Touring the Hospital the Hard Way

Question from Marcus:
Here is an interesting case from Laurin Belgg’s book, Near Death in the ICU. I do not know how any skeptic could potentially debunk this, as this experience pretty much proves that the soul exists in my eyes. What do you think?

It involves a man who suffered cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated. After he had recovered sufficiently to talk, he described an NDE that took place while he was unconscious:

“I felt myself rising up through the ceiling and it was like I was going through the structure of the building. I could feel the different densities of passing through insulation. I saw wiring, some pipes and then I was in this other room.

It looked like a hospital but it was different.… It was very quiet and it seemed like no one was there. There were individual rooms all around the edge and on some of the beds were these people, except they were not people, exactly. They looked like mannequins and they had IVs hooked up to them but they didn’t look real. In the center was an open area that looked like a collection of work stations with computers.

Dr Bellg, a critical care physician, says her jaw dropped when she heard this. She writes:

I stole a look at the nurse who looked equally surprised. What we knew that Howard didn’t, is that right above the ICU is a nurse-training center where new hires spend a few days rotating through different scenarios. There are simulated hospital rooms around the perimeter with medical mannequins on some of the beds. In the center there is indeed a collection of workspaces with computers.”

The patient also repeated statements made by Bellg during the resuscitation effort, when he was being defibrillated, and accurately reported who was present during the event.

How could a man under Cardiac arrest get this information?

Answer by SmartLX:
He could get it from anywhere beforehand, and we wouldn’t know.

The man’s name is changed to “Howard” in Bellg’s book from something else entirely, which gives you an idea of how much information about him is actually available. We don’t know who this person was outside of his alcoholism, how many times he’d been in the same hospital or one with a similar setup (documented chronic alcoholism and having just had some intestines removed suggests several), who he knew in the hospital or the local medical community, what he saw on the way in this time around, what leading questions he was given by the staff (and particularly Bellg, who was in retrospect collecting NDE stories at the time) and so on. Use your imagination.

As for what he supposedly heard during the resuscitation, it’s been established that the resuscitation itself can push enough blood through the brain to briefly restore consciousness. He didn’t necessarily need to go all Doctor Strange, he could have heard it with his own ears. Otherwise, verbal communication between medical staff is highly standardised to prevent ambiguity and confusion. If you’ve heard one “code blue” procedure, you’ve heard them all, complications notwithstanding.

Jumping to a conclusion based on an anecdote while knowing almost nothing about the surrounding circumstances is one’s own prerogative, but trying to convince others based on the same information you’ve got is right back to an argument from ignorance. We don’t know how or when he got the information, so the most likely explanation is that his soul left his body and picked it all up? Literally anything else seems more likely – unless you already believe in independent souls and want to hear that they exist. Then it’s marvelously reassuring, which is why these books sell well.

11 thoughts on “Touring the Hospital the Hard Way”

  1. It is in your words “IN MY EYES” that lies the answer to your question.

    Because, what matters here is not YOUR eyes, but those of SCIENCE, in this case the relevant science being NEUROLOGY. And it says no, there is no such thing as ‘soul’ in human brains.

    End of story.

    Being so, the one should stop considering one’s OWN eyes, and consult relevant science, that says that these are the cases of cheating, lying, mass or individual hallucinations and other such. Not factual.

    1. Anyone know what a soul looks like to say it isn’t there? Plus, (and it gets old) unless we know absolutely everything, we can never say for sure that there is no soul or other similar things.

      1. I inserted “leprechauns” where “soul” was, and it met the same burden of proof. That is to say, there isn’t any data or empirical evidence whatsoever for “soul” (or “leprechaun”). So the claim that such a thing exists seems to be nothing more than speculation…

        1. I might be wrong but I think there are more accounts of something similar to a soul then a leprechaun. There is no empirical evidence for abiogenesis. To each his own.

          1. You may be right about the accounts, but it’s not a popularity contest. I’m sure there are way more accounts of UFOs or Bigfoots than souls, but in the end what matters is that all of those claims are unproven speculation. Two wrongs don’t make a right, neither do 200,000 wrongs.

            Pardon me for correcting you, but there is indirect empirical evidence for abiogenesis. Replicating molecules are evidence. Evolution is evidence. Sequenced genomes of most living things is evidence. Lipidic membranes is evidence. Animo acids, alcohols, and sugars existing in nature (including deep space) are evidence. Ignore that if you must…

            1. It’s not good when I start to chuckle as I read posts lol. Are the molecules you are referring to alive? If so then it’s biogenesis which is a law and is the opposite of abiogenesis and is observed everywhere. Evolution is something simple to something more complex via mutations if i’m right. What does that have to do with the beginning of life? I think you need a different theory there. How are sequenced genomes proof? If anything it makes me think order with sequenced and thus intelligence. Are acids alcohol and sugar alive to have started from something not alive?? 200,00 wrongs is a lot of people wrong 6 billion is more. I don’t know how likely it is for 6 billion people to be wrong. You’ll have a lot of smart people in that group and just because man is fallible doesn’t mean that he is because you reject eyewitness accounts and a book.

              1. James writes: [It’s not good when I start to chuckle as I read posts lol. Are the molecules you are referring to alive? If so then it’s biogenesis which is a law and is the opposite of abiogenesis and is observed everywhere.]

                No they aren’t alive. They make copies of themselves anyway. It’s a chemical property of those particular structures. They reach a certain size, break into two sub units, and then each of the two began building back up to the certain size again. The Sun Y three unit self replicator, the replicators discovered by Ghadiri’s research group, the hexanucleotide replicator (exact name escapes me at the moment), Eckland’s RNA polymerase which was found to be self replicating, etc. There is also a molecule found in yeast that is a self replicator. Replicating peptides exist in the universe James, and they aren’t alive.

                Pasteur’s Law is not an actual scientific law. Pasteur was talking about how bacteria appear in the human body. But even above and beyond that, do a simple thought experiment. If life has to come from previous life, then life can NEVER exist. You’d never have a first life form from which all the rest of life could spring from. Creationists want to say that life came from their god. Their god is a living thing. So if life has to come from life, where did the god come from? It’s usually at that point that creationists will invoke some kind of exception to the rule. They will state that god just always existed, that god didn’t need to be created. In other words, that life doesn’t always have to come from life. Which means they just defeated their own argument….

                [Evolution is something simple to something more complex via mutations if i’m right. What does that have to do with the beginning of life?]

                Evolution has shown that all living things have come from a very simple common ancestor a long time ago. Then genetics came along, and we sequenced genomes, and validated that idea because we could see via genetics that all living things are related. All living things came from a common ancestor, a long time ago. No evidence of spontaneous creation of complex organisms is found, but instead a gradual movement from one common ancestor to the diversity of life we see today.

                [Are acids alcohol and sugar alive to have started from something not alive??]

                No they aren’t alive, but they matter to most living things. It was thought that these things didn’t exist outside life, but then it was discovered that they exist all over the place. Even deep space in meteorites and comets. It used to be an argument against abiogenesis, but not anymore…

                [200,00 wrongs is a lot of people wrong 6 billion is more. I don’t know how likely it is for 6 billion people to be wrong. You’ll have a lot of smart people in that group and just because man is fallible doesn’t mean that he is because you reject eyewitness accounts and a book.]

                So because there are eyewitnesses of Vishnu’s works and over a billion Hindus, you accept their claims of multiple gods and reincarnation, correct?

                1. So non-life can make more non-life? So? It’s a debate on non-life to life. Life came from eternal life vs life came from non-life. Each person can decide which seems more likely. I would say that since we can’t observe abiogenesis and we can observe biogenesis why do you even go for a law that has no evidence. But you could also say that an eternal being is unlikely. I thought we prove something with evidence before we believe in it. I don’t think I have defeated my own argument.

                  Well you explained evolution about the same why I did but with more words. Still nothing about abiogenesis just the Christian belief is wrong. We both say science proves our beliefs and we both can name scientists and evidence that support or beliefs. I don’t know where we are going to get there. You could always dismiss my evidence.

                  So an argument against abiogenesis doesn’t stand anymore. Still not proof of it.

                  No. If there were 6 billion Hindus yes. lol jk. I believe there is only one God and Hindus and I would disagree on that. But that is still a belief in a higher power which is what we were debating about. If I wanted to argue a Hindu I would argue one and hopefully first learn some more about what they believe. But I can already say that I believe the Christian God is the true God.

                  1. James writes: [Life came from eternal life vs life came from non-life. Each person can decide which seems more likely.]

                    Yes they can. But I will point out that even your religious story claims that Earth life came from non-life, James. The only difference between you and me is that I don’t have to add an extra layer to the onion and claim some unproven, unseen creature that uses magic is responsible for it. A creature that, coincidentally, is alive, but the rule that life must come from previous life need not apply to it. Your explanation requires more complexity, added agents, and a logical paradox in order to be true.

                    [I would say that since we can’t observe abiogenesis and we can observe biogenesis why do you even go for a law that has no evidence.]

                    I’m not sure you meant to do so, but you’ve claimed that we can’t observe abiogenesis. Since neither of us can predict what science will be able to test, verify, and recreate in the future, it would be inaccurate to say what we can and can’t do.

                    Above that however, we see viruses reproduce all the time. They aren’t alive. They fall in a gray area between life and non-life. So to say that we don’t see abiogenesis isn’t truly an accurate statement.

                    Not to mention the fact that every single living thing is made up entirely of non-living parts. There is no atom or molecule in any living thing that is alive. You and I are made up 100% out of non living components.

                    [But you could also say that an eternal being is unlikely. I thought we prove something with evidence before we believe in it.]

                    Except for your god being apparently. No need to prove that, eh? It always gets a pass on the logic and reasoning that is applied to everything else.

                    But since there is evidence for abiogenesis, and there is none for the supernatural, your are defying your own statement above by believing in that which you cannot prove…

                    [Well you explained evolution about the same why I did but with more words. Still nothing about abiogenesis just the Christian belief is wrong.]

                    I ask you read the post again, because your statement does not reflect the content of the material I posted.

                    [But I can already say that I believe the Christian God is the true God.]

                    Someone once told me: “I thought we prove something with evidence before we believe in it.”…

  2. To SmartLX:

    In the second chapter of you answer to this question, at the very end of it, you said the words “use your imagination”, to which words of yours I would ad that he did use his ‘IMAGINATION’, but, unfortunately for him, not in the sense that you meant him to do when you advised him to do so. He used his WISHFUL THINKING.

  3. Marcus – In your question you make the following statement: “I do not know how any skeptic could potentially debunk this”. That is the wrong question to ask. The actual question is, how can this person prove that this happened? It’s not up to a skeptic to disprove the claim, it is up to the claimant to prove the claim. How have they proven it? Simply put, they haven’t. All we have is the claim from a woman who is telling us what someone else supposedly told her. In a court of law that is called heresay. It is unsubstantiated.

    The problem with any claim about a personal experience is that they could be lying to us, and there is no possible way to verify what they state. In this particular case we have some woman claiming what someone else is claiming, without divulging who they are in case anyone wants to investigate further.

    When you look at it from a critical point of view, it’s pretty easy to understand why this doesn’t constitute proof of anything…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *