Sam Parnia: Erasing Death book and AWARE study
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06-03-2013, 05:06 PM
Sam Parnia: Erasing Death book and AWARE study
Seems like the OPs block of quoted text is almost entirely anecdotal. Where are the citations and references? Where did that text come from?

So, why would *anyone* accept at face value the testimony of anyone who suffered brain death or even the damage associated with near brain death? Testimonial evidence /data of fully conscious people is handled very skeptically in science. But dead folks? Why would anyone interpret such accounts so credulously?

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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07-03-2013, 12:27 AM (This post was last modified: 07-03-2013 10:47 AM by Lukas1986.)
RE: Sam Parnia: Erasing Death book and AWARE study
(06-03-2013 03:26 PM)Digitalelaine Wrote:  For your informtion:

"A graduate of the Guys and St. Thomas' medical schools in London, Dr.
Parnia obtained his doctorate in cell biology from the University of
Southampton. He has published numerous articles in peer reviewed
scientific journals in the field of pulmonary medicine as well as
near-death experiences, and is a current reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine.

He has also served as a member of the Southampton University Trust
Hospital Resuscitation Committee, where he launched the first ever study
of near-death experiences in the UK. The results of the study received
widespread coverage and were published in the medical journal Resuscitation. Dr. Parnia is the author of What Happens When We Die, and his groundbreaking research has been featured on the BBC and Discovery documentary, The Day I Died and will be highlighted in an episode of the National Geographic series Explorer, "At the Moment of Death."

The man is obviously not shy about peer reviews.
(06-03-2013 03:15 PM)Digitalelaine Wrote:  Parnia's work has taken the research to a new level. As I said we have to wait until the research findings are released in the late Autumn before any of us draw substansive conclusions. And yes the patients studied in Aware WERE dead according to our current understanding of what death means. Our definition of death will change I suspect as we discover more. Also the fact that the man has released a book is not something to damn him with - many scientists and doctors and physicists and biologists write books about thier work. I think its called 'sharing discovery.' I also find it interesting that his father is mentioned. All of us lose a parent at some stage in our lives; sorry but I fail to see how this has biased his work in any way?? I think the Aware study will take us to a new dimension in our understanding and is to be applauded. And I would be very surprised if the findings were not peer reviewed.
I know his stuff. I have been looking on his work even when AWARE started. Parnia even claimed that he was a skeptic first but now he is a believer.
Another thing: He has published numerous articles in peer reviewed
scientific journals in the field of pulmonary medicine as well as
near-death experiences, and is a current reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine.

Yes he had peer-reviewed in the fields of Near-Death experiences - yes of course he released things in near-death experiences because he is working with other pro-dualists like Greyson, Pim Van Lommel etc.. These people also reviewed his book Erasing Death in the first place. His other articles are about pulmonary medicine and NOT neurology or brain science - something the skeptics and atheists on this forum have pointed out already.
Second Yes he gives peer-review but he gives only peer review stuff of his normal research not his dualism woo stuff. He is the same like Mario Beauregard:

Mario Beauregard, like Egnor, comes with credentials. He has his doctorate in psychology and is a neuroscience researcher out of the University of Montreal.[11] Unlike Egnor, Beauregard has published his ideas in peer-reviewed journals. These publications can be divided into two categories. The first is his actual science, involving mostly neuroimaging studies on the regulation of emotion. These studies have been published in standard science journals and are of adequate quality and can be referred to as legitimate scientific peer-reviewed studies.[12][13][14] However, none of these works detail his dualistic philosophy; they are not peer-reviewed papers on the science behind dualism, but instead rather straightforward neuroscience studies grounded in methodological naturalism (except for a few odd sentences here and there about "mind processes" and "psychological space").[15] The second set of papers actually do address his dualistic philosophy but these are not published in any science peer-reviewed journals, but rather philosophy journals.[16]
Taken from:

Also if Sam Parnia will get this peer-reviewed then where?? Who will review dualism stuff? Besides he is coming with nothing new in the first place about resuscitation. Second his NDE woo is not science its woo and therefore pseudoscience.

Besides Parnia already made himself a fool:

June 28, 2001. A story from Reuters with no byline begins

A British scientist studying heart attack patients says he is finding evidence that suggests that consciousness may continue after the brain has stopped functioning and a patient is clinically dead.

I would have thought that the author would have wanted to take credit for such an earth shattering revelation. Perhaps he or she is humble. Unlikely for a journalist, but possible nonetheless.

The writer goes on

The research, presented to scientists last week at the California Institute of Technology, resurrects the debate over whether there is life after death and whether there is such a thing as the human soul.

This is inspired writing and certainly transcends the typical boring news story about Cheney's health or Dubbya's hardwire impediments. I am impressed that a scientist presented this research to other scientists, at CIT no less. I'm impressed because usually scientists leave the metaphysics to others who may not wear white coats but are surrounded by people who do.

I tell you sincerely that I was trembling at the thought that I might have to revise my life's work by the time I finished the article, so it was with great anticipation that I read on, seeking the scientist's evidence that suggests consciousness may continue after brain death. (I could have supplied the author with many examples of just what he was looking for, but I doubt if they constituted the kind of evidence he would have counted as authentic.)

According to the alleged scientist himself, Sam Parnia, ''the studies are very significant." I say alleged scientist because Sam is a doctor at Southampton General Hospital in England who studies near-death experiences. He is chairman of Horizon Research Foundation (formerly called the International Association of Near Death Studies), whose motto is "Science at the Horizon of Life." He is a clinical research fellow working towards a PhD in the molecular biology of asthma. He is a medical school graduate with specialties in internal medicine and respiratory illnesses. He is trained in medicine and is working on a Ph.D., but these hardly make one a scientist. And calling something science doesn't make it science any more than calling something a cigar makes it a cigar. So, these heart attack patients were not his patients, I assume. Thank goodness, because I don't know about you, but I don't think studying NDEs is an attribute most of us seek when we are in need of a cardiologist. Perhaps the doctor might get a little too enthusiastic in his desire to see an NDE patient. He might subconsciously slip with the anesthesia or the scalpel. If the plaque on your doctor's door read

J. M. Godman, M.D.,
Specializing in near-death experiences

would this inspire confidence in his or her talents? I'd be out the door faster than you could say resurrection.

Parnia studied "63 heart attack patients who were deemed clinically dead but were later revived." The patients "were interviewed within a week of their experiences. Of those, 56 said they had no recollection of the time they were unconscious and seven reported having memories." Now, just because 56 of 67 said they couldn't remember having thoughts when they were dead does not prove that they weren't thinking when their brains shut down. Just because 84% of those surveyed don't recollect anything during their dead time, doesn't mean much when the other 16% reported that they had some memories of when they were dead. Four subjects "reported lucid memories of thinking, reasoning, moving about and communicating with others after doctors determined their brains were not functioning." Of course, these same four claimed that they were lizards in their past lives. Not really. Actually, Dr. Parnia doesn't seem to have inquired much into the minds of his subjects outside of the lab. He doesn't seem to have much interest in whether some of his subjects are, shall we say, a bit more imaginative or fantasy-prone or religious or disturbed than the others.

Well, I don't know about you, but that settles it for me. If four people reported that they remember vividly that they were vividly thinking, even moving around while dead, then it must be true. There is some kind of scientific law that states this, but for the moment I've misplaced it in my memory. Others, however, may be more demanding.

Does Dr. Parnia have any more evidence that suggests that there may be consciousness without a functioning brain? Actually, no. All his evidence is in the form of reports from people. He could have 3,500 such reports and they'd still add up to nothing. (In fact, he says he "and his colleagues have found more than 3,500 people with lucid memories that apparently occurred at times they were thought to be clinically dead." Perhaps they found them at Piccadilly Circus or in the bowels of a London Clinic for the Terminally Holy. He doesn't say. Nor does he mention how they got lost in the first place.) How does he know that these reports are accurate accounts of experiences during brain dead time? How could he know any such thing? By definition of 'brain dead', all machines hooked to the brain show nothing going on. Parnia can be sure that his subjects report that they were thinking when they were dead, but beyond that, he has NO evidence that suggests anything may or may not be the case in this or any other possible world. Anyway, Raymond Moody has already ridden this pony to death.

Still, the article does provide some comic relief in this miserable vale of tears. For example,

One, who called himself a lapsed Catholic and Pagan, reported a close encounter with a mystical being.

Is this subject both a lapsed Catholic and a lapsed Pagan? And why is Pagan capitalized? Anyway, I don't think it gets much more scientific than this when you're an internist who specializes in near-death experiences.

The biggest yuk, however, has to be Dr. Parnia's speculation that

human consciousness may work independently of the brain, using the gray matter as a mechanism to manifest the thoughts, just as a television set translates waves in the air into picture and sound.

Let's hold that thought. The brain's gray matter is like a TV. Just what is it that gray matter is "translating" into thoughts? And, if consciousness is using the brain to manifest thoughts, does that mean that television transmitters are like consciousness? Or, that consciousness is like a television transmitter? If so, who is controlling the consciousness? Is there an analogue to the television studio for consciousness? Let me guess. The analogue is on an alien ship where all our thoughts are programmed. Finally, everything is starting to make sense.

Dr. Parnia has a partner in this "scientific" enterprise by the name of Peter Fenwick who is a "Consultant Neuro-psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry, London." They reason that there are only three possible explanations for the NDEs reported: they can be explained physiologically, they are psychological, or they are genuinely transcendental.

Psychological explanations are not applicable for cardiac arrest [according to Fenwick]. He also rules out anoxia and hypercardia. The experiences of patients who have had these are almost always confusional, and they lack the narrative quality of NDEs. Temporal lobe seizure is similarly ruled out for the same reasons. They are not characteristically similar phenomenologically. Hence, Fenwick leans towards the transcendental interpretation. We resist such an interpretation, he says, because of our metaphysical assumptions, namely, that the external world is independent. His research has led him to accept some kind of mind/body dualism.*

I don't think these "scientists" should be so quick to dismiss psychological and physiological explanations. The patients are administered an anesthesia and are most likely given other drugs as well. Can they really be so sure that the physiological changes due to cardiac arrest in addition to these drugs don't affect some people in such a way that they dream or hallucinate what they report as an NDE? They seem to know that they can't dismiss every case of anoxia, hypercardia or temporal lobe seizure as different from NDEs in "narrative quality."

Finally, there isn't really any need to explain why we resist the transcendental interpretation and think the external world is independent of our brains or minds, especially if we are really doing science. We should resist the transcendental interpretation if we are scientists. It should be obvious to any fair-minded scientist that it is because of their own metaphysical assumptions that Parnia and Fenwick can take seriously the notion that NDEs are evidence of mind/body dualism or transcendent experiences. And it probably should be stated by the Reuter's author that being trained in medicine, even psychiatric medicine, does not make one a scientist.
[thanks to Joe Littrell, Max Clixby and Stuart I. Yaniger]


There everyone can see that Parnia even when he is MD, Dr, PhD. is still a human and he can lie or do it for money or be deceived. Heck even Catholic priests have Dr.,MD, PhD.. The point is that when someone claims something he should have normal evidence and not only his titles and authority. Another problem with this that people often misuse their authority for their own selfish gain - we seen that a lot - priests as mortal authorities misused children, parents in several instances did the same, this is the same with doctors who lie for money etc..

Even when Parnia is not shy for peer-review he has not released the book for peer-review and when yes - most of those who reviewed it were NDE believers like Pim Van Lommel, Greyson etc.. I would like to see Dawkins, Novella or a non-dualist making the review this would then be interesting.

I mentioned his father because he wants to believe its true. He has a psychically scar from loosing his father and therefore he wants AWARE to be true that we have a soul because he wants to be with his father again. This gives him a agenda and he is not objective but more subjective and no scientist should be subjective in the first place but objective which Parnia is not.
Ok he released a book like many people do but he aims it for the dualist crowed like Eben Alexander did to make money. His book is not science like Eben Alexanders book is also not science but New Age stuff. The problem with his book is that Parnia wants it to look like a science book.

Third those people were NOT DEAD - death occurs when brain cells die( and this does not happen when the body is cooled but there is also a time limit - I already posted one example where someone was "dead" for 4 hours in one post and they returned him to life because his BRAIN CELLS WERE NOT DAMAGED but he died again for sure) and death is final. If the patients would be dead they could not return in the first place.. Like several people are pointing out here. Death is final and those people only lost consciousness and returned. Another note if Parnia is saying the truth I have question on him - Why people who are longer "dead" loose consciousness all together and fall into a vegetative state? If dualism is true those people should not be infected by it at all because Parnia is saying that consciousness lives on without a brain and people who loose their brain cells should normally work and not be in a persistent vegetative state. I am asking this because dualism makes these claims and this is what is happening according to Parnia in Near-Death experiences - that the brain is "dead" but the person is working without a brain and can hear and see.

Also Digitalelaine please tell me what NEW has Parnia brought in with his book? Because all the stuff he writes besides his woo is already very well known years before his book - I found one study with cooling in the year 2002 and others which one I posted here already..

Also take a look at this:

The problem has been the sheer complexity of the data and the ensuing processing and analysis of the information.

For example, the images just released of the 68 subjects take up about two terabytes of computer memory, which is two thousand billion bytes, enough to fill several hundred DVDs.

Its from: - World most detailed scans how the brain works.

The brain is a very very very(I can repeat it million times) complex organ and we are only beginning to understand it but those people who work on it are neuroscientists like Steven Novella who think that dualism is false from the beginning and therefore I doubt that Sam Parnia is right because he is not a neuroscientist and he doesn't understand the workings of the brain but he jumps to the most easily assumption - we don't know how it works then it must be magic. This argument is called god in the gasp. When people like dualists don't know something they jump to paranormal conclusions. This is actually why we have science because science makes slow progress and it doesn't jump to woo conclusions right away and therefore Parnia is not a scientist because he is jumping right to magic when he doesn't understands something.

Another thing:

The researchers believe that these alpha and low-frequency oscillations, which they also detected in last year's study, produce unconsciousness by disrupting normal communication between different brain regions. The oscillations appear to constrain the amount of information that can pass between the frontal cortex and the thalamus, which normally communicate with each other across a very broad frequency band to relay sensory information and control attention.

The oscillations also prevent different parts of the cortex from coordinating with each other. In last year's study, the researchers found that during anesthesia, neurons within small, localized brain regions are active for a few hundred milliseconds, then shut off again for a few hundred milliseconds. This flickering of activity, which creates the slow oscillation pattern, prevents brain regions from communicating normally.

Taken from: - study name: How the Brain Loses and Regains Consciousness: Brain Patterns Produced by General Anesthesia Revealed

The most part which is interesting is this: In last year's study, the researchers found that during anesthesia, neurons within small, localized brain regions are active for a few hundred milliseconds, then shut off again for a few hundred milliseconds - Wow for such a short time are some regions off and on but the brain is still working.
How do we know that NDEs are not dreams only because some dreams are very short and we have several dreams during night? How do we know that the brain is having non - activity when even during unconsciousness there are processes going on the the brain? I also posted a link to a science paper here that people can learn during anesthesia which doesn't contradict what these people now found because they say that the brains are active even when unconsciousness is present and EEG are not so right - even the authors of this science paper claim this - Anesthesiologists now rely on a monitoring system that takes electroencephalogram (EEG) information and combines it into a single number between zero and 100. However, that index actually obscures the information that would be most useful, according to the authors of the new study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of March 4.

Also for NDE:

Critics of such explanation try to argue that during the experience the brain is not active, therefore the brain cannot be the source of the experiences. There are two problems with this argument. First, it has not been established that the brain is not sufficiently active to generate experiences. In all cases people survived the experience (by definition) to report what they remember. That means the brain did not go entirely without oxygen for very long or otherwise it would have been catastrophically damaged. During cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) the cardiac output is about 20-25% normal – enough to delay damage to tissues. So the brain is getting some oxygen. Not enough to be conscious, but enough to have some function – perhaps generate a dream-like hallucination or out-of-body experience.

Second, the argument assumes without justification that the memories reported by those who survive CPR and have an NDE were formed during the CPR or when they were unconscious. It is more likely that some or all of those memories formed when the person was waking up adn their sense of time is as distorted as all their brain function. Unlike in the movies, people do not wake up fully conscious and lucid after having their heart restarted. After minutes of CPR the brain has taken a hit due to the hypoxia. People typically wake from this event slowly – taking hours or even days, depending on the duration and quality of the CPR. They will necessarily pass through a phase where they are what is called encephalopathic (their brain is functioning but not well), which is a type of delirium. It is common to have bizarre thoughts and perceptions, hallucination, and illusions during this period.

Taken from:

So to put it down: Parnia is jumping to woo conclusions and he doesn't know anything about the brain to begin with.

Another flop from Parnia: "I guarantee you that if I inject LSD to a person with cardiac arrest he won't hallucinate".- he posted this in New Scientist.

Taken from:

This is another failure a person with cardiac arrest has no blood circulation in the first place according to Parnia and NDE believers. Therefore he can have no hallucination from LSD or is Parnia contradicting himself?? Because Parnia claimed that during a cardiac arrest there is no blood flow to the brain.

Wow. New Scientist that is a weekly non-peer-reviewed English-language international science magazine - taken from:
So Sam Parnia is really for peer-review so why does he post in a non-peer review magazine his ideas??

BTW: I will be away from 8.3.2013 to 23.3.2013 I will then reply to you when I get back..
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07-03-2013, 01:33 PM
Sam Parnia: Erasing Death book and AWARE study
Dead (or even unconscious) people cannot accurately correlate real world time to dream states or unconscious memories. Can they? Can you? I know I can't.

If your brain stops at some point and then slowly starts again (resuscitation) the time during brain inactivity should not even register as missing time. Right? So how can those testifying state with any confidence that these memories are of experiences that necessarily happened during measured brain inactivity?

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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11-04-2013, 03:17 AM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2013 08:26 AM by FSM_scot.)
RE: Sam Parnia: Erasing Death book and AWARE study
Quote:Bunk. He has nothing new. Neurology has known for decades that a de-oxygenated brain is damaged beyond repair, and there is proof of that all over the world in medical centers where resuscitaion was successful relatively immediately yet brains are damaged for good. It's woo-woo. We know what happens when death occurs. Death is a processs, and no one argues that. That a mind is separate is not falsifiable, therefore it will NEVER be science. He's in it for the money and notariety. He knows he will never have any proof. Do other beings with consciousness have a "mind", that survives their death like apes and dolphins ?
He's a tool of the religious right. Oh goody. I get to have a pet Flipper in heaven. Give me a break.

"Well, essentially, what you're referring to is broadly talked about, and considered, as the dying brain hypothesis; and that being that essentially, as a person is dying, there are various chemical changes going on in the brain, and there may be activation of certain parts of the brain that can lead to hallucinations - for instance, the same parts of the brain that say, LSD or other drugs may act upon. The problem with this theory is that one, there is no scientific evidence to support it. There have been numerous studies carried out looking at very - oxygen levels, carbon dioxide levels, drugs, etc.; and there is no relationship that has ever been discovered with any such factor and people having experiences."
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