Beyond ‘Surviving Death’: The real science of near-death experiences

Is there life after death? A new Netflix series claims to prove there is. But in doing so, the series relies on a confusing mishmash of fully debunked phenomena alongside matters of faith that aren’t in the realm of science, as well as questions that science truly hasn’t answered yet. 

“Surviving Death” is based on a book of the same name by journalist Leslie Kean. It explores near-death experiences, mediums and séances, ghost-hunting and supposed past-life memories. While the show aims to present “proof” of all of these claims, it confuses its own narrative by offering the same credulity to outright scams as it does to outstanding questions about the process of death. It also treats matters of religious faith as something to prove or disprove. But most religious belief falls outside the realm of science, because it isn’t something you can test.

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