Scientific Methodology regarding Children's past lives

Discussion in 'SCIENTIFIC and ANECDOTAL research' started by Deborah, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Hello,

    Last October I was fortunate enough to meet with Carol Bowman and Jim B. Tucker Ian Stevenson's replacement at the Childspirit Institute Conference.

    I found an article on line by Jim B. Tucker about children's cases and the scientific methodology he and Stevenson have and are using in their research and thought I would share. A Scale to Measure the Strengths of Children's claims of Previous Past lives.

    If you scroll down you will see charts regarding sex ratio and country of origin for the cases in question. There are many graphs and charts with explanations. It is a very scientific paper - but also very interesting for those looking at the scientific aspects and approach being taken by Tucker at the University of Virginia.

    He is looking at a "normal hypothesis" as well as the "paranormal hypothesis" for these cases.

    I would love to hear your thoughts - impressions and reflections regarding his work and this article. ;)
     
  2. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    I found a great article and interview with Stevenson titled Scientific Proof of Reincarnation. Although you have to keep in mind what Stevenson says about his own work in 1988 -

     
  3. Rod

    Rod Senior Registered

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    This is EXACTLY what we need...

    ...Tucker has the right idea

    Those of you who know me through these writings probably know that I'm not prone to wanton capitalisation, or other similar typrographical outbursts! However, this research is meritorious of great excitement.

    The key points that we should all appreciate include:

    1. Dr. Tucker is taking volumes of interviews and observations and putting numerical values on them. While this may be less exciting than compelling stories, it allows for comparison and analysis.

    2. Statistics are being applied to ways in which possible reincarnation is manifested. Cases will always be individual, but the methods by which we reincarnate are part of a more general process. Thus, looking for specific content may not yeild as many correlations as looking at the ways in which lifetime to lifetime experience and characteristics match.

    3. In the forseeable future, only statistics can prove reincarnation! Until and unless we can devise a machine which will directly observe the soul and watch it transfer into a new body, we cannot observe reincarnation, but we can see its effects. It should be noted that may scientifically accepted facts are derived only from evidence.

    4. This study, while not proving reincarnation definitively, is one of the building blocks of such a case, along with the research of Stevenson, Wambaugh and others.

    Perhaps some of us here on this forum can help to devise additional studies that could be used to add to this case. Once we get to the point where reincarnation is widely accepted, only then will science move to figuring out what the soul is and how life itself works.

    Yours somewhat rather excitedly,

    ...Rod
     
  4. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Beautiful point Rod - I would like to see such studies - serious studies. How can we put together such a study on this forum or elsewhere? What would you suggest?

    Excited right along with ya. ;a)
     
  5. petercalvert

    petercalvert Senior Registered

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    Child Spirit Institute

    Hi Deborah,
    I checked their resources page, to find, in their Books section:

    Transpersonal Knowing: Exploring the Horizon of Consciousness.

    by Tobin Hart, Peter L. Nelson, and Kaisa Puhakka, Eds. SUNY Press (2000).

    Reading the intro on Amazon.com suggests to me that a wider appreciation of the varying ways of knowing applies directly to some of the more narrow interpretations of the hard science vs soft science debates, reincarnation science included.

    The more I have accepted and utilised transpersonal knowing, the more I have progressively found myself able to move beyond needing the affirmation of others to validate my beliefs developed as a result. Unfortunately of course, it has also resulted in a corresponding reduction in the number of people able to meet me in my beliefset !! ;) But I welcome the growth in discussion, especially that available here, and look forward to reading the whole text.

    Regarding Tucker's work, I am so glad the database of recorded cases he draws on is being mined for more of its value. One of my dreams has been to visit Virginia to view the cases for myself, but that is unlikely to happen, as I give the mortgage priority ! But to know it is there is great comfort.

    I especially want to encourage your continued willingness to stimulate debate and sharing and discussion here, and give my thanks to you and the other moderators for the creation of a safe space to do so.

    Best wishes,
    Peter :thumbsup:
     
  6. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Jim Tucker was the "scientist" on the ABC Good Morning America show regarding the case of James past life. I wish he could have explained more about his research instead of just answering the few questions the interviewer requested of him. It could have been an hour presentation easily.
     
  7. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    I agree Deborah. I would have liked it have learned more about Tucker's work too. The GMA segment was good, as far as it went, but it did leave me wanting and needing a lot more information. I'll have to look into his work more on my own. Being fairly new to the forum, there just seems to be so much information that it's difficult knowing where to begin.

    John
     
  8. fiziwig

    fiziwig moderator emeritus

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    One minor qualification

    I think it is important to claify what we mean by "prove". When I was very young, perhaps 2 or 3 years old I remember lying in my crib looking at my hands and thinking "how strange it is to be small again."

    From my earliest recollections I have always known that I had lived before, and was very shocked when I first discovered that my Catholic parents didn't know this simple fact. In that context I have never required any "proof" of reincarnation.

    But what we genrally mean when we say we are going to prove something, is that we are going to prove it to someone else.

    I remember, in my younger years, telling some friends about a particularly striking psychic experience I had had involving the very powerful precognition of a very unlikely personal event. When I was challenged to "prove" my claims, it always led into the same dead end where none of my "proofs" were good enough.

    Then, as I became a crusty old curmudgeon, I realized that the only proper response to their challenge to "prove it" was to smile and say "I don't need to prove it. I experienced it."

    Perhaps there is, after all, another way to "prove" reincarnation to someone else, not by bombarding them with facts and statistics, but rather by finding some reliably replicable process by which they can experience it for themselves. If anyone who wants to can directly experience something for themselves, then there is no "somebody else" to prove it to! It's like some famous musician (whose name escapes me at the moment) once said: "If you understand jazz no explanation is necessary. If you don't understand it, no amount explanation is enough."

    Of course that's just pie in the sky. ;-)

    --gary
     
  9. kris0503

    kris0503 Senior Registered

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    I never attempt to prove reincarnation to anyone simply because I don't think it can be done. What I always do is manage to spark interest in this topic in people who are not aware of it, don't take it seriously or think it is of the devil. In my experience, most people I have to talked to about reincarnation are fascinated by it, start thinking about it, some make positive comments about it, some wish that I am right and not their religion. Of course, I entirely skirt the issue of proof, and instead, show how life can make more sense with reincarnation.
     
  10. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    I agree completely Kris. The best I've ever done is spark an interest in thinking or discussing reincarnation. A few people, after a lot of discussion and thought, have changed their belief. But the change came from them, not just because of anything specific I said to them. Open-minded people are willing to consider possibilities, close-minded people simply turn a deaf ear. I’ve always wondered what they fear.

    John
     

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