Aussie science chief touts "80% accuracy" for dowsers


I will gladly sell the Australian government as much dowsing equipment as it wants to buy. And I 100% guarantee that my dowsing rods work just as well as any of my competitors’.


Sounds like a personal problem!

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Are you sure he’s Australian and not a U.S. Senator or Representative?



The Economic Argument


It sounds like a doctorate in physics from Macquarie University may not be worth all that much.


While we all know this is impossible, has anybody ever seen any actual data? I haven’t.


It’s not really that weird, I suspect a lot of it is how it was reported on. Looking a little more closely at the article, it looks like he was just kind of saying he’s interested in looking into whether it’d be possible to invent some sort of star-trek like way of detecting water.

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“And I’ve been advised by the dowsers and diviners that THEY TOO have no idea how they do it, so clearly we need to research this!”

a further quote.



The appointment of Dr Larry Marshall as the new Chief Executive of
the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
was announced today by the Chairman of the CSIRO Board, Simon McKeon.
“Dr Marshall has an impeccable record as a scientist, a technology innovator and business leader,” Mr McKeon said.

That sounded great right until he completely undid all of that with his incredibly naive comments on dowsing. I love how he skipped right to speculating on all the wonderful financial and environmental development dowsing could bring and proposing spending cash on it before checking to see if it actually works. It’s kind of like skipping ahead to what kind of saddle shoes angels wear while dancing on the head of the pin before establishing that angels exist and whether any can actually dance on the head of a pin.

I suppose the real test is whether he will retract his position when shown all the proof that dowsers, in fact, are no better than chance at finding water or objects that they claim they can sense through dowsing. If he doesn’t change his position, as a good scientist does, based on the evidence then he may be loosing it like some physicists do later in life. I’m thinking that the Bay Area venture capital firm he worked for is happy he’s not playing with their money any more. (Or maybe he still is? :-0 )


Now this is the kind of immigrant the GOP would love to have come to the US! A gullible bumblefuck like this would have a guaranteed job as a senior advisor for life!

I want to know how they manage to dig holes down to the water table and not find water 20% of the time.


I needed a well drilled on my property. The old-timer on the phone said " 'course we’ll witch it before we drill". When his younger crew showed up without him, the lead guy picked a spot and got ready to drill. I’d been eager to watch someone dowse/divine/witch so I reminded him that his boss told me he’d have a go. With a straight face, he had me retrieve a green, forked twig which he briefly carried around. Luckily, the twig told him his original spot was perfect.
They showed me how to do it and I swear, at the time I really thought that damned twig pulled downward over the spot. I don’t know how the drilling crew kept from rolling on the ground laughing at me.
Suggestion was powerful enough to temporarily overcome my skepticism. I tried a few more times after they left but my chakras had all become misaligned by then so it never worked again.


I have no idea how -I- do it. Was taught the trick by an old driller, not so much for finding a good spot to put a well, but really useful for finding the utilities, especially water, sewer, and electrical lines so we wouldn;'t drill through them.

Then you mark for digsafe to come and mark the site out. Often the rods are correct-ish.

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Anything you have a word for does exist. But you may or not be aware of what the true nature of its existence is.

Not unlike how to many people, tofu is “fake” because it was aggressively marketed as ersatz meat. It’s merely a case of misapplied categories - tofu might not be “real” meat, while it really is something else, i.e. real bean curd. Fake boobs are real silicone. Angels might be fake organisms, but they are real metaphysical constructs. Dowsing (not unlike other kinds of "divination) might be fake physics, but it is real bypassing of the discursive rational mind in favor of exploring subjectivities which the individual may not be consciously aware of.

I love it how people who fancy themselves rationalists dismiss metaphysics as supernatural nonsense (as if anything can be properly said to be supernatural) until one asks them about things they use on a daily basis, such as moods or money. But those are universal truths, everybody knows that! XD


The controlled experiments I’ve seen have shown no difference. There was at least one at the university of minnesota I remember reading. Usually these studies put barrels of water in the basement of the psychology building and have people walk around on the first floor ‘witching’, or they make some special table with water jugs underneath.

This is not hard research to do, but expensive to do right. You need to dig up a field or sink wells to test the abilities, and moving dirt or drilling rigs could get expensive. Does he really want to take precious public research money and devote it to this instead of something like ebola vaccines? There is already well-drilling industry, and if it made a difference, they would have the chance of making a lot more money–why not let them pay for the research on it?


James Randi has some money for you:
(and only some snark & sarcasm)


My insight was that it had to do with moving fluids. I could only find water, sewer, and gas lines. And most electrical lines too, including overhead ones. Also a raceway under a mill once. It’s probably explainable, just not by me.

You mean emotional states?