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Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives

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For the past forty years, doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center have conducted research into young children’s reports of past-life memories. Dr. Ian Stevenson, the founder of this work, has always written for a scientific audience. Now, in this provocative and fascinating book, Dr. Jim B. Tucker, a child psychiatrist who currently directs the research, share For the past forty years, doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center have conducted research into young children’s reports of past-life memories. Dr. Ian Stevenson, the founder of this work, has always written for a scientific audience. Now, in this provocative and fascinating book, Dr. Jim B. Tucker, a child psychiatrist who currently directs the research, shares these studies with the general public. Life Before Life is a landmark work—one that has the potential to challenge and ultimately change our understandings about life and death. Children who report past-life memories typically begin talking spontaneously about a previous life when they are two to three years old. Some talk about the life of a deceased family member, while others describe the life of a stranger. They may recount details about previous family members, events in the previous life, or the way they died in that life. The children tend to show a strong emotional involvement with the apparent memories and often cry to be taken to the previous family. In many cases, parents have taken their children to the places they named, where they found that an individual had died whose life matched the details given by the child. During the visits, some children have recognized family members or friends from that individual’s life. Many children have had birthmarks that matched wounds on the body of the deceased individual. Researchers have studied more than 2500 such cases, and their careful investigations have produced an impressive body of work. JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, stated in a review of one of Dr. Stevenson’s scientific books that, “in regard to reincarnation he has painstakingly and unemotionally collected a detailed series of cases . . . in which the evidence is difficult to explain on any other grounds.” Life Before Life explores the various features of this world-wide phenomenon, describing numerous cases along the way. We meet a boy in Michigan who, after being born with three birthmarks that matched wounds on his deceased brother, begins talking about events from the brother’s life; a boy in Turkey who gives a number of accurate details, including the name, of a man who lived 500 miles away and died fifty years before the boy was born; and a girl in Sri Lanka who is able to recognize the family members of a deceased stranger as they are presented to her one by one, giving specifics about their lives that she could not have known from their appearance. Dr. Tucker presents this material in a straightforward way, relating extraordinary stories that have been amassed with a scientific approach. He then considers how best to interpret the evidence, and he lets readers reach their own conclusions—which, for many, will be profound.


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For the past forty years, doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center have conducted research into young children’s reports of past-life memories. Dr. Ian Stevenson, the founder of this work, has always written for a scientific audience. Now, in this provocative and fascinating book, Dr. Jim B. Tucker, a child psychiatrist who currently directs the research, share For the past forty years, doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center have conducted research into young children’s reports of past-life memories. Dr. Ian Stevenson, the founder of this work, has always written for a scientific audience. Now, in this provocative and fascinating book, Dr. Jim B. Tucker, a child psychiatrist who currently directs the research, shares these studies with the general public. Life Before Life is a landmark work—one that has the potential to challenge and ultimately change our understandings about life and death. Children who report past-life memories typically begin talking spontaneously about a previous life when they are two to three years old. Some talk about the life of a deceased family member, while others describe the life of a stranger. They may recount details about previous family members, events in the previous life, or the way they died in that life. The children tend to show a strong emotional involvement with the apparent memories and often cry to be taken to the previous family. In many cases, parents have taken their children to the places they named, where they found that an individual had died whose life matched the details given by the child. During the visits, some children have recognized family members or friends from that individual’s life. Many children have had birthmarks that matched wounds on the body of the deceased individual. Researchers have studied more than 2500 such cases, and their careful investigations have produced an impressive body of work. JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, stated in a review of one of Dr. Stevenson’s scientific books that, “in regard to reincarnation he has painstakingly and unemotionally collected a detailed series of cases . . . in which the evidence is difficult to explain on any other grounds.” Life Before Life explores the various features of this world-wide phenomenon, describing numerous cases along the way. We meet a boy in Michigan who, after being born with three birthmarks that matched wounds on his deceased brother, begins talking about events from the brother’s life; a boy in Turkey who gives a number of accurate details, including the name, of a man who lived 500 miles away and died fifty years before the boy was born; and a girl in Sri Lanka who is able to recognize the family members of a deceased stranger as they are presented to her one by one, giving specifics about their lives that she could not have known from their appearance. Dr. Tucker presents this material in a straightforward way, relating extraordinary stories that have been amassed with a scientific approach. He then considers how best to interpret the evidence, and he lets readers reach their own conclusions—which, for many, will be profound.

30 review for Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Doug Dillon

    If you are truly interested in reincarnation, rebirth and past lives, then this is the book for you. A continuation of the work done by Dr. Ian Stevenson, also of the University of Virginia, this book offers clear evidence that at least some people do have previous lives. Culled from reports across the world, Life Before Life offers the reader case study after involving young children who claim to have lived before their current physical existences. At the time this book was written, 2,500 such i If you are truly interested in reincarnation, rebirth and past lives, then this is the book for you. A continuation of the work done by Dr. Ian Stevenson, also of the University of Virginia, this book offers clear evidence that at least some people do have previous lives. Culled from reports across the world, Life Before Life offers the reader case study after involving young children who claim to have lived before their current physical existences. At the time this book was written, 2,500 such instances had been scientifically investigated. The reader may find the wording a little dry but what Dr. Tucker presents here are not just the stories these children tell but also the rigorous analysis he and his team use to assess the validity of such claims. It is through that very academic presentation, however, that the startling truth of what so many youngsters have said becomes quite evident. Obviously, the majority of these cases arise in cultures where reincarnation or rebirth is part of a religious belief system such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The interesting thing that arises in Dr. Tucker's studies is the discovery of numerous cases that come from places where such beliefs are not predominant such as the United States and Europe. Add that to the fact where one or both parents of such a child are religiously opposed to the idea of reincarnation and you have set the stage for an even higher degree of verification. The stories told by these children are fascinating, and in my view, very instructive. Through these young voices I find infinite potential for all humankind just beneath the surface of our everyday reality.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julene

    My Buddhist friend lent this to me with a reading guide to read the cases and not the commentary between, he said it was a quick read of about an hour and this was great to have. What is between is the author's conjectures and analyses on relation to mechanisms of karma. The author is a child psychiatrist. According to my friend a metaphysician or yogi writing this would have more interesting things between the stories to say. The stories are remarkable from children all over the world: Turkey, L My Buddhist friend lent this to me with a reading guide to read the cases and not the commentary between, he said it was a quick read of about an hour and this was great to have. What is between is the author's conjectures and analyses on relation to mechanisms of karma. The author is a child psychiatrist. According to my friend a metaphysician or yogi writing this would have more interesting things between the stories to say. The stories are remarkable from children all over the world: Turkey, Lebanon, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Bangkok, the United States, Myanmar, etc... Children start talking about their past lives between the ages of 2 and 4, when they just begin to speak. They have incidents of birth marks that are from wounds in the previous life, they can name family members, they have been taken to their old families and know things no one else could know. I've long believed in reincarnation, so it is great to read these stories.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Trey Nowell

    Wow, this goes down as one of my "Must read books". Being a graduate of VCU, UVA studies in this field and similar fields (of which I hold relevant degrees in psychology and religious studies) are extremely intriguing being it is so close to where I live. After reading Dr. Raymond Moody (also with UVA many years) discuss life after life, it turned me onto this book. Dr. Tucker continues much of the work Dr. Stevenson did at UVA regarding the stories of reincarnation claims by children all over t Wow, this goes down as one of my "Must read books". Being a graduate of VCU, UVA studies in this field and similar fields (of which I hold relevant degrees in psychology and religious studies) are extremely intriguing being it is so close to where I live. After reading Dr. Raymond Moody (also with UVA many years) discuss life after life, it turned me onto this book. Dr. Tucker continues much of the work Dr. Stevenson did at UVA regarding the stories of reincarnation claims by children all over the world. I liked the way the book laid out many of the differences, yet compared the similarities as well. There is a very good collection of correlated data here that has convinced me these claimed accounts are true. The author goes out of his way to explain criticisms and skepticisms from many that would oppose this as a possibility, and does by my standards, an excellent job of refuting skeptics on myriad levels (see chapter 9). His rebuttal is probably the most impressive part of the book and worth reading the previous chapters to see how it all unfolds. The author seemed scientific and yet genuine (admitting he is not the most knowledgeable regarding all the eastern religious understandings). I think the only way of getting around these as serious possibilities is basically saying the staff at UVA would have to be committing fraud in these findings, and I think that would show a benighted unwillingness of a person to examine these claims while dismissing them without testing them for themselves. Afterall, even Carl Sagan said this is an area that needs to be looked into, and who am I to argue with such an influential great man :) This is a recommended reading for anyone interested in the topic of children claiming to be living a life after living as another person, check it out if you haven't.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    For the first chapter I thought this was intriguing science. I soon realized it was nothing more than intriguing science fiction. Once I began to spot the myriad tiny logical fallacies, however, it lost its magic and became no more than it was: pseudoscientific trash. My main concern is that I spent nine dollars supporting this mass fraud. I don't know whether to be more concerned that the University of Virginia is housing a group of profit-seeking charlittans or that our medical schools turn ou For the first chapter I thought this was intriguing science. I soon realized it was nothing more than intriguing science fiction. Once I began to spot the myriad tiny logical fallacies, however, it lost its magic and became no more than it was: pseudoscientific trash. My main concern is that I spent nine dollars supporting this mass fraud. I don't know whether to be more concerned that the University of Virginia is housing a group of profit-seeking charlittans or that our medical schools turn out legitimate doctors with so few critical thinking skills. Whichever is the case, save your money and time, unless you want to use this to hone your own critical thinking skills. The scientific language used here makes it harder to spot the logical fallacies at first so it was a good mental exercise at the very least.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zoe Zuniga

    This was a good overview of the studies that have been done by scientists at University of Virginia. It did not seem over the top crazy or outlandish because the author covered all his bases and was open to all possible explanations for the phenomenom of children who are able to describe specific items, people and places from a pervious life. they are then taken to the place and are able to know things that they could not have known from being fed info or a hoax. I used to think the idea of reinc This was a good overview of the studies that have been done by scientists at University of Virginia. It did not seem over the top crazy or outlandish because the author covered all his bases and was open to all possible explanations for the phenomenom of children who are able to describe specific items, people and places from a pervious life. they are then taken to the place and are able to know things that they could not have known from being fed info or a hoax. I used to think the idea of reincarnation was simply foolish but I am beginning to open up to the idea that in certain instances this may be the case.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Clifford

    Fascinating. The book doesn't claim to PROVE reincarnation, but it does offer evidence that it says is hard to refute. Although I love the idea of reincarnation, it does conflict with my other, non-religious beliefs. Still, a very interesting book with great case studies. The writing isn't particularly vivid, but that makes it seem all the more credible. Full review at Perpetual Folly: Review of Life Before Life Fascinating. The book doesn't claim to PROVE reincarnation, but it does offer evidence that it says is hard to refute. Although I love the idea of reincarnation, it does conflict with my other, non-religious beliefs. Still, a very interesting book with great case studies. The writing isn't particularly vivid, but that makes it seem all the more credible. Full review at Perpetual Folly: Review of Life Before Life

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This book was really cool and I was blown away by the chapter that talked about birthmarks showing up on the reincarnated, in the exact same spot where they might had been killed in a previous life. I have always wondered about this topic & it was neat to read about some of the children who remembered their past lives, verifying people and things that they had done.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danny Kelly

    Wow, what an amazing book. The extensive and very scientific research done in finding the thousands of extraordinary cases discussed in this book really opened my eyes to the very real possibility of reincarnation. I may buy this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Victor Parra

    Amazingly interesting book if you're into the whole reincarnation as an actual natural phenomenon instead of a religious or philosophical view. Kinda leaves you thinking .. Definitely a worthwhile read. Amazingly interesting book if you're into the whole reincarnation as an actual natural phenomenon instead of a religious or philosophical view. Kinda leaves you thinking .. Definitely a worthwhile read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    BookishGal29

    A few weeks ago I saw a documentary on television about reincarnation. Naturally, I wanted to learn more about it. When looking for a book on reincarnation I wanted one that provided hard cold facts presented in a clear, scientific manner. This book was the book that met all of that criteria. The fact that this book was written by a child psychologist at the University of Virginia further added to its credibility. Reincarnation, the rebirth of a soul in a new body is a controversial subject that A few weeks ago I saw a documentary on television about reincarnation. Naturally, I wanted to learn more about it. When looking for a book on reincarnation I wanted one that provided hard cold facts presented in a clear, scientific manner. This book was the book that met all of that criteria. The fact that this book was written by a child psychologist at the University of Virginia further added to its credibility. Reincarnation, the rebirth of a soul in a new body is a controversial subject that goes against many religious beliefs and is deeply contested by the scientific community. In this book Dr. Tucker argues that reincarnation is highly possible. Although the meaning of reincarnation is known, not many people know the depth of the research that has been conducted to prove reincarnation. The first few chapters address the general belief in reincarnation and demonstrate how Dr. Tucker and his colleagues conducted their research. They have spoken to thousands of children who claim to remember past lives. They then do their best to have the child speak about their previous lives in as much detail as they can. Based off of the information they are given they then cross reference those accounts with the information available about the lives of deceased people who match the descriptions. As many of this accounts have been verified I must say I was shocked when everything that these said was later proven to be true. While the novel is well written and does address the argument for and against reincarnation with both the spiritual and scientific points it is not without its faults. Throughout the novel Tucker talks about several children who claim to remember their lives. One of the problems I had with this book is that Tucker would discuss an spiritual or scientific belief/concept and unsmoothly flip back and fourth between ideas and an account of the child. This made it incredibly hard to follow in some parts. Perhaps the hardest part for me was the chapters that dealt with the scientific aspects. As Dr. Tucker is obviously very well educated for him or his colleagues reading these chapters would present no difficulty whatsoever. However, for someone like me who is not scientifically based, these chapters present a huge difficulty. He would address the ideas of scientists like Carl Sagan in the most convoluted and complicated way possible. This made it very hard to understand the other view point to the point where I considered quitting the book altogether. In closing, the book covers a fascinating subject, it is highly inaccessible to most readers. I would recommend this one to someone who wants to study reincarnation in depth.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Though it is clear what this researcher feels is true and false, there is little to no bias in the studies being referenced. Simple facts (either recorded statements, birthmarks, or person/town identification) are used to suggest to the reader that consciousness exists beyond the brain. The goal here is to open a new realm of science and increase the understanding of the human race as a whole. I highly recommend this book to ALL readers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    plan on being annoyed with the writing, but the subject is completely interesting. also annoyed that there wasn't an index since it would have been useful. oh well. makes me think about people...very interesting. plan on being annoyed with the writing, but the subject is completely interesting. also annoyed that there wasn't an index since it would have been useful. oh well. makes me think about people...very interesting.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dewin Anguas Barnette

    Amazing. Does a thorough job of arguing all sides and possible explanations.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Corbi

    Believable aggregation of evidence of the existence of soul or consciousness outside body.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Kotsiuba

    Is "pseudoscience" too mean? No peer reviews, controls... This reminds me of some of those "Christian science" books that "prove" the existence of God. Is "pseudoscience" too mean? No peer reviews, controls... This reminds me of some of those "Christian science" books that "prove" the existence of God.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mahesh Balaji

    Life Before Life -- The reason I remain an agnostic is my inability to comprehend the universe. While people keep thinking and digging about the 'how', I was and am always puzzled about the 'Why'. Why was this universe formed?? Why was this particular concept called 'life' formed? The 'How' gets coupled immediately but that gets explained automatically when the 'Why' is answered. Lets assume that one day we get the answer to all the 'How' questions but then our minds will explode with the curiosi Life Before Life -- The reason I remain an agnostic is my inability to comprehend the universe. While people keep thinking and digging about the 'how', I was and am always puzzled about the 'Why'. Why was this universe formed?? Why was this particular concept called 'life' formed? The 'How' gets coupled immediately but that gets explained automatically when the 'Why' is answered. Lets assume that one day we get the answer to all the 'How' questions but then our minds will explode with the curiosity arising from the 'Why' questions. Why this model came into existence and who was responsible for the decision? What other models exist? This book's reviews had the symptoms of slightly helping me understand about the possibilities of certain other realms and hence drew my attention towards it. So after all the innumeriable analyses and research that all kinds of people have done, we are still nowhere close to answering the 'Why' or at least that is what I think. This book 'Life Before Life' by Jim B. Tucker attempts to take us close to answer that eternal question. 'Eternal' is the perfect adjective here because the book indeed tries to alter our current understanding of eternity, what eternity holds for us after death and most importantly what eternity held for us before we were born. The author, along with another renowned doctor late Dr. Stevenson, has interviewed, researched and analyzed a large number of young kids with reportedly past-life memories in many countries around the world, predominantly in India and Srilanka. Children from the age of 2 to 6 seem to remember their past lives, their relatives, friends & acquaintances, the way the previous personality died, the place they lived and some seem to remember what happened between lives. The researchers, along with the children's current parents have verified what they said and there are a large number of cases where their memories are almost perfectly accurate. If the author and his anecdotes are genuine, then this gives us a totally different understanding of what eternity holds for us. The author has answered all scientific doubts and taken into account the alternate theories that can possibly explain these children's past-life memories such as fraud, fantasies, ESP, possession, stories accumulated from near-death experiences of other people, etc., They have conducted interviews with the same family twice or thrice with the gap between each interview spanning a lot of years. The concurrence of information received from the children remains more or less accurate. The author has also been careful enough to not engage too much drama in his chapters even though the subject clearly appeals for and the readers would crave for as much drama as possible. Some stories that got stuck with me are: 1. A child recollects his death from the previous life and he says that he felt like floating above and could see his body lying down there. 2. Another child in Sri Lanka gets his parents to take him to the previous personality's house. So they reach there but the previous personality's father hasnt arrived home yet. So none of them, including the child, has seen the father yet. So he arrives at the doorstep, the child notices him coming and nonchalantly announces to everybody "Father has arrived". 3. Another example is where a child pressurizes his current parents to go to a riverbed and says that the past personality's father lived there, made agarbathis and the child had also named the brands. In their first visit, they did not find anything. A friend of the family visits the place a second time and he finds out that there was indeed a family on the other side of the river who actually manufactured and sold agarbathis with the exact brand names the child had mentioned. One of the certain things that irked me was that the author alluded Christian beliefs but he was skeptical enough in his analyses and did not get carried away. Another one was about the recollection of a different realm between lives by the children. Their descriptions of the recollections echoed closely with what we have seen in movies and read in fantasy books. One child complains that people are sad in this world but it isn't like that in "that world". It seems they were all happy and peaceful in the other world. Of course, this knowledge that we acquired through generations might have originated from a possible reincarnated human. But this was so close to the fantasy heaven that even a person with the least creativity would describe. Another exciting inference was that - We are the same set of souls who keep getting born in different bodies. Like about 100 billion souls were taken and they get randomly born in the form of any animal (including humans) in the world. This also was a possibility discussed by the author. Assuming that the findings from all this research are all true, it means that there are possibly more and different realms than the one that we are existing in. This could redefine a lot of things starting from materialistic desires in the current world to the real purpose of life. Religion might become the best thing that happened to the humans ever since mankind's inception. Or it could become completely meaningless. Time might cease to become an entity. We never would know until the day we die. Not unputdownable but definitely worth a read for anybody who is spiritual, on quest for what life is, trying to figure out an understanding of what happens before death and what had happened before we were born.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    I had no idea just how much meticulous, evidence-based research was being done on past-lives and psychic phenomena. I really like how this book combines stories with facts, and examines many possible explanations for a given case. Regardless of if you believe in past-lives or not, this book is a very interesting read. There is a lot we don’t understand about metaphysics, and past-life research is an important component of the search for answers (definitely did not fully comprehend that before rea I had no idea just how much meticulous, evidence-based research was being done on past-lives and psychic phenomena. I really like how this book combines stories with facts, and examines many possible explanations for a given case. Regardless of if you believe in past-lives or not, this book is a very interesting read. There is a lot we don’t understand about metaphysics, and past-life research is an important component of the search for answers (definitely did not fully comprehend that before reading this).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Wasn't sure if I should give this one 2.5 or 3 stars There was some invaluable information in it if true but on the other hand I did find several chapters entirely boring. Also, a bit repetitive. Wasn't sure if I should give this one 2.5 or 3 stars There was some invaluable information in it if true but on the other hand I did find several chapters entirely boring. Also, a bit repetitive.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Walter Harrington

    Life Before Life sets out to describe multiple cases that Tucker and his colleges (and sometimes others) have documented of children claiming to have memories from past lives, often possessing several specific details and birthmarks that verify their claims. Tucker presents cases that range widely from children who claim to be people from the same family who had died, to people from their village, to even complete strangers from long distances away. There is little consistency in the cases, as m Life Before Life sets out to describe multiple cases that Tucker and his colleges (and sometimes others) have documented of children claiming to have memories from past lives, often possessing several specific details and birthmarks that verify their claims. Tucker presents cases that range widely from children who claim to be people from the same family who had died, to people from their village, to even complete strangers from long distances away. There is little consistency in the cases, as might be expected coming from different people, places, and perspectives, but most of the cases he presents show some evidence that the children had knowledge of a previous consciousness life that is hard to explain through natural means. I gave this book three stars mostly for the philosophical approach the author claimed to take in the beginning. He tries very hard to establish his credibility and credentials as a scientist up front, claiming to be a neutral observer presenting the facts that he has collected, with some commentary on what they might mean. He claims that mainstream science doesn't accept this work because they hold to natural materialism and simply ignore or scoff at any idea that there could be something beyond the physical world that is not explainable by natural processes. In this, Tucker sounds very much like many young-earth creationists or intelligent design proponents (at least one group of which would be very antagonistic to Tucker's work) castigating mainstream scientists as close-minded. There may be some truth in this, but I think Tucker (and the other proponents) oversell this point. There are ardent atheistic philosophical naturalists among scientists, but in my experience, they are far from the majority. I take issue with Tucker's claim to be a neutral observer presenting facts. It becomes clear very early in the book that he is in fact not neutral, and he argues hard for the interpretation of reincarnation for each of the cases. Further, what he does is not a hard science, as it seems he claims in the opening chapter. It is more of a soft-science akin to anthropology or sociology. This is not necessarily a bad thing, nor am I saying we can't learn things, important things, from these disciplines. It is just not how he presents it, and I disagree with his claim to be doing science akin to biology, chemistry and physics. Usually, when someone argues as hard as Tucker does at the beginning of their book to establish their own credentials, I am skeptical that their evidence is lacking. If you have solid evidence, in science, it should speak for itself. You don't have to wave your credentials to establish your conclusions. I imagine Tucker does this because he has faced a sea of criticism and insults from the mainstream science community, so I understand his mindset. That all being said, Tucker does in fact present cases that challenge natural interpretations. The fact that these children could have specific detailed knowledge of a past life, especially in cases where that past life is in no way connected to the current family, is hard to explain without exploring supernatural options. I think Tucker goes too far in his speculations and conclusions, as there is little consistency between the cases to build a "scientific" picture of what is going on, especially when he tries to tie it to consciousness. It may well be that it has a lot to do with consciousness, but there is so much we don't know about that subject, and so much variation in the children's stories/experiences, that there is really no way to outline a general idea of how this might actually work. Tucker does seem to acknowledge this a little, but then he continues to speculate. This speculation often gets his logic tangled in knots, in my opinion. I think Tucker presents enough evidence to take the subject seriously and consider what these cases might mean. I appreciated that he discusses briefly what his work might mean for different religions (mostly Judeo-Christian as eastern religions often embrace the idea of reincarnation), noting that his work is not necessarily incompatible with traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs (though it also doesn't really support them either- it's just more neutral) and that some Christians throughout history have held to the idea of reincarnation of some form. Interestingly, he also notes that he tried to test the concept of Karma and his studies did not show any evidence that good or bad karma affected the circumstances of the children who claimed to have previous lives. There does seem to be something paranormal going on in these cases unless they all are fraudulent or somehow the children received intimate details of a previous person's life in some unknown natural way. If something supernatural is going on here, I think it is safe to say that we have no idea what it is for sure, and it wouldn't be wise to draw hard conclusions from these cases. Perhaps it should just open our minds a little more to the idea that there just might be something beyond this physical world that is largely inaccessible to the tools of science. Also, whereas the idea of reincarnation would make most Christians uneasy, I think it is good to read books that might challenge our assumptions, especially when they argue along the same lines as some of our own apologists. If we are quick to dismiss Tucker's work as crazy, then we might be condemning our own apologist's work without realizing it. At that point, we must ask ourselves why we so easily accept the claims of our own when they are at odds with mainstream science, yet readily reject others that do not fit with our assumptions on the basis of mainstream science (or simply on the basis that we don't believe it or it's weird). Something to think about.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Philson

    This book is a must read book in my opinion for anyone interested in past lives or reincarnation. Dr. Tucker, who has taken over the practice since the passing of his predecessor Dr. Ian Stevenson began this project, researches and studies subjects using a scientific approach. From the study of over 2,500 cases worldwide, it is clear that something very interesting is going on when it comes to past lives. It is very interesting how some of these children even bare the scars of how they died in t This book is a must read book in my opinion for anyone interested in past lives or reincarnation. Dr. Tucker, who has taken over the practice since the passing of his predecessor Dr. Ian Stevenson began this project, researches and studies subjects using a scientific approach. From the study of over 2,500 cases worldwide, it is clear that something very interesting is going on when it comes to past lives. It is very interesting how some of these children even bare the scars of how they died in the previous life, have similar habits such as drinking alcohol, using tobacco, or have phobias pertaining to how they died. They even re-create how they died by acting out the scenarios. Some of the things these children know is impossible. A very eye opening book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    I was afraid that a whole book about the deaths of children would be too hard to read. Dr. Tucker's matter of fact, scientific voice gives the facts without resorting to emotional blackmail to draw the reader in. The 40 years of cases discussed in the book seem to be as rigorously researched as any such cases could be. There is no dissembling for the cases that are weaker than others, and opposing viewpoints are addressed. This is an excellent book for those of us who are skeptical, and still dr I was afraid that a whole book about the deaths of children would be too hard to read. Dr. Tucker's matter of fact, scientific voice gives the facts without resorting to emotional blackmail to draw the reader in. The 40 years of cases discussed in the book seem to be as rigorously researched as any such cases could be. There is no dissembling for the cases that are weaker than others, and opposing viewpoints are addressed. This is an excellent book for those of us who are skeptical, and still drawn to the idea of reincarnation.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erica Rose Mythen

    An excellent read for anyone interested in the theory of reincarnation. Considering his many years of work with Dr Ian Stevenson, it's no surprise that the book is research based and methodical. Rational questions and theories are asked and contemplated throughout, and the reader definitely has to put some thought in. Criticisms such as population growth, fantasy and faulty memory of informants are all addressed. Great book, great brain food! An excellent read for anyone interested in the theory of reincarnation. Considering his many years of work with Dr Ian Stevenson, it's no surprise that the book is research based and methodical. Rational questions and theories are asked and contemplated throughout, and the reader definitely has to put some thought in. Criticisms such as population growth, fantasy and faulty memory of informants are all addressed. Great book, great brain food!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A good, easily accessible account of scientific research into claims of reincarnation. Tucker does a great job of addressing all possible explanations for children's statements about previous lives and he explains how his team of researchers investigate each case. This is a great read for lay persons and I imagine would also be useful for readers with more scientific background or previous knowledge of this field. At any point, I found it intriguing and it makes me want to know more. A good, easily accessible account of scientific research into claims of reincarnation. Tucker does a great job of addressing all possible explanations for children's statements about previous lives and he explains how his team of researchers investigate each case. This is a great read for lay persons and I imagine would also be useful for readers with more scientific background or previous knowledge of this field. At any point, I found it intriguing and it makes me want to know more.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vincy

    This was an interesting book. I wish there had been more case evidence and less...manipulation of facts. Jim Tucker tries very hard to get you to believe that he's being entirely objective with his analysis of the case studies. He's not. I enjoyed this book very much, but it could have been so much more. Enjoyable, but ultimately disappointing. This was an interesting book. I wish there had been more case evidence and less...manipulation of facts. Jim Tucker tries very hard to get you to believe that he's being entirely objective with his analysis of the case studies. He's not. I enjoyed this book very much, but it could have been so much more. Enjoyable, but ultimately disappointing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    "For the past forty years, doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center have conducted research into young children’s reports of past-life memories." This wasn't a book that I could sit down and read for hours on end. The analysis was almost too simply written and even a little dry. However, I enjoyed reading the case studies because the subject piques my interest. "For the past forty years, doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center have conducted research into young children’s reports of past-life memories." This wasn't a book that I could sit down and read for hours on end. The analysis was almost too simply written and even a little dry. However, I enjoyed reading the case studies because the subject piques my interest.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Blaze

    Fascinating on the whole, but it gets a bit repetitive. The writing is drab, but the content makes up for it. I've read other books on the subject and was familiar with many of the cases, but the author gives more details on things like what possibly happens in between incarnations. Reincarnation is always an interesting subject, but the writing could have been better. Fascinating on the whole, but it gets a bit repetitive. The writing is drab, but the content makes up for it. I've read other books on the subject and was familiar with many of the cases, but the author gives more details on things like what possibly happens in between incarnations. Reincarnation is always an interesting subject, but the writing could have been better.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Very good book for the topic. It can be a bit repetitive, but the author does a good job of being objective in considering all possibilities. It is a great option for someone willing to consider the possibility.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is a very balanced consideration of the evidence for reincarnation from children's reports of previous lives. I started this book as a complete skeptic about reincarnation, now I believe it is an open question. This is a very balanced consideration of the evidence for reincarnation from children's reports of previous lives. I started this book as a complete skeptic about reincarnation, now I believe it is an open question.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Leanne Curtis-Muñoz

    I consider the research in this book verification that most of us have lived before.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A very scientific look at a difficult to research phenomenon.

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