Dowsing or divining is a practice that some people believe can help to locate hidden useful resources such as water, precious stones, and metals. Dowsers typically attempt to achieve this by moving slowly and carefully around a site where they hope to find the resource in question whilst holding some apparatus such as a twig in the shape of a Y or a pendulum or perhaps an L-shaped rod. They believe that vibrations in this apparatus tell them when they are over the hidden resource.
But is this belief a strange form of self-delusion or mystical gibberish or is there something more to it? Unfortunately, the evidence uncovered so far does not appear to stack up favorably for the dowsers. The only positive evidence for success is in the form of anecdotal evidence which is, of course, notoriously unreliable and should never be considered as proving anything, ever. The scientific studies that have been performed, using double-blind trials, the strongest form of scientific study, have so far drawn a blank. Only negative results have been achieved.
Those taking part in the scientific studies, in some cases people who have been dowsers for decades are genuinely shocked when told the results. They then typically confabulate an explanation as to why they just so happened to have failed so miserably on this particular occasion, insisting that they are usually much more reliable. Sadly, dowsing appears to be one of the many pieces of mumbo-jumbo that are not only tolerated, but are actively encouraged in the present day by those who have an irrational hatred of science and are prepared to champion anything that challenges it, however daft, thereby destroying their own credibility even further in the process.