Tuesday, January 08, 2008

End of skeptic James Randi's million dollar challenge

Randi's "challenge" never had teeth because he reserved the privilege of choosing which claims to investigate. He dismissed many potential paranormal phenomena out of hand; while certainly convenient, this hardly reflected Randi's proclaimed objectivity.

(There's more here, but unfortunately the article I cite has since been taken offline.)


Greg Bishop said...

...and he reserved the choice of the methods by which he would "test" the claims. I think I know why no reasonably reputable person took the challenge: They didn't want to waste their time arguing with Randi ad infinitum.

The article on Randi's website is still there:


For a good portrait of Randi and the early days of CSICOP see Dennis Rawlins' 1981 article on the "mars effect" boondoggle at


Mac said...

James ("The Amusing") Randi ...

W.M. Bear said...

Wasn't his basic shtick that he could duplicate any paranormal "feat" using stage magic? I didn't believe in key bending until it happened to me (spontaneously -- in fact on my way to a lecture on psi!) but I happen to know that most of what Uri Geller did, for example (including especially key bending), can be fairly easily duplicated by stage magic. The fact that it can, of course, "proves" absolutely nothing, least of all that that's how psychics actually "work."

Mac said...

Geller's an interesting (and complicated) case. He indeed "cheated" by using sleight-of-hand, but he also achieved intriguing results in laboratory settings.

Anonymous said...


cfi nostradamus usa

to see how we stopped Randi's Million Dollar Challenge