The Soul has Weight!!
- By Mayar Moheb -
Have you ever thought about your soul's weight? If you're the same as me, then you must've thought that our souls are weightless things...But let me surprise you with the rule of "21 grams".
The "21 grams" experiment refers to a scientific study published in 1907 by Duncan MacDougall, a physician from Haverhill, Massachusetts. MacDougall hypothesized that souls have a physical weight, and attempted to measure the mass lost by a human when the soul departed the body. MacDougall attempted to measure the mass change of six patients at the moment of death...using dogs instead of humans. One of the six subjects lost three-fourths of an ounce (i.e.: 21.3 grams).
One of the patients lost weight but then put the same weight back-on, two other patients registered a weight loss at the moment of death but a few minutes later lost even more weight. One of the patients lost "three-fourths of an ounce". MacDougall disregarded the results of another patient on the grounds the scales were "not finely adjusted", and discounted the results of another as the patient died while the equipment was still being calibrated. MacDougall reported that none of the dogs lost any weight after death.
While MacDougall believed the results from his experiment showed the human soul might have weight, his report, which was not published until 1907, stated that the experiment would have to be repeated many times before any conclusion could be obtained.
Following the publication of the experiment in "The American Medicine", physician Augustus P. Clarke criticized the experiment's validity. Clarke noted that at the time of death there is a sudden rise in body temperature as the lungs are no longer cooling blood, causing a subsequent rise in sweating which could easily account for MacDougall’s missing 21 grams.
Clarke's criticism was published in the May issue of "The American Medicine" but arguments between MacDougall and Clarke debating the validity of the experiment continued to be published in the journal until at least December of the same year.
Whether the soul does have a physical weight or not, it's a pretty interesting topic to think about seeing that the soul is one of the things that science has failed to objectively tackle till this day.