Got to see Michael Shermer speak about his new book at the always amazing Powell’s Books in Portland last week. Looking forward to reading it this month. 🙂
“Ever since the earliest humans became aware of their mortality, they — we — have been striving to make sense of the big chill and what comes after. Death is undeniable, yet unknowable, a mystery that eludes our intellect, so we must come up with ways to make it all meaningful, something more than nothingness. This dilemma leads inevitably to explanations — beliefs — that include immortality, the soul, resurrection and, most important here, heaven.
“Shermer acknowledges that some believers draw solace and sustenance from their belief in heaven and that they require no proof. But as a professional skeptic, he thinks it’s important to put these powerful and pervasive ideas to the test, with the same rigor that one would use with ESP or alien abduction. Approximately 100 billion humans have come and gone since the beginning of time, he notes, and not a single one has returned to confirm the existence of an afterlife, “at least not to the high evidentiary standards of science.””