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Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect Paperback – 21 May 1997

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (21 May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275951898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275951894
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 514,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Ian Stevenson is the foremost researcher on reincarnation in this country and, indeed, the world....No one who studies his work can fail to be impressed with the carefulness of his fact-finding and evidence gathering and with the honesty and candor of his conclusions....If you are interested in the evidence for reincarnation, buy this book. For those cases which particularly fascinate you, you will want to examine their details in Reincarnation and Biology."-Spiritual Frontiers

"This amazing book provides a synopsis of the multivolume series of books that Stevenson published over a course of nearly four decades....This book is of general interest and useful for undergraduate and public library collections."-The X Factor

"Dr Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia, US, has run a thorough investigation into the umerous claims of babies born bearing the scars received in former lives. Mnay of his findings are documented in the 1997 book Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect."-Religious Studies Review

"Dr. Ian Stevenson, a distinguished scholar and professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia has written a highly intriguing book about his experiences around the world that support the idea that birth marks and other skin lesions and abnormalities may provide evidence of cutaneous injuries sustained in a previous life, thus supporting the notion of reincarnation."-Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science

?This amazing book provides a synopsis of the multivolume series of books that Stevenson published over a course of nearly four decades....This book is of general interest and useful for undergraduate and public library collections.?-The X Factor

?Dr Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia, US, has run a thorough investigation into the umerous claims of babies born bearing the scars received in former lives. Mnay of his findings are documented in the 1997 book Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect.?-Religious Studies Review

?Dr. Ian Stevenson, a distinguished scholar and professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia has written a highly intriguing book about his experiences around the world that support the idea that birth marks and other skin lesions and abnormalities may provide evidence of cutaneous injuries sustained in a previous life, thus supporting the notion of reincarnation.?-Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science

?Ian Stevenson is the foremost researcher on reincarnation in this country and, indeed, the world....No one who studies his work can fail to be impressed with the carefulness of his fact-finding and evidence gathering and with the honesty and candor of his conclusions....If you are interested in the evidence for reincarnation, buy this book. For those cases which particularly fascinate you, you will want to examine their details in Reincarnation and Biology.?-Spiritual Frontiers

About the Author

IAN STEVENSON is Carlson Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Personality Studies at the Health Sciences Center, University of Virginia. He has published nine books on his research since 1966, two of which have been translated into French, German, and Japanese.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this book Dr Stevenson draws on material from his many years of investigation of children who claim memories predating their birth. His thesis is that many birth defects and birth marks can be explained by the fact that the individuals concerned in the survey have had lived previously. As is typical of Dr Stevenson's books this work is well constructed and argued. He is meticulous in both the gathering of his information and the presentation of his material, and the facts of the cases concerned are laid out in order that the reader may make up their own mind on the issues that he raises. I would not hesitate to recomend this book to anyone with a serous interest in this phenomenon as it is not at all new age or airey fairey. Dr Stevenson is attempting to put forward a serious scientific hypothesis to cover the information that he has gathered.
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Fascinating read, for Buddhists, Hindus, and others wondering whether to take the concept of reincarnation literally I would suggest that this is essential reading. For those that ridicule the idea of reincarnation, or those that entertain the idea, but fear ridicule, this book may answer questions in unexpected ways, as well as raising a few more. For those dogmatically opposed to the ideas, you had better bone up on your arguments.
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Format: Paperback
In his book "Reincarnation--A Critical Examination (1996/2002)," the late Paul Edwards quoted Charles Darwin, together with other three well-known scholars, saying "To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact." Hence, Edwards tried to kill his supposed an error, i.e., the idea of reincarnation, in particular, the scientific lifework on "Reincarnation" by the late Professor Ian Stevenson. In the last pages he quoted Stevenson's testimony in a BBC program (in 1976); let me quote the part:
Professors Cohen and Taylor regarded the notion of extra-cerebral memories as totally absurd. Professor Stevenson vehemently disagreed. "Memories may exist in the brain," he said, "and exist elsewhere also." The best evidence that they may exist elsewhere, Stevenson continued, comes from his own reincarnation research. On the question of the "storage" of memories he remarked that there "might be a nonphysical process of storage." The memories "might be in some dimension...which cannot be understood in terms of current physical concepts."

In the last chapter of his book Stevenson wrote "In saying this I declare myself an adherent of interactionist dualism." And Cartesian dualism is a notorious idea from the viewpoint of mainstream science as well as mainstream philosophy because the idea supposes the mind exists in a nonphysical dimension (probably, as well as in physical dimension during life, if not detectable physically). The nonphysical dimension for the mind is the problem because it "cannot be understood in terms of current physical concepts," as Stevenson stated. The supposed interaction between the mind and body may violate the cherished "empirical" physical law of conservation of energy.
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I've read Ian's other book, European Cases of the Reincarnation Type, which contains research that in my opinion doesn't support the idea of reincarnation, but does support a more plausible telepathic explanation for this type of phenomena.

The evidence provided in this book, which attempts to connect childhood memories of past experiences containing strong emotional content with actual wounds and injuries suffered by the deceased is very very weak...

The other book I mentioned is at least useful, insofar as it closes the door to a `reincarnation' explanation of this type of phenomena for me. This book however take the reincarnation idea a step too far... turning it into a work of pure fantasy, and self-delusion by the author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x926416cc) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
140 of 140 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x902b6fb4) out of 5 stars Another winner from Dr. Stevenson 27 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is basically the "Reader's Digest" version of a much longer, more technical work. Thus, the descriptions of some of the cases are very sketchy. Nevertheless, Stevenson's reputation is impeccable after something like 40 years in this field, and you can be pretty confident that he isn't seriously skewing the facts. He seems to be more up-front than in earlier works in acknowledging that reincarnation is really the only plausible explanation for many of these cases. The book focuses primarily on cases where birthmarks and other physical anomalies match up with injuries suffered in the prior life. The book is well-illustrated with photographs, and some of the cases are truly weird. Put this book together with something like his Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, and your theology will be sorely challenged if it denies the reality of reincarnation.
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9079a5d0) out of 5 stars Reincarnation enters academia 14 Jun. 2002
By Roar Bjonnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ian Stevensons book is a superb scientific exploration into the generally more esoteric realm of reincarnation. He has collected over 2600 reported cases of past-life memories of which 65 detailed reports have been published. It is correct, as one reviewer claims, that these reported cases are primarily from Buddhist, Hindu, African or Native American cultures where such phenomenons are more widely accepted than in the West. But this is natural, says Stevenson, as these cultures more openly will allow a child to speak about a previous life without being disbelieved or rebuked as they may be in the Christian West. Young children are very impressionable and will generally suppress whatever his or her parent or the culture does not permit them to believe in. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that there will be more such claims in these non-Western cultures to conduct such studies. One cannot accuse Stevenson of not following a scientific approach (instrumental injunction, direct apprehension, communal confirmation), his book brims with extremly detailed reports from children whose memories have been carefully collected and matched with the data of their former identity, profession, residence, and the way they died. If this is not believable science, what is? If reincarnation is a new concept to you, read and judge for yourself. If you already believe in reincarnation, read and get more rational reason to state your case.
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90c36ed0) out of 5 stars A mix of good and bad stuff 5 Jun. 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is definitely NOT the best book from dr. Ian Stevenson. The author has lost his skepticism and most of his scientific impartiality. The majority of cases included in this book lacks strong evidence sugestive of reincarnation, with the exception of a few very good cases. Because of these good cases, the book is still worth its value, but overall it is not a great work. "Children who remember previous lives" is a much better book from the same author.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x907601d4) out of 5 stars Why is the idea of reincarnation still seen skeptical despite such a huge weight of evidence? 1 Oct. 2011
By Masayoshi Ishida - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In his book "Reincarnation--A Critical Examination (1996/2002)," the late Paul Edwards quoted Charles Darwin, together with other three well-known scholars, saying "To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact." Hence, Edwards tried to kill his supposed an error, i.e., the idea of reincarnation, in particular, the scientific lifework on "Reincarnation" by the late Professor Ian Stevenson. In the last pages he quoted Stevenson's testimony in a BBC program (in 1976); let me quote the part:
Professors Cohen and Taylor regarded the notion of extra-cerebral memories as totally absurd. Professor Stevenson vehemently disagreed. "Memories may exist in the brain," he said, "and exist elsewhere also." The best evidence that they may exist elsewhere, Stevenson continued, comes from his own reincarnation research. On the question of the "storage" of memories he remarked that there "might be a nonphysical process of storage." The memories "might be in some dimension...which cannot be understood in terms of current physical concepts."

In the last chapter of his book Stevenson wrote "In saying this I declare myself an adherent of interactionist dualism." And Cartesian dualism is a notorious idea from the viewpoint of mainstream science as well as mainstream philosophy because the idea supposes the mind exists in a nonphysical dimension (probably, as well as in physical dimension during life, if not detectable physically). The nonphysical dimension for the mind is the problem because it "cannot be understood in terms of current physical concepts," as Stevenson stated. The supposed interaction between the mind and body may violate the cherished "empirical" physical law of conservation of energy. This violation is one of the bases of Daniel Dennett's rejection of Cartesian dualism. Why hasn't any dualist tried to demonstrate the violation to justify his/her being a dualist?? Even the late parapsychologist John Beloff tried to explain a PK (psychokinesis), the table-levitation performed by the medium D.D. Home, without violating the law of conservation of energy! This weak attitude of researches of paranormal phenomena has been one of the reasons to keep skeptics saying what they want to say against any paranormal phenomena claimed by parapsychologists.
And, in my opinion, the cherished law was violated a long time ago in 1907 in the weighing the soul experiment conducted by Dr. Duncan MacDougall. One may say: the 21 g of the soul MacDougall reported in his paper is a result of his wishful thinking, as the physics professor Robert L. Park criticized in his book "Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science (2008)." As a matter of fact no scientists, including Stevenson or any parapsychologists, have ever referred to MacDougall's paper in their relevant research papers or books (though if I should be more precise, there are a few).
It is true that MacDougall's paper has been ignored for the past 100 years in scientific community. But this does not mean that his experiment is wrong; it simply means that no other scientist has conducted an independent experiment to verify or refute MacDougall's result, and this simply shows the negligence of scientists' obligation! If they believe MacDougall being wrong, they should show it by conducting an independent experiment. An irritated author, Dan Brown, fictionalizes in his recent book, "Lost Symbol," a noetic experiment of weighing the soul, though his writing in the book (in chap. 107) is scientifically completely wrong.
Hence, I would like to refer to a scientific paper recently published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration in the 2010 Spring Issue, Vol.24/No.1/pp.5-39: "Rebuttal to Claimed Refutations of Duncan MacDougall's Experiment on Human Weight Change at the Moment of Death." (This Vol.24/No.1 is available from amazon.com.) This paper's conclusion is that (1) MacDougall's experimental results (of the four cases) are scientifically very much sound (this is confirmed based on theoretical computational simulations of the experiment to rebut existing scientific criticisms), (2) however, his result must be confirmed by some independent experiments by other scientists to eliminate any possible systematic errors, (3) if confirmed, this means that the cherished law of physics, the conservation of energy, is violated in human's Life-to-Death transitions if we confine ourselves in physical dimension and Stevenson's claim of "nonphysical process of memory storage" shall be justified, and (4) this type of the law's violation will not be rare but rather common in some psychological transition events (such as in OBE, dreams, trance channeling, alternating of personalities in MPD/DID patients), which most physicists are reluctant to consider seriously because of the involvement of human beings, who sometimes cannot be trusted in scientific experiments as a participant.
Finally I would like to say because of my being a non-materialist that I do not subscribe to Cartesian dualism, because modern dualism presupposes the Big Bang theory & the Darwinian theory of evolution in the physical dimension, even if it accepts the mind in the nonphysical dimension. I rather subscribe to the mental monism: Consciousness comes first, not the last as current science supposes!
<Added comment on 5 Oct. 2011>
In the final chapter (on p. 182), Stevenson wrote about how a rebirthing personality to select his/her parents. He wrote, for example, "In addition, we have seen in many cases that a previous personality had strong ties of affection to the subject's parents." Stevenson, naturally, never speculated about such a case that no previous personality selected an embryo prepared by a pair of parents.
According to Wikipedia for the entry "Stillbirth": "The causes of a large percentage of human stillbirths remain unknown...." "The mean stillbirth rate in the United States is approximately 1 in 115 births,...Many stillbirths occur at full-term to apparently healthy mothers, and a postmortem evaluation reveals a cause of death in only about 40% of autopsied cases." Certain psychical knowledge (which is referred to in the abovementioned paper in the Journal of Scientific Exploration) tells that if no soul/personality enters into the embryo until full-term, then results in a stillbirth.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x903e6258) out of 5 stars Very dry and clinical but a compelling case 25 Aug. 2009
By Healer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a book I would expect to read in one sitting. The author approaches the subject very clinically which makes it more credible, but a little dry. He has included photographs to support his material. Very convincing. An interesting read
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