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Bill Bass

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Dr. Bill Bass, prof. of forensic anthropology at Univ. of Tennessee at Knoxville, and head of the UT Anthropology Research Facility, better known as "The Body Farm."

Supporting documentation: His book Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab, The Body Farm, Where the Dead Do Tell Tales (2003, G.P. Putnam's Sons):

p. 214: "All my life I'd been a believing Christian. ... But that instant in the ER--the instant Annette [his wife] died--I seemed to feel my religious faith die, too.

"As I thought more about it in the bleak days and weeks that followed, I decided the Bible had gotten it exactly backward. Maybe God hadn't created us in His image; maybe we'd created God in *our* image."

p. 279: "Once upon a time I believed in an afterlife. I believed in it for fully sixty years after my father shot himself. But then Ann died, and then Annette [his second wife] died, and suddenly nothing I'd grown up believing about God and heaven made any sense to me any longer. We're organisms; we're conceived, we're born, we live, we die, and we decay. But as we decay we feed the world of the living: plants and bugs and bacteria."