It kind of crept up on me, but I think Discover is now my favourite popular science magazine. The following bit (among others) just made me realize this.
In the latest issue, June 2007, there's an article about the search for the human soul. It gives a brief overview of some of the attempts made to discover and quantify the soul, but one view in particular stood out - and perhaps it's not new: the idea that consciousness is an entangled quantum state that may exist (for an undertermined period of time) outside of the biological context.
(Unfortunately, the article isn't online yet)"...When the blood supply and the oxygen stops, things go bad and the coherence stops, but quantum information at the Planck scale isn't lost. It may dissipate into the universe but remain somehow entangled in some kind of functional unit, maybe indefinitely. If the pateint is revived, the information gets picked back up again."
Philosophically at least, it's an interesting idea to play around with. Pretend that this soul does indeed exist - it seems to follow that it should arise as a result of the structure and function of our biological brain, but what then? Does it influence our biology as well? Is this our life after death, and if so, what does it look like?
I've never been too fond of oblivion, so this is interesting to me.