December 15, 2015 5:48 AM EST
The Near-Death Experience phenomenon is covered similarly, especially in connection to discussion of the nature of consciousness. There has been a lot of blustering headlines about the NDE being finally explained by materialism but, when you read the article, it's little more than a handwaving editorial seeking to discredit the mounting evidence that puts the lie to physicalism.This brings to mind Luke Dittrich's Esquire "expose" on Eben Alexander which was pretty thoroughly debunked by Robert Mays of IANDS and Alexander himself, but which seems to have been embraced as the final word on the matter. It's a shame that you essentially have to be your own investigative journalist in order to get any light on nearly any issue related to non-mainstream ideas. Getting an accurate picture of the facts when it comes to these sorts of topics is basically a full-time career! I can sympathize with folks who prefer to spend their energy otherwise, but laziness and lack of curiosity should not entitle one to parrot the latest mainstream headline or debunking exercise as the final word of any aspect of the anomalous.
December 15, 2015 6:13 AM EST
Wow. Luke Dittrich's article. What a low point for Esquire. Most of what that article did was to recount Alexander's malpractice suits. Let's assume this part was accurate enough. It doesn't contradict Alexander's own account, because he himself mentioned several years of personal and professional crisis before the experience. A malpractice suit would certainly fall under this rubric. And of course he wasn't likely to talk about them, if only because settlements of that sort forbid the parties from discussing the cases afterwards. Not much else was left in Dittrich's article except a meteorological investigation of whether a rainbow actually appeared on the day Alexander awoke from his coma. If that's all you come up with after several months of investigative journalism, Alexander comes off pretty well.