Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Science of Dreams

I've never been one to dream much. In fact I'd say I'm only aware of dreaming, or at least remember dreaming, once a month at most.

I do however, have a recurring dream/nightmare, that's not really a dream, but happens while I'm in a twilight state between sleep and wakefulness. A possible third state of awareness that has until now, never been written about or explained fully.(see link below)

It happens a few times a year, thankfully, but that's a few times too many.

I am asleep, then wake up but can't move. Paralysed, frozen to the bed, for what seems an eternity. As each second ticks by, anxiety grows, and I make some sort of inhuman, groaning sounds, as if pleading for anyone to rescue me by waking me up fully. I desperately want to escape this state of helplessness and paralysis. 

This all started many years ago, can't exactly remember when, after reading some article about a small percentage of patients, who, while under the knife and anaesthetised, remember and feel the operation but are unable to communicate with the surgeons to stop the procedure. I was a very curious child, and often read articles and books, especially medical science articles, that were meant for much older audiences. The though of that scenario in an operating theatre ever happening to me, filled me with horror, and instilled a phobia-like dread of surgery. That, I believe, was what set off these unpleasant dreams that have haunted me ever since. 

You can imagine how delighted I was to read this morning an article from BBC News depicting this condition, and that research is being carried out by Prof. Pandit of Oxford University Hospital.

Once again, science comes to the rescue and will, as it always has, provided me with answers to most of life's dilemmas.

How can so many people, mostly those of religious persuasion, be anti-science? The world is half-full of science-sceptics who wrongly blame science for many of society's woes.

You have all heard the illogical arguments of those science-haters who mention nuclear weapons as one of sciences worst inventions. Do those people refuse medical treatments such as radio therapy when cancer strikes? I don't think so. Yet radio-therapy, a treatment that saves countless lives daily,would not have come about without the nuclear research embarked upon for military reasons.

Science is neither good nor evil. Science has no ulterior motives or hidden agendas. Science is knowledge through research and experiment. Science is what sets humans apart from all other creatures on our planet. 

To hate science is to hate knowledge.

To hate science for the weapons it has created is like hating water for causing death by drowning of so many people. Or hating fire for the same reason. Or hating the sun for the skin cancer it can cause.

It is illogical and pathetic to hate or even to be suspicious of science. 

Science has given us all the mod-cons we have today that enhance our quality of life.

Science has given us medical treatments that have extended our lifespan by 50% in the last 200 years.

Science will, eventually, prove the non existence of gods and ghosts and all other silly superstitious nonsense that shackle so many people to blissful ignorance.

Science is the residence of all human knowledge.

Do you agree?



  1. I'm not sure religious people are anti-science, apart from a few sects like the Amish who eschew modern technology. But they are often distrustful of scientists, whom they see as amoral and inclined towards atheism. If you want to beat the religious types you've got to be a scientist like Mr Spock, who showed them that his morality was superior to theirs.

    1. Haha Mr Bananas, we need more Mr Spocks, you're right, although a few well known scientists are currently doing a good PR job

  2. "To hate science for the weapons it has created is like hating water for causing death by drowning of so many people. "

    That's awesome! You're my hero for the day.

  3. Nightmares ... often the same one ... must be fairly common I would guess. Mine is: I'm in the car and reversing at an ever increasing rate of knots - and the brakes don't work. Careering madly toward another car sometimes, or a ravine, or a building. No idea why this is.

    Religion is for nutters mainly. There is now a deal of nonsense going the rounds about why most UK schools are not teaching RE properly. The RE teacher at my granddaughters primary school admits that she is an atheist. Let's hope she teaches that religious 'beliefs' are just that: beliefs.

    1. The disconcerting thing is that mine isn't a nightmare as such, my mind is awake but my body isn't. And yes Philip, religion is a hospital for the sick - or at least for those who would rather have the false comfort of a god as a prop, in order to handle reality. Akin to drug addicts

  4. You have sleep paralysis dear one. I'm one of those people who was given the paralytic instead of the anesthesia. Nothing is worse than trying to scream, or even blink an eyelid, to get the attention of people talking and chatting, while lining up those scalpels.

    1. Ouch LJ, I feel for you having gone through that nightmare scenario. I guess if I ever need surgery I'll be demanding the most powerful form of anaesthesia available, even if the risk of dying increases

  5. "Do you agree?" Not fully.

    1. OK Anon, please feel free to elaborate :)