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.
When we moved to where we live now we had no mains water so had a bore hole drilled. The most 'unlikely' looking of blokes came along with a couple of L shaped dowsing rods and walked completely around the outside of the barn we were converting and proclaimed 'This is the spot'!
'Great' said I, 'How far down?' cynically!
He inverted the rods so that the handles were faciing upwards and stood in the middle of the 'flow'. '120ft', he proudly announced.
Three days later a crew arrived a started drilling. They got to 115ft and this guy said now was the time to get the camera out. They added a further drill and struck water at 117ft!!! Job done and water dowsing proven as far as I was concerned!