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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Million Dollar Challenge

For those of you who do not know James Randi is the world's supreme skeptic. Randi used to be a magician, calling himself "The Amazing Randi", when he was in his younger years. Today he is 81 years old man and one of the most liked people in the skeptic movement. When Randi was younger he realized that the psychics, mind readers, those who posses ESP, and those who have telekineses are nothing than scam artists. All of these demonstrations can easily be explained by magic. Since Randi after all was a magician he was able to perform the same effects as these scam artists have, in fact, even better than these kind of people.

Randi is open to the idea of the paranormal and the supernatural. But because he is a skeptic he obviously does not believe in these things. For decades now he has offered the "James Randi Challege", which is a monetary award for anyone who can demonstrate under control conditions that there is such thing as the paranormal or supernatural world. Currently, the James Randi Challenge is up to one million dollars. No one has ever been able to pass the challenge. Everyone who accepted the challenge either backed away from the challenge or failed miserably.

Randi's challenge is very open. You decide your own test. The only condition is that your test will have to be performed under control conditions. For example, if you claim to be a mind reader, you would have to perform in an isolated room with no contact with anyone outside to make sure you do not recieve any infromation from outside parties. No specific test is set, you devise your own, Randi only makes sure it is under control. None of your magic tricks will fool Randi, he after all a great trained magician.

Throughout all these decades not a single person ever was able to pass James Randi's challege. It was always expoused as a simple magic trick by Randi. We need to raise an obvious question. If it is true that there are people with supernatural or paranormal abilities that are beyond science then where are they? If there really are people that are capable of ESP or supernatural powers then why do they not reveal themselves? It would make sense that they would. If there was a chess champsionship tomorrow that was worth a million dollars a lot of people would show up. If there was a dart throwing contest for one million dollars many people would join. So why is that when it comes to James Randi's challenge no true person with magical powers ever showed up? Why? Many claimed psychics said that they do not need the money. But that does not make sense also. If they do not want the money they can do it to silence the skeptics. And furthermore give that money away to charity if they do not really do it. Imagine if a person with supernatural powers existed. Such a person would not only get a million from the challenge but also possibly win a Nobel Prize in physics (along with another million dollars). Also, he would silence all the skeptics for once and for all. Why did this person never emerge? Where are these people? The obviously answer is that, there are no such people. Everything that claimed psychics and those with alleged ESP powers do can be done much better by any magician.

Next time someone claims to be a psychic or posses ESP or possibly telekinesis all you have to do is challenge them to James Randi's prize. They will all get frightened and get silenced immediately because they know they are fakes.

Now perhaps it will make sense to a religious believer who might be reading this to why I am so skeptical of miracles and religion. If after all these years and so much money at stake that not one person was able to silence the skeptics then it is likely that the answer is that there are no supernatural or paranormal powers. It is just a fantasy story. Just like dragons. They do not exist.

See this.

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