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The Proposer

FakeRandi

6 posts in this topic

i was looking on a website which set the parameters for Randis tests and he seems deliberately to put obstacles in the way and change the parameters for each test,i remember Doris Stokes challenging him once but he declined.

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you should add a URL in so we can read it aswell

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I would like to see the link as well. James Randi and his judges do set standards for each challenge individualy, for the simple reason that people come in with different claims and limits. Part of the contract that one agrees to is that the tester and testee will exchange correspondence until a satisfactory set of rules is agreed upon. Yes, there are times that agreement simply cannot be reached, such as when the testee refuses to accept a limitation which would remove a natural variable, such as a wind barrier for a telekinesis test, and there are even times when claims are dismissed without even a preliminary investigation, such as claims to immortality, which, not to put too fine a point on it, can only be proven one way.

There is no doubt that Randi is arrogant, and sometimes rude, but his credibility is fairly high, and his methodology is hardly atypical of what any test of a specific force would require, i.e. isolation of said power.

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i was looking on a website which set the parameters for Randis tests and he seems deliberately to put obstacles in the way and change the parameters for each test,i remember Doris Stokes challenging him once but he declined.

Randi does not put up "obstacles", he puts up controls to prevent cheating. A sensible precaution with $1,000,000 at stake. The controls have to be agreed on by both parties as do conditions that define a successful test. Also, IIRC, Randi does not involve himself directly in the tests, they are performed by an agreed upon third party.

As for changing the parameters that is done for two reasons, one obvious, one less so. The obvious reason is that claims differ; you can not test someone for telepathy the same way you would test them for telekinesis, for example. The less obvious reason is because the claimants largely define the parameters themselves. So two different claimants with similar claims could well be held to two different standards but it is based on what they themselves claim. For example a dowser who claims a 90% success rate will be expected to find water 90% of the time whereas one who only claims a 70% success rate would take the money with only 70%. Both under properly controlled conditions of course. From my reading, it seems that Randi often changes the conditions in the claiminats favor, that is the person who claims 90% accuracy might only be expected to acheive 70%. In my opinion, he does this so the claimant can not say that he wasn't given every chance.

I'd post a link to the portion of James Randi's site dealing with the challenge but the whole site seems to be down at the moment. Perhaps later

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and on a side note, Kent Hovinds evolution proof test is nothing like this:)

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Here is a link to a copy of the aplication for the challenge. It has a pretty good overview of the consditions that are set for it.

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