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Old 23rd December 2011, 09:55 AM   #1
DowserDon
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Challenge applications

Why does your link to Challenge Applications show that the last person to challenge for the $1 million, applied on 22nd August 2009?
I am awaiting testing for my ability to dowse and I'd feel comforted to know that the $1 million is still available.
Thanks
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Old 23rd December 2011, 10:17 AM   #2
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I don't think anyone's maintaining that section anymore.
Have you applied for the challenge? Do you meet the requirements?
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Old 23rd December 2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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AIUI the JREF staff member who used to keep the challenge application subforum updated left and none of the current staff have the time/motivation to do so. Note that this forum and JREF are two seperate entities. There have certainly been applicants tested since August 2009.

Can I ask what self tests you have done of your dowsing ability? In particular, have you done any blind tests?
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Old 23rd December 2011, 10:43 AM   #4
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To add to what others have said...
JREF posts a copy of the financial statement showing that the money is available.

You say you are "awaiting testing." If you're willing to share, could you post your application or other information?
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Old 23rd December 2011, 11:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DowserDon View Post
...
I am awaiting testing for my ability to dowse and I'd feel comforted to know that the $1 million is still available.
As of 31-Oct-2011, the balance of the MDC account was $1,201,219.64
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Old 23rd December 2011, 11:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DowserDon View Post
Why does your link to Challenge Applications show that the last person to challenge for the $1 million, applied on 22nd August 2009?
I am awaiting testing for my ability to dowse and I'd feel comforted to know that the $1 million is still available.
Thanks
DowserDon
I'm pretty sure James Randi has said that he's done testing dowsers. He's tested literally hundreds of them, and is tired of that particular self-delusion.
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Old 23rd December 2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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If that's official, is it noted on the Challenge page? Worth a write up.
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Old 23rd December 2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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DowserDon,

I don't know how long your application has been "in the hopper" at JREF, but you should know that JREF is not the only place offering a cash prize if you can prove your ability to dowse. I don't know where you live, but you might find one of these other organizations easier to get to and easier to work with locally. Their prizes are all less than a million dollars, but passing any one of these tests will get you some money and it would force the JREF to take you very seriously.

Here's a list of places you could try:

There's the Australian Skeptics' AU$100,000 Prize
http://www.skeptics.com.au/features/prize/
They also offer AU$20,000 as a "Spotter's Fee"

There's the IIG's US$50,000 Challenge in California, USA
They now have affiliates in Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC and are developing affiliates in Denver, CO, Calgary, Canada and probably other places as well.
http://www.iigwest.org/challenge.html
They also offer US$5,000 as a "Finder's Fee"

There's the North Texas Skeptic's US$12,000 Challenge in the USA
http://www.ntskeptics.org/challenge/challenge.htm

There's Prabir Ghosh's 2,000,000 Rupee Challenge in India
http://rationalistprabir.bravehost.com/

There's the Swedish 100,000SeK prize offered by Humanisterna
http://www.humanisterna.se/index.php...d=27&Itemid=49

The Tampa Bay Skeptics offers a US$1000 prize in Florida, USA
http://www.tampabayskeptics.org/challenges.html

In Canada there's the CAN$10,000 from the Quebec Skeptics
http://www.sceptiques.qc.ca/activites/defi

In the UK, the ASKE organization offers £14,000
http://www.aske-skeptics.org.uk/challenge_rules.htm

Tony Youens in the UK offers £5,000
http://www.tonyyouens.com/challenge.htm

In Finland, Skepsis offers 10,000 Euros
http://www.skepsis.fi/haaste/

The Fayetteville Freethinkers in Arkansas, USA offer a US$1000 prize
http://fayfreethinkers.com/

There's a 1,000,000 Yuan prize in China offered by Sima Nan. This is his blog: http://blog.sina.com.cn/simanan

The Belgian SKEPP organization offers a 10,500 Euro prize
http://www.skepp.be/prijzen/de-sisyphus-prijs/

If you find any broken links, or know of any tests not on this list, please notify me in this thread.

Good Luck,

Ward
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Old 23rd December 2011, 12:34 PM   #9
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I'm pretty confident that the prize will never be claimed. Unless someone finds a way to get around the protocol, which is highly unlikely.
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Old 23rd December 2011, 01:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by maggot9779 View Post
Unless someone finds a way to get around the protocol, which is highly unlikely.
Right. The JREF very tightly guards against cheating, and doesn't let anyone deviate from the negotiated protocol. If someone could do what they claimed, they'd be able to do it even when following the protocol they helped design.

DowserDon,
As others have said, the JREF staff who used to maintain the log here (Kramer, Jeff Wagg, and RemieV) have moved on. AFAIK the challenge is still open and the money is still waiting to be won. This page http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html is the JREF's official $1M challenge page (I'm not affiliated with the JREF so anything I say is my own opinion, not the JREF's, and I may be wrong).

Banachek is the challenge administrator, and his contact page has an email address that you can use if you have any questions.
http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/...nistrator.html

You wrote that you're "awaiting testing". How long has it been? Do you remember when you applied?

Pixel42 mentioned blind tests. I suggest that you do test your own abilities before applying lest you find out that you've be misleading yourself or can't perform in test conditions. People on the forum have helped work out informal self-tests before. If you tell us what you can do, perhaps we can help you devise a way to test yourself. A blind test would require help from a friend during the test.
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Old 24th December 2011, 12:51 AM   #11
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As for practice, you need heaps. Failure to practice using the protocols agreed to leaves one looking rather foolish after the test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by connie sonne View Post
Hi Steenkh, and thank you. About winning the challenge, people can think what they want to think, I actually don`t care,.We`ll see.
Thank`s for your advice, but as I wrote before, I do not have to practice, and I don`t have problems at all, . And GzuzKryzt, I do know, that the criticising here on the forum it`s not about me personal, but people come further, if it`s "friendly" criticising, !
This is what one person wrote before she was tested by JREF. After the test she made unsubstantiated accusations of cheating. If only she had practised until she could do what she claimed. Then she would not have failed the test. Google her name and the main results are that she failed.
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Old 24th December 2011, 04:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
As for practice, you need heaps. Failure to practice using the protocols agreed to leaves one looking rather foolish after the test.


This is what one person wrote before she was tested by JREF. After the test she made unsubstantiated accusations of cheating. If only she had practised until she could do what she claimed. Then she would not have failed the test. Google her name and the main results are that she failed.

my bolding

One can develop psychic powers simply by practising???

Stop the presses!
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Old 24th December 2011, 10:36 AM   #13
DowserDon
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Thank you all for your helpful replies, particularly Wardenclyffe. I didn't know there were so many prizes on offer.
Yes, my application has been received and registered by Banachek. I was merely wondering why my name was not listed under Challenge Applications and was worried by an earlier note that the Challenge was due to end in 2010. I understand that it is difficult to keep such information up to date.
I live in the UK and am awaiting assessment but have yet to agree a testing protocol. I have designed a suitable double blind test that is different from those previously used by Randi and others to test dowsers and am awaiting discussion on it. The appointed academic assessor is very busy.
When that has been agreed I will be willing to publish details.
To get to the States for a final assessment would be expensive and so a local test prize would be very useful. However would a small prize here invalidate my claim at JREF?
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Old 24th December 2011, 12:42 PM   #14
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DowserDon,

Before I write anything, please realize that I do not represent the JREF in any way. That being said, I've followed this kind of stuff for years (as have many others around here) and have a pretty good idea about how things work. But the Million Dollar Challenge is evolving and its status is currently in flux, so as a recent applicant, you might know more than any regular poster here about what's going on with the Challenge.

You mentioned an "appointed academic assessor." Is this because you are being asked by the JREF to produce an affidavit from someone involved in academics? This used to be a requirement. It's been suggested in the past that this requirement might be going away. But it seems like maybe it's still in place. Is that what you were talking about or is it something else?

If you are struggling in that area, that's all the more reason to check out the ASKE or Tony Youens challenges. Passing either of those would pretty much guarantee that you would get all the media and academic attention you would need to qualify for the MDC.

As far as I can tell, winning a local prize would only enhance your standing with the JREF MDC as opposed to invalidating it.

Even if it were to disqualify you (and again, it shouldn't), winning the local prize would likely insure that you would have a very, very lucrative career for the rest of your life, especially if you dowse for things that people actually want, like water or gold. If you can only dowse for fingernail clippings, then winning the prizes is the best you can hope for.

Good luck,
Ward

P.S. When did you submit your application? You really are in a unique position to let us know your experience as an applicant with the prize being under new administration and (perhaps) new rules.
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Old 24th December 2011, 12:50 PM   #15
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Far from invalidating it, winning one of the smaller prizes listed by wardencliffe would advance your JREF application considerably. I'm pretty sure JREF has said that such a win would be sufficient for them to waive the publicity and academic qualifications they usually require. You would have far greater credibility than any previous applicant, JREF would be very eager indeed to test you.

Is there any particular way in which you think the standard blinded test protocol is deficient? I'm curious as to why you think you need a different one.
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Old 24th December 2011, 01:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Akhenaten View Post
my bolding

One can develop psychic powers simply by practising???

Stop the presses!
I never said that. LOL. She might still be practising.
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Old 10th January 2012, 04:33 AM   #17
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My application was in May 2011. I did submit two affidavits from academically qualified people. Professor French was appointed to agree a testing protocol with me in September 2011. Although I have communicated with him by e-mail and despite promises to "get back to me before Christmas", I am still awaiting his comments on my suggestions. He is "extremely busy". I have contacted ASKE and Tony Youens and both replied quickly asking for details.
When an agreement has been reached on the testing protocol (or if no agreement is reached) I will post details. Until then I think it prudent to wait.
Thanks for your help.
DowserDon
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Old 10th January 2012, 08:00 AM   #18
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Thanks for the update DowserDon
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Old 10th January 2012, 12:05 PM   #19
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Thanks DowserDon,

I'm glad the links worked. I think that might be the first time anyone's used them.

Ward

P.S. Who's Professor French?
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Last edited by wardenclyffe; 10th January 2012 at 12:07 PM. Reason: added post-script
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Old 10th January 2012, 02:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by DowserDon View Post
My application was in May 2011. I did submit two affidavits from academically qualified people. Professor French was appointed to agree a testing protocol with me in September 2011. Although I have communicated with him by e-mail and despite promises to "get back to me before Christmas", I am still awaiting his comments on my suggestions. He is "extremely busy". I have contacted ASKE and Tony Youens and both replied quickly asking for details.
When an agreement has been reached on the testing protocol (or if no agreement is reached) I will post details. Until then I think it prudent to wait.
Thanks for your help.
DowserDon
Can you at least tell us if your protocol involves going out to the field and dowsing an area that hasn't been dowsed and actually digging in the location you select?
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Old 10th January 2012, 02:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
Thanks DowserDon,

I'm glad the links worked. I think that might be the first time anyone's used them.

Ward

P.S. Who's Professor French?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_French
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Old 10th January 2012, 03:42 PM   #22
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Thank you.

Ward
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Old 16th January 2012, 03:05 AM   #23
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Reply to Pixel42. I'll give you an example of why I think the protocol is deficient.
Some people can tell the difference between an 1893 and an 1896 vintage wine. Most people can tell the difference between tea and petrol. Now try putting those liquids into sealed plastic bottles beneath upturned buckets and ask the same people to discriminate between them. They cannot do it because the testing protocol is stopping the test applicants from their using the senses that they would normally use in order to be able to tell one from the other.
No one really knows how a dowser detects water but just suppose it is a question of smell. The standard protocol immediately puts a competent dowser at a disadvantage.
Imagine it is an electrical field generated by flow of water through the earth. The dowser would not experience this if the water were stationary in a bottle.
All in all, the present protocol is an example of a poorly designed biassed experiment.
Don't blame Randi - he is only an ex stage magician. You need an experienced scientist to design an improved protocol.
When Prof. Chris French (Prof of Psychology) at Goldsmiths College, University of London, gets around to agreeing my proposal for a different protocol and when he gets around to testing me, we'll see whether I have managed to design an experiment that is not biassed towards either party. He was given the job of agreeing a test protocol with me last September - we have still not met.
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Old 16th January 2012, 03:59 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by DowserDon View Post
No one really knows how a dowser detects water but just suppose it is a question of smell. The standard protocol immediately puts a competent dowser at a disadvantage.
Why? Are you saying that a smell that isn't masked by metres of earth and stone can be masked by an upturned bucket?

Often the water is put in barrels and buried, and the dowser is asked to tell the buried barrels full of water from buried barrels full of sand, say. The barrel can be made of anything you like. Wood, perhaps. Or just placed in a bowl and a stone arch placed above it and covered in earth. Earth, wood and stone are all things dowsers can presumably dowse through without difficulty.

Quote:
Imagine it is an electrical field generated by flow of water through the earth. The dowser would not experience this if the water were stationary in a bottle.
Test have been done with the water flowing through pipes rather than stationary. Most dowsers claim to be able to detect water pipes, so the substances they're made of (plastic, metal) don't seem to mask whatever it is dowsers are detecting.

Quote:
All in all, the present protocol is an example of a poorly designed biassed experiment.
You seem to be under the impression that there is only one "present protocol". Many different variations have been tried, usually as a result of dowsers making the same objections you are. None have resulted in the dowser doing significantly better than chance.

Quote:
When Prof. Chris French (Prof of Psychology) at Goldsmiths College, University of London, gets around to agreeing my proposal for a different protocol and when he gets around to testing me, we'll see whether I have managed to design an experiment that is not biassed towards either party.
How do you expect to be able to determine that?

Quote:
He was given the job of agreeing a test protocol with me last September - we have still not met.
I hope he finds the time soon.
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Last edited by Pixel42; 16th January 2012 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 16th January 2012, 04:00 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by DowserDon View Post
Reply to Pixel42. I'll give you an example of why I think the protocol is deficient.
Some people can tell the difference between an 1893 and an 1896 vintage wine. Most people can tell the difference between tea and petrol. Now try putting those liquids into sealed plastic bottles beneath upturned buckets and ask the same people to discriminate between them. They cannot do it because the testing protocol is stopping the test applicants from their using the senses that they would normally use in order to be able to tell one from the other.
No one really knows how a dowser detects water but just suppose it is a question of smell. The standard protocol immediately puts a competent dowser at a disadvantage.
Imagine it is an electrical field generated by flow of water through the earth. The dowser would not experience this if the water were stationary in a bottle.
All in all, the present protocol is an example of a poorly designed biassed experiment.
Don't blame Randi - he is only an ex stage magician. You need an experienced scientist to design an improved protocol.
When Prof. Chris French (Prof of Psychology) at Goldsmiths College, University of London, gets around to agreeing my proposal for a different protocol and when he gets around to testing me, we'll see whether I have managed to design an experiment that is not biassed towards either party. He was given the job of agreeing a test protocol with me last September - we have still not met.
if someone is smelling water, they aren't displaying a paranormal ability.

This is a challenge for people who display paranormal abilities. Your objection seems to be "This protocol doesn't let me cheat"
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Old 16th January 2012, 05:15 AM   #26
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DowserDon,

If you believe you have come up with a different type of protocol, and if Prof. French is slow in communicating with you, you might want to try it out with us, first.

While we cannot speak for the JREF nor Prof. French, many of us have been looking at the problems of protocol development for some time. It might save you some time and aggravation if you were to spell out your ideas here, where there's nothing at stake. You'll run in to people who are probably much more cautious than Prof. French who would not accept any protocol, but you might run into people who are more imaginative than Prof. French (or even yourself) who might find ways to simplify the protocol and make your life easier. You never know, but these are puzzles that we like to work on here.

Now, to your examples. The protocols you describe for differentiating wines or even tea and petrol would would not be fair to the applicant. You are correct. However, in those cases we do know what mechanism's at work. It's a combination of sight, smell, mouth-feel, taste and so on. We can figure out how much of a role each of the senses plays by experimenting. We can eliminate one sense at a time.

In the case of wine tasting, more than one experiment has been done (I'm too lazy right now to look for examples, but I'm expecting someone here has a couple of handy links to post) where simply by blinding the taster as well as the person conducting the test, the results are that the wine-taster's accuracy goes way, way down. Knowing the answer ahead of time makes getting the answer correct very, very easy. Not knowing the answer and going on pure taste makes the correct answer very difficult to get.

We see this in cases of dowsing all the time. When the dowser is shown where the target (water, gold, whatever) is, his or her stick or pendulum or wires or whatever will react just as they are supposed to, and the dowser says everything is working properly. But then the bucket is put over the target and the dowser is completely confounded.

As you say, no one knows the exact mechanism that seems to make dowsing work. But it appears to be a keen ability to read the landscape based on years of experience of knowing where targets are likely to appear. This is a combination of intelligence, experience, cleverness, some lucky guesses and the fact that most targets that dowsers successfully find are not necessarily all that rare to begin with. It's not a regulated field, so we have no way of knowing the success rate of dowsers in general nor of specific dowsers nor of dowsers of specific things.

An automobile mechanic could easily claim to be a dowser. If I'm not mechanically minded, but I take my car in because it's having trouble, my mechanic could hold a pendulum over the engine and then tell me it's the water pump. I'd be in no position to deny that. But it was years of experience that taught the mechanic what the symptoms of a broken fuel pump were. The mechanic might convince him or herself that it was dowsing, but it was actually just their own intelligence and experience that gave them the answer.

This is already way longer than I want it to be. You understand what I'm saying.

Continued luck,
Ward
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Old 16th January 2012, 05:27 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Lamuella View Post
if someone is smelling water, they aren't displaying a paranormal ability.
This is a good point.

When agreeing a protocol for testing a paranormal ability the main concern is to eliminate all the mundane effects which the applicant could have misinterpreted as indications of something paranormal. In the case of dowsing these are generally assumed to be confirmation bias, the ability to pick up clues from the landscape and the fact that most people vastly underestimate how likely it is to hit water by digging almost anywhere. All these effects will be eliminated by a standard double blind test. But anything that allowed the applicant to use their normal senses to identify where water is most likely to be - hearing and smell as well as sight - also needs to be eliminated in order to conclude that a paranormal ability is being displayed. So JREF is unlikely to agree to any test protocol which left such possibilities open.
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Old 16th January 2012, 05:34 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
An automobile mechanic could easily claim to be a dowser. If I'm not mechanically minded, but I take my car in because it's having trouble, my mechanic could hold a pendulum over the engine and then tell me it's the water pump. I'd be in no position to deny that. But it was years of experience that taught the mechanic what the symptoms of a broken fuel pump were. The mechanic might convince him or herself that it was dowsing, but it was actually just their own intelligence and experience that gave them the answer.
Gotcha!
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Old 16th January 2012, 07:19 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by DowserDon View Post
The standard protocol immediately puts a competent dowser at a disadvantage.
That's why there's an open test before the test. That is, the dowser would know where the target is being placed, and if the dowser can't detect it then the test is postponed and the protocol is redesigned. There is no "standard test" since each has to be designed by two parties to meet the specific claim being tested. [Exception: in some mass tests, like the recent TV show, there is one protocol and people are invited to participate if they think they can do what the protocol is testing.

The JREF has done dowsing tests with running water.

Remember, the protocol is designed together based on what is claimed. Your hypothetical wine tester would claim "I can distinguish between wine X and wine Y by taste", so (if accepted) the JREF would never propose a protocol that didn't let the claimant taste the wine.

On the other hand, if a claimant claims "I can detect water buried beneath several meters of earth", it would be reasonable to propose "can you find a glass of water under a cardboard box?" or "can you detect water flowing in a pipe buried 0.5 meters down?"
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Old 16th January 2012, 11:40 PM   #30
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True--the dowser is not at a disadvantage if they are well aware of their capabilities and only agree to a test that works around any limitations they are aware of. Sadly, these limitations are often only claimed after failure. Each test is designed to put a faker or someone mistaken about their abilities at an extreme disadvantage while giving a genuine performer a standard that should be fairly easy to achieve if the power works as claimed.
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Old 18th January 2012, 12:22 PM   #31
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Fact is, in the test in Australia, the dowsers said that it would be a cakewalk because the test would be so easy. When asked what would happen if they failed, they said they would admit dowsing didn't work.

When they failed, the excuses came out.

It's very simple to see what's going on here.
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Old 18th January 2012, 12:28 PM   #32
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Double post.
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Old 20th January 2012, 12:31 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by SkepticScott View Post
That's why there's an open test before the test. That is, the dowser would know where the target is being placed, and if the dowser can't detect it then the test is postponed and the protocol is redesigned.


I want to quote this aspect of the protocol as it is especially important.

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Old 20th January 2012, 02:37 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by DowserDon View Post
Reply to Pixel42. I'll give you an example of why I think the protocol is deficient.
Some people can tell the difference between an 1893 and an 1896 vintage wine.
I doubt that. However such old wines must be very rare, so those that exist may be different for a lot of reasons.

Quote:
No one really knows how a dowser detects water but just suppose it is a question of smell. The standard protocol immediately puts a competent dowser at a disadvantage.
That can be easily tested. Just have someone place a row of glasses, randomly filled or empty, and cover each with a small cardboard box. Then see of you can smell which ones have water in them. If you can't, then it aint smell. (I recommend you leave the water for about one hour before testing, as freshly poured water may have some scent).

Quote:
Imagine it is an electrical field generated by flow of water through the earth. The dowser would not experience this if the water were stationary in a bottle.
It is not. Electrical fields can be detected with measuring instruments. If flowing water generated a field strong enough to be felt above the surface, it would be known. Also, flow meters are used many places in industry. None of them use an electric field, because there isn't any.

Quote:
All in all, the present protocol is an example of a poorly designed biassed experiment.
If it is, it is because dowsers have consistently failed to define what really constitutes their ability.

Quote:
Don't blame Randi - he is only an ex stage magician. You need an experienced scientist to design an improved protocol.
Don't worry, James Randi does not design the protocols alone. He consults relevant scientists.

Quote:
When Prof. Chris French (Prof of Psychology) at Goldsmiths College, University of London, gets around to agreeing my proposal for a different protocol and when he gets around to testing me, we'll see whether I have managed to design an experiment that is not biassed towards either party. He was given the job of agreeing a test protocol with me last September - we have still not met.
Prof of Psychology? What makes you think he is particularly qualified to design a dowsing experiment?

Hans
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Old 20th January 2012, 02:46 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post

Prof of Psychology? What makes you think he is particularly qualified to design a dowsing experiment?
Why wouldn't he be? Do you think the JREF would ask someone unsuited and unqualified to work on this?

Quote:
He is currently Professor of psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, is head of their Anomalistic psychology Research Unit which he founded in the year 2000, and is the Editor-in-Chief of The Skeptic (UK) magazine.
He teaches a course entitled Psychology, Parapsychology and Pseudoscience as part of the BSc (Hons) Psychology programmes at both Goldsmiths College and Birkbeck College. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has published over 60 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics within psychology, including publications in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, the British Journal of Psychology and the British Journal of Clinical Psychology.
His main current area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. In addition to academic activities, such as conference presentations and invited talks in other departments, he frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims. He has taken part in programmes dealing with a wide range of such claims including psychic predictions, telepathy, faith healing, hypnotic past life regression, ghosts, UFO abductions, out-of-body experiences, astrological claims and so on.[1][2][3] He has appeared on various science programmes (e.g. Equinox, Science Now, All in the Mind) and documentaries (e.g. Heart of the Matter, Everyman) as well as numerous discussion programmes (e.g. Esther; The Time, The Place; Kilroy; This Morning).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_French
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Old 20th January 2012, 02:49 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
This is a good point.

When agreeing a protocol for testing a paranormal ability the main concern is to eliminate all the mundane effects which the applicant could have misinterpreted as indications of something paranormal.
Yes, a very important point, indeed. If a dowser works by smelling water, then it would be a remarkable feat, and that person might go down in history as the keenest nose of all mankind, BUT it would not be paranormal, and hence not eligible for the MDC.

The MDC is for supernatural performance. So it is not unfair that smell is eliminated.

DowserDon, you mentioned tea and petrol (assuming they look alike), and most people will readily be able to distinguish them by small (and taste ), so obviously, doing that is not eligible for the MDC. However, if you could distinguish between then, in sealed containers black containers, it might be supernatural (unless there are other, mundane clues, like weight).

Hans
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Old 20th January 2012, 08:53 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by DowserDon View Post
Reply to Pixel42. I'll give you an example of why I think the protocol is deficient.

[snip]

All in all, the present protocol is an example of a poorly designed biased experiment.

Well if you don't like the proposed protocol can you tell us what you think is a fair and valid protocol for testing dowsing? I know you said you wanted to wait, but is there any useful reason for waiting to reveal your proposed testing procedure?
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Old 21st January 2012, 10:22 AM   #38
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In fact, we can help point out any flaws (if there are any) and give ideas for refining it into a test procedure that will likely be agreeable.
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Old 21st January 2012, 11:17 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Yes, a very important point, indeed. If a dowser works by smelling water, then it would be a remarkable feat, and that person might go down in history as the keenest nose of all mankind, BUT it would not be paranormal, and hence not eligible for the MDC.

The MDC is for supernatural performance. So it is not unfair that smell is eliminated.

DowserDon, you mentioned tea and petrol (assuming they look alike), and most people will readily be able to distinguish them by small (and taste ), so obviously, doing that is not eligible for the MDC. However, if you could distinguish between then, in sealed containers black containers, it might be supernatural (unless there are other, mundane clues, like weight).

Hans
I have always found this premise very intriguing. At what point does an ability become supernatural, and even within the supernatural realm, what grades of supernatural are there?

So much so i am currently writing series of stories ( it is taking more of a novel feel as of late, all posted online, anyone interested can pm me, as i don't want to just needlessly pimp out my media.) , around this concept.

At what point would an ability that is otherwise normal, be able to apply for the MDC ( if at all.). I mean a gent lifting a fully loaded tank with one arm would seem on the very borderline, for example. But what if said gent did not have the amount of muscle required to do this? By this i mean, some biologists sit down and make an informed decision on the approximate amount of muscle, and the structure it would need to be able to lift a tank one handed. And the gent in question does not meet these requirements, but still is lifting the tank.

Not that i think this will ever happen, mind you, but it is an interesting premise.
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Old 21st January 2012, 01:53 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
At what point would an ability that is otherwise normal, be able to apply for the MDC ( if at all.). I mean a gent lifting a fully loaded tank with one arm would seem on the very borderline, for example.
In what sense would lifting 136,000 pounds (62,000 kg) be "borderline"?
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