What happens after death? Many see this as a question for religions and spirituality. Although since it’s a question about reality, and the job of science is to investigate reality, it’s clearly a question (also) for science. It’s something that can be studied, at least to some extent. And it is something that is currently being studied at a few universities.
It is clearly an essential question. The answer has a huge impact on how we see ourselves and understand the world. So why is it not one of the main areas of studies at universities around the world?
I assume it may be for a couple of different reasons. It has traditionally – long before modern science existed – been a question for religion. Modern science operates from a mainly materialistic worldview. And it is generally a taboo topic in academic circles, at least outside of the religion and philosophy departments.
If or when a scientist takes it seriously and as a topic of research, they break a lot of traditions and taboos. And not everyone are willing or able to do that.
I suspect this will change. I imagine a world in the future where this – and other “parapsychological” topics – are standard subjects for research at universities across the world.
Why? Because these are central questions. Because they can be studied by science. And because existing and future research may accumulate enough data to bring about an eventual paradigm shift.
Image: The Passing of the Soul at Death by Evelyn De Morgan