Thursday, August 6, 2015

Randi Redux "Skepticism" Scuttled

When I started this blog the first thing I decided was that I wouldn't monitor the number of hits different pieces got because I didn't want that to influence my decisions about what to write.  I've looked at the statistics a few times but not regularly.   Some of the comments I've gotten this week led to me looking at those and I was surprised to find that the pieces I wrote a while back about James Randi were, by far, the most often read pieces I've written here.  That is James Randi and his record of lying and fraud and my analysis of his phony "million dollar" challenge scam.  And it is a total scam with rules drawn up so that no one could possibly "win" the challenge.   That the folks who present themselves as the champions of reason, truth, intellectual rigor and science could have ever accepted and promoted such an obvious and flagrant liar and fraud as its masthead has to expose the pseud-skeptical,  neo-atheist movement as a dishonest fraud, itself.   That he has, over the decades, associated himself with some of the scientists who act as something of symbols of that movement should discredit them as the pseudo-Christian liars and frauds discredit those who associate with them.  Only it doesn't.

Reading the unedited thoughts of many thousands of people who hold degrees from reputable universities online over the past dozen years, looking at what such people say and what they allow themselves and are allowed by others to get away with leads to the conclusion that, far from entering into a new Renaissance, we are smack dab in a new dark age, one that looks far darker than the one everyone talks about.   It looks more like the bad dream of Malcolm Arnold and Friedrich Nietzsche, the nightmare that Vernon Kellog and William Jennings Bryan warned about than it does the great and ultimate age of science which the new atheists proclaim with every misreport of the most recent Pew surveys.

I've got a lot of work to do that can't be put off so I'm going to repost those pieces the rest of this week.  I wish I had the time to update and if I get the chance I will.   Given that what I wrote about only breaks the surface of a large and long cess pool of lies and fraud, a lot more could be written about the man and his PR.

But if you can't wait, here is a linked index I put together of those pieces and some of the other pieces I did on the pseud-skeptics and their industry.

Temporary Linked Index to the Posts on the "Skepticism"/Atheism Industry

Or:  Remember, There Are Times When "Discovery" Is The Most Beautiful Word In The English Language

The Internal and External of Criticism or How things are rigged by and for atheists

Religion practices a level of internal criticism that is almost never practiced by "Skepticism" or atheism.

Breaking The Ultimate Taboo Part 1

Reading the actual scientific research and the rigorous statistical analysis of it reveals that, contrary to the "Skeptical" line, extraordinary evidence for several psi phenomena has been produced, replicated and published in peer-reviewed scientific and mathematical journals.   Reading that research is taboo among what passes as the "intellectual class", today.  That is opposed to believing the James Randis and Penn Jillettes of the entertainment industry.

Lying For Science Censoring Questions The Taboo 2

The long and distinguished record in conventional science of Rupert Sheldrake, how he is smeared by ideologues who demonstrate they have never read his peer-reviewed research and his other publications.  How PZ Myers, Jerry Coyne and Sean Carroll misrepresented what he said and intimidated TED into suppressing his TED Talk.

Lying For Science: The Taboo 3

More about the misrepresentation of Sheldrake's record by Myers,  the statistical ignorance by big name "Skeptics" the sTARBABY scandal and and the  "Skeptics" lying for science.

A Devil's Advocate In the Case of the Canonization of Martin Gardner 

Martin Gardner's peculiar record of serious statistical and methodological error, lying, defaming scientists, promoting the use of sleazy propaganda tactics to attack scientific research (something that the tobacco, oil, coal, gas industries, the climate change denial and creationist industries might well have learned from him and the "Skeptics").

Footnotes to Yesterday's Posts

How Dennis Rawlins presents Martin Gardner's role in the sTARBABY scandal, along with other upper eschalon members of CSICOP and commentary about what it means and why it matters.

Conclusive Evidence That Wikipedia Is The Focus of Organized Ideological Editing By "Skeptic"/Atheists

You don't need a conspiracy theory when the conspirators brag about turning Wikipedia and other online entities into "tools for "Skepticism".    Wikipedia and the ironically named "Web of Trust" should be forced to address the fact that they are the focus of ideological "editing" and influence or they should be considered discredited. 

A Really Skeptical Introduction To The Real Record of James "The Amazing" Randi and His Personality Cult

How Many Lies Does It Take For A "Skeptic" To Be Discredited?

Preliminary comments on James Randi's long record of documented lies and hypocrisies.

How Do The "Skeptics" Get Away With Lying and Fraud?

With a challenge to the scientists in James Randi's retinue.

With the "Skeptics" Irony is Never More Than A Sentence Away

An example of how Steve Novella's clique of "Skeptics" covers up for Randi's fraud, smearing a journalist who reported on him, with a note about Rebecca "Skepchick" Watson* and her encounter with the virulent sexism in the  well documented fratboy atmosphere that "Skepticism" industry is.

On Randi's Totally Phony Completely Bogus "Million Dollar Challenge" 1.0

Randi's totally fraudulent "Million Dollar Challenge" which would destroy Randi and the "Skepticism" industry if anyone won it, some of the ways he "always has an out", as Dennis Rawlins quoted him  saying 32 years ago.  [Note: the scope of Randi's "Challenge" fraud and its position in the propaganda of "Skepticism" means that this long post is no more than a preliminary look into it.  I hope that Steve Volk Greg Taylor and others who have written fact-based critiques of it will produce a definitive look at it in the near future.]

James Randi Social Darwinist Deceiver And Liar & The "Skeptics" Who Eternally Cover Up For Him

Randi advocating eugenics and Social Darwinism, genuine pseudo-sciences, an author quoting him and Randi's lying-coverup, also how his cult suppresses the real record of James Randi.

Randi's Involvement With Identity Theft And His Lies About His "Carlos" Scam Part 1

The Real Carlos Hoax Part 2

One of Randi's bigger lies, involving identity theft, passport fraud, how his PR operation can turn what even a "Skeptical" reporter notes was a failed stunt into a PR "win" and perpetuate the lie in the media and online.

The Randi Scorecard Up Till Now

Recapping the short and far from complete list of the Randi scandals written about with yet another example of him being caught in a published lie about Rupert Sheldrake's published research.  Also why I will not deal with the phone sex scandal tapes that Randi has finally admitted are authentic (he reportedly said they were forgeries when they were originally introduced in a law suit) and why I will not go into it.

One Last Thing

In view of the documented bragging by "Skeptics" that they organize to make Wikipedia, WOT, etc. into "tools of skepticism", does the James Randi "Educational" Foundation actively try to suppress Randi's critics, his documented history and online comments that could damage the Randi brand?

OK, let the threats and sabotage begin, remembering I make backups.

* I will be writing more on this topic in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. From your post on Gardner:

    "Their reasoning is simple: If you start from the position that an effect cannot exist, then why bother going to all the time and expense to actually study it? It makes more sense to use every rhetorical trick in the book to convince others that your opinion is correct, and that all the evidence to the contrary is somehow flawed. This may seem like a perfectly reasonable strategy, but it is not science. It is much closer to an argument based on faith, like a religious position. The fact that most skeptics do not conduct counter-studies to prove their claims is not well known."

    Pretty much the same critique one can make of Dawkins. He professes proudly to be ignorant of religion except in the most poorly informed sense of reinforcing his prejudices and preferences, and any evidence to the contrary of his opinions (not about God, say, but about what Christians confess or Muslims believe; interestingly, he never treads on the toes of the Jews) is dismissed because, why bother? It can't be true anyway.

    Dawkins doesn't pretend his is a scientific approach, but it is certainly "religious" in the worst sense of the word: believing what you know ain't so. Dawkins prefers the "rhetorical tricks" to set aside all the evidence that (in his latest wrong-footed tweet) there are women in Islam who are concerned with the position of women in Islam.

    And they don't need Richard Dawkins' sanctimonious and chauvinistic help, thank you very much.