Science’s Big Problem, Reincarnation’s Big Potential, and Buddhists’ Profound Embarrassment
2.1. Science’s Little Problems: Taboo Phenomena
Mayer then located that intersection and went on to place flyers offering a reward in the two-block area surrounding the specified house. Three days later she got a phone call from a man who claimed to have seen the missing harp in the possession of a neighbor. After some subsequent phone calls, Mayer arranged for a meeting in which she was able to recover her daughter’s stolen harp.“Give me a second,” he said. “I’ll let you know if it is still in Oakland.” He paused, then: “Well, it’s still there. Send me a street map of Oakland and I’ll locate the harp for you.” After overnighting the man a map she got a call back two days later. “Well, I got that harp located,” he said, “It’s in the second house on the right on D—Street, just off L—Avenue”.
That visit sparked a sustained series of remote viewing experiments at SRI that resulted in a number of observations that were “anything but ordinary and just blew [the scientists’] minds [away]” (Mayer 2007, p. 108). Unfortunately, despite their findings—that “[t]here was so much good data and it was so damn compelling” (Mayer 2007, p. 108)—and despite the involvement of physicists no less, their work was largely unappreciated and has simply faded away.Prior to Swann’s visit I arranged for access to a well-shielded magnetometer used in a quark-detection experiment in the Physics Department at Stanford University. During our visit to this laboratory, sprung as a surprise to Swann, [we asked him] to perturb the operation of the magnetometer, located in a vault below the floor of the building and shielded by mu-metal shielding, an aluminum container, copper shielding and a superconducting shield. To the astonishment of Stanford physics professor Dr. Arthur Hebard, whose experiments depended heavily on the magnetometer’s much vaunted imperturbability to outside influence, Swann doubled the rate at which the magnetic field in the magnetometer was decaying. Then in response to Hebard’s disbelieving subsequent request, Swann stopped the field change altogether for a period of roughly forty-five seconds. As if to add insult to injury, he then went on to “remote view” the interior of the apparatus… by drawing a reasonable facsimile of its rather complex (and heretofore unpublished) construction. It was this latter feat that impressed me perhaps even more than the former, as it also eventually did representatives of the intelligence community [the CIA eventually became quite interested in the remote viewing phenomena].
Bering also cited the support of one prominent scientist, the physicist Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf, who found that Stevenson’s work provided “overwhelming” evidence for the existence of reincarnation. A more recent and extraordinarily detailed case is chronicled in Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot by Bruce and Andrea Leininger (with Ken Gross) (Leininger et al. 2009). In Leininger’s book they chronicled their experiences with their son as he appeared to vividly recall experiences as a World War II fighter pilot. The strength of their case was significantly boosted by the fact that the father, Bruce, is a devout Catholic and went to amazing lengths to investigate the possible reincarnation explanation in hopes of debunking it. That book earned a “spectacular” review comment from Jim Tucker, Ian Stevenson’s successor at the University of Virginia.when you actually read [the cases] firsthand, many are exceedingly difficult to explain away by rational, non-paranormal means. Much of this is due to Ian Stevenson’s own exhaustive efforts to disconfirm the paranormal account. “We can strive towards objectivity by exposing as fully as possible all observations that tend to weaken our preferred interpretation of the data,” he wrote. “If adversaries fire at us, let them use ammunition that we have given them.” And if truth be told, he excelled at debunking the debunkers.
2.2. Science’s Little Problems: Unusual Accepted Phenomena
The article went on to describe the extraordinary challenges facing neuroscience and then later closed with the pleading conclusion:Despite a century of sustained research, brain scientists remain ignorant of the workings of the three pound organ that is the seat of all conscious activity. Many have tried to attack this problem by examining the nervous systems of simpler organisms. In fact, almost 30 years have passed since investigators mapped the connections among each of the 302 nerve cells in the round worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Yet the worm-wiring diagram did not yield an understanding of how these connections give rise to even rudimentary behaviors such as feeding and sex. What was missing were data relating the activity of neurons to specific behaviors.
[w]e need collaboration among academic disciplines. Building instruments to image voltage in millions of neurons simultaneously throughout entire [human] brain regions may be achieved only by a sustained effort of a large interdisciplinary team of researchers. The technology could then be made available at a large-scale observatory-like facility shared by the neuroscience community. We are passionate about retaining a focus on new technology to record, control and decode the patterns of electrical spikes that are the language of the brain. We believe that without these new tools, neuroscience will remain bottlenecked and fail to detect the brain’s emergent properties that underlie a virtually infinite range of behaviors. Enhancing the ability to understand and use the language of spikes and neurons is the most productive way to derive a grand theory of how nature’s most complex machine functions.
Lorber described one particularly startling example:severely disabled, but half of them have IQ’s greater that 100. This group provide[d] some of the most dramatic examples of apparent normal function against all odds.
Given such findings why then do not a significant fraction of unaffected individuals (with normal-sized brains) function at extraordinary levels? What do such findings say about the evolutionary logic of Homo sapiens’ growth in brain size? Readers can also juxtapose the above findings with Sam Harris’ assertion that “[t]here is no place for a soul inside your head” (Harris 2014, p. 205).[t]here is a young student at [Sheffield University] who has an IQ of 126, has gained a first-class honors degree in mathematics, and is socially completely normal. And yet the boy has virtually no brain.
McGaugh and LePort then followed up by extensively testing Price’s recall. Her memory was eventually proved faulty in only one instance—the day of the week of one of the previous 23 Easters (and Price is Jewish). During this testing she “corrected the book of milestones for the date of the start of the Iran hostage crisis at the U.S. embassy in 1979.” On smaller matters Price:As I sit here trying to figure out where to begin explaining why I am writing you … I just hope somehow you can help me. I am 34 years old, and since I was 11 I have had this unbelievable ability to recall my past … I can take a date, between 1974 and today, and tell you what day it falls on, what I was doing that day, and if anything of great importance … occurred on that day I can describe that to you as well. I do not look at calendars beforehand, and I do not read 24 years of my journals either.
correctly recalled that Bing Crosby died at a golf course in Spain on October 14, 1977. When asked how she knew, she replied that when she was 11 years old, she heard the announcement of Crosby’s death over the car radio when her mother was driving her to a soccer game [note an apparent typo in the article since Price couldn’t have been 11 years old in both 1974 and 1977].
Treffert’s book contains other examples that support his conclusion that prodigal behavior typically involves “know[ing] things [that were] never learned”. Interested readers can look up descriptions of the historical musical prodigy Blind Tom. Islands of Genius also considers acquired savant syndrome in which the onset of savant behaviors follow a setback to the central nervous system. Thus, it would seem then that a three-pound neural organ could acquire skill as a result of damage. These cases of prodigal and/or exceptional intellect offer big challenges to materialism, albeit challenges that are rarely if ever acknowledged by scientists (for Treffert’s part he extrapolated an optimistic NOVA documentary on the epigenome, “Ghost in Your Genes”, for a scientific-sounding prodigal explanation).By age five Jay had composed five symphonies. His fifth symphony, which was 190 pages and 1328 bars in length was professionally recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra for Sony Records. On a 60 Minutes program in 2006 Jay’s parents stated that Jay began to draw little cellos on paper at age two. Neither parent was particularly musically inclined, and there were never any musical instruments, including a cello, in the home. At age three Jay asked if he could have a cello of his own. The parents took him to a music store and to their astonishment Jay picked up a miniature cello and began to play it. He had never seen a real cello before that day. After that he began to draw miniature cellos and placed them on music lines. That was the beginning of his composing.Jay says that the music just streams into his head at lightning speed, sometimes several symphonies running simultaneously. “My unconscious directs my conscious mind at a mile a minute,” he told the correspondent.
he insisted on wearing gowns even after preschool dress-up time ended. He pretended to have long flowing hair and drew pictures of girls with elaborate gowns and flowing tresses. By age 4, he sometimes sobbed when he saw himself in the mirror wearing pants, saying he felt ugly.Such tendencies can present difficulties for parents, as one father put it, “I didn’t know how to be the father of a girl inside a boy’s body”.
The assessment went on look ahead (after considering possible ways to deal with their penis problem):“I’m a girl and I have a penis. They [her parents] thought I was a boy until I was six. I dressed like a girl. I said, ‘I’m a girl.’ They didn’t understand for the longest time.
Do such behaviors really make sense within an evolutionary framework, and in particular as a function of DNA specifications?[w]hen I’m a mommy I’ll adopt my babies, but I’ll have boobies to feed then and I’ll wear a bra, dresses, skirts, and high-heeled shoes.
2.3. Science’s Big Problem: Heritability
schizophrenia is highly concordant within pairs of identical twins [about 50% of the time when one is affected so is the other twin], who share all of their DNA and most of their environment, but far less concordant within pairs of fraternal twins, who share only half of their [variable] DNA … and most of their environment. The trick question [“What is the biggest predictor that a person will become schizophrenic?”] could be asked—and would have the same answer [“Having an identical twin who is schizophrenic.”]—for virtually every cognitive and emotional disorder ever observed. Autism, dyslexia, language impairment, learning disability, left-handedness, major depressions, bipolar illness, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual orientation, and many other conditions run in families, are more concordant in identical than in fraternal twins, are better predicted by people’s biological relatives than by their adoptive relatives, and are poorly predicted by any measure of the environment.
He also acknowledged that “something is happening here but we don’t know what it is” (Pinker 2002, p. 380).a simple way of remembering [the three laws of behavioral genetics] is this: identical twins are 50 percent similar whether they grow up together or apart. Keep this in mind and watch what happens to your favorite ideas about the effects of upbringing in childhood.
Those two authors went on to ask “[h]ow likely is it that a quantity of genetic variation that could only be called enormous (i.e., more that 90%–95% of that for 80 human diseases) is all hiding in what until now [circa 2010] had been considered genetically unlikely places?” They added that “[b]y all rights then, reports of GWA [genome wide assessments] results should have filled the front pages of every world newspaper for a week”. However, nothing like that happened.according to the best available data, genetic predispositions (i.e., causes) have a negligible role in heart disease, cancer, stroke, autoimmune diseases, obesity, autism, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and many other common mental and physical illnesses that are the major killers in Western countries.
And further that:[a]fter doing comprehensive studies for common diseases, we can explain only a few percent of the genetic component of most of these traits. For schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, we get almost nothing; for Type 2 diabetes, 20 variants, but they explain only 2 to 3 percent of familial clustering, and so on.
And finally in 2017, the same Goldstein added that the latest potential breakthrough in the genetic origins of schizophrenia—arguably “account[ing] for only a trivial amount of schizophrenia”—represents “the first time we have gotten what we wanted out of a GWA” (Balter 2017). He also reflected on the ongoing optimistic genetic reports by saying “[p]eople working in the schizophrenia genetics field have greatly over-interpreted their results”. As an outsider who has followed the reports from the genetics literature I think that his criticism is appropriate to many areas of the field.[i]t’s an astounding thing that we have cracked open the human genome and can look at the entire complement of common genetic variants, and what do we find? Almost nothing. That is absolutely beyond belief.
2.4. Reincarnation’s Big Picture Potential
In particular, Stevenson wrote that those contributions could include:I do not propose reincarnation as a substitute for present or future knowledge of genetics and environmental influences. I think of it as a third factor contributing to the formation of human personality and of some physical features and abnormalities. I am, however, convinced that it deserves attention for the additional explanatory value that it has for numerous unsolved problems of psychology and medicine.
The last point refers to reincarnation’s possible contributions to birthmarks and birth defects and was a significant focus of his research (and in large part the basis for the book’s title). In a later paper Stevenson had written more fully that:some cognitive information about events of the previous life; a variety of likes, dislikes, and other attitudes; and, in some cases, residues of physical injuries or other markings of the previous body.
Additionally, Stevenson went on to suggest in his 1997 book that “[w]e may, after all, be engaged in a dual evolution—of our bodies and of our minds or souls”.[s]everal disorders or abnormalities observed in medicine and psychology are not explicable (or not fully explicable) by genetics and environmental influences, either alone or together. These include phobia and philias observed in early infancy, unusual play in childhood, homosexuality, gender identity disorder, a child’s idea of having parents other than its own, differences in temperament manifested soon after birth, unusual birthmarks and their correspondence with wounds on a deceased person, unusual birth defects, and differences (physical and behavioral) between monozygotic twins. The hypothesis of previous lives can contribute to the further understanding of these phenomena.
[e]xactly why believing in souls or spirits that survive death is so natural for children (and adults) is an area of active research and debate. A consensus has emerged that children are born believers in some kind of afterlife, but not why this is so.
that on death, we go to be with God and are later reincarnated. As children had been with God more recently, they could understand God better than adults can. They had not yet forgotten or grown confused and distracted by the world. In a real sense, he explained, children came into this world knowing God more purely and accurately than adults do.
The continuity aspect of reincarnation would be consistent with individual cases of young children experiencing the apparent recall of a previous life (Stevenson 1997; Tucker 2005; Leininger et al. 2009) as well as exhibiting some consistent behaviors. Contributions from the karma aspect would also be consistent with the unexpectedly large health differences found between identical twins and more generally the disease susceptibility portion of the missing heritability problem. All together a number of under-appreciated phenomena—including the big missing heritability problem—might help push the reincarnation theory beyond what has been characterized by Ankur Barua as an “underdetermined” status (Barua 2015).[one might] argue that in addition to offering a straightforward explanation for our natural religion, a [reincarnation] perspective also provides traction on some scientific conundrums including prodigies, transgender individuals, and the surprising variations in personality found amongst a number of species; a simple explanation for the mysteries associated with monozygotic twins; a backdrop for some controversial phenomena including near-death experiences; and finally a consistent framework for the missing heritability problem. In brief, the missing origins for a number of our innate specifics could be understood as carryover from previous lives and with some standout behaviors—as found with prodigious savants and prodigies—there could be some additional carryover consistent with some of the remarkable descriptions of the intervening disembodied state.
2.5. Two Reincarnation Explanations
Does any scientific literature even mention this intuitive quote?Every soul brings a kind of sense with it into the world, whereby it tastes and relisheth what is suitable to its particular temper … What can we conclude but that the soul itself is the immediate subject of all this variety and that it came prejudiced and prepossessed into this body with some implicit notions that it had learned in another? To say that all this [individual] variety proceeds primarily from the mere temper of our bodies is methinks a very poor and unsatisfying account. For those that are the most alike in the temper, air, and complexion of their bodies, are yet of a vastly differing genius … What then can we conjecture is the cause of all this diversity, but that we had taken a great delight and pleasure in some things like and analogous onto these in a former condition.
Further she added, “[r]esearchers are delving into the source and significance of all these animal spirits.” From a reincarnation perspective personality could be a relatively constant thread across different embodied lives. The experiences of a soul then could have helped create and solidify their personality—and then possibly change it. The alternative, i.e., of trying to materially manufacture a variety of personalities—even in tiny animals—appears difficult. As a final note interested readers can look up literature chronicling animistic beliefs for some possible insights there.[in] the burgeoning field of animal personality research, the effort to understand why individual members of the same species can be so mulishly themselves, and so unlike one another on a wide variety of behavioral measures. Scientists studying animals from virtually every niche of the bestial kingdom have found evidence of distinctive personalities—bundled sets of behaviors, quirks, preferences and pet peeves that remain remarkably stable over time and across settings. They have found stylistic diversity in chimpanzees, monkeys, barnacle geese, farm minks, blue tits and great tits, bighorn sheep, dumpling squid, pumpkinseed sunfish, zebra finches, spotted hyenas, even spiders and water spiders, to name but a few. They have identified hotheads and tiptoers, schmoozers and loners, divas, dullards and fearless explorers, and they have learned that animals, like us, often cling to the same personality for the bulk of their lives. The daredevil chicken of today is the one out crossing the road tomorrow.
2.6. More on a Possible Reincarnation Framework
The possible reincarnation connection here would be behavioral continuity that played out along family lines as was commonly believed (Head and Cranston 1967, p. 173; Columbia University Press 2000, p. 2874). An underlying appreciation for a plant-based diet could have played itself out in a big way in Campbell’s life. Looking beyond this, there is no apparent basis for a personality comparison other than the inference that both individuals were able to endure being outsiders in the health world.This discovery has been one of the more remarkable stories of my life. My wife Karen says, “If there’s such a thing as reincarnation …”. I agree: if ever I lived a past life, it was George Macilwain. He and I had similar careers; both of us became acutely aware of the importance of diet in disease; and both of us became vegetarian. Some of his ideas, written over 150 years ago, were so close to what I believed that I felt they could have come from my own mouth.
Another teacher, Tulku Thondup, characterized the existence between lives or “bardo” experience as “like a dream journey, fabricated by our habitual mental impressions” (Thondup 2005, p. 10). Tibetan Buddhist-based images would then have seemed to have framed many of the TBD’s descriptions. Trungpa’s commentary emphasized an energy-oriented interpretation of the bardo experience, and then as described in the TBD, a soul might tend to unwisely grasp at proverbial straws facing such a helter-skelter energetic scenario. An exceptional rebirth outcome might then be explained as the result of a soul’s exceptional grasping in which it inadvertently ended up catching a resonance (in a physics-sense) and obtaining a hyper-focused rebirth. From this perspective then a very strong tendency to obsess about one’s work might then produce an overly focused prodigal-type rebirth. Analogously, it follows that a tendency to fantasy about the opposite gender (perhaps based on earlier experiences as that gender), might then produce a transgender rebirth (in some form).[t]here is something which continues, there is the continuity of your positive relationship with your friends and the [religious or spiritual] teaching, so work on that basic continuity, which has nothing to do with the ego. When you die you will have all sorts of traumatic experiences, of leaving the body, as well as your old memories coming back to you as hallucinations. Whatever the visions and hallucinations may be, just relate to what is happening rather than trying to run away. Keep there, just relate with that.
One might then hypothesize that this elemental identity contributes in some way to the missing “dark” aspects of the inferable universe. It is also noteworthy that this element-like description of the soul does not seem consistent with Buddhism’s no-self theories.[t]hese two, your mind whose nature is emptiness without any substance whatever, and your mind which is vibrant and luminous, are inseparable: this is the dharmakaya of the buddha. This mind of yours is inseparable luminosity and emptiness in the form of a great mass of light, it has no birth or death ….
3.1. The Religion and Science Context
3.2. Modern Buddhism: Science-ification as a Dead-End
And additionally that:[a]bout 15 years of research have done more than show that meditation produces significant changes in both the function and structure of the brains of experienced [10,000 h or more] practitioners. These studies are now starting to demonstrate that contemplative practices may have a substantive impact on biological processes critical for physical health.
The support for these glowing proclamations was, however, overstated. The article is only loosely quantitative and the one graph that purports to show enhancement in neural features derived from meditation shows small effects with significant overlap between the measurements of experienced meditators and those of controls. The authors also failed to respond to a published follow-up letter from a meditator regarding the possibility that selection bias distorted their results. Furthermore, how many lay people have a chance of joining the 10,000 h club (and thus the likelihood of selection bias)?[t]he ability to cultivate compassion and other positive qualities lays the foundation for an ethical framework unattached to any philosophy or religion, which could have a profoundly beneficial effect on all aspects of human societies.
Even in a much less distracted era, a practice very much focused on this life in a Zen monastery saw very limited success. By comparison, how many modern Western meditational outfits—nominally Buddhist or derivative—do not grossly oversell the return on meditation?Ah be diligent. Be diligent! Of a thousand or ten thousand attempting to enter by this [Zen enlightenment] Gate, only three or perhaps five pass through. If you are heedless of my warnings, calamity is sure to follow. Therefore it is written, “Exert your strength in THIS life to attain! Or else incur long aeons of further [karmic] gain!”.
The limitation here—and more generally for the case-based approach—is that there is a very small data set of admittedly unusual cases. They certainly do not want follow behavioral genetics’ earlier lead with its history of false positives and in particular being “full of reports that have not stood up to rigorous replication” (Horgan 2015).[s]aintliness in the previous personality showed a very strong correlation with the economic status of the subject and a significant correlation with the social status of the subject. This means that the more saintly the previous personality was considered to have been, the higher the economic status and social status that the child is likely to have. Saintliness did not correlate with the caste of the subject in the cases in India, and none of the other characteristics of the previous personality correlated with the circumstances of the subject.
Conflicts of Interest
References and Notes
- Adler, John R. 2013. Personal communication with regards to a manuscript submitted to the journal Cureus. Palo Alto, CA, USA, August. [Google Scholar]
- Alexander, Eben. 2012. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks. [Google Scholar]
- Alford, John R., Carolyn L. Funk, and John R. Hibbling. 2005. Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted? American Political Science Review 99: 153–67. Available online: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/american-political-science-review/article/are-political-orientations-genetically-transmitted/C6D3A60FBE6779C8E6E798600785A4C9 (accessed on 7 July 2017). [CrossRef]
- Angier, Natalie. 2010. Even Among Animals: Leaders, Followers and Schmoozers. New York Times. April 5. Available online: www.nytimes.com.2010/04/06/science/06angi.html (accessed on 7 July 2017).
- Balter, Michael. 2017. Schizophrenia’s Unyielding Mysteries. Scientific American 316: 54–61. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Baron-Cohen, Simon. 2012. Autism and the Technical Mind. Scientific American 307: 72–75. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Barrett, Justin L. 2012. Born Believers—The Science of Children’s Religious Belief. New York: Free Press. [Google Scholar]
- Barua, Ankur. 2015. Revisiting the Rationality of Reincarnation Talk. International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76: 218–31. Available online: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1810/249040/Barua%202015%20International%20Journal%20of%20Philosophy%20and%20Theology.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=n (accessed on 7 July 2017). [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Bering, Jesse. 2013. Ian Stevenson’s Case for the Afterlife: Are We ‘Skeptics’ Really Just Cynics. Available online: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/ian-stevensone28099s-case-for-the-afterlife-are-we-e28098skepticse28099-really-just-cynics/ (accessed on 7 July 2017).
- Blofeld, John. 1958. The Zen Teaching of Huang Po. New York: Dover Press. [Google Scholar]
- Buswell, Robert E., Jr., and Donald S. Lopez Jr. 2013. 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism. Tricycle, November 19. [Google Scholar]
- Campbell, T. Colin, and Thomas M. Campbell II. 2004. The China Study. Dallas: Benbella Books, Note revised versions are also available and in these the authors ordering has been reversed. [Google Scholar]
- Carroll, Sean. 2016. The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. New York: Dutton. [Google Scholar]
- Carter, Chris. 2012. Science and the Afterlife Experience. Rochester: Inner Traditions. [Google Scholar]
- Christopher, Ted. 2016. A Hole in Science: An Opening for an Alternative Understanding of Life. Rochester: Wise Media Group. First published in 2015. Self-published and available at Amazon and other online outlets. An (updated) third edition is expected in October 2017. [Google Scholar]
- Christopher, Ted. 2017. Question the Big Picture and Expand the Horizon. Produced for a Foundational Questions Institute Essay Contest. Available online: http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2783 (accessed on 7 July 2017).
- Collins, Francis. 2010. The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine. New York: Harper Collins. [Google Scholar]
- Columbia University Press. 2000. The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Dawkins, Richard. 1976. The Selfish Gene. New York: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Francesca, Freemantle, and Chogyam Trungpa. 1992. The Tibetan Book of the Dead (pocket version). Boston: Shambhala Publications. [Google Scholar]
- Fromme, Petra, and John C. H. Spence. 2017. Split Second Reactions. Scientific American 316: 62–67. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Haisch, Bernard. 2006. The God Theory. San Francisco: Weiser Books. [Google Scholar]
- Harris, Judith Rich. 2006. No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. [Google Scholar]
- Harris, Sam. 2014. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. New York: Simon & Schuster. [Google Scholar]
- Head, Joseph, and S.L. Cranston. 1967. Reincarnation and World Thought. New York: Julian Press. [Google Scholar]
- Horgan, John. 2015. Quest for Intelligence Genes Churns Out More Dubious Results. Available online: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/quest-for-intelligence-genes-churns-out-more-dubious-results/ (accessed on 18 August 2017).
- Holden, Janice Miner, Bruce Greyson, and Debbie James, eds. 2009. The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers, Page 306 contains the index’s entry for “life review” and a number of relevant pages are given there. [Google Scholar]
- Kingsley, David M. 2009. From Atoms to Traits. Scientific American 300: 52–59. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Kolata, Gina. 2006. Live Long? Die Young? Answer Isn’t Just in Genes. New York Times, August 31. [Google Scholar]
- Kolata, Gina. 2013. Human Genome, Then and Now. New York Times, August 15. [Google Scholar]
- Landau, Elizabeth. 2009. CNN Article: Born in Male Body, Jenny Knew Early that She Was a Girl. Available online: www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/12/sex.change.gender.transition/ (accessed on 7 July 2017).
- Latham, Jonathan, and Allison Wilson. 2010. The Great DNA Data Deficit: Are Genes for Disease a Mirage? Available online: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-great-dna-data-deficit/ (accessed on 7 July 2017).
- Leininger, Bruce, Andrea Leininger, and Ken Goss. 2009. Soul Survivor—The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot. New York: Grand Central Publishing. [Google Scholar]
- Lewin, Roger. 1980. Is Your Brain Really Necessary? Science 210: 1232–34. Available online: www.rifters.com/real/articles/Science_No-Brain.pdf (accessed on 8 July 2017).
- Lopez, Donald, Jr. 2012. The Scientific Buddha. Available online: www.tricycle.com/special-section/scientific-buddha (accessed on 7 July 2017).
- Mayer, Elizabeth Lloyd. 2007. Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind. New York: Bantom Books. [Google Scholar]
- McGaugh, James L., and Aurora LePort. 2014. Remembrance of All Things Past. Scientific American 310: 40–45. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Meyer, Steven C. 2013. Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. New York: HarperCollins. [Google Scholar]
- Mitchell, Kevin A. 2012. I’ve got Your Missing Heritability Right here…. Available online: www.wiringthebrain.com/2012/02/ive-got-your-missing-heritability-right.html (accessed on 7 July 2017).
- Mukherjee, Siddhartha. 2016. The Gene: An Intimate History. New York: Scribner. [Google Scholar]
- Nagel, Thomas. 2012. Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. New York: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Padawer, Ruth. 2012. What’s So Bad about a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress? New York Times, August 8. [Google Scholar]
- Parker, Kevin J. 2017. Personal communication with regards to my FQXI essay. Rochester, NY, USA, April. [Google Scholar]
- Pinker, Steven. 1997. How the Mind Works. New York: W. W. Norton. [Google Scholar]
- Pinker, Steven. 2002. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York: Viking Penguin. [Google Scholar]
- Richard, James L., Antoine Lutz, and Richard J. Davidson. 2014. Mind of the meditator. Scientific American 311: 38–45. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Schafer, Aaron. 2006. Stanford at the Tech Museum Understanding Genetics. Available online: genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask166 (accessed on 8 July 2017).
- Segal, Nancy L. 2005. Indivisible by Two. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Solomon, Andrew. 2012. Far From the Tree. New York: Scribner. [Google Scholar]
- Spellmeyer, Kurt. 2015. After the Future. Tricycle, fall. [Google Scholar]
- Stevenson, Ian. 1997. Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect. Westport: Praeger Publishers. [Google Scholar]
- Stevenson, Ian. 2000. The Phenomenon of Claimed Memories of Previous Lives: Possible Interpretations and Importance. Available online: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e8d7/78d20507be2d971858ffeac47ad455c6ad95.pdf (accessed on 13 August 2017).
- Tennesen, Michael. 2006. Who Says You Have to Be Nice to Your Brother? Wildlife Conservation, September/October. Tastefully no photos were included.
- Thondup, Tulku. 2005. Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth: A Tibetan Buddhist Guidebook. Boston: Shambhala Publications. [Google Scholar]
- Treffert, Darold A. 2010. Islands of Genius. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. [Google Scholar]
- Tucker, Jim. 2005. Life Before Life—A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives. New York: St. Martin’s Press. [Google Scholar]
- Wade, Nicholas. 2008. A Dissenting Voice as the Genome is Sifted to Fight Disease. New York Times, September 16. [Google Scholar]
- Wigner, Eugene. 1960. The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences. Available online: www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html (accessed on 13 August 2017).
- Yuste, Rafael, and George M. Church. 2014. The New Century of the Brain. Scientific American 310: 38–45. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
© 2017 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Christopher, T. Science’s Big Problem, Reincarnation’s Big Potential, and Buddhists’ Profound Embarrassment. Religions 2017, 8, 155. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8080155
Christopher T. Science’s Big Problem, Reincarnation’s Big Potential, and Buddhists’ Profound Embarrassment. Religions. 2017; 8(8):155. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8080155Chicago/Turabian Style
Christopher, Ted. 2017. "Science’s Big Problem, Reincarnation’s Big Potential, and Buddhists’ Profound Embarrassment" Religions 8, no. 8: 155. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8080155