Don't argue with your elders!
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14-07-2014, 12:17 PM
Don't argue with your elders!
I just wanted to start of with saying that my theist grandparents are two of the most loving and caring individuals in my entire life. They're smart too, but they've found a way to convince themselves that they aren't.

They love to talk about world issues, cop shows/crimes/forensics, and even science. I find there company very encouraging.

But here is my issue, I don't stand up for myself or the truth but I'm not sure if it is all that important.

My grandmother, specifically, is very outspoken. She's kind of on and off with whether or not she agrees with my scientific arguments. Like one day she's cool with evolution, the next day she says "I don't come from a monkey." One day she is cool with the Big Bang Theory and the next day she argues the 6,000 year theory.

Normally, I don't argue to much on these points because I don't find it useful to do so, the point is mute. But yesterday they were arguing that that funny little method of using two sticks that point to water is efficient enough to find a well. I believe it is called "dowsing."

From what I understand, dowsing is pretty much debunked. It's a bunch of rubbish but when I tried to convey this to my grandparents...wow! They sure got defensive!

I really should have showed him the Richard Dawkins segment where a psychologist debunks the practice with a controlled experiment.

But then again...I let this one go, to sympathetically argue was not enough, so I dropped out before anything was instigated but now I feel bad.

I had totally forgotten how easily superstitious and illogical I was as a theist (mormon) until last night with my grandparents.

I understand their belief in God, but dowsing? Really?

I hope not all theists are as superstitious and non-critical of such crazy ideas.

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."- Albert Einstein.

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Steven Hawking
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14-07-2014, 12:18 PM
RE: Don't argue with your elders!
(14-07-2014 12:17 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  I just wanted to start of with saying that my theist grandparents are two of the most loving and caring individuals in my entire life. They're smart too, but they've found a way to convince themselves that they aren't.

They love to talk about world issues, cop shows/crimes/forensics, and even science. I find there company very encouraging.

But here is my issue, I don't stand up for myself or the truth but I'm not sure if it is all that important.

My grandmother, specifically, is very outspoken. She's kind of on and off with whether or not she agrees with my scientific arguments. Like one day she's cool with evolution, the next day she says "I don't come from a monkey." One day she is cool with the Big Bang Theory and the next day she argues the 6,000 year theory.

Normally, I don't argue to much on these points because I don't find it useful to do so, the point is mute. But yesterday they were arguing that that funny little method of using two sticks that point to water is efficient enough to find a well. I believe it is called "dowsing."

From what I understand, dowsing is pretty much debunked. It's a bunch of rubbish but when I tried to convey this to my grandparents...wow! They sure got defensive!

I really should have showed him the Richard Dawkins segment where a psychologist debunks the practice with a controlled experiment.

But then again...I let this one go, to sympathetically argue was not enough, so I dropped out before anything was instigated but now I feel bad.

I had totally forgotten how easily superstitious and illogical I was as a theist (mormon) until last night with my grandparents.

I understand their belief in God, but dowsing? Really?

I hope not all theists are as superstitious and non-critical of such crazy ideas.


No. Some are much crazier...like me.
I'm magical.

Weeeeee!

Jk

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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14-07-2014, 02:50 PM
RE: Don't argue with your elders!
(14-07-2014 12:17 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  I hope not all theists are as superstitious and non-critical of such crazy ideas.

I don't think all theists are superstitious. However, it should be considered that once the ability to suspend disbelief is switched on, it must be somewhat difficult to discern the difference between reality and imagined reality.

Also, superstitious shit is everywhere so, it's continually being acknowledge, accepted, and reinforced. Walk up to anyone on the street and ask them what their sign is; some will say they don't believe in it but... they'll still know their sign and the supposed attributes of that sign and agree that at least in part, it describes them. Wink

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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14-07-2014, 02:59 PM
RE: Don't argue with your elders!
Haha, dowsing is still practiced for finding places to dig for wells. There is a lady in this area who makes a good living doing this. Supposedly she is successful most of the time. She's been doing it for decades.

I have talked to her about it, she is the wife of the guy who fixed my well. She firmly believes herself that she can do this. She maintains the rod moves in her hand and that is the spot. She says sometimes it happens in minutes and she has had cases where it took her days.

A lot of rural America still believes in this stuff.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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14-07-2014, 03:08 PM
RE: Don't argue with your elders!
IIRC, James Randi let someone try dowsing for his challenge.

Didn't work.

But the bottom line shouldn't be arguing "yes it does, no it doesn't". The bottom line should be "let's test this empirically".

.... also, you can try The Economic Argument. It even has a section on dowsing, specifically.
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14-07-2014, 03:13 PM
RE: Don't argue with your elders!
(14-07-2014 02:59 PM)Dom Wrote:  Haha, dowsing is still practiced for finding places to dig for wells. There is a lady in this area who makes a good living doing this. Supposedly she is successful most of the time. She's been doing it for decades.

I have talked to her about it, she is the wife of the guy who fixed my well. She firmly believes herself that she can do this. She maintains the rod moves in her hand and that is the spot. She says sometimes it happens in minutes and she has had cases where it took her days.

A lot of rural America still believes in this stuff.

I don't dismiss dowsing. But it's got nothing to do with a wooden stick and everything to do with subconsciously processing subtle clues from the terrain, vegetation, soil type, etc. acquired over decades she likely doesn't even realize and can't explain. See, for example, chicken sexers.

#sigh
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14-07-2014, 03:23 PM
RE: Don't argue with your elders!
(14-07-2014 03:13 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(14-07-2014 02:59 PM)Dom Wrote:  Haha, dowsing is still practiced for finding places to dig for wells. There is a lady in this area who makes a good living doing this. Supposedly she is successful most of the time. She's been doing it for decades.

I have talked to her about it, she is the wife of the guy who fixed my well. She firmly believes herself that she can do this. She maintains the rod moves in her hand and that is the spot. She says sometimes it happens in minutes and she has had cases where it took her days.

A lot of rural America still believes in this stuff.

I don't dismiss dowsing. But it's got nothing to do with a wooden stick and everything to do with subconsciously processing subtle clues from the terrain, vegetation, soil type, etc. acquired over decades she likely doesn't even realize and can't explain. See, for example, chicken sexers.

I refuse to click any link marked Chicken Sexers. This aint my first day on the internet.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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14-07-2014, 03:26 PM
RE: Don't argue with your elders!
(14-07-2014 12:17 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  I just wanted to start of with saying that my theist grandparents are two of the most loving and caring individuals in my entire life. They're smart too, but they've found a way to convince themselves that they aren't.

They love to talk about world issues, cop shows/crimes/forensics, and even science. I find there company very encouraging.

But here is my issue, I don't stand up for myself or the truth but I'm not sure if it is all that important.

My grandmother, specifically, is very outspoken. She's kind of on and off with whether or not she agrees with my scientific arguments. Like one day she's cool with evolution, the next day she says "I don't come from a monkey." One day she is cool with the Big Bang Theory and the next day she argues the 6,000 year theory.

Normally, I don't argue to much on these points because I don't find it useful to do so, the point is mute. But yesterday they were arguing that that funny little method of using two sticks that point to water is efficient enough to find a well. I believe it is called "dowsing."

From what I understand, dowsing is pretty much debunked. It's a bunch of rubbish but when I tried to convey this to my grandparents...wow! They sure got defensive!

I really should have showed him the Richard Dawkins segment where a psychologist debunks the practice with a controlled experiment.

But then again...I let this one go, to sympathetically argue was not enough, so I dropped out before anything was instigated but now I feel bad.

I had totally forgotten how easily superstitious and illogical I was as a theist (mormon) until last night with my grandparents.

I understand their belief in God, but dowsing? Really?

I hope not all theists are as superstitious and non-critical of such crazy ideas.

Recent study shows 1 in 4 americans believe the sun revolves around the earth....sometimes you just can't help people, especially those close to us, move beyond their beliefs no matter how ridiculous they may be.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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14-07-2014, 03:36 PM (This post was last modified: 14-07-2014 03:41 PM by Dom.)
RE: Don't argue with your elders!
(14-07-2014 03:13 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  See, for example, chicken sexers.

Baby chicks, like parrots of all ages, can be sexed by the way their vent is constructed. Females have a wider, rounder, flexible bone structure (allows the egg to come out) while the males are pointy, tight and rigid.

No miracles there. Tongue

I agree on the dowsing though - the woman has a ton of experience in locating good places to dig wells and likely doesn't know herself which components make her recognize a good place.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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15-07-2014, 01:30 AM
RE: Don't argue with your elders!
The brain is really good at learning patterns in the environment which you may not consciously realise.

I can't remember where I heard / read it but there is one example of a cheese company who wanted an computer system developed to determine when the cheese was ready to be shipped. They had a single employee figure out when the cheese was ready and he was due to retire. The scientists asked him loads of questions about how he knew, gathered loads of data and created their expert system ... which didn't work. So they carefully observed how he went about his business and came to the conclusion that when he pressed his thumb into the cheese it would let off a subtle smell that he was reacting to instead.

I make tablet myself. It's a Scottish confectionery made from very simple ingredients but cooking it is a real art. You need to set the heat level just right to get the right balance between crunchy and soft. I make a deliberate mental note with all my senses to achieve this by passing my hand over it, looking at how it is spitting, how viscous it is, even sniffing it.
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