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The big sleep and beyond: What’s behind our fascination with the afterlife




Dr Michael Shermer speaks to students and guests as he promotes his book
Dr Michael Shermer speaks to students and guests as he promotes his book "The Moral Arc: How Science Leads Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom" held at Tilburg University in the Dante Building on March 17, 2015 in Tilburg, Netherlands.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

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Heaven. Hell. Reincarnation. What happens after we die has been a core aspect of many religions, and a subject of imagination for many practitioners of the arts.

According to a 2007 Pew poll, 74 percent of those surveyed said they believed in an afterlife, with 50 percent saying they believed with “absolute certainty.”

In his new book, Michael Shermer of Skeptic magazine explores what drive this unyielding fascination in our culture – and how science and technology are being used towards its exploration and towards ways to extend one’s life.

Michael Shermer will be discussing his new book, “Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia” tonight at the New Roads School in Santa Monica. The event starts at 8pm.

Guest:

Michael Shermer, author of numerous books, including his newest, “Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia” (Henry Holt and Co., 2018); publisher of Skeptic magazine; he tweets @michaelshermer