Skeptic Trumps – II

card 015 Christopher Hitchens.png (554 KB)

card 018 Penn & Teller.png (565 KB)

card 027 Jennifer Ouellette.png (575 KB)

card 028 James Randi.png (554 KB)

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    25 Responses to Skeptic Trumps – II

    1. ok penn and teller is a pretty cool guy but do we need to really hype up a c-rate ironic sci-fi writer and someone who dedicates their life to debunking uri geller?

      Debunking uri geller is like debunking xena warrior princes no one ever thought it was real just interesting in a weird way

      letterman has pretty much floated geller’s career since i was born but it’s mostly because letterman knows it’s funny to make geller look like a crazy asshole. letterman should be writing the fucking book

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      • James Randi is fucking awesome, he fights ‘woo’ and has offered up a full million dollars to anyone that can demonstrate psychic or otherwordly abilities and prove themselves: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi_Foundation

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        • Sorry, tiki, but the million dollar challenge is bullshit. Penn & Teller could do a show on it, that’s how bullshit it is. The qualifications needed to even apply for it are bullshit, the money you need to pay out of pocket to apply is bullshit, and the restrictions and conditions he puts on it are bullshit.

          Aside from that, the JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) Forums are bullshit, too. Nothing but a place for pseudo-intellectuals and wanna-be scientists to pretend they know more than anyone else. All anyone does there is wait for someone to show up with a question about something unusual and then they all stand around and verbally stone them while patting each other on the back.

          My favorite is when they accuse someone of using anecdote as evidence, and then in the next thread use an anecdote to tell someone how wrong they are.

          Professional skeptics are dangerously proud & closed minded at times.

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          • I second this statement. James Randi is about as reliable a source on Paranormal and psychic phenomena as Kent Ham is on Evolution and Geology.

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          • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi_Foundation#History_of_the_challenge

            “To claim, one must agree to a protocol for testing, must show in a preliminary test before a foundation representative that they are likely to succeed, and finally make a demonstration in a formal test in front of independent witnesses.[9] To date, over 1,000 applications have been filed but no one has passed a preliminary test, which is set up and agreed upon by both Randi and the applicant.”

            that kind of bullshit? or maybe you were referring to the ADE651 bomb detection unit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADE651 that he railed against: www.internet-d.com/?p=6624 or perhaps you’re referring to him refusing to even consider testing breatharianism, in which people claim they can survive with no food or water, but just air

            that money is just sitting in an account, waiting for someone to prove that they can do what they claim to do: web.archive.org/web/20031212044149/http://www.skepticreport.com/images/investmentaccount.gif

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            • A million bucks that could feed and provide medical care to poor children (among many, many other good causes) is rotting away in an account waiting for someone to do something nigh-impossible… We get it, there’s no such thing as real ESP, now buy a dumpster baby a sandwich or something.

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            • You go buy a dumpster baby a sandwich. See how easy that was?

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            • No, tiki. I wasn’t talking about any of that. The work he’s done regarding the bomb detection unit is admirable, and there are obviously some folks who he shouldn’t test due to safety issues. I’m also not discounting all the good things he’s done.

              What I’m talking about is this:

              “THIS OFFER IS NOT OPEN TO ANY AND ALL PERSONS. Before being considered as an applicant, the person applying must satisfy two conditions: First, he/she must have a “media presence,” which means having been published, written about, or known to the media in regard to his/her claimed abilities or powers. This can be established by producing articles, videos, books, or other published material that specifically addresses the person’s abilities. Second, he/she must produce at least one signed document from an academic who has witnessed the powers or abilities of the person, and will validate that these powers or abilities have been verified.”

              This basically means that the only people he will be testing are obvious charlatans. People who seek the spotlight for fame & fortune. If there was someone on this earth who could demonstrate an unexplainable ability, who is to say that it’s someone who would want to be recognized by the media?

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            • The reason for that rule is that psychologically unhinged people were trying to take the challenge and the challenge was getting bogged down with people in need of professional help. If you can get your story in a paper, and an academic vouches that you can do something that they can’t explain, you have been through a de facto screening process.

              As for your claim that the real magic people are being secretive is an argument from ignorance. I don’t know that everybody in the world doesn’t have special powers, so you have to be right. What I can be certain of is that everybody who has been tested is a fake, and I can make the prediction that everybody tested in the future will likely be a fake as well.

              Even better is that every person who takes the challenge agrees to all of the rules and requirements as being a fair test of their abilities. They believe that their skills work in a statistically significant manner.

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            • I’d guess that anyone who wanted the million dollar prize is not interested in secrecy. They want to be legitimated. The gypsies that claim special psychic powers and some kind of magic may be secretive in the extreme, so they’re not going to allow their powers to be tested. Belief is important.
              As fracked stated, it works as a screening process.

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    2. I have to say right now that all the ‘parallel universe’ bullshit is just as ridiculous all the ‘there is a big man in the sky’ bullshit. Forget the fucking junk science, please.

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    3. Penn and Teller is hypocrites of the highest caliber.
      The very fact that they’re celebrities is because of an illustrious career as…

      wait for it…

      MAGICIANS.

      Without that they’d just be 2 loud, redneck assholes instead of 2 famous, loud, skeptic redneck assholes.

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    4. “If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.) But every now and then, a new idea turns out to be on the mark, valid and wonderful. If you are too much in the habit of being skeptical about everything, you are going to miss or resent it, and either way you will be standing in the way of understanding and progress. ” – Carl Sagan

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    5. I think Hitchens may be the coolest person on the planet. I’d love to be a drinking buddy of his.

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    6. James Randi had the balls to stand up and debunk scammers and bullshit artists who pass illusion off as magic long before anyone else except Houdini.

      Whatever you think of his methods, he’s one awesome guy. Anyone who stands up for truth over bullshit is awesome.

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