“But personality is but a product of the higher nervous system and the brain,” you might say. "So how could it move from one physical body to another?
Well, hold on there. You’re making some pretty big assumptions.
That consciousness is just a product of highly organized matter is just a theory. And the theory has an awful lot going against it.
Of course, if your theory is right, your objection raises serious difficulties. Effectively, reincarnation is scuttled. But if your theory is wrong, the grounds for your objection dissolve.
Apart from that, the objection essentially begs the question. The doctrine of reincarnation holds that we are souls who transmigrate from one body to the next. The objection says that this is wrong because we aren’t souls at all.
Merely to assert this just isn’t enough to amount to a refutation. Without supporting evidence, it’s just an instance of circular reasoning: The doctrine is wrong because it is wrong.
For your objection to be sustainable, you need to show us—not merely tell us but persuasively demonstrate—that the so-called soul (that is, individual consciousness) does arise from and depend upon particular formations of matter.
Though that belief is widely held to, with all the zeal of an article of faith, it is far from scientifically established. It remains a belief, with a lot going against it.
Extensive data gathered in rigorous parapsychological research points to the existence of consciousness as an entity that doesn’t conform to what are usually thought of as material laws.
Such research has shown strong evidence for psychokinesis—that is, the ability to bring about tangible material effects in objects beyond the reach of the muscles and physical senses. And there’s similar evidence for clairvoyance—the ability to see objects and actions beyond the range of natural vision. And this is apart from out-of-body experiences, precognition, evidence for spirit possession, and cases of the reincarnation type.
And we’re talking here not about flimsy research but high-caliber professional work. (For example, the work at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research program.)
Quantum physical arguments offer reasons to suspect that consciousness is an entity unable to be confined within physical systems.
And arguments from information theory show that the genesis of consciousness from matter would require either that enormous levels of complexity develop from the sparest of information (how? and why?) or that enormous amounts of complex information be present in boundary conditions from the start (and again why? and from where?).
And then again: When has science ever generated life in a laboratory?
Set aside naive misconceptions about the Stanley Miller experiments conducted in the 1950’s, in which the outcome was biochemicals
not life but another sort of matter. And set aside talk of cloning, in which to come up with life you start with life to to begin with. When has science ever started with raw chemicals and generated life in a laboratory? The answer is never.
And that leaves an open-minded inquirer free to be persuaded by the considerable strengths of the Vedic view that the conscious living being is indeed a separate entity, transmigrating from one lifetime to the next.