simonwheeler wrote:Or come up with a programme "treatment" showing that dowsing is authentic, and contact a number of production companies...including the one which did the Dawkins prog?
The programme was produced by IWC media
. It was produced and directed by Russell Baines (could be Barnes, hard to make out on my telly).
There's nothing on the website to indicate any kind of track record of programmes that attack the 'paranormal' unless you include Dawkin's "Root of All Evil" which was really an attack on religion. I don't think the web info is comprehensive though. They've been going since May 2004 and have offices in Glasgow and London.
I made some notes while I watched it through again. The time-codes are only approximate:
At 00:05:50 the title of the Astrology column is deliberately blurred out. Similarly at 00:06:05 a magazine cover is blurred out. Presumably for legal reasons.
At 00:10:47 Richard Dawkins (V.O.) says:
It [i.e. Astrology] was developed in the 2nd Century A.D. by the philosopher Claudius Ptolemy and has not moved on since, despite the discovery of new planets and despite a shift in the Earth's rotational axis that has thrown Ptolemy's Zodiac out by 23 degrees.
I think some historians, let alone astrologers, might have something to say about that!
As an example of the editor's "artifice" (as Jeremy Paxman
would put it), at 00:11:47, interviewing an astrologer, Dawkins says:
How could the rise of Saturn possibly be a signifier for something that's going on physiologically in a person's body?
At this point (approx 00:11:55) the sound-track, but not the visual, then CUTs to:
The position of the planets in ...
However, because it's an over-the-shoulder shot of Dawkins we don't see his lips move, so the CUT is disguised. The visual-track CUTs about a second or two after the audio, so you don't notice it. When you hear him say "The position of ..." he's probably not saying it at all.
I noticed a howling jump-cut when Dawkins interviews Derren Brown, who by the looks of things is about to describe spiritualist mediums in no uncertain terms. The TC is 00:20:22, when Derren Brown says:
...and become addicted to these...these...
at which point it CUTs to Derren Brown in an entirely different situation, facing an audience, and we never hear him finish his sentence!
Okay, on to the bit on water-divining.
Having done the bit about the bats, Dawkins' (V.O.) says (at 00:33:14):
... the so-called evidence for psychic phenomena is not robust but willo-the-wisp.
This is the sum total of Dawkins' dealing with the evidence.
After the tests, we hear from one or two dowsers who took part.
At 00:33:53 we hear from Jim Negus who says:
I think the question and I expect God to respond in the way that I understand.
Clearly this is divining
(c.f. my comments here
), and he did get one right.
At 00:37:21 Ken Church says:
I feel the whole test is wrong...
at while point it CUTs to another dowser, Karen Fuller, who at 00:37:25 says:
I'm shocked beyond words that this has happened...
at which point the visual CUTS AWAY to a man smoking a pipe.
Karen's speech continues (audio only):
...but I did say from the outset [added emphasis mine] could we just get some...
at which point (TC 00:37:32) the visual track CUTS BACK to Karen and her dialog continues:
...grey blocks and some scaffold boards so that I can walk above it which is what I would routinely do and I've done for forty years.
Clearly, just because they were seen complaining after the test did not mean that they weren't also complaining before hand.
At 00:37:48 we see Ken Church again. He says:
If you understand dowsing like I do you'll understand that everything leaves an image.
at which point he is CUT. I think he was just about to tell Richard Dawkins about how the remnance effect might intefere with the tests.