Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Lay-lines:- anything measurable at them?

  1. Sep 24, 2005 #1
    Lay-lines although not visible seem to be findable by some people, & points seem to line up on these lines. Churches are often built upon them. But has anyone ever measured any electrical, magnetic, or gravitational signals on these lines, or are they a complete scientific mystery.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2005 #2

    SGT

    User Avatar

    Ley-lines are not a scientific mystery. They are New Age BS, so there is nothing to be measured.
     
  4. Sep 26, 2005 #3
    They are certainly not new, most middle-aged churches in England are arranged on straight 'ley-lines'. You may think they are BS but with an attitude like yours its a good job you are not a scientist, as you need an open mind for this job. I am sceptical about them, however, without measuring EMF & Gravity etc on known ley-lines you cannot say one way or the other. There may be good scientific reasons behind a diviner moving on such points
     
  5. Sep 26, 2005 #4

    SGT

    User Avatar

    Churches were not built along ley-lines. They were built haphazardly along the centuries and in the 20th century some woo-woo noticed that lines could be drawn connecting some of the places.
    No measurements were made on gravity and EMF because there is no reason to do so.
     
  6. Sep 26, 2005 #5
    Wikipedia According to data obtained by investigators of ley line theories, some ley lines points possess higher magnetic energy than the average geomagnetic intensity. This has been investigated and published about in sources such as "Places of power" (Paul Devereux; Blandford Press, 1990) and "Lodestone Compass: Chinese or Olmec Primacy?" (John B. Carlson; Science, 1975) among other sources.
     
  7. Sep 26, 2005 #6

    matthyaouw

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I'm unconvinced. Geomagnetic intensity varies with the underlying geology, which could be the cause.
    A quick google search hasn't brought up any specifics about the research, so I can't comment in any detail.
     
  8. Sep 26, 2005 #7
    I'm unconvinced too, I was just showing that some one had actually done some research.
    In the middle of U of Michigan is a green lawn. Over the years well defined paths were made, so they put sidewalks where the paths were made. These Uni-ley lines are simply just the easiest way to get to get from one building to another. Which is why I suspect other things also line up, its just the shortest most direct way.
     
  9. Sep 27, 2005 #8
    ley-lines in England are quite consistent and well known. Unfortunately most churches were built on these lines long before America was discovered, so I doubt your perspective is as interesting, as ley-lines in michigan are more likely to be random things invented by American UFO nutters, at least theres some consistency over herem worth at least looking at
     
  10. Sep 27, 2005 #9
    Roads dont & never have run along these lines either & in a lot of cases(such as over hills, which is quite common) they would be the worst way to travel. but a good point. I thought that maybe as dousing rods were supposed to move, there may be heavier rock undergrounds affecting gravity slightly or EMF, however some people use wooden dousing rods rather than metal. Uri Geler used to be paid a lot of money by oil companies to fly over countries and douse for oil
     
  11. Sep 27, 2005 #10
    just saying they are BS without any explanation or noticeable intelligence is not very helpful
    why is there no reason to measure EMF of gravity upon them? Lets just say they are BS then & dismiss them & not measure anything, thank god the rest of sciencific discovery isnt based upon those methodologies
     
  12. Sep 27, 2005 #11
    I guss its up to you to show us some facts to prove your point. Most of us are willing to listen, you have just given us nothing to listen to.
     
  13. Sep 27, 2005 #12

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There is no difference between blind acceptance and blind dismissal. They are two sides of the same coin.
     
  14. Oct 26, 2005 #13
    Back to topic

    We are straying from the topic.
    The question as posted by jim_990:
    This had one valid answer, by hypatia:
    In the mean time, SGT proves to be a master of the insignificant, by posting:
    A nice opinion without any backing, thank you SGT.
    Whereafter matthyaouw posed an interesting, yet off topic question with:
    Where does this lead us? Ley-lines are an esoteric heritage, which usually implies that even if there once was scientific backing to it, it has probably been lost in the hubble of mumo-jumbo that the new-age movement likes so much. This does not mean there is no such scientific backing. It merely means that if the phenomenon exists, we need to do some research to find out more.
    If anyone here is truly interested, read the sources provided by Hypatia and put them through thorough scientific scrutiny. Falsify what is not true, and leave the rest to public scrutiny.
    After this, those that wish to stick to superstision (either by believing or disbelieving), can do so in a more secure framework. Yet those that wish to know more, will have a better base to do it from.
    Lastly, in response to matthyaow. Yes, it is quite possible the underlying geology is the cause of any such measurements. Yet please refrain from using "A phenomenon has a mundane cause" as an explanation for "I am unconvinced". It is not only invalid, it is misguiding. If you wish to be unconvinced, be unconvinced because all the scientific data have not convinced you. This keeps the conversation more pleasant and more managable.
    The original poster made his inquiry from the assumption ley-lines exist and had a noticable influence in one way or the other. Either disprove the assumption that they exist, disprove the notion that they have a noticable influence, or accept his assumptions and think along in how to gather more information on the subject.
     
  15. Oct 26, 2005 #14

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Some reading on the subject.

    http://www.ghostvillage.com/legends/2003/legends33_12132003.shtml

    The term and concept of "leys" was first put forth in June of 1921 by Alfred Watkins (1855-1935), a well-known Herefordshire businessman, photographer, and amateur archeologist. While examining some maps, Watkins noticed that some ancient sites -- stone circles, standing stones, and prehistoric mounds -- fell into an alignment. Watkins originally thought these alignments were old traders' routes and he named them "leys," an old Anglo-Saxon word for meadows or cleared strips of land. In 1925, Watkins published a book on the subject entitled, The Old Straight Track.

    http://www.geocities.com/leylinequest/leylines_new_straight_track.htm

    The third, and last, Leyline Publications offering to the public was Glasgow's Secret Geometry (ISBN 0-9506219-1-9); first published in 1984, and the only one of the three books still in print. Without the UFOs and New Age sensationalism nobody noticed it except the dowsing societies. Many of their members had read books on energy lines and wondered if PSAs were the same thing, so a summer outing was arranged to introduce them to the subject. We met at the Eglinton Arms in Eaglesham, 'tuned up' at the Moot Hill on the village green, then set off along the Humbie Road alignment.
     
  16. Oct 26, 2005 #15

    SGT

    User Avatar

    Welcome to the forum Yerdiss! You are free to disagree with my opinions, but you must refrain from posting personal offenses.
    From Wikipedia
    Dowsing has been shown to perform no better than chance in controlled experiments. To accept dowsers claims as evidence is unacceptable in a scientific forum.
    The OP made no assumptions. He posted a question.
    What do you mean by disproving the existence of ley-lines? The existence of alignments between some points is evident and I accept it. If you want to baptize those alignments as ley-lines, I accept the name. It is as good as any other.
    About disproving that those lines have any influence, it is equivalent of asking you to disprove that there is an invisible gnome floating above your shoulder while you read this post. It is impossible to prove an universal negative.
    If someone claims that there is such influence, the burden of the proof is on the claimant. Give some evidence and I will be glad to analize it. If the evidence is convincing I will accept the claim.
     
  17. Oct 26, 2005 #16
    Ley-lines

    Thank you for the welcome. I offer you my apology for stating things rather harshly. My point does remain, however, that it is better not to state anything, than to discredit a notion that (while perhaps improbable) is not impossible, without any arguments.
    I wonder, have you read the sources Hypatia referred to? If so, I would love to read your review of them, to back up your statements. In her reference, she noted no such thing as dowsing. A brief check through the web on these works is inconclusive in this regard. It seems that, in order to reject these, one would have to read them.
    Rhetorics. Now add some logic to explain what I meant: A and B and C seem to be the case. Can someone give me D so that D => A and B and C ? This assumes things. The proper answer is either: "D", hence true, or "not A", "Not B", or "Not C", hence false.
    It is making creditable that, due to the nature of the electromagnetic fields and gravity fields, ley-lines cannot exist as they are described. This statement was added in reference to your first comment:
    In which I read that you do not believe ley-lines exist. Even when you accept the definition, it is still possible to show that the definition is not compatible with the model of natural science that you accept as true.
    I partially agree, yet with such an attitude, we will not accomplish much in this matter. The initial question leads me to believe the original poster wishes to learn more. So, either give him cause to doubt his assumption that there could be an influence people can notice, or give him a notion on why this may be. Ideally, this is something that can be scientifically backed up. Non-ideally, it leads to a choice which of the options to believe.
    To illustrate, an example. In early Mesopotamia, it was generally accepted the earth was flat. When it was argued by Pythagoras, amongst others, that the earth was round, that in itself was not proof but rather a matter of debate. However, Aristotle's proof was in itself a counterproof of the flat earth, for the simple reason that round => not flat. Only by having this counterproof could the debate be ended, for else it would remain a matter of debate and belief.
    In this matter of ley-lines, there are three teachings. Until one of them comes with a conclusive prove that the others are wrong, there will not be an end to the discussion.
    For more information, try this:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/encyclopedia/ley_line
    It should provide sufficient to ponder over whilst determining which side to choose.
     
  18. Oct 26, 2005 #17

    SGT

    User Avatar

    Apologies accepted. The argument I have is that there is no evidence for any anomaly along ley lines, eccept those found by dowsers.
    Wich sources? The only reference I found in Hypatia's post is Wikipedia. I read the reference.
    If he makes a claim it is up to him to present evidences that support it, not to me to present contrary evidence.
    It is true! I believe that there are alignments. I don't believe that those alignments have some significance. If ley line is the name of the alignment with wierd properties associated, then I don't believe ley lines exist until some evidence is presented to change my opinion.
    The initial question may give this idea, but the subsequent post showed that he wants people to provide evidence to his preconceived ideas. The way he phrased that post made me to decide not to answer him anymore.
    This is the wrong way to see it. Two of the approachs: the anthropological and the New Age, make claims. It is up to them to provide evidence for those claims. If those evidences are convincing the true skeptics will accept them. If not, they will present arguments against those evidences.
    In the article of Wikipedia cited by Hypatia, skeptics have shown that if you have a great number of points scattered randomly, you will find several straight lines joining 4 or more of them. This does not prove that the other two approaches are wrong. It only shows that there is a more prosaic explanation for the alignments. In the absence of strong evidence supporting the other approaches, I apply Ocam's razor to the problem: "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate" .
    This article is basically the same as the one in Wikipedia
     
  19. Oct 26, 2005 #18

    matthyaouw

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I don't undersand your objection here. The reason I am unconvinced is because I have seen no data at all regarding magnetism and ley lines. I can't pass judgement one way or the other on data I havn't seen. Do you find this unreasonable?
     
  20. Oct 26, 2005 #19

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I guess the big question is simply, "What is a ley line?" and then follow that up with, "Why would you want to measure 'electrical, magnetic or gravitational signals' along these lines?"

    If they are nothing more than an observation that people built churches along lines, why not look to the far simpler explanation first, that churches were often at the town center, and thus the lines formed connecting them are probably the roads from town center to town center. Is there any reason to expect the alignment was intentional, or that dowsing or some other measurement of such signals was used to determine the placement of those structures? Otherwise, there needs to be some argument presented as to why we would be interested in measurements along those lines rather than along any other line, like interstate highways.

    Finding some increase in signals at some points along the line doesn't mean anything unless you've gone out and measured at the same intervals along some other non-notable line and don't also find variables, or if you can stray off the line in the same area and not note the same changes since geology does vary.
     
  21. Nov 3, 2005 #20
    in response to the idea of geological influences

    is it not so that there must have been a force present and living, which accounts for the present structure of geologic formations?.... considering that metals are magnetic and thereby affected by magnetic fields. there are forces that attract magnetic substances of opposite polarity... is it not so that much of the geologic formation is the result of some "ley-line-ish" force?... or perhaps the ley line is some subordinate manifestation of the electro-magnetic force or that of something more subtle still? without the essential subtle (as in not gross or particulate) force(s) there would be no shape to material "reality"... (lower-case 'r'). matter is inert, without the affectation by some animating force, isn't that so? we can have knowledge of the body by virtue of the mind being more subtle, in the same way that the electron microscope gives us the smallest picture of matter (because it is the most "materially subtle" material that can be used to creat contrast, thereby giving us a picture of that which is just slightly larger than it.) to crassly, and defensively (which is emotionally-charged) call alternative explanations "new-age BS" is not only harmful, but exceedingly ignorant!! there seems to be a huge dependance on that which is visible or made visible, in exclusion of all the other possible sense interpretations. "seeing" is not done merely with eyeballs. there is comtemplation which must be inherent in scientific inquiry, if there is to be any possibility of "seeing" that which is outside of the present "box" of scientific knowledge. "imagination is better than knowledge" is (i believe) what the great scientific mind proclaimed about one century ago. there is more happening now than you can even imagine, let alone know!! so please do not become so self-absorbed as to become self-defensive in the face of ideas that might not agree with those that are in your mind. as a scientist, you will fair much better by heeding this advice. thank you.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Lay-lines:- anything measurable at them?
  1. Laying A Fire (Replies: 84)

Loading...