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Muehlegger's Use of the word "charades" in summarizing Stevenson's research

Mar 13, 2002 08:54 AM
by Daniel Caldwell

Brigitte Muehlegger has apparently summarized the
critical views of C. T. K. Chari about Ian Stevenson's
studies on reincarnation in her posting at:

First of all, Muehlegger writes in very sweeping

"Professor Chari does not reject reincarnation, but 
he believes that Stevenson is incredibly naive and
that his reports have no evidential value." 

She ends her summary by stating that ". . . the child 
cases [of reincarnation presented by Stevenson] are
charades. . . ."

No evidential value . . . whatsover??? Charades?

I think I detect a good dose of hyperbole here on the
part of Muehlegger.

No doubt, the inquirer and thoughtful reader will want
to know Chari's views but one should also want to hear
opposing voices on these matters.

Some of Chari's criticisms are discussed and evaluated
by Dr. Robert Almeder in his book "Death and Personal
Survival: The Evidence for Life After Death" (Rowman
and Littlefield, l992). 

As one reviewer (Chris Bache, Professor of Philosophy
and Religious Studies, Youngstown State University) of
Almeder's book puts it:

"Wisely bypassing the provocative but relatively weak
evidence coming from past-lives therapy, Almeder
focuses on the research of Ian Stevenson and his
critics, especially Paul Edwards whose four part
attack on reincarnation (Free Inquiry l987) is widely
cited as a proof text for the dismissal of Stevenson's
work. Almeder's critique of Edwards -- and through him
Ian Wilson, William Roll, and C.T.K. Chari -- is

See also Dr. Almeder's more recent analysis and
evaluation of the views voiced by Chari, Edwards,
Wilson and Roll in his article titled:

"A Critique of Arguments Offered Against
Journal of Scientific Exploration 
Volume 11, Number 4 (Winter 1997)
Abstract of article at:

Muehlegger apparently has a file full of negative
critiques of views she readily dismisses but one could
also cite negative critiques of many of the views she
holds on "remote viewing" and other paranormal

What is required of the reader and student of these
subjects is to be aware and conversant of the various
literature on these topics. But even more important
the student needs to study and actually think through
all of the issues. Many of Muehlegger's postings on
these subjects do not readily assist one in these endeavors.

Daniel H. Caldwell
"...Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things at
their right value; and unless a judge compares notes and
hears both sides he can hardly come to a correct decision."
H.P. Blavatsky. The Theosophist, July, 1881, p. 218.

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