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 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 47
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?Page 3 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
I find the zeal with which the sceptics of dowsing are trying to hold their ground in this thread borders on the irrational.


Yeah, imagine that! Expecting someone to offer more than claims that "it happened! I saw it." How irrational!!


May I ask the sceptics if you would employ the services of a dowser if you were paying the cost of drilling a well for yourself? And gamble that you won't drill a "dry" hole or finally hit water at 250 feet while a dowser could have found water for you to drill into a mere 35 feet down about 20 feet away from your dry hole?


In answer to the first question...probably not. But what if Andy's dowser didn't "find" squat!? Would we even be having this discussion?


The difference between success and and failure in many things often comes down to sensing subtle hints and taking a leap of faith.


Um....the problem with "leaps" of faith is where you might land.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 48
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 11/18/2011 5:32:49 PM

May I ask the sceptics if you would employ the services of a dowser if you were paying the cost of drilling a well for yourself?

Nope. Not a chance.

And gamble that you won't drill a "dry" hole or finally hit water at 250 feet while a dowser could have found water for you to drill into a mere 35 feet down about 20 feet away from your dry hole?

I wouldn't consider it a gamble, since dowsing is non-sense.
 TheLimey
Joined: 2/24/2008
Msg: 49
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 11/20/2011 12:31:48 PM
non sense? yet I can do it, & so can my kid, my parents, their parents... So to what do you attribute this?
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 50
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 11/20/2011 3:37:13 PM
I expect Abelian would say you are fooling yourselves.

From again, a more logical approach, if someone wants to ACTUALLY test the efficacy of dowsing versus other officially accepted methods, the best way I could think of, has never been tried. Because it is insanely expensive.

Have the dowsers find where to drill, but when you DO find water, then hide it, and have the OFFICIAL guys come in and find water THEIR way. Drill again, and compare results. Do that repeatedly, until you have enough data to reasonably draw conclusions (beyond the limits of pure chance).

One thing I've always suspected myself, is that in MOST situations, if you dig or drill down deeply, you WILL find water, in MOST places. Thus, if a dowser says there's water, and you drill down and find water, OR if a hydro-scientist says there's water, and you drill and find water, I'm not much surprised either way.

Now, I haven't heard of anyone doing this, but what if a company that drilled wells worked on a simple flat fee basis. They specified how much you would pay for a successful well, providing the amount of water you expected to require, and then they used whatever means was needed to locate your well.

So far, all of the scenarios I've seen, whether using dowsers, or regular scientists, the WELL USER had to foot the full cost of all holes drilled, successful or not.

If a company was in the business, and had to make it's profits THAT way, I SUSPECT that we'd actually get some genuinely useful data to draw conclusions from.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 51
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 11/22/2011 10:26:16 AM

non sense? yet I can do it, & so can my kid, my parents, their parents... So to what do you attribute this?

Self delusion. If you contact the Randi Foundation, you not only have the opportunity to prove me wrong and make me eat my words, but you'll get $1,000,000.00 for the privilige of making me eat my words. Sounds like a golden opportunity. Let me know when you get the check.
 apurfectmeow
Joined: 11/19/2011
Msg: 52
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 11/23/2011 2:32:01 AM
If science could logically explain everything then there wouldnt be a need for creative thinking that unexplainable phenomena in the universe do exist.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 53
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 11/23/2011 5:24:04 AM

If science could logically explain everything then there wouldnt be a need for creative thinking that unexplainable phenomena in the universe do exist.


Okay, let's look at that....

"If science could logically explain everything then there wouldnt be a need for creative thinking that tooth faeries in the universe do exist."

"If science could logically explain everything then there wouldnt be a need for creative thinking that magic unicorns in the universe do exist."

"If science could logically explain everything then there wouldnt be a need for creative thinking that psychic teapots in the universe do exist."
 apurfectmeow
Joined: 11/19/2011
Msg: 54
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 11/23/2011 6:48:58 AM
^ Ha ha ha. I didnt say stories and you know it doll.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 56
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 11/26/2011 5:57:40 AM

The only prerequisite is to have a positive attitude, thus results are assured.


And how do you propose he confirms the result of this little experiment beyond spending thousands of dollars on drilling?

Otherwise, I'm sure the ideomotor effect will have the dowsing rods going every which way he wants them to.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 58
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/4/2011 10:07:24 PM
If science could logically explain everything then there wouldnt be a need for creative thinking that unexplainable phenomena in the universe do exist.

Dowsing isn't one of them.

However, if you do agree that aquifers exist, I'd like you also to try your hand at dowsing.

If you're so sure, go collect your easy 1 million from the Randi foundation. Then. I'll believe you and you'll be 1 million dollars richer.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 60
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/5/2011 7:44:18 PM
Which doesn't really answer the basic question of "How".

Without an actual mechanism that is explainable, verifiable and observable, for all we know, grampa just got lucky.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 61
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/6/2011 5:11:53 AM
And there you go. The ultimate answer to the title question is, that Dowsing, or any other such idea, isn't a SCIENCE, until SCIENCE explains it USING SCIENCE.

Therefore, at this point, Dowsing is pure speculation, and is NOT real science.
 rearguard*2
Joined: 2/8/2008
Msg: 62
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/7/2011 7:37:03 AM
No doubt about it, dowsing is not regarded as scientifically proven. However, personally I have observed rather precise dowsing operations for locating artesian wells where the depth of the supposed underground stream was specified to within 1 foot and the discharge rate also given accurately. The dowser in question was an old drunk who performed the search for beer money and was well known enough in the area to be able to keep perpetually drunk just on the proceeds of this activity.

I also met another man who worked for a large oil company and was employed for his skills in locating the buried pipes in various construction sites.

Of course, these cases are not scientific examples, and the operators involved could have been just lucky in some way. In neither case were the examples carried out in areas where, for example, the incidence of buried water or pipes was particularly rare.

However, let us not forget that science routinely uncovers the mechanisms behind all kinds of phenomena that were previous mysterious and unexplained. It also strikes me that the ability to locate buried water is a very useful survival skill, and not entirely surprising that humans should have such an ability. Let us also remember that all kinds of animals appear to be able to navigate huge distances with very high accuracy without any use of any kind of known technology.
 2findU
Joined: 11/19/2005
Msg: 63
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/7/2011 2:05:02 PM
Its not eve pseudoscience. Its just total nonsense.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 64
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/8/2011 5:13:57 AM
Gut feelings about meeting certain people are not scientifically proven either, but they tend to be right more often than not.

I've seen dousing performed, played with pendulums with others, including skeptics, and there is definately something at play. I was a skeptic when we hired a douser for water on some tracts of land. Nell has had a money back guarantee for her clients for over 30 years and none have taken her up on it.

The Randi prize has qualifying standards that tend to exclude the people out in the field just doing the work like Nell does.

Some research on it.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/1281661
http://www.tricksterbook.com/ArticlesOnline/Dowsing.htm
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 65
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/10/2011 2:17:00 PM

Go figure…however, is there a scientific explanation or are we just going to rely on ‘you was tricked’ as the easiest answer.


Or coincidence.

Dowsing has never, ever had any consistent results under controlled conditions. Never.

Either he fooled you or it was luck.

From Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowsing#Evidence

"A 1948 study tested 58 dowsers' ability to detect water. None of them was more reliable than chance.[19] A 1979 review examined many controlled studies of dowsing for water, and found that none of them showed better than chance results. [4]

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-storey 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."[20]

Five years after the Munich study was published, Jim T. Enright, a professor of physiology and a leading skeptic who emphasised correct data analysis procedure, contended that the study's results are merely consistent with statistical fluctuations and not significant. He believed the experiments provided "the most convincing disproof imaginable that dowsers can do what they claim,"[21] stating that the data analysis was "special, unconventional and customized." Replacing it with "more ordinary analyses,"[22] he noted that the best dowser was on average 4 millimeters out of 10 meters closer to a mid-line guess, an advantage of 0.0004%, and that the five other good dowsers were on average further than a mid-line guess[23]. The study's authors responded, saying "on what grounds could Enright come to entirely different conclusions? Apparently his data analysis was too crude, even illegitimate."[24] The findings of the Munich study were also confirmed in a paper by Dr. S. Ertel,[25] a German psychologist who had previously intervened in the statistical controversy surrounding the "Mars effect", but Enright remained unconvinced.[26]

More recently a study[27] was undertaken in Kassel, Germany, under the direction of the Gesellschaft zur Wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von Parawissenschaften (GWUP) [Society for the Scientific Investigation of the Parasciences]. The three-day test of some 30 dowsers involved plastic pipes through which water flow could be controlled and directed. The pipes were buried 50 centimeters under a level field, the position of each marked on the surface with a colored strip. The dowsers had to tell whether water was running through each pipe. All the dowsers signed a statement agreeing this was a fair test of their abilities and that they expected a 100 percent success rate, however the results were no better than chance.

Some researchers have investigated possible physical or geophysical explanations for alleged dowsing abilities. One study concluded that dowsers "respond" to a 60 Hz electromagnetic field, but this response does not occur if the kidney area or head are shielded.[28]"
 newground
Joined: 7/1/2007
Msg: 66
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/10/2011 4:04:52 PM
People have been finding water for a very, very long time, long before there were sophisticated machines. The world didn't start with our recent understanding of it, and humans could not have survived without water, so finding it was essential. It works, and has worked on some form of energy much like a lot of things work with the ley lines I would imagine. I've been in England and seen a dowser find the ley lines, who I KNOW was not a charlatan and had no reason to be deceptive. They have put English churches in a line, across the countryside, so they could build them on the ley lines for the power, he said. I looked and sure enough, there were church steeples as far as I could see, right in a straight line. There is no hoax to it, just forgotten knowledge. Humans could not have made it to the 19th century without finding the ways to find water before, and apparently dowsing was it. My father used it when I was a child in this country and in Africa. Places like Damanhur exist on these subtle energies.

Randi is delusional, to whoever cited him as a credible authority on dowsing. I know two people he has turned down for that test, who were reasonable, and what he does is call them deluded, no matter how reasonable their claim of what they can do, or the tests they are willing to do to prove it. He just ignored them and said it was too complicated. He is a scam. He has turned down Dr. Gary Schwartz several times, and he has been training psychics for police departments for the University of Arizona for years, or he did. I think his research has changed a bit now. Randi has zero credibility, and as a magician, he is not qualified to talk about psychic phenomena, and certainly not science. And the fact that he has the audacity to fight with Schwartz, who has like 6 or 7 doctorates from Harvard and Yale, just makes him laughably sad. But he has for years. He won't tangle with anybody real. He looks for the people in confusion, and then beats them up in public.

The Arthur Findlay College might have some answers on their website. They are likely the place that J.K. Rowling used to create the Harry Potter world. Oldest such university in the world I think. In England.
 newground
Joined: 7/1/2007
Msg: 67
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/10/2011 4:16:31 PM
Forgot to say that my father was a civil engineer, and as far from believing in other worldly things as one can get.
 rearguard*2
Joined: 2/8/2008
Msg: 68
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/11/2011 12:17:49 PM
I am more prepared to believe that an individual with long term familiarity of an area would make a more reliable dowser than what would normally observe in controlled experiments. It may well be that the instrument used by a dowser is entirely irrelevant to the detection phenomenon, and that subtle geographic, foliage, or other factors come into play.

As to ensembles of dowsers and statistical analysis, I wonder about the utility of such an analysis. If a dowser finds water reliably, to me the fact that he is the only one in a group of 50 simply means the other 49 don't have it!
 rearguard*2
Joined: 2/8/2008
Msg: 69
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/14/2011 7:16:40 AM
There is no such thing as unexplainable phenomena. Just things that have no explanation within some causal framework. If something was actually unexplainable, we would not be able to describe it!

In any event, creativity is simply the act of reaching a truth that is not reachable through a given chain of causal logic. Nothing to do with explanations. At the trivial level, there is always the explanation the the truth is "creative".
 twowheelsdown2012
Joined: 10/8/2011
Msg: 70
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 12/27/2011 7:05:10 PM
I disagree. Just because science has not explained it yet, or because statistics show that most people can't do it, does not mean that there are not some that can.

I did my own experiment once that changed my mind, as I was skeptical about it myself.

We had a very long hallway in our house, covered the full length in throw rugs. I made myself 2 bent rods, and had my ex-wife hide a quarter under the rugs. I walked the hallway holding the image of the quarter in my mind. The rods crossed. I backed up, and they uncrossed. I stepped forward and they crossed.

Directly under my heels the quarter was. I repeated this over and over about 20 times. My ex-wife even tried to fool me by NOT moving the quarter to a new spot. I found it every time. Both of us were pretty amazed.

Our minds are electronic circuits. Maybe they can be tuned and adjusted like a radio, or a metal detector? Like anything, I think there are frauds out there, but I also believe there are some with real ability. That does not mean they can do it all the time. Maybe conditions have to be just right. The time I did it, I hit the mark not just a bit above the level of chance. I hit the mark every time. No way was it just pure chance.
 Kekun
Joined: 2/16/2012
Msg: 71
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 8/23/2012 11:10:53 AM
Tell your new hero who mocked you he can becomes a millionaire and leave his day job. I'll check the news tonight. Just can't wait... lol

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html
 2findU
Joined: 11/19/2005
Msg: 72
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 9/4/2012 3:40:31 PM
Total pseudoscience. There is no real science at all involved. It no more real than reading tea leaves. Of course you will have people that swear it works.
Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 9/9/2012 1:43:49 AM
What people aren't aware of about old-school water dowsing is that the point of holding sticks or wires in your hands a certain way is just to make them very sensitive to a very simple natural and "physics" oriented effect that is very faint but otherwise observable whenever there is water present underground if you have the right "device" to detect these effects.

Unless I've been lied to, of course. But what I want to see is if anyone here has the presense of mind, and willingness, to initiate the responsible act of trying to find out what this might be, and come back to this thread and tell everyone.
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 74
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Water dowsing pseudoscience or real science?
Posted: 9/9/2012 8:06:01 AM
You will note that the sticks you hold when water dowsing will only move when they are being held with your hands - because, despite all claims to the contrary, it is your hands that are moving them. Its like a ouija board, it only moves when people move it and subconsciously you might think an outside force is doing it but the only force at play is the people themselves.

If the dousing rods are loosely held in something other than your hands, like thin tubes for example, they won't do anything.

The guy probably located the pipe with the metal detector by a locator wire in the plastic pipe, or maybe a steel fitting or something. After locating it he could have made a scuff mark in the ground and pretended to find the same spot with the dowsing rods.
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