Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!


Can Evolution Explain Near Death Experiences?

Science is a means to explain the reasoning behind different phenomena. Surprisingly, scientists are now trying to explain even the most unprompted occurrences in our daily lives! Researchers have tried to explain the science behind near-death experiences, believing that these scary experiences are a biological mechanism called thanatosis. Daneil Kondziella explained that this mechanism is ‘the acquisition of language enabled humans to transform these events from relatively stereotyped death-feigning under predatory attacks into the rich perceptions that form near-death experiences and extend to non-predatory situations.’ While this explanation seems sound, Mind Matters raises two problems: 

➤ Implausibility: Most of the people who have survived to tell of near-death experiences are not “death-feigning.” They are clinically — and, in most cases, involuntarily — dead.
Modern medicine can bring people back from actual states of death or even induce such states, for surgical purposes. That’s why we hear so many reports of near-death experiences these days. There is no physiological basis for the belief that, in general, humans can just “play dead” when it suits us, as can marsupials like opossums. Many might wish we could but we can’t.
➤ What does “the acquisition of language” mean? Human language, as opposed to animal signal systems, is only possible due to the ability to reason abstractly. There is no plausible evolutionary explanation for that at present. It appears to come from something that is not part of the animal world at all. It is not directly related to survival chances because all other life forms thrive without it. It may be part of a non-animal world in which near-death experiences are possible.

Image credit: Evgeny Tchebotarev (Unsplash)

Newest 4
Newest 4 Comments

Human language, as opposed to animal signal systems, is only possible due to the ability to reason abstractly. This sounds plausible... But this only seems to point towards that abstract reasoning was before the development of language...
The passage "It appears to come from something that is not part of the animal world at all." seems to be based on a misconcesption. He mammal species "Homo Sapiens" is part of the animal word. Homo sapiens uses an aquied language, therefoe it is part of the animal world.
The assumption that all other life forms do not use an aquired language seems to me as a theory. The assumption "Nature / Lifforms do not have ... XXX..." is more often incorrect than correct. In most of the cases i would bet on just "not yet discovered".
Before fuzzing about "animal world near-death experiences" just make up your mind on how to proove the presence or absence of near death experiences in non-human animals.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Hm.. this evolution thing... and near death... the science behind near death seems a possible scienticic subject. However to expect that evolution and near death experiences are connected, seems not plausible to me... Near death expeiences are rather uncommon. Near death experiences are usually connectedt o events that have a very high letality. Therefore i expect that the presence or absence of near death experiences may not have any effect on reproduction, mutation or selection. That is presumably not an evolution thing..
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Can Evolution Explain Near Death Experiences?"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More