does the soul really weigh 21 grams?

Does soul exist? Does it have weight? Does the soul really weigh 21 grams? What happens when a person dies and his soul gets separated from his body?

First time the controversial issue was touched in 1907 by American doctorDuncan McDougall from Haverhill, Massachusetts, who made the following “macabre” experiment: he measured the weight of his patients just before they die and immediately after death in order to find differences.

What were the ultimate results of the experiment? Every dead man lost exactly 21 grams shortly after his death! The doctor did not manage to give a scientific explanation for this curious phenomenon and arguably assumed that 21 grams is the weight of the soul.  

In Byzantine iconography, the bird in the cage...

In Byzantine iconography, the bird in the cage represents the human soul trapped inside the body. The bird outside the cage is therefore the soul after being liberated by death. From a 6th century Byzantine mosaic found in Madaba, Jordan. Flickr data on 2011-07-29: Camera: Pentax K-x Tags: jordan, amman, mosaic, byzantine, ancient, art License: CC BY 2.0 User: Ken and Nyetta Ken & Nyetta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A large number of people consider this hypothesis excessive despite it has not been refuted by modern science. Perhaps it could be argued that the weight reduction can also happen due to exhalation and evaporation, and today most scientists believe that the results of those experiments mainly reflect the spirit of the age about the existence of the soul rather than a real phenomenon.

But doctor McDougall answered like this: The weight loss could not have to do with the moisture coming from exhalation and evaporation of sweat as he calculated these two factors and they found to occur with a speed half a gram per minute, while in the experiment there was a sudden weight loss within a few seconds which can not be explained by the current data.

Moreover, it could be the total air from the lungs, so the doctor and his assistants themselves went to try to exhale at once as much as possible and then breathe with all the power, but there was no change in weighing scales.

In addition, the physician made experiments on 15 dogs but there was no change in weight during the death of animals.

Can we reach a clear conclusion? Until now there is no convincing explanation and this huge question still remains a mystery…  Besides, how can you truly assign “consciousness” a physical attribute such as weight?

*** scratches head ***


2 thoughts on “does the soul really weigh 21 grams?

  1. Things that make you go ‘hmmmm’! A segue to the curious thoughts of old souls and the connection of our soul to its next ‘human’…reincarnation is fascinating.

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous :)

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