Any Miracle You Can Do, Randi Can Do Better

One of the most inspirational people of all time. He spent his life exposing all the claims of miracles and magic, and his foundation still has a one million dollar prize fund for anyone who can demonstrate the existence of supernatural phenomenon under laboratory conditions.

We need more people like James Randi because we need rationalists and skeptics dedicated to using the scientific method to analyze our fallibilities. We are pattern-seeking creatures, finding connections when none exist, thinking there is causation when there is only correlation, and resorting to theories that are unsubstantiated by the evidence. We live in a world of Moon-landing deniers, Birthers, Truthers, faith healers, mediums (and other people who think they can communicate with the divine). Our intuitions are very bad when it comes to understanding benefits and risks. We fear things that shouldn’t be feared, we group and stereotype peoples, and we selectively look for evidence to support our own beliefs.

That’s why the secular community is so important. We shouldn’t rely on religious groups to keep their own religious frauds and conspiracy theories in check. All we are going to get is a group of people saying “science and religion are compatible” and that “Jesus predicted that there would be false prophets all along.”

We need people dedicated to actively finding out the truth at all costs, people who are competent in evaluating evidence and are willing to change their minds. We need investigators, not accommodationists. And we need people brave enough to expose the quacks.

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Posted on May 1, 2011, in Religion, Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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