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

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

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

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

by Michael Shermer

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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.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250314130
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,106,233
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the author of The Moral Arc, The Believing Brain, and many other bestselling titles.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Prologue: Momento Mori

Part I: Varieties of Mortal Experiences and Immortal Quests
Chapter 1. A Lofty Thought: Imagining Mortality
Chapter 2. What Dreams May Come: Imagining Immortality
Chapter 3. Heavens Above: The Afterlives of the Monotheisms

Part II: The Scientific Search for Immortality
Chapter 4. Heavens Within: The Afterlives of the Spiritual Seekers
Chapter 5. Evidence for the Afterlife: Near Death Experiences and Reincarnation
Chapter 6. Evidence for the Afterlife: Anomalous Psychological Experiences and Talking to the Dead
Chapter 7. Soul Stuff: Identity, Replication, and Resurrection
Chapter 8. Afterlife for Atheists: Can Science Defeat Death?

Part III: All Our Yesterdays and Tomorrows
Chapter 9. All Our Yesterdays: Progress, Decline and the Pull of Pessimism
Chapter 10. All Our Tomorrows: Utopias, Dystopias in Fiction and in Fact

Part IV: Mortality and Meaning
Chapter 11. Why We Die: The Mortal Individual and the Immortal Species
Chapter 12. Imagine No Heaven: Finding Meaning in a Meaningless Universe

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