Proof of the Afterlife?

Can we use science to prove that there is an afterlife?

Ashley Heim and Kayla Powell

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In 1901, physician Duncan MacDougall “proved” that there was a afterlife.

He studied 6 patients dying from a disease called Tuberculous. He attempted to weigh the patient immediately after death. When his first patient died, MacDougall weighed him, the results were pleasing. When the patient died, he immediately lost “three-fourths of an ounce” (21 grams) in weight. Doctor McDougall also weighed 15 dogs. The experiment was a success, but he called it “uniformly negative” meaning, when the dog died, there was no fluctuation in weight. His theory was that dogs have no souls.

But researchers have seen that his experimental results were flawed, due to limited equipment use, says psychologist Richard Wiseman. August P. Clark said that there was a rise in body temperature from the lungs shutting down and not cooling the blood anymore, most likely causing the body to sweat, which could have easily counted for the loss of 21 grams in the body mass. He also noted that dogs have no sweat glands, so it’s not surprising there was no change in the weight of the dog.

It is therefore uncertain whether or not we can use a change in body weight to decide if those results will show proof of the afterlife.