The point is to differentiate clearly what the Buddha experienced directly and explained and what are later (and our) speculations about what it means. I’m arguing this second is not important and can be left unestablished.
An example to illustrate what I mean. Suppose we are a people from the southern area of Norway many centuries ago. There are rumours about a strange light dancing in the sky, but we never saw it and we are not sure whether it exists or not.
Someone coming back from a hunt up north tells us about his direct experience of seeing the northern lights, and says they are seen in a particular time of the year if one travels north. Also, he says that if one travels further south, one is free from ever seeing the northern lights.
After that person dies, we’re still undecided about what exactly is the mechanism of how the northern lights happen.
Some say it is the shimmering armour of the Valkyries going to war, some say it is a bad omen coming from dead spirits. Some others say it somehow comes from the sun light.
It might seem improbable that it comes from sun light, especially because it is seen in the night sky, and maybe it is more plausible that it is the glow of the Valkyrie’s armour. But those people would have no means to establish which version is true.
And besides, none of these interpretations make any difference in what they had heard from the man who had directly experienced the northern lights: if you travel north, you’ll see them. If you travel south, you’re free from them.
Now: the person who saw directly is the Buddha. Norther light is cyclic birth. Travelling north is clinging. Travelling south is non-clinging.
The Valkyries, dead spirits, sun light, etc. are the various theories about how rebirth happens: it’s a transference of information much like the hypothetical uploading of consciousness into an AI; it’s the continuity of a stream of thoughts in a universal mind; it’s the continuity of a phenomenal consciousness untouched by the death of the body, etc.
I think we simply don’t have the knowledge to establish any of these hypothesis (nor to deny any). And none of these make any difference in the message that craving leads to birth and liberation is achieved by non-clinging.
In that regard, we can’t establish that EBT is against the contemporary emergentist theories of the mind.
Let’s say that the ancient theory that the northern lights are the glow of the goddesses armour is correspondent to the theory that rebirth is the transfer of a conscious stream due to physical causes. Centuries ago, there would be no way to deny that. One can’t establish that the northern lights are not the glow of Valkyrie’s armour before one actually knows the mechanism that produce it.
Those are my only two points: (1) a recognition of our ignorance about the details about rebirth, (2) that this does not make any difference in following the practical message the Buddha actually gave about clinging, non-clinging and rebirth.
The majority here seems to take for granted that EBTs are against physicalist metaphysics. I see that as correspondent to an ancient Norwegian establishing that the northern lights are not the bad omen from dead spirits or that they are not due to radiation from the sun interacting with the atmosphere. And that leads one to deny the theories of other contemporary fields of knowledge. IMO, unnecessarily and probably causing harm to the spread of the message of the Buddha about how to attain freedom from samsara.