It makes me feel bad for insisting on evidence. But that's science for you. So I still want it. Otherwise how can I make an informed decision whether to believe such things or not?
Evidence is a tricky concept. What is evidence? One definition is - The quality or condition of being evident; clearness, obviousness. That’s very different to knowing how something works. We might be using something (medicinal plants and minerals are a good example) for years before science is able to explain the chemical properties of a substance, synthesize it and then market it as a ‘proven’ and acceptable medicine. Long before aspirin went through that process it was ‘evident, clear and obvious’ to people that chewing willow bark (the active chemical component in aspirin) relieved pain.
I think it’s rather simplistic to expect a dowser to find water, or whatever, in a ‘controlled’ test. Why simplistic? Because the control itself (at least the ones I’ve read about) are simplistic. Asking someone to locate a buried bucket of water in a field is not the same as detecting an underground stream where other factors are at work - flow being the most obvious one.
I keep an open mind on dowsing by the way – although I do believe in telepathy, telekinesis and being able to travel 10,000 miles in the blink of an eye :-)
Edit: Sorry, that was intended for Rhiannon’s post. I was obviously travelling in the wrong direction when I hit the send button.