With $1,000,000 on the Line, Check Out How JREF Designs an Experiment to Test Someone’s Supernatural Powers

Every year during The Amazing Meeting, the James Randi Educational Foundation allows someone who claims to have supernatural powers the chance to win $1,000,000 right then and there by proving his or her skills. There’s a large audience watching the experiment, even though the only person who believes in the claimant’s powers is the claimant.

But it’s not purely for shits and giggles. There’s actually a rigorous process leading up to the big event, involving both sides agreeing on what the experiment will be and what it would take for the supernatural powers to be “proven.”

Richard Saunders elaborates:



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How Believable is This Story of a Christian-Turned-Atheist-Turned-Christian?

Personally, I’m not particularly keen on labels and I don’t identify at all with the popular forms of atheism I’ve seen online, so I’m not quite sure how to gauge this recent post on RELEVANT Magazine about Mike McHargue, a Southern Baptist deacon who became an atheist… and then became a Christian again two years later.

Here’s the meat of his story:

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Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo: We Shouldn’t Give Tax Incentives for the Noah’s Ark Theme Park

I mentioned earlier this week that the folks behind the Creation Museum were working on “Ark Encounter,” a Noah’s Ark-based theme park, and the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority just gave preliminary approval for tax incentives that could be worth more than $18,000,000:



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Texas County’s Tax Assessor-Collector Decides to Print “In God We Trust” on All Documents

You know what the problem is with having “In God We Trust” on our currency and having it displayed in city council halls all over the country?

It’s just not enough for some people.

In Texas, Tarrant County Tax Assessor/Collector Ron Wright has taken the liberty of ordering a new printing plate for envelopes and tax statements just so he could put the religious motto on everything.



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The Decline of Religion in America as Seen Through a Handful of Graphs

Tobin Grant at Religion News Service has a delightful series of graphs showcasing the “Great Decline” of religion in America in recent years:

The statistics teacher in me has to remind everyone that the decline isn’t as steep as the graph suggests — the vertical axis doesn’t begin at 0% — but a ten percent drop in the number of people identifying with a religious label is still pretty damn amazing.

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