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Doctor Performed Strangely Bizarre Experiment On Humans. What He Discovered Proves The Afterlife!


In 1907, a Massachusetts doctor named Duncan MacDougall performed an unusual series of experiments.

Intrigued by the idea that the human soul had mass, and could therefore be weighed, Dr. MacDougall put together a bed fitted with a sensitive set of beam scales, and convinced a series of terminally ill patients to lie on it during the final moments of their lives.

MacDougallwas nothing if not detail-oriented: He recorded not only each patient’s exact time of death, but also his or her total time on the bed, as well as any changes in weight that occurred around the moment of expiration. He even factored losses of bodily fluids like sweat and urine, and gases like oxygen and nitrogen, into his calculations. His conclusion was that the human soul weighed three-fourths of an ounce, or 21 grams.

It’s hard to imagine these experiments getting any serious attention from the scientific community today. But the lines of thinking that led to them — and the reactions they generated — remain with us to this day.


1907 年時,來自麻薩諸塞州的Duncan MacDougall博士做了一系列不尋常的實驗。


靈感來自人類靈魂有質量並且可以測量的說法,MacDougall博士準備了一張充滿靈敏桿秤的床,並說服一系列病症晚期的病人在生命最後的時刻躺在上面。MacDougall博士以注重細節著稱:他不只記錄病人的精確死亡時間,也記錄病人躺在床上的總時間長,同時也記錄實驗期間重量的任何變化。他甚至將身體失去的體液例如汗、尿,以及氣體像是氧氣和氮氣計入他的算式。他的結論是,人類的靈魂有四分之三盎司或是21 克重。






The results of MacDougall’s study appeared in The New York Timesin March 1907. The article set off a debate between MacDougall and the physician Augustus P. Clarke, who had a field day” with MacDougall’s minuscule measurement techniques.

Clarke pointed out that at the moment of death, the lungs stop cooling the blood, causing the body’s temperature to rise slightly, which makes the skin sweat — accounting for Dr. MacDougall’s missing 21 grams. MacDougall fired back in the next issue, arguing that circulation ceases at the moment of death, so the skin wouldn’t be heated by the rise in temperature.  In 1911 he graced The New York Time’s front page with an announcement that he’d upped the ante. This time, he wouldn’t be weighing the human soul — he’d be photographing it at the moment it left the body.

Although he expressed concern that the soul substancemight become [too] agitated” to be photographed at the moment of death, he did manage to perform a dozen experiments in which he photographed a light resembling that of the interstellar ether” in or around patients’ skulls at the moments they died.


1907 年三月,MacDougall’s博士的研究結果被刊載在紐約時報上。這篇文章記錄了MacDougall’s博士和Augustus P. Clarke醫生的辯論,後者說他和MacDougall’s博士微不足道的測量技術玩得很過癮Clarke  醫生指出,在死亡的那一刻,肺停止降溫血液,使身體的溫度微微提高,使皮膚出汗,那就是MacDougall博士的失蹤21 克。


MacDougall博士在下一個議題反擊,指出死亡時循環停止,所以皮膚不會因為溫度的升高而流汗。在1911 年時,他登上紐約時報的頭版,因為他發表聲明表示這次他將加碼。這次,他不會測量人類靈魂的重量,他將把靈魂離開身體的一瞬間拍下來。






References to MacDougall’s experiments continue to spring forth in pop culture every few years, from the Victorian era right up to today. The idea that the soul weighs 21 grams has appeared in novels, songs, and movies — it’s even been the title of a film. Dan Brown described MacDougall’s experiments in some detail in his adventure yarn The Lost Symbol.

The idea of weighing the soul remains with us. It’s romantic.


流行文化每隔幾年就會從MacDougall’s博士的實驗找尋靈感,從維多利亞時代到今日都是。靈魂的重量是21 克的說法出現在小說、歌曲和電影中,甚至直接作為電影的名字。丹·布朗(Dan Brown)在他的書「失落的符號」中曾仔細描述MacDougall博士的實驗。






To understand why MacDougall wanted to weigh the soul — and why he thought he could — it helps to understand the environment in which he operated. His work is rife with terms and ideas recognizable from early psychological theorists Freud and Jung.

We’re still profoundly ignorant today, as any honest scientist will tell you. Certain behaviors of quantum particles still baffle the brightest minds; and we’re still a long way from understanding exactly how our brains do most of what they do. We keep looking for the dark matter that constitutes more than 80 percentof the universe’s mass, but we haven’t actually seena single atom of it or know where, exactly, it is.

想瞭解MacDougall’s博士為了瞭解為何想秤重靈魂,以及他為何認為他辦得到,我們可以從了解他所處環境下手,這會有幫助。他的工作充滿了早期心理理論家榮格(Carl Gustav Jung)和佛洛伊德(Sigmund Freud)的術語和可辨別的想法。


我們今日依然無知,任何誠實的科學家都會這樣告訴你。量子束縛態quantum particles)的某些行為依然在最聰明的人之間被辯論; 我們在了解大腦運作方面還有很長的路要走。我們還在研究構成超過百分之80的宇宙質量的暗物質,但是我們卻還未真的看到一個此物質的分子,也不知道它到底存在於哪裡。


Dark matter cannot be photographed, but researchers can detect it and map it by measuring gravitational lensing. Its distribution is shown here in the blue overlay of the inner region of Abell 1689, a cluster of galaxies 2.2 billion light years away. (Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/Yale/CNRS)

暗物質沒辦法被攝影,但是研究人員可以偵測它並在地圖上標出它,這要運用引力透镜效應(gravitational lensing)的測量。暗物質的分佈就在藍色的覆蓋區域,也就是星系團阿貝爾1689Abell 1689)的內部,阿貝爾1689是22 億光年遠的星系團。(圖片來源:NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/Yale/CNRS 



And in all these dark corners, we still find people looking for the soul. Some claimwe’ll eventually discover it among quantum particles. Others insistit’s got something to do with the electromagnetic waves our brains generate. Most scientists reject these claims. But , many people won’t give up to prove it.


The universe is full of real unsolved mysteries, whose real answers are out there somewhere.The measurable, physical universe is more than eerie enough.