Monday, October 29, 2007

Do human souls have mass?

A man by the name of Dr. Duncan MacDougall claimed that the human soul actually has mass and went out to prove it by conducting an experiment in 1907. In the experiment which was conducted in a controlled environment, he laid 6 subjects who were close to death on beds which was constructed with a “delicately balanced platform beam scale” integrated into it. Upon death, it was found that out of the 6 subjects, 4 subjects have lost some weight. For the remaining two, one subject passed away 5 minutes before the experiment began and the other the scales were not properly tuned. In the process of weighing, MacDougall took into account the mass loss due to respiration and evaporation of sweat. If there is bowel movement upon death, it will still remain on the bed cum scales.

Result: There was a lost of 21 g (average I think) at the point of death.

Conclusion: Human souls have mass

Critics state that MacDougall could not have accounted for all the factors that lead to the small mass loss. MacDougall did not at that time, had the equipment to accurately measure the mass lose due to evaporation and respiration. Dr. Augustus P. Clarke explains that at death, there is a sudden rise in body temperature when the blood stops being air-cooled via its circulation through the lungs. Dr. Clarke posited that the increased temperature elevated the rate of sweating and moisture evaporation which lead to the sudden drop of weight. Also, science is based on the repeated and reproducibility of the experiment and MacDougall only had 6 data from the subject and varied in the way mass was lost, which was not “scientifically acceptable” (One subject lost and actually gained weight and then lost weight again). In the end, the whole experiment was brushed aside due to many ‘unaccountable’ factors.

I for one believe that human souls do not have mass but it would be really, REALLY interesting to prove or disprove it. So I came up with another similar experiment but applying what I have learned in physics class.

Instead of putting the man onto a bed that just weigh whatever mass that is directly exerting force upon it, I suggest that the man be put in a completely enclosed environment, preferably a sealed tight glass tank and weighing it with an electronic weighing machine sensitive to 0.001 decimal. Because the tank is completely enclosed, it doesn’t matter if the dying man has lose mass due to evaporation or respiration, the closed system prevents any mass from escaping and therefore having the same overall mass.

If at the point of death there is still a drop in mass, things will start to get interesting. If physically no mass has escaped the sealed tank, then only can we assume that something else has left the physical body (or physical world). Maybe say…the soul? If this experiment is conducted 1000 times and achieve a respectable rate of 95%, and assuming that all experiments took extra length to ensure that the tank is completely sealed, I think I can assume that souls have mass. However, the soul must be of extreme low density to "weave" through the close atomic bonds of the glass tank. To anyone reading this article and wanting to run the experiment, by all means do so. If it works, I would appreciate it if you could name the experiment after me. If not, I don’t know who the hell you are and will charge you for harassment. Oh! If there are improvements to the experiment please do write it down in the comments!

One ending note, the experiment won’t work if the soul is stuck within the tank. Now that’s funny!!! HAHA

Friday, October 26, 2007

Timing of Prayers

While taking a long hot shower, this thought popped up in my head. When we pray or ask God for something to happen, does it matter WHEN we ask them for? For example, will praying to pass a particular subject AFTER the exams change the outcome of the result? Take note that the exam has already been done and the moment you put the pen, the outcome has already been decided, pass or fail. Which brings back the question, if you have already failed it but do not know it yet, will praying help? I don't think so. So I guess when we pray for something, its because we do not know the outcome yet. Of course, when I say "something", the context I refer to is that has been done already. To back this statement and for argument sake, I think we wouldn't be praying to pass if the result (failed) has been given to us right away, would we?

In a recent scientific article I read, it says that we live in a multi-universe that constantly splits to accommodate all possibilities. For instance and simplicity, if a guy asks a girl out in a pub and assuming there are only two outcomes, yes or no, from then on the universe splits into two, with one universe the guy is rejected and another where he has struck gold.

Applying this understanding to the "exam scenario", when you put down the pen the real result has already been decided but NOT the outcome. To get a picture of this, if by right you have failed the paper, the final outcome may still be a pass due to other factors such as error in marking or mistaken identity (which also means passing the paper will not guarantee a pass as an outcome). So from here on, assuming once again there are two outcomes and therefore the universe splitting into two to accommodate both possibilities, fail or pass, one person will fail and one will pass.

So in effect, when the person has prayed to pass AFTER the exams, in one universe God has answered his/her prayers and the other, well, did not. And here is where we start saying its God's will that he/she did not pass or he did not do enough to pass.

So in conclusion, we can do THREE things. We can either stop praying to change the past that has already been decided whether we know the outcome or not, or in times of desperation still pray to God that we are in the universe which took the path of the positive outcome. The other more logical option is to pray to God that we end up in the universe of positive outcome in the FUTURE because it has not been decided yet. ( There are discrepancies whether time is linear or not in the scientific world. Some even state that linear time is just how humans experience the world. I myself am confused so lets just leave this part out until I grasp the idea)

However, I think there is a FOURTH option and thats to change what we ask for in our prayer. Instead of asking God to pass us which gives us a 50% pass rate and 50% fail rate, we should be asking to give us what we deserve or leaving the outcome everything to God which gives us a 100% chance to achieve that. Although the universe will still split into two, pass or fail, we probably benefit from it psychologically in which God decided it and it was not in our control if we failed. Good excuse huh? From today onwards, I will blame not myself for failing, but God for putting me in the wrong universe and curse myself in the "positive universe".

Note: I hope God doesn't read this...which gives me 50% chance He will not........or will...damn

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Science assumptions

I think in every field of science, assumptions are theorized based on observations and that theory is tested over and over again to prove its 'eligibility'. Being interested in science however, I find myself constantly questioning not only religion but science itself.

Learning to be an engineer, I'm found out that sometimes to solve certain problems we have to go around the problem by introducing imaginary concepts or arbitrary values. This approach to solving problems is of course valuable in science and I'm in no way claiming that it is wrong. What I'm trying to get at is, we being observers in the universe, we observe our physical reality, make assumptions (theories), test it, if it works, its true.

So now come the big part. Science "says" that matter and energy cannot be created but can change from one state to another. For example, water can be in a solid,liquid or gas state and mechanical energy can be converted to electrical energy using a dynamo and today with advances in our understanding know that matter and energy is interchangeable. We accept that matter and energy has been around since the beginning of time (Big Bang Theory) and from what I know, scientists has always assumed that matter has been around. Thus, it has always been the observation of how matter and energy behave and not how matter or energy came to being and hence coming up with the "matter and energy cannot be created" law.

But this is where there are contradictions. If matter and energy cannot be created, where did it come from? I sometimes feel science came up with that "law" just to go around the problem and assume that it is already there in the 1st place. If that's the case, it is one hell of an assumption. Here is where I think Christianity stands because it doesn't just assume that our physical reality came about magically, it at least tries to "explain" itself unlike science who totally ignored the issue completely. Even with my love of science, I do have to admit that science can sometimes be a bigot when things doesn't go its way.

Anyway, I didn't explain why I wrote this post in the 1st place. The aim of this post is to challenge scientists and religion alike and also not to create a gap between these 2 long time rivals but to create harmony and understanding between these two. To religious followers, science it not the means to debunk God but to observe and study God's creations. To say that science is evil is saying that God is evil or made a mistake in His work. To scientists, we are mere observers who apply what we learn and in no way created something new. To say that science can explain everything in existence is extremely unscientific because science has proven itself wrong time and time again (advancement in science). Readers are welcomed to comment on my blog as long it does NOT offend other parties. As I said, the goal of this article is to unite both religion and science, not separate it. On the future however, in my quest as a Christian who continually ask questions about my faith and hopefully grow in faith, I will write up my thoughts and questions which may challenge others to seek out their own answers. As for now, I will be searching for the answer to this article's question.