Science and Reincarnation

Does reincarnation exist? Well, there has been a lot of scientific research done on the topic of reincarnation and many psychologists are still doing experiments on this topic. Psychiatrist Ian Pretyman Stevenson was well known for his research as he traveled extensively over a period of forty years, investigating three thousand cases of children around the world who claimed to remember past lives.  He wrote many books on this as well. However, skeptics complained about a lot of issues in his experiments. But Ian Stevenson’s research about reincarnation is very popular in the scientific world and can definitely serve as a guide to do more experiments in the future.

Jim Tucker is another important psychiatrist who has done many experiments and studies. The reason I consider him as important is because of an unbelievable story of a boy named ‘James Leininger ‘.  Here is an excerpt of an interview between Jim Tucker and Rachel Martin (

MARTIN: Let’s talk about a few of those. You mentioned your recent book. It’s called “Return To Life.” And you chronicle the stories of many children, including one that got a lot of national attention. It was the story of James Leininger. He was a boy who remembered being a World War II fighter pilot. Can you walk us through that case?

TUCKER: Sure. So James is the son of a Christian couple in Louisiana. And when he was little, he loved his toy planes. But also around the time of his second birthday, started having horrific nightmares four or five times a week – of being a plane crash. And then during the day, he talked about this plane crash and said that he had been a pilot, and that he had flown off of a boat. And his dad asked him the name of it, and he said Natoma. And he said he had been shot down by the Japanese; that he had been killed at Iwo Jima; and that he had a friend on the boat named Jack Larsen. Well, it turns out that there was an aircraft carrier called the USS Natoma Bay that was stationed in the Pacific during World War II. In fact, it was involved in Iwo Jima. And it lost one pilot there, a young man named James Huston. James Huston’s plane crashed exactly the way that James Leininger had described – hit in the engine, exploding into fire, crashing into the water and quickly sinking. And when that happened, the pilot of the plane next to his was named Jack Larsen.

MARTIN: And how old was James when he was making these claims?

TUCKER: Well, it started when he was 2 – and a very young 2.

MARTIN: That’s amazing.

TUCKER: Like with most of these cases, it faded away by the time he was 5 or 6 or 7, which is typical. But it was certainly there, quite strong, for some time.

MARTIN: And how do you know that these kids aren’t echoing things they have heard their parents talk about or making up stories, using their imagination, articulating dreams they may have had?

TUCKER: Yeah. Well, certainly with the imagination part – if we had never been able to verify that what the child said matched somebody who died, then you could certainly just mark it down as being fantasy. But in cases like James’, the previous person, James Huston, was so obscure – I mean, he was a pilot who was killed 50 years before; and he was from Pennsylvania, and James was in Louisiana – I mean, it seems absolutely impossible that he could have somehow gained this information as a 2-year-old through some sort of normal means. In fact, it took his dad a couple of years – well, really more than a couple of years; three or four years – to be able to track it all down and see that in fact, that what James was saying all did fit for this pilot who was killed.

(Read the entire interview here: )

Jim Tucker thinks that consciousness would not necessarily be dependent on a physical brain in order to survive, and could continue after the physical brain and after the body dies.

Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning German physicist and the father of quantum theory has stated “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” Whatever Max Planck said is exactly what has been taught by various orthodox schools of ancient India for thousands of years. Even though it has not been proved scientifically, such an opinion from a Nobel Prize winning Quantum physicist certainly indicates that science is not far away from discovering this as a fact.

Since there are always skeptics who come up with arguments to prove that the findings of such experiments about reincarnation are not valid due to some flaws in the experiments, I searched for any such information regarding the case of James Leininger. I couldn’t find much. However, I found this blog article very interesting.

Here is another interesting account of reincarnation:

I have heard many Yogis saying that everybody retains the memories of their previous lives until they are 2-3 years old. Then they are gradually forgotten once the memories of the current birth begin to add up. So, it is not surprising that all these scientists have documented about the cases of young children who have remembered their past lives.

I believe that the answer to the question of reincarnation lies in the field of Quantum Physics. May be in the next 50 years, scientists will finally discover a way to unite science and the metaphysical concepts of ancient religions.


Author: Shanmugam P

I am a blogger and a self-published author. My book "The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment: Bridging Science, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta" is a guide to the ultimate freedom, bliss and oneness. The book is based on my own experience. My book "Discovering God: Bridging Christianity, Hinduism and Islam" shows how all three major religions of the world lead to the same truth. I am a past student of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal Golden Jubilee Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Sankarnagar, Tirunelveli District.

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