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Interviews: Ask James Randi About Investigating the Truth 386

Better known by his stage name "The Amazing Randi", James Randi has made it his quest to "debunk psychic nonsense, disprove paranormal fakers, and squash claims of pseudoscience in order to bring the truth to the forefront." Randi worked as a popular magician most of his life and earned international fame in 1972 when he accused the famous psychic Uri Geller of being a fraud and challenged him to prove otherwise. In 1996 Randi founded The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) a non-profit organization whose mission includes "educating the public and the media on the dangers of accepting unproven claims, and to support research into paranormal claims in controlled scientific experimental conditions." He began offering $1000 in 1964 to anyone who could demonstrate proof of the paranormal. That amount has grown over the years, and the foundation's prize for such proof is now $1M. Around 1000 people have tried to claim the prize so far without success. Randi has agreed to take a break from busting ghostbusters and giving psychic healers a taste of their own medicine in order to answer your questions. As usual, you're invited to ask as many questions as you'd like, but please divide them, one question per post.
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Interviews: Ask James Randi About Investigating the Truth

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  • by mcmonkey ( 96054 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @02:30PM (#42740103) Homepage

    Mental modeling is a funny thing. We used to think of electricity as a liquid. You could substitute voltage for pressure, amperes for gallons, do the math and come up with the right answer. The theory had remarkable predictive power. Was it "wrong?"

    That's some of the most ridiculous mumbo-jumbo I've ever read. Electricity as a liquid? Preposterous.

    Electricity is a gas. After all, a circuit stops working after the magic smoke escapes. There is no magic liquid.

  • Is it true (Score:5, Funny)

    by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:21PM (#42740717)

    Is it true that your organisation is a front to attract the mystically endowed and drain them of their powers to feed the unholy appetites of a cabal of dark theurgists and further their quest to challenge the illuminati for control of the mortal world, leading ultimately to human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, and mass hysteria?

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.