What happens when human beings die? Is there a final destination for the soul? These were the questions discussed among four scientists on a video that recently aired on “Through the Wormhole” hosted by Morgan Freeman on the Science channel.
A number of scientists who have studied consciousness and near-death experiences extensively believe they are close to solving the puzzle, but they vehemently disagree with each other about the solution.
Christof Koch, the Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute of Brain Science and Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology at California Institute of Technology, argued that the soul dies and everything is lost when human beings lose consciousness. “You lose everything. The world does not exist anymore for you. Your friends don’t exist anymore. You don’t exist. Everything is lost,” he said.
Bruce Greyson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, challenged Koch’s view of consciousness. He said that, “if you take these near death experiences at face value, then they suggest that the mind or the consciousness seems to function without the physical body.”
Stuart Hameroff, who proposed the highly controversial Orch-OR (orchestrated objective reduction) theory of consciousness in 1996 along with Roger Penrose, told the Science channel, “I think the quantum approach to consciousness can, in principle, explain why we’re here and what our purpose is, and also the possibility of life after death, reincarnation and persistence of consciousness after our bodies give up.”
Finally, Eben Alexander who wrote the widely circulated and criticized cover story for Newsweek, 'Proof of Heaven', said, “I have great belief and knowledge that there is a wonderful existence for our souls outside of this earthly realm and that is our true reality, and we all find that out when we live this earth.”
Whose argument do you find more compelling? Do you believe that human beings have souls? If so, what happens to the soul when a human being dies? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
BEFORE YOU GO
Click through the slideshow to see what the world's greatest scientists think about God: