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James Randi is an idiot!!

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posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471

Originally posted by A Fortiori

The type of insult may show impartiality or lack thereof, and that would, indeed, have bearing.

As Chris Rock put it about the OJ trial: If Jerry Seinfeld was on trial and the person that found the glove was Louis Farrakhan then Jewish people might suspect that Jerry wasn't going to get a fair trial.

When you have a bias, when you show your bias, when it is your money that will be lost if someone passes the evaluation then the fair (as one poster put it) thing to do is remove yourself from the evaluation and let others take the reigns.

If Randi put the money in a trust and handed it over to MIT I would be the first one on board with the contest.


You're really splitting hairs saying the type of insult matters and one type can show how impartial one is.


If I called you an a-hole that is a generic type of insult that shows you that I may be kind of aggro Simon Cowell type. If I called you a "Jewish" a-hole that shows that it is possible I am antisemitic and were I to judge a contest I may not be fair to Jews. It would not necessarily mean that I would be unfair, but it would tarnish the way the judging for a particular contest is looked at.

The appearance of impartiality is necessary to lend credence to the outcome.

You would then need to take into account whether it was made in jest only or with a hint of sarcasm and maybe even cynicism.
Neither of those are appropriate for a fund holder that is trying to act as a purveyor of scientific methodology.


Perhaps over-complicating things a bit much?
No, you like him so you are giving him a free pass.

Lest you misunderstand me, I am not a fan of Blossom Goodchild or Alex Collier. I don't believe 99% of the people who claim psychic powers. I look for known causation before unknown causation.

I just clump Randi in with this group of people who claim to be something they are not and seek recognition they do not deserve. If Alex Collier is one extreme, Randi is the other.


The fact remains that given someone that could be construed as impartial and properly designed methodology, they would be forced to be impartial due to the strict methodology applied.
You lost me on that sentence. Are you saying that his methodology would force impartiality?


This could easily be verified and if issues did arise, the methodology corrected and tests redone.


It could and if it were done by MIT I would believe that to be the case.


Once again, science presents the proper way to handle this situation.
Science is not sentient. It is a method, a field, and approach, etc. The use of the word in this context is unhelpful.

Science does not present anything.

Scientific methodologies applicable to the type of test and field of study can be used to verify proof of thesis, proof of concept, a hypothesis, etc.


The legal sense here does not apply so I will not respond to that part.


???


About the fair part, I will remind you that there is a scientific definition of fairness


Fairness is more legalistic and human oriented.

You mean "impartial".


and also a statistical usage.


Again, be honest. I've never stated anything other than statistics/statistical analysis are a part of the pre-approval, even pre-funding stages of most research conducted.

What I also stated is that assumptions are likewise part of your protocol/proposal/research hypothesis. Those assumptions have a direct impact upon the study and this is where I think he falls short.


Randi does not own the money.


No, he established a fund that he manages. This I know. It was still seeded by him and he is the C.O.P. for his org.


Also keep in mind that Randi does not personally test many of the applicants anymore


For why, Keats, for why...


and don't forget there are other organizations that do similar testing such as the IIG: www.iigwest.com...

[edit on 14-10-2009 by 1llum1n471]


I won't forget that there are academic institutions that do the same without fanfare, flash, or snark. It is to these institutions which I place my "faith", for lack of a better word, in.




posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram

Originally posted by 1llum1n471
Yes, it is agreed upon and signed by both parties prior to testing.


Sigh. But is it followed as agreed? With that much bias in the mix, it seems unlikely, don't you think? At least, it casts serious doubt upon the credibility of those conducting the experiments/investigations.




You failed to provide me with proper evidence or reasoning as to why your presumption of bias on Randi's behalf would affect the testing from JREF itself or similar organizations.


Sorry, I should have been more clear. If they share Randi's bias and vested interests in reaching a preferred conclusion, which I believe there is abundant evidence they do, then that seriously undermines their credibility and the validity of their 'findings'. They become worthless, IMO.


Once again this is a massive fallacy. An appeal to motive. I asked earlier if even if Randi and every single member of the JREF were biased in some way, are they so intellectually superior to those that are being tested that they can fool them with the agreements and methodology? Every skeptical organization as well? It's a massive conspiracy apparently. As I said in previous posts above there is methodology and it can be examined and if found to be incorrect, improved then retested.

I wonder why, with all the money these paranormalists and their ilk make, why not fund their own organization to prove the existence of the phenomena.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471
I should say that if any members of JREF or similar organizations found this post they would be wincing at my pitiful attempt to bring a bit more rationality to this debate. As is always the case when encountering those with a superstitious mindset, any attempt to provide logic is only met with resentment. I've probably only managed to stir up the embers and started a few new fires. For that I must apologize. For those that understood the few points I have tried to make, thank you


Get over yourself. Superstitious mindset??? I have stated emphatically that were it MIT conducting the verification and/or validation I would be wholeheartedly behind it because MIT is a reputable, scientific, academic institution. They are not wannabe intellects sitting upon the shoulders of giants and pretending to be tall, they are the giants.

My problem is with how he conducts himself, IE, the methodology he employs, his disdain for the subject matter, the circus-like atmosphere, and the backstepping.

He does not advance the course of science, he does not advance scientific methodology, and he does no credit to scientific thought. He makes skeptics look like snarky a-holes instead of polite questioners and intellectual explorers.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471 Even your argument tha "bias is the antithesis of objectivity" is really an appeal to motive.


I don't think that in any legitimate scientific field of investigation there would be difficulty in comprehending that extreme bias and vested interest seriously undermines credibility and objectivity and hence, casts serious doubt on any findings.

Yet such bias and conflict of interest seems to be happily accepted within most skeptical organizations, which IMO, shows that their methods and attitude are unscientific. Randi investigating these phenomena is like the Pope insisting he is about to carry out a completely objective investigation into the existence of God.


Can you repost yout example? I can't find it. Thanks!


Sure. I've even embellished it for ya





As an extreme example, to demonstrate the idea: if someone said they were going to head up a new research team of experts to categorically determine of the Sphinx was built by Khufu, or built long before his time, and the leader of this team (and author of the book "Khufu definitely built the Sphinx" lol) began the investigation by saying: "Of course, the idea that the Sphinx predates Khufu is absurd and there is not the slightest evidence for this, it's clear already that Khufu built it, and the idiots who believe this theory really need to question their mental health" (and the entire team broke out in applause at this) would you consider him fit to lead this research team and would you trust that it was objectively and open-mindedly examining the evidence in order to reach an unbiased conclusion?

No.

Again, it has nothing to do with morals and everything to do with credibility.


[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471

Once again this is a massive fallacy. An appeal to motive.


Then it should feel right at home since Randi is the king of logical fallacies, his favorite being: reductio ad ridiculum!



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:03 PM
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I agree, he is so hardcore into thinking that nothing is paranormal, that he disproves all possibility, before they even come in. The point of being a scientist is to be open minded about it.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:10 PM
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He's a hardcore atheist also, thats one more reason to despise him



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:12 PM
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reply to post by A Fortiori
 


I could not quote this time as the comment was too long and would not afford me any place to respond. About the a-hole comment, you are arguing something based on the perception of others which is very prone to logical fallacies so I can't really comment on that. As I said, I still am unsure as to how a connection is being made about the jokes of one man to the objectivity of the organization as a whole. Randi is the director of the JREF but is he the sole holder of the fund? Check that link I provided again.

I'm not even sure how you could clump Randi in with the Blossom Goodchilds of the world. One claims paranormal power and one uses his skills at being a conjurer to present more rational explanations for some of the so called phemomena. I don't give anyone a free pass. If Randi or the JREF had some impropriety, I would be among the first waiting in line to examine the evidence provided and explanations.

As far as methodology goes, I meant that proper methodology would enforce impartiality. Whether his methodology does is up to those that question. They are free to discuss and argue their points with his organization and even file lawsuits if necessary.

You missed my point about fairness and it's usage. It's all about context which is why I tried to explain the context that I thought was being used.

To the assumptions point, you are correct. If too many assumptions are made or perhaps just a few wrong ones then the entire experiment can go amiss and this is where once again the scientific method and framework built upon it shines. These mistakes can be evaluated and changed. Results can be disproved and we can all evolve and move on to better.

Randi and the JREF have a bit of fanfare around them but does this or any of what others say make a difference when it comes to impartiality? If you truly think there is something afoot then please by all means investigate and report back. You'd have a fantastic court case and we know that at least $1million is up grabs, well that's unless you don't believe in bonds



[edit on 15-10-2009 by 1llum1n471]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by A Fortiori

Originally posted by 1llum1n471
I should say that if any members of JREF or similar organizations found this post they would be wincing at my pitiful attempt to bring a bit more rationality to this debate. As is always the case when encountering those with a superstitious mindset, any attempt to provide logic is only met with resentment. I've probably only managed to stir up the embers and started a few new fires. For that I must apologize. For those that understood the few points I have tried to make, thank you


Get over yourself. Superstitious mindset??? I have stated emphatically that were it MIT conducting the verification and/or validation I would be wholeheartedly behind it because MIT is a reputable, scientific, academic institution. They are not wannabe intellects sitting upon the shoulders of giants and pretending to be tall, they are the giants.

My problem is with how he conducts himself, IE, the methodology he employs, his disdain for the subject matter, the circus-like atmosphere, and the backstepping.

He does not advance the course of science, he does not advance scientific methodology, and he does no credit to scientific thought. He makes skeptics look like snarky a-holes instead of polite questioners and intellectual explorers.


Obviously you should understand I was not implying you had a superstitious mindset, but be that as it may you want to accuse me of being full of myself. It does not matter what lab or what researcher is used, they all can fall into a trap. Benveniste comes to mind.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:17 PM
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reply to post by 1llum1n471
 


Well, I don't agree with your position. That should be clear by now


But you are one of the more measured and polite skeptics at ATS, keeping your cool remarkably well while engaging several members at once, so I'll just leave you with a cyber high five and go my merry way. LOL.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram

Originally posted by 1llum1n471 Even your argument tha "bias is the antithesis of objectivity" is really an appeal to motive.


I don't think that in any legitimate scientific field of investigation there would be difficulty in comprehending that extreme bias and vested interest seriously undermines credibility and objectivity and hence, casts serious doubt on any findings.

Yet such bias and conflict of interest seems to be happily accepted within most skeptical organizations, which IMO, shows that their methods and attitude are unscientific. Randi investigating these phenomena is like the Pope insisting he is about to carry out a completely objective investigation into the existence of God.


Can you repost yout example? I can't find it. Thanks!


Sure. I've even embellished it for ya





As an extreme example, to demonstrate the idea: if someone said they were going to head up a new research team of experts to categorically determine of the Sphinx was built by Khufu, or built long before his time, and the leader of this team (and author of the book "Khufu definitely built the Sphinx" lol) began the investigation by saying: "Of course, the idea that the Sphinx predates Khufu is absurd and there is not the slightest evidence for this, it's clear already that Khufu built it, and the idiots who believe this theory really need to question their mental health" (and the entire team broke out in applause at this) would you consider him fit to lead this research team and would you trust that it was objectively and open-mindedly examining the evidence in order to reach an unbiased conclusion?

No.

Again, it has nothing to do with morals and everything to do with credibility.



Thanks for
[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]


Once again, I don't see how you can come to that conclusion. Do you have intimate knowledge of these skeptical organizations you speak of? The Sphinx example is yet another example of how science would negate the claims of the man. Even as leader of the expedition, even if one was so biased, he could not hide the truth from carbon dating and other methods used. He would clearly be found as a liar and removed from academia or the research field once the next investigation team was sent in. That's what you don't see. These paranormalists can be tested over and over again by different organizations. There is no magical blacklist.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by TallWhites
He's a hardcore atheist also, thats one more reason to despise him



Many would say the same about those that are hardcore in their faith
Preach on though.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:24 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by 1llum1n471
 


Well, I don't agree with your position. That should be clear by now


But you are one of the more measured and polite skeptics at ATS, keeping your cool remarkably well while engaging several members at once, so I'll just leave you with a cyber high five and go my merry way. LOL.


Thanks, Malcram. It was a very interesting discussion. I'm not quite sure I would consider myself a true skeptic at that. I only noticed this post as it was in the UFO section, one of my big interests
Cyber hi5 back at you



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:28 PM
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Yes it is very annoying when someone takes the approach that he does.
It is not right to attack anyone for their beliefs, nor degrade them for them, but sadly you just perpetuate this nasty little cycle by doing the same thing he does by calling him an idiot, then later expressing the same tactic used against someone else with apposing beliefs.

Sadly in the limbo of mud slings and name calling the ability to collaborate opinions or simply keep focus of what is at hand gets lost.

That's why this community. along with many others have failed to find any real truth or proof because people get too caught up within one another and fighting over who's right who's wrong, who's a moron and who isn't.

It's a cycle we can all fall victim to, and all will at some point but we need to be able to break it to be able to further any type of true knowledge either for, or against.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:38 PM
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reply to post by pop_science
 


Well said.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:41 PM
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Originally posted by pop_science
Yes it is very annoying when someone takes the approach that he does.
It is not right to attack anyone for their beliefs, nor degrade them for them, but sadly you just perpetuate this nasty little cycle by doing the same thing he does by calling him an idiot, then later expressing the same tactic used against someone else with apposing beliefs.

Sadly in the limbo of mud slings and name calling the ability to collaborate opinions or simply keep focus of what is at hand gets lost.

That's why this community. along with many others have failed to find any real truth or proof because people get too caught up within one another and fighting over who's right who's wrong, who's a moron and who isn't.

It's a cycle we can all fall victim to, and all will at some point but we need to be able to break it to be able to further any type of true knowledge either for, or against.


I would argue that we've failed to find truth in paranormal phenomenon because we haven't managed to find the smoking gun, the critical piece of evidence. That's why I think the work of Randi and other skeptics is helpful as it cuts down the noise from a lot of the charlatans that would choke resources that could be used for real research into this phenomenon. I agree the name-calling and insults is not the best method but sometimes it can be pretty entertaining and Randi is an entertainer by trade



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:42 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by pop_science
 


Well said.


Group hug?



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471

Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by pop_science
 


Well said.


Group hug?


Yay! Come on A Fortiori and Titorite, you know you want to!

I'll put on 'Heal the World' and we can sing along with lighters held aloft


[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471
reply to post by A Fortiori
 


About the a-hole comment, you are arguing something based on the perception of others which is very prone to logical fallacies so I can't really comment on that.


But you can. Fallacies like ad hominem argumentum work because they appeal to the mob. Regardless of whether the perception of others is prone to fallacies it is still something to be considered.

Someone who is antisemitic may very well be a good prosecutor or a good judge, they may be able to put aside their beliefs unlike most of the population in an effort to be fair. However, people will be skeptical about their ability to do so because that is a rare human trait, and we have all been guilty of working from prejudice or emotion from time to time.

Perception is everything. That is why your grandparents and parents told you to guard your reputation.



As I said, I still am unsure as to how a connection is being made about the jokes of one man to the objectivity of the organization as a whole.


I hate sounding rude, but...what planet were you born on? Is your father's name Jor el? On planet earth you are judged by the company you keep, and for practical reason. If I do not condone a behavior it is natural to assume that I would distance myself form the behavior. The organization should have muzzled him or told him to "tone it down" if they did not condone some of this very vocal snarking.



Randi is the director of the JREF but is he the sole holder of the fund? Check that link I provided again.


Did I say he was?


I'm not even sure how you could clump Randi in with the Blossom Goodchilds of the world.


They are both sensationalists.


One claims paranormal power and one uses his skills at being a conjurer to present more rational explanations for some of the so called phemomena.


Correction, one claims to speak with aliens, the other is an alien--


Ahem, sorry about that.

Here is why? They are both full of BS. Randi has fooled people into believing that his credentials as a magician make him an SME on the ways of science. A few years ago before (I assume) his org members educated him on what to say, he was talking about his a$$ about "science" and the "how" of scientific methodology, giving ludicrous analogies, poor definitions, etc. I have seen a marked improvement since, but it really soured me on him.


I don't give anyone a free pass. If Randi or the JREF had some impropriety, I would be among the first waiting in line to examine the evidence provided and explanations.


No offense, but what are your credentials to even know? I have read, and please I want you to correct me if it was not you who implied this, but that observation is not a part of the scientific method when it quite clearly is, and used "evidence" synonymously with "proof". These are classic foibles for those that have not been a part of a scientific study.

Again, if that was not you I apologize.

I have degrees in certain areas. Getting to those degrees made me travel some other courses here and there, some were almost areas of major study. I have in these areas enough knowledge to be dangerous. If someone said something that rang a bell in quantum theories and seemed logical I would probably be more apt to go with it than someone either less educated in quantum theories or more educated.


As far as methodology goes, I meant that proper methodology would enforce impartiality.


Or partiality could corrode proper methodology. Is that not what he accuses others of?


Whether his methodology does is up to those that question. They are free to discuss and argue their points with his organization and even file lawsuits if necessary.


For why, Keats, for why?

Why would anyone file a lawsuit without injury? You have to have a dog in the fight legally. As I am not claiming to have superpowers or have been anally probed by the Grays I don't really have anything to offer as "proof" ergo they could not negate it.


You missed my point about fairness and it's usage. It's all about context which is why I tried to explain the context that I thought was being used.


Cool.


To the assumptions point, you are correct. If too many assumptions are made or perhaps just a few wrong ones then the entire experiment can go amiss and this is where once again the scientific method and framework built upon it shines.


*slaps forehead*

This is where he does NOT shine. Have you heard of theoretical research? A theoretical "what" is developed and they work backwards with the theoretical "how". The theories are based off of assumptions.

If Randi (and co.) refuse(s) to make the assumption that psychic powers can be anomalies and random occurrences then he will continue to develop incorrect validation.

When people have said "it doesn't work all the time" as most of the people I find remotely legitimate do they are met with ridicule and the "of course it doesn't" in that snarky tone. He is missing good data (not proof, data) with that snark of his.


These mistakes can be evaluated and changed. Results can be disproved and we can all evolve and move on to better.


Or this can all be performed by legitimate, proven to be impartial, highly respected institutions such as MIT, Columbia, etc.


Randi and the JREF have a bit of fanfare around them but does this or any of what others day make a difference when it comes to impartiality?


A great deal if they are human.


If you truly think there is something afoot then please by all means investigate and report back. You'd have a fantastic court case and we know that at least $1million is up grabs, well that's unless you don't believe in bonds


Again, I'd have to believe I have superpowers or something like that, and I don't.

[edit on 14-10-2009 by A Fortiori]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:59 PM
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reply to post by TallWhites
 
I do not know what he believes. What he says and thinks are probably not the same thing. I just know what he wants other people to do. He wants them to recieve chemo therapy, ignore unusual lights, and stop worshipping or believing in a higher power. Sounds like advice from an enemy. Some of these hard core athiests are just control freaks. A spiritual person is harder to break. Randi probably knows more about the occult than most of the posters here put together. He probably is only interested in destroying what could be competition in his eyes.




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