Skip to main content

21g is weight of soul in human body: A Scientific Experiment of Dr.MacDougall

On 10th April 1901, Dr. Duncan "om" MacDougall conducted an unusual experiment to prove that humans have soul. According to MacDougall if soul is consider as Matter & it is present in human body then it must have some mass. To calculate mass of soul Dr.MacDougall have to measure weight of human body before & after death.To measure accurate weight macdougall made a custom weight measure machine on which he kept dying patient & wait until patient die naturally without any external cause. He choose TB(tuberculosis)
patients as his test subject because of 2 major reasons:

  • in 1901 cure TB was not known so patient dye naturally
  • at the time of death TB patients die without any heavy movement of muscles or body, hence weight scale can not be disturbed & give more accurate reading. 



  In the company of four other doctors, Dr. MacDougall carefully measured the weight of his first patient prior to his death. Once the patient died, an interesting event occurred.
Suddenly, coincident with death,” wrote Macdougall, “the beam end dropped with an audible stroke hitting against the lower limiting bar and remaining there with no rebound. The loss was ascertained to be three-fourths of an ounce.”
It means his 1st patient loss some amount of weight at the time of death & weight measures is 21g.
He continued on the next patient with the same results.  Dr. MacDougall felt he was on to something extraordinary.  A quote from the 11 March 1907 New York Times article captures the historic moment:
“ The instant life ceased the opposite scale pan fell with a suddenness that was astonishing – as if something had been suddenly lifted from the body.  Immediately all the usual deductions were made for physical loss of weight, and it was discovered that there was still a full ounce of weight unaccounted for”.

Macdougall team of 4 doctors take their own reading & none of the reading were same. Not all patient loss same amount of weight but they did loss some amount of weight which was unaccounted for.Only 4 out of 6 
patient's weight was considered & other 2 readings were not noted due to machine failure or the patient dying prior to the test equipment being in place.

In this experiment one thing was common was weight loss at the time of death & all patient show different weight loss. To prove his theory Macdougall  has taken everything into account, from the air in the lungs to bodily fluids.  It still could not be explained weight loss.  An interesting variation occurred on the third patient, who maintained his same weight immediately upon death. But after one minute, he lost about an ounce of weight.  Dr. MacDougall explained this discrepancy as follows:

“ I believe that in this case, that of a phlegmatic man slow of thought and action, that the soul remained suspended in the body after death, during the minute that elapsed before its freedom.  There is no other way of accounting for it, and it is what might be expected to happen in a man of the subject’s temperament”.
In 1911 Dr.MacDougall had stop the experiment due to low funds & religious belief of people.

Is this experiment prove the presence of soul in human, we will never know unless some one try this experiment with modern technology.




Download Dr. Macdougall's Original research paper





 Devesh Chaudhari
Author:












Reference:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_MacDougall_(doctor)
www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/dark-matters-twisted-but-true/videos/dark-matters-weight-of-the-human-soul.htm
www.historicmysteries.com/the-21-gram-soul-theory/
www.snopes.com/religion/soulweight.asp


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Science of Sleep

We spend a third of our lives doing it. Napoleon, Florence Nightingale and Margaret Thatcher got by on four hours a night. Thomas Edison claimed it was waste of time. Why do we sleep? So why do we sleep? This is a question that has baffled scientists for centuries and the answer is, no one is really sure. Some believe that sleep gives the body a chance to recuperate from the day's activities but in reality, the amount of energy saved by sleeping for even eight hours is miniscule - about 50 kCal, the same amount of energy in a piece of toast.

Alien Hand Syndrome (AHS)

Alien hand syndrome, (AHS) is a rare neurological disorder that causes hand movement without the person being aware of what is happening or having control over the action. The afflicted person may sometimes reach for objects and manipulate them without wanting to do so, even to the point of having to use the healthy hand to restrain the alien hand. Patient suffering from AHS feels that one's hand is possessed by a force outside of ones control and feels sensation in the affected hand but thinks that the hand is not part of their body and that they have no control over its movement, that it belongs to an alien. Hence, syndrome is name as Alien hand syndrome. The first case of AHS was reported 1908 in German by the preeminent German psychiatrist, Kurt Goldstein. Goldstein described a right-handed woman who had suffered a stroke affecting her left side from which she had partially recovered by the time she was seen. However, her left arm seemed as though it belonged to another p

Sleep deprivation can cause schizophrenia like symptoms

Sleep deprivation can cause schizophrenia like symptoms Twenty-four hours of sleep deprivation can lead to conditions similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia in healthy persons, a new study has found. A team led by researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany and King’s College London said that after 24 hours of sleep deprivation in healthy patients, numerous symptoms were noted which are otherwise typically attributed to psychosis or schizophrenia . “It was clear to us that a sleepless night leads to impairment in the ability to concentrate,” said Professor Dr Ulrich Ettinger of the Cognitive