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Old 04-06-2019, 11:03 PM   #8281
Trihexagonal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Yes and maybe Yuri Gellar actually could bend common, unprepared steel spoons with just his thoughts when all the conditions were just right...

There is no spoon.
 
Old 04-07-2019, 01:36 AM   #8282
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Hmmm. Yoga dreaming.
 
Old 04-07-2019, 05:41 AM   #8283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Yes and maybe Yuri Gellar actually could bend common, unprepared steel spoons with just his thoughts when all the conditions were just right... David Blaine really can levitate and David Copperfield really did make the Statue of Liberty disappear
That's a bit unfair! I was only pointing out that there is a possible physical mechanism for water dowsing. Some sensitive people could be subconsciously aware of the presence of underground water because of the interaction of their brain's electromagnetic field with the earth's field, and a dowsing implement could allow that subconscious knowledge to be made conscious through coded movement. No one so far has provided a convincing physical mechanism for spoon-bending or levitation.

btw that kind of awareness is not very different in principle from the pigeon's ability to navigate by the earth's field.

Last edited by hazel; 04-07-2019 at 07:13 AM.
 
Old 04-07-2019, 11:18 AM   #8284
enorbet
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Hi hazel
While I'm aware that some migratory animals can apparently sense the Earth's magnetic field and can't rule out that it is possible for some humans to possess that ability, I am unaware of any animals who can sense underground water by any means excepting sound if proximity is close enough. Perhaps if it is very close, smell might be a factor. Also it wasn't until mid 20th century that anyone posited that some animals could sense that generated by an entire planet so it seems to me had any humans had such sensitivity we would have thought about it long before mid 20th century, and again, that's for the field of an entire planet.

Additionally dowsing isn't said to be limited to just water. It has been used to find all manner of lost objects few of which have appreciable magnetic fields. I don't care to choose whether those proponents were con artists or merely mis-interpreting the source of the rods movement. Either way, that some ardent proponents actually believe that things other than flowing water can be dowsed or assume others will believe it, despite zero evidence of any mechanism to find, say lost jewelry, oil or grave sites, should create some skepticism about the whole concept, since no direct evidence exists at all, merely speculation at best. Since dowsing has been practiced for centuries surely if some mechanism existed it would have at least a hypothesis by now instead of a reputation as pseudoscience. For my part I find it to be akin to the Ouija Board phenomenon - either a con by others who know better or conning oneself who doesn't.

Last edited by enorbet; 04-07-2019 at 11:19 AM.
 
Old 04-07-2019, 11:47 AM   #8285
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The parallel with a ouija board is very close. Both ouija boards and dowsing rods are devices to magnify tiny unconscious movements into visible ones. The problem with all these devices is that the brain confabulates. If a centre in the brain is asked by another centre for information that it doesn't actually possess, it will not say, "Sorry, no data available". It will just provide a random output. So, for example, if you try to dowse the sex of an unborn child using a pendulum (which is a well-known practice), you will get an answer but it will be a random answer. Mind you, that still gives you a 50% chance of being right !

This also applies to such things as map dowsing for lost property. This may well work if you were the one who lost it, because you may have a memory of where you put it which is not directly retrievable. Using a movement code to interrogate your subconscious could break the deadlock. But if you don't know even subconsciously where the thing is, you'll just get a random output.

There was an interesting case back in the 1960s of a British archaeologist (I'm afraid I've forgotten his name) who was also a dowsing enthusiast. Just out of interest, he tried to dowse dates for some neolithic and bronze age objects and found that they came out several centuries too old. So he gave up in disgust. But the British Neolithic has since been re-dated, and these objects are now considered to be much older than was thought in the '60s. It's easy to see what happened here: the trained eye of this experienced archaeologist must have known that the objects were older than they were officially given credit for, but his conscious mind wouldn't accept that the official dates were wrong, so the knowledge remained unconscious until the pendulum retrieved it.

Last edited by hazel; 04-07-2019 at 11:49 AM.
 
Old 04-08-2019, 03:08 AM   #8286
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Good story. I've heard of formal experiments that demonstrates confabulation that are similarly interesting. One such study placed an enclosed partition on peoples noses so that one eye could not see the same thing the other eye could see, separating not only the eyes but the brain hemisphere's they deliver data to. This was done to explore how the different hemispheres function and communicate through the corpus callosum and how the combining is often distorted. One test showed a man a watch to one eye and an orange to the other. he was asked to draw what he saw and he drew a watch.... with an orange crayon. When asked why he chose that color crayon he had all manner of crazy rationalizations since he could not articulate the blending. This is evidence of both the wonder in things like dowsing and also the total lack of reliability where the odds are rarely better than mere chance, and this is why such things are pseudoscience. One might as well flip a coin.
 
  


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