Is There Adequate Empirical Evidence for Reincarnation? An Analysis of Ian Stevenson’s Work

In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 575-583 (2015)

Authors
Leonard Angel
Douglas College
Abstract
This article reviews the research of “top rebirth scientist” Ian Stevenson on spontaneous past-life memory cases, focusing on three key problems with Stevenson’s work. First, his research of entirely anecdotal case reports contains a number of errors and omissions. Second, like other reincarnation researchers, Stevenson has done no controlled experimental work on such cases; yet only such research could ever resolve whether the correspondences found between a child’s statements and a deceased person’s life exceed what we might find by chance. Finally, the best reincarnation research should at least meet the standards met by typical empirical research, but Stevenson’s methodology does not even meet the standards expected of third- or fourth-year college students. 1. How Controlled Experimental Work is Possible -- 2. The Anecdotal Record - 2.1 Reincarnation and Biology - 2.2 The Imad Elawar Case -- 3. Conclusion
Keywords anecdotal evidence  testimony  birthmark evidence  paranormal phenomena  chance correspondences  experiment
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