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Is there life after death?

Is there life after death?
Rianne from Surrey (age 5-14)

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2 Responses

  1. Putting aside the possible religious, metaphysical and speculative answers to this question – as a scientist and pathologist I would have to say that an individual life, as we know it, ceases at the point the brain electrical activity stops. What is left, whether the heart is still beating, is just a shell.

    However, we all leave something behind us which perhaps might be regarded as a sort of “life after death”. I often tell my children that they will always have a part of me with them because 50% of their genes come from me! The combination of genes and upbringing means they both have inherited many of my characteristics and thought processes – very spooky at times!

    Moreover, the human brain is extremely good at creating predictive models of people’s likely behaviour, particularly those close to us. We can often predict fairly accurately how our mother/father/sibling/friend would react to a particularly situation and when we lose someone close to us this can be a comfort. So perhaps we should regard “life after death” as living in others memories and our genetic legacy.

    Tim Dawson
    Consultant and Senior Lecturer in Neuropathology
    Royal College of Pathologists

    The Royal College of Pathologists is holding an event entitled, Sex Drugs and Alcohol during National Science and Engineering Week. Our first National Pathology Week (3 – 9 November 2008) is taking place this year. See http://www.rcpath.org/index.asp?PageID=1526 for more details.

  2. Try to be brave Rianne – enjoy the one life that you have in the certain knowledge that you will not get any more.

    As far as your body is concerned, it will change and decay. The elements that it’s made from will eventually become available again to the soil and to the air.

    And your conscioussness will not be restored in any after life. That’s just what some religious people believe, but there is no basis for that belief.

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