If ever there was an example of patronising scientific smugness then it's the way in which some scientists have chosen to loudly and publicly debunk the practice of dowsing, in the British press recently.
Dowsing is a form of divination by which the dowser seeks to locate an underground water source (sometimes other elements too) normally by holding metal rods which react when the user is in the vicinity of water. It's a practice that goes back hundreds of years.
Dowsing does work, for me it's not even open to debate. The fact that scientists cannot 'explain' how it works is almost irrelevant, givien the limits within which scientists choose to work. If it doesn't fit into their little boxes then it 'can't' be true. And yet it is.
I know this because I can dowse. Fact. Using rods to find water is something that I've been able to do since a young age. And when someone comes along and tells me it's 'bunkum' then all it does is reinforce my view that some sceptical scientists have such closed minds that perhaps they really shouldn't be making any important decisions in their field – or any other field for that matter.
When science claims to know it all we stand little chance of progressing, and those who declare that dowsing is merely 'medieval witchcraft' have the same tiny minded attitude as the dimwits who insisted that passengers' heads would fall off if they travelled at 28 mph on the newfangled trains back in the 1800's. Or those who thought that early electricity was some kind of sinister trickery. Try to prove how gravity actually works and science flounders. In the same way as it struggles to explain the 'magic' of birds migrating and finding their way home across thousands of miles. Dowsing is no different, it exists, is real and science cannot explain it. Scientists really need to get a grip.... maybe a grip on some dowsing rods and try this ancient art for themselves.
Indeed many of the big British water companies employ dowsers to locate underground leaks. This in spite of a lack of 'scientific' evidence. Because it works.
The earth is a living entity. As in the human body, through which blood runs along veins and arteries, so it is that water runs through the earth along life-giving channels. We are probably all capable of finding these natural arteries instinctively but many who have lost their connection to nature will no longer 'feel' the natural forces that govern the living world.
Science is in danger of becoming an elitist and, to some extent, unsound vocation and has lost its way when it comes to exploring subjective ideologies. Some scientists will now entirely disregard theories which they cannot prove beyond their doubt – but this is a backward step. Opening our minds to new and old ideas and exploring both is the only way to progress. Dowsing has proven itself to be real and effective over many centuries. Just because 21st century science cannot explain how it works is no reason to casually dismiss it as bunkum when so many of us know that it isn't. These scientists are mocking dowsing merely because they haven't the capacity to understand it. That doesn't make it bunkum, it merely illustrates a lack of intelligence and perception of something beyond their comprehension.
Those of us who know better should not, however, look down on these people. Perhaps it is more important to lead by example and, as with so many prejudices we come across in life, to open minds where we find them closed.