Science: Why Dowsing Works

People with an unsatisfied will-to-believe have been getting solace from Novelist Kenneth Roberts' Henry Gross and His Dowsing Rod. It tells with plenty of "evidence" how a good old state of Maine character, Henry Gross, finds "veins of water" by means of his good old divining rod.† In the latest issue of Harper's magazine, which likes to publicize pseudo-scientific fancies (e.g., Eric Larrabee's piece on the passing planets), and also to knock them down, waterworks Engineer Thomas M. Riddick gives an engineer's explanation of water dowsing.

In places where dowsers thrive, says Riddick, there is water almost everywhere. It does not...

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