Friday, January 12, 2007

A man after my own heart.

I'm convinced that I'm a Skeptic. In this article from Wired, they dicuss the long-standing million dollar challenge to prove that psychic ability exists.

Here's an excerpt:

"Ten years after stage magician and avowed skeptic James Randi first offered a seven-figure payday to anyone capable of demonstrating paranormal phenomenon under scientific scrutiny, the 79-year-old clear-eyed curmudgeon is revising the rules of his nonprofit foundation's Million Dollar Challenge to better target high-profile charlatans, and spend less time on unknown psychics, who too often turn out to be delusional instead of deceptive."

I need to join the Skeptics, I think. I've always believed so-called "paranormal activity" to be bunk. These TV psychics are hucksters and swindlers preying on people's fragile emotions.


Blogger leathej1 said...

Actually, most are honestly trying to help people, and by and large they do. It's too bad that there have been real hucksters that gave the whole lot a bad name. Some are truly gifted, like this woman Rita Berkowitz who actaully sketches the face of the person she sees. The Spirit Artist

Let's go for Occam's Razor. Which is the simpler answer - that Rita broke into these people's homes, stole photos of their dead relatives, then planted suggestions in their heads to come see her so she could sketch a replica in front of them?

Look, I think of it like the theory of Chi. I might not be able to quantify it with the scientific method, but I can USE IT. I don't particularly understand the concepts involved in microwaving either, but I still get my damn popcorn. And if ever little green men give me a wrench that can levitate heavy objects, I'm gonna get the vacuuming done a lot quicker.

8:26 AM  
Blogger shane nickerson said...

Fair enough. To quote Hamlet: "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Still, I'd like to see some proof. I'd like to see ALL of the photos she's ever drawn. Not just the lucky ones that resemble the loved one. But I'm a skeptic! What can I say?

11:45 PM  
Blogger leathej1 said...

Well, the best thing to do when attempting to disprove a hypothesis is perform the experiment in an independent fashion. The next time you are in the Boston area, get your own session from her. That way, you have empirical first-hand evidence and you can call it bullshit with confidence.

8:22 AM  

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