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Old 14th Jun 2011, 15:30
  #8129 (permalink)  
green granite
More bang for your buck
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: land of the clanger
Age: 77
Posts: 3,511
Why should a belief in dowsing disqualify a person from being a scientist? Having seen dowsing in action I can assure you it does work. I was acting as a liaison officer on a brown field site for a few weeks, the contractor was told, by the council, that there was a water main but that its position was very uncertain, no problem says the contractor I'll get the company dowser to find it. He came the next day and wandered around the site, stakes were duly hammered in, digging commenced and there was the pipe.

I think the problem with the image of dowsing is it borders on black magic in people's eyes as it has no scientific explanation. Also it has a lot of people who think they can but very few that actually can. (I admit I was skeptical about it until I saw that demonstration of it.)


"In a study in Munich 1987-1988 by Hans-Dieter Betz and other scientists, 500 dowsers were initially tested for their "skill" and the experimenters selected the best 43 among them for further tests. Water was pumped through a pipe on the ground floor of a two-story barn. Before each test the pipe was moved in a direction perpendicular to the water flow. On the upper floor each dowser was asked to determine the position of the pipe. Over two years the dowsers performed 843 such tests. Of the 43 pre-selected and extensively tested candidates at least 37 showed no dowsing ability. The results from the remaining 6 were said to be better than chance, resulting in the experimenters' conclusion that some dowsers "in particular tasks, showed an extraordinarily high rate of success, which can scarcely if at all be explained as due to chance ... a real core of dowser-phenomena can be regarded as empirically proven."

Last edited by green granite; 14th Jun 2011 at 15:40.
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