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This review is from: Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences (Hardcover)
I have read nearly every book published on the near-death experience since Dr. Raymond Moody's "Life After Life" broke ground 35 years ago. I really don't expect to find much new in the way of evidence, although new stories by experiencers add to the evidence already established. I think we are well past the point of diminishing returns in terms of research of the NDE, although there is always the possibility of some case surfacing that goes beyond the famous "Pam Reynolds" case. Of course, when such a case surfaces, the pseudoskeptics, i.e., the scientific fundamentalists, will attempt to pick holes in it, just as they have done with the Pam Reynolds case. And we will hear the same old argument that it is nothing but "anecdotal."
Even though I don't expect to find anything new in the way of evidence, I keep reading, though, because in my eighth decade of life I find a certain comfort and reinforcement in reading new experiences and new perspectives on the evidence. I have become a "vicarious experiencer" and like many of the experiencers discussed by Dr. Long in this book I no longer fear that I am marching toward an abyss of nothingness. It is like a person listening to his or her favorite music over and over again or reading the Bible every day. It is for the most part redundant, but it soothing and reinforcing. I haven't quite figured out what better things I might be doing with my time in my old age. Perhaps I should be hitting little white balls into holes, escaping life into novels or movies, or watching Oprah.
I found this book well written and believe it ranks up there with the best books on the NDE. I especially liked Dr. Long's approach of giving the skeptics view in each of the nine lines of evidence and then explaining why the skeptical arguments fall far well short of discrediting the evidence.
What the two or three negative reviewers don't seem to understand is that science is not limited to laboratories and test tubes. There is pure science or exact science and there is inexact science or courtroom science. One or two anecdotal stories may not make for science, but when you get scores or hundreds of them that can be examined and studied they do make for science, even if inexact science. Anecdotes are to courtroom science what individual elements are to laboratory science. Moreover, those negative reviewers don't seem to grasp the difference between evidence and proof, nor do they apparently recognize that proof is not necessarily absolute. They appear to be stuck in the muck and mire of scientism - which is to science what fundamentalism is to religion.
This book is worth every penny. Thanks, Dr. Long, for your dedicated research and for writing the book.