Gary Habermas on the Scientific Evidence for Near-Death Experiences

Mind Matters
Andrew McDiarmid
Gary Habermas
Audio File (44.71M)

Is there strong scientific evidence for near-death experiences? On this episode of Mind Matters, we’re happy to share host Andrew McDiarmid’s recent ID The Future conversation with Dr. Gary Habermas about his chapter evaluating the evidence for near-death experiences in the recent book Minding the Brain.

As Dr. Habermas explains, most near-death accounts contain both objective and subjective elements. While personal testimony about other realms can’t be independently corroborated, objective evidence rooted in this world can be confirmed and evaluated. “I can’t verify heavenly discussions or heavenly sites,” says Habermas, “so the kind of NDE data I’m talking about virtually always occur on this earth in normal kinds of situations, like parking lots or in your home two miles away. That’s where the evidence comes from.”

Dr. Habermas relays several examples of near-death cases with strong evidential support. He also lays out five different lines of verifiable phenomena: reports in the room the patient occupies, reports outside of the room, experiences relayed by blind patients, cases where other living people also experience the NDE, and cases of loved ones already dead who share unique information. After studying hundreds of evidential cases, Habermas contends that the evidence is both plentiful and varied, having the potential to satisfy even the most skeptical of observers. 

Additional Resources

  • To read Dr. Habermas’s chapter on near-death experiences, get your copy of Minding the Brain
  • Learn more about Dr. Habermas and his work at his website, garyhabermas.com.

Andrew McDiarmid

Director of Podcasting and Senior Fellow
Andrew McDiarmid is Director of Podcasting and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. He is also a contributing writer to MindMatters.ai. He produces ID The Future, a podcast from the Center for Science & Culture that presents the case, research, and implications of intelligent design and explores the debate over evolution. He writes and speaks regularly on the impact of technology on human living. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Post, Houston Chronicle, The Daily Wire, San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, Newsmax, The American Spectator, The Federalist, and Technoskeptic Magazine. In addition to his roles at the Discovery Institute, he promotes his homeland as host of the Scottish culture and music podcast Simply Scottish, available anywhere podcasts are found. Andrew holds an MA in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University and a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Learn more about his work at andrewmcdiarmid.org.

Dr. Gary Habermas

Dr. Habermas is a Distinguished Research Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy at Liberty University. He has dedicated his career to the examination of the relevant historical, philosophical, and theological issues surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus. He has contributed more than 80 chapters or articles to books and has published over 100 articles and reviews in other publications. In recent years he has been a visiting or adjunct professor at about 15 different graduate schools and seminaries in the United States and abroad.
Andrew McDiarmid
Gary Habermas
Minding the Brain
Near-death experiences