Of the afterlife, [Kevin] Nelson [a neurologist] told me: “This claim is the most extraordinary in science, and there is no ordinary, let alone extraordinary, scientific evidence to support it.” (He added: “These are matters of faith.”)
A few comments:
So, since a proponent of an afterlife would scarcely embrace modern materialism, Kevin Nelson is transparently begging the question. He would need to justify that modern materialism is very likely to be correct. But I have argued that modern materialism is simply not compatible with the existence of consciousness, and here we're simply talking about our everyday embodied consciousness. See my: Why the existence of consciousness rules modern materialism out. In short, it seems to me that this assertion that an afterlife is an "extraordinary claim" cannot be substantiated.
Also, Nelson appears to be construing "scientific evidence" in the sense that we cannot derive a continued consciousness after death from everything we know about the material world and its structure. That's true, but it conveniently leaves out the fact that we cannot derive normal everyday embodied consciousness from the material world and its structure either! Consciousness needs to be causally efficacious before we have evidence of it, and the causal efficacy of consciousness is denied by most scholars (we're talking here about consciousness per se rather than its neural correlates).
Again, this can be circumvented by saying consciousness is identical (not merely caused, elicited etc) to neural activity. So yes, we can then have embodied consciousness, but not any unembodied consciousness. But that again is to transparently assume modern materialism (NB I am specifically talking about materialism here, not just any position that holds the brain produces consciousness).
Daniel Kondziella, a neurologist affiliated with the department of neurology at Copenhagen University Hospital, told me that if “people are able to describe and report their experiences, even many years later”, then surely “they have been processed by the brain and stored in its memory centres.”
To say that memories are stored appears to me to deny that memories are a property of a [non-material] self. I discuss such a self here. So arguments are required as to why my conception of the self is unsatisfactory. Apart from that, it seems that Kondziella is also begging the question since if the brain stores memories, then surely the brain produces the rest of our consciousness? Besides, which, it seems this whole notion that memories can be stored is fatally problematic as I explain here. Memories just exist and the fact that brains can impede access to them has no more significance then the fact eyeglasses can impede vision if the lenses are cracked.