Ghosts: True Phantoms or Mere Figments?

While contemplating known mysteries of the physical world, I decided that ghosts would be the one that I would be the easiest to explain. It is a subject that has been a part of popular culture as long as there have been people. There are references to ghosts or other spirits that date as far back into human history as 70,000 BC, if wikia can be believed. Much and more has been written on the subject. The Bible, Hamlet and The Epic of Gilgamesh are a few of the notable literary references of the subject. They are something that everyone I know is aware of. I do not feel that it would be much of a stretch to say that they are a subject that 99% of the world has at least a basic awareness of. This is an idea that has been around since the dawn of time, through cultures that have developed independently of one another.

What are ghosts? Some would say they are spirits stuck between worlds. Some would say they are the embodiment of evil. Some would say they are spirit guides who protect people from danger. Some claim that they are lost souls or people who don’t realize they are dead. Some, like Ebinezer Scrooge, feel that ghosts may be explained as simply as “an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!” Even Winston Churchill was reported to have seen an apparition of Abraham Lincoln while visiting the White House. One fact remains explicitly clear when discussing ghosts, you either believe in them or you don’t.

Those who don’t believe in ghosts have numerous explanations for why they don’t exist. One such argument is that it is a result of electrical activity in the brain. The simple explanation of this is that the brain receives a spike of electricity and creates a duplicate image of the human form that is perceived by an individual as a ghost. Another explanation is that of carbon monoxide poisoning. The basic idea of this concept is that the brain lacks the amount of oxygen needed to function properly and creates the illusion of a ghost in the unsuspecting person.

To these, and other arguments, I respond with a simple, yet emphatic, Hogwash! I do not for one fraction of one second believe that all accounts of ghosts or ghost sightings can be written off with a simple argument of electricity or fumes or cheese. I am willing to concede that any of these perfectly reasonable explanations may account for some falsely recorded ghost sightings. I am not willing to believe that these simple explanations can be used to explain away all interactions of a spiritual or paranormal nature. I feel that the universe is too vast and there is too much of it that we have no comprehension of for someone to claim to be able disprove an idea of this magnitude.

Science has given us man answers to many questions over the years. I am a fan of the scientific method and do not doubt for one second that there is a scientific explanation for every event that happens in the world. We live in a physical universe and there are undoubtedly answers to every question. When exploring a subject of this nature, I feel that the reason that science hasn’t been able to find a definitive answer to the question is because we don’t yet have the capability of measuring the spark of life. I am on the belief of this subject that until someone can definitely prove how such occurrences could be impossible, I will hold them open for possibility.

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