James Randi

James RandiI have much love for this man. He passionately fights for education, skepticism and the truth.

I’ve known for a while that he has offers out there for those wishing to prove they have psychic abilities (I’m pretty sure he has a similar challenge for homeopathy), but I hadn’t taken the time to figure out how one might take up said challenge.

Well, I managed to stumble upon this TED Talk video today where Randi outlines his challenge and gives details on how to take the challenge, as well as just being generally amusing.

You can learn more about the $1 million challenge here:

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

In the mean time, enjoy his talk:

http://www.ted.com/talks/james_randi.html

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About Jamie D
I'm an entrepreneur and small business owner working in 3D animation and multimedia. I also have a keen interest in technology and education.

4 Responses to James Randi

  1. Smeagan says:

    So, couldn’t find the thing I was looking for but I found these instead, which are interesting:

    http://www.rense.com/general50/james.htm
    http://www.dailygrail.com/features/the-myth-of-james-randis-million-dollar-challenge

    They are both highly critical of the challenge and have very good points. If what they say about Randi’s behaviour re: the testing of psychics for the challenge and the things expected of them are true then certainly I have to say it’s obvious why not all psychics try out. Ah, my ignorance is clearly showing above but I’m not afraid to admit it.

    http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

    That’s the link to the challenge info in case you decide you want to discuss this further in a post, or just want to look in to it some more!

    To be fair, Daily Grail is a “fringe history/science” site and Rense.com claims to be “your first source for reality and honest journalism” but seems to actually just be about perpetuating whack-job conspiracy theories so both of them have good reasons not to like James Randi. But the Daily Grail one seems to have actually looked into what they are saying so I’m giving them a little respect.

    Aaaaanyway, thought you might find them interesting. I could look for more but no time! Enough slacking off! :S

  2. Smeagan says:

    Hahaha, I actually had a discussion with Chris about this. He thinks it’s a fake offer or Randi has denied psychics that have come forward their million. I tried to explain to him that a number of famous psychics have been personally invited by Randi to give the challenge a try and they have either rejected it with stupid statements about “can’t test the spirit realm” or some such garbage or tried and failed. Although mostly I think they’ve just rejected him totally. But Chris stuck by his guns.

    Although sometimes I don’t know if Chris really believes what he says or he’s just being argumentative because he knows I love a good debate…

    • archdragon87 says:

      Haha, wouldn’t put it past Chris to be arguing for the sake of arguing. It’s far too much fun!
      I’d be happy to look into the discussion a little further. From what I’ve heard some minor pyschics have come forward and been tested and none have passed the tests. I believe you’re right that no one with any ‘credibility’ (and I use that term losely) has come forward. I don’t think John Edwards and the likes have ever been interested in being tested.
      The offer is most certainly legitimate though. I’ve seen Randi himself say that $1million is a small price to pay if we were to truly discover psychic powers are real. Seriously, if he were to be the first to make these findings he’d be in line for a Nobel Prize.
      There’s this rather naive idea (I’m guessing born of watching too many B-grade sci-fi films) that scientists are in the business of discrediting the super natural. They’re not. Any scientist worth their salt would relish the opportunity to prove psychic powers, gods or otherwise supernatural things. They’d be one of the most famous people in history! It’s just pure dumb luck that the work they do continually discredits super natural entities. It’s an outcome of their work, not the goal.

      • Smeagan says:

        I totally agree with you. People honestly do seem to think that science is constantly out to “disprove” anything and everything. They don’t seem to understand that science is really more “in the business” of “proving” things – and not homoeopathy “proving”. *Sly wink* It’s just that whenever the majority of the supernatural things (beings, powers, etc) have been tested they have been disproved. Science did not set out to disprove the object of the study, it set out to put it under the microscope of scientific scrutiny and see if it holds up. It’s just that it never has. Like you say, an outcome, not a goal. I think it would be terribly exciting if psychic powers or the Lochness Monster were proven to be a true thing. It would mostly be of interest to me to discover how they managed to stay hidden for so long!

        I was certain the offer was legitimate because I’ve seen Randi say that to, I think I may have even seen him say he has a trust fund set up with the million in it or something of the like. He is definitely not joking, in any case. If I were a psychic (and I truly believed I was psychic, not if I was one of the psychics who know they’re faking and are doing it to rip people off) I would go and take the test just at the off chance I’d get a million bucks! But I think they must all have severe doubt in their own abilities if they all are missing this opportunity. If someone said to me “I don’t believe you can draw a dog, and if you can prove to me you can, I will give you $20” I would immediately draw a dog under their prescribed conditions. Psychics are being offered One Million Freaking Dollars. That is what I would refer to as “a metric fuckton” of money. If you seriously believe you have psychic ability, just give a go, for god’s sake? A million dollars! Come on! Not to mention the fame and fortune that would come with being the world’s first “proven” psychic. The fact that none of the famous psychics will try tells me that either a) they know they’re telling a lot of bullshit or b) they have serious doubts in their own abilities. Considering this is what they do for a living I think option “a” is the likeliest.

        I was about to type a paragraph about why one of the world’s most renowned psychics refused to take the test (it was hilarious) but now I’ve forgotten what it was. I’m going to try and find it now.

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