Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dowsing for Gold

Here is a scene from the reality show Bearing Sea Gold on the Discovery channel in which one of the characters in the show dowses to find gold.  Dowsing is done to find water, gold or other minerals, and more.  In this video the person use two metal rods.

A few things stand out.  First, deckhand Robbi Wade said, "People might think I'm crazy for doing this, but it don't bother me one way or another if they think I'm crazy or not as long as I get some gold."  He also said "I believe in it."  This is a rational chooser who is clearly results oriented.

Second, he also gave an explanation that it works via magnetism but did not provide much more details.  He does not believe it is working through the power of a supernatural being, so it is not religion according to Stark and Finke's definition in Acts of Faith.  Stark and Finke might call it magic, but his reference to magnetism suggests that he thinks dowsing works via natural rather than supernatural means.  It is not clear that the supernatural term applies very well here.

Third, that there is clear Christian imagery (a Christian cross at minute 3:03) on the ship suggests that they have no problem mixing religion with the practice of dowsing.  This may not be surprising given that they seem to view dowsing as working through natural means.  It is just a means of finding gold that they believe works for them.  It is also relatively inexpensive as you just need the two metal rods and some practice.  They do it themselves rather than hiring a professional dowser.  In their minds it is merely a cost-effect way to find the gold.

And in case you were wondering, yes, you can hire dowsers.  Maybe someone from the American Society of Dowsers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments of economic content are welcome. Comments that deride or criticize others will be removed.