James Randi is an idiot!!

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posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:24 PM
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If it is a real phenomena and skill then the result would be demonstrable one hundred percent of the time. Not 90, not 80, not 50.


Tom Brady supposedly has a real skill, had a team with a perfect record and still couldn't get it up for the Super Bowl. No skill in humans is demonstrable one hundred percent of the time.

Before you get me wrong, I think most of the people who think they are psychic are just observant, and/or full of shizz, but I don't like the reasoning that the skill would be demonstrable one hundred percent of the time. You are then applying a measure that is not true in other areas. Quarterbacks throw interceptions. Olympic gymnasts fall after a dismount.




posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:29 PM
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Theres a difference in being skepical and being 100% biased on your own opinions. Look at the fourms on the randi website. They dont even have an open mind. They believe there own opinions untill proven 100% real. not 99%, 100%. Some do, majority dont. I agree that psychics really dont exist. I believe that the only psychics alive are shamans or prob monks using qigong. But the whole thing is that most skeptics and i say "most" not all, do not have an open mind. They really dont.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by A Fortiori


If it is a real phenomena and skill then the result would be demonstrable one hundred percent of the time. Not 90, not 80, not 50.


Tom Brady supposedly has a real skill, had a team with a perfect record and still couldn't get it up for the Super Bowl. No skill in humans is demonstrable one hundred percent of the time.

Before you get me wrong, I think most of the people who think they are psychic are just observant, and/or full of shizz, but I don't like the reasoning that the skill would be demonstrable one hundred percent of the time. You are then applying a measure that is not true in other areas. Quarterbacks throw interceptions. Olympic gymnasts fall after a dismount.


The bulk of your argument just show how much you do NOT understand how Randi and the JREF sets up the tests. Perhaps you should do some research before commenting? In all cases the JREF and the person being tested come in full agreement of the terms. If the person being tested does not feel they are capable of performing then the test can be put off on most occasions. However, as in most cases they say they are fine to continue and then come up with excuses such as the one you present after failure.

The purpose is not to discredit the person, rather prove the paranormal ability they claim. The JREF tests are based on the scientific method and therefore should be repeatable. There is no expectation that humans are able to perform at the maximum of their ability but you even with the examples you provided, those athletes would still show the potential of their ability even in failure.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:45 PM
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Seems to me like if something was repeatable 100% OF THE TIME, no one would label it paranormal or supernatural anyway.
To me, by it's very nature, it is elusive and rare, but it happens in my universe.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:45 PM
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Originally posted by Maddogkull
Theres a difference in being skepical and being 100% biased on your own opinions. Look at the fourms on the randi website. They dont even have an open mind. They believe there own opinions untill proven 100% real. not 99%, 100%. Some do, majority dont. I agree that psychics really dont exist. I believe that the only psychics alive are shamans or prob monks using qigong. But the whole thing is that most skeptics and i say "most" not all, do not have an open mind. They really dont.


You fail to understand that it is up to those that make claims, such as the claim of paranormal powers, to prove themselves beyond a question of a doubt. It is not up to the skeptics to disprove them. I've looked at the JREF forum and there are many that question. Most of the members there are members because they are interested in the paranormal. Frauds do more to hurt the search for true paranormal activity than help. To be skeptical is to question. If that hurts your belief so much, then perhaps you need to re-examine your belief.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:47 PM
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even though i agree with you, most of the time the only reason they agree is becasue he calls them out, and they have no other option to agree or they loose there credibility.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by 1llum1n471
 


I'm sorry, wasn't I responding to the statement that psychic ability should be 100%, not 80, 60, or 40% but 100% of the time a verifiable skill? I think I was. Yes, in fact, I was saying just that. I don't think any skill is 100%.

How did that relate to your response about the challenge?



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by hadriana
Seems to me like if something was repeatable 100% OF THE TIME, no one would label it paranormal or supernatural anyway.
To me, by it's very nature, it is elusive and rare, but it happens in my universe.


Many things that were once considered paranormal have in fact become part of the normal thanks to science providing rational explanations for them. To say that the paranormal is rare and elusive and therefore incapable of being measured by science is giving into the mysticism surrounding it. Excuses such as "it is elusive and rare" are only used when the paranormalists experience failure. Perhaps the elusive power was afraid of the camera or the watchful stare of a skeptic like Randi. There is always a reason for failure yet rejoice when their powers work.

Do you think this power would not have manifested itself at least once even among the hundreds that Randi and the JREF have tested (or screened) alone?



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 07:02 PM
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You fail to understand that it is up to those that make claims, such as the claim of paranormal powers, to prove themselves beyond a question of a doubt.


Why are they "special"? Again, I believe that "Indigo Children" are wishful thinking. I think 90% of all people claiming to be psychic are good listeners and very observant, etc., but I think there are strange and sporadically observable events of what some would consider "psychic" powers. When animals do it (go to the hills before a tsunami) it is just a weird thing animals do, when people do it we assume they're lying.


To be skeptical is to question.


Appropriately question, yes, absolutely.


If that hurts your belief so much, then perhaps you need to re-examine your belief.


I don't mind educated skeptics, or even uneducated, questioning, friendly skeptics. My problem is with people like James Randi who use snark like its a superpower, and honestly have no idea what they are talking about half the time, just standing on the shoulders of real scientific giants and using their credentials.

You can be skeptical and gentle.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 07:42 PM
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Originally posted by A Fortiori
Why are they "special"? Again, I believe that "Indigo Children" are wishful thinking. I think 90% of all people claiming to be psychic are good listeners and very observant, etc., but I think there are strange and sporadically observable events of what some would consider "psychic" powers. When animals do it (go to the hills before a tsunami) it is just a weird thing animals do, when people do it we assume they're lying.


They are not special but they do claim special/extraordinary powers. If they do have such powers it is best to have them tested not only to prove that they are not deceiving others but to further science.




I don't mind educated skeptics, or even uneducated, questioning, friendly skeptics. My problem is with people like James Randi who use snark like its a superpower, and honestly have no idea what they are talking about half the time, just standing on the shoulders of real scientific giants and using their credentials.

You can be skeptical and gentle.


Yes, I agree to a point. There are skeptics and pseudo-skeptics. Randi is Randi. He has a style about him and after looking at his story it is a bit more understandable why he has become a bit more sarcastic. After devoting so many years to try to prove the paranormal only to run into one fraud after another you can see that one could become a bit cynical about the entire thing. However, Randi still has kept an open mind, very important don't you think? I would also object to the claim that Randi is standing on the shoulders of real scientific giants. Randi was a conjurer and that is where he learned or developed many techniques thereby giving him intimate knowledge of what some of these hucksters try to pull. There is a longstanding tradition of magicians exposing frauds. Remember Houdini?



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 07:50 PM
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Randi lost all crediblity with me when he said Suzanne Somers would die if she went to Europe for treatment when she had cancer. Actually, he lost all credibility with me ,because he is rude. I don't believe he will ever part with his own money. I am not surprised he is telling people studying UFO phenomena or lights to stop. I bet by lights he also means ball lightning.


[edit on 13-10-2009 by eradown]



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by eradown
Randi lost all crediblity with me when he said Suzanne Summers would die if she went to Europe for treatment when she had cancer. Actually, he lost all credibility with me ,because he is rude. I don't believe he will ever part with his own money. I am not surprised he is telling people studying UFO phenomena or lights to stop. I bet by lights he also means ball lightning.



[edit on 13-10-2009 by eradown]


So someone lost all credibility with you, an anonymous internet persona, because he made a joke and. in your eyes, is rude? I'm sure he will be so sad to hear the news. I think you are misconstruing what Randi said about UFO phenomenon. You should be demanding that these so called UFO researchers use better scientific processes and produce evidence to back up their hypotheses and claims. Why get mad at someone that is pointing out the obvious flaws in these so called researchers? They do to help the cause but I guess every religion needs it's priests.

[edit on 13-10-2009 by 1llum1n471]



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:13 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471

Originally posted by A Fortiori
Why are they "special"? Again, I believe that "Indigo Children" are wishful thinking. I think 90% of all people claiming to be psychic are good listeners and very observant, etc., but I think there are strange and sporadically observable events of what some would consider "psychic" powers. When animals do it (go to the hills before a tsunami) it is just a weird thing animals do, when people do it we assume they're lying.


They are not special but they do claim special/extraordinary powers. If they do have such powers it is best to have them tested not only to prove that they are not deceiving others but to further science.


I hope that I can put my thoughts into words correctly on this one, so bear with me but a moment...

Animals and some of what we would consider a "primitive" tribe of humans literally sensed the tsunami before it occurred and went for higher ground. This is not "paranormal", but it is prescient. Animal signs are among "evidence" of natural disasters, but because it is not 100% accurate you aren't going to run for your life if you see a lack of animals running about.

There are extraordinary things in this world that are not always repeatable in a way that would fit the "test", and yet they exist and have been observed for countless years.




I don't mind educated skeptics, or even uneducated, questioning, friendly skeptics. My problem is with people like James Randi who use snark like its a superpower, and honestly have no idea what they are talking about half the time, just standing on the shoulders of real scientific giants and using their credentials.

You can be skeptical and gentle.


Yes, I agree to a point. There are skeptics and pseudo-skeptics. Randi is Randi. He has a style about him and after looking at his story it is a bit more understandable why he has become a bit more sarcastic. After devoting so many years to try to prove the paranormal only to run into one fraud after another you can see that one could become a bit cynical about the entire thing. However, Randi still has kept an open mind, very important don't you think?

I do not feel he has an open mind, no. I think this is where you would have to prove it to me by extraordinary measures. You are not dismissive. He is dismissive. In these short posts I can measure what a difference your respective characters.


I would also object to the claim that Randi is standing on the shoulders of real scientific giants. Randi was a conjurer and that is where he learned or developed many techniques thereby giving him intimate knowledge of what some of these hucksters try to pull.
If they are indeed, hucksters.

I witnessed a three year old girl tell my best friend something about her mother who had passed on. She knew not my friend, or the girl's mother prior to this "encounter". Yet, she knew the person's name, knew where an item was located in her house (that we verified after the fact), and a few other things she absolutely could not have known. My friend was keen to know more but it was a one shot deal and even the girl could not remember having said it.

Was the child a "huckster"? No. She couldn't have known any of it, least of all this very uncommon first name or where the lost item was when even we did not know it.

Could we get her to repeat it? No. My friend was desperate for more information, having lost this person who meant so much to her but the child went back to acting like a regular three year old.

I witnessed this firsthand. Now, I don't expect you to believe it. You were not there. I just know what I saw and it was one of the few times I couldn't call a "read".

I have this other friend who thinks she's psychic, but she's just very good with reading people. She's not a huckster, either, but for a different reason. She believes she's psychic. She's not trying to hurt anyone.


There is a longstanding tradition of magicians exposing frauds. Remember Houdini?


If they are, indeed, frauds. There have been several people who have claimed that they were treated unfairly by Randi. As I know none of these people personally, I can't say for sure if this is the case. I just know that there are two sides to each story and having seen Randi talk about "double blind studies" when he first started asking for them I knew he had not one clue about what that actually was. He has since been educated, that is obvious, but some of the items he suggested for double blind was unnecessary because it would not have been called for in another study.

However, I can see you are passionate about Randi, and enjoy reading his work and I think that is fabu (not being facetious). You seem very square and I wish you the best.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:15 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471

Originally posted by eradown
Randi lost all crediblity with me when he said Suzanne Summers would die if she went to Europe for treatment when she had cancer. Actually, he lost all credibility with me ,because he is rude. I don't believe he will ever part with his own money. I am not surprised he is telling people studying UFO phenomena or lights to stop. I bet by lights he also means ball lightning.



[edit on 13-10-2009 by eradown]


So someone lost all credibility with you, an anonymous internet persona, because he made a joke and. in your eyes, is rude? I'm sure he will be so sad to hear the news. I think you are misconstruing what Randi said about UFO phenomenon. You should be demanding that these so called UFO researchers use better scientific processes and produce evidence to back up their hypotheses and claims. Why get mad at someone that is pointing out the obvious flaws in these so called researchers? They do to help the cause but I guess every religion needs it's priests.

[edit on 13-10-2009 by 1llum1n471]


Aww, and we were getting on so well...

What about Stanton Friedman? He is a physicist. He uses scientific methodology. Is it fair to lump all UFOlogists into the same category with the Blossom Goodchild's and Alex Colliers? He approaches the subject highly scientifically.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:16 PM
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Oh, Randi is just a skeptic turned capitalist.

What they dont show is that Randi is also a liar. He has had several cases for his million dollar challenge that he refused to pay out of technicalities...there was the mind control tribe that they went to investigate...they tried several times to debunk, even tried it themselves and it was unresolved. The institute of crapness Randi heads up decided not to award them the money because of a clause that it had to be done in their lab verses anywhere else, so closed the book and buried it.
I forget offhand the tribes name...basically the chief would tell people to fall and they would...even the skeptic investigators fell.

Randi also did this special on how all those TV psychics are just cold reading..he set up a mock studio, got some believers in that never seen him before, set up mics, had people doing backround searches and all sorts. The stunt was a dismal failure...he was barely able to get a 3-5% hit ratio (even when he was being general). the show was cancelled considering it proved the opposite of his claim and never went to air.

Randi is a entertainer and although he is a bit of a twit, and gives skepticism a very bad name, (creates religious cynicism) he does help expose alot of fakes and exploitation in the paranormal field. So, cant damn him completely for tossing a filter on him...just realize he is tossing out baby, bathwater, bath, and bathroom.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:34 PM
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If you can get the link for that mind control tribe, it will greatly contribute to Randi being a closed minded individual that does not give an open thought for paranormal. Unless I see that link its hard to decide.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by 1llum1n471
 
Of course, he cares what I think. He is an attention seeker. I haven't watched him in a long time. He comes on T.V. I change the channel same with the radio. Bet he is not good for advertisers either. No one wants to watch an old mean man viciously put down people he claims are crazy. What was the advise he gave to people who study ( this includes such rare phenemena as ball lightening) lights oh, yeah ,get a life, he should follow it. He should go on vacation ,and spend all his money having fun instead of using it to bait people. I never cared for his approach. Sceptics should at least have a sense humour.




[edit on 13-10-2009 by eradown]



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:46 PM
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I'm sorry to say but Randi is a buffoon.

His "test" excludes any scientific statistical philosophy and quite frankly I don't think he has one. More than ten years ago a friend emailed him and asked him what his minimal guidelines were for, say, a Rhine ESP card experiment, but no reply. In short, I don't think Randi's challenge would conform to scientific standards acceptable by the scientific community.

Plus, saying that ESP needs to function all the time would exclude anomalous abilities that can predict the future with 99.9%
accuracy, or with extreme statistical significance.

100% accuracy is not a reasonable standard, considering there's not much if anything that can be known with 100% precision. Only pseudo-skeptics bent on sustaining their metaphysical views would insist otherwise.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by A Fortiori
I hope that I can put my thoughts into words correctly on this one, so bear with me but a moment...

Animals and some of what we would consider a "primitive" tribe of humans literally sensed the tsunami before it occurred and went for higher ground. This is not "paranormal", but it is prescient. Animal signs are among "evidence" of natural disasters, but because it is not 100% accurate you aren't going to run for your life if you see a lack of animals running about.

There are extraordinary things in this world that are not always repeatable in a way that would fit the "test", and yet they exist and have been observed for countless years.


Thanks for bringing this topic back up. I wanted to respond to that when you originally mentioned it. You're correct, there is no paranormal activity going on there but I do not agree there is really prescience as well. There are theories and subsequent studies that show that there are precursors to these events such as the low frequency sound waves. Some animals like elephants communicate using low frequencies so I am sure humans and other animals are able to pick them up as well in some sort of fashion either consciously or subconsciously.



I do not feel he has an open mind, no. I think this is where you would have to prove it to me by extraordinary measures. You are not dismissive. He is dismissive. In these short posts I can measure what a difference your respective characters.

I cannot prove the attitude of a man to you. You would have to look into his character and work to be able to judge him yourself. The work he has done is quite a merit. If you have some time, look at some of his earlier work and videos and you'll get a good grasp. He has a stage character and that's the persona that comes out quite often IMO.


I witnessed a three year old girl tell my best friend something about her mother who had passed on. She knew not my friend, or the girl's mother prior to this "encounter". Yet, she knew the person's name, knew where an item was located in her house (that we verified after the fact), and a few other things she absolutely could not have known. My friend was keen to know more but it was a one shot deal and even the girl could not remember having said it.

Was the child a "huckster"? No. She couldn't have known any of it, least of all this very uncommon first name or where the lost item was when even we did not know it.

Could we get her to repeat it? No. My friend was desperate for more information, having lost this person who meant so much to her but the child went back to acting like a regular three year old.

I witnessed this firsthand. Now, I don't expect you to believe it. You were not there. I just know what I saw and it was one of the few times I couldn't call a "read".

I have this other friend who thinks she's psychic, but she's just very good with reading people. She's not a huckster, either, but for a different reason. She believes she's psychic. She's not trying to hurt anyone.


I think we have to look past the glamour of these events and our own inate need to provide explanations no matter how fantastic they are. Have you watched the work of Derren Brown? He does quite amazing things with cold reading. This does not explain what happened with the child but it provides an alternate view that is worthy of examining. In "Flim Flam", Randi describes many of the paranormalists he ran into and says that not all are out to hurt people. Some believe they have a genuine power. The difference comes when they try to convince others of this power and try to benefit from it. Sort of like religion, it's fine to have yours but please don't proselytize.

Personally, I don't have an issue with many of these beliefs. I think they are interested, but I do see many taking advantage of the belief of others.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 08:51 PM
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You should be demanding that these so called UFO researchers use better scientific processes and produce evidence to back up their hypotheses and claims.
Good one. Did Randi demand same of, say, Phil Klass' research? Seems this "demand" has a habit among skeptics of only working one way.





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