Faith & Science Icon Faith & Science
Neuroscience & Mind Icon Neuroscience & Mind

The Scientific Evidence for Near-Death Experiences

Photo: Life after death, by Christopher Campbell, via Unsplash.

Is there strong scientific evidence for near-death experiences, the subject of the new film After Death? On an episode of ID the Future, I spoke with Dr. Gary Habermas about his chapter evaluating the evidence for near-death cases in the recent book Minding the Brain: Models of the Mind, Information, and Empirical Science.

As Dr. Habermas explains, most near-death accounts contain both objective and subjective elements. Personal testimony about other realms can’t be independently corroborated, but objective evidence rooted in this world can be confirmed and evaluated. “I can’t verify heavenly discussions or heavenly sites,” says Habermas, “so the kind of NDE data I’m talking about virtually always occur on this earth in normal kinds of situations, like parking lots or in your home two miles away. That’s where the evidence comes from.” 

Dr. Habermas relays several examples of near-death cases with strong evidential support. He also lays out five different lines of verifiable phenomena: reports in the room the patient occupies, reports outside of the room, experiences relayed by blind patients, cases where other living people also experience the NDE, and cases of loved ones already dead who share unique information. After studying hundreds of evidential cases, Habermas contends that the evidence is both plentiful and varied, having the potential to satisfy even the most skeptical of observers. He encourages people to survey the evidence and make up their own minds. “It’s such a momentous possibility that it can lead a person onto a path of discovery and research on their own, going where they think the evidence leads.” Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Dig Deeper

  • To read Dr. Habermas’s chapter on near-death experiences, get your copy of Minding the Brain
  • Learn more about Dr. Habermas and his work at his website,