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Heavens on Earth : The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia
by Michael Shermer


Overview -

A scientific exploration into humanity's obsession with the afterlife and quest for immortality from the bestselling author and skeptic Michael Shermer

In his most ambitious work yet, Shermer sets out to discover what drives humans' belief in life after death, focusing on recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality along with utopian attempts to create heaven on earth.  Read more...


 
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More About Heavens on Earth by Michael Shermer
 
 
 
Overview

A scientific exploration into humanity's obsession with the afterlife and quest for immortality from the bestselling author and skeptic Michael Shermer

In his most ambitious work yet, Shermer sets out to discover what drives humans' belief in life after death, focusing on recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality along with utopian attempts to create heaven on earth.

For millennia, religions have concocted numerous manifestations of heaven and the afterlife, and though no one has ever returned from such a place to report what it is really like--or that it even exists--today science and technology are being used to try to make it happen in our lifetime. From radical life extension to cryonic suspension to mind uploading, Shermer considers how realistic these attempts are from a proper skeptical perspective.

Heavens on Earth concludes with an uplifting paean to purpose and progress and how we can live well in the here-and-now, whether or not there is a hereafter.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781627798570
  • ISBN-10: 1627798579
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publish Date: January 2018
  • Page Count: 320
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Science > Philosophy & Social Aspects
Books > Religion > Religion & Science
Books > Social Science > Sociology - General

 
BookPage Reviews

Never say die

How do you convincingly dismiss most of civilization’s beliefs in the hereafter and still arrive at fresh optimism about the meaning of our all-too-human existence? Bestselling author and Scientific American columnist Michael Shermer does a fine job of it—and much more—in his absorbing 15th book, Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia.

As the subtitle promises, statistics and studies abound in this thoroughly researched book. Believers, philosophers, scholars and physicians all have their theories and “proofs” for life after death, methodically examined and just as respectfully refuted by Shermer.

But wait—don’t we already know there is little credible evidence of life after death? Who, after all, has died and returned to tell us about it? And if there is no life after death, how does one find purpose in life? Allow Shermer to introduce you to the singularitarians, Omega Point Theorists, transhumanists, extropians, cryonicists and mind-uploaders. The quest for utopia here on earth has inspired communities as diverse as Jim Jones’ deadly cult and the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.

If the pursuit of immortality in an afterlife or utopia proves elusive, Shermer concludes by offering a cogent argument for seeking answers in a purposeful life. “Heaven and hell are within us, not above and below us,” he insists. “We create our own purpose.” Find meaning in love, family, work and involvement both socially and politically. Ultimately, Shermer is a believer in the power of our unique souls. He suggests, compellingly, that we seek heaven here on earth.

 

This article was originally published in the January 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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