Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

Mary Roach
"Equal parts Groucho Marx and Stephen Jay Gould, both enlightening and entertaining."—Sunday Denver Post & Rocky Mountain NewsThe best-selling author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers now trains her considerable wit and curiosity on the human soul. What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. She begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves' heads, a North Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the last surviving sample of "ectoplasm" in a Cambridge University archive.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-12-27
This book was a fascinating read, first is finding out that attempting to find the weight of a soul was actually considered scientific. Then the various "studies" to prove or debunk the spirit world or figure out when a soul entered the fetus. (after 14 days because before then you could have identical twins and each couldn't have 1/2 a soul)

I was astounded to find that reputable universities have a paranormal studies divisions. They are named somewhat differently but when you're trying to prove or disprove spirits they're paranormal. The writing style is informative and tongue in cheek.
Reviewed: 2017-08-29
Book Description The best-selling author of ?Stiff ?and ?Bonk? trains her considerable wit and curiosity on the human soul. "What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that-the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.
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