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No. 12: Fall 1980

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Ndes and reality (whatever that is!)

Several books describing NDEs (Near Death Experiences) have appeared in recent years. The level of objectivity varies widely as do the interpretations of NDEs. Some authors are certain that NDEs confirm life after death; others see NDEs as states of consciousness to be expected from the physiological processes occurring dear death. Now a key medical journal has published a series of opinions by doctors familiar with NDEs and other death-bed events.

Although the articles are quite objective, their thoughts span a wide spectrum. Pure reductionism occupies one end of this spectrum; that is, all NDEs can be explained in terms of known physiological processes. A few doctors, though, point out that NDEs are remarkably consistent regardless of cultural background. One doctor maintains that NDEs are "complex, baffling," and contain "perplexing paranormal features."

(Rodin, Ernst, et al; "The Reality of Death Experiences," Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 168:259, 1980.)

From Science Frontiers #12, Fall 1980. 1980-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987