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Ancient Egyptians believed that humans go on a long journey after death. This journey is very difficult in which he reaches the 'Hall of Double Truth' riding on the boat of the Sun God (called Egyptians Ra). According to legends, the soul is seen and judged in this hall of truth-finding. Here the weight of the pen of the goddess of truth and justice is compared to the weight of the heart of a human being.
Ancient Egyptians believed that all the good and bad deeds of man are written on his heart. If a man has lived a simple and honest life, his soul's weight will be less like a feather and he will have a permanent place in the heaven of Osiris.
A glimpse of this ancient recognition of Egypt was found in research published in 1907 in the 'Journal of the American Society for Psychic Research'. The research, titled 'Hypothesis on the Substance of the Soul Along with Expert Evidence for the Existence of Sad Subject', discussed the use of a human soul after its death.
An article related to this research appeared in the New York Times in March 1907, in which it was clearly written that doctors feel that the soul also has a certain weight. There was a discussion about the use of a physician named Doctor Duncan McDougall.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1866, Doctor Duncan moved to Massachusett, the USA at the age of twenty. He completed his studies at the University of Houston's School of Medicine and spent most of his life treating people at a charitable hospital in the city of Heveril. The owner of that hospital was a businessman whose business was mainly with China. One of the important things he brought from China was the scales of Fairbanks. These scales were first made in 1830 and it was easy to accurately measure large objects.
Where Dr. Duncan used to work, he used to see the death of people the day he came. Seeing the weighing machine in the hospital, he got the idea of measuring the weight of the human soul. According to an article in the New York Times, the subject of research came to the public six years after the incident. It was- "To know that after the death of a human being when his soul is separated from the body, what changes in the body due to that?"
The subject of his research was not intended to prove the belief of the ancient Egyptians or to know anything about the Egyptian gods and goddesses, but the theme certainly matched that ancient belief. You can understand that he started his research only with the fact that the soul is separate from the human body after death. That is, they were not questioning whether the soul was there or not. But somewhere in the result of his research, there was a possibility of recognizing this at the level of science.
The experiment of Doctor Duncan McDougall
Doctor Duncan McDougall made a special kind of bed made of an extremely lightweight frame which he fitted on the large scales present in the hospital. They balance the scales in such a way that less than an ounce of weight (one ounce equals about 28 grams) can be measured. Those who were seriously ill or who had no hope of survival were laid on this special bed and their death process was closely watched.
He would keep writing any changes in body weight in his notes. During this time, he also kept calculating the weight, assuming that water, blood, sweat, faeces, urine or oxygen, nitrogen levels would also change in the body. In his research, four more physicians were working with him and all were keeping these figures separately.
Doctor Duncan claimed, "When a person breathes his last, his body weights half or a quarter and a half ounce."
Doctor Duncan said, "The moment the body becomes inactive, the scale of the scales goes down rapidly. It seems that something has suddenly gone out of the body."
According to Dr Duncan, he also experimented with 15 dogs and found that the results were negative. He said, "There was no change in his body weight at the time of death". He explained the result of this experiment in such a way that 'at the time of death there is a change in the bodyweight of a human being because they have a soul in their body but there is no change in the body of dogs because there is no soul in their body. '
There were many shortcomings in the research, which
lasted for six years, in this experiment, only 6 cases were researched. One problem was that the data collected by the two doctors were not included in the research. One said, "Our scales (scales) were not fully adjusted and outsiders were also protesting a lot about our work." The other physician said, "This investigation was not accurate. One patient died within five minutes of being put to bed. I had not even fully adjusted the scales when he died."
In this case, the result of the research was based on only four patients i.e. four cases. In this also, in three cases immediately after death, the bodyweight first suddenly decreased and then increased after some time. In the fourth case, the bodyweight first suddenly decreased then increased and once again decreased. Another important point of investigation related to the research was that Dr. Duncan and his team could not accurately tell what the right time for his death was.
Truth is told, in the discussion that started about this research, people started appearing divided into two camps. Some US newspapers who believe in religion said that these results of the research cannot be denied and that this research is proof that the soul exists. However, Doctor Duncan himself said that he is not convinced that his research has proved anything. He said that his research is an only preliminary investigation and more research is needed in this matter.
The scientific community not only refused to accept the results of their research but also refused to acknowledge the validity of their experiment. But the changes in the body before the six people that Dr. Duncan had researched remains a topic of discussion even today. Based on this research, many people still say that the weight of a human soul is three fourth ounces or 21 grams. This was a change in Doctor Duncan's first subject's body after death.