14 November 2009

One cannot say with 100% certainty that reindeer cannot fly ...


Joy said...

Yuck. James Randi is my least favorite person. His office is mere miles from my front door. I wish he'd move to Las Vegas and leave Fort Lauderdale alone. Never use him to entertain children. He's a humanist fundamentalist and believes children should not engage in magical thinking. Bah humbug!

i won't allow him to speak again at our church.. Never again.

Steve Caldwell said...

Having seen James Randi on the old Johnny Carson late-night talk show where he would duplicate the so-called "mysteries" of Indian fakirs through simple stage magic tricks, I'm surprised that you would invite him to entertain a generic group of children.


A group of older children who are science geeks and who would appreciate learning how to discover the explanations for the so-called "unexplainable" might appreciate Mr. Randi (I was a science geek as a child -- I would have loved this sort of stuff).

I would politely ask that you clarify what you mean by "humanist fundamentalist."

What sacred humanist texts does Mr. Randi interpret in an overly literalistic manner?

What humanist dogma does Mr. Randi hold without questioning or testing against external reality?

What acts of extremist humanist fundamentalist violence has he committed in the name of humanism?

I would politely suggest that you may be engaging in a bit of linguistic hyperbole by tagging Mr. Randi with the "fundamentalist" label.

In any case, I'm sorry that you've banned him from your church.

For an older child, youth, or adult audience, Mr. Randi would be an appropriate speaker and certainly in keeping with the free and responsible search for truth that we Unitarian Universalists promote.

Mr. Randi does make some interesting observations about how we can't "prove a negative" and I think there are some religious and philosophical implications that we can take from that.

I would be interested to know what you think about the content of the video clip.