Nobel Prize Winning Scientists:
More Eminent Researchers:
Below is a list of Nobel prize winning scientists and others among the greatest minds in the world who believed in some type of paranormal phenomenon. They held these beliefs not out of religious faith but because of their own research, the research of others, or their own experiences. Their beliefs, and in many cases, the reasons for their beliefs, are provided and links are included for additional information.
Some atheists and pseudoskeptics will say that science has removed the need for God as an explanation for the existence of the natural world. The quotes here demonstrate that many of the greatest scientific minds believe just the opposite, that the scientific evidence is best explained by the existence of an intelligent designer of the universe.
Some of the Nobel prize winners in the list include: Max Planck the founder of quantum mechanics who believed that matter is derived from consciousness and therefore the mind cannot be produced by the brain. Erwin Schrödinger also held this belief. Wolfgang Pauli believed he had psychokinetic powers that he could not control. Otto Stern banned Pauli from entering his lab to prevent Pauli's powers from damaging his experimental apparatus. Pierre Curie and Marie Curie are also included in the list. Marie Curie was the first woman awarded a Nobel prize and was the first person awarded two Nobel prizes. Arno Penzias believed his research in astronomy showed the the universe was the result of a supernatural plan. Charles Townes believed the fact that science could not explain the origin of the universe implied the existence of God. Albert Einstein believed that natural laws were designed by an intelligence. Charles Darwin (not a Nobel prize winner) also held this belief. Many other great minds although not Nobel prize winners are also on the list including: Kurt Gödel who believed that a human is non-physical spirit connected to a physical body. Alan Turing believed in ESP. Karl Popper believed in dualism the philosophy that the mind is non-material. Robert Boyle the father of modern chemistry and founder of the Royal Society of London believed in spiritual healing based on his own investigations into the phenomenon.
Information on more Nobel prize winning scientists and other great minds can be found below...
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (23 April 1858 – 4 October 1947) was one of the most important German physicists of the late 19th and early 20th century, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918; he is considered to be the founder of quantum theory.
Planck, based on his studies of atoms, did not believe that consciousness is derived from matter. He did not believe that the brain produces consciousness. He believed that matter is derived from consciousness. He said:
I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. As quoted in The Observer (25 January 1931)
As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
Wolfgang Pauli, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1945, was one of the pioneers of quantum physics. He believed in psychokinesis - that a person could influence material objects by means unknown to mainstream science. He believed he manifested this power by damaging experimental equipment. This phenomenon was called the Pauli Effect. Pauli also believed in synchronicity and that parapsychology was not pseudo-science but worthy of study. He believed that some psychic contents survive personal ego and can effect other living people.
Since the 20th century, the work of physics research has been divided between theorists and experimentalists (see scientific method). Only a few physicists, such as Enrico Fermi, have been successful in both roles. Lacking an aptitude or interest in experimental work, many theorists have earned a reputation for accidentally breaking experimental equipment. Pauli was exceptional in this regard: it was said that he was such a good theorist that any experiments would self-destruct simply because he was in the vicinity. For fear of the Pauli effect, the experimental physicist Otto Stern banned Pauli from his laboratory in Hamburg despite their friendship.
The Pauli effect, if it were real, would be classified as a "macro-psychokinetic" phenomenon. Wolfgang Pauli was convinced that the effect named after him was real. As Pauli considered parapsychology worthy of serious investigation, this would fit with his thinking; to this end, Pauli corresponded with Hans Bender and Carl Jung on the concept of Synchronicity.
Wikiquote gives this quote from Pauli that reveals he believed psychic contents survive personal ego and can effect other living people:
Although I have no objection to accepting the existence of relatively constant psychic contents that survive personal ego, it must always be born in mind that we have no way of knowing what these contents are actually like "as such." All we can observe is their effect on other living people, whose spiritual level and whose personal unconscious crucially influence the way these contents actually manifest themselves.
"Modern Examples of Background Physics" ["Moderne Beispiele zur Hintergrundsphysik"] (1948) as translated by David Roscoe in Atom and Archetype (1992) edited by Carl Alfred Meier
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
Erwin Schrödinger received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. He believed consciousness was not produced by the brain and could not be explained in physical terms.
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger ( 12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961) was an Austrian born physicist and theoretical biologist who was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, and is famed for a number of important contributions to physics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. In 1935 he proposed the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment.
"Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else."
Other quotes by Schrödinger:
The observing mind is not a physical system, it cannot interact with any physical system. And it might be better to reserve the term "subject" for the observing mind. ... For the subject, if anything, is the thing that senses and thinks. Sensations and thoughts do not belong to the "world of energy."
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.
There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousnesses. Their multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind.
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
Werner Karl Heisenberg (5 December 1901 - 1 February 1976) was a German theoretical physicist and one of the key creators of quantum mechanics. ... Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1932 "for the creation of quantum mechanics".
Heisenberg thought that belief in God is a natural result of studying science. He said:
The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist and violinist. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation"), he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory.
Einstein is often mistakenly identified as an atheist. The confusion comes from the fact that he did not believe in a personal god. But, because of his experiences studying nature during his career as a scientist, Einstein believed that natural laws were designed by an intelligence.
These quotes by Einstein from Wikiquote explain his beliefs:
I believe in Spinoza's God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.
This next quote shows that Einstein's beliefs were not merely based on faith but were shaped by his experiences working as a scientist.
On the other hand, however, every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.
Did Einstein Believe in God? by John Marsh provides a very detailed discussion demonstrating the fact that Einstein believed in God. Marsh writes:
To sum up: Einstein was – like Newton before him – deeply religious and a firm believer in a transcendent God.
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
Guglielmo Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi (... 25 April 1874 - 20 July 1937) was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission... Marconi ... shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun "in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy". (Wikipedia)
Marconi believed that studying nature and working in science led to the belief that the universe was created.
The more I work with the powers of Nature, the more I feel God’s benevolence to man; the closer I am to the great truth that everything is dependent on the Eternal Creator and Sustainer; the more I feel that the so-called science, I am occupied with, is nothing but an expression of the Supreme Will, which aims at bringing people closer to each other in order to help them better understand and improve themselves. (Quotes about God...)
J. J. Thomson
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
Sir Joseph John "J. J." Thomson, OM, FRS (18 December 1856 – 30 August 1940) was a British physicist. He is credited with discovering electrons and isotopes, and inventing the mass spectrometer. Thomson was awarded the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the electron and for his work on the conduction of electricity in gases.
J. J. Thomson believed in psychic phenomena and was a member of the Governing Council of the Society for Psychical Research for 34 years. (Source: Entangled Minds by Dean Radin)
Brian D. Josephson
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
Brian David Josephson (born Cardiff, Wales, UK, 4 January 1940) is a British physicist whose discovery of the Josephson effect ... won him the 1973 Nobel Prize for Physics ... [H]e is the head of the mind-matter unification project in the Theory of Condensed Matter research group.
Josephson's is one of the more well-known scientists who believe that parapsychological phenomena may be real...
In http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~bdj10/psi/tucson.html he writes:
"What are the implications for science of the fact that psychic functioning appears to be a real effect? These phenomena seem mysterious, but no more mysterious perhaps than strange phenomena of the past which science has now happily incorporated within its scope."
His web site has links to many articles discussing the validity of psychic phenomena:
Brian Josephson also believed that the universe was created through the action of intelligence. The following is an abstract from a talk given by Josephson:
I shall argue for an explanation involving the idea that a more elementary form of life, not dependent on matter, existed prior to the big bang, and evolved at the level of ideas in the same way that human societies evolve at the level of ideas. Just as human society discovered how to use matter in a range of technological applications, the hypothesised life before the big bang discovered how to organise energy to make physical universes, and to make fruitful use of the matter available in such universes.
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
William Daniel Phillips (born November 5, 1948) is a Nobel Prize award winning, American physicist. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics, in 1997, with Steven Chu and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji. (Wikipedia)
William Phillips believed the that evidence of natural laws and the fine-tuning of the universe is evidence that the universe was created.
I believe that the observations about the orderliness of the physical universe, and the apparently exceptional fine-tuning of the conditions of the universe for the development of life suggest that an intelligent Creator is responsible. (A Hitch in the Giddy-Up)
(Nobel Prize for Chemistry)
Richard Errett Smalley (June 6, 1943 - October 28, 2005)... In 1996, along with Robert Curl, ... and Harold Kroto, ... he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of a new form of carbon, buckminsterfullerene ("buckyballs") ... (Wikepedia)
Smalley believed the fine-tuning of the universe is scientific evidence that the universe was designed and created by God.
... God did create the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, and of necessity has involved Himself with His creation ever since. The purpose of this universe is something that only God knows for sure, but it is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned to enable human life. ... Wikiquote.
(Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine)
Sir Ernst Boris Chain, FRS (19 June 1906 - 12 August 1979) was a German-born British biochemist, and a 1945 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on penicillin. (Wikipedia)
Chain did not believe that life arose naturally because it would be impossible due to the laws of chemistry. He believed the existence of life is better explained by the action of God.
(The excerpts about Chain below are from 50 Nobel Laureates and Other Great Scientists who Believe in God by Tihomir Dimitrov.)
Concerning the Materialistic theory of evolution Ernst Chain ... states:
I would rather believe in fairies than in such wild speculation.
I have said for years that speculations about the origin of life lead to no useful purpose as even the simplest living system is far too complex to be understood in terms of the extremely primitive chemistry scientists have used in their attempts to explain the unexplainable that happened billions of years ago. God cannot be explained away by such naive thoughts.”
Chain also did not believe in natural evolution. He recognized it was based on assumptions and was not a scientific theory.
Only one theory has been advanced to make an attempt to understand the development of life - the Darwin-Wallace theory of evolution. And a very feeble attempt it is, based on such flimsy assumptions, mainly of morphological-anatomical nature that it can hardly be called a theory.
Chain thought the theory of "natural selection" explained nothing. He thought that "survival of the fittest" was a statement of an obvious fact and was lacking substance and therefore was not a scientific theory. He also believed that something more was necessary because development of individual organisms and evolution of species demonstrated purposefulness (teleology) that could not be explained by natural factors.
Concerning the Darwin-Wallace theory of evolution Chain wrote:
It is, of course, nothing but a truism, and not a scientific theory, to say that living systems do not survive if they are not fit to survive.
To postulate, as the positivists of the end of the 19th century and their followers here have done, that the development and survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence of chance mutations, or even that nature carries out experiments by trial and error through mutations in order to create living systems better fitted to survive, seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts.
This hypothesis willfully neglects the principle of teleological purpose which stares the biologist in the face wherever he looks, whether he be engaged in the study of different organs in one organism, or even of different subcellular compartments in relation to each other in a single cell, or whether he studies the interrelation and interactions of various species.
These classical evolutionary theories are a gross oversimplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they were swallowed so uncritically and readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without a murmur of protest.
Charles Robert Richet
(Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine)
Charles Robert Richet: 1850-1925. Pioneer psychical researcher, honored professor of physiology at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris, and winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
He conducted experiments with a number of different mediums including Franek Kluski, Jan Guzyk, and Stephen Ossowiecki, both in Paris and Warsaw.
In his book Thirty Years of Psychical Research Richet explained that he started out as a skeptic:
Movement without contact, clairvoyance, phantoms, and premonitions are so very unusual that when we first hear of them we are inclined to laugh at them. Till we have studied them we laugh and deny. This was my state of mind for a very long time...
However, while conducting in his own research, he observed the evidence proving what he called four fundamental facts of metapsychics: cryptesthesia (his term for the phenomena of mediumship), telekinesis, ectoplasm, and premonitions. He wrote:
1. There is in us a faculty of cognition that differs radically from the usual sensorial faculties (Cryptesthesia).
2. There are, even in full light, movements of objects without contact (Telekinesis).
3. Hands, bodies, and objects seem to take shape in their entirety from a cloud and take all the semblance of life (Ectoplasms).
4. There occur premonitions that can be explained neither by chance nor perspicacity, and are sometimes verified in minute detail.
Such are my firm and explicit conclusions.
John William Strutt
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (12 November 1842 – 30 June 1919) was an English physicist who (with William Ramsay) discovered the element argon, an achievement that earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904. He also discovered the phenomenon now called Rayleigh scattering and predicted the existence of the surface waves now known as Rayleigh waves.
...[He] was president of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), London, 1919. ... Lord Rayleigh became interested in psychical research after reading about the investigations of his colleague Sir William Crookes.
From the article on Lord Rayleigh at the International Survivalists Society web site:
... "I have seen enough to convince me that those are wrong who wish to prevent investigation by casting ridicule on those who may feel inclined to engage in it." ...
(Nobel Prize for Physics and Nobel Prize for Chemistry)
Marie Curie was the first woman awarded a Nobel prize and she was the first person to be awarded two Nobel Prizes.
According to Wikipedia...
Her achievements include the creation of a theory of radioactivity (a term coined by her), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two new elements, polonium and radium. It was also under her personal direction that the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms (cancers), using radioactive isotopes.
Marie Curie participated in experiments with the medium Eusapia Palladino.
According to the "Occultism & Parapsychology Encyclopedia"...
The Institut Général Psychologique of Paris carried on extensive experiments in 43 sittings from 1905 to 1907. Pierre and Marie Curie were among the investigators. ... The Curies regarded mediumistic séances as "scientific experiments" and took detailed notes. According to historian Anna Hurwic, they thought it possible to discover in spiritualism the source of an unknown energy that would reveal the secret of radioactivity.
(Nobel Prize for Physics)
Pierre Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903. According to Wikipedia:
Pierre Curie (15 May 1859 – 19 April 1906) was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity, and Nobel laureate. In 1903 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics with his wife, Maria Sklodowska-Curie, and Henri Becquerel, "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel."
According to the "Occultism & Parapsychology Encyclopedia"...
On July 24, 1905, Pierre Curie reported to his friend Gouy: "We have had a series of séances with Eusapia Palladino at the [Society for Psychical Research]."
It was very interesting, and really the phenomena that we saw appeared inexplicable as trickery—tables raised from all four legs, movement of objects from a distance, hands that pinch or caress you, luminous apparitions. All in a [setting] prepared by us with a small number of spectators all known to us and without a possible accomplice. The only trick possible is that which could result from an extraordinary facility of the medium as a magician. But how do you explain the phenomena when one is holding her hands and feet and when the light is sufficient so that one can see everything that happens?
(Nobel Prize in Physics)
Eugene Wigner shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963. He believed that materialism is not consistent with quantum mechanics.
The Wikipedia article on Wigner says:
Eugene Paul "E. P." Wigner (November 17, 1902 - January 1, 1995) FRS was a Hungarian American theoretical physicist and mathematician.
He received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 "for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles"...
Near the end of his life, Wigner's thoughts turned more philosophical. In his memoirs, Wigner said: "The full meaning of life, the collective meaning of all human desires, is fundamentally a mystery beyond our grasp. As a young man, I chafed at this state of affairs. But by now I have made peace with it. I even feel a certain honor to be associated with such a mystery." He became interested in the Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism, particularly its ideas of the universe as an all pervading consciousness. In his collection of essays Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays, he commented "It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness."
Wigner also conceived the Wigner's friend thought experiment in physics, which is an extension of the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment. The Wigner's friend experiment asks the question: "At what stage does a 'measurement' take place?" Wigner designed the experiment to highlight how he believed that consciousness is necessary to the quantum-mechanical measurement processes.
Sir John Eccles
(Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine)
Sir John Eccles was a neurophysiologist who won the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1963 for his work on the synapse. He did not believe that the brain produces consciousness. In Evolution of the Brain: Creation of the Self (1989) he wrote:
I maintain that the human mystery is incredibly demeaned by scientific reductionism, with its claim in promissory materialism to account eventually for all of the spiritual world in terms of patterns of neuronal activity. This belief must be classed as a superstition ... we have to recognize that we are spiritual beings with souls existing in a spiritual world as well as material beings with bodies and brains existing in a material world.
Otto Stern won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1943. He believed in psychokinesis in the form of the Pauli Effect. Stern banned physicist Wolfgang Pauli from entering his laboratory because he believed Pauli could damage experimental equipment merely by being present in the lab. (Also see Wolfgang Pauli, above).
(Nobel Prize in Physics)
Arno Allan Penzias (born 26 April 1933) is an American physicist, radio astronomer and Nobel laureate in physics who is co-discoverer of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which helped establish the Big Bang theory of cosmology.
Arno Penzias believed that his research in astronomy showed that the universe exists as a result of a supernatural plan.
Astronomy leads us to an unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly-improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.
- Arno Penzias, quoted by Walter Bradley in "The Designed 'Just-so' Universe", 1999.
(Nobel Prize in Physics)
Charles Hard Townes (born July 28, 1915) is an American Nobel Prize-winning physicist and educator. Townes is known for his work on the theory and application of the maser, on which he got the fundamental patent, and other work in quantum electronics connected with both maser and laser devices.
Charles Townes believed the fact that science could not explain the origin of the universe implied the existence of God.
In my view, the question of origin seems to be left unanswered if we explore from a scientific view alone. Thus, I believe there is a need for some religious or metaphysical explanation. I believe in the concept of God and in His existence.
- Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, quoted by Henry F. Schaeffer III in "Steven Hawking, the Big Bang, and God", 1994
(Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine)
George Wald (November 18, 1906 - April 12, 1997) was an American scientist who is best known for his work with pigments in the retina. He won a share of the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Haldan Keffer Hartline and Ragnar Granit.
George Wald believed that consciousness was not produced by matter and that matter and life existed only because of preexisting consciousness.
From LIFE AND MIND IN THE UNIVERSE By George Wald
... mind, rather than being a late development in the evolution of organisms, had existed always: that this is a life-breeding universe because the constant presence of mind made it so.
What we recognize as the material universe, the universe of space and time and elementary particles and energies, is then an avatar, the materialization of primal mind.
(Nobel Prize in Physics)
Arthur Holly Compton (September 10, 1892 - March 15, 1962) was an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927 for his discovery of the Compton effect. He is also known for his leadership of the Manhattan Project's Metallurgical Laboratory. He served as Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis from 1945 to 1953. (Wikipedia)
Arthur Compton believed that the "orderly unfolding" of the universe demonstrated a plan created by God.
It is not difficult for me to have this faith, for it is incontrovertible that where there is a plan there is intelligence - an orderly, unfolding universe testifies to the truth of the most majestic statement ever uttered - 'In the beginning, God.' (brainyquote.com)
(Nobel Prize in Physics)
Antony Hewish FRS (born Fowey, Cornwall, 11 May 1924) is a British radio astronomer who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1974 (together with fellow radio-astronomer Martin Ryle) for his work on the development of radio aperture synthesis and its role in the discovery of pulsars. He was also awarded the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1969. (Wikipedia)
Hewish did not believe that the universe or life arose naturally.
I believe in God. It makes no sense to me to assume that the Universe and our existence is just a cosmic accident, that life emerged due to random physical processes in an environment which simply happened to have the right properties. (doesgodexist.org)
(Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Christian Boehmer Anfinsen, Jr. (March 26, 1916 - May 14, 1995) was an American biochemist. He shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Stanford Moore and William Howard Stein for work on ribonuclease, especially concerning the connection between the amino acid sequence and the biologically active conformation... (Wikipedia)
Anfinsen said that, like Albert Einstein, he believed that studying science leads to belief in God.
I enclose a favorite quotation from Einstein that agrees almost completely with my own point of view.
Einstein himself once said that "The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible Universe, forms my idea of God." ( 50 NOBEL LAUREATES AND OTHER GREAT SCIENTISTS WHO BELIEVE IN GOD )
(Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Walter Kohn (born March 9, 1923) is an Austrian-born American theoretical physicist. He was awarded, with John Pople, the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1998. The award recognized their contributions to the understandings of the electronic properties of materials. (Wikipedia)
Walter Kohn said that he, like Albert Einstein, believed that studying nature led him to believe in a higher power.
I have been influenced in my thinking by the writings of Einstein who has made remarks to the effect that when he contemplated the world he sensed an underlying Force much greater than any human force. I feel very much the same. There is a sense of awe, a sense of reverence, and a sense of great mystery. (doesgodexist.org)
(Nobel Prize in Physics)
Arthur Leonard Schawlow (May 5, 1921 - April 28, 1999) was an American physicist. He is best remembered for his work on lasers, for which he shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolaas Bloembergen and Kai Siegbahn. (Wikipedia)
Schawlow believed that the purpose demonstrated in life and the universe were best explained by the action of God. He said:
It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. . . . I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life." (allaboutscience.org)
Charles Darwin is credited with being a co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection. He was not an atheist, he was agnostic. He believed that one could not know if God existed or not. Darwin also believed that the universe did not arise by chance and that natural laws resulted from design which indicates that he believed in a form of Intelligent Design.
Darwin also doubted human reason was reliable if it evolved through natural selection. This is a key point in the argument that materialism is not a rational philosophy. If you cannot trust human reason, then it is irrational to believe anything, including materialism. It is significant that Darwin's beliefs on this subject undermine materialism because Darwin's theory of natural selection was one of the most important ideas that led to materialism and philosophical naturalism being adopted by most scientists. When you consider that Darwin believed natural laws were designed, and he did not trust human reason if it arose through natural selection, you begin to see that exploiting Darwinian theory as foundation of materialism is a huge scam.
Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist who achieved lasting fame by outlining the theory of evolution and proposing that evolution could be explained through natural and sexual selection. Prompted by awareness that Alfred Russel Wallace was developing similar theories he published his own sooner than he had originally intended. This theory is now considered an integral component of biological science.
In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God.— I think that generally (& more and more so as I grow older) but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.
Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable.
With respect to the theological view of the question: This is always painful to me. I am bewildered. I had no intention to write atheistically, but I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars or that a cat should play with mice... On the other hand, I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe, and especially the nature of man, and to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance.
Darwin, C. R. to Graham, William
3 July 1881
He disagrees that the existence of natural laws implies purpose, but his "inmost conviction" is that "the Universe is not the result of chance". But then has horrid doubt whether convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from lower animals, are at all trustworthy.
July 3rd. 1881.
Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance. But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?
Kurt Friedrich Gödel (April 28, 1906 – January 14, 1978) was an Austrian American logician, mathematician, and philosopher. After World War II, he emigrated to the United States. Considered with Aristotle and Frege one of the most significant logicians in human history, Gödel made an immense impact upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the 20th century, a time when others such as Bertrand Russell, A. N. Whitehead, and David Hilbert were pioneering the use of logic and set theory to understand the foundations of mathematics.
Kurt Gödel did not believe in materialism, or that the mind was produced by the brain, or that the brain evolved through Darwinian evolution. He believed a human was a spirit connected with a physical body and that there were beings higher than humans and other worlds than earth.
Kevincarmody.com lists these quotes by Kurt Gödel (among many others) from A Logical Journey by Hao Wang.
Kurt Gödel said:
Materialism is false.
The world in which we live is not the only one in which we shall live or have lived.
The brain is a computing machine connected with a spirit.
I don’t think the brain came in the Darwinian manner. In fact, it is disprovable. Simple mechanism can’t yield the brain. I think the basic elements of the universe are simple. Life force is a primitive element of the universe and it obeys certain laws of action. These laws are not simple, and they are not mechanical.
In materialism all elements behave the same. It is mysterious to think of them as spread out and automatically united. For something to be a whole, it has to have an additional object, say, a soul or a mind. “Matter” refers to one way of perceiving things, and elementary particles are a lower form of mind. Mind is separate from matter.
There are other worlds and rational beings of a different and higher kind.
John Garvey writes:
Kurt Gödel's logical objection to Darwinian evolution:
The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation]. As quoted in H. Wang. "On 'computabilism' and physicalism: Some Problems." in Nature's Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).
Gödel's argument is that if evolution is unfolding from an initial state by mathematical laws of physics, it cannot generate any information not inherent from the start - and in his view, neither the primaeval environment nor the laws are information-rich enough. In other words, either information must be added later, or some currently invisible front-loading would be necessary. The one mathematical impossibility, he says, is the spontaneous generation of the (specified) complexity of life simply by random variation and selection from nothing.
Sir Fred Hoyle
The article for Sir Fred Hoyle in Wikipedia describes him as an English astronomer who is most remembered for his work on how chemical elements are synthesized in stars (nucleosynthesis). He received many honors during his life including: Fellow of the Royal Society, Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Royal Medal. He was Knighted in 1972. Hoyle did not win the Nobel Prize but many people thought he was unfairly excluded in 1983 when the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded for nucleosynthesis in which he "had been one of the key and original workers". Hoyle resisted the implications of the Big Bang theory, a name which he was first to use. He tried to find a theory that would describe a steady state universe that did not have a beginning.
However, Hoyle believed the evidence that the universe was fine tuned by an intelligence and that life arose and evolved through intelligent design. This is similar to the cosmological argument that the universe must have been designed by an intelligent creator. Hoyle also believed the universe was designed for a purpose.
The following quotes explain Hoyle's views in his own words:
On the fine tuning of the universe:
Would you not say to yourself, "Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question." (Wikipedia)
The laws of nuclear physics are designed:
I do not believe that any scientists who examined the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside stars. (bethinking.org).
Life is the product of intelligent design:
If one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure or order must be the outcome of intelligent design. (Wikipedia)
Higher life forms did not evolve naturally:
The chance that higher life forms might have emerged [naturally] in this way is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.
- Hoyle on evolution, Nature, Vol. 294, No. 5837 (November 12, 1981), p. 105 (Wikiquote)
Life did not arise naturally:
The notion that not only the biopolymer but the operating program of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.
- The Big Bang in Astronomy, New Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 1280 (November 19, 1981), p. 527 (Wikiquote)
The universe was designed for a purpose:
There is a coherent plan to the universe, though I don't know what it's a plan for.
- Attributed in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999) edited by Elizabeth Knowles and Angela Partington (Wikiquote)
The blog "Uncommon Descent", quotes science historian Michael Flannery writing that Hoyle believed that the universe was designed by an intelligent creator.
I think it is a fair assessment to consider Hoyle a creationist in the broadest sense of the term. Yes, he rejected Darwinian evolution, and yes, he held to panspermia, but his book The Intelligent Universe: A New View of Creation and Evolution (1983) and other writings I think substantiate Theodore Walker’s assessment that Hoyle’s views accorded “with the religious idea of a supremely intelligent Creator-Provider-Sustainer of the universe” that was essentially panenthic and at least implicitly pro-theistic
John von Neumann
The Wikipedia entry for John von Neumann describes his contributions to science and mathematics:
John von Neumann (December 28, 1903 – February 8, 1957) was a Hungarian and American pure and applied mathematician, physicist, inventor and polymath. He made major contributions to a number of fields, including mathematics, ... physics, ... economics, ... computing, ... and statistics. He was a pioneer of the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics, in the development of functional analysis, a principal member of the Manhattan Project and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (as one of the few originally appointed), and a key figure in the development of game theory and the concepts of cellular automata, the universal constructor, and the digital computer.
Von Neumann was an agnostic for most of his life, but he leaned toward belief in God. Von Neumann said:
There probably is a God. Many things are easier to explain if there is than if there isn't.
He converted to Roman Catholicism at the end of his life.
Von Neumann also believed that in quantum mechanics, consciousness was necessary for wave function collapse.
In his treatise The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, John von Neumann deeply analyzed the so-called measurement problem. He concluded that the entire physical universe could be made subject to the Schrödinger equation (the universal wave function). Since something "outside the calculation" was needed to collapse the wave function, von Neumann concluded that the collapse was caused by the consciousness of the experimenter.
If consciousness is necessary for wave function collapse, then matter cannot produce consciousness and consciousness cannot be produced by the brain. This is explained in more detail in the section Quantum Mechanics in the chapter Evidence for the Afterlife.
Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS ( 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954), was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.
I assume that the reader is familiar with the idea of extrasensory perception, and the meaning of the four items of it, viz., telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis. These disturbing phenomena seem to deny all our usual scientific ideas. How we should like to discredit them! Unfortunately the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming. It is very difficult to rearrange one's ideas so as to fit these new facts in. Once one has accepted them it does not seem a very big step to believe in ghosts and bogies. The idea that our bodies move simply according to the known laws of physics, together with some others not yet discovered but somewhat similar, would be one of the first to go.
Turing recognized that the lack of ESP would prevent a computer from passing the Turing Test.
Wernher von Braun
Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was a German-born rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, space architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War II and, subsequently, the United States.
Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death.
For me, the idea of a creation is not conceivable without invoking the necessity of design. One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all.
It is in scientific honesty that I endorse the presentation of alternative theories for the origin of the universe, life and man in the science classroom. It would be an error to overlook the possibility that the universe was planned rather than happening by chance.
David Bohm was one of the best quantum physicists of all time and one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century (Wikipedia).
David Joseph Bohm FRS (20 December 1917 – 27 October 1992) was an American-born British quantum physicist who contributed to theoretical physics, philosophy of mind, neuropsychology. David Bohm is widely considered to be one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century.
David Bohm was widely considered one of the best quantum physicists of all time.
In the article, David Bohm and Jiddo Krishnamurti which appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer, July 2000, Martin Garner wrote that Bohm was favorably impressed with parapsychology including Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields. Bohm took Uri Geller's psychic phenomena seriously and carried with him a key bent by Geller. Bohm believed in panpsychicsm, in one interview he said, "Even the electron is informed with a certain level of mind,"
John Archibald Wheeler
John Archibald Wheeler (July 9, 1911 - April 13, 2008) was an American theoretical physicist. He was largely responsible for reviving interest in general relativity in the United States after World War II. Wheeler also worked with Niels Bohr in explaining the basic principles behind nuclear fission. Together with Gregory Breit, Wheeler developed the concept of the Breit–Wheeler process. He is best known for linking the term "black hole" to objects with gravitational collapse already predicted early in the 20th century, for coining the terms "quantum foam", "neutron moderator", "wormhole" and "it from bit", and for hypothesizing the "one-electron universe".
Wheeler believed consciousness is fundamental, ie. that the physical universe is created by consciousness, and the source of the physical universe is immaterial (non-physical). Wheeler said "the world is a figment of the imagination", "the physical world has ... an immaterial source and explanation", "all things physical are information-theoretic in origin", and "this is a participatory universe."
Quotes by Wheeler:
I do take 100 percent seriously the idea that the world is a figment of the imagination.
It from Bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom - at a very deep bottom, in most instances - an immaterial source and explanation; that what we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe.
Karl Popper, the philosopher of science who first proposed that falsifibility is necessary for a theory to be scientific, did not believe in materialism. He believed in dualism which holds that the mind is nonmaterial.
The wikipedia on Karl Popper explains falsifiability:
Logically, no number of positive outcomes at the level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory, but a single counterexample is logically decisive: it shows the theory, from which the implication is derived, to be false. The term "falsifiable" does not mean something is made false, but rather that, if it is false, it can be shown by observation or experiment. Popper's account of the logical asymmetry between verification and falsifiability lies at the heart of his philosophy of science. It also inspired him to take falsifiability as his criterion of demarcation between what is, and is not, genuinely scientific: a theory should be considered scientific if, and only if, it is falsifiable.
The wikipedia article on Philosophy of Mind describes Popper as a defender of interactionist dualism espoused by Descartes.
Interactionist dualism, or simply interactionism, is the particular form of dualism first espoused by Descartes in the Meditations. In the 20th century, its major defenders have been Karl Popper and John Carew Eccles. It is the view that mental states, such as beliefs and desires, causally interact with physical states.
The wikipedia article on Rene Descartes explains that dualism as espoused by Descartes holds that the soul is nonmaterial and does not follow the laws of nature.
Descartes in his Passions of the Soul and The Description of the Human Body suggested that the body works like a machine, that it has material properties. The mind (or soul), on the other hand, was described as a nonmaterial and does not follow the laws of nature.
(Quoted text from Wikiquote)
Louis Pasteur (27 December 1822 - 28 September 1895) French microbiologist, chemist, pioneer of the "Germ theory of disease", discoverer of molecular asymmetry and stereo-chemistry, and inventor of the process of Pasteurization.
Louis Pasteur believed as did many other scientists on this page that science led to the belief in God. He also did not believe that life arose naturally from matter. He thought it more likely that life existed first and matter arose from life. Pasteur said:
Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.
Science brings men nearer to God.
I have been looking for spontaneous generation for twenty years without discovering it. No, I do not judge it impossible. But what allows you to make it the origin of life? You place matter before life and you decide that matter has existed for all eternity. How do you know that the incessant progress of science will not compel scientists to consider that life has existed during eternity, and not matter? You pass from matter to life because your intelligence of today cannot conceive things otherwise. How do you know that in ten thousand years, one will not consider it more likely that matter has emerged from life?
Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 - 6 June 1961), often referred to as C. G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of extroversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, literature, and related fields.
Carl Junk believed in ESP, synchronicities, astrology, that his near-death experience, when his consciousness left his body, was a real objective phenomenon, and that consciousness continues to have an existence beyond space and time.
This excerpt from near-death.com quotes Jung writing that his NDE, when his consciousness left his body, was real. The source of the excerpt has a full description of Jung's experience in his own words.
I would never have imagined that any such experience was possible. It was not a product of imagination. The visions and experiences were utterly real; there was nothing subjective about them; they all had a quality of absolute objectivity.
This excerpt from thesethingsinside.wordpress.com quotes Jung writing that some forms of ESP are real and that consciousness is not dependent on space and time which he says means life continues to exist beyond space and time.
... we know that there are these peculiar faculties of the psyche - that it isn't entirely confined to space and time. You can have dreams or visions of the future. You can see around corners and such things. Only ignorants deny these facts. It's quite evident that they do exist and have existed always. Now these facts show that the psyche - in part, at least - is not dependent on these confinements. And then what? When the psyche is not under that obligation to live in time and space alone - and obviously, it doesn't - then to that extent, the psyche is not submitted to those laws and that means a practical continuation of life of a sort of psychical existence beyond time and space.
This excerpt from near-death.com describes Jung's research into astrology:
Jung believed astrology to be an archetypal system that works through synchronicity, a term coined by Jung.
He studied 483 married couples and noted the astrological connections between the birth dates of married couples. These findings concluded that long lasting relationships had a certain astrological pattern which were found to be three times higher than the rate of coincidence. Also astounding was the fact that the couples whom astrologers would interpret as being the most conducive to marriage were the couples whose astrological pattern occurred most frequently. The pattern that astrologers interpret as least conducive to marriage occurred least often among the couples. Jung calculated the odds of the this result occurring randomly is 1 in 62,500,000. Jung believed incidents like these are the result of synchronicity
These quotes from wisdom-of-astrology.com provide further evidence of Jung's views on astrology.
We are born at a given moment in a given place and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything else. - C.G.Jung
Astrology is one of the intuitive methods like the I Ching, geomantics, and other divinatory procedures. It is based upon the synchronicity principle, i.e. meaningful coincidence. ... Astrology is a naively projected psychology in which the different attitudes and temperaments of man are represented as gods and identified with planets and zodiacal constellations. - Carl Gustav Jung
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace discovered the theory of natural selection at the same time Charles Darwin did. This theory was based on extensive observations of the natural world. Wallace was originally a skeptic about the evidence of mediumistic phenomena but his great powers of observation, the same ones which led him to discover the theory of natural selection, also forced him to accept mediumistic phenomena as genuinely paranormal.
The Wikipedia article on Wallace gives a brief biography of his life and work:
Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS (8 January 1823 – 7 November 1913) was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. He is best known for independently proposing a theory of natural selection which prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory. ...
The International Survivalists Society web site explains how Wallace was forced to abandon his skeptical beliefs when the weight of his observations proved to him that mediumistic phenomena are genuinely paranormal. Wallace...
... was a confirmed philosophical sceptic, a materialist so thorough that before he got acquainted with the facts of spiritualism there was no place in his mind for the conception of spiritual existence, or for any agencies in the universe other than matter and force. The facts beat him. To quote his own words from his preface to On Miracles and Modern Spiritualism:
"They compelled me to accept them, as facts, long before I could accept the spiritual explanation of them: there was at that time 'no place in my fabric of thought into which it could be fitted.' (Argument of Dr. Carpenter). By slow degrees a place was made."
He was led to believe (1) in the existence of a number of preterhuman intelligences of various grades; (2) that some of these intelligences, although usually invisible and intangible to us, can and do act on matter, and do influence our minds.
(From the article on Alfred Russel Wallace on the International Survivalists Society web site.)
Many skeptics believe that natural selection gives sufficient explanation of the origin of life and humankind so that belief in supernatural forces is unwarranted. Clearly this is a fallacy if one of the discovers of natural selection believed in supernatural intelligences.
Sir William Crookes
From the article on Sir William Crookes at the International Survivalists Society web site:
Sir William Crookes: 1832-1919. Discoverer of the element thallium. Elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1863. Royal Gold Medal 1875, Davy Medal 1888, Sir Joseph Copley Medal 1904, knighted in 1897, Order of Merit 1910. Invented the cathode-ray tube.
Crookes first began his investigations into 'psychic' phenomena in 1869 as a hostile doubter. In his article, 'Spiritualism Viewed by the Light of Modern Science' he declared:
"The increased employment of scientific methods will produce a race of observers who will drive the worthless residuum of spiritualism hence into the unknown limbo of magic and necromancy."
Crookes' experiments with Daniel D. Home demonstrated the existence of a 'psychic force' wholly ignored by science.
"Of all persons endowed with a powerful development of this Psychic Force, Mr. Daniel Dunglas Home is the most remarkable and it is mainly owing to the many opportunities I have had of carrying on my investigation in his presence that I am enabled to affirm so conclusively the existence of this force."
Researches into the Phenomena of Spiritualism by Sir William Crookes
Sir Robert Boyle
Sir Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was one of the most brilliant scientists of all time. In the book "Extraordinary Knowing", Elizabeth Mayer explains that Boyle was the father of modern chemistry, the founder of the Royal Society of London, and the author of Boyle's Law.
Mayer also explains that Boyle investigated the spiritual healer Valentine Greatrakes. At first Boyle was skeptical, but his investigations convinced him of the genuineness of Greatrakes abilities. Boyle's lab notebooks from 1666 contain notes on his observations.
This day a woman came among other Patients to be curd of a great thicknesse of hearing she complaind of, & he haveing put his fingers in her ears, and (as I remember) a litle strookd them, she complaind no more of her deafnesse, but a great pain that resided in the fore part of her Head, where haveing strookd her, he presently dislodgd the pain, & after haveing chasd if from place to place about her Head, as she informd us, at length she told us that both her pain & the deafnesse were gone, & when I askd her how long she had [d] bin soe thick of hearing, she innocently answerd me ever since the birth of her first child, & when I smileing demaunded how it was since she was brought in Bed of her first child, she said about a year & a quarter, and affirmeing her self to be recoverd, as she seemd to the by-standers to be, she went away joyfull.
More information about Valentine Greatrakes can be found here:
Joe McMoneagle worked for the US military as a remote viewer and he was involved in the research and development that led to the US military's remote viewing program. Joe also had a near-death experience which convinced him that death does not end consciousness and we continue to exist as an individual after death. The following excerpt from an interview with Jeff Rense shows his views on NDEs:
JOE: One of the things that does occur somewhere in that six month period [after an NDE], you reach a bottom point in that depression where you suddenly realize that, well since you know that consciousness continues, and you don't really cease to exist as an individual, there's no real reason to be depressed about where you are.
Dr. Eben Alexander
Dr. Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon who had a near-death experience during which he visited the afterlife. After his experience, he investigated how the brain is wired to see if he could find a physiological explanation for his NDE. Alexander concluded that his experience could only be explained if consciousness does not require the brain for its existence. He also concluded that biological explanations such as abnormal CO2 and oxygen levels or abnormal brain chemicals like DMT or ketamine could not explain his experience. He said that before his NDE he believed Neuroscience could explain how the brain produced consciousness, but after the NDE he understood that "mind and consciousness are independent of the brain". This is extremely significant coming from a neurosurgeon who combines what he knows about Neuroscience and what he learned from his own near-death experience. Dr. Alexander states, "consciousness outside of the brain is a fact. It's an established fact."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
From the article on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at the International Survivalists Society web site:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1859-1930. . . . In 1881 he obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Surgery degree. . . . As regards survival, in 1902 when he first met Sir Oliver Lodge he had not arrived at a definite conclusion. But Myers' Human Personality made a deep impression on his mind. . . .
Later . . .
Until his death Doyle remained convinced that life continued after death, because of ongoing communications from deceased family members who assured him that they lived in the spirit world. These communications remained the "definite demonstration" that he had sought since his days at the University of Edinburgh.
One would expect that a trained doctor and surgeon and the creator of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes would not be taken in by fraudulent mediums and would reach reasonable conclusions from the evidence.
From the article on Richard Hodgson at the International Survivalists Society web site:
Richard Hodgson 1855-1905 . . . Professor of legal studies at Cambridge University. . . . His legal training and personal attainments made him specially qualified for the detection of fraud. . . . The change in his general attitude towards the phenomenal side of 'spiritualism' was brought about very slowly and after desperate resistance by his unparalleled opportunities of investigation with the mediumship of Mrs. Piper for a period of fifteen years.
Oxford educated philosopher Chris Carter is author of several books on the afterlife, including Science and the Near-Death Experience, and Science and the Afterlife Experience. Carter believes that consciousness is not produced by the brain. In his essay, Does Consciousness depend on the Brain?, he justifies this belief by stating that the brain is more likely to transmit consciousness than it is to produce consciousness because the transmission hypothesis explains more facts than the production hypothesis. The transmission hypothesis explains how the brain can influence consciousness without causing consciousness by comparing the brain to a radio. When you listen to music on a radio, the radio seems to produce music, and if you damage the radio it will affect the music, but the music is actually originating from a radio station transmitting the broadcast. This analogy is similar to the filter model of the brain.
In an interview on Subversivethinking.blogspot.com Carter sums up his work on the afterlife:
In my work I present the evidence that provides a prima facie case for survival; demonstrate that alternative explanations, to the extent that they are testable, have been proven false; and then argue that to the extent these alternative explanations are not testable (such as elaborate fraud scenarios, or super-ESP) they are pseudo-scientific excuses for refusing to accept an otherwise straightforward inference from the evidence.
Psychic Researcher: Gary Schwartz Ph.D.
GARY E. SCHWARTZ, Ph.D., Director of the VERITAS Research Program, is a professor of Psychology, Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Surgery at the University of Arizona and director of its Human Energy Systems Laboratory and its Center for Frontier Medicine in Biofield Science. After receiving his doctorate from Harvard University, he served as a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale University, director of the Yale Psychophysiology Center, and co-director of the Yale Behavioral Medicine Clinic. Dr. Schwartz has published more than four hundred scientific papers, edited eleven academic books, is the co-author of The Living Energy Universe, and is the author of The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death and The Truth About Medium.
At the end of March, 1926, I first arrived in New York, having left England a few days before. Previously I had spent several years in the Far East engaged in ethnologic research, an occupation which necessitated my speaking several Oriental languages daily. This acquaintance with a variety of tongues was the direct cause of my being drawn into the series of strange happenings which form the burden of this tale.
. . .
As the [spirit] voice went on I realized that the style of Chinese used was identical with that of the Chinese Classics, edited by Confucius two thousand five hundred years ago. Only among the scholars of Archaic Chinese could one now hear that accent and style, and then only when they intoned some passage from the ancient books. In other words, the Chinese to which we were now listening was as dead colloquially as Sanskrit or Latin, and had been so for even a greater length of time. If this was a hoax, it was a particularly clever one, far beyond the scope of any of the sinologues now living.
. . .
I asked if "the Master" would explain to me the meaning of one of these long-obscure odes.
. . .
In declaiming the ode the voice had put a new construction on the verses and made the whole thing hang together as a normal poem. It was, I was told, a psychic poem, and it was well known that the Chinese recognized psychic literature as a thing apart from ordinary literary compositions. "Read in this way," the voice had said, "does not its meaning become plain?
More Eminent Researchers
A more complete list of eminent researchers can be found at:
Books by Eminent Researchers
The chapter E-Libraries has links to on line libraries of free e-books on the subject of survival after death.
Many books and articles by the professionals listed on
http://www.aspsi.org/feat/life_after/tymn/testimonials.htm are available free on line. Here is a list of some of them
Judge John W. Edmonds
Spiritual Tracts by (100+ page excerpt)
Allan Kardec, Esq.
The Spirits' Book
The Mediums' Book
Sir William Crookes
The Rev. William Stainton Moses
More Spirit Teachings
Sir William Barrett
Frederic W. H. Myers, Esq.
Human Personality Vol II
Sir Oliver Lodge
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
History Of Spiritualism Vol I
History Of Spiritualism Vol II
More books by Arthur Conan Doyle can be found here:
Dr. James H. Hyslop
Dr. William James
Dr. Charles Richet
Dr. Carl A. Wickland
Thirty Years Among the Dead
Gateway of Understanding
Edward C. Randall, Esq.
The Dead Have Never Died
Frontiers of the Afterlife
Dr. Isaac K. Funk
The Psychic Riddle
The Rev. Charles Drayton Thomas
Dr. T. Glen Hamilton
Dr. C. J. Ducasse
Gary Schwartz, Ph.D.
"Anomalous Information Reception by Research Mediums Demonstrated Using a Novel Triple-Blind Protocol" Julie Beischel, Gary E. Schwartz Explore (New York, N.Y.) 1 January 2007 (volume 3 issue 1 Pages 23-27 DOI: 10.1016/j.explore.2006.10.004)