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Dowsing

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mckeonj
44363.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:06 pm Reply with quote

or Divining: I do it, so I thought I'd just chuck in the topic and see if we can't generate some light, as well as heat.

 
96aelw
44427.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:49 pm Reply with quote

I was given a pair of dowsing rods some years ago, and have devoted some time and effort to the art of deliberately making them cross, but so that it still looks like they're doing it of their own accord. I am, though I say it myself, quite good at this. I would, however, be interested to hear how they're supposed to work when used by those more honest than myself (such as yourself).

 
Gray
44431.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:03 pm Reply with quote

Can you tell us how you do it, or (as I've heard reported) is it not something whose method you're consciously aware of?

And how reliable would you say it is? And what is the mechanism that makes it work, if it does? So many questions - it is an interesting topic!

 
gerontius grumpus
44432.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:17 pm Reply with quote

I've been told that the movement is caused by involuntary movement of the hands holding the wires or forked stick.

Dowsers always stress that it is the sensitivity or receptiveness of the dowser that counts.

 
mckeonj
44444.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:58 pm Reply with quote

gerontius grumpus wrote:
I've been told that the movement is caused by involuntary movement of the hands holding the wires or forked stick.

Dowsers always stress that it is the sensitivity or receptiveness of the dowser that counts.

As a successful dowser I concur. The dowsing effect is an involuntary movement of the hands holding the instrument, provided that the muscles involved are not relaxed, but in tension. The effect occurs only if the dowsers body is moving with respect to the thing sought, or the thing is moving with respect to the dowser. The instrument can be traditional forked stick, or modern 'revealer rods'. The twig can be hazel, willow, ash, rowan, it needs only to be the right springiness and comfortable to hold. The revealer rods also are not fussy about material, brass tube and steel rod is convenient, one could use bamboo, or yarrow rods. Some dowsers use pendulums, again the material is unimportant. A builders plumb-bob is quite good. I have seen one old dowser use a single rod or wand, waving it back and forth as he walked, in the manner of an electronic metal detector, then suddenly stabbing the ground. I am convinced that the dowsing effect is caused by very small changes in the electro-magnetic field which register in the muscle controllers.

 
Gray
44450.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:13 pm Reply with quote

How, exactly, have you come to be convinced? Have you tested your theory? That is, have you measured how effective it is in a number of blind tests?

 
mckeonj
44458.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:37 pm Reply with quote

Some years ago I discussed it with a NASA communications scientist, Michael Barrett, who was on a sabbatical at the University of Limerick where I worked. We devised a few tests, and he did some maths (which were quite beyond me) which showed that the 'fields' which I was detecting were consistent with the 'de Broglie Equations', whatever they are. He also demonstrated that the spiral 'fields' which I and others have detected around neolithic stone circles are consistent with a radio wave receiver dish tuned to the hydrogen band. I don't know if he ever wrote it up, Michael was a strange guy, but tops in his field. Incidentally, I was taught dowsing by Alfred Hyde-Parker, the aerial reconnaissance pioneer and leader of the team that identified the German V1 ski-sites.

 
dr.bob
44534.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:13 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
We devised a few tests, and he did some maths (which were quite beyond me) which showed that the 'fields' which I was detecting were consistent with the 'de Broglie Equations', whatever they are.


The de Broglie Equation simply derives the wavelength of a particle (in the wave/particle duality model of quantum mechanics) from its momentum thus:

lambda = h / p

Where "lambda" is the wavelength, "h" is the Planck constant, and "p" is the momentum.

What that has to do with dousing or fields, I can't say. Sounds like he was talking bollox to me.

As a Quite Interesting aside, de Broglie is something of a legend in the field of physics as having one of the shortest PhD theses ever submitted. Essentially it just consisted of the theoretical derivation of the de Broglie equation, which didn't take long but was a major step forwards in Quantum Mechanics. Not knowing precisely how large his thesis was, though, I can't confirm or deny whether it's true or just an urban myth.

Much like the story of Fred Hoyle being given a student's thesis, holding this result of 3 years hard work in one hand, and giving the considered opinion:

"Hmmm, feels a bit light to me lad. Go away and do some more work on it".

 
QI Individual
44561.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:18 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Much like the story of Fred Hoyle being given a student's thesis, holding this result of 3 years hard work in one hand, and giving the considered opinion:

"Hmmm, feels a bit light to me lad. Go away and do some more work on it".

I would have walked out and back in again 30 minutes later with a brick strapped to it.

 
Celebaelin
44562.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:22 am Reply with quote

QI Individual wrote:
dr.bob wrote:
Much like the story of Fred Hoyle being given a student's thesis, holding this result of 3 years hard work in one hand, and giving the considered opinion:

"Hmmm, feels a bit light to me lad. Go away and do some more work on it".

I would have walked out and back in again 30 minutes later with a brick strapped to it.


That's the accepted method.

 
mckeonj
44564.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:31 am Reply with quote

Gray wrote:
How, exactly, have you come to be convinced? Have you tested your theory? That is, have you measured how effective it is in a number of blind tests?

Let me return your questions to you, with the proposition that you have come to be convinced that you can 'see', using organs which you call 'eyes'.

 
Tas
44567.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:40 am Reply with quote

As opposed to tying it to a brick, and throwing it through his window, you mean?

:-)

Tas

 
Celebaelin
44570.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:52 am Reply with quote

*seethes murderously considering initial possibilities of defenestration*

*breathes deeply*

Yeah, something in that neighbourhood

 
Flash
44593.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:47 pm Reply with quote

mckeonj - don't mind Gray. I was in a similar situation with him a little while ago when he got into a scrap with leading astrologer Shelley von Strunckel on the subject of applying scientific method to her field of enquiry (she said she didn't want to dignify science by involving herself with it). Anyway, I shan't put words into Gray's mouth, but to speak for myself: dowsing appears on its face to be improbable, in the sense that if you had never heard of it before and a man walked into the pub and claimed to be able to do it you'd think it unlikely. Furthermore, its practitioners do not purport to be able to explain how it works (or do they? I'm busking this). In both of these respects it differs from the common experience of eyesight. So it would interest us to know what attitude you take to testing this gift. You may be simply uninterested in doing so, or you may have some juicy data which will enhance our understanding of the subject. Either way, it's up to you whether you want to share your thoughts with us.

I used to think that I had an unusual ability to spot typos - I look at a page in a book and a misspelt word just seems to leap out of the surrounding text at me. Thinking about it, though, I doubt that this is the case: I think I just see a typo sometimes because I happen to look at the right word, and I remember when that happens and not when it doesn't. It would be quite easy to test this empirically, of course - but I can't be bothered.

 
mckeonj
44611.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:11 pm Reply with quote

Dowsing works for me, it is a useful, practical ability. Why question it? Why not question similar 'strange' abilities, like perfect pitch, hunter's eye, idiot savant, eidectic memory? Many people possess these abilities, and cannot explain or justify them. So, as you say, don't mind him.

 

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