A theoretical physicist has apparently answered the age-old question about what happens to our minds after death and it may not be what you’re hoping to hear.
According to Sean Carroll, an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute and Homewood Professor of Natural Philosophy at The Johns Hopkins University, not much happens at all after death.
The academic gave a talk on the matter at The Amazing Meeting (TAM) - an annual conference that focused on science, skepticism, and critical thinking - in Nevada, in 2012.
Carroll said this is the case because the ‘laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood’.
Because this is understood, once we stop existing as a physical being once we die, there is no material understanding of how we could continue to live in our world, Carroll explained.
“That's because there are no particles and forces that could contain the information in your brain after you die,” he said, adding that the life after death is a ‘claim’ that ‘violates the laws of physics’.
“There is no life after death, despite the photographic evidence here offered,” he told the audience, referencing a cartoon image of a ghost ironically used in his PowerPoint presentation.
“That's because there are no particles and forces that could contain the information in your brain after you die. There’s no way for that knowledge of who you were before you died to persist after the chemical reaction that defines your life comes to an end and I'm speaking really here about some sort of extra material spirit that would somehow be you even after your body ceased to exist.
"That is not compatible with the laws of physics as we know it. We don't need to look carefully at past life regression studies or anything like that. The claim violates the laws of physics.”
Carroll continued by explaining: “What you are is a collection of atoms obeying the laws of nature: 'You are not a physical meat sack that is being driven around by a little blob of spirit energy like a soccer mom driving an SUV.
“There are electrons, protons and neutrons interacting through electromagnetism, the nuclear force and gravity.
“So the laws of physics tell us what those things do - it is not necessary to bring anything else into the equation.”
Later in his talk, Carroll said that this does not take away from humans trying to lead a ‘good and fulfilling and meaningful life’ however the answers we look for should be ‘compatible with how reality works at a fundamental level’.
Well, there you have it folks!Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photo / Wiki Commons