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Monday, December 15, 2014

Talking to a Dowsing Believer

I was talking to a co-worker today who expressed belief in dowsing. He said that he had personally experienced the force that caused dowsing rods to cross. He speculated this was caused by some kind of magnetism.

"From water?", I asked. "What would happen to dowsing rods if you walked next to a lake? Would they stick together really hard?"

He was puzzled by this. I then pointed out that some dowsers use a y-shaped branch instead of metal rods to dowse. Wood does not react to magnetic fields.

I got more puzzled looks from my co-worker. I told him to look up James Randi's dowsing tests and the ideomotor phenomenon. He said he would and also wanted to do his own test.

I told him if he wanted to make sure he wasn't unknowingly moving the dowsing rods, he should put them on a cart and then either push or pull it along. Bury some water in the ground, move the cart over it, and see if the rods move. If the rods only move when people are holding them, then it must be the people who are moving them.

I look forward to seeing a new skeptical outlook in my co-worker.  

2 comments:

Kizone Kaprow said...

Fascinating stuff. No, really.
Say, why not paste in some of your Hit & Run gossip? You might even get a comment or two! I'll start things off:

Derpetologist|3.11.15 @ 10:09AM|#

There was a request for a Spot the Not featuring Bo. Instead, I present the 2 times I lost patience with him and insulted him.

http://reason.com/blog/2014/08.....nt_4694897

Derpetologist|8.10.14 @ 5:47PM|#

Say, where is Bo? I do miss his insightful commentary and bold contrarianism!

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Bobarian|8.10.14 @ 6:02PM|#

That, right there, is the derpiest thing you've ever brought on to HampersandR.

Well played.

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sarcasmic|8.10.14 @ 6:04PM|#

Please don't say stuff like that. He'll think you're serious.

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seguin|8.10.14 @ 9:01PM|#

It's the one thing he won't argue with.

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http://reason.com/blog/2014/10.....nt_4805366

Bo Cara Esq.|10.1.14 @ 7:32PM|#

His original comment "Economic aid is basically international welfare (USAID) that is basically food stamps to buy our grain and pharmaceuticals." and others seems to imply he found the economic aid less defensible.

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Derpetologist|10.1.14 @ 8:00PM|#

Because he called it welfare? Your skill at reading between the lines is second to none.

I predict a long, illustrious career for you at the law offices of Ringling Brothers, Barnum, & Bailey.

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Now that's entertainment!

Playa Manhattan said...

Cara Bowers got a kick out of your doxing attempt. After reviewing all the pertinent links and screen caps, it's just a matter of deciding whether to sue you or Reason or both. Be afraid.