A Conversation for The History of Dowsing

Still quite subjective, this...

Post 1


Some of the highlights:

"At one time, people used intuition to determine where objects and influences were coming from, and it appears that as mankind evolved, this inner sense diminished"

Or, alternatively, we used to kid ourselves that by looking at the sky at night we could determine tomorrows weather, but now we have satellite maps we realise that that was mostly arrant nonsense? smiley - erm

"A number of scholars made themselves seem foolish by attributing unnecessary complications to the rustic skill of dowsing... The fact that village dowsers achieved the same results with a twisted bit of twig showed the worthlessness of the scholars' detailed methods."

Or that the entire thing is a bit hit and miss, perhaps...

"...who together established a thriving mineral company through their successful use of dowsing. Sadly, the two lost all their money locating mines..." smiley - laugh

"In 1959, Verne Cameron, a professional Californian dowser, contacted the United States Navy and told them he would locate the entire submarine fleet using only a map and a pendulum. The navy accepted the challenge and Cameron successfully located not only the US submarines, but also the position of Russian submarines around the world."

I wonder how they proved that, as I doubt that in 1959 the US knew where all the Russian submarines were - what did Verne do - call them up and check?

"The Christian Church at one time generated a lot of superstitious nonsense"

Hello pot? This is the kettle calling - look in the mirror!smiley - biggrin

"The US Army went one step further than this and trained soldiers in Vietnam to dowse for unexploded bombs and landmines. It is not known how many lives - both military and civilian - this simple technique has saved in its use in clearing minefields."

Or, presumably, how many lives it cost as soldiers were sent into a minefield equiped only with a hazel twig? I would hate to think that someone would read this and in desperation, try it in their local minefield. Don't do it kids! Take a metal detector!

I'm not denying that this made a lot of progress in Peer Review, but it still has quite a lot of smiley - erm moments.


Still quite subjective, this...

Post 2

And Introducing... A Leg

Shame I missed this in Peer Review, and I don't usually like criticising an entry after it enters the edited guide, when the author can no longer do much about it, but I think this needs to mention the James Randi Educational Foundation, which is offering US$1Million to anbody who can demonstrate magic under clearly set conditions. Dowsing is by far the most common claim, and nobody has ever won the million.

Still quite subjective, this...

Post 3

Smij - Formerly Jimster

Alternatively, dismissing the study of clouds as nonsense seems to be relying far too much on the trustworthiness of satellite maps. Perhaps if Michael Fish had simply looked out of his window instead of relying on satellites he wouldn't have woken up that October morning so humilated smiley - smiley

Still quite subjective, this...

Post 4


My feeling is that the jury is still very much out on dowsing. It generally fails rigorous scientific testing, so I can understand the sceptic's views. On the other hand, there are things that our science isn't yet able to come to grips with. So I'm keeping an open mind...

Still quite subjective, this...

Post 5

Delicia - The world's acutest kitten

Being a continental German I didn't know who Michael Fish was when at home, so I googled Michael Fish + october and came up immediately with the story http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/bbcweather/forecasters/michael_fish_1987storm.shtml
How galling that must be for him, poor old chap, but then I guess that's a professional hazard! smiley - biggrin

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