Showing posts with label the ideomotor effect. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the ideomotor effect. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


My friend who is participating in the dowsing test emailed me. Here is part of the email:
Please bear in mind that we are testing a specific and limited form of dowsing - I have never made any claims regarding dowsing for water, underground cavities, or anything other than ferrous metals - in fact, I am very skeptical about these other types of dowsing. We could also test the subterranean flowing water type of dowsing in another experiment, but it would require a different, and more complicated, test setup. I'd also like to build a dowsing machine to totally remove human subjectivity from the process, but this too is for later. Do you have a date or place in mind? We need to make this into a fun interesting event!
My response:
You are correct. First priority is that the test must be fun. I propose that all the guests at the party state which result they think will prevail, Skepticism or Dowsing. They are each given something to identify their position (preferably a silly hat). Each time the test is performed the losing group must drink a shot. You and I can each personally decide whether we want to participate in this rule. My first inclination is to say no, but if the results of the test start not going my way I will probably be looking for an excuse to drink.
Of cause you can teach people how to Dows. Once you prove it, I will be the first in line, if I’m not too drunk.
As to the subject of a dowsing machine - a test in which the human could be taken out of the equation would be even easer then one that includes a person. All we need to do is buy two small vases (the type that hold a single rose). Place the two vases on the ground and place one divining rod in each, then, simple walk toward them with a piece of rebar. If the rods turn toward the rebar then there is some unknown force moving the rods. (given of course that neither the rebar or rods is magnetized) If the rods do not move then the human body has something to do with the phenomena. The body may act as an antenna or some type of amplifier. This is why one of the less goofy questions in my questionnaire was about if the rods moved in your hands by themselves. I also asked if the rods or rebar were magnetized. If either the rods or rebar are magnetized then the divining rods would naturally turn toward the rebar, although distance is a factor. When you double the distance from a magnet its force declines by a factor of 8. That’s a lot, given that when you stand hold divining rods in your hands you are maybe 5' to 7' from the metal pipe. Magnetism is just not that strong. Consider the fact that it takes something as big as the earth to move a Compass. A compass points north even though it is sitting on the dashboard of a car, literally incased in metal. If the rods in the vase do not move, maybe you are the amplifier or maybe it’s nothing more than the ideomotor effect. Yes, we scientists often use terms like ideomoter effect. I sometimes even find myself throwing out terms like nanobytes and integrated luminosity for no particular reason what so ever. That’s just the way us scientists roll.