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What Lives On? Investigating Life After Death
11-12-2019, 07:03 AM
Post: #1
What Lives On? Investigating Life After Death
Do we survive the death of our physical bodies? Is there such a thing as a postmortem continuation of the individual? If there is survival, what survives? Does everyone survive? What does it even mean to survive?

Answers to these questions are central to the dogmas of many religions. These same issues are amongst the most refractory when addressed using the techniques of scientific inquiry: data gathering, hypothesis formulation and testing, logical analyses. Indeed, such topics are generally viewed as outside the scope of scientific inquiry, not worth serious thought. As Bertrand Russell commented, “most people would die sooner than think – in fact, they do so.”

Sphinx Geology
In my youth, I didn’t bother to give the afterlife much consideration. I never needed the threat of future hell and damnation to persuade me to be moral now. I identified with those ancient Hebrews who did not necessarily believe in an afterlife (de Vesme, 1931), yet still found it prudent to pursue an honourable life in this world. In college I pursued a very earthly field – the study of rocks – ultimately earning a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from Yale University (1983).

My life changed in 1990. At the invitation of independent Egyptologist John Anthony West, I took my first trip to Egypt – specifically to study the Great Sphinx from a geologic point of view. After several more trips, undertaking various tests and analyses, I came to the conclusion that the oldest portions of the Great Sphinx date back to a much earlier period than previously believed by most Egyptologists and historians. Conventional wisdom places the Great Sphinx in the reign of the Pharaoh Khafre (Chephren), circa 2500 BCE. My studies indicated that the oldest portions of the Great Sphinx (the statue has been repaired many times, and the head re-carved) date back to at least the period of 7000 BCE to 5000 BCE, and perhaps 9000 BCE or earlier.

My Sphinx work immediately caused a firestorm and, though the controversy has abated somewhat two decades later, the implications have only deepened. Essentially, sophisticated culture and civilisation goes back much earlier than formally thought; “history must be rewritten.” Over the years I have been pleased to see confirmation of the crux of my work, as other very ancient sites have been uncovered. A good example is Gobekli Tepe in Turkey where a major monumental carved stone building phase dating to the period of 8000 BCE and earlier has been discovered.
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