A scientist convinced about dowsing

Sandy McKenzie sent me this link to a fascinating YouTube video on the Scientific & Medical Network website. It is a talk given by the late psychoanalyst Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, author of Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism and the Extraordinary Powers of the Human Mind, in which she relates how she came to consult a dowser in 2003, in a last-ditch attempt to locate the whereabouts of her daughter’s harp, which had been stolen from a theatre before her concert.

She refers to ‘the gorilla’ in the talk – this is a reference to the famous psychology perception experiment in which a person who is asked to count the number of times a team of basketball players bounces a ball doesn’t see a man in a gorilla suit walk through the room, because they are too focused watching the ball. Dr. Anne Miller inflicted this video on the audience at the 2009 BSD conference, with hilarious results.

But great to see a high-profile figure like Dr. Mayer speaking in favour of dowsing. If only there were more scientists like her out there.

Grahame Gardner
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