The Sciences

Are We Alone: bomb-sniffing magic wands version

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitApr 9, 2010 11:41 AM

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The podcast "Are We Alone" is a great weekly 'cast from the SETI Institute, and this week's episode has Seth Shostak and me discussing the nonsense about Iraq using bomb-detecting dowsing rods (here's a direct download of the MP3). These magic wands do not work, and their use has allowed cars loaded with bombs through checkpoints in the Middle East. This is a direct example of how magical, antiscientific thinking can do real harm, resulting in dangerous situations and even deaths... hundreds of them.

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