A Conversation for The History of Dowsing

A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 121

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

Whatever. Anyway, this entry doesn't give anywhere near the true picture. We could bang on about 'balance' and how both sides in the argument should be represented equally, but that is indulging a sophistry. 'Balance' is merely a mechanism for ensuring that the weights of evidence, both for and against, are realistically compared. I can't endorse this entry because it doesn't do this.


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 122

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

oops! smiley - sorry your right dont know why it did'nt turn out right but if you click on FM's link its a link at the bottom of that entry.............i clicked on it and found a list of pro and anti dowsing links which i think would suit nearly everybody because the balance seems to be weighed out rather equally.

romi smiley - angel


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 123

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

hi everyone just wondering why ive not heard anything from anyone here for a while ?
but also ive been sent an interesting email about randl from a dowsing association i found on the net so i'll copy and paste it here for all to read
Two hundred years ago: If you would have told anyone that you could transform (or send) their image through the air, then recieve that image and show it to them would have resulted in you being burnt at the stake.
If you were to pull out a cigarrette lighter and make flame from that possesed little container you would have been either burnt at the stake, hung or drawn and quartered for being in league with the devil.
If you were to eat molded bread, as is what occured in the Salem Witch Trials, you would have acted strangely and being hung by the neck until dead.
There were no burning at the stakes at the Salem Witch Trials
contrary to popular folklore and belief.
Now on the subject of Randi, he modifies and controls the setup of any and every test which is done to try and prove anything to him making it impossible to prove even things known to present day science.
He does not listen to reasonable explainations as to why something did not work.
He is a fool, and as such will never allow a truly honest test to be
done as he does not want to part with his money that he fraudulently
puts up to get people to try and get the money.
The real problem is that with dowsing another person standing near to the dowser can negatively affect the outcome of the dowsing experiment by simply not believing that dowsing can actually take place.
In the matter of doing things that science can not prove or disprove, magicians like Merlin would have been burnt at the stake or hung by the neck until dead if it were not for the magician being an excellent showman thereby gaining the trust of the King so that the magician or sorcerer would not be tried as a witch.

romi


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 124

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

I think you have done Randi a gross disservice. He is not a fool. He is a sceptic who simply sets up highly controlled experiments. I think that any person who doesn't want to give away a large amount of money wouldn't even entertain the idea of setting up a prize for showing that a psychic phenomenon existed. So why has he done this? To actually see whether or not it could be achieved. Rather like the idea of setting up the X-Prize: not to avoid parting with $10M but to encourage people to try to prove the founders wrong. Science actually progress on this principle: 'falsification' it's called, and scientists like to have their ideas challenged (unlike believers in the paranormal). Randi has behaved just as any scientist worth his or her title would have done.

Basically, if the mere disbelief of someone standing next to a dowser can disrupt the 'energies', what hope is there of setting up a sceptical or even neutral experiment? Dowsers are trying to have it both ways: claiming that dowsing works while claiming that it can't be effectively tested. Personally, I think the scientific commmunity has bent over backwards in giving the dowsers a chance to show whether or not it works. And guess what? It doesn't. Any entry which claims that it does at the very least has to acknowledge this vast weight of countermanding evidence.


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 125

Recumbentman

Hear hear. Read and ponder:

"another person standing near to the dowser can negatively affect the outcome of the dowsing experiment by simply not believing"

In other words it only works to the extent that you believe it is working.

Not robust.


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 126

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

Recumbentman, I think it's well proven that people's beliefs can affect the outcome of experiments, which is why they have to have double blind experiments.

As I understand it, Quantum Physics is clear that the observer affects the experiment.

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 127

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

Poeple's beliefs do not affect outcomes, they only affect the way in which outcomes are interpreted. Besides, the scientists who conducted the most rigorous survey were highly sympathetic to the idea of dowsing. It was only *after* the study that a different analysis was performed which showed up the conclusions to be false. So in what way exactly does this concur with the old 'negative energies' excuse?

I'll put my cards on the table: dowsing is tosh. A tenner says that I'm wrong. Go on then: disprove me.


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 128

Recumbentman

I'm with the monk. As for quantum physics, it is still so counterintuitive that our language has to change a lot to embrace it comfortably. The only thing in its favour (a very big thing) is that its predictions are consistentl borne out.


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 129

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

F.M firstly it is not me that has done randl a disservice i only copy and pasted what was sent to me via email for you all to read and i did state this so you all knew it was'nt my words.

but as a dowser myself i can say that if a non-believer is stood next to a believer it can and has affected the reading done in a lot of cases, that is what the term "negative energies" means.

ive had a lot of success using dowsing but on the other hand i must admit it is'nt fool proof and i would never claim it to be 100% accurate, but i do remember once reading some where that the statitics for success for dowsing is supposed to be 99%.

i really wish i could prove you wrong but without actually standing in front of you, for you to actually see the results of any dowsing i did, then i cant

romi


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 130

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

thank you Z smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote for your comments as usual they are helpful.

and thank you to every one else that has made comments favourable or not.

romi


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 131

Recumbentman

Thank you St Romani for your unperturbable goodwill. "reading some where that the statitics for success for dowsing is supposed to be 99%" -- do try and find a source for this. 99% would be a better success rate than antibiotics, or anything medical, I expect.


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 132

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

recumbentman if i could find the realted papers that stated the success rate, i would only too gladly submit them here for all to read, but unfortunately since writing this and my previous article i have moved and also lost quite a lot of those papers in that move.

so without my papers i have no record of where or what book i read this information, i did quite a lot of long research in libraries for books before i wrote these two articles, so i hope you can understand the problem here.

but im sure there must be other information some where on the net and i have just sent a message to a dowsing group asking for any info from them.

romi


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 133

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

Here is a quote from Albert Einstein.
Albert Einstein said, "I know very well that many scientist consider dowsing as a type of superstition.
According to my conviction this is, however,unjustified.
The dowsing rod is a simple instrument which shows the reaction of the human nervous system to certain factors which are unknown to us at this time.

also i thought you might like to read the following too.
Yes, dowsing works under certain conditions. Like anything that
works under certain conditions, it can be used for good or bad purposes.
Somehow, it seems to touch the realms of religion and therefore
great care is recommended. Depending on the locally prelevalent flavour of religion, dowsing can still arouse adverse feelings.
Present day science abhors of dowsing.
Dowsing does not confirm with the requirements of reproductibility that science demands.
Todays prominent scientists agree with James Randi that dowsing is nonsense.
Yet, dowsing is part of life's realities.


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 134

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

Bung 'em in as blockquotes, Romani!

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 135

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

found this dowsing site on the net if anyone wants to take a look

http:dowsingworks.com

romi


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 136

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

No it isn't. If I wandered around with a hazel twig in my hand and dug up the ground when it twitched, I bet I'd find some water at some point. Likewise if I wandered around with a timer that was set to beep at a random interval. Or if I shot an arrow in the air and dug where it came down. This isn't good enough, I'm afraid. And it's not good enough to make claims for the efficacy of a technique without even acknowledging the only rigorous testing of it that just so happens to confirm it doesn't work.
I don't really care what Einstein said on this issue, mainly because unlike relativity, it hasn't been borne out by experiment. Appeals to authority don't cut much ice with me either.


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 137

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

thanks for the idea Zsmiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote

ive included the Einstein quote in my article now smiley - ok

romi


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 138

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

F.M where you get the idea of a timer or shooting an arrow is beyond me and quite ludicrous!
and to be quite honest i think even if i could provide you with concrete evidence you still would'nt be satisfied and still would be very sceptical to the end.
that is why you dont care as to what Einstein or any one else for that matter has to say on this subject.
as to "Appeals to authority" just exactly what do you mean by this ?

romi


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 139

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

Romi,
The most exhaustive study on the efficacy of dowsing is the one I quoted earlier. The results, when rigorously interpreted, show that it is no better than prospecting at random. I have every right to be sceptical: extraordinary claims - that is, that there is some msyterious field which humans can pick up but which has never been spotted in other contexts - require extraordinary evidence. You do not acknowledge this study anywhere in this entry. You do not back up your assertions that dowsing works. You do not even acknowledge that there is a debate about whether it works. As for the timer and arrow shooting, it was meant to illustrate the principle of random selection. And, on the face of it, it's no more ludicrous than walking around with a hazel twig, is it?


A881345 - THE HISTORY OF DOWSING

Post 140

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

PS: on the subject of appeals to authority: http://www.datanation.com/fallacies/aa.htm


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