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pexer99

one million dollar paranormal challenge!!!

rickymrickym Member PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
http://www.randi.org/research/index.html

quote:
"At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. "

with all the people who claim to be mystics, psychics, exorcists, faith healers and people with spiritual gifts. why can't anyone claim the prize. not to mention the people who enter and have passed guiness book of world records and ripley's believe it or not with such activities such as firewalking etc. and also all of the miraculous claims of the different religions.

is it because they are all fakes or they just don't want to bother with James Randi.
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Comments

  • gekokujogekokujo Original Fire PExer
    (Randi) It's very much like if you left this place right at this moment and found standing in the street outside a fellow with a bow in one hand and a violin in the other, and his hat open on the ground at his feet. You would assume this fellow plays a tune on the violin and you throw a coin in the hat. So you speak to the fellow and you say, 'Do you play the violin, Sir?' And he says, 'Yes, I do.' 'You can play just about any tune?' 'Oh yes, I'm very versatile.' 'Tell you what, there's a fellow inside the Foundation here, he will pay you $1.1-million if you will play him a tune. Will you do that?' And the fellow looks at you and says, 'No.'

    Now you would think this fellow was intellectually challenged if he turns down a simple offer like that. Do what you say you can do and collect a prize. It's that simple.

    (Paul Willis) So what exactly would someone have to do in order to win the prize?

    (Randi) It would depend on their claim. If they say they can fly by flapping their arms, do that. If you say you can predict the future, well then we'd have to sit down and decide what would be a sufficiently astonishing prediction of the future in order to qualify. People have different claims of all kinds. Many of them come to me and say, 'I can tell things about people.' Well, fellow walks up to me in the street and punches me in the mouth, I can tell something about him: he dislikes me. That's easy enough. It has to be better than that. It has to be a specific thing they say they can do that is not normally explained. After all, the definition of paranormal is an event that takes place and yet does not have an explanation in orthodox science.


    http://www.abc.net.au/science/correx/archives/randi5.htm

    Here's an article about someone who took the challenge and failed:

    http://www.time.com/time/columnist/jaroff/article/0,9565,199773,00.html
  • Strawb203Strawb203 I'm not from Baguio PExer

    Aw, what a shame! Perhaps Randi is the fraud after all. This person wanted to go through the process, a rigorous one at that, and Randi didn't give him a chance to prove himself. Randi is OBVIOUSLY escaping the challenge because he believes that he has already been defeated.

    Oh, well...

    Strawb203
  • micketymocmicketymoc Oversized Member PExer
    Bakit, is Randi obliged to take on every flimflam artist who wants to waste his time? His more detailed reply to Kolodzey's KSP antics are here.

    "It won't stop. At www.alternativescience.com there's a chap named Kolodzey who wants to apply for the JREF prize because he claims that he can survive on nothing but water. I gave this dumbo a short, sharp, answer long ago, but he's still carrying on about this nonsense. A critic writes to me:

    "'Although I VERY MUCH DOUBT that he can do any such thing, I do not think that you did yourself any favors by, in effect, telling him to go jump in a lake. YOU are the guy who puts up the proud $1 Million challenge to all comers. Should have tested him out Randi.'

    "I couldn't resist trying to explain a few basic facts to this man. I thought that perhaps I could introduce him to a factor that he may have heard of, but has never considered: reality. I listed for him a few claims, asking that he read and consider them carefully:


    1. I can fly by flapping my arms, but not when anyone is looking or observing or recording with video.

    2. I am God.

    3. I can survive for weeks without any nourishment besides water.

    4. I can soften stone just by looking at it.

    5. I can cure any disease, without exception, just by knowing the name of the patient.

    6. I can make a meteorite hit any spot on Earth, on demand.

    7. I can make it rain anywhere in the world, at any given time and date.

    "I added this:

    "'Okay? Do you seriously think that we at the JREF should or would spend our valuable time and facilities investigating ANY of these juvenile notions? These claims are made by people who need and crave attention; we have no time to feed their egos. Often, they are only looking for their names to appear somewhere, and have no intention of ever doing what they have claimed. And, they will not agree to just do the stunt; they insist upon press and publicity to be brought in to glorify them. For example, when he was asked to have a meteorite hit my backyard the following Sunday as a simple indication of his powers, the claimant for #6, above, wanted us to issue a press release in advance, and take an ad in the paper. We of course refused, and he went away.

    "'We are often criticized for going after only the silly people, the "easy" targets: dowsers, homeopaths, "applied kinesiology" practitioners, magnet gurus, etc. But these claims cost lives and tax dollars, so must be dealt with. How much more would we be criticized for going after the seven claims listed above? Yes, we've had all of those claims made, some many times over. We must ignore them, because they're just so juvenile. Testing any of them would take much time and labor, and at the end, we have exactly what we knew all along: the claim is an empty one. There's no satisfaction or reward in doing this.

    "'We're a serious organization, not a circus, and we won't be drawn into stupid confrontations. Let them go to Gary Schwartz, at the University of Arizona, who will undoubtedly find them to be the real thing no matter what their claim is, simply because he doesn't know how to design and conduct a test.'"
  • mac_bolan00mac_bolan00 Banned by Admin PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    randi's a gifted magician and illusionist. that was his career before he became a full-time fraud buster. i used to see him in action on tv way back in the 70s and 80s. at that time, his challenge was worth only $10,000. it was never claimed.

    he humiliated so-called psychics, faith healers, and all other 'quacks'. he demonstrated how all these tricks were done, even the spoon-bending trick made by uri geller.
  • Strawb203Strawb203 I'm not from Baguio PExer
    Originally posted by micketymoc
    Bakit, is Randi obliged to take on every flimflam artist who wants to waste his time? His more detailed reply to Kolodzey's KSP antics are here.

    You have a point. Or rather, Randi made a point here. A long one at that. But we must also consider the fact that Randi was the one who put up the $1M challenge, and then claims to be a responsible organization when they are making fools out of people who would even dare by happily complaining about them. It could be that putting up with Randi is the waste of time for mavericks or not.

    Of course, Randi is not obliged, but his moves are not immune to scrutiny either. Why even put up such a challenge? Who is the real KSP?
  • AmaiAmai Member PExer
    "'Okay? Do you seriously think that we at the JREF should or would spend our valuable time and facilities investigating ANY of these juvenile notions?

    Why did he consider the 7 claims juvenile? Softening a stone is like bending spoon, yet he rejects the former and accepts the latter. He's inconsistent. The 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th claims could easily be disproven, and these are as believable as the claims he had previously tested.
    These claims are made by people who need and crave attention; we have no time to feed their egos.

    And I suppose those psychics, faith healers and others he has tested do not crave for attention? Seriously, Mr. Randi?
    Often, they are only looking for their names to appear somewhere, and have no intention of ever doing what they have claimed. And, they will not agree to just do the stunt; they insist upon press and publicity to be brought in to glorify them. For example, when he was asked to have a meteorite hit my backyard the following Sunday as a simple indication of his powers, the claimant for #6, above, wanted us to issue a press release in advance, and take an ad in the paper. We of course refused, and he went away.

    The question is, did the German chap asked for this publicity? Mr. Kolodzey simply wrote to Mr. Randi to tell he accepts the challenge. Did he say he has to be interviewed first by CNN or whatever? Did he say that the New York Times should dedicate an article for him first?

    I don't know, but if Mr. Kolodzey asked for this, then Mr. Randi probably wouldn't fail to mention it.
    "'We are often criticized for going after only the silly people, the "easy" targets: dowsers, homeopaths, "applied kinesiology" practitioners, magnet gurus, etc. But these claims cost lives and tax dollars, so must be dealt with.

    His challenge states:

    "At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. "

    If, as he claim, agreed to test those homeopaths and the others because they cost lives and money, then the challenge should say instead:

    "At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event, provided, these claims costs lives and money. "

    But no he didn't. So whether the claim doesn't cost lives or/and money shouldn't matter.
    How much more would we be criticized for going after the seven claims listed above? Yes, we've had all of those claims made, some many times over. We must ignore them, because they're just so juvenile. Testing any of them would take much time and labor, and at the end, we have exactly what we knew all along: the claim is an empty one. There's no satisfaction or reward in doing this.

    "'We're a serious organization, not a circus, and we won't be drawn into stupid confrontations. Let them go to Gary Schwartz, at the University of Arizona, who will undoubtedly find them to be the real thing no matter what their claim is, simply because he doesn't know how to design and conduct a test.'"

    That's weird, because in his attempt to dodge criticisms, he still received some. If he rejects those believed "juvenile notions" because he doesn't want to be criticized by others, others(like alternativescience.com) will still criticize him because of rejecting these people. Just like what happened.

    Eitherway, he'll still be criticized. But I advice he should still accept those who are up for his challenge, if he wants to show the world that paranormal, supernatural and occultic phenomenon don't exist.


    Randi's reply:
    Mr. Kolodzey:

    Don't treat us like children. We only respond to responsible claims.

    What made Mr. Kolodzey's claim irresponsble? Could anyone please enlighten me?
    Are you actually claiming that you have not consumed any food products except water, since the end of 1998? If this is what you are saying, did you think for one moment that we would believe it?

    You mean he actually believed, even for just a second his previous challengers' claims? Did he accept the challenge of the little Russian girl because he thought for a second it was true?
    If this is actually your claim, you're a liar and a fraud. We are not interested in pursuing this further, nor will we exchange correspondence with you on the matter.

    What's this? He didn't even give the person the benefit of doubt? He already judged the person without even testing him? Would you trust a person who immediately assume something he has little knowledge about? By reading his reply, I get the impression that he's close-minded.

    I'm in search for the most perfect guy on earth, but I'll only go to Japan and the United States.
  • micketymocmicketymoc Oversized Member PExer
    Originally posted by Strawb203
    Originally posted by micketymoc
    It could be that putting up with Randi is the waste of time for mavericks or not.

    Of course, Randi is not obliged, but his moves are not immune to scrutiny either. Why even put up such a challenge? Who is the real KSP?

    There are PLENTY of real KSP's out there claiming to have "the next big scientific breakthrough", or "miracle cure", or "healing wonder". They do no great service to humankind by selling these quack cures. On the contrary - they provide false hope to the desperate and run off with ill-deserved money for services that are worse than useless.

    From that perspective, Randi's doing us all a BIG favor. He's reminding us that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. Sure, tell me that you have psychic abilities - but subject yourself to the same high standards that science demands of the least of its discoveries.

    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard Feynman

    Like I've said, there are millions of flim-flam artists out there - and as long as people hold out for false hopes, they'll never go away. That's why Randi has to be selective - there's just too much flim-flam out there! He's only one man! Besides, Kolodzey's claims of "pranic nourishment" have been debunked before.

    Why defend Kolodzey? Isn't it obvious to any common-sense person that "Pranic Nourishment" is just plain bunk? If a friend told you, to your face, that he doesn't need to eat, he lives off sunlight, wouldn't you laugh in his face? Why aren't you laughing now?
  • AmaiAmai Member PExer
    Besides, Kolodzey's claims of "pranic nourishment" have been debunked before.

    Just because testers who had similar claims have been proven to be frauds doesn't mean all are.
    Why defend Kolodzey?

    If you're referring to me, just like to inform you I'm not defending him. I do not believe his claim is true, nor do I believe his claim is false. It's just that Mr. Randi's reasons for rejecting Mr. Kolodzey are not satisfactory and a bit inconsistent, so consequently, I believe he should've have given the guy a chance.
    Isn't it obvious to any common-sense person that "Pranic Nourishment" is just plain bunk? If a friend told you, to your face, that he doesn't need to eat, he lives off sunlight, wouldn't you laugh in his face? Why aren't you laughing now?

    I'd be laughing, because I've seen her complain many times of her hunger. (I'm imagining a certain person) But if a stranger has similar claim, I'll probably sneer, but give him a chance to prove himself.

    I'm open to all ideas, even if it's seemingly against common sense.

    Before, it's common sense says that the earh is the center of the solar system. It was laughable to suggest that it's the sun, moon or whatever.

    Guess who got the last laugh?
  • Strawb203Strawb203 I'm not from Baguio PExer
    Originally posted by micketymoc
    There are PLENTY of real KSP's out there claiming to have "the next big scientific breakthrough", or "miracle cure", or "healing wonder". They do no great service to humankind by selling these quack cures. On the contrary - they provide false hope to the desperate and run off with ill-deserved money for services that are worse than useless.[/i]

    It is the choice of the members of humankind to buy into it. In the same way that it's Randi's choice to actually offer $1M to challenge them. He uses $1M as a bait to satisfy his own ego. Put a bait in a pond, and all the fish will go to it. Plus the fact that he makes a bigger issue out of it than those who want to be tested.
    Originally posted by micketymoc
    Why defend Kolodzey? Isn't it obvious to any common-sense person that "Pranic Nourishment" is just plain bunk? If a friend told you, to your face, that he doesn't need to eat, he lives off sunlight, wouldn't you laugh in his face? Why aren't you laughing now?

    You really have a point here, micketymoc. I can tell that you are very much concerned for those who fall for con artists. But as for me, I'm not defending anyone in particular. Kolodzey just happened to come up here and he represents all those who were dismissed. As they say, innocent until proven guilty. A process is necessary to find out. It's logical to say that some of them may be innocent. And for Randi to dismiss the likes of Kolodzey and then (publicly) humiliate them is adding insult to injury. That is proof of a huge, huge ego and we no longer need extraordinary evidence for Randi himself has provided us with that.
  • rickymrickym Member PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    here's an interesting website on Harry Houdini and his quest to see if psychic phenomena exists. its quite a long read.

    http://www.prairieghosts.com/houdini.html

    he was so obsessed with talking with his already dead mother, so he visited psychics. he uncovered fake after fake. so he decided to make a pact with his friends, stating that if he should die he would give a secret message to his wife through a medium.

    this story seems to have several interesting twists
  • micketymocmicketymoc Oversized Member PExer
    Originally posted by Strawb203
    Kolodzey just happened to come up here and he represents all those who were dismissed. As they say, innocent until proven guilty. A process is necessary to find out.

    I agree a process is necessary - but that process is one that's available to all of us. That process is called critical thinking. You don't need Randi to decide which of the assertions you're confronted with are bullsh!t - you just have to know how to weigh the facts pro and con and decide what the most rational explanation for such phenomena are.
    Originally posted by Strawb203
    It is the choice of the members of humankind to buy into it.

    But it is not an informed choice. Frauds and quacks will do anything to make sure that only their side of the story is presented - "prana", "psychic energy", etc. Randi takes the scientific standpoint: skeptical, yes, killjoy, definitely, but always more effective at objectively sorting truth from falsehood. Randi provides the scientific controls, through his challenge, to rule out conscious fraud, as well as unconscious wishful thinking,selective thinking, subjective validation, and communal reinforcement.

    The beauty of the scientific method is that it minimizes the impact of Randi's biases as well! Even if he wanted his test subjects to fail, he couldn't, because the scientific controls are there to stop him from injecting his own biases into the study!
    Originally posted by Strawb203
    In the same way that it's Randi's choice to actually offer $1M to challenge them. He uses $1M as a bait to satisfy his own ego. Put a bait in a pond, and all the fish will go to it. Plus the fact that he makes a bigger issue out of it than those who want to be tested.
    ...
    It's logical to say that some of them may be innocent. And for Randi to dismiss the likes of Kolodzey and then (publicly) humiliate them is adding insult to injury. That is proof of a huge, huge ego and we no longer need extraordinary evidence for Randi himself has provided us with that.

    You can accuse Randi of ego-tripping all you want. All the same, the people he unmasks are guilty of ego-tripping and worse. Fraud Randi is not - that label must rightfully fall on the quacks, pseudopsychics, and mediums he works so hard to unmask.

    Randi performs a public service. Could you say the same thing about Kolodzey and his ilk?

    Could you honestly say that an ego-tripper who performs a public service is actually worse than an ego-tripper who harms society with his false ideas and potentially fatal "miracle cures"?

    Originally posted by Amai
    I'm open to all ideas, even if it's seemingly against common sense.

    I'm all for open-mindedness - but not to the point that your brains fall out! See my point above re: critical thinking.
    Originally posted by Amai
    Before, it's common sense says that the earh is the center of the solar system. It was laughable to suggest that it's the sun, moon or whatever. Guess who got the last laugh?

    And the reason why we arrived at the truth re: heliocentrism is that Copernicus, and the entire scientific community at large, were subject to the rules of science - the very same rules that Randi proposes to subject psychics, quacks, and mediums to. As Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman puts it, "We've learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature's phenomena will agree or they'll disagree with your theory." You can fool yourself, but ultimately you can't fool nature. The scientific method, the very same method that Randi introduces into psychic phenomena etc., ensure that none of the participants is fooling himself, let alone fool others.

    "It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty--a kind of leaning over backwards," Feynman explains. "If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it....

    "In summary, the idea is to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another."

    Randi's challenge isn't about his ego. It isn't about his biases. It's about applying the scientific process to pseudoscientific theories... and sorting out the real from the flimflam.

    And it's not just Randi's duty to do that. It's a reminder to all of us that while Randi himself may not have the time to take on every nut, quack, and faithhealer in the world, we can use our own critical thinking to sort out who's telling the truth and who's out just to make a quick buck.
  • micketymocmicketymoc Oversized Member PExer
    Originally posted by Strawb203
    Aw, what a shame! Perhaps Randi is the fraud after all. This person wanted to go through the process, a rigorous one at that, and Randi didn't give him a chance to prove himself. Randi is OBVIOUSLY escaping the challenge because he believes that he has already been defeated.

    Oh, well...

    The only thing OBVIOUS is that there's more than one reason for refusing Kolodzey's request. Occam's Razor, dear. Ever think that there are thousands of flim-flammers out there clamoring for Randi's time? That a 70 year old man with a busy schedule can't make time for every quack and faith healer coming out of the woodwork?

    Besides, where Kolodzey's "Pranic Nourishment" is concerned, Randi's got bigger fish to fry. And somebody's already beaten him to the frying pan.

    Too bad nobody told Verity Linn earlier.
  • OlorinOlorin Maiar PExer
    There's another reason for refusing Kolodzey's request. If Kolodsey is just a fraud, and the witholding of food kills or injures him, how would that look? And where would it end? If a crackpot suddenly claims that he can withstand a gunshot to his head, should Randi just go ahead with the test?
  • micketymocmicketymoc Oversized Member PExer
    Originally posted by Amai
    What made Mr. Kolodzey's claim irresponsble? Could anyone please enlighten me?
    Verity Linn. Timo Degen. Liane Morris. They'd be able to answer your questions... oh, waitaminute...
    Originally posted by Olorin
    There's another reason for refusing Kolodzey's request. If Kolodsey is just a fraud, and the witholding of food kills or injures him, how would that look? And where would it end? If a crackpot suddenly claims that he can withstand a gunshot to his head, should Randi just go ahead with the test?
    That is a good point. So far, most hopefuls for the Paranormal Challenge have proclaimed powers that weren't inherently dangerous for themselves or others (except maybe for the guy who claimed that he could bring meteors to crash where he wanted to). Kolodzey's claims cross a dangerous line.

    Should we believe that Kolodzey's a fraud only when he's starved himself half to death like Jasmuheen almost did? Or should we save ourselves time and brain cells, and just use our common sense to discern the truth of his claims?
  • gekokujogekokujo Original Fire PExer
    Man, if all I needed to do to get a million dollars is to live on nothing but water, I'd be driving a Porsche by now! Just this past week, I've been living on nothing but beer!

    And come on, don't you think it would be rather underwhelming if the world's most notorious skeptic calls a presscon to present the person who ended his skepticism, and all he's got to show is some guy holding a glass of water? If I was a reporter at that presscon, I'd expect the guy to at least levitate the glass or turn its contents into ice by staring at it - not just drink it.
  • Strawb203Strawb203 I'm not from Baguio PExer
    Since Randi brushed him off, it makes his judgment of Kolodzey's claim subjective. The reason Randi even makes them go through a process is to FIND OUT.

    And, of course, Randi is the boss (in mafia-speak, we would nasally say - "bu-waus"), he's the wise man with a million dollars! He will definitely not make it easy for anybody. He can turn down anyone he wants, for all he cares! He could simply be in a bad mood one day and make his own rule to turn down everybody that makes claims on that day. Such is the practice when we get US visas - hahaha!

    Perhaps we have a little of Randi and a little of Kolodzey in us.
  • BartoloxBartolox I AM WHO AM PExer
    We have our very own Idiamoh, a PEXer, who claims to have knowledge of a new form of energy called Divine Energy. I asked him to apply for the JREF prize and then publish his research in a refereed physics journal so he can win the Nobel Prize worth another million dollars. So far, he is evading the issue.
  • Strawb203Strawb203 I'm not from Baguio PExer
    Originally posted by Bartolox
    We have our very own Idiamoh, a PEXer, who claims to have knowledge of a new form of energy called Divine Energy. I asked him to apply for the JREF prize and then publish his research in a refereed physics journal so he can win the Nobel Prize worth another million dollars. So far, he is evading the issue.

    Please expound on this. What Divine energy and what's he using it for? Intriguing.
  • BartolosBartolos Member PExer
    Search his posts. you'll know what i mean.

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