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Still Waters

The James Randi $1M Challenge Terminated

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badeskov

I don't expect you to.

So you have no issue whatsoever claiming something extraordinary and being told that you are not believed and it is all in your head? Because until you show something credible to back you up, it is in my honest opinion all in your head.

Fair enough.

Careful Bakeskov. Don't try to draw out an argument from someone who doesn't want to start one.

Point taken.

Cheers,

Badeskov

Edited by badeskov
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crookedspiral

Truth Seeker, as a supporter of Dean Radin, would you like to nominate what, in your opinion, is his very best study - one that proves something paranormal? If you can't/won't then he'd be irrelevant to this conversation...

And please note, I'm very familiar with Radin's 'work', and I'd suggest you choose carefully.

(Actually, I'd suggest that you do NOT accept that challenge... :D)

This topic is about James Randi's million dollar challenge, not Dr Dean Radin.

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crookedspiral

I think we both know that the so-called psychic abilities are no more than a combination of luck and the ability to read people. In other words, pure entertainment.

Cheers,

Badeskov

This is exactly the kind of attitude that is to be found at the JREF and why a reasonable person won't bother with their ''contest''.

Thanks for making that more explicit to everyone though.

Edited by TruthSeeker_
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ShadowSot

This topic is about James Randi's million dollar challenge, not Dr Dean Radin.

The article you linked to was Dean Randin's.

Looking at his quality of research and biases when in the context of his statements is relevant.

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ChrLzs

This topic is about James Randi's million dollar challenge, not Dr Dean Radin.

So why did you raise him in support? But.. good decision to run away from him, anyways..

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ShadowSot
Right you are, I was misremembering, sorry.

Randin is cited in the article instead as support for proof of the paranormal.

See my previous criticisms, which extend equally to the other names mentioned there.

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psyche101

This is exactly the kind of attitude that is to be found at the JREF and why a reasonable person won't bother with their ''contest''.

So the people who showed up drunk, didn't fill their forms out, or used crayon - those sort of people are serious and deserve better than this do they?

You want to explain that a little further?

Thanks for making that more explicit to everyone though.

I think most here are on the same page except you, a couple have read the article, and when shown the other side of the story, didn't blink an eye. You remain the sole objector and do not actually seem to have an argument, just a lot of whining to do. Reminds me of the failures that tried the test, failed, and then called foul.

Sad really.

Just out of interest, why do you refuse the bulk of knowledge for some whacky fringe theories? Do you prefer to champion the underdog?

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badeskov

This is exactly the kind of attitude that is to be found at the JREF and why a reasonable person won't bother with their ''contest''.

Thanks for making that more explicit to everyone though.

Nonsense.

The challenge was setup so it was essentially defined by the claimant, something people seem to continuously ignore.

So thank you for parading the ignorance you and others hold of the actual contest.

Cheers,

Badeskov

Edited by badeskov
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acute

This is exactly the kind of attitude that is to be found at the JREF and why a reasonable person won't bother with their ''contest''.

Thanks for making that more explicit to everyone though.

Nonsense.

The challenge was setup so it was essentially defined by the claimant, something people seem to continuously ignore.

So thank you for parading the ignorance you and others hold of the actual contest.

Cheers,

Badeskov

TruthSeeker referred to the "attitude", not the process.

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ShadowSot

I've dealt with many of the people in the JREF and similar groups.

I generally find them unfailingly polite and respectful, and I find it a bit ironing here as Randi comes up fairly often on other topics in other places as an example of the Old School polite and respectful sleptics, not like the mean nasty ones out there today.

Yeah, Randi knows he's right.

Why?

He has been an active skeptic for 60 plus years. The JREF and other similar organizations includes members with decades of experience in investigating the paranormal.

And by that I don't mean like me and the other skeptics here online at out mobile phones or computers, but hands on interpersonal experience.

Myself, at this point while I don't have as much hands on experience, I have been looking into this sort of material for over a decade now.

And it is the same story, time and again.

Nothing really holds up under real examination.

Now unlike some I don't see believing in the paranormal at all stupid, for a few reasons.

Most importantly human nature itself.

I go where the evidence is, though.

No more, no less.

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crookedspiral

So why did you raise him in support? But.. good decision to run away from him, anyways..

I quoted Radin's views on the irrelevancy of this ''contest'', because he expressed it into words better than I could. I did not refer to his work on parapsychology.

That is entirely another debate. This topic is about Randi's million dollar challenge and its termination.

Edited by TruthSeeker_

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crookedspiral
I think most here are on the same page except you, a couple have read the article, and when shown the other side of the story, didn't blink an eye. You remain the sole objector and do not actually seem to have an argument, just a lot of whining to do. Reminds me of the failures that tried the test, failed, and then called foul.[/quote

I've posted an article totally debunking the pretexted scientific validity of this ''context''. It's been shown to be pure entertainment. You're not receptive to the arguments presented that runs counter to your favorable views of the JREF. Your devotion to their cause is almost fanatical. What else can be said?

Edited by TruthSeeker_

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ShadowSot

I quoted Radin's views on the irrelevancy of this ''contest'', because he expressed it into words better than I could. I did not refer to his work on parapsychology.

That is entirely another debate. This topic is about Randi's million dollar challenge and its termination.

The problem is its essentially handwaving, especially taken into context with his own claims.
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acute

I put James Randi in the same category as rent-a-skeptic Chris French.

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ShadowSot

Yep, he's popular so he's a sell out.

Or not a true skeptic.

Or whatever.

If you don't like Randi, there's the IIG, or the Aussie Skeptic Society, or any number of other ones that present challenges.

But I expect the same hand waving and attack on the characters of the people who handle them.

Meanwhile what is asked is that instead of people who have the experience new scientists and magicians who have no experience and no ties to any of the skeptical organizations be brought in.

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crookedspiral
If you don't like Randi, there's the IIG, or the Aussie Skeptic Society, or any number of other ones that present challenges.

But I expect the same hand waving and attack on the characters of the people who handle them.

It's the same type of fanatical skeptic organizations, hell-bent on denying any possible reality to the paranormal. No real, independant scientific research is done there either.

Edited by TruthSeeker_

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ShadowSot

Here's the thing, as I said earlier.

You don't like it, fine. We get it, Skeptics are clearly just help bent on denying nessie, Bigfoot, aliens, osychics, homeopathy, vaccineso and autism, God, and so on.

Real simple way to prove us wrong: Evidence.

No hand waving about how you can't test it, or any more poorly controlled studies or providing known and heavily documented frauds.

There has been decades of research, and no good, scientific results.

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stereologist

The fanatical whining by believers that it is unfair to be tested is to be expected. All of the testing to date shows that no one that has been tested can actually do what they thought they could do. The tests were constructed by the believers being tested and those making up the test. I have seen comments by those being tested that the conditions were too tough. The people being tested were not aware that the odds of success they wanted were too close to the odds of a flipping a coin. It was shown that they would not be able to say fairly that they were able to do what they thought they were capable of doing. They agreed to a test which would put them in a position of being able to declare that they were able to perform what they claimed.

What amazes me is that the testing method is known well before the day of the test. Did all of these people arrive without ever doing a dry run at home?

If my challenge was to change a tire then I'd change a tire at least once before I arrived. If my challenge was to figure out which box contained a full glass of water then I'd have someone place boxes on my lawn with full and empty glasses and see how I did.

Instead we are left with the drone of whining after decades of failures in the MDC and in the scientific literature. There is no evidence. There is nothing except people boasting and that drone of whining.

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badeskov

TruthSeeker referred to the "attitude", not the process.

There was nothing wrong with the attitude. In fact, it was quite generous in my point of view. The claimants were allowed to essentially set up their own tests, just under independent scrutiny. Exactly as science works.

Cheers,

Badeskov

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ChrLzs

It's the same type of fanatical skeptic organizations, hell-bent on denying any possible reality to the paranormal. No real, independant scientific research is done there either.

And of course that is *because* a team of men in black immediately pounce on any paranormal research as soon as they even think of it, as da gubmint keeps all dat a secwut. Right, TS? :td:

You don't think it just might be because EVERY decent research effort in this direction has revealed NO significant effects whatsoever? That for some *inexplicable* reason, it is only when (..poorly designed, improperly documented, biased and subjective..) research is done by the likes of Radin and Sheldrake, that they manage to find anything...?

Seriously, 'Truthseeker', you need to live up to your name and search for the truth, whether or not that truth is what you want to hear. As for me, I've done exactly that - I even have a copy of a Sheldrake book on my shelf, eeeuww.... I have a decent background in the sciences, along with a healthy interest in (and respect for) magicians, and a strong interest in (and lack of respect for) charlatans and fraudsters. As a former manager of a large research center in the marine sciences, I know how the scientific method works and what decent research looks like. That would be OBJECTIVE research - the sort Sheldrake, Radin and ilk avoid like the plague..

I have looked at their work in great detail (have you?), and frankly, it is highly flawed garbage. It is no wonder they haven't bothered offering it to any credible research organisations/ journals for properly critical peer review. To be specific on some key points:

- their judging of successes is highly subjective and very clearly biased (proper subjective judgement would eliminate the possibility of bias, which seems to be why they never use it..)

- the studies often completely ignore mundane explanations and issues that would effect the outcomes (at best that is from inexperience or close-mindedness, at worst, deliberate fraud)

- they often rely on anecdotal 'evidence' (eg Sheldrake's ridiculous "Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home")

In the case of their laboratory-based studies again the judging is almost always subjective, and the methodologies are often ridiculously and inexplicably convoluted and complicated. And anyone who has done such studies knows that as soon as you add complication and extra steps, at each of those new points you have the potential for experimenter bias and user cheating/misreporting. It seems Radin and Sheldrake just keep adding stuff in until finally they get a result they want..

TruthSeeker, you have backpedaled furiously away from naming any study you think is worthy, and that is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. Go and LOOK at these studies in detail and THINK about how they were setup.

Look, I'll even happily offer to help you in that - which is why I asked you OR ANYONE here to nominate a 'good' study, from ANYONE, not just the poster boys like Sheldrake and Radin. Bring your best and let's go through it, openly and publicly. Isn't THAT the way to get to the truth, rather than your agitated handwaving and whining about how the truth is somehow being hidden? And let's face it, if we can't adequately point out where the tests are flawed, then you will have the joy of taking me/us skeptics down publicly - that's gotta be worth something...

Think about all the technology and science that you rely upon for your health and well-being - even just that computer you are using and relying upon to get your messages out and across the world is the result of years and years of research and the very careful use of that scientific method - it even includes some stuff that we don't fully understand but we know are real effects, like Quantum Tunneling. Science is VERY open to real observations... but your computer doesn't involve anything paranormal...

Science quite happily, and quite correctly, ignores anything that can't be shown as a genuine effect. Does that make the computer any less wonderful?

Life is complex, and when you add in human perceptions and emotions, it gets very tricky and a lot of it can be subjective. But when you dig really deeply, you will discover some wonderful things about the power of the mind and its highly malleable memories, about synchronicity, about coincidence, about pattern matching, and so on. And that includes doggy brains, too..!

By learning about all that stuff, you will also learn why we NEED to be OBjective to get to the truth. That truth is no less wonderful if it doesn't involve magical invisible forces that we perhaps don't yet understand... but the thing is, the stuff we do understand is perfectly adequate - yes, even to explain what appear to be prescient puppies... :D

I'd be delighted to see something new and real come out of this research, but to date there is nothing. Not a shred. That's why real scientists generally don't bother with it any more, leaving it to the show ponies.. Maybe one day they will stumble onto something, but it hasn't happened yet.

If you claim otherwise, then go and find it, bring it back here and let's talk about specifics. If you can't/won't... well, we can all draw our own conclusions. But given I and others are happy to go through these studies and explain what is going on, it seems rather obvious it's not us skeptics that are trying to subvert truth....

(edited to correct accidental use of opposite word to that I intended..)

Edited by ChrLzs
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psyche101

I've posted an article totally debunking the pretexted scientific validity of this ''context''.

Ohh what a lie!!!!!!!!

You most certainly did not!! All you did was link to an article that did nothing but complain about how difficult it is to pass the challenge and called that unfair, and if that was not enough, the article states that the challenge would be terminated years ago!! That gave all the claimants plenty of time to get involved, but what did they do? Wait till the day came and then cried foul.

What is a joke is your link and your view of the Challenge and JREF.

It's been shown to be pure entertainment.

Look at the claimant's - what more do you expect? SHowing up drunk, refusing to fill forms out, becoming abusive, refusing to fill forms out, and the very fact not one person can offer a convincing demonstration, yet Randi's demonstrations with Peter Popoff and Uri Geller speak for themselves - he did the community a service and you cannot deny that very fact.

You're not receptive to the arguments presented that runs counter to your favorable views of the JREF.

INdeed, truth is what matters here, and the claimants are not truthful, that much is painfully obvious to all but the fringe element, which you seem to subscribe to. You seems to have a problem with mainstream knowledge and factual information , and seem to prefer the obscure claims shrouded in smoke and mirrors, I ask again, why is that? WHat makes you refuse common sense and logic for wild claims and tall tales that are never supported? Is it like some sort of eternal hope or are you just seeking self validation?

Your devotion to their cause is almost fanatical.

No it is not - do you know why? Because I can produce real evidence of real world examples like the Peter Popoff and Uri Geller demonstrations which Randi demystified. ALl you have done is show that people complain a lot about failing the challenge. That is a major difference.

What else can be said?

That which drives you away form common sense, logic and fact to run with tall tales and wild unsupported claims. That is the ONLY real mystery in this thread.

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psyche101

It's the same type of fanatical skeptic organizations, hell-bent on denying any possible reality to the paranormal. No real, independant scientific research is done there either.

What you cannot seem to wrap your brain around is that if there was proof

Let me repeat - if there really was PROOF

Then all the skeptical organisations in the world would not matter. That is why people vilify science, it is not biased, it made the bomb because we could split the atom, not to kill people, man took that ability and misused it, science stil created the theory to create the weapon because like Mt Everest - "It is there" same here, if PROOF actually existed, man will use that ability and nobody will stop the news getting out.

We are where we are because the Paranormal is one big steaming pile of BS. You can close your eyes as tightly as you can, and wish with all your might, but it will not make it so.

20 Billion was spent by the US Government on remote viewing, and it all failed. Randi had nothing to do with it. But yet another major paranormal failure.

Edited by psyche101
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ShadowSot

There was nothing wrong with the attitude. In fact, it was quite generous in my point of view. The claimants were allowed to essentially set up their own tests, just under independent scrutiny. Exactly as science works.

Cheers,

Badeskov

The issue they took with your post was the "stupid" comment, I think. I have to agree that was a bit much.

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stereologist

If I were someone that thought they had the ability to predict the future would I be content with predicting whether or not a flipped coin turned out to be heads or tails? No. A single flip would tell me nothing. But what if I could predict 4 flips correctly? Would that let me know if I really could predict the outcome? Not really.

What sort of odds would I need to have to make me feel confident?

One of the recurring complaints I've heard about the MDC is that it is purposely made hard. Of course it is. Just as I'd want to be sure I could predict the outcome of an event so do the people running the MDC. If it were easy then there would be that nagging question of whether or not someone were lucky.

People also want the hit or miss to easily decided by anyone. There should be no question about whether the outcome was a head or tail or whatever the choice is. I've argued with RVers that absolutely demand that rhythmic and swaying is a very accurate description of a tornado. You can't have that sort of ridiculous spin at the end of the test.

A well run test should be observable and allow people to clearly decide if there was a hit or miss and also to provide everyone with confidence that the test can show that someone has the ability they claim.

Should the claimant ever pass a test then it would be clear to everyone from casual observers to JREF to whomever that the person is very likely to have the ability they said they do.

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