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Date Posted: 08:00
Author: Eponymous - 30 Jan 2002
Subject: Re: A+B+C=?????????
In reply to: Anonymous - 29 Jan 2002 's message, "A+B+C=?????????" on 07:59

Interesting story. Ignoring the fact that this tale does not appear anywhere in any medical or scientific journal database on Lexis or Westlaw, ignoring that it describes nothing like any scientific controls, and ignoring that it casts the doctors as utterly credulous dupes, there are several other glaring aspects of the story that give it an undeniably dubious quality:

First, as to the lack of scientific controls: time and time again, adherents apologize for the yogic aversion to controlled testing by claiming that yogis are ďaboveĒ the ego, and hence above making a show of their abilities. Yet Maharaj's behavior here seems an awfully vulgar display of yogic power, without even the virtue of being constrained by the honest check that controlled testing conditions afford. Pure sideshow stuff. If this is the restraint of an enlightened being, Iím a veritable ascetic.

Second, if Maharaj had such extensive power over his own bodily functions, then one wonders why he was in for surgery at all. (Maybe he merely submitted to the procedure to show off his neat powers?)

Third, we know "will" has nothing to do with the efficacy of anesthesia. How do we know that? Because it works on animals, and animals wouldn't know what anesthesia is supposed to do, much less that they are suppose to will themselves into unconsciousness.

Fourth, you can find "true" accounts like this on almost any topic - UFO abductions, ghosts, angels, and what have you. There is nothing even remotely internally convincing about such tales, and this particular tale suffers from the same deficiencies, namely, the utter absence of even a quantum of facial credibility. Believers are biased to believe it, just as skeptics are biased to disbelieve it; but no one can claim that tales like these bear compelling evidence. They are at best useful propoganda invoked in the service of preaching to the choir.

On its face, this tale is very tall.

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