Harry La Verne Twining

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
It's fun to pretend
Icon ghost.svg
Fails from the crypt

Harry La Verne Twining was a physicist and inventor from Los Angeles most well known for his experiments on souls in the early 20th century.

Soul experiments[edit]

Twining is known for his experiments and investigation of the soul in the early 1900s. One of his experiments consisted of setting up a balance with a glass beaker on either side. He positioned a mouse in each beaker and on the balance pan was a solid lump of potassium cyanide. For the experiment, Twining used tweezers to put some cyanide into the beaker on the same balance pan. According to Twining, within thirty seconds the mouse had died and the balance arm dropped. Twining also experimented with cats and one of his experiments recorded the loss of one hundred milligrams in a kitten at death. According to the paranormal writer Max Heindel, the experiments of Twining had proven that animals have a "vital body" that survives death. However, scientists (and even Twining later on in his life) have not been convinced by the experiments.[1][2]


Twining in 1915 wrote that his experiments into the nature of the soul revealed it to have a natural basis and had not proven any supernatural soul. He explained that all of his experiments showed a loss of weight due to the natural cause of moisture loss. When Twining replicated his experiments by sealing the beakers there was no weight loss. So Twining himself ascribed the change in weight to the loss of moisture.

Twining's views on the experiments can be found in The Physical Theory of the Soul (1915). Skeptic Milbourne Christopher discussed Twining and his experiments in his book Search for the Soul (1979).

See also[edit]


  1. Len Fisher Weighing The Soul: Scientific Discovery From the Brilliant to the Bizarre 2004, p. 14
  2. James J. Giordano, Bert Gordijn Scientific And Philosophical Perspectives In Neuroethics 2010, p. 15