Science and Dowsing

science and dowsing

Written by Maggie Percy


Can They Play Nicely?

Why don't science and dowsing play nice together? I've noticed that dowsing, more than any other intuitive method, attracts engineers, scientists and those with a strong left-brain function. I myself come from a science background. And yet, dowsing and science don't seem compatible.

Over the years, I've watched in frustration as people try to disprove dowsing with half-baked pseudo-experiments, or worse yet, just dismiss it with idiotic (did I say that out loud?) statements like, “Dowsing hasn't been scientifically proven.”

Science and dowsing: a theory

After years of observation and thinking about this subject, I finally have a theory. Science, as the new religion, is treating dowsing in the same fashion that some fundamental religions did or still do. In a sense, when science and religion take this tack, they are serving the same function: telling you what you can or cannot believe in. (Check out this post on dowsing and religion for another viewpoint.)

Now that may sound harsh, but it's true that the scientific and religious establishments hand down dogma. If you don't accept the dogma, you are a heretic. As a heretic, you are subject to various forms of humiliation, ostracism and punishment. This has been demonstrated for centuries. And Science practices the same thing. It humiliates and excommunicates just like religions do.

The greatest scientific discoveries came from heretical thinking, and they were not accepted by the establishment without tons of wrangling.

Max Planck, the originator of quantum theory, said:

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.

If Science cannot solve the ultimate mysteries of Nature, then why do we give ANY power to anyone who says, “Dowsing hasn't been proven scientifically”? I believe we do so out of conditioning and fear.

Your free will and the ability to actually think about things is a wonderful gift. Dowsing can help you exercise both.

You may come under attack for seeing things differently, but when the mindless people parrot the party line, just smile and keep on using dowsing to improve your life. Maybe someday, they, too will ‘wake up', but it isn't your job to convince them. You know dowsing works.

What's your take on science and dowsing? Do you see them as being rivals or do you think they can co-exist? Let us know your views in the comments section below.


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  1. Robert F Holub

    I remember Max Planck said that not scientifically exploring dowsing gives room to charlatans. I cannot find this quote in my files, I would appreciate if someone helped me to find that quote.

    • Maggie Percy

      I am not familiar with that quote. I would think you could find it by googling, if it exists.

      • Robert F Holub

        “They know that certain questions, like the earth-rays and the divining-rod, really excite the minds. Unfortunately, a bad business interest in the public handling of these issues often creeps in. So you should set up a research institute in the Kaiser Wilhelm Society to clean up public life – it really is necessary enough! – and clarify questions that can only be clarified with the means of pure science. We have just enough charlatanry. Of course, there are also some doubts in scientific circles about dealing with such questions in the first place; But I think differently and would like to help research in a universal way. No area should be excluded. And this is the only way to reassure the people, which is often troubled irresponsibly in these areas.”
        A friend of mine in Germany found the quote, I translated it with the help of google translate.

        • Maggie Percy

          Well done! In his time, science was a bit more open-minded. Professor William Barrett over one hundred years ago did perform an exhaustive study on dowsing, which Nigel edited in his book, The Credibility Of Dowsing, which is over 400 pages long. Although it is solely about water dowsing, it is a fine scientific study that proves dowsing works. Sadly, people are not really interested in proof. They don’t have open minds. I happen to side with those who questioned the ability of science to prove dowsing beyond a doubt, especially other types of dowsing. Dowsing is a human activity, and it is impossible to separate the human from the activity, and since it is a skill, and skill varies, it becomes problematic to even get a group of test subjects, much as it is difficult to prove psychic skills in a way that a conventional scientist accepts. The main thing is not to allow Science to be the authority on what you believe. Science hasn’t really studied dowsing and can’t say anything important about it.


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