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From this article,

A 3-year-old boy in the Golan Heights region near the border of Syria and Israel said he was murdered with an axe in his previous life. He showed village elders where the murderer buried his body, and sure enough they found a man’s skeleton there. He also showed the elders where the murder weapon was found, and upon digging, they did indeed found an axe there.

Is there any conclusive proof of this actually happening? Or is it just some web hoax?

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    "He also showed the elders where the murder weapon was found". He's claiming more than remembering a past life. – fredsbend Feb 4 '17 at 1:50
  • Have you thought that some other people who knew what to look for and where, told this child what to say? – Salvador Dali Feb 4 '17 at 6:48
  • At the very least it's not "just some web hoax", as if you look up the book cited, you'll see it is full of similar stories pulled from many sources, and if you look at the related books (e.g. on Amazon) you'll see many similar books by other authors also collecting such stories, so at the very least, past-life regressions are a widespread phenomenon, whether they're all hoaxes or not. – Dronz Feb 5 '17 at 18:18
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Dr. Jim Tucker and Dr. Ian Stevenson from the University of Virginia School of Medicine have done research on the topic and have published books detailing the accounts of many children who claim to remember "previous lives".

Here are some examples of the literature on the subject:

The evidence, as far as I can tell, is largely anecdotal and it seems the majority of cases originate from Eastern societies where belief in reincarnation is common, which could be indication for some sort of cultural cause.

From Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect:

Children who claim to remember a previous life have been found in most countries where they have been sought. Reports of such children occur frequently in countries and cultures in which the belief in reincarnation is strong: the Hindu and Buddhist countries of south Asia, the Shiite people of Lebanon and Turkey, the tribes of West Africa, and the tribes of northwestern North America.

There is no accepted explanation for this phenomenon. Dr Tucker has suggested reincarnation through quantum mechanics.

Carl Sagan in his "The Demon Haunted World" states that this is one area that needs more research, not because he thinks reincarnation will be proven true, but because they are hypothesis that could be true, aka they have some level of experimental support.

It could also be false memories. Introducing false memories is fairly easy; there have been studies where the subjects were told that they did something embarrassing or illegal when they were young kids and asked if they remembered it. Then they were given some details in an authoritative manner (We talked to your mom, she told us all about it...) and then a significant number of participants started remembering something that never happened. This could happen unintentionally as well, for example by the parents discussing the birth marks that the child overheard. This is speculation of course.

So in conclusion, there have been many such documented cases. It's not clear what's causing it and if it's "real", therefore there is no way to know if that particular case the child is remembering his previous life. The case described in the article fits the pattern of other reported cases so it seems plausible that some of it happens, but it likely got exaggerated over the years.

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    I think it would be appropriate to mentioning that Dr Tucker is not a expert in quantum physics, and his references to quantum mechanics is pure gibberish. I wonder if we can find a reference to that end? – Oddthinking Feb 4 '17 at 9:27
  • Reference that he is not an expert in quantum physics?? – ventsyv Feb 4 '17 at 15:02
  • This answer is pure speculation that does nothing to actually address the specific incident in question. – jwodder Feb 4 '17 at 22:42
  • @ventsyv: I read some of the explanation he spouted, and even I can recognise it as gibberish. That isn't a reference - I did have a brief look yesterday to see if I could find an expert who had weighed in, but failed. (I have limited Internet access at the moment, which made it too difficult.) – Oddthinking Feb 4 '17 at 23:12
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    This answer suggests most of the cases are non-Western, but as I mentioned in my skeptically-downvoted-to-heck answer, there are also many documented Western cases and respected Western thinkers who have dedicated much of their lives to researching these sorts of cases. It's hard to get non-"anecdotal" evidence if you say even the doctors must be suspected of inventing their confirmations the subjects had no way of knowing various details, or skeptic police captain Robert Snow's own experience trying to disprove it and having an experience himself. – Dronz Feb 5 '17 at 18:23

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