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I believe most (if not all) members of A/N reject the crap that is proclaimed to be science such as creationism, Nostradamus prophesies, Astrology and etc. Most of the beliefs are basically harmless, in that they don’t put the believers in danger (except intellectually). One such pseudoscience is, however, directly affecting the lives of people in Iraq. That bogus science is dowsing. For those not familiar with dowsing it is the claim that using a “Y” shaped stick or metal rods one can detect water, oil, people and also explosives. That is the opinion of the Iraq government when it comes to detecting explosives at checkpoints as pointed out in a New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/04/world/middleeast/04sensors.html?_r=1
This stupidity has already cost the lives of over a 100 Iraqis.

Views: 2

Tags: Dowsing, Explosives, Iraq, Pseudoscience

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Comment by Jim DePaulo on November 6, 2009 at 11:54am
the time around full moon always had the most dots.

Did you check it when it was cloudy all night?
The only thing I notice on full Moons is excessive hair growth on my face and a craving for raw meat - but that's just me.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on November 6, 2009 at 7:47am
@Fetch
I think we are making the same point in that even the apparently harmless pseudoscience can have disastrous consequences if put into practice.
I should have used apparently or alleged in my initial ramblings.
...Do you mean that Aries aren't assholes??
Comment by Jim DePaulo on November 5, 2009 at 8:00pm
Yarrrgg! skewered by the Cynic in Residence. You are right and I agree - my point was directed at the run of the mill bullshit that isn't immediately, deadly lethal - like being shredded into hamburger by a bomb.
Although I imagine more than one moron have killed themselves trying to trying to find the sunken city of Mu , the Yeti or have lost their ass betting on a Nostradamus prophesy.
Comment by John Q. Antichrist or Rosco on November 5, 2009 at 2:28pm
When I 1st started reading I thought this was going to be about oil dowsers. I was thinking, how hard could that be? "There's oil under this spot, and this one, and this one. Maybe I've found my calling in life!
Comment by Jim DePaulo on November 5, 2009 at 2:03pm
it's not like they have a lot of reliable options to choose from.
Actually they do, explosive sniffing dogs are very accurate but they are time consuming - pointing a stick is much more efficient. The objection from the minister in charge of the stick pointers was, "If we had dogs at every checkpoint the city would be a zoo". That would amount to around 400 extra dogs - there are that many f**king dogs within a 1/4 of a mile of my house, including my own.
Comment by Little Name Atheist on November 5, 2009 at 11:32am
One of my ex-friends is a dowser. I suspect he would say that they just weren't doing it right.

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