Sticking it to the skeptics

I think of myself as a “born-again skeptic.” I have a hard time believing in the supernatural, the incredible, the spiritual. And for the most part, my skepticism has been borne out. Anyone notice how the UFO sightings and alien abductions all seemed to fade away once camcorders and digital cameras became virtually omnipresent? (Thank you, Bob Saget and the porn industry.)

But one phenomenon that’s always left my doubts a little shaky has been dowsing. I’ve seen repeated scientific tests of dowsers who, using only a forked stick, have consistently been able to find water deep underground. There seem to be people who just have an ability to find water, beyond any current scientific explanation.

That’s why I was intrigued by this story in the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune. It’s a bit of a disappointment, though — it has a brief history of dowsing and a few anecdotes, but nothing really substantial.

There’s definitely something unusual about dowsing. There’s something about it that seems to work, something beyond current scientific research to explain. But as the old saying says, “if it’s stupid but it works, then it’s not stupid.”

Criminally stupid
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