Still another take on Dr. Eben Alexander's book, PROOF OF HEAVEN

In this blog, I earlier mentioned one writer's take on Dr. Alexander's book.

Here's  another, this by John Horgan, that appeared in a Scientific American blog. His post,  What Should We Do With Our Visions of Heaven—and Hell?     raises some technical criticisms of Dr. Alexander's report on his experience (of near-death).  But Horgan then adds some more experience to the discussion with a report of his own "travel" (or NDE or OBE or whatever) during an experiment in his college years.

I get the sense he still doesn't know what to make of what he encountered.  It's worth reading, I think, so I won't try to summarize, or even introduce my take on it.

What I do find puzzling are the reader comments to Horgan's article: many, maybe most, are hostile to the idea of even considering these possibilities.  That mindset reminds me of the mindset of the medieval church (even until not-so-long ago) pronouncing ANATHEMA!  (Meaning, thanks Wikipedia,  "either set apart, banished or denounced".

At least nowadays we don't burn at the stake "heretical thinkers" -- those who explore questions that the Establishment had decreed settled.

One  put-down of  Harvard Med trained neurosurgeon Dr. Alexander was to the effect, What kind of real scientist can he be given that he wears bow-ties? (Sorry, in a hurry and can't put my finger on the exact quote, but it's in the response to Horgan's article.)  In other words, Dr. A doesn't dress like us, so therefore he's not to be credited.  Anathema! Ban bow-ties! Block off your ears to those who experience what is not to be believed!





"Drugs could cleanse brain of bad memories" --- Independent (UK)

From article: "Fears about how drugs manipulate a person's memory are overblown, claims law professor Adam Kolber.

 "Millions of people who suffer from post-traumatic stress after a harrowing experience could benefit from mind-altering drugs that can rid the brain of bad memories, a legal scholar has suggested.

"Yet the prospect of using drugs to dampen the memory of a distressing episode in someone's life is being thwarted by unfounded concerns about their misuse, according to Adam Kolber, professor of law at Brooklyn Law School in New York."

Why am I including a reference to this article here: Because my thriller, The Life After Life Conspiracy, is in part about memories--- where they are "stored" and how they can be manipulated or moved.  This article (and the underlying paper published in the prestigious science journal Nature) touch on that related issue, of howand whether factual recall can be altered . . . and when and if it should be done, legally or ethically.


"Drugs could cleanse brain of bad memories" --- Steve Connor article in Independent (UK)

Slowed aging is becoming the "new normal"

My medical-techno thriller, The Life After Life Conspiracy, is about how some will go to unethical lengths to get another shot at youth--- by slowing the aging process, but even more by using today's emerging technologies as a potential tool toward eternal youth, if not renewed life.

At least somewhat apropos is an article in USA Today of August 15, 2011 on  what is emerging as "the whole new normal" of extending sports competitiveness years and decades beyond what had been assumed were the limits. (That phrase from Dr. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic,a specialist in exercise science.)

The article, by Janice Lloyd, focuses on Janet Evans, a four-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer,soon to be 40, who is working toward a comeback after being retired 15 years.

Most people, whether they're weekend warriors or professional athletes, peak in their 20s and early 30s. Then they start to lose muscle, the body begins to slow down — and regenerating muscle and healing from strenuous workouts take longer.

From the article:

""People will say, 'I can't seem to push as hard as I used to,'" says sports medicine physician Mary Otis. "It's like, 'What's this? What's going on?' Most people start to notice it in their mid-30s."

"What's going on are changes programmed into our DNA, Otis says. Muscular performances decrease because of the loss of elasticity in blood vessels, heart muscle and lung tissue. There is decreased maximum heart rate, decreased amount of blood pumped with each beat and thus, a decreased cardiac output.

"But decades of research, Joyner says, show there are good reasons to stick it out even when it gets harder. Active people age more slowly. Studies, begun by A.V. Hill at Harvard in the 1920s, show how an athlete with high aerobic capacity outperforms others.

"Later studies show strenuous exercise could be an age preserver. For instance, a 1990 study comparing masters athletes and sedentary people shows the decrease in maximal aerobic capacity in people who continue to engage in regular vigorous exercise training is one-half the rate of decline seen among the sedentary subjects."

Exercise--- a real and ethical age-extender.

Regenerative medical technology, used wrongly --- not ethical, but nonetheless an intriguing plot device for my The Life After Life Conspiracy.

 USA Today article: Older and back in the swim