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 On Fri, 28 Jun 1996, Ed Faith wrote:
 > paschal wrote:
 > > There are lots of ways that we could investigate this sort of thing - but
 > > we DON'T.  Why not?
 > Well, I think you're skating on thin ice with this business about dowsing.
 > If this is the prime example of a phenomenon science causes us to neglect,
 > then in most eyes (I venture) you've just bolstered the case that
 > science is a wonderful thing.  In any event, I wouldn't blame this neglect
 > of dowsing on science per se at all, because the suppression of superstition
 > goes way, way back.  And scientists are known for going out on a limb.
 > Two words: cold fusion.
 Um, I think you've just proved my point.
 The tendency to believe that we know, at any given moment, whatever there 
 is to know - and to reject out-of-hand as "superstition" whatever 
 doesn't fit our current knowledge of the principles governing physical 
 reality - *is* the "tunnel-vision" I'm referring to.
 I chose dowsing because it is a widespread and traditional technique that 
 appears to exhibit a versatile principle which also shows up in a lot of 
 other, less definable, "paranormal" phenomena; 
 in some of its forms it lends 
 itself more easily to study and experimentation.  (Dr. Rhine, at Duke 
 University, back in the 'sixties, did a lot of work studying related 
 things; but I'm not aware of anyone studying them under similar auspices 
 since then.)
 At any rate - (and I realize it's getting far afield) - I'm suggesting that 
 the scientific establishment exercises its own kind of tyranny.  
 (And again, I'm not saying that this is an argument for the pm-camp; it's 
 just a fact that I perceive, whenever we're talking about 'intellectual 
 I have a friend who is a microbiologist.  After twenty years in the 
 field, he is so convinced that most immunization is dangerous and in 
 serious error, he and his wife home-school their children to avoid 
 having them immunized.  He isn't alone in feeling this way - but he and 
 those colleagues who share the view, are definitely a minority at 
 this point.
 While this may be more an example of a kind of "politicization" of science, 
 the use of science to "authorize" mass-immunization could be seen as another 
 kind of "tyranny" of the scientific establishment.  
 We've done all kinds of things, on the word of "science", that have 
 turned out to be disastrous in the end.  Science is not the infallible 
 method of 'getting-at' reality that many people seem to think; and I 
 suspect that both the method, and the scientific world-view, will evolve 
 to look very different in the few centuries ahead (if we survive 
 current *science*, and its errors, to live that long!) 
 ObBook:  Declaration of a Heretic, by Jeremy Rifkin