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Heavens on Earth

The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia
Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 by radical life extentionists, extropians, transhumanists, cryonicists, and mind uploaders, along with utopians who have attempted to create heaven on earth.

For millennia, religions have concocted numerous manifestations of heaven and the afterlife, the place where souls go after the death of the physical body. Religious leaders have toiled to make sense of this place that a surprising 74 percent of Americans believe exists but from which no one has ever returned to report what it is really like.

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

©2018 Dr. Michael Shermer (P)2018 Dr. Michael Shermer

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Brilliant!

A compelling, thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable listen from beginning to end. This is one of the best audio books on n my library. Thank you Michael Shermer!

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  • Paul
  • 17-04-2018

Overall great

Important message is live now and don’t miss your life hoping for the next which likely will no go beyond 120. Awesome breadth of information. Now...when standard narrators keep mispronouncing scientific terms, I give them a pass. But when the author does, it gives me pause and forces me to question how familiar they are with the science they are using in their book. Shermer is great, but I am confused about multiple mispronunciations.

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  • Fernando Enrique Plata
  • 06-03-2018

Heaven is Here

I loved it. It sets a basic point to live in the here and now. Highly recommended.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-03-2018

Interesting and very well done

The subject matter is fascinating and Shermer is a brilliant guy. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Travis Adams
  • 15-01-2020

Great book. Makes you think.

Well thought out and researched. Really enjoyed the discussion of the Utopian societies that we have tried and the technology/medicine views that we will eventually outsmart death.

The audio is very quiet though. It needs to be renormalized and compressed to turn the levels up.

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  • Erik Johnson
  • 17-08-2019

Wonderful book and very thorough. Good job.

A ton of reliable research went into this study. Thank you Michael Shermer for making us think.

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  • Jan D. Leslie
  • 20-01-2019

Great food for thought

Engrossing book. covers all attempts to extend life beyond its current bounds, and their short comings. As well as the dangers of utopian fantasies when people try to force them into existance.

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  • BigWally
  • 24-08-2018

Fascinating subject as told by a brilliant author!

This is an absolutely fascinating book about the SCIENTIFIC search for the afterlife, immortality, and utopia. I have read most of Dr. Michael Schermer's books, but this is one of his best! He fully documents all his assertions with scientific studies or experiments. Dr. Schermer is a confirmed skeptic, and he publishes SKEPTIC magazine to which I subscribe. He has monthly lectures at Caltech by world famous philosophers, scientists, authors, etc. I liked the book so well I purchased a hard copy.

While I have the utmost respect for Dr. Schermer, I disagree with him about authors reading their own books which he favors. In my experience, authors (with a few exceptions) should NEVER read their own books. The classic mistake that an author reading his/her own book is that the volume of the speech fluctuates from loud to very soft. Often, the author "trails off" at the end of a sentence. I wish that Dr. Schermer would engage a professional reader, but in an author interview it appears he is always going to read his own books. His co-reader on this book has a very deep voice which many times is difficult to hear clearly.

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  • Alon Marcus
  • 09-05-2018

Little too superficial

While the book covers most of the important issues in this subject I wish some topics such as near death experiences were covered with more details, not just picking low laying fruit kind of narrative.

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  • D.C. Lozar
  • 02-05-2018

A Poignant Work of Scientific Liturature

In his book, “Heavens on Earth,” Michael Shermer does a wonderful job of addressing and debunking many of the anti-aging theories. Additionally, he provides rational arguments as to why humans cling to these theories despite the discouraging evidence. He addresses the ethereal aspects of new-aged religions, the cultish draw of technologic immortality, the way we think as we approach death, and how people are fooled into thinking they've experienced life-after-death or that a child could be the reincarnated soul of a dead pilot. I was impressed with the respect he showed our varied human belief systems even as he methodically dissected the tender flesh to reveal the brittle bones upon which they were built. This is a book for thinkers, written by a thinker, and it garners my highest praise and respect. Well done!

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  • R. Erazo
  • 28-04-2018

Excellent Book

Very thought provoking, informative and intellectually honest. People seem to forget that we are the lucky ones to be alive.

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  • Charlie Sammonds
  • 27-01-2018

A skeptical look at the afterlife and utopia

If you are already familiar with Shermer’s work, you can probably guess what he what he will say about those attempts to achieve utopia. There is a very funny scenario of Shermer describing what it would be like to find his clone in bed with his wife. The last chapter has brilliant life advice. Overall, a fascinating audiobook from which you will learn a lot. The scope is wider than the title suggests.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-01-2018

Boring and distasteful

Would you try another book written by Michael Shermer or narrated by Michael Shermer and David Smalley ?

No. The style of the book was a research paper for a statistical quarterly, utterly boring, the narration was very monotonic.

What was most disappointing about Michael Shermer’s story?

I bought this on the basis of a review on Amazon, the premise sounded very interesting. However the content is presented in what is very often an extremely convoluted style, making it hard to follow. Also I found the chapter on the final statements of executed Texas inmates to be extremely distateful. The suggestion that these comments, made in a position of extreme duress, were a valid tool for analysis of their attitude to death is ridiculous. I felt sick after listening to this chapter.

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