By: Fredric Rice
Re: German dowsing study
The fragment of the german study on dowsing which was posted here isn't the
full story. As is typical of claims of the paranormal which are purported to
find success, proper study of the materials found the claimants, "Sadly
Enright, James T. "Water Dowsing: The 'Scheunen' Experiments."
Naturwissenschaften 82:360-369, 1995.
Under a program to investigate "unconventional methods of cancer
control," the German government sponsored a large-scale
experimental investigation of water dowsing, conducted by two
physicists from universities in Munich. This was no doubt the
largest carful study of its kind eer undertaken, with some
10,000 individual tests using some 500 dowsers. The central
element in the research involved double-blind tests of whether
some 50 selected dowsers could correctly locate a hidden, movable
water pipe from a distance of 4 tio 5 yards.
At the end of the p[roject (1990), the researchers concluded
that the reality of the skill of some of the dowsers had been
established beyond reasonable doubt, a conclusion widely reported
in the German press.
Enright's article described a re-examination of the data
underlying that interpretation. This analysis demonstrates that
even the most "skillful" of the dowsers were unable to perform
reproducibly at levgels above chance. Most of them cound have
done better, on average, just by always choosing a location
exactly in the middle of the test line.
So much for that paranormal claim.