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Posted by Harvey on July 27, 2001 21:43:30 UTC

Ezekiel,

You have the name of two biblical characters, but you are Islamic?

In any case, a theory of reincarnation would need to have the following criteria to be regarded as scientific:

1) Predict phenomena and have those predictions *statistically confirmed* that could only be known if reincarnation was correct. For example, let's say you were Black Beard the pirate in your past life. Then you would need to know things only Black Beard would have known, such as where you left buried treasure. Only, to give credibility to reincarnation this would need to be tracked statistically (hit/miss based on a sufficient worldwide sampling). For example, if the sampling was tainted to only those who made such claims, then this wouldn't be very good. You would preferably need to sample people who made no such claims of a previous life.

2) A means to test between competing ideas. For example, perhaps reincarnation is being confused with mediums that consult the dead. Both are pseudo-science, but if we were to really find rational reasons to seriously investigate these paranormal phenomena, then how do we distinguish one paranormal belief from another? At some point we need to see behind the metaphysical curtain to make such assertions. Science can't do that, so how can we say for sure that a past life is our life versus something else entirely?

3) A major set-back for naturalism/materialism/physicalism. Science is based on a creed that the world is operating on natural/physical principles. To get science to change and accept metaphysical experiences (e.g., reincarnation) we would have to see major set-backs for this current ideology. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Warm regards, Harv

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