This book asks us to believe that statistics are science because they are gathered on a web page by a doctor who has studied a lot of science. A doctor is close enough to scientist, but making a web page of questionnaires is not science.
The largest part of the proof is that the stories/questionnaires about near-death experiences submitted by self-selected people yield statistically similar answers. The problems begin that near-death is not well defined and many of the people may have had dreams etc. so the author examines the submissions carefully to determine if they match near-death and takes the results he is most sure of and categorizes them and generally reports only the most sure group or the two best groups together. All the outliers are discarded so it is really uncertain if the questionnaires are intrinsically similar or the near-death selection criteria, the self-selection, and any questionnaire bias makes them that way. The author explains his process and does try to minimize influence and reach out to people who may not typically fill out the questionnaire.
This is a difficult thing to do with statistics alone, especially with the fragilities of human memory and perception; I laud the attempt, but this may be an impossible task.
I also took some exception to the way the author deals with skeptics; they are usually lumped together as all having the same opinion that is usually dismissed as naive. In the much less occurring case it is stated that skeptics cannot agree on the cause of something and are therefore dismissed as grasping at straws. If these experiences are not all real, I would imagine they would have many different potential causes and thus it seems like skeptics, whose guesses should be relatively diverse, are not given any real consideration.
This book would be more convincing if some of the people coming back after experiencing having a deep knowledge of the universe and how all things work gave us a formulation for helping Alzheimer's disease patients or the like (if death is not to be feared, as stated in this book as a typical feeling after an NDE, it should be a disease/problem that causes much suffering).
This book is well worth the listen; it is inspiring and interesting... it's just not science.
Loved the organization of this book; it is told in broad strokes chronologically but the author saves some of the back-story for each major topic to right before it is covered making it very easy to follow.
This has become a personal favorite.
This book starts as a good pep-talk that evolves into business lecture type advice and the far-too-common trope of you can have anything you believe ala "the Secret". If you like "the Secret" or "E2"(E-squared) this is a good book for you. It can be great inspiration to reach for your dream but to me it also seems a cruelty to anyone with a major disease or misfortune and it fosters a sense of entitlement and/or self-centeredness.
I like "the War of Art" (Steven Pressfield) much better as an inspiration on how to be a badass, it is also available on this site.
..."you see the person you used to be as a foolish bumbler with poor taste but your current self as a badass who is worthy of at least 3 times the praise" -- David McRaney ("You Are Not so Smart").
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