Showing posts with label 21 Grams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 21 Grams. Show all posts

Friday, November 06, 2015

Dr. Duncan MacDougall's Idea

I had done this title before under a different heading, in a different time. The subject seems to have been resurrected by Discovery Magazine and thought it worth bringing up here so you get an idea here of the dilemma I faced regarding the substantial weight of things?
A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks  should be. -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Einstein,  was a materialist?

If one has followed my blog postings over the years the idea here is not that I had solely uprooted the essence of the question about substance and the weight of things, but to show the complexity of the idea that points to the hereafter. These, as beliefs retained by a large swath of the population on this planet.
The title(of Blog post) refers to the early 20th-century research of physician Dr. Duncan MacDougall who attempted to show scientific proof of the existence of the immortal human soul by recording a loss of body weight (representing the departure of the soul) immediately following death. The research by MacDougall attempted to follow the scientific method and showed some variance in results ("three-fourths of an ounce", which has since been popularized as "21 grams" is the reported weight loss from the death of the first subject). MacDougall's results were published in the peer reviewed journal "American Medicine".[4] - 21 Grams


NYT article from March 11, 1907
Duncan MacDougall (doctor)


Do you think that these abstractions, these mental journeys, are all of it? No but it is on the road to the understanding and discovery of what Plato meant by his heaven. It is not about the patriarchal view that as a messenger, that we gain, but by the exploratory adventure given toward the discovery of what that heaven may mean. Pierre Curie(forgive me)mentions that any phenomena is the discovery of asymmetry? The message helps to provide clarity to the ongoing seeking issue of understanding reality and understanding consciousness? What is that understanding?

      Pierre Curie (1894): “Asymmetry is what creates a phenomenon.”

Plato wasn't wrong about his attempt at a fundamental understanding and the way he went about it. It isn't just about the architecture of matter......but of the progression toward an understanding of what can be done with our imagination when we send it far off in space, or look into the very nature of the sun. Do you think relevant questions you may have is not the next step to what answer is received?

   Aperiodic tilings serve as mathematical models for quasicrystals, physical solids that were discovered in 1982 by Dan Shechtman[3] who subsequently won the Nobel prize in 2011.[4] However, the specific local structure of these materials is still poorly understood .Aperiodic tilings -


See Also:

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Death is Not Final

You all have to know the hammer analogy was made aware to me about a week before this debate took place. Also,  a YouTube label given to this demonstration was posted under "gaming" so I find that kind of funny given the seriousness of this debate.

I pushed Number 1.  But, you also know my bias right so I did not think providing this image would hurt in an way given that you already have some insight into my perspective? My opinion at Sean's Blog as well pertaining to this subject.

So as I am going through the debate I thought it necessary to keep a running tab for my self so as to see from what position one is speaking.  So now that I know Sean is speaking from a Naturalist point of view. I will continue.

A metaphysics that goes beyond the commitments of science is simply unsupported by the best available evidence.[27]
—Lynne Rudder Baker, Naturalism and the First-Person Perspective

 A naturalistic methodology (sometimes called an "inductive theory of science") has its value, no doubt.... I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical. Its upholders fail to notice that whenever they believe to have discovered a fact, they have only proposed a convention. Hence the convention is liable to turn into a dogma. This criticism of the naturalistic view applies not only to its criterion of meaning, but also to its idea of science, and consequently to its idea of empirical method.
— Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, (Routledge, 2002), pp. 52–53, ISBN 0-415-27844-9.

Okay I am at 36:58 of the video so I have had the opportunity to listen to the four speakers. I have to say oh my gosh, there is a lot here to consider, and a lot I have already considered. So I need to respond to that first part of the video.

As life calls us to do our things in the day to day, I also have a schedule today, so this posting will be broken up in terms of my response as to the first part of the video. Please be patient. It also gives me time to think about what has been said.

I want to open with the quote Sean responded too, of Eben Alexanders of Einstein. So give me time to drawn this comment out of Eben's book.

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks  should be. -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

I am still ay 36:58 so I needed to finish what  what I have surmised in that first part so I can go on with the video. Below is something that I had written to my Aunt,  so hope she is okay with me repeating it here.  You will see that entry below. It basically sums up the first part of the debate for me.

As I was finishing listening to Steven Novella speak, the quote of Einstein, now gotten from Eben's book, Proof of Heaven under Prologue,  and response given by Sean Carroll was a matter of fact to the whole first part to me as it was for Sean to Eben's Alexanders use of the quote.

Something also interesting to me was Sean's admittance of wanting to believe (that death is not final) but at this point not being able too.That said a lot to me, and in the aspect of being a scientist,  I believe what he is saying.:) So I will continue on with the rest of the video now.

 In a note to my Aunt.

Hi Aunt Celine,

 I am a bit of a science buff when it comes to what is currently happening in science. I too had been reading about the NDE for quite a long time as well. Moody agrees with you, about science not quite ready. Since I have studied other aspects of consciousness research, it is my hope that one day we will understand this debate, as a recognition of who we all are as spiritual beings, in a physical body.

What Moody proposes is the beginning of a true dialogue based on logic and reason, and these stem from philosophy. So it is important to see the discussion in terms of where this dialogue can truly begin. Moody mentions pseudoscience and from that, his journey through philosophy. He is trying to set up a credible debate.

 I read Eben Alexander's book as well so I knew where he was coming from, as well I have been following Sean Carroll's science for sometime now. The only one that was sort of new to me was that Steve Novella, and as a neuroscientist, I am open to what he has to say. I must say then I am also a bit of philosopher that has had me venturing through aspect and developments about the Mind/ body debate that is going on, and that is where the science is saying that it is based on materialism. On my own, I have studied Plato and other philosophers.

 In order to accept materialism one has to believe, that consciousness is derived from the brain, while the other perspective is that the brain in my view, is what consciousness uses while the body is alive, but that consciousness can exist, once our body dies. That understanding is in contradiction to what science saids today, but I am saying to science, that they indeed do not have all the facts to make this conclusion even though they can simulate experience from manipulating the physical aspects of the body to produce the near death experience.

Religion has not helped me and I must say, that my upbringing within the Catholic Church has left much for me say, about its patriarchal construct, and how it falls short of providing support for what spiritual means to me. I hope you are not offended.

I do believe in a higher power, and I do believe that Heaven is capable in all of us now. In my education, I might of called it Symmetry, in the very beginning, and science has something to say about that. While I have a real study in reductionism, the work that has been going on, I believe eventually it will lead to an understanding within science, but it has to be developed, and in my view Moody's philosophical standpoint, is where we will start.


So I finished the rest of the video last night. There were somethings that were quite memorable to me that stood out.I wanted to quickly move to the end of the debate where each had an opportunity as they did in the beginning to give their last assessment as to why Death is Final, or not.

I was more focused on Sean's response and reiteration of respect for people and their beliefs. This was important to me. When Moody spoke of the work that he had been doing for the last forty years with regard to NDEs and the listening to people about these experiences, these were genuine stories of,  "Death was not Final"  for Moody. I was encouraged by the votes last night, not for which side supposedly won, but by the uncertainty(final 12%) as to the question of what remains as a definitive, as to Death is Final. These shows to me that people in the end still do not know, and that,  they could not be decisive. This to me,  leaves room for work to be done.

I also liked Sean Carroll's response too,  the responsibility of acceptance as to how one may look at life given the perspective of responsibility he has having accepted his position on Death is Final. Of course he might used,  when he was a child, as one might use as Moody did, as was his thrust to understand astronomy.

I believe this to be sincere, and such a question about death that would come to all in the child's mind, a determiner of what the future would bring for him as he sat on that panel. Not so much as a Skeptic full blooded, so as to be glib with the response of,  as if Steve Novella was the amazing Randi and waited for the bet that has not been collected. :) But to remain open, as the undecided results spoke toward, as if,  more information would be needed to make a final definitive statement.

So anyway, another moment stood out in regard to Sean Carroll's response to a woman about where the energy goes once we die. His analogy of a flame going out was like the hammer statement used above, as used in the repertoire of such a question about energy and death. What I liked about the response, was as to where it put the woman in mind. If you have ever come to the point of a logical constructive immobilizing one's position, as it was on the face this woman wore,  as to where the woman could go next. That final deductive state is an important one to me.

I have much more to say about reductionism and how that research is important to me as if the table would be permanent as the atom that make it up, would be a table ad infinitive. So as sure as, matter in all it's constitutions have been described, as to say I am pointing right a it?:) We are not objects like the table. The analogy of the narrative is always important as it is spoken, and as subjective and alone as it might seem there is the greater picture of the story of the NDEr.

I must say too, that the idea of reductionism as much as materialism, causes flinches in those who speak about spiritual things, would make one from that side speak about what is not reducible?  Since energy is an important topic and how we use configuration space to surmise  it's existence,  it becomes a classification of matter. I would assume there is much still to be ascertained.  I read the blogs of other scientists who are at the front with questions phenomenologically expressed that want to see where the science goes next. Just as we have been taken t the limits of where the identification of the Higg's operates and what that energy range is.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Life After Death Question

It's obvious that some humour can make light of a dead situation?:)

Stephen Hawking dismisses belief in God in an exclusive interview with the Guardian. Photograph: Solar & Heliospheric Observatory/Discovery Channel
In the interview, Hawking rejected the notion of life beyond death and emphasised the need to fulfil our potential on Earth by making good use of our lives. In answer to a question on how we should live, he said, simply: "We should seek the greatest value of our action." Ian Sample, science correspondent

Seriously though how is it Stephen  can invoke the after life in order to concertize what they are saying about their science. Is this just an affirmation of their scientific position? Later on I raise the question even further with Lee Smolin.

In the quoted paragraph above I agree with the writer when he writes of Stephen Hawking that he," emphasised the need to fulfil our potential on Earth by making good use of our lives ."

I must admit the thought of Meno with regard to Lee Smolin creep into my mind. This in regards to Plato's Problem.

Physicist, Perimeter Institute; Author, The Trouble With Physics

Thinking In Time Versus Thinking Outside Of Time

One very old and pervasive habit of thought is to imagine that the true answer to whatever question we are wondering about lies out there in some eternal domain of "timeless truths." The aim of re-search is then to "discover" the answer or solution in that already existing timeless domain. For example, physicists often speak as if the final theory of everything already exists in a vast timeless Platonic space of mathematical objects. This is thinking outside of time.

Scientists are thinking in time when we conceive of our task as the invention of genuinely novel ideas to describe newly discovered phenomena, and novel mathematical structures to express them. If we think outside of time, we believe these ideas somehow "existed" before we invented them. If we think in time we see no reason to presume that.

The contrast between thinking in time and thinking outside of time can be seen in many domains of human thought and action. We are thinking outside of time when, faced with a technological or social problem to solve, we assume the possible approaches are already determined by a set of absolute pre-existing categories. We are thinking in time when we understand that progress in technology, society and science happens by the invention of genuinely novel ideas, strategies, and novel forms of social organization.
See:A "scientific concept" may come from philosophy, logic, economics, jurisprudence, or other analytic enterprises, as long as it is a rigorous conceptual tool that may be summed up succinctly (or "in a phrase") but has broad application to understanding the world.

See Also
: Experiments On Life After Death

Monday, May 04, 2009

Filling the Universe with Sand

One of the "Silicon Avogadro Spheres" at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Teddington, UK. See:Counting Atoms in a Sphere

Stefan writes...
To measure means to count. We measure a length by counting marks on a ruler, and a time span by counting ticks of clock. We compare the quantity we want to measure to multiples of a standardized quantity, the unit of measurement, such as the metre, the inch, or the second......


Discrete mathematics, also called finite mathematics or decision mathematics, is the study of mathematical structures that are fundamentally discrete in the sense of not supporting or requiring the notion of continuity. Objects studied in finite mathematics are largely countable sets such as integers, finite graphs, and formal languages.

Discrete mathematics has become popular in recent decades because of its applications to computer science. Concepts and notations from discrete mathematics are useful to study or describe objects or problems in computer algorithms and programming languages. In some mathematics curricula, finite mathematics courses cover discrete mathematical concepts for business, while discrete mathematics courses emphasize concepts for computer science majors.

Reductionism seems to be the ability to measure in powers of ten, and then, we get to a point where everything is all smeared out. So energy at some point becomes the determination of what any particulate could be measured, and yet, we would say that it is like using sand to fill the universe?

I have been intrigued by the idea of a "kitchen measure of a teaspoon of sorts" as well as to what water fills any glass to it's brim. Thinking, that such a substance while pertaining to the measure of something, can have space in between, with which it can fill? Yet, it does not flow over? How much before it does, and we say that this measure is what the spirit of these walking bodies shall qualify too? The soul at 21 grams?

The title of the movie comes from the work of Dr. Duncan MacDougall, who in the early 1900s sought to measure the weight purportedly lost by a human body when the soul departed the body upon death. MacDougall weighed dying patients in an attempt to prove that the soul was material, tangible and thus measurable. These experiments are widely considered to have little, if any scientific merit, and MacDougall's results varied considerably from 21 grams, but for some people this figure has become synonymous with the measure of a soul's mass [1]The Soul=λόγος,θυμος,ἔρως


Archimedes met an untimely death while deep in thought, pondering a figure he had drawn in the sand. He did not see the Roman soldier approach, sword in hand. The mosaic portrays this historical event

"Kepler Conjecture is speaking about cannon balls. Tom Hales writes,"Nearly four hundred years ago, Kepler asserted that no packing of congruent spheres can have a density greater than the density of the face-centered cubic packing."

Turning now to Archimedes’ reckoning, he proceeds to fill up the (then) known universe with sand by considering a succession of spheres, each 100 times the diameter of its predecessor in the succession. He uses a fact well known to Greek geometers: the ratio of the volumes of two spheres is the third power of the ratio of their diameters. The Sand Reckoner

The Stomachion

A computer-enhanced image of a 1,000-year-old manuscript reveals the faint traces of a copy of Archimedes' Stomachion treatise. It had been overwritten by monks in the 13th century. (Rochester Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University/The Archimedes Palimpsest)

It was chance that led Dr. Netz to his first insight into the nature of the Stomachion. Last August, he says, just as he was about to start transcribing one of the manuscript pages, he got a gift in the mail, a blue cut-glass model of a Stomachion puzzle. It was made by a retired businessman from California who found Dr. Netz on the Internet as a renowned Archimedes scholar. Looking at the model, Dr. Netz realized that a diagram on the page he was transcribing was actually a rearrangement of the pieces of the Stomachion puzzle. Suddenly, he understood what Archimedes was getting at.

See Also:Archimedes Palmpsest


  • Historical Approach of the Sand Reckoner
  • 13th Sphere of the GreenGrocer
  • Loosing Sight of Discrete Geometry
  • Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    The Soul=λόγος,θυμος,ἔρως

    21 Grams

    The title of the movie comes from the work of Dr. Duncan MacDougall, who in the early 1900s sought to measure the weight purportedly lost by a human body when the soul departed the body upon death. MacDougall weighed dying patients in an attempt to prove that the soul was material, tangible and thus measurable. These experiments are widely considered to have little, if any scientific merit, and MacDougall's results varied considerably from 21 grams, but for some people this figure has become synonymous with the measure of a soul's mass [1].

    When garnered to thinking about the soul, it's value in weight, always seems to occupy my mind. Even though the topic has been deemed foolish, by historical debate. It is the cornerstone of my relating "emotive colourations" to a value of our mind, tied to the current state of being.

    Hall of Ma'at

    In art, the feather was shown in scenes of the Hall of Ma'at. This hall is where the deceased was judged for his worthiness to enter the afterlife. The seat of the deceased's soul, his heart, was weighed on a balance against the feather of Ma'at. If the heart was free from the impurities of sin, and therefore lighter than the feather, then the dead person could enter the eternal afterlife. Other gods in the judgement hall who were part of the tribunal overseeing the weighing of the heart were also pictured holding a feather.
    See:Egyptian Myths

    You had to know of course what this picture above means from my own soul interpretation to understand what this blog is about. While of course speaking to everything science is and does, it never did answer the deeper questions I had about the soul. You had to know that given the set of circumstances in my youth that such motivation can be like Einstein's own, that this degree and direction of life, can have it's motivational factor determined. See "Einstein's compass"

    God's Equation, by Amir D. Aczel, Pg 14

    From a early age, young Albert showed great interest in the world around him. When he was five years old, his father gave him a compass, and the child was enchanted by the device and intrigued by the fact the needle followed a invisible field to point always in the direction of the north pole.Reminicing in old age, Einstein mentioned this incident as one of the factors that perhaps motivated him years later to study the gravitational field.

    So you see such factors in our youth can determine something about our future. Is this quest "motivational and soulful enough" for such time to be taken. Sought as the soul's quest in this lifetime?

    The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. In these traditions the soul is thought to incorporate the inner essence of each living being, and to be the true basis for sapience, rather than the brain or any other material or natural part of the biological organism. Some religions and philosophies on the other hand believe in the soul having a material component, and some have even tried to establish the weight of the soul. Souls are usually considered to be immortal and to exist prior to incarnation.

    The concept of the soul has strong links with notions of an afterlife, but opinions may vary wildly, even within a given religion, as to what may happen to the soul after the death of the body. It also shares as a PIE root of spirit.

    Socrates and Plato

    Plato, drawing on the words of his teacher Socrates, considered the soul as the essence of a person, being, that which decides how we behave. He considered this essence as an incorporeal, eternal occupant of our being. As bodies die the soul is continually reborn in subsequent bodies. The Platonic soul comprises three parts:

    1. the logos (mind, nous, or reason)
    2. the thymos (emotion, or spiritedness)
    3. the eros (appetitive, or desire)

    Each of these has a function in a balanced and peaceful soul.

    The logos equates to the mind. It corresponds to the charioteer, directing the balanced horses of appetite and spirit. It allows for logic to prevail, and for the optimisation of balance.

    The thymos comprises our emotional motive, that which drives us to acts of bravery and glory. If left unchecked, it leads to hubris -- the most fatal of all flaws in the Greek view.

    The eros equates to the appetite that drives humankind to seek out its basic bodily needs. When the passion controls us, it drives us to hedonism in all forms. In the Ancient Greek view, this is the basal and most feral state.

    So in a sense we have a historical construction of the valuation being, that while developed from a philosophical view, I had found some relation to the way I'd awaken, my own Mind map. So by developing this model I wanted to be reminded of the integration of what lies outside of us physically(what is this field of endeavour?)

    Logos (Greek λόγος) is an important term in philosophy, analytical psychology, rhetoric and religion. It derives from the verb λέγω legō: to count, tell, say, or speak.[1] The primary meaning of logos is: something said; by implication a subject, topic of discourse or reasoning. Secondary meanings such as logic, reasoning, etc. derive from the fact that if one is capable of λέγειν (infinitive) i.e. speech, then intelligence and reason are assumed.

    (also commonly spelled "thymos") (Greek: θυμος) is an Ancient Greek word expressing the concept of spiritedness. The word indicates a physical association with breath or blood. The word is also used to express the human desire for recognition.

    In Homer's works, thumos was used to denote emotions, desire, or an internal urge. Thumos was a permanent possession of living man, to which his thinking and feeling belonged. When a Homeric hero is under emotional stress he may externalize his thumos, conversing with it or scolding it.[1]

    Plato's dialogue Phaedrus and longer work The Republic discuss thumos as one of the three constituent parts of the human psyche, along with logos and eros. In the Phaedrus, Plato depicts logos as a charioteer driving the two horses of eros and thumos (i.e. desire and will were to be guided by rationality). In the Republic's Book IV, the soul is divided into nous ("intellect"), thumos ("passion"), and epithumia ("appetite"). Thumos is the emotional element in virtue of which anger and fear are felt.[2]

    (ἔρως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word "erotas" means "(romantic) love". The term erotic is derived from eros.

    See: Thematic Resolutions

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    Books for the Dead are Really, Books for Life?

    The Papyrus of Ani
    (The Egyptian Book of the Dead)

    Translated by E. A. Wallis Budge

    Tibetan Book of the Dead Teachings

    with Lama Kusang Norbu

    I mean most certainly that if such historical context can be "so clouded" by this introduction of things, aside from the science validation process, how much weight would we apply in such measures? To have found our current state of illusion, so far from the truth? So far interceded by the degration of fog in regards to the color purity of clarity realized? You had to know, that the truth here, had some measure. I relayed "this myth" for a means in which to investigate, your truth, as you have learned it.

    In this sense the ultimate judge of who you are, have been, overlays all life experience. Forces us to consider the "emotive content" of that experience in relation to the "ephemeral qualities" I had assigned to such memory induction.

    Would it be so free, that we had distanced ourselves from the bias of emotion, that sent this memory into a "resource base" with which we shall measure and speak about all reality? So such an assumption of life before our eyes, as it replays in our day today, has us reflecting on the nature of our life experience? What differences in time, before and after, that we might not say ,that after this journey completed, such measure might not have been used to take stock of?

    So is it, our names are not so important? But the understanding, that we create this name?

    So what art form would we imbue to such facades and measures of illusion, that we would "be" the life, and recognize the truth, as we have come to deal with it, soul by soul basis. Recognition of "our sins flawed" in the rhetoric of our character, biased and messages sent forth.

    Had we forgotten then this tool of measure then, and what it means. The "contrast" to subjective realization, is the distillation of what value the "heart is" and the truth with which we will bear down on the responsibility of our life, as well, as the life of others.

    Soul by soul basis, we recognize the freedom with the probability outcome, would have said this resulting soul "choose" this experience, and in this life experience, what was the reality and concrete forming, that all life issued from this result, was to be, the "new" life?

    This "cyclical nature" had to be realized?

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    A Myth Created: Truth Felt, and a Life to Accomplish?

    I sometimes have a problem with the thought, that the brain in human beings back 2000 years time, had less intelligent brain matter defined, that we could have had less than the truth of things required?

    The plate below speaks to this. Observation maybe on the inherent principals embedded with myth, seems interesting, if held in context of what the emotive truth would have implied. Having given meaning to "lightness in the heart of things."

    Maybe new light shed on Einstein's relevance to gravity held in perspective of length of time past with a pretty girl.

    Subjective as this may be, it shows some relation to the "time variable recognitions" held in perspective, while looking at the nature of the sphere of earth seen in a new light.

    The feather, because of its name, "shut", was a symbol of Shu. Shu was the Egyptian god of the air and the father of the earth (Geb) and the sky (Nut). Shu was often shown wearing a feather in his hair. Occasionally Geb was shown dressed in feathers, a representation of the air which covers him.

    Usually, the feather was a symbol of Ma'at, the goddess of truth and order. The goddess was always shown wearing an ostrich feather in her hair. The feather by itself was her emblem.

    In art, the feather was shown in scenes of the Hall of Ma'at. This hall is where the deceased was judged for his worthiness to enter the afterlife. The seat of the deceased's soul, his heart, was weighed on a balance against the feather of Ma'at. If the heart was free from the impurities of sin, and therefore lighter than the feather, then the dead person could enter the eternal afterlife. Other gods in the judgement hall who were part of the tribunal overseeing the weighing of the heart were also pictured holding a feather.

    A mechanism would have been needed to see such a development in the definitions of those ephemeral qualities. Could have "hidden" within the "emotive content" our subjective life experience. Why do we remember?

    The understanding that such reactionary states allotted to experience, would have seen less of the material attachment held to the emotive content necessary? So for measuring our truthfulness to ourselves, rests in our assignment of what purity, and quality of life assigned to our undertaking of this life expressed in thought.

    Taking such a stance on the idea of what came before and what came after would then take us to the question of relevance? Why is it necessary outside of these two points of existence, to have them included now.

    How well then our understanding, that if such a "emotive quality to truth" had been assigned, then the draw to matter defined states of experience, might not be as strong. Awareness. Thus we will have unleashed the ephemeral quality of mind?

    So it ventures forth from the confines of the home, in which it lives. Deals, in the abstract nature. Would we have abandon such a merger of emotive and intellectual qualities risen into a higher recognition necessary. What is the value of that truth personally?

    It shed light on a personal experience in nature, with which all experience is remembered?