Reincarnation as a Biological Adaptation to Natural Selection

Collaborative behavioral neuroscientists, Professor Todd Murphy and Dr. Michael Persinger, have steadily built up an empirical, correlative assessment of ancient metaphysics through the field of speculative research called, “neurotheology” since the 1990’s. A bit of a slang term, “neurotheology” is acknowledged by its researchers as a philosophy applied to scientific principle; meaning that this philosophy is a transposition of a variety of ancient metaphysics onto the blueprint of the modern scientific method and the latest updates in fields like neurology, behavioral psychology, anthropology, physics, and even comparative religion. Unfortunately, instead of being invited into the scientific community as a much-needed reassessment of ancient philosophy within the postmodern paradigm, Murphy and Persinger have of course met a great deal of persecution. However, the thorough methodology of their research, their versatile repertoire of data sets, and their novel application of the scientific method into the realm of philosophy and theology, has given them continuous support within the alternative research community.

Publishing his preliminary studies into a scientific journal in 1999, Todd Murphy in association with research and development from Dr. Michael Persinger of neurocognitive electro-stimulation technology, developed his scientific postulation that if reincarnation could be theoretically supposed as an axiom of life, then it would be because it was a biological adaptation to natural selection. Unfortunately, the mere cross-analysis of the two concepts in the title made many people dismiss it, but upon looking at this cross-analysis it not only becomes a smooth transposition, but a plausible one as well.

Since his initial development of the subject, Murphy had published a book in 2013 entitled, Sacred Pathways: The Brain’s Role in Religious and Mystic Experiences, that even included a foreword by the Dalai Lama himself. To quote the book’s official description,

“Professor Murphy proposes that rebirth is an evolutionary adaptation that contributed to the survival of our species, and that the self is a hallucination, that God is a manifestation of our own sense of self, and how enlightenment appears after an avalanche of neural activity, making changes in very specific areas of your brain. He also believes that spirituality is a very positive force in the world, and in the lives of individual people. Spirituality, he argues, is an adaptive force that’s crucial to our survival as a species, and so is an integral part of our nature. An atheist who openly encourages prayer, The author goes well past the debates between skeptics and believers to see how religion helps us, without regard for the truth or falsehood of anyone’s private beliefs.”

The original paper, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Near-Death Studies, boasted the enticing title, “The Structure And Function Of Near-Death Experiences: An Algorithmic Reincarnation Hypothesis based on Natural Selection.” Before moving forward, it’s important to note that Darwin was just another scientist proposing ideas based on his own observations, and in the present scientific community, his ideas are a bit too emboldened and are lacking in continuous and updated reassessment; however, the basic postulations of natural selection have been fundamentally proven in the sense of genetic adaptations to environment in order to further survival.

ReincarnationNow that the groundwork has been laid, some theory can be assessed. The specific fields being cross analyzed are Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s), in association with Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE’s), through altered states of consciousness represented by changes in electrical fields emitted by different aspects of the brain–specifically the temporal lobe. One of the four sections of the cerebral cortex, the temporal lobe, is responsible for “processing sensory input into derived meanings for the appropriate retention of visual memories, language comprehension, and emotion association.” Very much so, this can be considered the integral piece of the brain that allows humans to interact on a social level that involves analogical thought process (reading, writing, speaking, drawing, playing video games, music, even math) and especially dreaming. To quote Murphy’s study,

“It has been theorized (Persinger, 1987) that when our species first evolved it’s unique cognitive abilities, two parts of our brains enlarged more than other portions. The frontal lobes (generally specialized for extrapolating out into the future) and our temporal lobes (generally specialized for remembering the past). When this happened, people learned a new skill; The ability to remember death, and to realize that the same thing would happen to them in the future. The then-new neuromorphological upgrade software included a program for death anxiety. The fear of impending doom.”

In order to understand this “Algorithm of NDE’s,” there must be a few different angles fleshed for each step of the theory. Setting aside the evolution of the brain for a moment, it’s important to understand that the definition of an algorithm is essentially: a process that converts randomness to non-randomness (in terms of data sets).

Taking an excerpt from Professor Murphy’s paper:

“There seem to be certain grammatical rules governing NDEs. Although the research elucidating them is far from complete, a pattern of rough (we cannot emphasize this too strongly: rough; approximate) rules of thumb’ appears to be emerging. Examples include:

(1) In India, instead of an autoscopic out-of-body experience (OBE), the death process may begin with seeing’ messengers of death (Pasricha, 1986). When they call you, you must come. There are also a number of Indian NDEs that begin with an OBE (Blackmore, 1993). The same rule applies to Thai NDEs (Murphy, in press)

(2) For those under seven years old, the Life Review is avoided (Serdahely, 1990) and instead, a visit to heaven or a fairyland is in order.

(3) In preliterate cultures, delete the Life review, and substitute a spirit world , where the significant events of one’s life will manifest symbolically, as features in the spirit world (Kellehear, 1993).

(4) If an NDEer has been able to anticipate their death, (and presumably has had the chance reflect extensively on their life), they may skip the life review (Greyson, 1985).

(5) If your death has appeared unexpectedly, review your life (Greyson, 1985)

(6) If one believes strongly in a particular religious tradition, they may experience the being of light as they have been taught it appears (Osis, 1977, Pg. 37)). If one is an atheist, they may experience it as a ‘presence’.

(7) If one has come to believe that ‘all mysteries will be revealed at death’, they may have a transcendent experience in which the mysteries’ are revealed to their satisfaction. (cf. Eadie, 1992 & Brinkley, 1994)).

(8) If an NDEer needs help, guidance, or an escort during their NDE, they will encounter an Angel (Lundhal, 1992), or a Yamatoot (Murphy, in press). Long discussions are possible in which their concerns are dealt with.

(9) If an NDEer needs reassurance that it’s OK to be dead, they can see their deceased relatives and beloved friends. A joyful reunion with a beloved friend who have passed on may be just the thing to help them have positive affectual post mortem states of consciousness. One too young to have known anyone who has died, but you has lost a pet, can see the pet instead (Serdahely, 1989). If they have not lost a pet, they might see whatever comforts them; A toy for example (cf. Morse 1994, Pg. 62).

(10) If an NDEers life was marked by destructive behavior patterns, the affect of their life review may widen to include the effects of those behaviors on others (cf. Brinkley 1994 & Atwater, 1994, Pg.11).

This list of ‘rules of thumb’ should be taken as being both speculative and incomplete. Each item on the list could be regarded as an approximation of a real grammatical ‘axiom’ that influences the algorithmic progress of NDEs. Because NDE researchers haven’t been looking for them, it is not possible, at present, to state a real series of rules that will explain the functional connections between specific NDE episodes and their predisposing factors in all NDEs. Lundhal (1993) has been able to find a series of NDE rules, but these deal with likelihoods of NDE episodes, rather than their functional roles. In any case, it must be emphasized that the rules or axioms that govern NDEs will not be applicable so much to the experiences as they are to the states of consciousness that produce them.”

Because of the final quoted sentence, the research correlates to not only NDE’s, but also to meditative, “shamanic” experiences; psychedelic drug experiences; and most directly: the cycle of sleeping, dreaming, and waking. Murphy postulates that the fundamental analogical aspect of dreaming likely made it an instrumental part in the development of the brain’s temporal lobe, and by proxy played an equally large role into the spike in sociocultural development at this evolutionary point in history.

ReincarnationAnother correlation is found when looking into Dr. Rick Straussman’s clinical studies with N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, as well as the excretion of the chemical from the pineal gland of mammals during sleep cycles, heavily considered to play an integral role in dreaming. Preliminary studies also point to the brain’s release of DMT during the onset of the death experience. Murphy proposes that–whichever was the first catalyst of this chain event, the development of the brain’s temporal lobe came with the development of dreaming as a biological adaptation, which in turn produced the surge in sociocultural activity in ancient man. Supposing that reincarnation is as well a biological adaptation, it is postulated that it would have received development through the sameneurological development that corresponds to dreaming, and the sequence of events previously described.

Yet, if reincarnation could actually be a biological adaptation, then there is one crucial blockade in the synthesis of this idea: how could anyone gain a biological advantage from dying? It’s a fundamental fallacy when first approached, but ancient Eastern perspective provides basis for an empirical scientific hypothesis:

“…NDEs appeared in our species even though death prevents the breeding opportunities that select for positive traits. ‘Survival of the fittest’ cannot explain NDEs in our species, because nobody survives death… …rebirth is [theoretically] an adaptation which contributed to our survival at some point in the history of our species. If this is so, then the specific mechanisms by which rebirth operates must be the same for everyone, because we all share a common evolutionary ancestry. A simple, first statement about rebirth is that:Information which enables individuals to adapt is conserved at death, and passed on to other individuals still undergoing prenatal development elsewhere.

However, in order to entirely cover a working empirical explanation of reincarnation, one simply cannot leave out the two connected ideas of “Karma” during life and the “Life Review” after death. Now, the definition of karma in the east tends to vary slightly from ideology to ideology, but a definitive approximation of the law of karma can be described as such: Individual behaviors in one life can have an impact on following lives. “The theory of natural selection requires that the postulated death and rebirth process should have increased our chances for survival in some way. If so, then it seems reasonable to conclude that if behaviors in one life can influence those of another, that influence must tend to increase the adaptivity of our behavior,” (Murphy). To further stress the empirical approach to the process here, Murphy also states, “To say that rebirth is a mechanism to produce enlightened people is like saying that language is a mechanism for producing writing, as though language had no purpose before it was invented,” meaning that something like an enlightenment would be a byproduct and not a biological function. At least, not directly.

Murphy scientifically assesses karma in a person’s life as a “repertoire of brain states” that are either positively or negatively reinforced by the compounding of life experiences. Darwinism thus plays its role as a social mechanism with the development of the temporal lobe when it became increasingly valuable to easily, fluidly, and comfortably communicate with other human beings on a social level. Of course, this was not always so positively willed, as seen by the many social conquests of empires throughout history. This can also be postulated as being genetically maladaptive, however, when looking at it from a social standpoint instead of a primitive standpoint.

In any case, karma became a person’s cognitive portfolio of both adaptive and maladaptive social mechanisms that ultimately either hindered or helped them to pursue biological reproduction.

“A piece of computer software is the same whether it’s on a disk or actually being used in the system. The recorded behaviors are the same whether the records are in our brains or downloading to a next birth… The life review, we suggest, is the phenomenological manifestation of a state of consciousness which uses the effects of states of consciousness experienced in one’s lifetime to create suggestions for states that enable adaptive behavior during the next life, reinforcing culture-bound behavior and at the same time preparing to download them to a future birth.” -Murphy

ReincarnationIt should be stated that being culturally adaptive does not equate to “conforming to a social status-quo,” but rather is a matter of exploring one’s own inner social potentials, and thus exploring more cognitive and biological capacities within an individual and within the their social environment. “The life review can require an NDEer to re-examine everything they have ever done. Not as they remember their experiences, but as they actually happened. When they remember having done something adaptive, and recalling it induces positive affect, the correlative state is marked for repetition in their next life. If they’ve done something bad, and it makes them feel bad to remember it, the state is marked for suppression in their next life. Remembering that it’s our cultures that tell us what is good or bad, the possibility arises that (if our argument up to this point is accepted) life reviews sorts states according to how likely they are to generate culturally adaptive behavior. Perhaps the life review is usually concerned with behavior because behaviors are state-specific. States of consciousness cannot be viewed directly, but the behaviors that act them out can. Re-experiencing an event will include a recurrence of the state one was in at the time of the event, including its emotional content,” (Murphy).

The part that is much more philosophically speculative, while never forfeiting the scientific method, is Murphy’s theory that a reincarnating soul (since brainwaves are Hertz radio waves akin the Earth’s magnetic field) is an electrical signal; he further theorizes that this electrical signal could be considered as a “soliton” in modern physics. Taking the basic definition Wikipedia: “In mathematics and physics, a soliton is a self-reinforcing solitary wave (a wave packet or pulse) that maintains its shape while it propagates at a constant velocity. Solitons are caused by a cancellation of nonlinear and dispersive effects in the medium. (The term “dispersive effects” refers to a property of certain systems where the speed of the waves varies according to frequency). Solitons are the solutions of a widespread class of weakly nonlinear dispersive partial differential equations describing physical systems.” If a “soliton/soul” is absorbed by the Earth’s magnetic field while retaining its solitary informational structure, it would be a basic matter of physics (an electromagnetic attraction) between a wandering soliton and a prenatal fetus or perhaps even postnatal infant.

In a final assessment of the variety of data sets analyzed here: Ancient man‘s spike in sociocultural development directly correlates to the biological adaptation of the human brain’s cerebral cortex (temporal lobe), and the initiation of analogical thought with the incorporation of analogical process (dreaming) during physical recuperation (sleeping). While dreaming by proxy strengthened mankind’s social contexts and civilization development, it in turn served as a precursor to an after-death experience. Dreaming allowed for the analogical processing of karma, which is considered as a repertoire of brain states that have been positively or negatively reinforced due to social contexts of the individual, which is contingent on his success or failure in society.

Upon death, the human being experiences, through their own analogical process, what is described by experiencers as a Near Death Experience (more so in ancient societies as shamanic experiences, since modern science has only recently allowed for the capacity for NDE’s). This Death experience includes the Life Review, which is akin to a software engine that guides the soul through its experiences and extrapolates from it what is biological adaptive and maladaptive, in order to further the success of the soul in its future social developments. Enlightenment, from a biological standpoint, is a cognitive metaphysical “byproduct” of this socially adaptive process.

While this is truly an incredible theory, it still stands as such; but the cohesive line of information that this cross analysis of “neurotheology” thus far represents is truly astounding and intriguing, and deserves further development, consideration, and scientific studying. An afterthought to this concept challenges the reader to take this information beyond the confines of their “ego.” It is considered by Professor Murphy, and all ancient ideologies that believe in reincarnation, that while the cognitive “soul” does survive death, it survives as a repertoire of karmic brain states, and that it does not carry any individualized traits that would be considered as an “ego.” Instead, the individual characteristics of the ego represent the context of each soul’s life cycle.

The idea of reincarnation is one of the oldest theological beliefs of all humankind, but still the question remains: Is it a belief, or a matter or physics? The hypothesis at hand suggests it is a combination of both.

Source: http://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/anthony-tyler/reincarnation-as-a-biological-adaptation-to-natural-selection/

7 thoughts on “Reincarnation as a Biological Adaptation to Natural Selection

  1. neuro / theology

    neuro ..
    a) relating to the nerves or the nervous system.
    b) nerve, nerve tissue, nervous system.

    theology ..
    a) the study of the nature of God & religious beliefs.
    b) religious beliefs & theory when systematically developed.

    natural selection ..
    a) a process whereby organisms better adapt to their environment.
    b) the process by which forms of life .. having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures .. such as predators / changes in climate / competition for food & mates .. will tend to survive & reproduce in greater numbers .. than others of their kind .. thereby ensuring the perpetuation of those favorable traits .. in succeeding generations.

    * Madagascar & Galapagos Islands .. these isolated terrains shelter a diversity of plant & animal species, many found no where else on planet Earth.
    QUESTION:
    Is it perhaps diversity that allows & guarantees succeeding generations & not a perpetuation of the same old tried & true.
    I think that Charles Darwin got it Horribly Wrong .. science is about questioning everything & not playing along with the most popular story teller of the day.

    Compulsory Vaccination:
    Is the ideology behind compulsory vaccination of the population of planet Earth .. the belief that it will weed out the weak & cause the stronger traits of the human makeup to survive ?
    That a child who is damaged or killed by vaccination is to weak to exist & should be eradicated from the GENETIC POOL for the better outcome of mankind.
    The old NAZI Dream in play.

  2. Eugenics ..
    * is a set of beliefs & practices that aim on improving the genetic quality of the human population. Eugenics the Social Movement ..
    * is a movement claiming to improve the genetic features of the human population .. through selective breeding & sterilization .. based on the idea that it is possible to distinguish between superior & inferior elements of society.

    # @ .. The Term Eugenics & it’s Modern Field of Study Were First Formulated / the phrase was first coined .. by FRANCIS GALTON in 1883 .. DRAWING ON THE RECENT WORK OF HIS HALF COUSIN .. CHARLES DARWIN.
    It’s the same old story isn’t is .. first find the SOLUTION & then we will work the design of THE CAUSE.

  3. Reincarnation as an Axiom of Life.
    * a recycling of energy ?

    What kind of energy ?
    * there is a / the conscious .. individual .. is this a spirit type energy .. does spirit exist .. a soul then .. how about many aspects of one personality .. multiple personalities .. shapeshifters .. procession by parasites that add to ones character .. what if .. when conception is initiated so is the recycling process of cosmic energy’s to maximize the possibility & potential of the human to be = natural selection input & to minimize the energy stored in space / time = an / the uncluttering of the Hard Drive of the universe / matrix .. et, cetera / et, cetera / et cetera.

    * the physical .. the body
    I once saw the covered body of a man, who had been shot to death outside a brothel, up the street from where I lived. He wasn’t there, his body was like an empty thing, like a wooden chair .. & he was in the surrounding atmosphere, utilizing the people in the area to look at his former self .. conscious connection.
    So what is body energy & what happens to it when you die ?
    Is reincarnation the recycling of universal energy / a recycling of the energy exclusively from our solar system = local to energy ?

  4. If our relies are in heaven / limbo / prefatory / hell / hovering around us .. it’s all kinda full n’est pas !
    Squashed standing room only.

  5. And the above forward was written by the Dalai Lama himself .. gosh, golly gosh !

    What is spirit .. & therefore prayer is .. God listening to you babble the same old stuff that gazillions of others have babbled up into the sky for century’s .. stuff that was invented by man .. self appointed persons who God felt .. were worthy of a second of His time & He opened up to them .. & appointed them the slave masters of our minds .. well I never !

    Enlightenment .. my eldest daughter went off the rails in her early teens .. several years later she sorted her messy life, completed high school & moved on.
    Phew !
    One day I was in Elizabeth St .. a young lady in her mid 20’s approached me & asked for money .. she had a serious drug addiction .. I felt so bad, her poor parents must be so distressed .. I gave her some money .. later I thought that maybe I shouldn’t have .. the I felt I did not give her enough.
    I was acutely aware that standing before me was my daughter .. but for the grace of God & I was so grateful.
    Real honest enlightenment.

  6. He was sitting there with a folded news paper on the ground in front of him .. they only ever give them silver .. & they maintain a grateful & deserving look about themselves .. I looked in my purse .. I only has a $10 note & some coins left .. so I approached him & gave him the note .. Ha, gotcha !

  7. reincarnation ..

    “while the cognitive soul survives death”
    Q:
    * what is ‘the cognitive soul’ .. there is the conscious mind .. nothing to do with the soul & or spirit .. it allows man to operate on a normal conscious level in the mortal world.
    * the spirit.
    * the soul.
    * or are they one in the same.
    * but they are different from the conscious mind which functions neurologically in the scientific manner that the scientific fraternity deals with .. where the no bump in the night oddities happening here mind set operates.
    * so according to Professor Murphy .. there is the conscious mind & a soul is also acceptable now & it is the soul that transcends / it is delivered into the new fetus .. to be born again in another body .. to live a new life .. as another human being .. the soul being an intact & individual entity / a being made up of “energy ?” & it will forget all that has been before & start from scratch.

    I hope I have grasped Professor Murphy’s concepts correctly.

    What I see is is energy .. being used & reused & reused.
    Energy:
    * the capacity of power to do work, such as the capacity to move an object, of a given mass, by the application of force. Energy can exist in a variety of forms, such as electrical, chemical. mechanical, thermal or nuclear ..
    * In physics energy is a property of objects that can be transferred to other objects .. or converted into other forms .. but never created or destroyed.
    * energy .. the physical or mental strength that allows you to do things.

    Nikola Tesla .. if you want to find the secrets of the universe think energy, frequency & vibration. The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply & be quite insane.

    Q: what is a cognitive soul ?
    [cognitive .. of or relating to the mental process of perception, memory, judgement & reasoning .. as contrast with emotional & volitional processes.]
    Doesn’t a soul have emotions & desires for your development ?
    So a cognitive soul & a spirit = 2 .. let’s throw in a few inherited shape shifters here = aspects of your personality .. a familial inheritance perhaps ..
    Sorry but I don’t think that a body & a soul is all that we are.

    Physics .. when you burn down a house .. the house has gone .. right ?
    No ..
    When you burn your house down the energy that was that house still exists & in the exact same quantity .. only in a different form.

    Thank you Professor Murphy for your .. conservatively .. politically .. correct .. interesting findings & theories .. nothing that we didn’t know already, mind & I’m glad to see that the scientific community is finally ready .. albeit at the 11th hour .. to move forward an inch at a time into the future.
    The FBI have Dr. Who & his Tardis .. time & space travel you know .. alas.

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