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Roderick

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My good man, dowsing is not a thing. Yes, a gazillion stories have been imprinted on the impressionable mind, but in repeatable tests dowsing has never been proven to be better than random chance. There are myriad tells when searching for a leak, pretending you found it by magic ensures you're the guy they come to when it's time to find the next one.
I presented what I thought was a pretty fair scientific experiment which seemed to me to demonstrate that a piece of steel can somehow be detected by most people. You dismissed it with no rational argument and no attempt to replicate or disprove the results. I could say condescendingly "My good man quantum theory is not a thing" because the double slit experiment can't be explained using conventional physics but it wouldn't stop it working or prove it out of existence. Unless you think your eyesight can resolve an extra page in a 1/2 inch thick magazine there were not "a myriad tells" in my drawing office experiment. Interestingly Einstein thought dowsing probably did work, though I expect you consider your knowledge and thinking on the subject is far greater than his or perhaps you have already done many experiments using people like Hayman? If you are so certain of your facts why not take Hayman up on his offer?
Further reading for fun Curious questions: Does water divining actually work? (N.B. Einstein thought it probably did...) - Country Life
 

night crawler

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I do not dispute dousing, there is something in it though I have never tried it myself. I do know most steels are magnetic, even stainless steel depending on the grade. Low grades are worst. Finding water is one thing, steel I feel a bit of magnetic attraction is going on.
 

Roderick

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I do not dispute dousing, there is something in it though I have never tried it myself. I do know most steels are magnetic, even stainless steel depending on the grade. Low grades are worst. Finding water is one thing, steel I feel a bit of magnetic attraction is going on.
You should have a go, I was very skeptical till I tried it.
 

john1975

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"Plenty of scientific proof that dowsing is absolute nonsense, enough to disregard it completely." Please define "scientific" and "proof".

For decades I have used steel rods bent at right angles and held free to turn in my hands to find where water pipes run. I hold a rod in each lightly-clenched fist, the long end pointing horizontally forward, the short end hanging vertically in the space formed by the tips of my fingers pressing into the gap between the base of the thumb and the forefinger and the palm. As I walk forward, the rods swing to align with the direction of the pipe, the right hand rod swings to the left, the left hand rod to the right. This happens whether the pipe is at right angles to the direction in which I am walking, or diagonal to my route. In the first case, both rods swing towards each other through 90 degrees; in the second one swings through, say, 45 degrees, the other through 135 degrees.

I once tried using the rods to find the foundations of ancient walls at a site where the walls had long been demolished and grassed over, leaving foundation brickwork or stonework in the ground. The rods did not turn.

That utility companies use divining rods – maybe not yew twigs – to find the positions of pipes says something about their efficacy. A separation needs to be made between looking for artificial (usually metal) pipes and for natural underground springs, etc. Is there some connection between yew twigs for divining and the prevalence of yew trees in churchyards?
Anyone that believes that utility companies use "divining rods" is a nut case.. They use proper cable tracers, and, in the case of non metallic services "sonde's" that can be inserted in the service. They now have [increasingly] CAT scanners that log activities and scans, so, in the event of things going wrong, the crews concerned can show they did things as best they could for insurance purposes etc. Even so, it can be very difficult to locate and trace services.. Can you imagine saying to a court or insurance company that; "yes, but we used genuine yew divining rods" Deluded is not the word for it..

john..
 

Sarah Waldock

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I presented what I thought was a pretty fair scientific experiment which seemed to me to demonstrate that a piece of steel can somehow be detected by most people. You dismissed it with no rational argument and no attempt to replicate or disprove the results. I could say condescendingly "My good man quantum theory is not a thing" because the double slit experiment can't be explained using conventional physics but it wouldn't stop it working or prove it out of existence. Unless you think your eyesight can resolve an extra page in a 1/2 inch thick magazine there were not "a myriad tells" in my drawing office experiment. Interestingly Einstein thought dowsing probably did work, though I expect you consider your knowledge and thinking on the subject is far greater than his or perhaps you have already done many experiments using people like Hayman? If you are so certain of your facts why not take Hayman up on his offer?
Further reading for fun Curious questions: Does water divining actually work? (N.B. Einstein thought it probably did...) - Country Life
good analogy with quantum physics, and the double slit test, which despite a patient physics master at school I still don't understand. I explain how a computer works by claiming that it is full of millions of Schroedinger's kittens who are either asleep, or awake, and when they get boistrous the machine crashes. It works for me... and equally, there are unexplained things lumped under ESP which have not yet been explained. And some have. For example, something Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance', a quantum effect now known as 'quantum entanglement' where two particles 'joined' by some.... arcane physics process... have the effect that if something happens to one, the same thing happens to the other, however far apart they are AT THE SAME TIME, no time dilation or anything [close as I can get to understanding this is the Protean Charm out of Harry Potter....] and HOW WEIRD IS THAT? and how unlikely does it sound? but it is true, proven, and scientific.
 

Roderick

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good analogy with quantum physics, and the double slit test, which despite a patient physics master at school I still don't understand. I explain how a computer works by claiming that it is full of millions of Schroedinger's kittens who are either asleep, or awake, and when they get boistrous the machine crashes. It works for me... and equally, there are unexplained things lumped under ESP which have not yet been explained. And some have. For example, something Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance', a quantum effect now known as 'quantum entanglement' where two particles 'joined' by some.... arcane physics process... have the effect that if something happens to one, the same thing happens to the other, however far apart they are AT THE SAME TIME, no time dilation or anything [close as I can get to understanding this is the Protean Charm out of Harry Potter....] and HOW WEIRD IS THAT? and how unlikely does it sound? but it is true, proven, and scientific.
Ha ha, now I've got coffee on my screen.
 

Roderick

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Anyone that believes that utility companies use "divining rods" is a nut case.. They use proper cable tracers, and, in the case of non metallic services "sonde's" that can be inserted in the service. They now have [increasingly] CAT scanners that log activities and scans, so, in the event of things going wrong, the crews concerned can show they did things as best they could for insurance purposes etc. Even so, it can be very difficult to locate and trace services.. Can you imagine saying to a court or insurance company that; "yes, but we used genuine yew divining rods" Deluded is not the word for it..

john..
"Anyone that believes that utility companies use "divining rods" is a nut case" I've seen it with my own eyes on more than one occasion so does that make me a nut case for believing my own eyes? What an arrogant uninformed thing to say.
 

Sarah Waldock

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I read this as 'well we do, or at least have done, but we don't want to admit it.' As the article was written with the polemic view of debunking, one has to take it into account.
 

night crawler

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Anyone that believes that utility companies use "divining rods" is a nut case.. They use proper cable tracers, and, in the case of non metallic services "sonde's" that can be inserted in the service. They now have [increasingly] CAT scanners that log activities and scans, so, in the event of things going wrong, the crews concerned can show they did things as best they could for insurance purposes etc. Even so, it can be very difficult to locate and trace services.. Can you imagine saying to a court or insurance company that; "yes, but we used genuine yew divining rods" Deluded is not the word for it..

john..
I have seen them useing them in the past and even now I have seen the struggling to find water leaks with the modern equipment. The one outside our house took them long enough to sort out
 

StevenFrench

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good analogy with quantum physics, and the double slit test, which despite a patient physics master at school I still don't understand. I explain how a computer works by claiming that it is full of millions of Schroedinger's kittens who are either asleep, or awake, and when they get boistrous the machine crashes. It works for me... and equally, there are unexplained things lumped under ESP which have not yet been explained. And some have. For example, something Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance', a quantum effect now known as 'quantum entanglement' where two particles 'joined' by some.... arcane physics process... have the effect that if something happens to one, the same thing happens to the other, however far apart they are AT THE SAME TIME, no time dilation or anything [close as I can get to understanding this is the Protean Charm out of Harry Potter....] and HOW WEIRD IS THAT? and how unlikely does it sound? but it is true, proven, and scientific.
But those of us who do have a decent grip on quantum mechanics can explain the double slit experiment & also what entanglement is all about without having to appeal to extra-forces or whatever it is that might explain dowsing. You can't try and justify dowsing b y appealing to something else that you find mysterious!
 

Sarah Waldock

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But those of us who do have a decent grip on quantum mechanics can explain the double slit experiment & also what entanglement is all about without having to appeal to extra-forces or whatever it is that might explain dowsing. You can't try and justify dowsing b y appealing to something else that you find mysterious!
You misunderstand. I was not 'justifying dowsing by appealing to something else I find mysterious;' I was pointing out that effects previously not understood can now be explained by science, and therefore that a lack of current explanation does not mean that an explanation does not exist.
If you are a fine enough scientist to truly understand quantum mechanics, you are surely aware that science advances by postulating theorums, which are often pooh-poohed, and are either rebuffed - like phlogisten - or proven - like quantum entanglement. There are plenty of theories unproven and not universally accepted - dark matter, for example, in astrophysics, where I'm on firmer ground. My personal hypothesis is that the excess gravity is caused by a vast number of primordial black holes which are bloody difficult to detect. And nobody has a clue about dark energy - it exists, but nobody knows what it is or how it works. It is an effect which cannot be explained - yet. Rather like dowsing.
 

night crawler

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But those of us who do have a decent grip on quantum mechanics can explain the double slit experiment & also what entanglement is all about without having to appeal to extra-forces or whatever it is that might explain dowsing. You can't try and justify dowsing b y appealing to something else that you find mysterious!
You sound like one of those scientist used to have to work with at Oxford Instruments and latterly Diamond Light Source :unsure:
 

john1975

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"Anyone that believes that utility companies use "divining rods" is a nut case" I've seen it with my own eyes on more than one occasion so does that make me a nut case for believing my own eyes? What an arrogant uninformed thing to say.
Let me put it like this.. It is very difficult to trace services with the proper equipment. For a start off, what are you looking for?? For a start off, the equipment does NOT detect metal, it detects one of three things.. 1, Eddy currents given off by a LOADED mains cable [if it is not loaded you might not find it] 2, Radio frequency "interference" if you like, that is given off as the pipe or whatever acts as an aerial, so you can listen to what it has picked up. 3, the signal we inject using a signal generator.

It is STILL very difficult, as, the signal can jump from one service to another, so you might detect electrical signals in a water pipe for example. It is still a difficult job to trace the path of a simple water main, and that is with all the signal generators and detectors AND a LOT of experience interpreting the results.

If someone thinks they can do the same with two welding rods held in a biro job, bullshit.. and NO WAY would ANY utility firm permit this either, as striking a cable is likely to result in death or VERY severe injury. NO utilities do DIVINING and those that said they did were only joking..

Go and try to track the services to your own house, you will get nowhere...

People "say" they have seen ghosts, that does not mean that they have...

john..
 

Hayman

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Anyone that believes that utility companies use "divining rods" is a nut case.. They use proper cable tracers, and, in the case of non metallic services "sonde's" that can be inserted in the service. They now have [increasingly] CAT scanners that log activities and scans, so, in the event of things going wrong, the crews concerned can show they did things as best they could for insurance purposes etc. Even so, it can be very difficult to locate and trace services.. Can you imagine saying to a court or insurance company that; "yes, but we used genuine yew divining rods" Deluded is not the word for it..

john..
"Can you imagine saying to a court or insurance company that; "yes, but we used genuine yew divining rods"!" Bearingi in mind that all UK courts have Christian Bibles and other religious books for one purpose only - for witnesses and defendants to be able to hold in their hands and say, with slight variations, "I swear by Almighty God to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" - which is more likely to exist: Almighty God or the divining properties of yew twigs and/or steel rods?
 

StevenFrench

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You misunderstand. I was not 'justifying dowsing by appealing to something else I find mysterious;' I was pointing out that effects previously not understood can now be explained by science, and therefore that a lack of current explanation does not mean that an explanation does not exist.
If you are a fine enough scientist to truly understand quantum mechanics, you are surely aware that science advances by postulating theorums, which are often pooh-poohed, and are either rebuffed - like phlogisten - or proven - like quantum entanglement. There are plenty of theories unproven and not universally accepted - dark matter, for example, in astrophysics, where I'm on firmer ground. My personal hypothesis is that the excess gravity is caused by a vast number of primordial black holes which are bloody difficult to detect. And nobody has a clue about dark energy - it exists, but nobody knows what it is or how it works. It is an effect which cannot be explained - yet. Rather like dowsing.
One difference is that the supposed 'evidence' for dowsing has never been reproduced in controlled tests (whereas the two-slit expt is easily performed these days). Another is that there is a plausible alternative explanation for the crossing of the wires, sticks or whatever - unconscious 'ideomotor' movements by the subject. And finally, a further difference when it comes to the comparison with dark matter & dark energy is that the evidence for the latter is complex and difficult to obtain and the hypotheses are difficult to test, for obvious reasons. Dowsing is just not comparable to these other two.
 

Hayman

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Let me put it like this.. It is very difficult to trace services with the proper equipment. For a start off, what are you looking for?? For a start off, the equipment does NOT detect metal, it detects one of three things.. 1, Eddy currents given off by a LOADED mains cable [if it is not loaded you might not find it] 2, Radio frequency "interference" if you like, that is given off as the pipe or whatever acts as an aerial, so you can listen to what it has picked up. 3, the signal we inject using a signal generator.

It is STILL very difficult, as, the signal can jump from one service to another, so you might detect electrical signals in a water pipe for example. It is still a difficult job to trace the path of a simple water main, and that is with all the signal generators and detectors AND a LOT of experience interpreting the results.

If someone thinks they can do the same with two welding rods held in a biro job, bullshit.. and NO WAY would ANY utility firm permit this either, as striking a cable is likely to result in death or VERY severe injury. NO utilities do DIVINING and those that said they did were only joking..

Go and try to track the services to your own house, you will get nowhere...

People "say" they have seen ghosts, that does not mean that they have...

john..
"Go and try to track the services to your own house, you will get nowhere..." I have just come back in from using my steel rods both in the paved front area of my house and outside, across the 12 foot wide pavement and in the road. The rods crossed time and again. Buried in the pavement are water pipes, gas pipes, electricity cables, cable TV cables and, laid last year, optic fibres. Their close proximity to each other makes it impossible to say which service is making the rods cross, but cross they do.
 

Hayman

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Steven French wrote of "without having to appeal to extra-forces". What we are discussing here are very much 'intra-forces', terrestrial forces. Just as gravity - likewise invisible - is a terrestrial force.
 

JohnD

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Don't know about utilities, but my house had subsidence. To inspect, the insurers sent a constructional engineer, who asked where my drains ran. I had no idea, so he asked for a wire coat hanger, which he cut in two and constructed a pair of rods. He found the run of drains in no time, confirmed by access hatches I didn't know about as they were covered by earth. I had a go - I had seen him work and therefore was biased, but I could feel the rods move!
 

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