Question for you guys (and I hope you chime in): Has science every fully explained a phenomena?
I posted my thoughts on the $5 million grant for Near Death Experiences called the Immortality Project a couple weeks ago and a gentleman commented that he’s written a book that has “completely explained” the NDE phenomena. Regardless of whether the man has or not, I was called to wonder if science has every “completely explained” anything? Or if that’s even considered a realistic goal of science?
And I don’t mean this in any condescending way. Or tongue-in-cheek I’m-a-ghost-hunter-and-hate-science way. I mean really. We have mathematical explanations for gravity that work… but they stop working in relativistic physics. Einstein worked up a new set of rules but still nobody understands what gravity even is and we’ve yet to find a unifying theory for the basic forces of the universe… The Atom model was incomplete and continues to be reduced further and further. It seems as much as we continue to uncover, our “advancements of science” are indeed incredible advancements and revelations, but as for completion, in any area…
We have great theories, incredible leaps in medicine and in space, and there are many things that we can say we know.
But for every answer science seems to find, we seem to discover a number of new questions. It’s like a season of LOST.
It seems that the mystery is the nature of the beast.
So I’m just curious. Scientists, academics, laymen: Has science ever “completely” explained any phenomena? And are there any inherent problems in concluding that we have?
Today it’s sitting at the city library and trying to finish this draft. Today it’s trying not to stress on this batch of edits, when seventy-five pages out I realize I’m changing what happens to characters in the end and need to change everything referencing this already throughout the book. I’m refining their movements and their motions and realizing that it didn’t go the way I saw, and if only I could see a little more, the last missing piece will fall into place. It’s never felt this close yet.
Today it’s wandering the library with headphones in because there is no one here under sixty and they all breathe hard through their noses. It’s looking for inspiration in the rows of shelves and learning this library doesn’t even carry a copy of Infinite Jest. Which says more about my hometown and how badly I want out. It’s texting between the fiction section and the non-fiction section with a best friend helping me edit. To figure these last points. To put it together.
Today it’s not stressing over the decision I made a week ago to drop the book I had a contract for. It’s remembering I need to send the check back and shoot a text message about work on Thursday. It’s feeling the month slipping away so goddamn quickly now. If it’s taking me this long to edit, my copyeditors will have to work like mad to make my September deadline.
It’s frustration that the internet won’t work so that I can even post this blog. It’s sitting and thinking and my mind wandering and realizing I don’t have time for that. But the book will come on its own schedule. Seven years already. Before September if it can.
The Beta readers have returned and the results are in.
It’s official! My seven-year-coming novel project Hallowtide has the greenlight to be released this fall!
Hallowtide is the story of a young man who begins having nightmares of a journey he made into Hell itself. And seemingly, these nightmares hold their roots in a school shooting he was the victim of while in high school five years before. Why and how though are for him to discover, and in so discovering, could break his mind, his relationship, and his life itself.
The website is now live (though probably doesn’t work right now on iPhones and iPads because it’s flash).
Throughout the month of September, I’ll be posting updates, releasing covers, plot teasers, the official drop date, releasing excerpts, and posting downloads! In the following few days I’ll post the “Manifesto,” my argument for why I’m releasing it the way that I am in a non-traditional format. Over time, the book website will be fleshed out further and further until the final release of the book, so be sure to check back frequently, like, share, spread the word!
It’s going to be a fun couple months as the book goes into final stages of creation! And I hope you guys are as excited as I am!
By now I hope you’ve heard about the upcoming Immortality Project. It’s not a movie with a catchy name, but it’s the new project the University of California, Riverside will take on studying topics of the afterlife thanks to a five million dollar grant. If you haven’t read about it, there’s a solid article from Huffington Post LA, here.
The money will fund research into heaven, hell, purgatory, karma, and other topics, according to the university’s web site.
Which is brilliant. If you’re going to do a study of the afterlife, absolutely do it academically. We in the ghost-hunting field have been pushing for “scientific” documentation of these experiences of the supernatural, which is still needed. But taking an approach to the afterlife in general on a level of theology, culture, philosophy, and biology is a solid approach. If you’re going to explore the afterlife, regardless of conclusion, there are questions that need exploring along the way. “Are we immortal beings? Would we even want to be immortal? What would immortality even look like?” An approach that considers both the fact of the issue and the philosophy is absolutely the right thinking.
“We will be very careful in documenting near-death experiences and other phenomena, trying to figure out if these offer plausible glimpses of an afterlife or are biologically induced illusions,” Fischer said in a statement. “Our approach will be uncompromisingly scientifically rigorous. We’re not going to spend money to study alien-abduction reports.”
So not all the bias toward the supernatural has been thrown out with this step forward. All in due time I suppose. Alien abductions might not be trendy like ghosts or the more PC, less-restrictive term, “the afterlife,” and their supporters still seem crazy (really, the same as ghosts fifteen years ago). But the deeper you look into alien abduction reports, the more similarities you find between them and “Old Hag Syndrome,” or sleep paralysis, or classical mythology and religions. Indeed, alien reports carry remarkable tie-ins with much of religious mythology and lore. John Keel’s Our Haunted Planet is a fine resource for these connections and, according to him, inconsistencies.
Though not so much correlative to the near-death experience, close encounters of the fourth kind do resemble religious or mystical experiences. Though this study is focusing, at least for the moment, on experiences occurring around the time of death, it’s not a far stone’s throw to the mystical experiences of higher (or different) consciousness. See (bright lights appearing in the sky, terrifying beings who appear on earth and supply prophesies, strange chariots appearing in the air).
The question then: is this exactly what we need right now? Not just the “we” who are paranormally inclined. But the “we” of the human race, in a science-worshipping world tearing itself apart over religion and ideology.
Or will this divide us further? If we find indication that there may be something after, something further, will this only increase the hostilities between two parties to be more “right” than the other? If you suggest that the soul does exist, what does that say of God? If God exists, what does that say of these fighting religions? If we live on after we die, what does that say toward the morality of homicide?
Either way, it’s a fascinating project, and I’ll be first in line for the book in five years.