Supernatural studies in the material world – A ghost of a chance?
A two-day event in San Francisco’s Cowell Theater [was] billed as the first scientific conference on the afterlife for a general audience.[Loyd] Auerbach holds a master’s degree in parapsychology, [and] has written seven books on the subject. He – and several other speakers at the conference, titled Investigations of Consciousness and the Unseen World: Proof of an Afterlife – exist in a strange professional realm that encompasses rigorous academic training, spiritualism and sometimes fraud.There was Dean Radin, who began his career in electrical engineering and cybernetics at the University of Illinois before moving on to psychic phenomena. Also [there] were Gary E. Schwartz … who now teaches psychiatry, psychology, medicine, neurology and surgery at the University of Arizona, and University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies researchers Dr. Jim Tucker and Dr. Bruce Greyson.These academics take their paranormal work seriously; they also risk ridicule on campus and struggle to find sources of funding to investigate what happens after we die. One of the issues they face is whether an afterlife is provable by scientific method. Julie Beischel, who co-founded Arizona’s Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential, [thinks] it is.
“This is how science works,” Beischel said. “There’s a question and science investigates it. You can’t draw a line and say, no, that’s outside of science. Science doesn’t have any boundaries in what it can investigate.”
The conference topics … were designed to explore the disconnect between the “mind” and the “brain.” If one could be shown to operate without the other … then a case could be made for consciousness existing outside of the physical body.