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21 Grams for the human Soul? .... E=MC^2


wa1ex
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More of A question than a post really:

 

I have tried searching for this 21 gram urban Legend and any other attempts at disproving it

 

but what if the Soul does Exist and it does affect the Weight of a material body upon departure?

 

Einsteins Theory says that the speed of light has an effect on Mass and I was wondering once the soul exits the body and does so at speeds greather than light would this have an effect on the weight of the human body?

 

Im open to Ideas or criticism....at the end of it all we leave this world with more questions than answers :)

 

 

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Actually its not an urban legend. I read this guy took a bunch of sick and dying people and put them on a weighing table and balance their weight. at the moment of death the weight dropped, when he readjusted he found the average between the 6 people he tried this with was 21 grams. he accounted for their bodily functions and everything, yet the moment of death they all lost weight. This was maybe the early 1900's. I am sure you can follow this link to snopes.com which indicates this is not an urban legend but is in fact true!

 

http://www.snopes.com/religion/soulweight.asp

 

 

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Quote from the site you gave me:

 

"What to make of all this? MacDougall's results were flawed because the methodology used to harvest them was suspect, the sample size far too small, and the ability to measure changes in weight imprecise. For this reason, credence should not be given to the idea his experiments proved something, let alone that they measured the weight of the soul as 21 grams. His postulations on this topic are a curiousity, but nothing more."

 

The Experiment was real but the results are yet still questionable...but I do think this deserves more investigation and study....

 

 

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wa1ex,

 

I have tried searching for this 21 gram urban Legend and any other attempts at disproving it

 

but what if the Soul does Exist and it does affect the Weight of a material body upon departure?

 

Einsteins Theory says that the speed of light has an effect on Mass and I was wondering once the soul exits the body and does so at speeds greather than light would this have an effect on the weight of the human body?

You actually put all of the information into your post as well as a reference to the correct formula to test whether it is an urban legend or not.

 

(This is a scientific and not a religious analysis).

 

If we assume that the 21 gams of "soul" exits the body as energy then apply the formula:

 

E = mc^2

 

E = .021 kg * (300,000,000 m/sec)^2 =1.89 *10^15 Joules (I converted grams to kilograms to make the result come out in Joules (kilogram meters^2 per seconds^2)

 

Yikes! That's a lot of energy being released.

 

The conversion is on the order of:

 

1 gm M yields approx. 10 kt TNT release. So 21 gm (.021 kg) converted to energy is a medium sized strategic thermonuclear device...210 kt.

 

Again, this is a scientific answer and not a religious answer. The nature of the "soul" is generally a matter of faith.

 

But if a body dies and almost instantly loses 21 grams of mass as some form of energy you probably wouldn't want to attend the death bed, hospital or city. Call it in from another county. ;)

 

 

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bogz,

 

Does energy always interact with mass? Is it possible for the energy to take a form that wouldn't be noticed by our senses?

According to the equation "E=mc^2" energy doesn't just interact with mass - energy is equivalent to mass.

 

Its common to indicate that c=1. If you do that then the formula simply becomes

 

E=m.

 

Can energy be in a form that our senses don't necessarily detect? Sure. For instance our senses can't detect radio waves, x-rays, gamma rays or cosmic rays. Our senses normally only detect the light spectrum plus a bit of the infrared and ultraviolet fringes of that spectrum.

 

Can the almost instantaneous conversion of 21 grams of mass to energy not be detected by our senses? Yes - if you are too close to the event. In that case you won't detect it because you'll be dead. But if you're far enough away you'll detect the sound, heat and visible light spectrum (if you're looking at it, however, it will be the last time that you detect any visible light).

 

 

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