beliefs In Ian Stevenson's Cases Of Reincarnation

http://www.childpastlives.org/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=129 97 - Question regarding Xenoglossy Research in Reincarnation Cases of Past Life Regression

http://www.childpastlives.org/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=14581 - Tackling A Skeptic's Arguments

Links with *some* of the best cases (by no means complete by a long shot) are here...

http://www.victorzammit.com/book/4thedition/chapter24.html - Victor Zammit's Book's Chapter on Reincarnation (despite my dislike for Victor Zammit's arrogent outspokenness and his gullibility in certain areas, he does a very good job presenting an overview of indepth veridical information on some of the best cases of Reincarnation, complete with reliable sources.)

http://www.childpastlives.org/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=351 8 - A good forum post containing links to information on some of the best cases.

http://www.wie.org/j32/reincarnation.asp - Death, Rebirth, and Everything in Between: A Scientific and Philosophical Exploration, by Carter Phipps

A decent article on Ian Stevenson's research in perticular, including matching birthmarks...

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation01.html

Two Books I can recommend on the subject that I have personally read are...

"One Soul, Many Lives: First Hand Stories of Reincarnation and the Striking Evidence of Past Lives" by Roy Stemman, which is an indepth overview of the best of the best veridical cases of Reincarnation, documented from numerous reliable sources.

David Fontana's "Is There An Afterlife?: A Comprehensive Overview of the Evidence". I have read through the book, and in each and every chapter, he presents all avalible evidence and presents both pro-researcher arguments and skeptic arguments and pro-researcher counter-arguments and skeptic counter-arguments, etc. He presents the full data and full set of arguments for and against as is. It deals with far more than simply Reincarnation though.

The book is interesting, because at the beginning of each chapter, he presents the weaker, mildly veridical cases, and shows how easily they can be explained away, but then he goes on to present stronger and stronger cases, with more and more solid and obscure veridical details that are harder to explain away, and then goes on to present the best of the best cases, all the while putting forth the arguments and counter-arguments of both sides.

The book has a full Five Star Rating on Amazon and incredible reviews. I highly recommend it if you want a fair presentation of both sides.

Here are several TV & Documentary Segments on YouTube on some of these cases...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EWwzFwUOxA - Veridical Case of James 3 (Part 1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5965wcH2Kx0 - Veridical Case of James 3 (Part 2)

The above segment however does not contain all of the avalible information on the James 3 case, just a brief overview of the case, showcasing many of the verified dazzleshot past life memories. A more indepth article on this case in perticular, containing additional veridical information, is here...

http://www.ntcsites.com/acadianhouse/nss-folder/publicfolder /AP/cover_feature_24_3.htm - The Past Life Memories of James Leininger

Last time I discussed this case on a message forum I was hit by a Skeptical Article that claimed to "expose" the case, and I looked at it, found it to be a distorted one-sided half-truthed presentation that did not deal with the overall facts and circumstances of the case, and made unfounded assumptions that are easily checked and countered, and so I rebutted it in full here in this topic post on this forum here (childpastlives.org), in two parts, along with rebutting several other skeptical explainations of the case I have heard...

http://www.childpastlives.org/vBulletin/showpost.php?p=15897 6&postcount=11 - Rebuttal of Skeptics' Arguments against James 3 Case (Part 1)

http://www.childpastlives.org/vBulletin/showpost.php?p=15897 7&postcount=12 - Rebuttal of Skeptics' Arguments against James 3 Case (Part 2)

Several other segments on YouTube of Reincarnation Cases...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB_j-chZvR0 - Veridical Case of Robert Snow (A highly skeptical chief of police who investigated his own past life memories following a hypnotic regression, and confirmed dozens of obscure veridical details, which he was only able to confirm by getting ahold of the dead man's diary from almost a century earlier, loaned from a museum. In his regression he even mentioned he did a painting of a hunchback woman in this previous life, which he was later able to find and obtain in real life, painted by the same guy he remembered being.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OarxB-dsK8U - Case of a four year old boy who recalled life as an 18 year old WWI Soilder named James who was shot through the throat and killed. The four year old suffered from a throat tumor in the same location his previous self was shot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQHp9bGVDB8 - Someone Else's Yesterday (Fireman who recalls previous life as a general in the civil war, his scars and birthmarks in his present life exactly match those the general obtained during battle, he also greatly resembles the general.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5cGSUBU8-w - Excellent Documentary on Reincarnation titled "The Boy Who Lived Before". This program looks at two perticular amazing veridical cases of two small children recalling past lives, and researches their cases from all angles, and interviews serious reincarnation researchers and serious skeptics alike for their insights, and does an investigation with one of the kids in real time, with very interesting results.
I don't think Sagan ever thought any of that was real. Most probably he wanted to research it simply so that a solid scientific study could finally disprove it.

As for me, I don't buy into that ESP s**t for a second. It's all smoke and mirrors kids, that's how magicians work their secrets.

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