Just Being Around a Box Jellyfish Is a Near Death Experience Anyway

Question from Jay:
Hello, I was wondering what you thought of Ian McCormack’s NDE testimony, this is a man who claims he was swimming in the ocean in Mauritius, was stung by a box jellyfish, died, went to hell, was then given a second chance, shown heaven, etc. He claims that he has been retelling his testimony for over 30 years hundreds of times at these religious conventions, and tons of people approach him, saying they saw hell in an NDE of their own and it is exactly the way he described it. He was also apparently an atheist when this took place. When I typed down “box jellyfish sting survival rate” into google, his testimony comes up, even though I didn’t search for NDEs. It seems he beat the odds by surviving, as the sting kills most people, and he had such a vivid testimony. Do you think even though he claims thousands of people came to him and told him they saw hell in NDEs just like he did that it doesn’t prove a hell?

Answer by SmartLX:
For reference, here’s his story in the first person.

See Wikipedia: most box jellyfish encounters aren’t too serious, so the survival rate is pretty good. There are no statistics on survival rates for a full-blown sting, only a very rough number of fatalities per year in a few regions.

Hell to McCormack was darkness, disembodiment, angry voices and a sense of unease. This is a very easy dream to have if you are under stress, so I wouldn’t be surprised if many people remember something similar as they listen to him. That said, we have only his word how many people have corroborated his story, so to speak, and even that is an estimate.

Primarily, we have absolutely no evidence for the critical facts of the story itself: the severity and location (even the occurence) of the sting, the time he went untreated and unconscious, the doctor’s reaction, how long he was in hospital, whether he was an atheist beforehand, etc. And that’s before the claims of anything supernatural. A “vivid” testimony counts for nothing; think of your favourite work of fiction and consider how vivid a narrative can be without being at all true.

17 thoughts on “Just Being Around a Box Jellyfish Is a Near Death Experience Anyway”

  1. As always, I leave to SmartLX SERIOUS replies to such STUPID questions.

    From ME, there is NO HELL, NO PARADISE, NO GOD, NO NOTHING, after death.

    Just the NEGATIVE of the word existence: NON EXISTENCE.

    Like, as when you had not been born. Your consciousness is material and as such dies together with your material brain, of which it is a part, or rather, on of its functions. DIES.

    Sorry to break the bad news to you and the rest of the suckers here.

  2. I would say that his recount lacks for one the verification that he died. For two, went to hell, or three that he came back from hell.
    The Bible says that no one who dies goes anywhere except to the grave, and there they await the return of Jesus. After Jesus returns comes the Judgement to determine whether someone receives his just punishment or their just reward. Not before. The Bible makes it very clear that we, in no way, of no part, are we immortal. We have to given immortality. This is more than clear when you read John 3:16, and many other Biblical texts that tell us that we do not have immortality. And logically speaking, if we already had eternal, life why would God be using the gift of eternal, life if we had eternal life already?
    We don’t, we won’t live forever unless we accept Christ as our Savior.
    Revelation 22:10 clearly tells us that those who obey God’s commandments are the only ones who will be permitted to eat from the Tree of Life and enter into the gates of God’s city, the New Jerusalem. So, if something contradicts the Bible, then it is error.

    1. Who cares what your bubble (or babble) says?! Remember WHO wrote it!!!

      The only thing that matters is what SCIENCE says.
      And, it says THERE IS NO GOD.

      STEPHEN HAWKING said so, and what HE said is what MATTERS.

      1. Hi again Niki. Thanks for your attempt to input. Maybe something a little more informative would be better though.

        1. Ok, read some SCIENCE, NOT the babble, as the ‘BIBLE’ is.

          I suggest RICHARD DAWKINS, SAM HARRIS, CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, thou he is a top class world INTELLECTUAL, DANIEL DANNET, a PHILOSOPHER, thou he is a proponent of ‘free’ will, hahaha, STEPHEN HAWKING and many others.

          1. And if this is all you got, then you might as well come on over to the ranks of the Creationists. They are getting bigger.

          2. Hi Niki, how can you be so sure?
            I’m a cancer biologist with a PhD, and know the human cells inside out. I’ve learnt most, if not all, of the scientific theories about the origin of life and evolution. Yet I’m not sure. As a scientist, we are always skeptical, but at the same time we keep our minds open as we don’t know everything.
            I have worked with many renowned scientists in the medical research field, and have had many many opportunities to attend seminars given by Nobel laureates. However, majority of the scientists whom I have talked with, including professors at major universities and research institutes in the US and other countries, are not 100% certain about the existence of God and afterlife, although few of them are Christians or religious at all. The reason is simple: we simply cannot prove it; that is, we’re not sure if there is God and afterlife, as this is beyond the scope of science.
            Everything in science requires faith to believe in. How do you know the Big Bang theory is true? It’s a theory, which means that it’s a hypothesis – something that we THINK might be true, and is NOT ABSOLUTELY true. Think about this: the universe expands from a dot with almost no mass to trillions of miles within 10 to the power of −32 second according to the Big Bang theory. All things in the universe we have now is derived from nothing. This sounds more like a creation theory to me.
            Perhaps if we look at the evidence, not just follow those famous people blindly, we will eventually find the truth one day.

            1. I’m going to have to call this one as I see it, and as I see it Linex you aren’t really a biologist with a PhD. If I’m wrong, I apologize. But your comments leave me with a lot of doubt.

              The Big Bang theory is a scientific theory. As such, it is COMPLETELY different than a hypothesis. Any scientist worth their salt, especially one with a PhD, would automatically know this. You don’t seem to, which seems particularly odd to me. A scientific theory is an idea that has empirical data and evidence supporting it and has been tested and verified time and again. The Big Bang is the most reliable explanation for the facts as we currently know them, which makes it much more than a hypothesis.

              You also state that science requires faith. This is not actually true. Any person can validate the entire research history of any scientific theory on their own. There is no trust or faith required to accept a scientific theory as valid. As it relates to the Big Bang, you can take all the measurements yourself, do the math, do the experiments, and verify the whole thing if you’ve a mind to. No faith required, just a lot of effort and hard work.

              Granted most of us don’t do that, because we don’t usually have the inclination to, or the time. So people end up trusting the work of those that do have the inclination and time do dig into something like that. That doesn’t make faith required, but many find it convenient to trust the scientific method given it’s amazing track record of success.

              You also seem to have a common but important misunderstanding about the Big Bang Theory. The theory does not state that the universe came from nothing. The most accurate thing to say, which is what astrophysicists will tell you, is that no one knows where the universe came from. All we can get back to based on the data is a small point at the center of the galaxy, which is called the singularity. “Singularity” is science speak for “don’t know”. Where it came from, how it came to be, and so forth is speculation. Yes there is mathematics supporting the existence of something from nothing, but ultimately it isn’t a proven thing. We can’t say the universe came from nothing, because no one knows that for sure. Heck, we can’t even say that nothing (as in the absence of something) is even a possibility. It may be that the existence of something is just the standard state of being for the cosmos, for all we know.

              As you say, we should keep an open mind about things. I couldn’t agree more. But allowing for the fact that we don’t know everything doesn’t mean that baseless claims of the supernatural should be kept in the same high regard as a scientific theory. The supernatural is nothing more than conjecture, unsupported by fact or data. No one can say with 100% certainty that there is no such things as gods, but there certainly isn’t any reason to think it’s even remotely a plausible idea either…

              Lastly, I would disagree that investigation of the supernatural is beyond the scope of science. Given how often the supernatural supposedly interacts with this universe, and given that the universe has conservation laws, that means that there should be evidence left behind from those interactions. Yet we find exactly zero empirical data of such events. Either these supposed gods can suspend the laws of the universe every time they help someone find their car keys, or they are leaving evidence behind that we can’t seem to collect. Either way, there is a gaping hole in the claim that the supernatural interacts with a universe with proven, unviolated conservation laws yet leaves no trace of those interactions.

              Your entire post makes little sense to me…

      2. Niki, I’m beginning to think that in reality you believe in the Bible, and are trying to force those who don’t believe, to believe, by acting like have such a nasty character.

        In any case, most scientists will tell you that science has not proven God. But neither has it been able to disprove God. In other words. The evidence that can be used as evidence that God is, can not be shown to have come about by any other means, other than by supernatural intervention.

        For example, science can not explain life. It has offered up alternative possibilities but none have been shown to produce life.
        But science has shown that life comes only from something or Someone who is alive.

        There are organs and organisms which could not have formed and be useful unless they were formed at one time. This has been labeled “irreducible complexity”.

        There are those who suggest that these organs or organisms could have been formed little by little in one way or another until they were blended together. But once again, these speculations are just that, speculative, and have not been demonstrated to be anything other than speculation in a laboratory.

        For example it has been said by the evolutionist that the formation of the eye, could have come from sever different sources that some how commingled or gelled together, and that is how the eye of all the higher classed of organisms have the eye. That doesn’t explain why each organisms always sport two. Nor does it explain how the eyes are always on the more complex organisms.
        And how the supportive networks were provided so perfectly. Like a brain, the nerves the chemicals that carry the signals, the connections to hold the eyes in place, and the muscles to focus. The blood vessels to nourish and the protections of the eyes.

        Much is left to be desired, at least to the true discerning intellectual individual, who does not just roll over and accept what is told them without first thinking and proving it.

  3. I do believe you when you say there is no hell. At least for now. But now the question is, Just how do you know with such certainty that there is no paradise, no God. You believe in transitional even though you have never seen any. So just because you have never seen God doesn’t mean He isn’t.
    And I do have a problem with your “no nothing”. Even you have to admit, you exist. Wouldn’t that make you something, or at least someone.
    And the Bible says that yes we will all, or almost all die, but we will be guarded within the all too amazing, more than we can comprehend mind of God.

    1. Preacher Gerald writes: [So just because you have never seen God doesn’t mean He isn’t.]

      Using that logic, that means that just because Gerald has never seen hell doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Yet Gerald agrees that there is no hell. Yet when that logic is applied to his god creature, suddenly you can’t use that rationale any more. That is called special pleading, Gerald, and it’s really lousy logic.

      1. Niki, there is evidence for God. But you repeatedly brush it aside making like it isn’t evidence.
        Life itself says God created it. Science has not been able to show that life came from any of the myriads of speculations offered.

        And with the way life looks designed that itself can be entered as evidence that God designed life.

        More than a few atheists, have admitted that life appears to have been designed. Just like when scientists dug up artifacts long ago and submitted them as evidence that a previous civilization designed and manufactured the artifact.

        And when you look at the mechanisms that are used to construct and deconstruct the building of DNA processes, then life not only looks designed but proves that the Greatest Designer of all time did the designing.

  4. i of course meant will you please shut up, get out of here and keep out thank you
    or, alternatively, i will take back my ‘good’ opinion on you, as of a tender fool and see you for what you are, just a fool, without the ‘tender’ bit

    1. Niki, you lower yourself to a new level of disrespect. If you don’t agree, with what I have offered, please just provide evidence that shows that I am in error.

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