If you are an avid reader of the blog, you may remember an article I wrote last October on dowsing, the dodgy art whose practitioners claim empowers them to find underground water and buried treasures using a twig or pendulum. The article itself was not widely read and I suspect it’s because dowsing by and large has been discredited and readers failed to perceive its contemporary consequences. I did write about the use of these ineffectual rods to detect roadside bombs and ivory.
Now, these empty casings, whose mechanisms are based on nothing less fanciful than wishful thinking, are being touted as a new military discovery in Egypt to detect and treat, get this, HIV and hepatitis.
I urge you to read the report from the BBC. Here’s an excerpt:
“Egypt has the highest rate of hepatitis C in the world, with around 20% of people either suffering or having recovered from the disease according to the World Health Organisation. Sunday’s announcement has caused a stir, with a video of the inventor being shared 12,000 times on Facebook and an ongoing Twitter discussion under the hashtag ‘Virus C miracle’. A few of the tweets were supportive of the government, but what is striking is that the majority were satirical and questioned the science. ‘There is no such thing as secret military reports in medicine,’ TV presenter Khalid Muntasir told his 20,000 Twitter followers. ‘For a medical discovery to be recognized and be declared as such, it must be revealed to the public.'”
The full article can be accessed here. So, where’s the harm in dowsing, I ask again?