Soul Existence

on Monday, June 03, 2013

Victorian doctor who weighed the human soul


Dr Duncan MacDougall tried to prove the existence of the human soul by measuring the weight of a person at the moment of death. He had 6 patients, all of which experienced weight loss of an average 21 grams.
This happened exactly in the year  1901 in Massachusetts where surgeon Dr. Duncan MacDougall attempted to prove the existence of the soul by weighing a person before, and right after, death. He hacked an industrial beam scale so that it could be attached to a hospital bed. Then, he began to seek out a subject in the terminally ill patients at the hospital. First up was a man dying of tuberculosis. 


According to MacDougall, “The instant life ceased, the opposite scale pan fell with a suddenness that was astonishing – as if something had been lifted from the body.” Apparently, 21 grams was missing from his body. MacDougall reproduced the experiment several more times. The physician's work has become a classic tale that, of course, is still widely cited by philosophers, skeptics, and "believers." And yes, it's MacDougall's experiments that inspired the film 21 Grams too. Fourteen Times weighs the truths, half-truths, and unknowns of "the strange deathbed experiment of Dr. MacDougall.

Sources:
From FT,facebookgroup,boingboing.net

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