A weird idea of much interest is that of reincarnation. What is
reincarnation? Some say it\'s the fact that a person\'s soul lives without a body
and throughout the years possesses different bodies. Is this true or is
reincarnation the result of a mentally unstable person\'s vivid imagination or
even the result of cryptomnesia, when a person takes something they have heard
or seen, forgets about ever hearing or seeing it and then remembers the event(s)
as happening in another life. These three hypothesizes each seem plausible in
there own right. With the help of the SEARCH method it will be shown which
hypothesis fits best.
Hypothesis 1: When a person dies the soul undergoes a process called
reincarnation, in which the soul lives another life in the future.
The evidence I have to back up this particular claim is that of a story
I read in People magazine awhile back. In this story a woman, who goes by the
name of Jenny Cockell, claims to have experienced reincarnation. She claims she
was once a woman, who went by the name of Marry Sutton, who died 21 years before
Jenny\'s own birth. Jenny believes this because of dreams she has had since the
age of three. These dreams were unlike ordinary dreams in how vivid and real
they seemed. In the dreams Jenny saw herself in another time and place. She
saw herself as a young mother living in a small cottage somewhere in Ireland.
In one dream particularly Jenny saw herself with a terrible fever on her own
deathbed, terrified of what was to become of her children. One day Jenny
decided to find out what had become of these children. So Jenny went to Ireland
and while looking at a map of Ireland she sensed that Mary had lived in the
small town of Malahide. Then she checked local church records for any mothers
of eight named Mary that had gone there. Since from her dreams Jenny recalled
there being eight children and the only name she could remember from the dreams
was Mary. Sure enough Jenny found a Mary Sutton had lived and died in Malahide.
Mary\'s children had been scattered among family members and orphanages. Then
through much search and hard work to find these children Jenny eventually found
all of Mary\'s children. Before Jenny met with any of the children she and the
children both agreed to allow a BBC researcher to test Jenny\'s memories of Mary
and Mary\'s children The tests resulted in a 98 percent agreement. Jenny knew
what pictures were on the walls of the Sutton home, other objects in the house,
and even how the house was built. This evidence further backed up the fact of
Mary Sutton being reincarnated through Jenny Cockell. As of today there has
been no new evidence found to discredit the fact that Jenny has experienced
The hypothesis will be examined using the five criteria of adequacy.
(1)Testability. This hypothesis is testable. As in the case about Jenny
Cockell. Jenny was tested to see if what she “remembered” matched that of Mary
Sutton\'s life. (2)Fruitfulness. This hypothesis is fruitful. It can be
observed that a person who has experienced reincarnation can tell truthful
information of the person they once were. (3)Scope. The hypothesis has a small
scope, in that it only pertains to the person relaying information about their
past life. (4)Simplicity. This hypothesis is not simple. A person has to
presume that the soul lives without the body and can live for an immeasurable
time. (5)Conservation. The hypothesis is not consistent with well-founded
beliefs. Many people believe that the soul goes to heaven or hell after death
and many believe that the soul ends along with the body at death.
Hypothesis 2: Some people think they have experienced reincarnation,
but in fact these such people are mentally insane.
The evidence used to back this hypothesis is the common knowledge that
insane people create elaborate stories. Some of these stories are that of the
insane person in question having lived a previous life. Insane people have the
tendency to think they lived a past life of some famous personality. These
facts are taken from various books, magazines, and movies.
This hypothesis will also be evaluated using the five criteria of
adequacy. (1)Testability. This hypothesis is testable by means of testing the
individual in question with various test of sanity. (2)Fruitfulness. The
hypothesis is fruitful. It can be observed if the person in question is insane
or not. (3)Scope. This hypothesis has a large scope. If a person is mentally
insane other lies are usually told and