Saturday, 18 May 2013


Here at the Fake Explosives Detectors Campaign, one of the things that really pisses us off is when people say "Well, these fake detectors are a fraud, but dowsing really does work because I have seen it for myself."

Comments like this are usually accompanied by some anecdotal story about how the person concerned witnessed a dowser finding water, lost jewellery etc.

As we have tried to point out before, dowsing has been tested under controlled conditions again and again and again. Guess what? It never works as claimed! NEVER! Bit like homeopathy or those other cons, the self proclaimed psychics. It has been thoroughly explained as the Ideomotor effect (feel free to google that if you do not know what it is).

Recently another one of these dowsing defenders turned up on the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). There have been a lot of responses pointing out why and how dowsing does not and can not work, including some who have pointed out how a belief in dowsing nonsense played a part in fooling some of the buyers of the fake detectors such as the ADE651 and GT200. I have to say I admire the patience of some of those responding to the dowsing defender. My inclination is to call them a fool, because they clearly did not do their research before spouting off.

One of the responses struck us as particularly well put so we have taken the liberty of reproducing it here. The poster goes by the forum name of Ladewig, and was one of the JREF forum members who regularly followed and commented on the ADE651 thread at JREF.

For those of you who know dowsing is bunkum, hopefully you will agree that Ladewig puts it very well. For any of you still burdened by the delusion that dowsing works, please read carefully!1

So, here is the comment. Enjoy!

Originally Posted by G6000 View Post
If dowsing were real, it would be an established science with easily reproducible results. It would not be folklore. . 
I never really thought about that aspect. Dowsing has been around for what, hundreds of years? thousands of years? In the past two hundred or so years electricity went from being a strange novelty that made dead frogs twitch to being a phenomenon so well understood that we can implant small electronic devices inside people to help regulate their heart rates.

Think for a moment about every single natural phenomena that already had a long history by 1863. Steam, friction, electricity, burning, gravity, motion, buoyancy, air pressure, etc. etc. In every single case humans have been able to quantify it and measure it to unheard of degrees. In almost every case, we have been able to and harness it or refine it or otherwise use it in some way to make life easier. Even folk remedies known 150 years ago have been turned into useful, measured doses that produce consistent results.

Yet dowsing always lies just beyond the reach of scientists. Science can put a man on the moon (and bring him back), yet science just can't quite catch anyone dowsing under controlled conditions. We are talking about a power that could change the very course of human events, but this power is very shy and never appears when scientists are watching. Don't get me wrong, as I said in a previous post, science does not know everything. But if you look at the things that were known but not understood 150 years ago, science has pretty much observed them very well and explained them almost as well. Except dowsing.

If you are interested in the full thread you can click HERE

Or the original thread relating to the fake detectors HERE


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