must be getting nostalgic. Already this year I’ve seen
two shows that have whisked me back to the Seventies. The first
was Saturday Night Fever starring the incredibly fit
and talented Sean Mulligan and the second was An Audience
with Uri Geller.
and the rest of his audience saw Uri Geller at The Palace Theatre
in Mansfield Nottinghamshire. One big difference between now
and the Seventies was that this was a small (but nonetheless
charming) theatre and there were plenty spare seats.
was a strange evening in that much of the time was spent listening
to just what a tremendously special person Geller was - according
to Geller. Among other famous names he mentioned his pal John Lennon
and even told us he would be seeing Condoleezza Rice next week.
We were all clearly very privileged to be there.
of the show consisted of Geller holding up newspaper cuttings
to a video camera to help illustrate aspects of his life. For
example we learnt that when he was only four years old a spoon
melted in his hand whilst he was eating soup. I can only think
that the soup must have been very hot indeed because doing
it psychically is impossible.
his own admission his 'act' has changed hardly at all over
the years. This we were told was because whilst a magician
can introduce new tricks he could only perform his genuine
stuff. He also acknowledged that magicians could duplicate
his feats. Yes I can.
a demonstration of telepathy a female volunteer was asked to
write the name of a colour on a flip chart whilst Uri had his
back turned. She wrote 'PINK' and we the audience had to transmit
this information to him telepathically. Alas he couldn't get
'PINK' so he asked her to choose another colour ("a primary
colour") and write it much larger, as to why this might
help our joint telepathic efforts wasn't really explained.
She wrote the word 'RED' and this time he managed to tune into
our collective consciousness successfully. I was amused by
the fact that he said magicians could duplicate this feat by
having someone signal this to him in the audience. Now you
mention it I imagine that would be one way to duplicate this
exactly. Curiously we never saw a demonstration the drawing
reproduction that he sometimes does on television. Pity, I
would have volunteered for that myself.
also had the 'four people lifting a man from a chair' demonstration.
Four people were invited up on stage and the largest asked
to sit in a chair. The idea is to see if you can lift him by
having two people put their hands under his armpits (nice)
and two others placing their hands under his knees. According
to Uri this is impossible unless you first hold your hands
in a special way above the seated person’s head. I saw
him do this on TV years ago and nothing had changed. Personally
I beg to differ with his basic premise that four people cannot
lift one man. His explanation that the person seated actually
became lighter is, well ridiculous. I think he should research
this a little deeper.
a similar vein he had one person hold their arm straight out
and think positive thoughts, amazingly Geller could not bend
his arm. Yet when he did it with his other arm and thought
negative things Geller moved his arm with ease. Golly it just
shows you doesn't it.
course it wouldn't be a show without fixing watches and bending
spoons so sure enough watches were collected up and thrown
into a box. Then they were thrown out onto the floor and, after
Geller picked some up to inspect them, thrown back down again.
The audience had to go through the "1,2,3, WORK!" nonsense
and some watches, we were told, had started to tick. The watches
were not handed back immediately so we don’t know if
they stopped again 30 seconds later. Of course throwing the
watches around for a bit may have started them anyway but then
again maybe all it takes is to say "1,2,3, WORK!"
it was the turn of the spoons. We saw one spoon break in two
and another bend. In the first instance this was shown in close
up using the video camera. Unfortunately Uri's fingers covered
the exact spot where the spoon "melted" so it was
difficult to know if it had already been weakened or if Uri's
mind power interfered with the structure of the metal at the
sub-atomic level. In bending, as opposed to breaking, a
teaspoon he moved quickly into the audience, a diversion which
unfortunately meant not everyone could see the bending as it
happened. However I did see it bend while Uri was holding it
in both hands. Perhaps his hands must somehow help focus
his mental energy.
this was going on the two women sitting next to me were gently
rubbing their own spoons to no avail. I asked if I could have
a go and managed to put in a very slight bend. When I showed
it to her it looked just as it did before and so she carried
on rubbing merrily away. Then she compared it with her friend's
spoon and noticed it had moved slightly. Wow! The person to
my left offered me a teaspoon which, after a little rubbing,
actually melted in two. Wow again.
be entirely fair Geller did try to turn the whole thing into
a positive motivating experience. He signed, and then auctioned,
the bent teaspoon, the proceeds of which was to go to a local
charity. Two people bid over £100 and Geller invited
them both to his home and said he would try to get Madonna
to visit at the same time. He also got a number of people up
on stage who wanted to give up smoking. Aided and abetted by
the audience he went to each in turn and told (i.e. shouted
at) them to give up. He breathed cigarette smoke into a hanky
to show them what was going into their lungs. There was one
amusing moment when a man holding aloft his cigarette packet
affirmed he was never going to smoke again. Geller told him
to crush the box and as he showed clear hesitation everyone
laughed. He had little choice but to squash the packet.
show finished with the moving compass needle trick and the
germinating of a radish seed. Uri's powers obviously have a
similar effect to compost. The seed itself was generously given
to a small boy who was told it would grow into a nice big radish.
What a lucky guy.
I got Uri to pose with me for a photo on my mobile phone. He
seemed more than a little suspicious at my request and immediately
asked where I and my friend came from. He also quizzed us about
what we did for a living. I felt these questions were not asked
simply out of polite interest. I answered truthfully and he
duly posed for the photo. I managed to flash the small 'JREF'
logo on my T shirt but the quality wasn't particularly good.
we left the theatre I noticed one of those pledging to give
up smoking had immediately lit up outside. Still the evening
wasn't an entire loss, it was his son who had been given the
germinated radish seed. He expressed some doubt that it would
grow. So did I.
was an interesting item on GMTV this morning. A cautionary tale
of psychic fraud. They even went to the trouble of getting in
an authority on what a good psychic should be like. Sounds like
something not to be missed.
the expert is consulted there is a brief bit of VT in which the
reporter gives some excellent advice.
anyone can claim to be a psychic, healer or even a clairvoyant.
Perhaps that fact should make us ask questions before we part
with our hard earned cash.”
a clairvoyant? You just can’t trust anyone can you? Anyway
GMTV can obviously spot a genuine psychic as they got one in
the studio and what better choice than Colin ‘Trumpet’ Fry.
a funny old world that’s for sure.
Psychic Challenge - again
know I’ve been banging on about this (here if you missed
it) but now the series has come to an end I want to make a point.
I actually think programme’s like this do society a disservice
which some will find a bit of an over the top statement but here’s
series, despite trying to appear impartial has unavoidably promoted
the idea of psychic ability and I suggest deliberately so. Those
who work in television, and indeed the media generally, are on
the whole, very bright people. If they had wanted to they could
have achieved a very different result. But what matters is what
sells and psychic wins over skeptic every time.
does society make up it’s collective mind about what is
or isn’t true? Do they study scientific reports and carefully
weigh up the evidence? No they read, hear and see stuff that
floats about somewhere ‘out there’. Dr Michael Shermer
made this point well in Rick Wood’s latest Audiomartini.
Once upon a time you just read about psychic stuff in books but
then it spread to radio and now finally to television. Mediums
(such as Mr Fry mentioned above) go on tours and people like
Derek Acorah are carefully promoted and no amount of exposure
dents their fan’s devotion.
Psychic Challenge has just chucked another small bucket of water
into the flood of idiocy that is washing over our culture. As
they all walk away and move onto new projects I’m sure
they are very proud of their contribution to society.
for one am not.
now just about everything that could be said regarding the Muslim
reaction to the Danish cartoons of Muhammad probably has been
said, but I feel the need to made a some comment on this latest
outburst as it is of much concern not only to defenders of free
speech but to those who hold reason in high regard.
essence I fail to see why a group of people, however large the
group, should have the right to impose their religious beliefs
onto those that do not share their view. If you are a Muslim
it seems you shouldn’t go round drawing pictures of the
Prophet Muhammad and that’s fine by me. But telling others
that they mustn’t do it either is totally unacceptable
and doesn’t become more acceptable in proportion to the
depth of feeling.
especially Islam, is not known for its tolerant attitude. Reports
on the way women are treated in some Islamic countries are extremely
worrying and the attitude to homosexuals is even worse. The hanging
of two young boys convicted of homosexuality in Iran a
while ago is a reminder of just how barbaric religion can be. Now
I think about it they don’t have many kind words for atheists
yet the word “Islamophobia” is used as some kind
of accusation that people’s concerns are simply irrational
fears and no more but if we had hoped that the kind of hysteria
shown at Salman Rushdie’s novel Satanic
Verses was a thing
of the past this has been a sharp reminder that it isn’t.
said, the peaceful demonstration by British Muslims was encouraging
and in stark contrast to the wild and offensive placards used
by the extremists. Peaceful protest is a basic human right and
if Muslims want to boycott Danish products to make their views
felt then they are equally entitled to do so. Freedom of expression
cuts both ways.
this website I exercise my own freedom of expression and just
to make that point I
do not believe in the supernatural, including any gods, and I
do not regard any characters from religious texts as sacred and
deserving of special treatment.
a lighter note I’m amused by the story that psychic medium
Christine Holohan has been accused of illegal
dumping. She protests
her innocence but her psychic powers are unable to find the true
have to be very stupid to plonk my rubbish in front of a CCTV
camera. I’m an innocent person in all of this. I’d
even take a lie detector to prove my innocence. If I was guilty
why would I make such an issue over it.”
added that she had not been shown any evidence of any items with
her name on it allegedly found by the council in the waste.
a psychic pointed the finger?
you will know James Randi underwent and operation on his heart
recently. To say I am relieved by his continued progress is a
huge understatement. He is a friend, hero and legend all rolled
into one. I wish him a speedy recovery and long to hear his voice
once more. Cards
may be sent to Randi care of; JREF, 201 SE 12 Street, Fort
we’re stupid too!
to the BBC
News site nearly 50% of Britons who took
part in a Ipsos MORI survey were unconvinced by evolution.
asked what best described their view of the origin and development
22% chose creationism
17% Intelligent Design
48% The Theory of Evolution
rest didn’t know.
In the US the promoters of Intelligent Design have just lost
a court case in Dover , Pennsylvania where they tried to pretend
ID was real science and offered a genuine alternative to the Theory
In the 139 page document explaining the ruling Judge John E.
Jones called the ID proponents liars,
is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly
and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would
time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real
purpose behind the ID policy."
what are things like over here? Thanks to the Reverend
Tony Blair religious schools are increasing
rapidly and if you think back when he was challenged about Emmanuel
College teaching creationism he just waffled his way out. Perhaps
he didn’t want to
Blair seems to want to have it both ways. On the one hand he
expects us to be able to make sensible judgements about scientific
evidence as in the case of the MMR triple vaccine but on the
other, allows the teaching of flaky, unscientific gibberish in
British Schools. As ye sow….
please don’t take my word for it, ask anyone of school
age to explain the Theory of Evolution and see what you get. “We
evolved from monkeys” is a likely answer. Someone told me
they heard this in a recent radio programme, “If we evolved
from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” D’uh!
believe there is such a thing as society and letting it wallow
in ignorance is a bad idea and eventually it will affect on all
of us. As John Donne famously wrote, “No man is an island.”
reader in court
heartened by the following story although as things stand you
would think cases like this would be taking place on a daily
Mohammed from Chester found himself in court accused of deception.
He is facing seven charges of deception and another under the
Trades Descriptions Act for recklessly making a false statement
that he was “able to perform paranormal phenomena
guaranteeing to restore the physical relationship between her and
had he stuck to the old refrain that whilst he was indeed psychic
sod all might actually happen, there wouldn’t
have been a problem. Based on every medium, psychic and purveyor
of paranormal powers I have ever met I’d say they were all
as useless as each other.
you, or anyone you know, have been told things that turned out
not to be true then perhaps it is worth doing something after
all and maybe ‘psychics’ will be more careful with
Read story here.
Acorah and a lost cat. Talking
of useless psychics, Derek Acorah has been recruited by cat owner
Peter Crompton to find his lost moggy ‘Smokie’.
He is quoted in IC
Liverpool.co.uk as saying, “Derek is an
extremely kind and gifted man with an extraordinary psychic ability."
of course he is, “I’m getting something to do
with a mouse that’s no longer in the physical plane. In fact
he’s in the cat. What’s that Sam? Something about a
litter tray. I don’t want this to sound like a question but
does the name Tiddles mean anything to you please?”
seen Derek in action I suggest that if I were Peter I wouldn’t
buy too much cat food. He might even end up with George Galloway.
have reported on this dreadful series here but don’t
intend knocking myself out every week covering the latest farcical
tests in minute detail. But I would like to acknowledge what a
great job Chris French and Philip Escoffey are doing. Alas I think
as time goes on it seems inevitable that they will begin to look
more and more like petty nit-pickers despite being nothing of the
kind. Meanwhile Jackie Malton continues to distance herself from
all logical thought. She’s less of a Sherlock Holmes and
more of a Conan-Doyle.
still don't exist
appeared in “Central Extra” this week, which for
the uninitiated is a monthly TV discussion programme. Taking part
was also my good friend and skeptic par excellence Professor Chris
French, Mia Dolan and her spirit guide ‘Eric’, ghost
hunter Phil Whyman and Lorraine, a very nice lady who believed
her house had been haunted. I say “had been” because
good old Mia had managed to get rid of it.
think my view on ghosts can be taken for granted but a couple
of things were said in the programme that are worthy of comment,
if only because I’ve heard the same nonsense elsewhere.
These bits were omitted from the final programme.
first was raised by Phil
Whyman. He suggested that whilst
he couldn’t prove that ghosts existed we were pretty
much even as I was unable to prove they didn’t. At this point
skeptics will be rolling their eyes and groaning. My retort was
that neither could I disprove the existence of elves, goblins and
Unicorns and that as he was making the claim ghosts were real
the onus was on him to prove it. Later he defended his point by
saying that people were not going around saying they had seen elves,
etc. but they were saying they had seen ghosts. Chris pointed out
that in fact many people had at one time believed in fairies and
Conan Doyle as being among their number.
take the basic point about not being able to prove a negative.
The burden of proof is on the person making the claim. Thus if
someone states that they believe ghosts exist then they presumably
have some reason for doing so. If this is compelling then, unless
we are the bigoted close-minded species that believers often
accuse us of being, we will be won over.
it could be argued that I am making the claim ghosts don’t
exist and therefore have a similar burden of proof placed upon
me. But my belief is at least partly based on the fact that there
is a dearth of evidence in its favour. Ask yourself why you don’t
believe in Unicorns. If you met one you might want to think about
it but you haven’t have you. So you
really point to any positive evidence that would support your
lack of belief.
once heard this burden of proof argument put this way. You say
that you have evidence that ghosts exist and challenge me to
prove they don’t. I then say I have a suitcase full of
evidence that proves conclusively that they do not exist. You
laugh heartily at my claim, but I respond by challenging you
to prove that the suitcase doesn’t exist. As a cold clammy feeling starts to
make its way up your spine you retort that you too have a suitcase
and it proves my suitcase is full of hogwash. Thus we are doomed
to an eternal regression into infinite suitcases. At this point
I must add that this is not original to me, but I can’t remember
where I read it and secondly the person who originally wrote it
was probably more eloquent than I but it makes the point. Doesn’t
other aspect of this is Phil’s comment that people are
not reporting elf sightings but there are plenty of ghost sightings.
essence the problem is that lots of dodgy evidence doesn’t
add up to one big lump of really good evidence. This is a very
common mistake. There are hundreds of reported UFO sightings so
must we assume from this alone that UFOs are real? There are huge
numbers of alien abductees, there are Bigfoot sightings, angel
sightings, Loch Ness Monster sightings – but no compelling
evidence. It’s true, extraordinary claims do require
extraordinary evidence. Anecdotal tales of wondrous events are
just not good enough. Of course I agree that the eyewitness testimony
of dozens of independent witnesses would go a long way in court
but even then it would probably have to be backed up with something
So no, anecdotes do not amount to proof.
second thing that came up during the programme was an allusion
to the first law of thermodynamics. Mia Dolan (Egged on by 'Eric'
no doubt) questioned me in the following Rumpolesque manner.
have electricity in them”
cannot be created or destroyed”
when you die where does the energy go?”
At this point I assume I was supposed to start flustering and
looking bewildered having fallen into her cunning trap.
a similar thing was once suggested to me by Uri Geller and on
that occasion, like this one, my reply was edited out. Not unreasonably
perhaps as we are discussing dead bodies after all.
my answer was simply that the electrical energy was probably
changed to a small amount of heat energy which in turn dissipated
into the surrounding air. Mia also seemed to think that immediately
after death the human body weighs just a tiny bit less. This weight
loss being due to the departing of the spirit body. Chris French
assured her this was not true.
to summarise you can’t prove a negative and the laws
of thermodynamics do not support the spirit body hypothesis.
You may remember this nonsense
prior to the holiday period. Well it’s back on Sunday and
this time Norwegian Psychic Deborah Borgen is taking part, not
to be tested herself but to offer support and encouragement to
the would-be psychics taking part.
Borgen I am told by a Norwegian contact that, “she
seems to be involved in teaching courses in Silva Mind Control
(she is registered as an instructor, country supervisor, and trainer
with "Silva Ultra Mind"), and it is probably in this
capacity that she travels around the country, teaching people to
unlock their psychic ability.”
does seem to be a conflict of interest here but that won’t
matter as long as she remains unaware of what the psychic being
tested is supposed to be coming up with.
it turns out that she is present during the tests and is also
aware of the required result then this would immediately invalidate
the test. I do hope they haven’t been so naïve as
to commit this error.
We can but wait and see.
from Number 80 - News Public
service announcement: Fans to
From Number Eighty (which includes me) should be aware that 80
is having some update problems. I suggest counselling to help you
though this difficult time. Normal service will be resumed
of nursing I
don’t know if many readers of this commentary get Nursing
Standard but it boasts that it’s, “owned by nurses:
run by nurses”. Indeed it sports the Royal
College of Nursing
logo on its front cover.
the current January 2006 issue (Volume 20, No 17) it carries
many articles presumably of much interest to the UK’s
nursing profession. One such article describes how certain segments
of the population are prone to specific illnesses. Did you know
for example certain groups have problems with the neck and thyroid
gland whilst others are predisposed to bladder, urethra and rectum
what are these classifications? Perhaps it’s the ever
popular ‘North/South divide’? On the one hand we have
poor Northerners working 18 hour days in dark satanic mills, starting
each morning with a breakfast of fish and chips and ending with
a good fry up followed by a pint or two before retiring at night.
On the other hand the Southerners all run their own
businesses and make shrewd investments on the stock market.
They rise at 09:30 and after leisurely downing a couple of glasses
Fizz head off to the gym.
stereotypes are laughable, you couldn’t point to all
the overweight people with calluses on their hands and say, “look
a Northerner” with any more than a 50/50 chance of being
right. So imagine my surprise when I discover the Nursing Standard
article is based on something even more laughable…..
article is peppered with all the usual guff about people being
governed by ascendant signs which it claims, “….affects
health issues and the sorts of illness you may experience.” Nothing
to do with genetic make up or exposure to bacteria then? What’s
the betting that all the patients who contracted MRSA are Virgos?
pretend this ancient poppycock has some basis in fact the article’s
author, Rupert Sewell, informs us that Tony Blair’s
horoscope suggests, “…nerve irritation and cardiac
activity”. To be fair Tony Blair does cause me some nerve
irritation from time to time but personally I’m all for cardiac
activity, it’s cardiac inactivity that bothers me.
is it that editors think this sort of thing is either useful
or interesting? It’s tripe. I just hope nurses found it
as embarrassing to read as I did. In the field of human health
we have more than enough nonsense already (I hope His Royal Highness
is paying attention) without adding to it.
you may know I help run the UK Skeptic group the Association
for Skeptical Enquiry (ASKE)
and they have recently taken over sponsorship of Rick Wood ’s Audiomartini from
BadPsychics. BP was built up from nothing in a surprisingly short
space of time by Nik and Jon Donnis and we cooperated on a number
of things together. I’d like to take the opportunity to
wish them both well.
you haven’t listened to Rick’s weekly Audiomartini
podcasts before then you’re in for a treat.
try to confine my ramblings to subjects in the UK but Ms Browne
has made such a phenomenal psychic error that I feel she deserves
a special mention. All the details can be found on the JREF
View from Number Eighty
huge parts of the world have just celebrated the birthday of
someone who probably never existed Eighty has devoted ample webspace
to Jesus. A Damascene conversion by Eighty perhaps? Probably
Root of All Evil. Starts Monday 9 th January 2006 Channel Four.
feel a need to be seasonal. I was handed a copy December’s
issue of Evangelical
Times (ET?) the other day. It tackles deep
philosophical questions such as, “Does God exist?” the
general view being in the affirmative. It should come as no great
surprise that Christmas gets the thumbs up too.
However it was the comments about evolution that really caught
my eye. It received a brief mention by research zoologist Sheena
Tyler and over a full page by her hubby David
J. Tyler who has
a degree in physics and a PhD in Management Science.
in the UK many of us watch with stunned incomprehension at the
collective stupidity of those in America who still cling to the
creation myth. They constantly find new ways to pass off fable
as science and Intelligent Design is their latest stab at weaselling
their way into the science class. In order for this to succeed
they must appear to distance themselves from religion and they
carefully avoid any mention of the ‘G’ word preferring
to use words like creator or designer.
the Evangelical Times doesn’t waste time pussyfooting
around with such niceties and Mrs Tyler boldly states that as a
zoologist she finds the “scientific data supports the
biblical account of life on earth”. Really? Maybe she
is referring to Genesis 20 – 21,
God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of living
creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of
the sky. So God created great sea monsters and every living creature
that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every
winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
This is supported by the scientific data eh?
Tyler tells us there is, “a profound absence of transitional
forms between the basic types of living things”. She
accepts there is much hybridisation between the basic types but
baulks at the idea of speciation. In other words she thinks ‘microevolution
is fine but ‘macroevolution’ is just not acceptable.
Such distinctions are entirely artificial. Small changes in the
short term are difficult to deny, even for readers of Evangelical
Times, but given enough time lots of small changes eventually
add up to great big changes. For anyone interested I suggest
a visit to Talk Origins and in particular this FAQ.
I marvel at the fact someone can work as a research zoologist
and be so incredibly ignorant of the fossil record.
in an article “Life in Focus”, husband David
takes us for a paddle in the murky waters of Intelligent Design
way of a brief diversion it’s worth asking why exactly
evangelicals don’t like neo-Darwinian evolution. After all,
the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t seem to have a problem
with it. One reason is that it pretty much does away with the need
for a creator at all. Second it means the Bible is wrong and by
extension if it’s wrong about this then it might well be
wrong about everything else. Thirdly, even it we regard evolution
as some how being God’s unfolding plan, it means that God
developed an unbelievably cruel system that is entirely based on
the death of the weak and helpless. Infant mortality is evolution’s
prime mover because only by killing off creatures (including us)
before they are old enough to breed can natural selection work.
For the religious God has got to represent supreme niceness whereas
if evolution is true (and it is) it means he is a pretty nasty
piece of work. Obviously evolution must be suppressed no
basic idea of Intelligent Design is that some things are so irreducibly
complex that they cannot have evolved. If one piece of the machine
is removed then it is useless and for evolution to work it must
confer a competitive advantage at every stage of development.
The eye used to be an oft cited example but now convincing explanations
exist showing how it could evolve and provide benefit at each
stage. See here for an excellent explanation.
people like Michael Behe forget about eyes and move on to bacteria,
specifically flagellum that can ‘swim’. Another favourite
is the human system of blood clotting. You would think that the
mere fact we have haemophiliacs might count against this but seemingly
not. These two are popular because it’s difficult to demonstrate exactly how
they evolved. But attempts are being made, noticeably by Russell
Doolittle. See here.
point out that nature can only work with what it’s got.
For example bones in our jaws have been co-opted by evolution
to provide parts of the human ear but take one away now and you
won't hear very much. So looking at what something does now and
trying to reverse engineer it by removing parts one at a time
back to D.J. Tyler. He talks about ‘codes’ and,
using the analogy of man-made computer ‘codes’ (i.e.
software), suggests that DNA is also a code and therefore must
have come about through purposeful design. So you can’t have
a really complicated thing like a human being without an Intelligent
Designer, but you can have a really complicated thing like an Intelligent
Designer without another Intelligent Designer. This is commonly
referred to as having your cake and eating it.
it seems Management guru Dr. Tyler is not alone. He writes,
has always claimed to explain the origin of complexity. However
the more scientists look at the data the less it appears that
evolutionary theory has anything helpful to say on the subject.”
from being untrue it begs the question as to what light Intelligent
Design throws on the “origin of complexity”.
Even the briefest assessment of the human body shows that it is
not without faults. The human eye could be vastly improved – we
have blood vessels on the inside of our eyes which means if they
rupture we go blind. Why not put them on the outside instead? Teeth
rot, backs ache and children are born with defects some of which
are fatal. We also get a thousand and one other problems including
cancer, not to mention piles of junk DNA. We might expect
this in nature but not if we are the blueprint of an omnipotent
Throwing caution to the wind Tyler goes further than his American
counterparts, he writes,
“Believing in the Bible does not mean that we become
when Mr Tyler is talking about ID we can be pretty sure who he
thinks is the designer in question. I accept it doesn’t
mean you are clinically insane or that every decision you make
is irrational but in my own humble opinion believing the Bible
has anything scientific to say on the origin of life’s
rich diversity is, well… irrational.
By the end of the article scientist David J. Tyler is freely discussing
God, Jesus and quoting scripture. None of which has the remotest
connection with science.
life on Earth is related and evolved from a common ancestor:
a fact that is no less wonderful for having come about by a natural,
as opposed to a supernatural, process.
You would think that mediums would be able to clear this one
up once and for all. I mean surely dead people can ask someone
higher up? Ancient spirit guides must know something about this
Already discussed in Randi’s
own Commentary but
I have another couple of observations. The first test with
trying to find a ‘body’ in the boot of the car had
many faults but one not mentioned so far was the possibility of
cheating. The first person to try had to hand over her mobile phone.
Why was that exactly? Obviously to stop her communicating anything
to the other contestants. By the time the last woman arrived it
was already dark, are we supposed to believe that none of them
had their phones handed back until after the test? Personally I
should have happened was that all six psychic claimants should
have handed in their phones and been kept separated from each other
until the whole series of tests were completed. As has been pointed
out it would have helped if a different car had been randomly
chosen each time.
I have no way of knowing if any cheating actually went on but
the mere fact that it could have is indication enough that the
test design was poorly constructed. Presumably as I write auditions
are taking place for the seven shows planned for next year. How
well are these tests constructed and who designed them? Bear in
mind that in all the years the JREF $1 Million Challenge has been
running no one has ever passed the preliminary stage. If similar
high standards were applied to the auditioning process then there
would probably not be any future programmes at all. So my own assumption
is that the tests in the auditions will be as hopeless as the one’s
we saw on the pilot show.
Springer the Opera
seems Woolworths and Sainsburys have stopped
selling the DVD of Jerry
Springer the Opera following ‘complaints’ (A
fact I first discovered at No.
80). I wrote to Woolworth’s
and told them just what I thought of their spineless stance and
assured them I would forever boycott their store. Similarly I have
ceased to shop at our local Sainsbury’s. On a more positive
note I have purchased tickets to see the show live.