• $5 Million to Study Immortality

    File this under “I could have told you for free and immediately“!

    Turns out, University of California in Riverside is getting a $5 million grant to study ‘immortality’:

    Anecdotal reports of glimpses of an afterlife abound, but there has been no comprehensive and rigorous, scientific study of global reports about near-death and other experiences, or of how belief in immortality influences human behavior. That will change with the award of a three-year, $5 million grant by the John Templeton Foundation to John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality. It is the largest grant ever awarded to a humanities professor at UC Riverside, and one of the largest given to an individual at the university.

    That’s right – a philosopher was given  $5 million grant to get to achieve a “comprehensive and rigorous, scientific study“. So, now philosophy does science? How is this whole thing going to get peer-reviewed?

    And of course it had to be Templeton throwing money into the trash can. It’s not like there are kids out there, starving to death in this very real-finite life or something.

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    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

    Skeptic | Blogger | Fact-checker
    • SmilodonsRetreat

      I’ll do for 1% of that cost.

      • I’d do it for free!

        • ehj1919

          An interesting aside: Neil Godfrey a Christ-Mythicist (or so it’s thought) when reminded that the 9 world’s greatest rationalists (the grand theorist of quantum and relativity physics) have written extensively as confirmed theists replied: “Rubbish, That a minority of scientist still cling to some form of primitive religious notions is of no significance whatsoever except to modern day relics of cave-man superstitions found among true religious believers today.” Might blogosphere accept this as a legitimate peer review?

          • Hahahaha, OK – I’ll take that as a peer-review xD

    • “glimpses of an afterlife abound’

      I guess I have to clean my glasses. Nothing glimpsed yet.

      It must be really pressing and utterly important to find out what the afterlife might be rather than helping those in dire need now to prevent them from entering that supposed state earlier than necessary.
      should one laugh or cry when confronted with such idiocy?

      • I don’t know. I think we should cry!

    • Reginald Selkirk

      but there has been no comprehensive and rigorous, scientific study of global reports about near-death and other experiences,

      Note the careful wording: they are not proposing a comprehensive and rigorous scientific study of NDEs, they are proposing a comprehensive and rigorous scientific study of global reports. Just how comprehesive, rigorous and scientific can you get about a collection of anecdotes anyway?

      • I hadn’t noticed! I think not too much!

    • Reginald Selkirk

      BTW, there are severe ethical constraints to doing really good scientific studies of near death experiences. This is one reason why they will be limited to studying a collection of anecdotes instead.

      • You mean Templeton cares about ethicar constraints? I find that hard to believe.