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The Science of NDEs

Date: 06-02-04
Host: George Noory
Guests: Dr. Melvin Morse

Pediatrician and neuroscientist, Dr. Melvin Morse, shared his insights from years of working with both adults and children who have had near-death experiences (NDEs). These experiences are not hallucinations and exist in real time, he said, citing the research that James Whinnery did with fighter pilots who reported spontaneous NDEs when subjected to extreme gravitational forces. Further, Morse contends that 20% of the brain (the right temporal lobe)is dedicated to processing "non-local" phenomena such as NDEs, and this offers a neurological explanation of "seeing God."

Children who have NDEs have less "cultural overlay," and tend to recount their experience without using religious terminology. "I saw the sun and it had a happy face for me," Morse quoted one 3-year-old's description of his near-death experience. The common denominator in almost all NDEs was being "bathed in an energetic pattern of love," which leads Morse to conclude that we have nothing to fear from death. In fact, he advocates for the curtailing of extraordinary medical procedures to postpone death in the case of terminally ill patients.

"Death shouldn't be a taboo topic," Morse continued. He believes that the science that is emerging from the study of NDEs may have an impact on religion. Interestingly, he noted that some people who have had NDEs have problems with watches and credit card magnetic stripes, suggesting that changes occurred in the bioelectric field around their bodies.

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