Ugh, it seems you've either ignored, or didn't understand, my writings from earlier.
Science has no attitude for or against anything. Science is a method, a practice, of acquiring knowledge. If there is nothing to be evaluated on a particular topic through the scientific method, one does not call it science. Science isn't avoiding the life after death question, it just has nothing to evaluate at the moment which can be extrapolated to a scientific model.
Beg to differ, I am not ignoring it, nor misunderstanding it, in fact as I said, I agree with you in many respects. But the case of Ian Stevenson's evidence of "children who recall their past lives" is compelling. There are cases where children remembered their previous names, occupations, names of family members, numerous features of the landscape around where they lived, and in some cases the circumstances in which they died. These are also supported, somewhat eerily, but birthmarks corresponding to places where injuries were received in the previous existence. In these cases, Stevenson was able to verify that there was such a person, living at such a place, who died in those circumstances, and so on. As mentioned previously, he has over 100 such cases, and discarded many others which he felt could not be validated. He went to a lot of trouble to eliminate auto-suggestion, fraud, psychoses, and other possible causes. He still ended up with indisputable evidence of children who remembered details from a former life. He never said this 'proved that re-incarnation occurs'. The most he would say was that it 'suggests' it.
(I am not going to reproduce all the details here, books on and by Stevenson are in wide circulation, the most accessible is Old Souls
, by Thomas Shroder, a journalist.)
Now, as to the point about 'science' again. Most scientists will, and did, dismiss Stevenson out of hand. This is not a statement of prejudice on my part, or a demonstration of my ignorance about 'the scientific method' or anything else. It is a simple statement of fact. Throughout his career, he was ignored by most other academics and scientists in cognate areas of research. Some of them tried to disprove his claims, but most simply ignored him.
And it is a fact that many people who consider themselves 'scientific' will not consider the evidence for such things as rebirth, parapsychology, and the like, on the basis that even to consider these phenomena is a sign of superstition or gullibility. There is an entire industry of 'professional sceptics' whose whole effort is aimed at disproving, debunking, shooting down or otherwise undermining any evidence that anything 'paranormal' has ever, or could ever, occur.
I can cite three texts, The Conscious Universe
, by Dean Radin, Irreducible Mind
, by Kelly, and Parapshychology and the Sceptics
, by Chris Carter, which in my view definitely prove the existence of paranormal phenomena. The last one in particular documents in exquisite detail the lengths to which conservative scientists will go to debunk anything which threatens their essentially materialist depiction of nature. There is an excerpt here
if you wish to peruse it.
So don't get all righteous about the supreme objectivity of science and how it is beyond all such things as human prejudices and the like, because it is practised by humans, and developed by humans, and very much subject to human attitudes and interpretations. And generally speaking, science will not admit the existence of the paranormal. It has a big investment in the idea that the normal is real, and that there ain't no other reality. 'Cosmos' said Sagan 'is all there is'. And nearly every scientist would agree with him.
---------- Post added 09-26-2009 at 09:11 AM ----------
Actually I take back something I wrote there, but rather than edit it out, I will withdraw it. I don't think any of these books 'definitely prove the existence of the paranormal'. They, like Stevenson, do suggest it. And I don't really have a big stake in whether there are such phenomena, or not. But to say that the scientific establishment is disinterested in such questions, in the true sense of 'disinterest', is, I feel, a misrepresentation.