Paradise Mislaid: Birth, Death and the Human Predicament of Being Biological

E. J. Applewhite, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-312-05944-6
Infused with the maverick spirit of R. Buckminster Fuller (with whom Applewhite wrote Synergetics ), this eloquent and elegant treatise brings the weight of modern science to bear on age-old questions: What is life? Exactly what differentiates living and inanimate matter? What are the prospects for survival after bodily death? Applewhite concludes that an adequate definition of life eludes scientists, as he ranges from biochemists' and physicists' probings to neuroscientists' modeling of the human brain using neural networks or computers capable of learning. As for post-death existence, he is a reluctant skeptic. His open-ended inquiry encompasses the nature of viruses and tardigraves (microscopic organisms that grow solely by the enlargement of existing cells), sleep and dream research, the thresholds separating embryo, fetus and infant, the concept of self and the human predicament of being a ``risen ape.'' (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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