Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Twelve Apostates - The Amazing Randi

James Randi is a liar.  He made a career out of being a liar.  But there's a key difference between Randi and the people he's been exposing for decades.  Randi tells people he's lying.  He's a magician, or as he prefers to be called a conjurer.

If I were forced to choose one person as my favorite atheist, that person would be James Randi.  He has exposed numerous frauds and con artists.  He does so with a smile on his face, in a polite manner, without compromise of scientific principles, and without fear.

He put Peter Popoff out of business by exposing his trickery on the Tonight Show. He also used his friendship with Johnny Carson to expose the fraud of Uri Geller.

Those are just his most famous exposures.  He's debunked countless more.

His debunking is made all the more effective with his Million Dollar Challenge.  Anyone who can actually prove their supernatural or paranormal abilities would get a million dollars.  No one has ever come close to it, of course.

Randi actively pursued famous psychic Sylvia Browne to try the challenge for years.  He even got her to accept on national television.

She never actually went through it, which I'm sure was a complete shock to everyone involved.  But she did continue to be a terrible person.

Peter Popoff is back to conning people, somehow overcoming being revealed as a con artist.  Sylvia Browne's fraud wasn't stopped by Randi.  But he exposed them for anyone willing to accept reality.  The resiliency of these people to being held accountable for their scams makes Randi's work that much more important.  They must be exposed as much as possible.

When the world inevitably loses The Amazing Randi, he will leave behind some mighty big shoes to fill.

More James Randi on the YouTubes.

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