Have you heard anything about the American Society of Dowsers? I would
appreciate any info.
I don't know of them in particular. However, I do know something about dowsing, otherwise known as "water-witching." Witching is exactly what it is. It is the attempt to get information through a non-scientific "spiritual" method. Which is all that witchcraft really is- -the attempt to get information through non-material (spiritual) methods.
There are no known electrical, magnetic, or other "real" fields associated with water or oil, or other similar materials. The dowsers talk about "lines of force" for which there is no evidence except their subjective feelings. They often speak of "having the gift" of dowsing.
This phenomenon is very commonly attested to and many people believe in it. They usually take refuge in some vague position such as "maybe there are force fields we don't know about." Of course, there _are_ yet undiscovered scientific forces and explanations for physical phenomena. However, when such forces are discovered, they will be cataloged in such a way that others with scientific interest can repeat their experiments. No such evidence exists for the various witching claims.
In one of my books (Hard Case Witnessing: Winning "Impossibles" for Christ) I relate the story of the people on Montana who were selling magnets which when taped to the gas line of your automobile supposedly caused you car to get better mileage. These magnets were "cow magnets," that is magnets shaped like short cigars that farmers feed to cows to attract various pieces of metal the cow inadvertently ingests while browsing. You could buy the magnets for #1.50 in a farm supply store. However, you paid $30.00 for one to tape on your car when purchased from the people promoting the gasoline economizer.
And, there was even some quasi-scientific evidence for the magnets' effectiveness. The evidence offered is referred to as "anecdotal evidence." Such evidence is found in the form of third-party testimonials: "I used the magnets and my gas mileage increased 10%." However, even if that were true, it doesn't mean the resultant increase was due to the magnets themselves. An alternate claim from those who debunked the magnets was that people who shelled out $30.00 and taped the magnets to their gas lines in the hope of achieving better mileage actually _drove their cars in a more economic manner_- -at least for a while. They didn't "jackrabbit start" from the red lights, they drove a few miles per hour slower, and they didn't accelerate as rapidly. That may or man not be the case. We do know that people who try can save gas by altering their driving habits. In either case, no true scientific test proved the value of the magnets.
When approaching these kinds of discussions, it is my contention that we should demand scientific evidence. If none is there then we must either dismiss the claims or, as in the case of water witching, attribute it to an unknown spiritual source.
_If_ it is a spiritual source, then another decision presents itself: Do we want to be involved in such spiritual experiments. From a Christian perspective, we do not. The Bible warns us away from such things as witchcraft, mediums, astrology, and the like.
If it is spiritual experience we seek, I suggest we seek it under the admonition of the Word of God.
Thanks for your question. Hope it helped.