“What’s the Scientific Proof of Dowsing?”

scientific proof of dowsing

Written by Maggie Percy


What Convinces You?

Has anyone ever said to you, “I don't believe in what you do because there's no scientific proof of dowsing”?

What exactly can you infer from that statement? It's one you hear a lot these days, about a lot of different subjects. It's the pat objection of any skeptic.

In this post, we will address blind skepticism, which is just a form of bias based on nothing. Perhaps in another post, we can address other types of skepticism, because there actually ARE healthy degrees of skepticism.

Let's deconstruct the statement about scientific proof of dowsing on a number of levels. First, when someone refuses to believe something, they need a reason for their skepticism. Science is seen as THE authority on whether something is fact or not, so it would seem logical that skeptics will fall back on this.

As a reason for being skeptical, this is in fact pretty lame. The person is saying, “I don't know anything about what you are saying, but I don't believe it.” So the person is refusing to think; to hear; to analyze; to decide for himself. Instead, he opts to use Science as an excuse. In fact, he probably has no idea what Science really says about your subject, since he knows nothing of the subject other than occasional sound bites on TV.

But is that the sole reason so many parrot this statement? Of course not. That statement reflects a number of things going on beneath the surface:

  1. The person is too lazy or doesn't feel competent thinking about something he doesn't have a pigeonhole for
  2. He has no interest in committing time to discussing it, as it will only make him uncomfortable or reveal his lack of knowledge
  3. He probably feels incompetent to debate the subject, not having done any research, not having any real facts, and actually, not having anything more than a prejudice against believing. So he needs to squelch the subject fast, because he senses you know more about this than he does, and you may even have some compelling facts or a story he cannot refute.

Bottom line is: People have a natural tendency to avoid changing their minds and their prejudices. Thus, trotting out Science is like having big brother show up to a fight…they've trumped you.

This is analogous to the statement you used to hear a lot, about something not being in the Bible/or being in the Bible, as if that settles any debate or argument you might present. (Who wants to argue with God?)

Science is the new religion, and people follow it faithfully without questioning anything. Some of these same mindless ones make fun of fundamentalist religious types for their blind following of the Bible, as if blindly following their conception of Science is somehow superior.

In any case, it is not your mission to prove anything. If dowsing works for you, great. If they don't want to try it, fine.

Have you ever been asked to ‘prove' dowsing? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments section below.


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