Sam Parnia helps bring people back from the dead — and some return with stories that could challenge traditional scientific ideas about the nature of consciousness
“This seems to verge on supernatural explanations of consciousness.
Throughout history, we try to explain things the best we can with the tools of science. But most open-minded and objective scientists recognise that we have limitations. Just because something is inexplicable with our current science doesn’t make it superstitious or wrong. When people discovered electromagnetism, forces that couldn’t then be seen or measured, a lot of scientists made fun of it.
Scientists have come to believe that the self is brain cell processes, but there’s never been an experiment to show how cells in the brain could possibly lead to human thought. If you look at a brain cell under a microscope, and I tell you, “this brain cell thinks I’m hungry,” that’s impossible.
It could be that, like electromagnetism, the human psyche and consciousness are a very subtle type of force that interacts with the brain, but are not necessarily produced by the brain. The jury is still out.”