IS THERE A HUMAN SOUL?
Dr. Duncan MacDougall weighed his patients just before they died. After they died, he did it again.
If the soul had slipped quietly away, there would have been a very slight difference. Which is exactly what he found. A few grams . The average weight of the human soul. The soul was the spiritual heart of “man”. Everyone had one. Everyone knew it was there. Even now in the 21st century, most people believe there is a soul. The body dies. The soul doesn’t.
Why don’t surgeons ever see souls during an abdominal operation?
Well MacDougall was wrong apparently. When others tried to get the same results, they couldn’t . MacDougall got fooled by the fact that his equipment simply wasn’t accurate enough to measure such a small difference in weight.
MacDougall took an idea that lots of people believed and then he tried, scientifically, to prove it. That’s a good thing.
Maybe it sounds that way to you, okay? But he was trying to use the best tools he had to collect evidence about something that was poorly understood.
We like that.
MISTER ScienceAintSoBad has talked about faith in the past.
Faith is faith. It isn’t scientific. But it means so much to so many that MISTER ScienceAintSoBad keeps his head down. Most people manage to have room for discordant ideas about religion and science. Maybe it’s crazy. But we’re the planet’s humans, right? We get to do things our way. We’re inconsistent but that’s who we are.
It’s hard to say what people mean when they talk about the soul. On what level do they believe in this elusive unfleshy thing? Are they being metaphorical? Are they being completely literal? Do they think it’s in there under the spleen? Could trauma, like a crushing injury to the abdomen in a car accident, do something bad to the soul?
MISTER ScienceAintSoBad has come to appreciate the exquisite and beautiful contradictions in our world. We don’t necessarily shed all of our old ideas; we just add a layer of new stuff. Most Americans believe in the existence of a “Higher Being”. And pray at least occasionally. And believe there’s a “better place” to pass on to. But most also believe the evidence of their own eyes and respect scientific achievements.
Is this bad?
In this country where approximately 85% of the people believe in “something or other”, rapid developments in science and technology are the norm and – you know what? – us poor bloggers can’t even keep up with the flow of new stuff.
If this is how religion impedes science, I would hate to see the unimpeded version.
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The drawing is mine.
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