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  1. #61
    will make your day Carebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Simple solution. Find someone who can and get them to put their hand on your back the next time you can. When I say "simple", I'm assuming that there are water-dowsers around your parts.
    There aren't. It's a bit like Scotland in that respect I guess. Why keep looking for water underground when it won't stop falling on your head?

  2. #62
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Actually, the flipside of this may be even worse. If you did try it and it did work, we'd enter into confirmation bias range. It's really hard to maintain perspective when something works, sometimes... most notably when we don't know what the chance of something working is.

    That's the main reason for the controlled experiments.
    Are you really confident about your sources on this controlled experiment, or on the subjects of the test? It's the first I've ever heard about these tests, so it's not like there's a town-crier standing on every street-corner issuing the challenge. Have you checked any scientific studies not published on websites devoted specifically to scepticism?

    Quote Originally Posted by sundowning View Post
    I threw that out there because another explanation could rest with the way muscles act when 'fatigued'. It may not be your ideomotor response, but it falls along similar lines, so don't get your panties in a twist.
    And is that the reason you threw out this "humdinger":

    Quote Originally Posted by sundowning View Post
    Next topic of discussion: the healing power of crystals and fridge magnets. Stay tuned for unsupportable, anecdotal evidence from people who just 'know' it works.
    I agree that "plausibility filters" are required, but it seems to me that the only "plausibility filter" you are willing to accept is the majority consensus of the scientific community. If that were present, I have little doubt that you would instantly concede its plausibility. Either that, or you are convinced that you have at your command the sum total of all possible knowledge of how the universe operates.

    My apologies if I seem irritated -- I am. Schoolboy sarcasm + schoolboy scepticism have always irritated me.

  3. #63
    will make your day Carebear's Avatar
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    Not really relevant, but Derren Brown gets a guy to dowse:
    YouTube - Derren Brown Dowses

    (It's NLP, suggestion and other forms of manipulation as allways though. Hm.. speaking of Derren Brown: he often "gives" people power to do the things he does by putting a hand on them... maybe you could gently suggest and prod people without them realizing to "give" them the power to dowse as well? Just speculating on possible explanations.)

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    And is that the reason you threw out this "humdinger":
    No, the reason for that is that I tried being reasonable on the first page and here we are four pages later. Now I'm in it for the entertainment because a few participants can't be arsed to apply their own skepticism and would likely believe in that garbage as well. I love joking around even if *gasp* someone's feelings might get hurt.

    I haven't bothered to keep track of which side of the fence you fall on, so don't take offense unless it actually does apply to you. Or unless you're an NF who dislikes anything that doesn't involve holding hands and sharing feelings, in which case, fume on baby!

    I agree that "plausibility filters" are required, but it seems to me that the only "plausibility filter" you are willing to accept is the majority consensus of the scientific community.
    For what reason do you believe that's a bad reason? Do you understand how scientific knowledge is collected and gained?

    If that were present, I have little doubt that you would instantly concede its plausibility. Either that, or you are convinced that you have at your command the sum total of all possible knowledge of how the universe operates.
    I would say base my conclusions on scientific consensus, what I understand, and what I personally experience. For things like dowsing for water which employ simple everyday devices but cannot be explained for other missing phenomena, in the absence of any scientific credibility, you tell me what I should believe. The correct answer does not involve 'because my grandpa did it', or 'because it sounds cool'.

    Does it work? Unknown.
    How does it work? Unknown.

    Why the FUCK would I believe in it?

    My apologies if I seem irritated -- I am. Schoolboy sarcasm +
    schoolboy scepticism has always irritated me.
    Boo fucking hoo. I'm in school to possibly one day become a scientist, and what I learn in lecture and perform in lab illustrates daily the vast uncertainty that exists in science. Nothing like learning about crystal forms and then seeing something completely different in thin-section down a microscope to shatter any illusions of complete knowledge.

    But dowsing for water? This is a slam dunk, you just don't realize it.

  5. #65
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundowning View Post
    No, the reason for that is that I tried being reasonable on the first page and here we are four pages later. Now I'm in it for the entertainment because a few participants can't be arsed to apply their own skepticism and would likely believe in that garbage as well. I love joking around even if *gasp* someone's feelings might get hurt.
    So you've decided that if we who are willing to allow that water dowsing may be possible through means unknown to us haven't been convinced by your definitive rebuttal, we "would likely believe in...garbage"? As for feelings getting hurt, no fear of that. I would have to value your opinion first. I don't know you well enough for that, but what I've seen so far is not encouraging. As I mentioned explicitly, you irritated me. You didn't hurt my feelings.

    Quote Originally Posted by sundowning View Post
    Or unless you're an NF who dislikes anything that doesn't involve holding hands and sharing feelings, in which case, fume on baby!
    Pfff.

    Quote Originally Posted by sundowning View Post
    For what reason do you believe that's a bad reason? Do you understand how scientific knowledge is collected and gained?
    And do you realize how often the majority consensus of scientific opinion has been in error? I do understand that science is based on the observation of phenomena, something which is remarkably lacking in your case against water dowsing. Have you investigated it? Have you experimented with this? Or have you just read something you googled up which was located in a website dedicated specifically to scepticism?

    Quote Originally Posted by sundowning View Post
    I would say base my conclusions on scientific consensus, what I understand, and what I personally experience. For things like dowsing for water which employ simple everyday devices but cannot be explained for other missing phenomena, in the absence of any scientific credibility, you tell me what I should believe. The correct answer does not involve 'because my grandpa did it', or 'because it sounds cool'.


    Why the FUCK would I believe in it?
    I'm not gonna tell you what to believe. I'm telling you what I've heard accounts of firsthand. You're the one telling me what to believe, based on your school-level understanding of science and your extensive investigations.


    Quote Originally Posted by sundowning View Post
    Boo fucking hoo. I'm in school to possibly one day become a scientist, and what I learn in lecture and perform in lab illustrates daily the vast uncertainty that exists in science. Nothing like learning about crystal forms and then seeing something completely different in thin-section down a microscope to shatter any illusions of complete knowledge.

    But dowsing for water? This is a slam dunk, you just don't realize it.
    Is that all you've got? You aren't even out of school yet.

  6. #66
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Are you really confident about your sources on this controlled experiment, or on the subjects of the test? It's the first I've ever heard about these tests, so it's not like there's a town-crier standing on every street-corner issuing the challenge. Have you checked any scientific studies not published on websites devoted specifically to scepticism?
    Yes, as I said, this wasn't something new to me. It was my first introduction to science and why it operates the way it does. I'm confident that the contest has been held dozens of times in multiple places in multiple ways with the same result. No experiment is perfect, but this is relatively straight forward - one success would put hundreds, if not thousands, of failures to rest.

    Again, there is a lot of money if you can beat the odds. If you think it can be done, please do it. Not for the money, but because nothing would be cooler than learning how it is done.

    If you need it expressed in terms of probability, I would rate the probability of multiple controlled experiments in different locations, along with an incentive and a time range exceeding 50 years showing something not to exist to be significantly greater than I can reasonably guess and well beyond my threshold for skepticism. As such, I wouldn't even call myself a skeptic. This information will never matter to me so I don't even concern myself with it... It was my first lesson in how to measure something properly, so it stuck with me. I've seen it in plenty of other myths but they don't stay with me. That's all - just an assertion that I would process and dismiss.

  7. #67
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Yes, as I said, this wasn't something new to me. It was my first introduction to science and why it operates the way it does. I'm confident that the contest has been held dozens of times in multiple places in multiple ways with the same result. No experiment is perfect, but this is relatively straight forward - one success would put hundreds, if not thousands, of failures to rest.

    Again, there is a lot of money if you can beat the odds. If you think it can be done, please do it. Not for the money, but because nothing would be cooler than learning how it is done.

    If you need it expressed in terms of probability, I would rate the probability of multiple controlled experiments in different locations, along with an incentive and a time range exceeding 50 years showing something not to exist to be significantly greater than I can reasonably guess and well beyond my threshold for skepticism. As such, I wouldn't even call myself a skeptic. This information will never matter to me so I don't even concern myself with it... It was my first lesson in how to measure something properly, so it stuck with me. I've seen it in plenty of other myths but they don't stay with me. That's all - just an assertion that I would process and dismiss.
    Noted. Personally, I'm going to hold off my final judgement (if such a thing exists) until I've had a chance to do a few experiments with my dad. I figure that actually verifying the presence of water "dowsed" is a later experiment which I will probably never have the inclination to pursue. But if he can find the same "stream" blindfolded and disoriented then that will be a pretty positive indicator to me that this is an ability worth investigating. If it works with pipes then that will make it even easier, since pipes are much more specifically located geographically.

    I'll keep you informed of my progress and whatever personal experiences I may or may not have in this area.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    You didn't hurt my feelings.
    Who cares?

    And do you realize how often the majority consensus of scientific opinion has been in error?
    What a poor argument. Easily countered by the millions of products of technology that rely on successful scientific principles, effectively showing that the argument works both ways. You need to get a little more specific. wildcat's ball lightening example was better, but still falls short. Dowsing itself has to be evaluated, which you have completely failed to do if indeed you are arguing for it.

    I do understand that science is based on the observation of phenomena, something which is remarkably lacking in your case against water dowsing.
    Oh good grief. Shall I compile pretty much every post I've made in this thread detailing observations and reasons for why water dowsing is fake? I would gladly do it if you would actually bother to read it this time around.

    Have you investigated it? Have you experimented with this? Or have you just read something you googled up which was located in a website dedicated specifically to scepticism?
    Do you want me to go dowse my facet? I'm willing to - I could even report back in five minutes with a short paper on it, detailing my findings. Though you could save me the trouble if you just got reasonable for a minute.

    Besides, I already mentioned that my Dad is a dowser, and that my grandfather did it. I'm familiar with the concept and have seen dubious, anecdotal results that coincide with ideal probability. The most likely explanation is that there is no connection - I don't need to, and have not surfed any sites to tell me this. Unlike a lot of people, my skepticism is actually my own.

    I'm not gonna tell you what to believe. I'm telling you what I've heard accounts of firsthand. You're the one telling me what to believe, based on your school-level understanding of science and your extensive investigations.
    Anecdotal evidence is shit. Had you any critical thinking skills, you'd know that. I have my own anecdotal evidence, but I'm not going to introduce it because it's not going to fly - there's no point because a person can make up whatever they want on the spot.

    Is that all you've got? You aren't even out of school yet.
    Sloppy, sloppy thinking. Whether I am in school or out of it is irrelevent. I also know more than you and have better critical thinking skills - that's also irrelevent, but I feel like rubbing it in your face.

  9. #69

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    Haha, so I decided to do some research on JJJ to see what was up. Who knows? Maybe he was a fucking Phd teaching physics at Harvard or something and was ready to slay me.

    Turns out the guy is an INFP and spent his evening editing all his old posts.

    Oof. Now I feel bad.

    My apologies man, didn't mean to ruin your night, or detract your contribution to the board.

  10. #70
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    This seems really interesting. I wonder what makes it work. (Yes, so far I lean in the direction of believing.)
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

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