Books by Brights

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

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

Authors: Michael Shermer
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (2018)
ISBN-10: 1627798579
ISBN-13: 978-1627798570
To Purchase: Available from Amazon.


When it comes to weird phenomena or strange coincidences, humans have a propensity to fill in any explanatory gaps with a conceived existence of beings or forces greater than ourselves. This way, we make the unexplainable, somehow explainable. Dr. Shermer, in this book has addressed that widespread proclivity of our species, as well as humanity’s desire for “something” to exist that lies beyond our mortal sphere. In recognizing empirically that we humans are indeed mortal, we are nonetheless sorely challenged to imagine our personal impermanence. That is, it is difficult to picture one’s own death ahead meaning that we will be no more. Shermer points out ways that our species subverts the finality of our own existence. Besides tackling humankind’s quest of immortality and an afterlife, he also speaks to the actions of other creatures in the face of the others’ deaths that they observe. He further probes various forms of what he terms “techno-optimism, in which humans believe that we might with adequate technological progress actually overcome death, or at the very least, delay aging. He explores various forms of such efforts (e.g., of cryogenics, transhumanists, Omega Point theorists). All in all, a general look at the chase for immortality in some form or other!

About the Authors

Dr. Shermer is a science writer and founder of the Skeptics Society, which publishes Skeptic Magazine. An author of copious books and several audio courses, he is also a regular columnist for Scientific American and has delivered numerous public lectures and TED talks.

Back to "Books by Brights" Index

The Brights' Net
P.O. Box 163418
Sacramento, CA 95816 USA

To be counted as a Bright, please use the registration form.

Copyright © 2021 The Brights' Network. All rights reserved.


Creative Commons License
"the brights" logo by The Brights' Net is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at