James Randi, a personal hero of mine, passed away on October 22. Randi was a Canadian born magician and Rhodes scholar who had a mission to debunk charlatans, especially those who claimed psychic powers. He offered a $1,000,000 prize to anyone who could prove, under test conditions, they they had proof of any paranormal abilities, or claims, like ghosts haunting their house. Many accepted the challenge, and no one ever collected the prize. He also formed the James Randi Educational Foundation, dedicated to teaching about and exposing fraud. Randi came out as a gay man in his 80's and married another, much younger man. Randi passed away at the age of 92.
I was about to press 'Like'. Then I thought 'That's not quite right'. He was debunking charlatans long before the internet made that so very necessary . His demolition of Uri Geller was a classic.
I have used this video of his demonstration about astrology many times:
My middle school students used that video as inspiration for their own science fair project.
I was very sad to hear about his death a few days ago. He was a cool guy, and I was a big fan! I always thought he was the closest person to an actual Dumbledore there was.
Edited by - Edthebanjo on 10/25/2020 08:01:53
Mr. Randi's contributions in promoting rational, evidence-based thought were hugely important in their time. Would that there were several thousand of him working right now.
I followed Randi's activities for decades and even modeled my own approach to scientific questions from James Randi.
Randi, Carl Sagan and a few other skeptical thinkers founded a Skeptics society and a publication that became the Skeptical Inquirer. It is a magazine with articles that are stimulating and enlightening.
Having a healthy level of skepticism can be fulfilling, but I also recognize that it can make me seem argumentative and self-righteous. Even so, I can't help challenge suspect and unsupported contentions. I research as many questionable statements and stories as I can.
One of my favorites was the astrology bit.
If you believe in Astrology, take two minutes.
Sorry to hear that ......... Such a neat guy. I loved him exposing fraudulent psychic schemes and debunking charlatans.
Loved that guy!
Several years ago we screened a documentary about James Randi at the Cleveland International Film Festival.
Title: An Honest Liar
Should be able to stream it somewhere. Looking forward to watching it again.
Trailer below...if I can figure out how to embed.
Edited by - Shake-Boy on 10/25/2020 17:55:47
'spotted a bald eagle today' 23 min
'My sad tale of woe' 1 hr
'JD Crowe lick' 2 hrs