Dr. Maurice Rawlings, a specialist in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease has resuscitated people who had been clinically dead. A devout atheist, Rawlings steadfastly believed that all religions were hocus pocus and that death was merely a painless extinction. But something happened in 1977 that completely changed him. During the resuscitation of a patient, Rawlings reveals that every time the patient regained heartbeat and respiration he screamed, "I am in Hell!" Rawlings reports: "He was terrified and pleaded with me to help him. I was scared to death...Then I noticed a genuinely alarmed look on his face. He had a terrified look worse than the expression seen in death! This patient had a grotesque grimace expressing sheer horror! His pupils were dilated, and he was perspiring and trembling---he looked as if his hair was standing "on end!" Then still another strange thing happened. He said, "Don't you understand? I am in hell...Don't let me go back to hell!"....the man was serious, and it finally occurred to me that he was indeed in trouble. He was in a panic like I had never seen before." (Rawlings, "Beyond Death's Door," p. 3)
Rawlings went on to say that no one who could have heard his screams and saw the look of terror on his face could doubt for a single minute that he was indeed in an actual place called hell.
Like Rawlings prior to his "rude awakening", many contemporary Westerners, including large numbers of those who call themselves Christians, sneer at the very notion of an afterlife, immortal souls, original sin, judgement, demons, and demonic possession. This is because for contemporary Westerners, evolutionary conceptions and scientific naturalism provide the authoritative answers to the Ultimate Questions: "Of origins---where did everything come from?" "What is man?" "Why does evil exist?" and "What happens after death?"
Any belief system that answers the Ultimate Questions is by definition a religion, which makes scientific naturalism a religion hiding behind science.
In this religious worldview, evolutionary scientists are a modern version of the Oracle of Delphi, so whatever they claim as true is received by the faithful as absolute truth. Therefore when Daniel Dennett, the Wizard of Reductionism, claims that there really is no you, that soul, spirit, and free will are illusions caused by chemical interactions in the brain or Tom Wolfe, the Sorcerer of Naturalism dogmatically declares, "Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died" the faithful accept these magical pronouncements as true and real. (The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul, Beauregard and O'Leary, p. 4)
However, scientific naturalism keeps running into the embarrassingly unexplainable such as consciousness, mind (spirit) and soul, free will, the Anthropic Principle, and the existence of discarnate entities existing within an unseen realm. This has led to loss of belief in its' veracity. Many well-respected detractors have arisen who now posit the existence of the very "unseen" and/or immaterial entities declared nonexistant by scientistic "spell-casting" wizards and sorcerers.
The physician-anthropologist Arthur Kleinman observes that: 'Only the modern, secular West seems to have blocked individual's access to these otherwise pan-human dimensions of the self."
What is the Western problem? "The advent of modern science in about the seventeenth century" locked the Western mindset out of this area of existence, thereby disrupting "the bio-psycho-spiritual unity of human consciousness that had existed until then." (Authenticating the Activities of Jesus, Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans, 1999)
On the subject of spirit and soul, neurologist and Nobel Prize winner Sir John Eccles, who though not a Christian nevertheless posits the "bio-psycho-spiritual unity" or mind-body dualism of Christian theism. Eccles stated:
"I maintain that the human mystery is incredibly demeaned by reductionism, with its claim in promissory materialism to account eventually for all of the spiritual world in terms of patterns of neural activity. This belief must be classed as a superstition...We are spiritual beings with souls in a spiritual world, as well as material beings with bodies and brains in a material world." (Evolution of the Brain: Creation of the Self, p. 241)
Anthropological researcher Felicitas Goodman not only posits mind/body dualism but the existence of demons and demonic possession:
"In summary...we need to understand a number of different concepts in order to comprehend the worldwide phenomenon of possession and exorcism. On the psychological level, we have come to know the notion underlying all possession, namely, that the body is a shell, inhabited by a soul, and that this shell may on occasion be surrendered to an intrusive alien entity." (How About Demons? Possession and Exorcism in the Modern World, Felicitas Goodman, Indiana Press, 1988)
Psychiatrists, psychologists and others from the medical counseling field who at one time sneered at the existence of mind/body dualism and demons are having second thoughts :
"Dr. Jean Lhenmitte, the French neurologist, has had a large number of cases of possession pass through his hands...(the possessing spirit) enters via an area which lies between mind and soul..." (Demonic Possession: A Medical, Historical, Anthropological, and Theological Symposium, John Warwick Montgomery, 1976)
Not only is there no reductionistic natural process within Darwinian evolution to explain the "emergence" of discarnate spirits by genetic variation from mankind (or from plants and rocks for that matter) and their survival by "natural selection," but as Sir John Eccles observed, naturalistic reductionism cannot account for the "spiritual world in terms of patterns of neural activity."
With the return of mind/body dualism, demons, possession, and hell, the alleged explanatory power of scientific naturalism has gone the way of dinosaurs.
William Lane Craig describes NASA's Robert Jastrows' musings on this:
"The book of Genesis declares, 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.' For thousands of years, muses Robert Jastrow, people who have believed this statement have known the truth which scientists have discovered only within the last fifty years. For the rationalistic scientist (and, we may add, philosopher), the story ends, smiles Jastrow, like a bad dream:
"He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to scale the highest peak as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries." (http://christianthinktank.com/hmosoul.html)