Of all the special skills tested by skeptics, dowsing is the most common claim. And it has NEVER passed a controlled test. Why is that? The most obvious answer is that rods in your hands do not really indicate water. Yet, it remains pretty much impossible to convince dowsers that there is nothing special or mysterious about their art and that it does not work. Check out this story to see why.
A leak at a village social club in the Midlands baffled all the hi-tech gadgetry of a giant water company.
But the problem was eventually sorted out by an ancient mystical art which dates back thousands of years.
While workmates scratched their heads, one Severn Trent Water engineer produced a set of water-divining rods and quickly found the right spot.
Engineers with high-tech equipment tried four times to try to locate the source of the leak failed.
The story lacks detail and context. All we get is “AMAZING! The dowser was right! Better than high-tech equipment”. We don’t know how if the dowser had access to additional information or if he also tried other spots. We do not get the whole story, and usually the devil is in the details.
It’s not the best idea to buy into gee whiz news stories like this without thinking about them a bit. Why would we NEED high-tech equipment if they didn’t work as well as dowsers? The equipment is better, more precise, and works reliably to give us good data. Dowsers, not so much. Actually, anyone with a little bit of knowledge of the problem can probably make a good guess about how to fix it. A leaking pipe or area of high flow groundwater does create clues on the surface if you know what to look for.
The piece ends with an announcement that “Dowsing works”. Not exactly. It appears to work but when tested it repeatedly fails. So, dowsers sometimes hit the mark but they often DO NOT. It’s not the magical “art” of the rods that is getting results. I believe you’ll find it’s more complicated than that.