The Amazing Meeting 2014

Like it? Share it!

Sign up for news and updates!

Enter word seen below
Visually impaired? Click here to have an audio challenge played.  You will then need to enter the code that is spelled out.
Change image

Please leave this field empty

Login Form

JREF Swift Blog
Swift, named for Jonathan Swift, is the JREF's daily blog, featuring content from James Randi, the JREF staff, and other featured authors.

Fault Line: Why Pat Robertson and his boosters are either ignorant, racist, or both. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   

It was heartening to see the hand-wringing of the world’s religious apologists in response to the unfolding Haitian tragedy of the last two weeks: It meant that the believers still have the capacity to ask questions when the situation demands. More heartening still was the swiftness with which that behavior ceased. There were perhaps five or six days when it seemed every news organ in the universe felt compelled to address the role a deity might have played, or failed to play, in the earthquake and its aftermath. Then sleeves were rolled up, and the most bizarre plurality of people — basketball players, Reese Witherspoon, the hapless Pat Robertson — set about doing the good work no deity has yet attempted. (It has been suggested, here and there, that the human response was “God’s” work. If so, “God” isn’t very discriminating in choosing His implements.)

For the believers themselves, the hand-wringing may, in retrospect, prove at least a little embarrassing. Their sophistry had the look and feel of hasty improvisation. As Randi’s article about Bishop Sentamu of York demonstrated, serious tragedy has the ability to turn even the most erudite believers into little children. (Unless I am very much mistaken, Semantu’s argument was that the Christian god allows earthquakes to occur specifically so he may share in our suffering, thereby enjoying a bonding moment with his creatures. Counselors who work with battered women might have something to say about that relationship dynamic.) But that’s okay. Stress brings out the worst in plenty of people, and Bishop Semantu seems like an otherwise good guy. Perhaps the decent thing would be to let go of last week’s sillier theological questions and pious proclamations, and to write off Pat Robertson’s hateful early stance on the tragedy as a product of senile dementia. I’d like to — especially since I’m on vacation right now, and find thoughts of Pat Robertson inclement to the pursuit of R&R — but I can’t, quite, until someone points out two obvious facts. (Missed by both Robertson's critics and the small few who actually defended his stance.)

Hal Bidlack on CBS News Video PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   


Monday night on CBS News with Katie Couric, Hal Bidlack discussed the recent arrest of Jim McCormick and "dowsing for bombs." Video is available here.

Click the image to watch the video.

Written by James Randi   

Concerning the current ADE-651 dowsing-rod brouhaha in which the “inventor” and manufacturer James McCormick was arrested and then released on bail, BBC news has just quoted a senior Iraqi interior ministry official, Assistant Deputy Minister General Tareq al-Asl, as stating:

The reason the director of the company [James MCormick] was arrested was not because the device doesn't work, but because he refused to divulge the secret of how it works to the British authorities, and the Americans before them.

Well, I don’t think so.

Randi Responds to the Arrest of James McCormick PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

JamesRandiBombIn a refreshing news item, the BBC and others are reporting that Jim McCormick, inventor of the ADE 561 Bomb Detection Device has been arrested and charged with fraud.

McCormick sold $85,000,000 worth of these devices that he claims work on the same principle as dowsing rods, except that they detect bombs instead of water. James Randi has offered a $1,000,000 prize to anyone who can demonstrate successful dowsing of any substance under controlled conditions. When McCormick was presented with this offer, he did not reply. The devices were "programmed" with cards that supposedly told the device what to look for. A BBC investigation showed that the cards contained nothing more than retail security tags (RFID), which are often found on garments, books, compact discs, and other merchandise.

James Randi said:

The accompanying video expresses my thoughts on this rather important issue.

Written by James Randi   

I give you here a transcript I prepared of an exchange between a BBC commentator and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. It was sent to us by our UK friend Ian Rowland. I present it verbatim, with the bad grammar, wrong verb tenses, and the uncertain umms and ahhs of the actual interview. You may listen to the audio here. (Scroll down to minute number 0831.) The archbishop’s responses are so infuriating, disconnected, vapid, meandering and evasive, that he sounds like a child — an uninformed one. If this is the best that the Church can do, I suggest that they stick to Bingo…

Just as we post this, it seems that God sent Haiti another earthquake, strength 6.1, as his reminder that he has a sense of humor. Very funny, you capricious, malicious, merciless, vengeful, egomaniacal deity… But I’ll let your quavering servant Sentamu speak for you.

<< Start < Prev 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 Next > End >>

Page 207 of 316