- Aug 2010
- Welsh Marches
Personally speaking, reincarnation is not something that I particularly want to believe, nor is it something that I have studied thoroughly, but I have been sufficiently struck by some of Stevenson's researches in paricular to think that there might possibly be something in it. I don't think that you were being fair to Stevenson by implying that he was a pseudo-scientist, he was in fact quite methodical in his methods of investigation, and was well aware that some or all cases could be quite easily explained in such terms as you suggest (the child has heard some story and has spinned a fantasy out of it), or as something that has been put into the child's mind by people around it (as can easily happen in countries where reincarnation is accepted as part of the general culture, so that false memories can easily be instilled). He did not draw definite inferences from single points like that, or depend on second-hand reports, but investigated on the ground, to see for instance whether the child had definite memories of the family arrangements and family history in a place that it had never visited. If such an instance is found in which there are many interconnected items of evidence, and the child has bodily marks relate to precise details of the mode of the death that is recorded in reliable documents about the mode of death of the person whom the child "remembers" itself as having previously been, such marks can have some evidential value, but only as part of a wider pattern.But I did, and found this: "A Burmese girl born without her lower right leg had talked about the life of a girl run over by a train."
On a serious note, have you considered that there's far more simple and plausible explanations for these phenomena? For example, the Srilankan child was out somewhere earlier when she (absent mindedly) overhead a couple of strangers talking about the drowning case, and her imaginative mind made her believe it was she herself?