Friday, April 8, 2011


Professor Ian Stevenson lead investigations in reincarnation research considering his findings a possible supplement to our current hereditary and environmental understandings of human behavior and development. He traveled all over the world conducting over 2,500 case studies of people claiming to remember past lives. Many of these cases were of testimonials of children between the ages of three and seven. Numerous cases contain accurately recalled information including: names of family members, location, career, interests, and the way in which they died(relating to their fears). In 35% of the cases there are birth marks or birth defects reflecting the persons death. For example, if someone claimed to have been shot, there would be a birth mark in the location of the injury. Much of his research has been published in peer reviewed scientific journals reflecting his rigorous approach to investigation.
Although the research contains experimental support, it is unscientific to use the evidence gathered as a definitive proof of reincarnation. Occam's razor would suggest simpler explanations of the evidence in regards to the unknowable existence of the soul and life after death. Some of these simpler explanations include: the researchers ability to ask leading questions, the bias of belief in reincarnation, the child attaining the information from other sources, outright fraud, and coincidence. Even if these explanations cannot be attributed to all of these cases and coincidence falls short to statistical analysis, one can never fully explain a physical process by which a soul(if it exists) leaves and enters bodies. In this sense, research in reincarnation will always remain a metaphysical theory and thus be considered pseudoscience.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting topic, but is it really testable? Would this be considered science or psuedoscience? How can you trust what the person is saying and that they aren't making it up? Its a neat thought, it would be like getting a second chance to live right. I know other cultures believe this and have thoughts about what you would come back as depending on how you lived your life. Neat post.