WATER DIVINING DEBATE
Below are eight items from Investigator 54 to 64:
1 Dowsing Edwards 2 Water Is Not Just H2O Storm 3 Storm In A Teacup Edwards 4 Not A Storm In A Teacup Storm 5 Scientific Tests of Water Divining — Negative Edwards 6 Regarding Edwards' "Scientific Tests...Negative" Storm 7 Stormy Debate Concludes Edwards 8 Bait, But No Debate: Edwards Tries to Reel One In Storm 9 Where Are Those Uncanny Intuitive Skills?
(Investigator 54, 1997 May)
Dowsing, sometimes referred to as radiesthesia, is the art of finding underground water, minerals, metal pipes or electric cables, by walking over the ground holding a forked stick, pendulum or bent wires until they react violently; it's an age old folk tradition still widely practised around the world. Everybody seems to know a dowser or knows of someone who knows of one and the myth persists, that through some psychic ability or some kind of force unknown to science it is possible to detect elements hidden from the eye.
The origins of divining or dowsing go way back in time and is not confined to the finding of underground water or minerals but, according to its adherents, has other applications such as finding lost objects and people, helping the police solve crimes and testing the quality of food. Remote viewing, however, appears to be a primary application whereby it is alleged by diviners underground water, oil, gas and mineral deposits can be found by holding a pendulum over a map. Another application, is the of tracing out of sites of ancient buildings no longer extant. Various hypotheses have been advanced to explain the skills of the diviner, among them that there is an energy relationship between man and his environment extending into the cosmos and that it is possible for him to harmonize or resonate with energy radiations. Hence, a reaction between the material being divined and the diviner.
In most parts of the world, water can be found by drilling a bore or digging a well, the only variable is the depth at which the water will be found. There are also geological clues on the land which help to indicate where water may be found and it is possible that a water diviner may pick up these clues consciously or unconsciously while dowsing. The success rate claimed by water diviners is usually in the range of eighty to one hundred per cent, but to evaluate properly, controlled studies must be carried out. Many such studies (Smith & Randi 1980), (Martin 1983), (Australian Skeptics 1989), have been undertaken both in laboratories and in the field and in many countries, none of which have shown any evidence that dowsers could find water or minerals at an above-chance level. One such test in which I was personally involved, took place on a property at Wallacia. New South Wales, in late October 1989.
The organizers were the Australian Skeptics and TV Channel 9 Current Affairs program. A prize of $20,000 was offered by the Australian Skeptics' patrons Dick Smith and Philip Adams, for any diviner who could achieve a better than chance accuracy. Nine diviners participated, one of whom was a CSIRO scientist. The protocol was mutually agreed upon by the diviners and the promoters and it was unanimously agreed by the diviners that it was a fair test of their claimed abilities. The area chosen for the test covered approximately 6 metres by 2 metres and the details of the tests are as follows:
Test No. 1.
Consisted of two parallel rows of five shallow holes. In one hole in each row was placed a blue painted two litre bottle of water. This was then covered with carpet and the diviners invited to find the bottles by dowsing. The bottles were painted blue so that the contents or otherwise were not visible.
Test No. 2.
Under the carpet were placed two one metre lengths of electric cable and the same procedure as in the previous test was followed.
Test No. 3.
As in test No. 2 but with two gold bars valued at $2,000 each substituted for the cable.
Prior to commencement, each diviner was asked to scan the site with his divining rod to ensure that there were no distractions which would interfere with the test. All signified that the site was clear and satisfactory. Next, one of the tests targets (first the bottle, then the cable and then a gold bar) was placed on the ground to see whether the diviners'rods reacted to it. All did so. Then the targets were placed under the carpet to ascertain whether the covering of the targets made any difference, all diviners located the objects.
Having satisfied themselves that they could successfully find the hidden objects and that there were no distractions which would prevent them from doing so, the diviners were taken out of sight of the test area and the targets hidden as agreed upon. The diviners, who had all expressed an expectancy of not less than 80 per cent accuracy and in two cases 100 per cent accuracy, were then called back one by one and put through their paces. The best result for the day was thirty-seven per cent, or considerably less than guesswork! When asked why they had performed so badly, some were completely mystified, others blamed the carpet used to cover the targets or the site itself, despite the fact that all had previously agreed that the site was clear and had shown that they could in fact find the targets hidden under the carpet prior to the test runs. Why was this?
When the diviners could see the target or knew exactly where it was hidden they were successful in finding it, once it was removed from sight their success rate dropped to no better than chance.
Was it fair then to test the diviners' alleged skills in a confined space when they are usually used in wide open areas and is there any rational explanation which would cause a diviner to believe that he possesses extraordinary powers? To conduct a similar study in the field would be enormously expensive and inconclusive as water can be found almost anywhere, particularly in Australia, the only variable being the depth at which it would be found.
A logical explanation is that diviners subconsciously sight landfalls likely to have water, this together with information readily available from geological surveys tip the odds in their favour of finding water.[From: Skeptoon an illustrated look at some New Age Beliefs, 1994, Harry Edwards.
Published by Harry Edwards Publications]
Water Is Not Just H20:
A Response To Edwards'Dowsing
(Investigator 58, 1998 January)
It is an interesting and optimistic sign that Edwards (issue #54), as a sceptic, recognises the unconscious component of the human psyche — he readily admits the possibility of the water diviner finding water from the "geological clues on the land" which are picked up "consciously or unconsciously" (my italics).
We, some proportion of believers and sceptics, are well on the way then to a mutual agreement that sensory data, as stimuli from the environment, unbeknownst to the experient, may be subject to the unconscious mental processes of apperception, association, etc. We also know that the brain and other human organs are susceptible to the influence of, and even damage by invisible fields and particles such as those emitted from radioactive elements (uranium, plutonium, etc.) or stellar bodies (for example, the Sun's gamma rays). We must admit that the conscious human subject embraces a very narrow sphere of experience.
However, it still surprises me how quickly the sceptic is prepared to make absolute claims about the unknown, well before convincingly valid and reliable experimentation has been conducted concerning the more challenging phenomena of our world. The final word on the matter has not been spoken yet, but Edwards is certain that water divining is a "myth" (I presume he means some kind of fiction or fantasy — and is using the word in a pejorative sense). I can recall only a few decades ago when the medical "myth" of acupuncture was considered with equal scepticism, but today, after extensive inquiry into its claims, Health Funds now subsidise this service as a recognised and approved medical benefit — its previous identity with fringe (quack) medicine now long gone. Even earlier in our century the idea of radio and television held mythic proportions for many people.
In the light of such realities, it seems only fair to introduce a few concepts and findings in the field of science which may give some redress to Edward’s biased account of dowsing.
A leading scientist in the field of low energy transmutation C. Louis Kervran notes, in his book Biological Transmutations (1980), that chemical analysis does not go far enough in indicating the biological aspects of a substance. To illustrate his point he informs us that "all specialists in hydromineral treatments know that it is dangerous to consume excessive quantities of the gushing water from the spring of a spa" (Kervran. 1980, p. 9). Consumption must begin slowly until the body adjusts to it. Once the same water is bottled for a few weeks it can be consumed at a normal rate, yet there is no established reason for the fact that the human system reacts with such ill-effect to this "activated water."
Radioactivity has been suggested, but Yves Rocard, director of the physics laboratory at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, has demonstrated that water can set up an electromagnetic field which is detectable by a very sensitive magnetometer. This may be the property of certain bodies of water which make it possible to divine the presence of underground water (given that the diviner is more sensitive to the water than the average person). If so, it really is too much to expect our guinea pigs in the Australian Skeptic's 'test'(a demonstration which appears as an experiment) to detect very small quantities of water in blue bottles which, no doubt, have been run fresh from a tap. Such water, if it ever was activated, could easily have become deactivated at any number of stages in its long path from the reservoir to the tap.
Empirical evidence also exists showing that water can be activated by electromagnetic fields of very low frequencies (10 Hz) and even high frequencies (3-4 kHz). Activated water has been used to remove calcareous scale inside boilers, where normal water fails to do this (Kervran, 1980, p. 10). Water is far more complex a compound than we may initially assume, and studies continue in the endeavour to discover more of its properties. Even the entropy (intrinsic energy) of water can vary positively or negatively — especially around temperatures of 30o to 40oC. At 35oC the physico-chemical and biological properties of water are demonstrably "stimulated," revealing unusual reactions on micro-organisms.
In the same sense that unconscious processes of the psyche, referred to above, must be acknowledged, it may be well to note that the high a priori probability associated with the likelihood of detecting invisible fields of energy with human senses (the human functions of hearing and seeing are just two examples) is so because of the overwhelming evidence for its existence. Yet, we know that there is a minority of blind and/or deaf people who may often have no detectable physiological fault in their eyes and/or ears. The problem is usually located in the brain, but a sceptic could easily refute this claim. This minority could easily and invariably assign low a priori probability to the existence of light and sound, based purely on their subjective judgments and not on the evidence of the sighted and hearing majority.
Nevertheless, these phenomena do exist — but only those who can experience them are truly convinced. If the blind and/or deaf are to be convinced that seeing and hearing are possible it will, likely as not, be on faith alone. I do not propose that we too must be more faithful and open-minded to the existence of unexplained phenomena (though it might help), but it would help even more if so-called tests and experiments, such as those designed to 'catch out'a few poorly informed, gullible and greedy 'water diviners', were subjected to at least the same degree of scepticism and scrutiny that is apportioned to the phenomenon in question.
These badly designed experiments only serve the sceptics and their ideologies, while the pitiful levels of internal validity (measuring what is supposed to be measured) and external validity (generalisability) of such experiments leave those with even just a few good years education at a tertiary institute shuddering in disbelief. The "lengths of electric cable" and the "gold bars" used in the test are really the last straw. Is it not possible that Iron (Fe) and Gold (Au), in their natural state in the earth, are also subject to the same geo-dynamic effects which give spa water its peculiar phenomenology?
Another question: How did the Australian Skeptics select their sample of so-called water diviners? I would posit that the sample was not drawn randomly, but was over-represented by the exhibitionistic, talentless and possibly greedy subset of ‘diviners'that would include themselves in the population of diviners, most of whom would be of a genuine and legitimate character.
As long as poorly designed experiments help keep prize monies safe (such as Smith and Adams $20,000), and the media are prepared to televise these demonstrations, the true aims of scientific endeavour will be sadly thwarted. All they really do is expose a handful of naive, opportunistic quacks to a public mostly convinced already one way or another in their beliefs. What the public lacks, however, is the capacity to tell the difference between an experiment and a demonstration. A demonstration is a working experiment (showing something already known), while an experiment is an attempt to find out something about the world or its phenomena. Also, the general public is not in a position to draw a firm conclusion on scientific matters — especially in cases when even the experts cannot agree.
The reason why I consider the Australian Skeptics' test was a demonstration (whether they knew it or not) has its basis in the fact that water in two-litre bottles, lengths of electric cable and bars of gold are not naturally occurring objects (they are constructed), and are not placed in a natural environment for an undetermined period of time as would be the case with ‘natural'water, iron and gold. Demonstrated to the astute observer is the fact that finding hidden objects with a better than chance probability is impossible under laboratory conditions because the critical variables are missing. Nothing else is proven. The organisers are so remotely isolated from an authentic test site containing genuine (naturally occurring) objects, that they have inadvertently (?) assured themselves a very high probability of winning their case and keeping their money.
Their demonstration also shows what some of us already know, that there is no shortage of charlatans and/or amateurs on both sides of the fence - those organisers and 'diviners' who have faith in badly designed tests who only end up deceiving or being deceived. Until the public can discern that they are often viewing demonstrations which only reflect scientific consensus, and are not viewing tests which appear to the viewer as experiments designed to establish evidence about disputed phenomena, the hoodwink will continue. Sadly, many, if not all involved in the charade are not conscious of the true nature of these events. The greater public, to which the media have a responsibility, is taken for a ride, while the Australian Skeptics believe they have proven something, and the media believe they have entertained us and shed light on phenomena which will consequently remain a mystery.
Finally, it is not a "logical explanation" to suggest that successful diviners sight geological surveys, or even look for environmental clues to help them find water. It is more of an opinion of sorts, or an allegation, or supposition, or even a belief, but not anything like an explanation — even less a logical deduction. Diviners may well look at maps or surveys, or pick up on environmental clues, but they may just as readily not do this. Where is the proof either way?
Obviously Edwards is coming from a position where he assumes the dowsing skill does not exist — hence he is ready to offer 'explanations'. But, if diviners do have the skills (and the entire population of diviners have not been tested yet!), then they would not need to look at maps, etc. After all, we still cannot say whether the skill does or does not exist. Only with continued research and insight that is free of bias can we really shed light on phenomena such as dowsing.
Storm in a Teacup
(Investigator 59, 1998 March)
I refer to Lance Storm's critique (issue #58) of my article on dowsing (issue #54). The article referred to was an edited version of one that appeared in the Skeptic, Vol. 9, No.4, in 1989, covering the testing of water and mineral diviners. Had Mr. Storm referred to the primary source before plunging in with his eyes closed, he could have avoided the many misconceptions and assumptions that riddled his response.
The original article was a report on a divining test using a mutually agreed upon protocol, undertaken by Australian Skeptics and televised for the Channel 9 programme, "A Current Affair".
Mr. Storm's verbose digression into the biological aspects of a substance, spa water and electromagnetic fields is totally irrelevant.
Categorically we have Mr. Storm describing the diviner participants as "poorly informed, gullible, greedy, exhibitionistic, talentless, naive and opportunistic quacks". He further posits that they were not picked at random. In fact, all nine diviners were picked at random. Three from NSW, one from Victoria, one from South Australia, one from Queensland, and one from Switzerland. There were also two participants from Canberra — both CSIRO scientists! One, Dr. Baden Williams, principal research scientist with the CSIRO Division of Water Resources in Canberra who routinely uses scientific methods and instruments such as the Transient Electro Magnetic and Geonics detectors for sensing what lies below the surface. The other was fellow scientist Peter Richardson. Both also use divining rods, and claim that the two methods generally agree. After failing the test both agreed to look again at their hypotheses.
Mr. Storm objects to my use of the word "myth" defined in Webster’s as "an imaginary or unverifiable thing" and points out that although acupuncture was also once considered by the medical profession as a "myth", Health Funds now subsidise this service as a recognised and approved medical benefit.
Mr. Storm ignores the fact that Health Funds are in the insurance business, and that many insurance companies will accept premiums for just about anything from acupuncture treatment to indemnifying one against alien abduction. Although it may be good for business, such undertakings do not legitimise the claims made on behalf of acupuncture or the existence of UFOs.
Our pedantic Mr. Storm goes on to inform us of the difference between a demonstration and an experiment, and for the edification of us ignorant sceptics explains why the Australian Skeptics'test failed to prove anything. This explanation was hardly a profound observation given the information (or rather the lack of) on which it is based. His principal objection to the validity of the test being that "two litre bottles of water, lengths of electric cable and bars of gold are not naturally occurring objects, and are not placed in a natural environment for an undetermined period of time as would be the case with ‘natural'water, iron and gold". Had Mr. Storm been aware of the test protocol he would have known that this "fact" has absolutely no bearing on the test or its outcome. For those who may not be familiar with the details of the test a brief summary may help clarify a few points.
Prior to the commencement of the test all the diviners were presented with a target object, a two litre plastic bottle of water, a 100 gram gold ingot and a length of electric cable. They were asked to place the objects on the ground and scan over them. All diviners had a positive divining reaction. The targets were then placed under a piece of carpet and the procedure repeated. Again every diviner confirmed that his rod or divining implement was responding as it usually does when dowsing. The diviners were then taken from the test site and the targets hidden under a length of carpet. One by one the diviners were recalled to the test range and asked to divine which location in a row held the target object. The results were devastating, no better than the average expected by chance alone.
Scientifically, we can conclude that the results were not consistent with a significant divining ability to find hidden objects. The tests unequivocally showed that on this occasion no divining ability was evident despite the diviners'previous demonstrations on site of their abilities.
Mr. Storm's critique was based on the erroneous assumption that Australian Skeptics were principally concerned with testing the diviners' ability to dowse water when in fact it was for hidden objects. Although he concedes that the latter was proven, he claims that the organisers, being remotely isolated from an authentic test site, inadvertently assured themselves a high probability of winning their case. However, because divining for natural water would require impractical cost and logistics to drill enough test bores for a sound result, water in plastic containers was substituted. It would be stationary, like most natural artesian water, not flowing. Other tests conducted by Australian Skeptics and other groups worldwide involving the dowsing of flowing water, have produced similar conclusive negative results.
In summary it was a simple test in which all the diviner participants demonstrated that their divining implements reacted when they knew where the covered target was, but failed to do so when the target's location was unknown. Verbum sat sapienti!
Not A Storm In A Teacup
(Investigator 60, 1998 May)
Just a short response to Edwards, RE: "Storm In A Teacup" (Issue #59).
Edwards did not state that his article (issue #54) was an "edited version of one that appeared in the Skeptic, vol. 9, No. 4 in 1989." The only 1989 reference, "(Australian Skeptics 1989)," as far as I can discern, is the article he means, though he does not make a direct reference to it. Is the "test" at Wallacia in 1989 the one referred to in "Australian Skeptics 1989"?
"Before plunging in" I can assure the Investigator readership that my eyes were open! I simply do not acknowledge the validity of the "agreed upon protocol."
Edwards' slavish adherence to dictionary definitions (myth is an "imaginary or unverifiable thing" is only one definition) is neither here nor there. It is the pejorative tone I objected to, as if one test (?) provided sufficient evidence to warrant absolute claims, and further, justified a conceited mockery of other people's beliefs.
I fail to see how my reasonable analysis should be derogated to the rank of pedantry. I merely questioned the design and the related facts (no matter how minor) of the so-called "test." (Note: Literary convention requires that the author be referred to by his or her surname only. The prefix of "Our pedantic…" is quite redundant).
Again, I do not acknowledge that "two-litre bottles of water (etc.)..." are good enough test objects. The responses (?) which the "diviners" confirmed were due clearly to visible objects or those in known locations are confirmation of conscious knowledge only of the presence of the objects and do not indicate dowsing skills per Se. But, the failure of the dowsers to detect the objects in hidden locations leads to three possible conclusions (that I can think of, off hand):
(i) either some or all nine diviners are frauds
(ii) some or all nine diviners are not frauds, but were having 'bad days'
(iii) some or all nine diviners are not frauds, but the hidden objects were simply undetectable by normal standards of divination. I have already questioned the standards as specified in the "protocol" (i.e. the location, and the 'constructed' nature of the objects, e.g., stationery versus artesian or 'activated' water, etc.).
Edwards' short-form debunking should at least contain all the pertinent facts before innocent respondents take the bait. Even so, Edwards in Investigator #59 does not supply any new facts which would sway my argument. Finally, I cannot imagine the day when a government would subsidize payment of claims made by Health Fund members (for whatever reason) who were abducted by UFO aliens.
SCIENTIFIC TESTS OF WATER DIVINING – NEGATIVE
(Investigator 61, 1998 July)
Re: Mr. Storm's response to Storm in a Teacup. Investigator #59.
I was raised in a country where those considered to be inferior or of lesser rank were addressed by their surnames. While Mr. Storm, may prefer literary convention ... I don't, and prefer to extend the courtesy of a title.
Mr. Storm is not prepared to acknowledge that the objects used in the Australian Skeptics' divining test were good enough, or to concede the validity of the test. However, the diviners thought the objects were good enough and that the test of their abilities was a fair one. Who would be the better judge?
Mr. Storm concludes that either the diviners were frauds, that they were not frauds but having a bad day, or that the objects were simply undetectable by normal standards of divination.
To my knowledge none of the participants were frauds. That they were not having a bad day was evidenced by the fact that in the preliminary trials to determine whether or not the chosen objects were suitable, all performed with 100% accuracy.
The fourth and most plausible conclusion would be that the water diviners are deluded.
Mr. Storm apparently did not comprehend my initial response. He concludes by saying "I cannot imagine the day when a government would subsidise payment of claims made by Health Fund members ... who were abducted by UFO aliens".
If what I said wasn't clear enough the first time try this:
1. Health Funds are in the insurance business.
2. Some insurance companies will accept premiums for just about anything.
This does not imply that Health Funds would indemnify against UFO abductions, only that some insurance companies will indemnity against almost anything.
Finally, my conclusion that dowsers are not able to substantiate their claimed ability to locate hidden objects, underground water and buried minerals, is not based on the single test under discussion. There have been two such tests in Australia and others in Europe and America — all with the same negative results.
"Scientific Tests of Water Divining – Negative" (#61)
(Investigator 62, 1998 September)
1. "Courtesy of a title":
I objected to the pejorative "pedantic" as originally used in Investigator #59 by Edwards (it is redundant and offensive). Harry Edwards can call me Mr. Storm or Storm.
2. "Who would be the better Judge?"
Whether or not the diviners thought the test objects were good enough is beside the point. Subjects will say and do anything with $20000 at stake (that is why I questioned their credibility in the first place). It is up to the designer of the experiment to assure that their protocols are valid by seeking advice from other institutions, agencies, or interested parties — not just the subjects. The fact that Edwards will insist that this was done convinces me that those consulted are not too good at experimental design (regardless of their qualifications). If I can fault them, then so can others.
There is no conclusive evidence either way of fraudulent activity, except that, perhaps, failure to produce a successful result may indicate fraud. Nevertheless, my previous alternatives still stand. A "bad day" implies that dowsing skills could come in and out of action at any time. Again, "100% accuracy" means nothing in the preliminary tests. They (the dowsers) knew where the objects were — if I "wasn’t clear enough the first time," to use Edwards'words, DOWSING WAS NOT NECESSARILY EVIDENT due to the conscious knowledge of the objects' locations.
4. "Deluded" water diviners":
Good point! But this statement has two interpretations. The diviners under test only think they have dowsing skills but do not, OR they thought their powers were activated on the day but were wrong (I suggest the $20000 had something to do with that). They deluded themselves. Again, they may not all be frauds, and some, or all of them, may have been deluded, even the genuine ones. Since what I consider might contribute to "normal standards of divination" were not In place, I consider that all these variables make it impossible to confirm or deny dowsing ability from one experiment.
5. "Health Funds":
Arguing by analogy is a literary trick (some say a valid philosophical convention), which is however, subject to abuse. Edwards sets the parameters: "from acupuncture ... to alien abduction," and makes it look these two, and anything else in between are all the same type of phenomenon — all of which are open to scepticism, and even ridicule, and not to be believed. Acupuncture is made guilty by association. I said, in my first response, that through "extensive inquiry into [the] claims [of acupuncture], Health Funds now subsidise this service" (Investigator #58, p. 36). "Extensive inquiry" is self explanatory, and I reject associations with other phenomena that fail this prerequisite.
6. "Negative results":
I have not investigated the other Australian test, nor those in Europe and America. My lack of knowledge does not permit me to comment. Nevertheless, experimental evidence is often ambiguous, and studies in any field — even nonparanormal phenomena are usually inconclusive. Absolute reliance on experimental evidence is, at best, risky, at wont, fool-hardy. Negative results often say as much about the experimenter as they do about the subjects. I refer to the well-known "experimenter effect" (about which there Is considerable literature and evidence). But that is another story.
STORMY DEBATE CONCLUDES — WILL ANOTHER START?
(Investigator 63, 1998 November)
Lance Storm's latest response to my article on divining (Investigator No. 62) adds nothing to the debate. Therefore I suggest that the conclusion be left to the readers.
In Investigator #59 Mr. Storm wrote: "... my personal experience has shown that there are individuals among us with uncanny intuitive skills which would knock the socks off the most ardent skeptic."
I challenged Mr. Storm to provide examples. No examples have been forthcoming. Just a lot of wind – Storm?
Bait, But No Debate: Edwards Tries to Reel One In
(Investigator 64, 1999 January)
In Investigator #62 I replied to Harry Edwards (#61, p. 7), but it was edited in places. What was not printed were the following words:
"I have said enough on this matter [the subject of dowsing], and find mostly that I am repeating myself."
In other words, prior to Mr. Edwards, I recognised that nothing further could be added to the debate, since that was not my intention. My sole purpose was to make clear his misinformed argument, and misinterpretation of most of the criticisms in my responses. However, I also agree to leave it to the readers to form their own conclusion, which I might add cannot be final.
In Investigator #59 I made mention of personal experiences dependent upon the "uncanny intuitive skills" of certain, shall we say, talented individuals?
Mr. Edwards can challenge me as much as he likes for examples of these experiences, but I have no intention of taking the bait. In the past, common sense has dictated that I submit myself as sparingly as possible to his ill-informed criticism, and tedious ridicule. Anyway, nothing paranormal has been implied in my statement about those experiences. My experiences shall remain my own.
Intuition is a fairly well accepted cognitive function, used even by scientists and rationalists like Mr. Edwards no doubt, unless his own early experiences at selling horoscopes and lucky numbers, etc., and the associated guilt he admittedly felt doing this, has rendered his intuitive skills nonexistent, as is his apparent preference "to extend the courtesy of a title" (Investigator #61, p. 7). Mr. Edwards just can't help himself: "Just a lot of wind – Storm?" (Investigator #62). Mr. Edwards has nothing courteous about him.
If Mr. Edwards cannot raise to a respectable standard the level of his responses, I will not engage in any kind of debate with him. Does Mr. Edwards think the Investigator readers are amused by this type of punny (but unfunny) name-calling? I don’t think the readers care for this piffle. Perhaps Mr. Edwards should write for the tabloids and current affairs shows on TV and leave intelligent debate to serious contributors who are not out to make a mockery of anyone who dares to challenge their views. 'Nuff said?
WHERE ARE THOSE UNCANNY INTUITIVE SKILLS?
(Investigator 65, 1999 March)
I note in Investigator #64 that Mr Storm has abandoned literary convention and now prefixes my name with a courtesy title.
In his ad hominen attack he is critical of my writing style and opines that readers are unamused and do not care for my type of "piffle".
I am pleased to inform him that after nearly two decades of feedback his view is representative of an extremely small minority. Furthermore I have not noticed any objections other than his appearing in Investigator.
I see Mr Storm's refusal to take up my request for examples of "uncanny intuitive skills" as a lack of conviction. The purpose of the request was not to debate. It was to ascertain whether or not the skills referred to were genuinely extraordinary or one of those basic tools commonly employed by mediums and psychics as a matter of course.
Numerous debates about the paranormal and religion: