How was the “weight of the soul” derived? -GIGAZINE

Many people have heard the discourse that “the weight of the human soul is 21 grams”. In 2003, the movie “Life” with the theme of life and life21 gramsScience news site Live Science has summarized the “ research to examine the weight of the human soul ” that has been handed down in various ways, such as the production of “.

How much does the soul weigh? | Live Science

The theory that the human soul weighs 21 grams was coined by an American doctor who was active in the early 20th century.Duncan McDougallHowever, I thought, “If a human being has a soul, the soul must occupy space, and if it occupies space, it must have weight.”

Seeking to prove his hypothesis, McDougal worked with a charitable hospital for tuberculosis patients, who at the time had no effective treatment, to build a large scale capable of loading terminally ill tuberculosis patients and cots. Patients with tuberculosis were selected for the experiment, McDougall wrote in his paper, because they were in such a weak state when they died that it was convenient that the scale would not be shaken by human movements. .

And on April 10, 1901, when McDougal’s first subject, a male patient, died, the scale’s memory dropped sharply by 0.75 ounces (about 21.2 grams). This is the moment when the theory that “the human soul weighs 21 grams” was born.

The experiment also found that the second subject lost 0.5 ounces (about 14 grams) 15 minutes after he stopped breathing, and that the third subject lost 0.5 ounces after the first minute. It was later observed that it decreased by 1 ounce (about 28.3 grams) and showed a two-step change, but these records are rarely talked about.

McDougall also discarded the data for a fourth female subject who died of diabetes, saying, “The scale was not properly adjusted due to interference by those who opposed our experiment.” (10.6 grams) Although the weight was reduced, the scale malfunctioned and the result was questionable. Also, the sixth person died while calibrating the scale, so this data is also invalid.

In addition, McDougall also tested 15 dogs and found no weight loss. McDougal has a theory about this, “It seems that not all dogs are definitely going to heaven.”

McDougall published the results of this research in the medical journal “American Medicine” in 1907 and the journal of the American Society for Psychical Research “Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research”, and The New York Times also covered McDougal’s research. .

Nonetheless, McDougal’s experiment, which had a small sample size and disparate results, was treated as questionable even at the time. McDougall himself said that “more measurements are needed to confirm the weight of the soul,” but it was not realized due to ethical issues and the eccentricity of the experiment.

Also, when a rancher in Oregon conducted a similar experiment with 12 sheep, the result was that ‘the weight increased by 1 to 7 ounces (about 30 to 200 grams) and then returned to the original after a few seconds.’ In addition, a doctor named Gary Nahum tried to conduct a follow-up test with a highly accurate electromagnetic wave measuring instrument, saying that “the soul and consciousness should be linked to information equivalent to some kind of energy.” I’m here.

About the history of scientific experiments that tried to approach the essence of the soul, Live Science said, “In short, in the world of science, the weight of the soul and whether the soul exists in the first place have not been decided at all.Therefore, this problem is It will probably be left to the religious realm,” he concluded.

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