Evidence of the soul
A theistic friend of mine from my hometown of Manchester who I do not consider to be intellectually bright put this absolutely ridiculous idea to me last night.
We were debating matters of religion and we got onto the subject of the soul. This is (roughly) the conversation:
"But Jacob there is actually physical evidence of a soul."
"Well there's physical evidence of the brain."
"No, not that. But right, there was this guy right who was weighed just before he died and then again a few hours afterwards and after death he weighed two pounds less."
"So this means that the soul, which by definition is a non-physical, supernatural thing has left the body and subtracted physical mass from it."
She didn't seem to understand this comment at all. I continued...
"So your evidence for a soul is that one bloke weighed two pounds less after death."
"Well, no, it's happened with lots of people."
"Is there a study documenting this phenomenon?"
"Could you name it for me."
Several other friends of mine also joined the conversation. Her argument degenerated gradually from it being proof of a soul to suggesting that in a whole range of possibilities it could be a soul.
"Oh it makes you think though doesn't it."
"Well yes, of course it does but it doesn't mean I have to fill the gap in my knowledge with a God-of the-gaps fallacy" a friend of mine said.
*Sigh* Seriously, the girl, Leanne, is a very good friend of mine. I really do like her and enjoy her company very much until she tries to get intellectual (and it is a pretty geeky group apart from her) in which case she's just frustratingly idiotic. It has to be one of the strangest arguments for something supernatural I've ever heard. Her, and her family are the sort of people who believe in God and Christianity because it's tradition and believe in evolution because it's held to be true by society and read far too much into horoscopes because they're also a norm in society.
I am wondering though, biologists here if there is any reason why someone would weigh less shortly after their death, without being decomposed or losing a body part. I am confident that there is a reasonable explanation for it or else she's repeating some bullshit she's heard from someone else which she's taken to be true which actually isn't.