Why so green and lonely? Everything's going to be alright, just you wait and see.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Randi in Australia, 1980

On Google Video there's a clip of James Randi and Dick Smith performing their famous scientific experiment on dowsing.
I remember learning about this result a long long time ago so it was really cool to see the corresponding 'movie' of who was involved. The dowsers were all so confident that they were “tuning in” to some kind of “rays” being emitted from all objects. What was cool is that not only did they show that dowsing is no better than chance but they also showed that, when the dowsers knew where the water/metal/whatever was ahead of time, then their dowsing rods went off with 100% accuracy—it's all subconscious. Click here for the 45 minute video.
Something else I found interesting was that when the dowsers were asked why they're so sure that dowsing works they said things like “after so many years of success, it's more than coincidence” and then proceeded to use their imagination to explain what must really be going on (the “rays” being emitted). Kind of like when people say stuff along the lines of “a hurricane hit New Orleans, but I know what's really going on: God is punishing them for <insert sin here>.” It's funny how people use coincidences as an opportunity to make up bizarro explanations. Nothing is a coincidence... uh, right, whatever.


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