The reason for the challenge is to show that paranormal claims are a bunch of %* and we shouldn’t be manipulated by psychics/charlatans/John Edward trying to take our money.
So far, the people who have taken the challenge (and failed miserably) are random people that you haven’t heard of… the big names in the Psychic Industry have avoided the Challenge like the Plague.
According to Wired:
That’s a disappointment, because if [psychic Sylvia] Browne’s claims were ever to stand up to a scientific test in an adversarial process, it would be an unprecedented event in modern history, potentially changing our scientific understanding of the universe. Instead, you can buy a psychic phone call with her for $700.
But now, the Challenge is getting even better. And it’s pointing fingers.
Randi is set to unveil the revamped Million Dollar Challenge at The Amaz!ng Meeting 5 next week in Las Vegas.
(I’m going! Very excited. If you see me there, feel free to point, laugh, and say hello.)
Here’s how the *new* Challenge, set to take effect on April 1, differs from the old one:
- Unknowns are out. Only those psychics who have a “media profile” will be able to take the Challenge. That is, there must be articles, TV reports, or references in books about your abilities.
- Academic endorsement needed. An educated professional must stand behind the psychic’s claims when contacted. Essentially, the academic must be willing to stake his/her own reputation on the psychic’s abilities.
- No preliminary test. With the “old” Challenge, you had to pass a preliminary test before the real test for the money took place. Not anymore.
- Targets will be named. Instead of waiting for psychics to come to them, Randi’s foundation will be seeking out the most famous psychics and calling them out on their BS. One by one. With possible advertising in prominent newspapers.
Wired tried to call them for comment:
Edward didn’t respond to an e-mail query for this story; Browne didn’t return a phone call, and neither responded to several minutes of intense concentration.
Still, this will be fun. And hopefully, this will get the point of the message across much more effectively. We should not believe in such nonsense.
A reminder: We live in a country where 41% of the people believe in ExtraSensory Perception (ESP), 32% believe in ghosts, and 25% believe in astrology. We need help.
By the way, in the Wired article, notice the link they give you for John Edward.
[tags]James Randi, skeptic, atheist, atheism, supernatural, Million Dollar Challenge, paranormal, psychic, charlatan, The Amaz!ng Meeting 5, Las Vegas, John Edward, Sylvia Browne, Uri Geller, James van Praagh, ESP, ghosts, astrology, Fark.com[/tags]