James Randi is dead

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James Randi, well known and influential skeptic, debunker, founder of the Committee for skeptical Inquiry, and the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), died on October 20th. He is most famous for debunking paranormal claims. His debunking of other falsehood was a bit weaker and less important (he rejected anthropocentric global warming for way too long, until he got a good talking to by a couple of doods who explained it to him in words of many syllables). He is famous for teaching America how to bend a spoon unmagically, and so many other tricks.

He created the “Amazing Meeting” which was a meeting in Las Vegas that was fairly amazing, but eventually devolved into an MRA meat market so everyone stopped going. (Not Randi’s fault.)

But never mind those low points (just trying to be honest here, as he would prefer). Never mind his cult status (which did more to to devolve than advance his work). James Randi was a consistent force pushing popular culture in the direction of truth and away from mysticism. He made a difference.

In the end, he did manage to predict his own death with amazing accuracy. Possibly.

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2 thoughts on “James Randi is dead

  1. Sorry, but I find it difficult to forgive his AGW denial. Instead of applying skepticism to climate denial, he applied it to climate science. In so doing, he embraced the kind of logical fallacies he supposedly opposed, and lent an illusion of credibility to AGW denial. Then, when he was criticized, he offered a lame nonapology instead of a mea culpa, claiming he was being misconstrued. Ironically, he also seemed to inadvertently reveal that he did not even understand what the greenhouse effect was. Debunking psychics is all well and good, but climate change is a significantly greater threat than Uri Geller.

    1. I think he originally went into climate change denial because he listened to some of his libertarian friends who were also famous “skeptics” but who were willing to put logic and reasoning aside to advance their political agenda, as though one could, er, magically do such a thing.

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