Beating Death

Lyle Bro’s Kickstarter film project Beating Death is a perfect example of internet science. I suppose if he were following the tried-and-true scientific method we all learned about in grade school, Bro’s hypothesis would be that humans have a soul composed of photons, and that these photons leave the body through the head at the moment of death. His experiment to test the hypothesis might then be to point a sensitive camera at the head of a dying person and see if such a phenomenon can be detected.

But this is internet science. Bro doesn’t start with a question, like Mr. Rose taught us in 5th grade, he opens with an answer: “Researchers now know it’s the mind leaving the body -  because they see photon emisions rising up from heads of subjects - precisely synchronized to their conscious thoughts.” (sic)

This is how internet science works; forget all the testing and hypothesizing and jump right to the conclusion. Don’t waste time asking whether something exists or not, just say it does and then go looking for the “evidence” to back it up.

And internet scientists like Bro always have plenty of evidence, because in this “method” the quantity of stuff you can attach to something is more important than any rational inquiry. In this case, he offers the aurora borealis, lasers, trained Dobermans, the Egyptian death god, abandoned asylums, and… let’s see… the Statue of Liberty. It all makes perfect sense, right? Well in case it doesn’t, he’ll hire William Shatner to explain it all, subject to scheduling. On the internet there is no higher scientific authority than Captain Kirk. Maybe Spock.

So who are these “researchers” that “know” so much about the human soul? Well, Bro has a list of papers you can Google, and of course if you find it in a Google search, it’s as certain as if James T. Kirk told you personally. None of these papers say anything about the soul or the Statue of Liberty, but that doesn’t matter because here’s another cool picture! It’s science!

This is Bro’s second Kickstarter campaign. The other one is another “documentary” film project that is such an avalanche of “evidence” I can’t even tell what it’s about. It seems to be a movie pitch mashup of The DaVinci Code and National Treasure. So far it has received zero dollars in support.

But it’s a cool story, Bro.