Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with University of Virginia, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences Dr. Jim Tucker, M.D. about his new book, Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives. During the interview Tucker talks about the database he’s compiled:
Jim Tucker:Ian started studying these cases in the early 60s and the work just continued ever since and it has been 50 years now. So we have got over 2,500 cases from essentially all over the world. Wherever anyone has looked for cases they have been found.
They are easiest to find in cultures with a belief in reincarnation but they are found everywhere. And what we started doing a number of years ago now is coding each case on 200 variables and putting them in to a database for analysis. And it has taken us years to get the cases in.
We still haven’t quite finished but we have over 2,000 of them in the database now. So then you can look at patterns in the cases that you can’t see just on an individual level. So for instance we know that in 70% of the cases the previous person died by unnatural means, meaning murder, suicide, or accident.
So that certainly seems to be a distinct factor in these cases. We also know that even in the natural death cases that the people tend to die quite early where a quarter of the natural death cases is under the age of 15. So again, there is something about dying an unnatural death or dying young that makes it more likely that these memories will then appear down the road.