Letter to the Editor: When Ideology Overrules Science Page: 47
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
When Ideology Overrules Science
To the Editor:
It is with some reluctance that I report behavior that is more sug-
gestive of ideological denialism than scientific interest in the truth.
Why reluctance? Because some readers may see this report as mere
gossiping, but I don't think it is, which hopefully will become clear in
the following paragraphs.
Over the past few years this Journal has published contributions by
anesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee and by me in collaboration with Ti-
tus Rivas, M.A., M.Sc. The topics we addressed were important cases
involving apparently non-physical veridical perception during near-
death experiences: the denture man case and the Pam Reynolds case
(see Smit, 2008, 2012).
The debate in these articles and letters was vigorous and, as usual,
did not result in a definitive conclusion. Neither of the two adversaries
gave in. But that was not the end of the debate. It continued in various
forums on the Internet, the most prolonged one as a result of Woerlee's
review on Amazon.com of Chris Carter's book Science and the Near-
Death Experience: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2C2V8J3JMO8Q1/
I urge readers to go to the two-star review and read its comments.
At the time of this writing I see that the number of forum posts has
gone up to 1562! My last (and final) post was #1401 because I be-
came convinced that further debate of the facts of the case would be
I won't bring up again the denture man case but will focus on the
discussions Woerlee and I and others had about Reynolds. I limit
myself to Woerlee's prime postulation that Reynolds had anesthetic
awareness (AA) during the operation and that she thus could have
heard what was going on in the operating room. His discussion part-
ners made it clear to him that, even if she had AA, she could not
have heard those conversations, because modules had been inserted
into her ears that, in one ear, emitted 100 decibel clicks at a speed of
11 per second while, in the other ear emitted white noise; the clicking/
Journal of Near-Death Studies, 32(1), Fall 2013 C 2013 LANDS
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Smit, Rudolf H. Letter to the Editor: When Ideology Overrules Science, letter, Autumn 2013; East Windsor Hill, Connecticut. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc938061/m1/1/: accessed April 4, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .