Having reasoned that such loss could not be explained by bowel movements or evaporation, he concluded he must have measured the weight of the soul. A follow-up experiment also showed that dogs (which were healthy, so they were probably poisoned on purpose by the good doctor) don't seem to suffer the same sort of loss, therefore they don't have souls (sorry, you canine lovers).
This is an excellent example of where pseudoscience and belief go wrong, on a variety of levels. Let us start with MacDougall's claim itself: it turns out that his data were decidedly unreliable by any decent scientific standard. Not only was the experiment never repeated (by either MaDougall or anyone else), but his own notes (published in American Medicine in March 1907) show that of the six data points, two had to be discarded as “of no value”; two recorded a weight drop, followed by additional losses later on (was the soul leaving bit by bit?); one showed a reversal of the loss, then another loss (the soul couldn't make up its mind, leaving, re-entering, then leaving for good); and only one case actually constitutes the basis of the legendary estimate of ¾ of an ounce. With data like these, it's a miracle the paper got published in the first place.
Second, as was pointed out immediately by Dr. Augustus P. Clarke in a rebuttal also published in American Medicine, MacDougall failed to consider another obvious hypothesis: that the weight loss (assuming it was real) was due to evaporation caused by the sudden rise in body temperature that occurs when the blood circulation stops and the blood can no longer be air-cooled by the lungs. This also elegantly explains why the dogs showed no weight loss: as is well known, they cool themselves by panting, not sweating like humans do.
After Near-Death Experience, Boy Says "Heaven is Real" [video | 06:10]
Spending 4 years in Bahrain among Muslims. Here I met numerous faithful Muslims who were Muslim for the same reason I was Nazarene – they were born into this. They knew nothing else. Yet unlike myself, they seemed to be far more faithful to their faith. They loved God and neighbor in ways I (and many Christians I knew) only gave lip service to. Before this I just assumed that Muslims must be evil because they were not Christians. Having a meal with them, however, changed my heart.
Former House speaker and possible presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said he is going to work on slowing down the progress of gay rights, if he is elected president.
"I think my emphasis would be pro-classical Christianity," Gingrich said in a video interview with Bryan Fischer of the antigay American Family Association after addressing the Rediscover God in America conference, held over the weekend in Iowa.
80% Americans are absolutely sure there is a God
60% are absolutely sure there is a heaven
49% are absolutely sure there is a hell
"A poll and a comprehensive study released last week reveal that for the first time, a majority of Americans support marriage equality and other benefits for same-sex couples.
The poll, conducted for ABC News and The Washington Post, indicates that 53 percent of Americans support marriage equality for same-sex couples, a 21 percent increase from 2004.
The biggest increases are among Christians, who saw gains among white and Hispanic Catholic Americans and white nonevangelical Protestants. While support from evangelical Protestants increased, especially among younger members, they still overwhelmingly oppose marriage equality and other benefits for same-sex couples.
'This is very consistent with a lot of other polling data we've seen and the general momentum we've seen over the past year and a half,' Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, a leading pro-gay-marriage group, said to The Washington Post of the poll."
"Catholics are more supportive of gay and lesbian rights than the general public and other Christians, according to a new report released today. The new report, which is the most comprehensive portrait of Catholic attitudes on gay and lesbian issues assembled to date, also finds that seven-in-ten Catholics say that messages from America's places of worship contribute a lot (33 percent) or a little (37 percent) to higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth. ...
Nearly three-quarters of Catholics favor either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Catholics favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people against discrimination in the workplace; 63% of Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly in the military; and 6-in-10 (60%) Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.
Less than 4-in-10 Catholics give their own church top marks (a grade of an A or a B) on its handing of the issue of homosexuality; majorities of members of most other religious groups give their churches high marks.
A majority of Catholics (56%) believe that sexual relations between two adults of the same gender is not a sin."
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