Here are some stories I have actually heard directly from real people, honest people not trying to make a point or sell something, not some crap from the internet, but real local people.

“My three-year-old came running into the kitchen, saying with great puzzlement that he had been sitting on the front doorstep, then suddenly he was floating up near the ceiling. He said he was looking down on himself sitting there, and noticed his hair on the back/top of his head goes in a funny circle.  Then suddenly he was sitting on the doorstep again.  He does have a pronounced whorl or crown in his hair, which I take as proof he did not make this up as he could not have known this, anyway how would a three-year-old come up with the idea of out-of-body experience?”

“When my much-younger brother was just able to talk, he would talk about his ‘farm up in the sky’. We kids would egg him on just to tease him, and he would come up with all kinds of details of the landscape and buildings on his farm, we thought it a great joke.  But now one has to wonder, where did all this come from, perhaps he was a re-incarnated Nordic mountain farmer.  After all a third of the world’s people believe in re-incarnation.”

“We were driving home in the pick-up about 10 at night on the road south of Oxdrift, when a very bright light appeared in the sky above and ahead of us, it came right at us. I am not sure whether I stopped the truck, or it just stopped itself, anyway it came right down over the cab, we could see everything lit up but the light itself was hovering directly overhead, then zoom it disappeared.  We thought we were only stopped for a minute, but when we got home and noticed the time we must have been stopped about a half of an hour, maybe more.  This was about 1975”

“I think it was also about 1975, we were heading home on a winter night on a country road up in Eton Rugby, and came across a bright light like on a locomotive, in a swamp where we know there is nothing but bush. We stopped and watched it for a few minutes, and it suddenly disappeared.”

“We had neighbours new to our area over for an evening to welcome them to the neighbourhood. The husband, Kurt, went to the bathroom, and came out white as a sheet and all in a panic, he said he turned as he reached to flush the toilet and there was an older man, fully clothed, standing in the bathtub looking right at him.  We went into the bathroom, nothing there.  He described the man, and it matched my father, who had died in that same house some 15 years before, but Kurt could not have known this and certainly had not known my father.  I dug up a picture of my dad and his two brothers, and Kurt unhesitatingly picked my dad out of that line-up.  Once in a while I find something around the house that I am sure is not where I left it.  I guess the place is haunted.”

“We were trolling along the south shore of the east end of Ord lake, when we noticed something round and shiny moving across the clear blue sky to the north of us, it looked about like a dime would look if held at arm’s length, which means even if it was only a mile away it was huge. It moved right along across the sky for quite a ways, no noise or contrail, and then it disappeared.”

“My mother was psychic.  She predicted the gender of every baby born in the neighbourhood for decades with no mistake.  She saw the future in many ways, even predicted the exact nature and time of her quite unusual death with uncanny accuracy”.

“I was walking late in the evening from the clubhouse to my park model in Harlingen, Texas, when I saw a flying saucer. It was football-shaped, about the size of a small bus, hovering in the air over an empty field next to the campground.  I ran inside, and after that I did not walk around the campground except in broad daylight.”

I would bet all those reading this can think of some similar, unexplainable anecdote in their past.  So lets explore, what does all this mean?

We all have beliefs and opinions which we pick up as we go through life. Generally we will form an off-the-cuff opinion on any subject, however ill-informed we might be on that subject, when asked ‘what do you think about it?’  And we don’t change our mind easily, once we have formed an opinion we defend it sometimes to the death.  Argument will not change our mind, we are amazingly creative in finding ways to refute whatever argument is put before us, we only change our mind on a basis of personal experience, something happens in a way which demonstrates our opinion is not well-founded.

Generally that is a good thing, helping to make us fully formed individuals, and makes us interesting to each other, someone who displays no beliefs at all is, well, boring. So we have people who are Toronto Maple Leaf fans, or believe there are space aliens travelling around and hassling us, or think communism is a good idea – they just didn’t do it right in Russia, or believe in re-incarnation, or bigfoot is running around in the bush, or believe in a God or religion, or believe in ghosts, or out-of-body experience, or that time travel is possible, or global warming, or an endless variety of ideas.

Again, this is a good thing, and any or all of these might be right, or partly right. My complaint is with the guy who believes that science has all the answers, if science can’t explain it, it doesn’t exist.  So to him, there is no God, nor afterlife, and all of the anecdotes discussed above simply did not happen, because science can’t explain them.  Change that, because our present-day science cannot explain them.  Change that again, because it doesn’t square with the politically correct consensus of scientific ‘fact’ preached in our universities or the CBC.

He seems to not have noticed that until radar was invented in WW2 science considered the bat a clumsy blind fellow fluttering aimlessly about, but now considers him clever because he uses radar to navigate. Or not so long ago a major medical tool was to take out a bunch of blood, whatever your ailment.  Tonsils and appendixes were routinely removed; a make-work project for surgeons, in the belief the body had no use for them anyway.  Cholesterol is bad, no, cholesterol is good, or?  Science completely missed the now obvious effects of alcohol on the unborn, through 10 000 years of tippling.  People were burned at the stake for claiming the world was actually a globe, not flat.  And who knows what science will discover in the next hundred years, making all kinds of present scientific ‘facts’ into superstitions.

Actually, my complaint is not because he believes he has all the answers in ‘scientific facts’, he is entitled to that opinion. Rather, my complaint is that he is so often aggressive in promoting that belief, and belittling those who report personal experiences which science cannot explain.

There is substantial evidence for belief in an afterlife, in re-incarnation, ghosts, out-of-body experience, fortune-tellers, bigfoot, even alien critters flying around. I am a scientist, but I believe there is a Higher Power, and our fate is in His hands.

If a bigot is one who holds beliefs founded on ignorance and superstition, then the true bigot is the guy who aggressively disputes all these, on the basis of ‘science’.

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