Richard Dawkins Explores What Science Tells Us About Death

In his latest documentary for Channel 4, Richard Dawkins explores Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life. The series has three episodes and runs through the end of the month. Episode 1 was about “sin.”

In Episode 2, Dawkins explores what science can tell us about death:

I haven’t seen the whole thing yet, so if you like any particular moments, please leave the timestamps and summary in the comments!

(via BBUK0001)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Pen

    The last five minutes.  Moving and inspiring beyond words.

  • Guest

    The arrogance of some men know no bounds. They think they are capable of knowing everything. I wouldn’t dare say with absolute certainty that only what the mind, a minute speck in the universe, can comprehend and perceive, is the only reality. My boss always like to tell us that the mind is infinite and how I wish that that is true. Meanwhile, I happily lay back and marvel at the beauty of the universe and speculate about other universes beyond ours-and of course, the pettiness of man.

    • Randomfactor

       The pettiness of man, who starts a religion and tells everyone ELSE what they know about their imaginary gods with “absolute certainty.”

      • Guest

        The arrogance of man, a speck of star dirt, to think they know what others know is not true.

        • Pluto Animus

           Some say Santa Claus does not exist, but only an arrogant person would say so.

          Thank goodness for us arrogant atheists!

    • allein

      Christians think the universe was created especially for them, that God has a plan just for them, and we’re the arrogant ones? How does that work?

      I haven’t watched the video yet, but according to the post, it’s about “what science can tell us about death”…how does that imply that we are capable of knowing “everything”? There are things we can know through science, there are things we can make reasonable but tentative conclusions about, there are things we can only speculate on. I don’t understand why that is such a problem for some people. Seems to me, people who insist that they know what happens after death, and what God wants us to do while we’re alive to ensure that we go to the “good” afterlife, are the ones who think we can know things that aren’t possible to know.

      • allein

        And now I’ve watched the whole thing, and I don’t see anything implying Dawkins (or anyone else featured) thinks we can know “everything.” And what’s wrong with knowing things, anyway? There are some fascinating things out there to learn. I’m no scientist and I’ll never understand all the details but I find things like “marveling at the beauty of the universe” as all the more exciting when I can understand even a fraction of how it all might work.

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      Epistemology can be divided in the following three classes:

      1. Things we have already figured out
      2. Things we are capable of knowing but just haven’t figured out yet
      3. Things our limited brains are just not capable of figuring out

      It is hard to distinguish between classes 2 and 3 but most people (even atheists) believe that class 3 exists.

      I’m fine if people want to poetically call class 3 “God”.  But at the same time, I think it is ridiculous and irresponsible to project human meaning and characteristics into class 3 as religious scripture does.  If something is unknown (or unknowable), then the only honest stance is to say “I don’t know” and strive to determine if it possibly could be in class 2 and try to figure it out.  If it can’t be figured out, people should not then make up all sorts of supernatural stories about it, propagate the stories, and then subtly (or not so subtly) persecute those that don’t believe the stories.

    • Deven Kale

       It seems everybody else is assuming you’re just a Christian trying to call atheists arrogant again, but I’m not so sure. To me, it actually seems the other way around. So what is it, exactly, that you’re saying? Is it we atheists that are arrogant, or the Christians who think they have all the answers?

      • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

        The “Guest” response to Randomfactor was less ambiguous about who he was criticizing. Although, he was criticizing a straw man of atheism.

  • Craig

    I’ve always loved viewing Richard Dawkins’ various documentaries.  These 2 parts have been excellent and I look forward to the final part soon!  He makes it so easy to look past the supernatural and to think about what we are and why reality matters.

    • allein

      Me too! I’ve had the first part open in another tab since it was posted but I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.

      When he was talking about putting his genome disk into the family vault, I couldn’t help but picture future archaeologists thousands of years from now excavating the tomb, finding a bunch of ancient bones and a computer drive and what kind of explanation they might come up with for it.

  • Wonder Jam

    A la U.G.

  • Bill

    I found the Hamster Duplicator just facinating!  Technology these days!…


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