In response to my article Weighing the Human Soul, for which my research was inspired by Dan Browns’ book The Lost Symbol, many readers have commented on the article, often providing interesting feedback and ideas. I felt that one of todays’ comments was so outstanding, I wanted to feature it as a blog bost.
If you’re not familiar with the article, please read it here first.
The comment was received by Rex on January 18:
Not to offend anyone, but misconceptions abound here and the interpretation of the article and Dan Brown’s book. What the researchers say is that the body changes weight after death, and yes, their methods of research is questionable. Weight is not energy nor is weight the same as mass. Mass is the amount of matter contained within an object — weight is a relationship between mass and the gravitational pull (force) of the earth. When you step on a bathroom scale, you measure weight, but to measure mass, the gravitational effects of the earth must be offset or balanced out of the equation. If the soul is some form of energy, then the mass or weight of the person cannot change because of Einstein’s famous equation E = mc2 unless the soul is matter that has mass and suddenly changes into energy at death somehow. Energy is some form of EM — electromagnetic radiation (i.e., x-ray, ultraviolet, gamma, microwave, visible, etc) or sound or heat, etc. Whether energy has mass seems an impossiblity, but quantum scientists believe that EM radiation is composed of particles called photons, hence mass. If mass changes into some form of energy, then energy cannot have weight, hence, the soul cannot have weight if it is energy. However, if it is some form of EM radiation, then it has mass perhaps? Visible light from stars can be bent by other the gravity of massive stars — hence EM must have particles — hence visible light has mass? A major fallacy of Dan Brown’s book — the measurement was in kilograms — and that is mass, not weight. Only if Katherine Solomon’s apparatus nullified the effect of gravity will Brown’s book make sense as to her measurement and evidence for the soul. Also, the movement of the heart up and down does not change a person’s weight — only the loss of mass (energy conversion) or a change in the gravitational pull of the earth can cause that. If you go to the moon, you weigh 1/6 less because of the change in gravitational strength of the moon, but you mass remains the same. The movement of the heart is an energy conversion — at rest = potential energy — movement = kinetic (mechanical)energy. This type of energy is dependent on mass, gravity, velocity and position (up or down). Again, weight is the mass multiplied by the pull of gravity. If the soul is believed to be energy, then to measure its weight is very misleading. But, if the soul has the attribute of mass, then I think it might be possible to measure in some way. In the end — I think Brian is right and what we think really does not matter! The Bible is not a science textbook and not intended to be so– it is a book of faith and guidance. But, come to think of it — science is based on faith, also.