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In response to Weighing The Human Soul

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.

30 thoughts on “In response to Weighing The Human Soul

  1. Anon

    Just an idea regarding the experiments indicating a change in mass at the point of death.
    When we exhale we expel moist air; when we die do our lungs not collapse and expel whatever moist air there was keeping them inflated…if so, then what would be the average mass of the water in the expelled air?
    I’ve not read the whole article nor am I familiar with the methods of the 1988 experiments.

  2. taaske

    Google on the subject ” does a charged battery weigh more than an empty one?” Is about the same issue but proof can be established in a much more precise way. You can set up an experiment where physical loss is minimalized.

  3. Underageguru

    Well. If we are to believe that the soul escapes the body during death which results in a sudden decrease in weight ( around 20 gms)then it will also imply that the soul should enter the body during formation of a life form. And when do we have a life form forming? We can agree that a life is born when an egg and sperm unite to form a single celled zygote. Which means that the soul should enter the single celled zygote (The same 20 gms soul!!). Now if there is anybody out there who knows of a 20 gm single celled human zygote that would be proof enough for the existence of a soul. ( Now dont come up with a new theory that the soul weight grows with age)

  4. Gre-eco

    To imagine believe is better than, to have never experinenced it.

    Who’s to say the soul dosent grow?
    and after which way does it go?
    Dispeled energy, of to the stars.
    Jupitor, Plueto and right round Mars.

    It could be the journey, we’ve waited so long,
    Here on earth this is all found in a song.
    Its great to think on this mornings dawn,
    I can wonder out there, and lay on the lawn.

    Good luck on a treaty all those who are fighting!
    Good luck

    Gec-eco x

  5. stephen Laing

    Does no one use spell check any more? Oh,and most of y’alls grammer sucks too. Hi from England !

  6. soulistruth

    it is very hard to say that soul has a definite weight or not,
    i think there might be some sort of explanation in indian texts.
    it says that soul has no weight it is only form of immense energy but when a body dies along with the soul “sukshma sharir” or we say as very small replica of body which contains all the information of present karmas of body also leaves the dying body.
    i don’t know whether it has any bit of reality or not.

  7. Tim

    This is silly, the mass of a soul.

  8. Reinaldo

    I don’t follow Rex’s comment “A major fallacy of Dan Brown’s book — the measurement was in kilograms — and that is mass, not weight”.
    In fact, Kilogram, is a unit of force equal to the weight of a kilogram mass under a gravitational attraction of 9.8 m/s2 (Metric System).
    In any case, I assume that any difference in weight are probably due to physical and chemical changes like the ones occurring in rotten fruits. No souls involved here.

  9. soulistruth

    but i think according to experiment there is a sudden change in weight measured but rottening process may take some time to start & also it is a isolated chamber so there can’t be any matter leaving the chamber…….

  10. Rey

    The occult philosophy says that the spirit connects the physical body throughout the Pineal gland. That is considered the house of the soul in the human body. It is said also that the soul, the individual conscious, connects to the fetus right before the birth moment. The connection to the brain blocks the memory, once the new instrument (brain) is still virgin. It is said too, the physical body is animated by a complex network of subtle energy centers (chakras) that distribute the vital energy from the Sun (Prana). When the body dies, the vitality-Prana fades and the connection body-soul is broken. What may cause loss of mass when a body dies might be the sum of the echtoplasm (etheric body that interfaces with the Prana) and the Prana itself. This matter is widely diffunded all over Internet and researchable through books available in good book shops. The great contribution of this Noetic research is to measure in a scientific way all the ancient mysteries that are not seen so far, as radio and Tvs waves could not be seen/heard little time ago because the proper equipment simply had not been invented. The fact you don’t know doesn’t attest it does not exist.

  11. Milton

    If the “soul” were information, the next question would be, “Does information have any quality that can be measured independent of a sentient mind?”

  12. Matt

    I think that everyones idea of the ‘soul’ in this discussion is too closely based on what everyones notion of the soul is on a religious/spiritual basis. Perhaps if the soul is viewed in a more scientific way… maybe as a form of bioelectric energy of which very little may be known. There is factual evidence of a relationship between all matter, and that living cells both receive and transmit some form of fast travelling, bioelectric energy, whether enclosed in a sealed chamber or not. So perhaps when the living neural cells in the brain and heart die, or any living cells for that matter, the weight of these signals is no longer being held by the body. I think it is quite obvious to any truly scientific mind, that not every piece of knowledge we will ever gain is already in textbooks. That there is much much more to learn about our world and the universe, different forms of energy being one and many of these things. Cheers.

  13. Matt

    Or even perhaps what Rey mentioned 2 or 3 comments above mine, that sounds ok too. My point is, just about any of these theories could be true, the fact of the matter is we don’t know until we know, to dismiss anything before it is even possible to determine a result is exactly what is bringing our so called scientific age back into the dark ages. The new breed of scientists that don’t bother to make discoveries of their own, but only read of the discoveries of the past and call heresy on anyone who strays from that are just creating a new and mis-informed religion, there are obviously some exceptions to this, however these few exceptions never receive the credit they deserve as pioneers in a scientific world of cliques and conformity. I personally cannot wait for the day when we finally move on from where we now dwell, we need to take the knowledge we have gained thus far and use it to further our progress in this world before it’s too late.

  14. uzair

    @underageguru, the mass of the soul isnt 20gm, that was an old xperiment performed by some1. one of the newer ones, the 1988 one mentiond on this website i think, said something like 1/3000th of an ounce or something. also, we dont rly know wen the soul enters the body, it cud b at the basic cellular level or just b4 the child is born, etc. there can b no real ‘proof’ or a soul, nor god, nor anything. indeed, science itself involves faith, since it cannot actually ‘prove’ anything.
    @reinaldo, i think the xperiment takes place in a vacuum, n im assuming they monitor any changes inside the whole chamber, so scientists could probably tell if a chemical or physical reaction took place. i personally do think that there is a good chance tht the soul has indeed been weighed, but of course, like u mentiond, there could be some other explanation and current technology hasnt advanced enough to show that yet. but we musnt disregard the very real possibility that a soul (and hence God, Judgment Day, etc) actually exist.

  15. Georgie

    Tossing around ideas here – not familar with a lot of what you are saying, but I read somewhere that Jesus was a miracle birth where the child was formed from the blood and stuff inside the womb without being fertilised (look it up, I just saw it somewhere) and if what “Underageguru” says about the soul = the fertilised zygote would that mean that Jesus didn’t have a soul? And would that point towards something else, like him being part divine or just ‘sent by God’?

    I honestly don’t know, it’s just an idea…?

  16. MickyR

    Re Georgie.
    If Mary was fertilized by some IVF procedure, then she could still be a ‘virgin’and have a miracle birth. Does an object weigh less in a vucuum, so would a body weigh less when all the oxygen has been expelled? ie the moisture contained within.

  17. 2ca

    so what happens to the so called soul right after it leave the body? if its a only soul then will it feel hunger? or do it stays or live at the any age when it leaves the body like infant dies,middle age dies n old people dies? if the soul does need physical requirements why do need to be scare of fire burning hell?

  18. 2ca

    so what happens to the so called soul right after it leave the body? if its a only soul then will it feel hunger? or do it stays or live at the any age when it leaves the body like infant dies,middle age dies n old people dies? if the soul donot need physical requirements why do need to be scare of fire burning hell?

  19. Justin

    Science does not prove or disprove anything,it really just proves that for every question there is 100 more questions,thats how it been and it will always be.So to say that science proves anything is just crazy.(I love science)Science is just speculation.100 years ago they say they prove something and then 100 years later they just open up more questions and change what they proved to be true.Just think everything has a father or mother or creator.So who says that you cant weight a soul,we will never know,open your mind nothing is imposible but also nobody will ever know if there research is true no matter how much evidence there is. THATS HOW GOD INTENDS IF NOT THEN WE WOULD KNOW WE WOULD BE TOLD SOMEHOW(EVERY QUESTION OPENS 100 MORE QUESTION)We got to be here somehow.

  20. Tanmoy Sarkar

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  21. Booyaa

    To Justin: “THATS HOW GOD INTENDS IF NOT THEN WE WOULD KNOW WE WOULD BE TOLD SOMEHOW” What does that mean? Who is going to “TELL” us? God? He hasn’t told me anything so far, though I’m not bitter. I would agree that Science cannot prove somethings (the existence of a god or higher power being one of the most sought-after answers) but it does go a long way to prove other theories. Basic Physics for example, the branch of science concerned with the properties of matter and energy and the relationships between them. Space and Time are also covered in physics but that’s where it gets a little more theoretical. What I’m trying to say is that Physics has a lot of practical applications that we as a human race use everyday to go about with our lives. Without proven Physics Theories construction would be a right mess. “Science does not prove or disprove anything” is to board of a statement. Specify and explain – NOW!

  22. Tabby

    Just to put my two pence piece in, I too have read Dan Browns book, and it mentions in it that thought has mass, so when you die, you don’t think anymore, could it be the loss of thought that creates a diminishing number of grams in the body, not a soul? Although I believe we have souls, I don’t believe they are weighted at all.

  23. Phil

    @stephen Laing
    Stephen, if you’re going to comment on people’s spelling you should perhaps spell ‘grammar’ correctly, otherwise you look very silly.

  24. Tara

    For anyone who has the ability to literally “Feel” the energy vibrations of another such as I do, you would know that yes … energy of a soul, of another individual whether here on earth “alive” or not bound to this earth any longer can be detected … our energy is measurable by weight and it can be detected. Even in thought, when we think of another individual, our thought which is of energy can be felt by others, IF they are sensitive to feeling these energy vibrations. Just as those who have passed, we are able to feel (the weight)of their energy (upon us) when they come in contact with us. Yes … the soul, the spirit, our energy (matter) IS detectable by weight. I know this to be true because I can feel it, but how it is possibly done with technology I am not sure.

  25. marie

    It might be interesting to know what the Bible says on the topic of souls, both human and amimal. The word “soul” is translated from the Hebrew ne’phesh ,and from the Greek psy’khe. The Bibles usage shows the Soul to be a person or animalor the life that a person or animal enjoys. Genesis says that God formed Man and blew into his nostrils the breath of life ,amd Man “became” aliving Soul.God created “swarms of living souls”. There are hundreds of instances in the Bible of human and animals being described as being “Souls”.Soul is not the same as spirit. Spirit is translated from the Hebrew word ru’ach,and Greek psy-khes , life force .Eccl.3.19 shows that man and beast have same ru’ach ,and at death this spirit goes back to God who gave it .Last but not least Psalm146:4His spirit goes out,he goes back to the ground;in that day his thoughts do perish.Humand do not float off to heaven,at death nor are they re-incarnated. Humans survive in Gods memory where they wait a ressurection to the earth after it has been cleansed of badness.

  26. justin

    To Booyaa,It means there is no absolute truths only speculations and questions, thats why for every question that we think we answer 100 more questions rise.(just like for every action there is a reaction)You sound bitter not that im mad at you.by saying GOD does nt talk to you is like saying cause animals dont speak they dont think. open your mind to any possibility not absolute truths.the last sentence you wrote is what i was saying thank you for input.


    Electromagnetic radiations are made of particles called photons that dont possess rest mass as they are never at rest. Soul could be too subtle a form of energy to be measured by our gross measuring instruments.


    Someone once said that we lose our senses-sight, smell, hearing, touch- as we grow old because the packing has already started for the tranfer to a new body. Perhaps the last to pack up are the heart and the brain?

  29. josip

    hey people, seems to me that no-one ever heard about Russian philosopher and healer Lazarev? His books are a must-read! He, under the sharp classical medicine eye, healed thousands of ill people, and mdicine doctors invited him many times to come to hospitals and help ill people in cases where a medicine couldn’t do anything.
    Actually, the miracles he made can be performed by many of us, but the difference is that he understands the energy fields around us and that’s the reason why he has so much success. The human being is just a tuned set of energy with certain information. We actually have seven levels of energies (different frequencies), and each chakra (energy vortex) is responsible for certain energy field. The last and the lowest energy is the one we can find in chi meridians, and they are directly connected to our material body, and therefore the effect of acupuncture is immediately sensed. Read also Reich, Tesla, and most of all, read about Edgar Cayce. Simply unbelievable. Tune up, people.

  30. Syamjith

    I was just thinking if the movement of measuring scale when death occurs could be articulated to the soul escaping with a velocity that is equal to or greater than that of the velocity of light, which converts the soul into energy. This is in accordance to Einstein’s theory of Relativity which suggests that mass gets converted to energy if it achieves velocity of light or more.
    Lets assume that soul escapes the body with infinite velocity, for that matter..!!
    This could lead us to get into the idea that soul has mass.
    Please share your ideas on this.

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