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Post 511468 posted on 11-2-2018 at 14:00
Death, what scientists are saying now
Over the last few years, though, scientists have seen repeated evidence that once you die, your brain cells take days, potentially longer, to reach
the point past which they’ve degraded too far to ever be viable again. This does not mean you're not dead; you are dead. Your brain cells, however,
may not be.
“What’s fascinating is that there is a time, only after you and I die, that the cells inside our bodies start to gradually go toward their own
process of death,” Dr. Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at New York University Langone Medical Center, told
Newsweek. “I’m not saying the brain still works, or any part of you still works once you’ve died. But the cells don’t instantly switch from
alive to dead. Actually, the cells are much more resilient to the heart stopping—to the person dying—than we used to understand.”
Scientists working on human cadavers have from time to time observed genes that are active after death, according to University of Washington
microbiology professor Peter Noble. For a 2017 study published in Open Biology, Noble and his colleagues tested mice and zebrafish and found not just
a handful, but a combined total of 1,063 genes that remained active, in some cases for up to four days after the subject had died. Not only did their
activity not dissipate—it spiked.
“We didn’t anticipate that,” Noble told Newsweek. “Can you imagine, 24 hours after [time of death] you take a sample and the transcripts of
the genes are actually increasing in abundance? That was a surprise.”
Quite a few of these are developmental genes, Noble said, raising the fascinating and slightly disturbing possibility that in the period immediately
following death, our bodies start reverting to the cellular conditions that were present when we were embryos...
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Post 511475 posted on 11-2-2018 at 20:59
Parnia's research has shown that people who survive medical death frequently report experiences that share similar themes:
bright lights; benevolent guiding figures; relief from physical pain and a deeply felt sensation of peace. Because those experiences are subjective,
it's possible to chalk them up to hallucinations. Where that explanation fails, though, is among the patients who have died on an operating table or
crash cart and reported watching—from a corner of the room, from above—as doctors tried to save them, accounts subsequently verified by the (very
perplexed) doctors themselves.
How these patients were able to describe objective events that took place while they were dead, we're not exactly sure, just as we're not exactly
sure why certain parts of us appear to withstand death even as it takes hold of everything else. But it does seem to suggest that when our brains and
bodies die, our consciousness may not, or at least not right away.
The Christian Scriptures have taught that humans have soul and spirit (I hold that these are two ways of describing an immaterial aspect of a person,
emphasizing different characteristics.) I think that this gives us additional and better information. Science does not give us a complete picture.
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