My colleague, Paul Von Ward, has been researching reincarnation. Here is part of an update he just sent out, in case you're interested in learning more. If you haven't looked at the facial similarities between me and my 2 most recent past lives, and my sister and her recent past life, check out www.penneypeirce.com/booksRev.htm
The Reincarnation Experiment http://www.reincarnationexperiment.org is a unique, independent, and volunteer effort to focus scientific principles on the millennia-old belief in reincarnation. Several colleagues and I study areas of empirical evidence that suggest an indirect, but inherited past-life legacy shapes each person's psychophysical development. We deal with traits not explained by the parental genome and the child's learning environment.
Can human personalities actually be shaped by something beyond our direct genetic and social influences? Physics, biology, genetics, and consciousness studies are expanding our understanding of the apparent multidimensional and energetic nature of human reproduction and development. This emerging consensus suggests that a level of information (entropy) beyond the purely physical genome is involved in its expression and evolution.
I refer you to science editor Sharon Begley's Newsweek (Jan. 26, 2009) review of research that challenges the standard genetic notion of inherited characteristics. Similar studies described in The Soul Genome: Science and Reincarnation suggest that our unique physical features, knowledge, and behaviors that can be documented in the life of a person already deceased may have been transferred outside the ordinary DNA evolutionary process.
In this context, our project seeks to identify, document, and evaluate the evidence that is the basis for the almost universal belief in reincarnation. We have developed a model that accounts for several areas of verifiable matches found in the strongest cases on record.
Is Similar Facial Geometry Part of Reincarnation? Well-rounded cases of alleged past-life matches suggest that may be the case. We have used biometric techniques to compare the facial geometry between alleged past-lives and present-day subjects with a large random sample of matches. See http://www.reincarnationexperiment.org/home/facialsimilarities.html. The positive results were far beyond our expectations:
An analysis of the variances between 13 reincarnation cases and 132 random matches from the Internet was done to determine how much the statistical odds were that the close resemblances found in the cases could be attributed to chance. By conventional criteria, using a two-tailed test, the smaller variances in the reincarnation cases versus the larger variances in the random group were considered to be extremely statistically significant.
DNA and Reincarnation. Discussions with a number of medical and genetic researchers have focused on the following questions: What is the role of DNA in reincarnation? Can we separate the DNA hypothesized to be a part of the soul genome (passed from one life to another outside the parental genome) from the genes inherited from one's biological family tree?
The short answer to such questions is "We don't know." Reincarnation theory postulates that a subject would have some DNA-based features more like those of his previous incarnation (outside the family's phylogenetic tree) than the same features in his parents. We don't yet know if and how the soul genome (psychoplasm) mixes with the parental genome to result in such different effects (well documented in Ian Stevenson's and other cases.)
A concept paper was drafted to engage other researchers in the process of identifying areas of the genome that could plausibly come from past lives. (See http://www.reincarnationexperiment.org/dnareincarnation.html)
Websites: www.vonward.com & www.reincarnationexperiment.org