The Bottom Line
- Brings into question core philosophical assumptions about the nature of material reality
- Great discussions about the methodologies of scientific inquiry
- Some of the science is addressed superficially, without addressing complexities at their root
- Book is written with an agenda. Atheist books should also be read to make a full assessment.
- Doesn't make it clear that much of his evidence is at odds with a literal reading of Genesis.
- Published 2009 by Regnery Publishing, Inc.
- 235 pages of text, plus 18 pages of notes and a 10-page index
- Written by Dinesh D'Souza, conservative author of What's So Great About Christianity.
Guide Review - Life After Death: The Evidence by Dinesh D'Souza
Life After Death is written as a means of combating the arguments put forth by atheists. It makes the case that belief in an afterlife is a rational belief, and does so not by invoking revelation, but by an apply to rational philosophical strategies. In the end, he does make his case for a Christian worldview, but does so through a means different from the usual invocation of biblical authority.
The chapter most pertaining to physics is Chapter 5: The Physics of Immortality, which covers the concepts of multiple universes & extra dimensions (elements of cosmology and string theory) and dark matter/dark energy. D’Souza invokes these concepts for three basic reasons:
- To prove that it is rational for a scientist to believe in unseen phenomena as a means of explaining some property of the seen world.
- To demonstrate that there is, in theory, a physical location where heaven/hell could physically exist.
- To show that science itself does not firmly understand the nature of matter (75% of matter is mysterious and unseen dark matter), so a strict materialistic view of reality doesn't rest on a solid foundation.
In another sense, however, D’Souza is stacking the deck in his favor. (In fairness, so do the atheists.) He does not make it clear that unseen entities are invoked only as a last resort and only in precise ways. When scientists invoke unseen entities unnecessarily, they are ridiculed for it ... or when they invoke unseen entities but cannot quantitatively describe the ways those phenomena impact the situation at hand. We don’t know much about dark matter, but we know with certainty that, whatever other properties it possesses, it must interact gravitationally with ordinary matter (assuming, of course, that it does exist and there isn’t another explanation).
Despite the superficiality on some of these topics, the book overall should be intriguing to all scientists because it brings into question our most fundamental, often unspoken assumption: that the material world is understandable in purely material terms.
Does it absolutely convince me that there is life after death? No, there are assorted other flaws with the book, which I examine elsewhere. But the discussion about physics is, surprisingly enough, actually fairly solid.