OtherGround Forums Skeptic James Randi's $1M challenge was BS

6/11/19 9:46 PM
3/11/19
Posts: 102
Disregarding whether "psi" is real or not, James Randi's $1M challenge was utter horseshit.

2 articles on how it was basically impossible to get through the application process to be tested, and that even before, during and after the test you could be disqualified at Randi's whim:

https://newsvoice.se/2010/05/james-randi-and-his-one-million-dollar-challenge-fraud/

https://www.dailygrail.com/2008/02/the-myth-of-the-million-dollar-challenge/

Virtually no one (perhaps 15? i am guessing but have only seen 10 names in print) made it to actual testing, out of over 1,000 applications received.

Astronomer Dennis Rawlins, part of the same skeptic organization as Randi, wrote a long essay on the deceptions and intrigues in which Randi was involved there, Randi's poor character, etc.:

http://llanoestacado.org/freeinquiry//skeptic/resources/articles/rawlins-starbaby.htm

Co-founder of the same skeptic organization, Marcello Truzzi, quickly left it, stating that they were deniers rather than skeptics and had their mind made up rather than being willing to go out and actually test things. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcello_Truzzi and https://www.unknowncountry.com/insight/csicop-founder-says-denial-not-skepticism)

Dennis Rawlins, in the essay mentioned above, stated as follows: "[Randi] assured me how cautious he was in the testing for his well-publicized $10,000 prize for proof of psychic abilities (for which he acts as policeman, judge and jury -- and thus never has supported my idea of neutral judgment of CSICOP tests. 'I always have an out,' he said."

Asked about this comment, Randi, in his usual fashion, claimed to be taken out of context, but his rebuttal about what he actually said sounds like a post-hoc confabulation: "Concerning the challenge, I always have an 'out': I'm right!"

Finally, in the next post, I will share Rupert Sheldrake's thoughts on Randi. Sheldrake's research on unexplained abilities in animals is well-conducted and credible. Randi's response to it was smoke, mirrors and lies.
6/11/19 9:47 PM
3/11/19
Posts: 103
Rupert Sheldrake:

"James Randi is a showman, conjurer, and a former Principal Investigator of CSICOP. For years he frequently appeared in the media as a debunker of the paranormal. He was named “Skeptic of the Century” in the January 2000 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer, and in 2003 received the Richard Dawkins Award from Atheist Alliance International. In 1996 he founded the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) and is most famous for offering a million-dollar paranormal challenge to anyone who can demonstrate evidence of a paranormal event under conditions to which he agrees. Randi has no scientific credentials and has disarmingly said of himself, “I’m a trickster, I’m a cheat, I’m a charlatan, that’s what I do for a living.”8 In January 2000 Dog World magazine published an article on the sixth sense of dogs, which discussed my research. The author contacted Randi to ask his opinion. Randi was quoted as saying that in relation to canine ESP, “We at the JREF have tested these claims. They fail.” Randi also claimed to have debunked one of my experiments with Jaytee, in which Jaytee went to the window to wait for his owner when she set off to come home at a randomly selected time but did not go to the window before his owner left to come home. In Dog World Randi stated, “Viewing the entire tape, we see that the dog responded to every car that drove by and to every person who walked by.”

“I e-mailed James Randi to ask for details of this JREF research. He did not reply. He ignored a second request for information. I then asked members of the JREF Scientific Advisory Board to help me find out more about this claim. They advised Randi to reply. In an e-mail on February 6, 2000, Randi told me that the tests with dogs he referred to were not done at the JREF but took place “years ago” and were “informal.” He said they involved two dogs belonging to a friend of his that he observed over a two-week period. All records had been lost. He wrote: “I overstated my case for doubting the reality of dog ESP based on the small amount of data I obtained.”

“I also asked him for details of the tape he claimed to have watched, so I could compare his observations of Jaytee’s behavior with my own. He was unable to give a single detail, and under pressure from the JREF Advisory Board he had to admit that he had never seen the tape. His claim was a lie. For many years the million-dollar prize has been Randi’s stock-in-trade as a media skeptic, but even other skeptics are skeptical about its value as anything but a publicity stunt… Ray Hyman, a professor of psychology and Fellow of CSICOP, pointed out this “prize” cannot be taken seriously from a scientific point of view: “Scientists don’t settle issues with a single test, so even if someone does win a big cash prize in a demonstration, this isn’t going to convince anyone. Proof in science happens through replication, not through single experiments.”10…

“In 2008 Alex Tsakiris, who runs a U.S.-based Open Source Science Project and a podcast called Skeptiko, started replicating experiments with dogs that knew when their owners were coming home, posting videos of tests on the Internet. Tsakiris asked Dr. Clive Wynne, an expert on dog behavior at the University of Florida, to participate in this research, and Wynne agreed. Randi challenged Tsakiris to apply for the million-dollar challenge; Tsakiris took him up on it and asked Randi by e-mail if Dr. Wynne’s involvement was acceptable to him. Randi eventually replied, “You appear to think that your needs are uppermost on my schedule. What would give you that impression? Looking into a silly dog claim is among my lowest priority projects. When I’m prepared to give you some time, I’ll let you know. There are some forty-plus persons ahead of you.”11 For me the most surprising feature of the Randi phenomenon is that so many journalists and fellow skeptics take him seriously. "”

6/11/19 9:47 PM
1/12/10
Posts: 12802

What?

6/11/19 9:48 PM
12/2/05
Posts: 81795
Fun, a new CP/troll angle. Haven't seen this exact one before. Who were you before?
6/11/19 9:49 PM
7/14/17
Posts: 10259

Jesus I'm not reading all that.

 

Please explain in 3 sentences or less. 

6/11/19 9:53 PM
11/20/12
Posts: 13560

Thanks.  I now believe in psychics. 

6/11/19 9:55 PM
12/10/09
Posts: 13684

Somehow I knew you’d invent a new SN this year and post boring garbage like this. 

6/11/19 9:58 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 31850

Randi didnt take the time to check on claims that dogs had esp.

Edited: 6/11/19 10:00 PM
4/27/15
Posts: 11658

 

6/11/19 10:01 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 26199
scrapdo - 

Somehow I knew you’d invent a new SN this year and post boring garbage like this. 


What's his original screenname?
Edited: 6/11/19 10:05 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 25827
<blockquote>BrowBeaten - <span id='userPost64342477' class='User-371554'><p>Jesus I'm not reading all that.</p><p> </p><p>Please explain in 3 sentences or less. </p></span></blockquote><br />

randi had no science credentials, and was a denier rarther than skeptic. <br /><br />

his org and tests were not scientific nor fair and he rejected most of the applicants. <br /><br />

he also was a liar and had other skeptics leave his org. <br /><br />

more people were hoodwinked into believing him than there were ogers scammed in a gofundme. <br /><br /><br />

sorry that's 4.
6/11/19 10:09 PM
7/31/09
Posts: 17823
billyball2 -
scrapdo - 

Somehow I knew you’d invent a new SN this year and post boring garbage like this. 


What's his original screenname?

OP wouldnt even know his original sn at this point.

6/11/19 10:10 PM
7/31/09
Posts: 17824
yusul - <blockquote>BrowBeaten - <span id='userPost64342477' class='User-371554'><p>Jesus I'm not reading all that.</p><p> </p><p>Please explain in 3 sentences or less. </p></span></blockquote><br />

randi had no science credentials, and was a denier rarther than skeptic. <br /><br />

his org and tests were not scientific nor fair and he rejected most of the applicants. <br /><br />

he also was a liar and had other skeptics leave his org. <br /><br />

more people were hoodwinked into believing him than there were ogers scammed in a gofundme. <br /><br /><br />

sorry that's 4.

Excellent 4 choices, Sir.

6/11/19 10:12 PM
8/31/18
Posts: 530

This article is unfair because the writer is the judge jury and executioner

 

He has a million dollar challenge and sets the parameters. Woooooow

6/11/19 10:21 PM
9/27/15
Posts: 9557
I was always curious about the Randi challenge..I never understood why reputable psychics that truly believed in their ability weren't signing up for the challenge..

Isn't it insanely easy to prove whether a psychic is a fraud or not?

For those that follow paranormal or other strange phenomenon, is there anything to it that really baffles you?
Edited: 6/11/19 11:45 PM
8/20/15
Posts: 6195

Randi proved many a men to be fakes.

Maybe he didn't look into dog ESP, but most of us have seen him prove it was BS some were spewing.

6/11/19 10:26 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 42945

Hi, Redneck!!

6/11/19 10:31 PM
2/22/09
Posts: 12557
ons ear - I was always curious about the Randi challenge..I never understood why reputable psychics that truly believed in their ability weren't signing up for the challenge..

Isn't it insanely easy to prove whether a psychic is a fraud or not?

For those that follow paranormal or other strange phenomenon, is there anything to it that really baffles you?

"reputable psychics"?
6/11/19 11:03 PM
12/2/05
Posts: 81798
yabadaba -
ons ear - I was always curious about the Randi challenge..I never understood why reputable psychics that truly believed in their ability weren't signing up for the challenge..

Isn't it insanely easy to prove whether a psychic is a fraud or not?

For those that follow paranormal or other strange phenomenon, is there anything to it that really baffles you?

"reputable psychics"?

Lol beat me to it. 

6/11/19 11:06 PM
4/20/02
Posts: 9220

Randi was right about a lot of things. But everytime I saw him on TV he came across as a major asshole.

Edited: 6/11/19 11:09 PM
6/26/06
Posts: 11298
If you're dumb enough to believe that you're standing upside down on a spinning ball of water hurtling through the universe, you'll believe literally anything.
6/11/19 11:29 PM
7/19/11
Posts: 6396
RenatoCocopreta - If you're dumb enough to believe that you're standing upside down on a spinning ball of water hurtling through the universe, you'll believe literally anything.

Damn. You sure are committed. I’ll give you that. 

6/11/19 11:30 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 101796

My last MA instructor used to go with Randi to dojos and bust chi power guys.  It was Florida 10 years ago

6/11/19 11:34 PM
11/21/05
Posts: 17690

James Randi is a fucking hero.  Continuing the path that Houdini set out.  Fuck you, OP, for sticking up for charlatans.  I mean...do what you want...but also fuck you. :)

6/11/19 11:38 PM
10/21/09
Posts: 12233

Can't believe he's even still alive, 90 now.