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originally posted by: eManym
I experimented with dosing rods. My setup was two wire clothes hangers bent into 'L' shapes. I cut a plastic straw in half and inserted the straws in the short part of the bend so they would move freely. What I discovered was when my hands were moved very slightly downward from the horizonal the dowsing rods would cross. When my hands moved very slightly upward from the horizontal the rods separated. I am not convinced that dowsing works any different from random or chance.
originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: 727Sky
Those words mean something and are important.
Can I design the experiment?
In the sense that it finds underground water, water dowsing does not work. Water dowsing involves the claim that a person can locate underground sources of water without using any scientific instruments. Typically, the person that is dowsing holds sticks or rods and walks around a property in the hopes that the rods will dip, twitch, or cross when he walks over the underground water. The dowsing rods do indeed move, but not in response to anything underground. They are simply responding to the random movements of the person holding the rods. The rods are typically held in a position of unstable equilibrium, so that a small movement gets amplified into a big movement. The movements of the rods do not seem like they are coming from the small vibrations in the dowser's arms, since these vibrations are so small and the rod's movements are so large. From the false assumption that the movements of the rods are not coming from the small random vibrations of the dowser's arms, people then make the illogical leap that the movements must therefore be caused by something powerful that is out of sight, i.e. underground water. Since successfully locating underground water can save a farmer the trouble of digging several wells that end up dry, and since scientific approaches can be expensive, there is a strong incentive for people to want water dowsing to work.
In many areas of the world, water dowsing seems to really work. In such areas, the location that the dowser points out indeed leads to a productive well. However, such areas of the world have so much groundwater close to the surface that any location will yield a productive well. The situation is like filling a box with only green socks and then asking a magician to close his eyes and use his magic powers to find a green sock in the box. If a system is secretly rigged for 100% success from the start, any method we use will seem successful. The U.S. Geological Survey states, "The natural explanation of ‘successful' water dowsing is that in many areas underground water is so prevalent close to the land surface that it would be hard to drill a well and not find water. In a region of adequate rainfall and favorable geology, it is difficult not to drill and find water!"
Various controlled scientific studies over the last hundred years have repeatedly found that water dowsing does not work. For instance, 30 "expert" dowsers were invited to Kassel, Germany in 1990 to have their abilities tested in a study organized by James Randi. Pipes carrying flowing water were buried underground at known locations and the dowsers were tested as to their ability to determine if water was flowing through the pipes. All failed to do better than random guessing.
originally posted by: Carcharadon
You being convinced is utterly irrelevant. It works and is in no way "chance" or "luck". What a ridiculous thing to believe with all the real world evidence of this working. I've seen it done many times and so have most people i know.
There are none so blind as those that refuse to see.
Aside from satisfying Phage (and some others) though, we'd be right back to this same point... 'okay it works, but why does it work?'.