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Can Science Explain the Soul?

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posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 02:35 PM
This is MY personal take on things:

In our lives we move through various stages - Infancy, teenage, adolescence, adult-hood, parent, retired, resting phase, etc, etc...

Very similarly, it is possible that our "soul" or whatever it is that we refer to as soul, travels through various stages of 'life'. This physical life on earth is a dimension where we have to pass through, before we move on to the next "life".
Probably why we remember in certain instances (or in some peeps instances) of OBEs and NDEs.

Don't know. We probably will never know.

Science is not the complete answer, definitely not religions...
As an intelligent species, we want to learn more, know more, learn everything about the universe. Science, religions etc are mere paths to that "enlightenment".

Good thread

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 04:30 PM
reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows

I've done a lot of research into spirituality and trying to understand how & why life is the way that it is. I tried to step back and take a look at the big picture from all angles on HOW life could arrive and WHAT it means.
Several things didn't make sense to me. Things such as, why did insects develop highly specialized flight when there were no major predators. Why have some animals evolved over the years and some haven't. How can a flower "know" to smell like a female wasp to be pollinated? How can some parasites control the minds of their victims chemically without first understanding the chemical makeup of the victims mind?
In my search for answers, I ran across this website
It makes more sense than anything I've ever heard before in my 40 years.

posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 10:35 PM
reply to post by Tryptych

I would argue that agnosticism is the healthiest way of dealing with these things. Not making one's mind up one way or the other til the definitive information comes. If it ever comes. I'm of the opinion we may never "know" for sure with anything but artificial certainty.

posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 09:01 AM

Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
reply to post by Tryptych

I would argue that agnosticism is the healthiest way of dealing with these things. Not making one's mind up one way or the other til the definitive information comes. If it ever comes. I'm of the opinion we may never "know" for sure with anything but artificial certainty.

But isn't that, effectively, saying "I don't care?"

The only proof that you'll likely ever get is that which comes in the next life. If there is no next life, well, I guess you'll never know, but otherwise, that's the proof. So to say that you'll wait around for definitive information is to say that you'll wait until you die.

I think that one can find the "rightest" faith for them by exploring what is out there, having an open mind, and making a concerted effort to really think, meditate and debate (internally and externally) the merits of what you find.

Most people of faith (distinguished from those who pick something or have it assigned to them, but largely disregard it) find that it has a significant positive impact on their lives, so there really is a tangible benefit to doing the labour now, and not counting on the opportunity to decide once all the evidence is in.

posted on Aug, 26 2010 @ 02:49 AM
reply to post by adjensen

No. I do care. Would rather like to exist once this bag of fertalizer I am borrowing is used up. But neither will I allow myself to delude myself into believing with 100% certainity that I will. I think I will, exist beyond it's expiration I mean. But do I "know" I will? No. I am after all human and thusly fallible so I allow for that fact.

And as for the existance of a higher power. I think it's plausable. Will not speculate on whether it's true or not. Because if a higher power does exist it is several magnitudes above what we are. In a nutshell, I think the question is too big for us to be able to answer at this time, in this state, with any degree of real certainity *as opposed to the artificial certainity that has a lot of atheists and a lot of theists fighting a belief war with very little real "facts" and a great deal of opinion*.

[edit on 26-8-2010 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 08:32 AM

Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows

Unable to fathom a rational explanation for out-of-body and/or after-death consciousness, modern science ignores such reports.
Can you please provide the rational explanations for out of body and/or after death consciousness that your linked article claims modern science cannot fathom.

Short-sighted skeptics reinforce the assumption that they are either subjective folly, hallucinations, or outside the scope of scientific proof.

Why is it short sighted to state that a subject may be outside of the scope of scientific proof?
I would say that is a rather honest response.

The central weakness here is that modern science can't explain normal, in-the-brain consciousness. Despite detailed understanding of neuronal firings and synaptic transmissions mediating non-conscious, 'auto-pilot' perception and behaviors, there is no accounting for conscious awareness, free will or 'qualia' — the essence of experienced perceptions, like the redness, texture and fragrance of a rose. Philosopher David Chalmers refers to this as the 'hard problem' — explaining qualia and the subjective nature of feelings, awareness, and phenomenal experience — our 'inner life'.
I guess we should just insert the word Soul then and be happy with that hey!

The central weakness of science is the fact it does not know everything.

That weakness is applicable to just about every method used to explain nature.
But, the greatest strength about science is that it is clearly one of the best methods we have at discovering new knowledge relating to our existence. Perhaps one day, the OP's question will be explained by science.

The article points out an amazing trend in scientific discovery

detailed understanding of neuronal firings and synaptic transmissions mediating non-conscious, 'auto-pilot' perception and behaviors
Can science explain the soul?
Maybe one day it will.
It would seem rather short sighted to reference science's inability to explain something like the soul, or qualia, as a weakness when the article actually presents science as being somewhat successful in detailing so many other aspects of the mind.

Unable to explain consciousness in the brain, it is easy to see why conventional science ignores out-of-body, or after-death consciousness, if they do indeed occur.
That is incorrect. There are many studies relating to out of body, NDE etc. Many, many studies.

COMMON STATEMENT - We are a group of dedicated physicians and scientific researchers working in different scientific fields and from different countries who share a common interest in the subject of near death experiences.

On the occasion of the French International Meeting on Near-Death Experience - organized in Martigues, Saturday June 17, 2006 - we make this public statement regarding our convictions about this phenomenon.

A Long-Term Prospective Study to Investigate the Incidence and Phenomenology of Near-Death Experiences in a Welsh Intensive Therapy Unit, by Penny Sartori, PhD
This is a 5 year prospective Welsh study out of the UK to explore if anoxia, hypercarbia or drug administration could explain the NDE.

Took me literally two minutes to find websites dedicated to the scientific study of NDE and out of body experiences, not to mention links to published works.

Altered blood levels of carbon dioxide and potassium may be partly responsible for the subjective sensations reported by many patients with near-death experiences (NDEs), researchers suggested.

I guess it is just not what people want to hear.

Given the evidence that people are actually investigating these experiences, I find the article rather short sighted, full of folly and unable to fathom that science is being applied to the topic.

Can science explain the soul?
Maybe. Maybe not.

Edit: out of body quote experience.

[edit on 5/9/10 by atlasastro]

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