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Norway Responds As Hoped! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

A correspondent in Norway, Ragnar Borsheim, has excellent news for us. He writes:

I am happy to inform you that the suggested new blasphemy law is not going to happen in Norway. The person behind the new law, the leader of the smallest coalition party the Senterpartiet has withdrawn the whole law and realized that it was all a huge mistake.

Norway has a three party coalition government, one big party (Labourparty) and two small ones. (The Senterpartiet have a following of just 3% of the voters.) The resistance in the population and even from the Church was massive. So I guess Norway is back on track and the old blasphemy law is also being removed soon.

About time.

Agreed.  Now, if only someone will shake up the Health Ministry about the ancient "healer" they seem to endorse, things will improve even more. The JREF million-dollar prize is available to this man, but I still don't see him showing any interest in it. As always, we will agree to send the prize to any charitable cause he chooses to name - as soon as he wins it. These folks don't seem to care about feeding hungry kids, or helping a hospital get a new cancer researcher...

And I think that's strange...

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written by harpman, February 04, 2009
indeed strange, btw we had a similar blasphemy issue in the Netherlands
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One down, a bunch to go...
written by yngve, February 04, 2009
I had a feeling that the proposotion would have to be withdrawn, an dluckily I was right.
Or am i psychic...? Hmmm.... smilies/tongue.gif

Although we're not "blessed" ith too mamy wackaloons in religious matters, there sure is a bit of woo going on.
"Natural" healthcare products, healing, astrology, "angel schools" and other worthless activities.
However, there are some journalists with a skeptical eye and ditto penmanship. Or keystrokes.
Which is groovy and cool, hopefully the majority of mas media will follow suit, in general journalists are pretty lukewarm when it comes to portraying any belief in woo, but stuff like this sells.
Anyway, I really, really look forward to TAM in London, it's going to be a blast.
In the mean time I'll do my small part when it comes to encourage people to think a bit more rationally.
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A little more respect is called for from this website though..., Lowly rated comment [Show]
It´s backing down now.
written by Mr. T, February 04, 2009
The major newspapers in Norway are now doing articles on how the healer heals through psychological effect and not some metaphysical power. One article explicitly stated that scientific research has proven that claims of healing are not backed by empirical evidence. The holistic/supernatural movements in Norway have remained calm during all of this, perhaps because they know that nobody will win the JREF 1m$.
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written by Rogue Medic, February 04, 2009
We should not be permitting CAM to have lower standards than conventional medicine.

If they are promoting healing, they should have to demonstrate to independently verifiable standards that they are better than placebo. Otherwise they should be classified as experimental treatment. Experimental treatment that has been shown to be harmful, should not be permitted except as part of a randomized placebo controlled study.

This nonsense kills people.

By discouraging people from seeking treatment with conventional medicine effective medicine, these frauds are killing people. If this were a conventional treatment, this avoidance of proof would not be permitted.

"Snåsa man," and his ilk, are killers.
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No test has been done
written by CiViX, February 04, 2009
The "Snåsa man" has already been tested by Norway's largest broadcasting network years ago and apparantly passed the test


NO, NO, NO. This was no test, so please stop perpetuating this falsehood.
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As an addition
written by Tarciryan, February 04, 2009
Might just add that this whole case ended up as a pretty huge embarresment for the coaltion, including prime minister Stoltenberg (it is unusual to see him this unprincipled), and the whole suggestion has been mocked by the media analysts as clumsy and poorly thought out.

Despite some people trying to make racism and religious criticism equal, we have weathered this storm. And the Snåsa Man (man I feel stupid saying that name) is old and will probably die soon, there is no need to focus on that issue since he "retired" from his "practice" as a "healer" (overuse of hyphens intended).

Just to make it clear, Norway has not used it's blasphemy law since the 1930s when renowed writer Arnuf Øverland was charged with it, it has remained in our lawbook as a symbolic gesture towards the state subsidised church and will hopefully, WAY overdue, be abolished.
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written by csyver, February 04, 2009
Snåsamannen doesn't (apparently) accept payment for his healing wonders, but this is definitely giving other healing-alternatives a boost. Polls from these articles shows that 50-60% (sometimes more) believe Snåsamannen is using actual supernatural powers to do this. There has been made several attempts to test this man, but he claims that he already passed an earlier test (see gjolb's comment). His decline to the challenge doesn't seem to damage his reputation, as this healing-craze is becoming more and more popular.

I thought Norway was one of the better countries when it came to rational thinking about topics like these. You would be surprised how many people supports this and willingly pays money to have this "healing" done.

on the bright side: http://translate.google.com/tr...ry_state0=

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written by Espmell, February 04, 2009
James Randi wrote:
These folks don't seem to care about feeding hungry kids, or helping a hospital get a new cancer researcher...

And I think that's strange...

Answer:
That statement made me start thinking why I bother.

And Gjolb, you're standing in the church screaming God doesn't exist.
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written by Willy K, February 04, 2009
Gjolb, I think that Randi is not “attacking” the guy personally, he's attacking claims of “healing” powers. He has seen countless people making these claims, everyone as far as I know, has turned out to be a lying/thieving/deluded con artist.

You, on the other hand, haven't claimed to be a lifelong friend of this guy, yet you defend him as if he was your favorite uncle. He may be a real nice guy, but that has absolutely no bearing on validity of his alleged powers.



IMHO, Norway, with a population of only 5 million, is a far easier place to keep irrational ideas in check. The USA, with 300 million people, probably more nutjobs who believe that the 9-11 attacks were an inside job than the entire population of Norway!

Wow, this subject has created a lot of comment!
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written by Accretion, February 04, 2009
The man in question, The Snåsa man, will never take The JREF challenge. Neither will he be tested under proper condition. I do not not think he is a bad man, on the contrary. He does not charge any money for his services. All the attention he got recently is a bit too much for him. After all, he is an old man. So he has officially retired. On a personal note, I do not find the anecdotal evidence very convincing, and anecdotes is all that has actually been presented.

About Norway. I would like to think we are a rational country, but I know that a lot of people here are attracted to alternative medical treatments, psychics, fortune telling, people who can talk to spirits etc. It is a lot more common here than I would like to admit. For example, every day I see commercials for astrology or astrologists, so there must be a market for this. I also think that most Norwegians know someone that is into these things.

During the past few years there has been cases similar to the recent incident involving the minister of health. The princess of Norway started up a school where you could learn how to communicate with angels, a person from AP (the labor party) resigned after it was known that she spent 1000's of dollars worth of tax money for psychic advice regarding her personal and political life, The incident with The Minster of Health. Also, quite recently the next leader of Rikshospitalet (the biggest hospital in Norway) supported the statements of The Minister of Health. He also said that he had witnessed that prayer could stop bleeding. This man is a politician and medical doctor.


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written by BillyJoe, February 04, 2009
His decline to the challenge doesn't seem to damage his reputation

Not like his accceptance and subsequent fialure of the challenge would.
Well, heck, maybe not even then.

BJ
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written by Accretion, February 04, 2009
Yeah, his popularity is growing.

Actually, I doubt that anyone is familiar the JREF challenge here in Norway, besides a few people here and there. This is the first time I have ever seen James Randi being mentioned in Norway.

There is an recent interview/debate with this man available online. It seems to be unavailable for downloading. If it were, I would gladly translate it and post it on youtube.

For those who can understand Norwegian:
http://www1.nrk.no/nett-tv/klipp/444982
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Snåsamannen
written by Adavidson, February 05, 2009
Hang on.

I have followed the snåsa-man for the last 5 years, he has apparently been known to the general public ever since he started, but only recently received media attention. My grand-mother and mother used to go to him, and since they both believe in a "higher power", it mede them feel better.

I have looked at the pros and cons, he sends people to hospitals when there is actually something wrong with them. (to me hes a glorified psykologist).
He doesnt charge people for his servive, BUT he still recieves money and gifts from donations etc. He has said this himself in several interviews.
He maybe didnt seek the attention, but he is sure basking in it now, commenting publically on just about everything.
He has said himself that if he were to be tested, the tests probably wouldn`t show any results. And it is a matter of faith, and that he can`t quite explain what he does. (???!!!)

If we were to test him, and nothing turns up on any physiological or mental exams, than he is nothing more than a talking chocolate bar with warm hands!! Then comes the question, is it best to let people believe that something is actually happening to them, physical changes that will help, or to tell them that this is all in your mind, and you need to seek proper medical help..

Im all for letting people believe in what they want, just as long as its not religion or anything supernatural.
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written by BillyJoe, February 05, 2009
Im all for letting people believe in what they want, just as long as its not religion or anything supernatural.

smilies/grin.gif
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Another Famous Blasphemy Case
written by bosshog, February 05, 2009
Maybe I'm wrong but...
Wasn't Jesus crucified on the pretext that he committed blasphemy?
Render unto Caesar...
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written by cwniles, February 05, 2009
Tarciryan said:
"Despite some people trying to make racism and religious criticism equal"

In the eyes of the U.S. Constitution and legal system they are equal. Both are protected by ones right to Free Speech. As a matter of fact, even members of our Armed Forces who do not have the same rights to Free Speech as civilians are entitled to racist beliefs and their ability to voice those beliefs. Of course there are limits but that is a whole other discussion.

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Mr Randi, you enjoy rattling the cages don't you?
written by legne, February 05, 2009
I love it when woos get all angry, please Mr Randi - more!!

These folks don't seem to care about feeding hungry kids, or helping a hospital get a new cancer researcher...

And I think that's strange...


Why cancer research? Hellooo, we can just HEAL them! smilies/cool.gif

About the law: the reason why it was ditched was because of Norwegians making a ruckus on the internet, the government realized that they messed up and that the people now viewed them as a bunch of babboons (no offense to the babboons!) who can't even tell right from left.
We call this "The Majority's dictatorship"; because that's what it is. Luckily they listen to the people. Somewhat.
Honestly, imagine an active anti-blasphemy law in Norway.. NORWAY! LAND OF THE VIKINGS!
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Gjold
written by legne, February 05, 2009
written by gjolb
The "Snåsa man" has already been tested by Norway's largest broadcasting network years ago

No he was not. It wasn't even remotely up to scientific standards.


personally I'm skeptical, although I do believe that in some cases his "healing" can work as a result of some weird placebo effect from the patient.

If you believe that the placebo effect only occurs in some of the cases, what do you believe happens in the other cases? And how is the placebo effect weird? And how on earth can his healing be a result of the placebo effect? That's the first time I've heard that the effect comes before the trigger.

I don't see why this 82-year-old man who (against his will has gotten more attention this last year than in his previous 81 years, should feel the need to prove himself to some foreigner for 1 million dollars

There are so many things wrong with that sentence, I don't even know where to start. You say "against his will", are you forgetting that he has voluntarily done several (ridiculously many) interviews, and that he has worked with authors in writing autobiographical books?
Then there's the case of "proving himself", you woos just don't get it - huh? We want him to undergo testing for his alleged abilities, I could give a rats ass about the person who possesses said abilities (unless they're obvious charlatans who exploit people's good faith and take their money). If there is some claim that someone has supernatural abilities, YEAH we want to test it.
"Some foreigner for 1 million dollars" oh dear oh dear.
First off, Randi isn't "some foreigner", he's the freakin Amazing Randi! There are three people in this world whom I admire: My mother, Richard Dawkins and James Randi. And it isn't for 1 million dollars, this is also something y'all woos seem to miss. It's for SCIENCE. Imagine if we could prove healing abilities, our entire world would change, all the science and history books would have to be rewritten. The money is for "tempting" people to come forward and undergo testing in the name of science and Xenu, and also it's a very good argument to use against charlatains - as Randi did in his post.
In my opinion, there shouldn't even be a need for Randi to offer money for this. If I woke up one day and discovered that I could CURE ailments by the touch of my hands, I would get on the phone ASAP and call every single university in the world and have myself thoroughly tested. I find it puzzling that every single person who claims to have supernatural abilities not only doesn't initiate the testing, they also refuse it.
I also find it strange that so many people choose to ignore this.

I think he will take this knowledge with him to the grave

Don't you dare say that he's compassionate if that's the case. Imagine someone sitting on a cure for cancer, but not sharing it with anyone. Wow. I hope he enjoys his time in hell (does Xenu have a hell?)


I think what it also bogs down to is actual respect and some human decensy on your part.

Oh Randi shows more human decency than most people on this planet. The decency to crack down on charlaitans and keep the rest of us informed on all this woo-woo. As for respect; deliberately keeping supernatural abilities a secret and avoiding any scientific testing - that's not exactly what I would call respect. It's like y'all think he's Jesus or something, or do you have a crush on him? I don't get it.
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Gjold part 2
written by legne, February 05, 2009
If he thinks he is helping people and not making money on it

"If he thinks"... what?! Would it be OK if I treated people's ailments by blowing my nose on their skin? If I think I'm helping people, it must be alright! And he is making money off of it. Oh such money he makes.
Randi, you might want to take a note of this. (use xe.com for currency conversion)

http://www.skattelister.no/?do...F GJERSTAD (yep, they're public in Norway)
Joralf Gjerstad, born 1926, Snåsa
2007:
Income: 355 492 NOK
Fortune: 302.024 NOK
Taxes: 100.863 NOK

2006:
Income: 204.721 NOK
Fortune: 187.576 NOK
Taxes: 52.748 NOK

Joralf worked in a church as a young lad (can't remember exactly what his job description was), then later he worked at a farm (iirc), then he discovered his 'abilities' and quit working. He wasn't very old at that time, 20-30 years old.
So Joralf has not worked up a pensionplan, and an average pensioner will 'earn' about 100.000NOK per year.
His income in 2007 is what we would call above average salary for a person in their 40s with a decent job, working 8 hours per day 5 days per week.
Yeah sure, he's not receiving money. He will earn a ton of money on his book, and also - we don't know if he receives gifts 'under the table'. But his tax report shows the truth. Gjerstad, an 82 year old man from a tiny village who has been healing people free of charge for 60-or so years, earned last year what would be the average salary in many careers - including ones which require a high level of education.
What a bunch of BS.


and people (even people I consider smart in other areas) seem to think there might be something to it,

You ought to stop considering them to be smart if that's the case.

then who are we to call him names because he doesn't do like a circus dog and roll over on your command?

We shouldn't need to "command" him to undergo scientific testing (nor has he been commanded), he should have initiated the testing, and ANYONE who believes that they possess supernatural powers and don't initiate such testing nor respond to invitations - in my opinion - they deserve the name-calling.
But I have yet to see Mr Randi call him by any name.

he clearly doesn't care about some people who suddenly pop up offering money

1) Randi has been offering that money since the 70s if I remember correctly, but it started out as a lot less money. Wasn't it $1000 or so?
2) How MARVELOUS that he doesn't care about money. Money that he could donate to charity and research. Yeah, he's compassionate.

he is also known for helping people with mental problems through conversations (much like a therapist)

... you're aware that that is illegal, right? People without a degree in psychology should NEVER function as a therapist for the mentally ill. Someone call the quackery-police please, this is downright dangerous.

and has done other things like start organizations for disabled children etc, NEVER taking money for these efforts.

Do me a favor and google "world map". You see that mitten by the north pole? That's Norway, population 4,7 million. Snåsa: population 2182. Now take a look at everything that isn't said mitten, and tell me that Gjerstad shouldn't take Randi up on his offer in order to donate money that would benefit the entire world; because he has already helped his local community (of a whopping 2182 people) so much that he doesn't need to do any more good. Really. How the heck does your brain work?
Oh and, he does receive money - as his tax reports proves quite nicely!

And apparantly he must have done a lot because he even received a medal from the King of Norway (The King's Medal of Merit) - not for "healing" people, but for his humanitarian work and for his "consideration of others."

How on earth is this relevant? Do you honestly believe that him being NICE and CHARITABLE are reasons enough for us to ignore that he treats people's ailments by SUPERNATURAL means?!!!
Xenu have mercy.

So stop this 1 million dollar-rant and stop treating him like some Sylvia Browne-hack, it's totally disrespectful behavior from a person I normally admire (mr Randi).

I wonder why on earth you admire Randi when you don't even support his work. But SYLVIA HAS HELPED SO MANY PEOPLE. SHE'S SO NICE OMG. LEAVE HER ALONE.
As far as I know, ANYONE who possesses supposed supernatural abilities and don't take Randi up on his offer, nor undergo testing by any other organization, institute or university, nor initiates such testing, and earns a heck lot of money - they ARE hacks. Oh my that was bold of me, I'm so mean oh noes poor Gjerstad. smilies/sad.gif
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Gjold part 3
written by legne, February 05, 2009

And the Health Ministry has not endorsed the Snåsa Man, however government ministers here are human beings as well, and have the right to speak their mind on their own behalf in private interviews.

I could give a rat's ass if our minister of health chooses to publicly announce that he has a fetish for diapers. I do, however, give a rat's ass (a big one) when he says that he believes in supernatural abilities. A person in his position, in our government, NEEDS to be intelligent and rational. He is not. Imagine if our prime minister practiced witchcraft. Or if our minister of immigration was in a satanic cult. OMG BUT THEY'RE ONLY HUMANS, LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE. smilies/sad.gif

I don't think Hanssen is lying about this

Of course he didn't lie. This is why we question him; because he honestly believed that his phone call to Gjerstad played a part in curing his kid's colic.

so whether it was a weird coincidence or whether his hope or belief in the Snåsa Man's abilities somehow sent vibes to his baby that made it relax and stop crying we'll never know.

... vibes. You might as well say that Gjerstad cured it then, they're both equally ridiculous.
1) Colic passes by itself after about 2 months.
2) POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC. Xenu damn it.

Hanssen is however not a doctor

But Ballo is. And the CEO of the insititute of forensic science. And he believes in witchcraft.

It's quite frustrating watching a person I regard as one of the most enlightened on this planet (James Randi) write these scathing attacks on people (and an entire country) based on such little knowledge

What else is there to know?
1) Man treats people by supernatural means
2) Several members of our government do not question various supernatural powers
3) Man who treats people by supernatural means hasn't been tested nor is he interested in 1 million dollars which he would receive if it turns out that he does have the abilities which he uses to treat people.
Annnnd you're done. There's NOTHING about their personalities or characters that would change this or make it any less ridiculous.
I've been saying the same things about Norway as Randi has pointed out, this country has gone straight to hell. Why are you so offended by the truth?

and more frustrating watching the regulars on this site blindly repeating his words like sheep without bothering to check the facts. When did we - the skeptics - turn into such disrespective fools?

Speak for yourself. These so-called "facts" of yours are not only bunk, they're also 100% irrelevant.

My fingers are tired now.
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Willy k
written by legne, February 05, 2009
IMHO, Norway, with a population of only 5 million, is a far easier place to keep irrational ideas in check.


AHAHAHAHA sorry dude but LOL. Are you Norwegian? Come on, the skeptics here are treated like the hunchback of notre dame - soon they'll burn us all. But first they need to check if we're made out of wood!
There are plenty of conspiracy theorists here as well. For some reason, nutjobs and woos seem to flock here. smilies/sad.gif

written by bosshog

Maybe I'm wrong but...
Wasn't Jesus crucified on the pretext that he committed blasphemy?
Maybe I'm wrong but...
Isn't Jesus the guy who mows my lawn?

written by cwniles
In the eyes of the U.S. Constitution and legal system they are equal. Both are protected by ones right to Free Speech.


Xenu bless yankeeland. If it wasn't for all this mead and shrooms, I would move ASAP.
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written by cwniles, February 05, 2009
Whoa, is that patriotism I feel stirring in my bosom?.....eh, scratch that, just last nights enchiladas.

Sadly, that Patriot Act garbage usurped a lot of our constitutional rights but at least Free Speech was left, for the most part, unscarred.
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written by Rogue Medic, February 05, 2009
It's quite frustrating watching a person I regard as one of the most enlightened on this planet (James Randi) write these scathing attacks on people (and an entire country) based on such little knowledge


And, perhaps confirming that he is Amazing, it seems that he got the story right. smilies/smiley.gif

Maybe there should be a million dollar reward offered for proof of Randi being Amazing. then he could offer two million dollars to anyone who who demonstrate any of these supernatural abilities. They still wouldn't go for it, because frauds cannot fool science.
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written by dradeel, February 05, 2009
Honestly, imagine an active anti-blasphemy law in Norway.. NORWAY! LAND OF THE VIKINGS!


Not to mention home of Black Metal and its highly anti-christian content smilies/wink.gif

Anyways, thankfully the govt in Norway understood they did something wrong (finally, if you ask me). If it hadn't been this clear right-vs-left political landscape in Norway atm, I think we could've seen a different opinion in some oppositional parties, but then again, noone would probably dare to put forward the idea of such a law then.

But I think my country is still on a collition course. The whole Snåsa Man issue is only the tip of the ice berg (a gigantic tip, I'll admit). Every single person in Norway most likely knows someone who has once been to a healer or some other shady alternative treatment - I can assure you. It's a not a big country, and healer-people and mambo jambo treatments exists in every small community, and you can bet your a** they're in the bigger ones as well. The last 2-3 years we've also seen a huge uprising in fortune tellers, astrologists, mambo jambo new age people and a 'hypnotherapist dude who can cure everything' having commercials on huge website communities for an abundance of phone and sms services, like on facebook and nettby (a norwegian chat site. Norwegians should know what I talk about), just to mention two big ones, but they are on all of them. This is something I never saw anywhere else besides in a shady ad in a newspaper only 6-7 years ago, now they might even have a full page in a big newspaper once in a while. It might've been there before too, but not nearly to the same degree as nowadays at least. Now they are right there in front of love sick teenagers with mobile phones who willingly let their money float away on nothing and others who might actually have serious problems and let their minds be warped by these con-men. It's frickin' fraud, people, and we shouldn't tolerate it anymore! Wake up, Norway!
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follow the money...
written by bobobob, February 05, 2009
It may very well be true that The "Snåsa man" is not promoting himself. But it sure is apparent that someone is doing so. Maybe a little bit of light needs to be shone on who, and how, and why. And, very likely - on how much they're making from it.
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written by Cuddy Joe, February 05, 2009
I had jokingly asked in the other Norway thread how one says, "Edgar Cayce" in Norwegian. But I brought up Cayce for a very specific reason. He too was touted as a simple, humble man who sought no money and no glory for himself, but just wanted to share his wonderful gift with others, which was, of course, a load of hogwash. The one-armed Swiss farmer and UFO nut Billy Meier plays the same faux humility game. Same with Padre Pio and so many other pious frauds. It's been a marketing ploy of psychic frauds for centuries. Its purpose is to provide believers more reason to believe and to provide them something with which to defend the charlatans and their belief in them. This is Con Artist 101 stuff. This is why psychic frauds dream up all sorts of euphemistic titles for themselves. They aren't merely psychics anymore, they are Spiritual Counselors, Soul Therapists, and any number of other fake disciplines. It legitimizes them in the eyes of their marks. It's akin to how the flying saucer nuts of the 1950s morphed themselves into the more sciency-sounding 'ufologists' of the 70s and since. Ask any old-timer (I'm older than dirt and Randi's older than me, lol) who's familiar with the psychic scene over the last 50-100-150 years - all the positives being attributed to this charlatan from Norway are the exact same ones applied over and over to all the psychic frauds, from the Fox sisters, through Madame Blavatsky, to Edgar Cayce, to Uri Geller, and now this Norwegian guy is making it work for him.

It's the nature of believerism - if Gjerstad were to announce today that he has no powers whatsoever, that he'd been making it all up, had been allowing people who want to believe to go ahead and believe in him.. if he admitted on NRK to the whole nation that he's a total fraud, I guarantee you a good third of his believers would go right on believing in him, and confabulate some theory about why he was falsely claiming to be a fraud, some conspiracy theory about The Powers That Be who were forcing him to announce a false confession of fraud.

Willful ignorance is a powerful thing and you'll play hell trying to reason folks out of beliefs that weren't founded on reason in the first place.

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written by Espmell, February 05, 2009
Rogue Medic:
Maybe there should be a million dollar reward offered for proof of Randi being Amazing.


That's actually a good idea. I hereby challenge people to find scientific proof that James Randi is amazing.

If it can't be done that means he's not amazing. So why is so many people saying he is? Are they as naive as the people believing in Joralf Gjerstads abilities?

Give me scientific proof that James Randi is amazing or stop saying he is!

Looking forward to it smilies/smiley.gif
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written by BillyJoe, February 05, 2009
Espmell,

It will depend on your definition of amazing.

On the other hand, he was "The Amazing Randi" as many archival posters of his stage shows will prove, so he at least WAS "Amazing".

As for his being amazing, as in lifetime amazing, get back to me with your definition and I may consider writing that thousand page book for you.

BJ
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written by dradeel, February 05, 2009
Give me scientific proof that James Randi is amazing or stop saying he is!

Hmmm... but what is amazing? Dictionary.com says "amazing is to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; astonish greatly". So I assume it's amazing if he can do something most people aren't able to do and in addition don't know how it's done - thus being surprised to see the result..? In that case, I believe he's capable of proving his claim of being Amazing smilies/wink.gif


But on a more "serious" note:
According to Verdens Gang (www.vg.no) it seems like some healer-type person has come forward in defence of The Snåsa Man and has actually taken Randi up on the $1M challange, cause he was tired of hearing all the criticism about how healing doesn't work. He couldn't sit idly by and watch anymore (one newspaper mentioned Randi and skepticism towards healing twice in two days, and he has a fit, while skeptics here has been eating their hats in frustration over the Snåsa Man for half a year already, if not for half a century). So yeah, he's confident he'll win the million dollars just to be able to say "In your face, Randi!" ... I can't waaait smilies/smiley.gif

Here's the poor google translation of it:
http://translate.google.com/...
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written by Rogue Medic, February 05, 2009
I guess I should make myself clear. Randi is Amazing. Watch him show how these frauds can make it look as if they have supernatural powers, when all these frauds really have is the ability to deceive.

I meant that this would be a guaranteed extra million dollars for Randi to have to increase the award he offers.

So yeah, he's confident he'll win the million dollars just to be able to say "In your face, Randi!" ... I can't waaait


Let's see if he actually goes through with it. He will probably come up lame, with some lame excuse for his lame deceptions.
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holy water...?
written by trixie, February 05, 2009
The mayor of Snåsa har an idea of selling "Snåsa-water"....
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The Story Never Changes.
written by BillyJoe, February 05, 2009
He will want to claim the million bucks on the basis of testimonials supplied by the people he has treated. Seems he treats mainly anergy and pain, both of which have a very large psychological component, and it's not a particularly difficult feat to make believers with these conditions feel better. Still, even that can be tested in a double blind manner, but then, of course, the experimental set-up or the presence of the sceptics themselves will have interfered with his powers. Finally, after months of increasingly obscure letter exchanges, he will decide that he doesn't have time to take the challenge and that he has better things to do with his time than win the million bucks for his favourite charity.

BJ
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written by Espmell, February 06, 2009
BillyJoe wrote:
Espmell,
It will depend on your definition of amazing.
As for his being amazing, as in lifetime amazing, get back to me with your definition and I may consider writing that thousand page book for you.

Answer:
I'm not the one saying he's amazing so it's not my job to neither find the definition nor proving he is. I't you footlickers in here that says he's so amazing. Well, then prove it, scientifically proven of course.

By the way, is dejavu a scientifically proven fact? If James Randi was to test my ability to sometimes foresee what's going to happen I think I would probably fail that test. I would fail the test but still be quite confident I'm sometimes able, along with a lot of others, to know what will happen, a split second before it happens. I'm just wondering.
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written by Espmell, February 06, 2009
Rogue Medic wrote:
I guess I should make myself clear. Randi is Amazing. Watch him show how these frauds can make it look as if they have supernatural powers, when all these frauds really have is the ability to deceive.


So that's scientifically valid proof that James Randi is amazing. Ok then.
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written by Rogue Medic, February 06, 2009
ESPmell,

It was tongue in cheek. I thought it would be funny. I overestimated my sense of humor. I was wrong. Mea culpa. Of course, since you claim to have déjà vu, you already must have known that. smilies/wink.gif
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written by BillyJoe, February 06, 2009
Espmell,

I'm not the one saying he's amazing so it's not my job to neither find the definition nor proving he is. I't you footlickers in here that says he's so amazing. Well, then prove it, scientifically proven of course.

You said "I hereby challenge people to find scientific proof that James Randi is amazing". So I'm asking you to define "amazing" so that we can answer your challenge. Is that too much to ask? I mean, how can we answer the challenge if we don't know exactly what you are after? In any case, someone has already offered a definition from the dictionary. Are you happy with that?

I't you footlickers

I've lost count of the times that I have disagreed with James Randi (here, on the forums, and in emails) over the past 8 years. I've even earned a couple of strong rebukes from him, as well, which I've disagreed with. Scepticism is not a religion. And I didn't say he was perfect, I said he was amazing. But, again, that depends on the definition of amazing. The ball is back in your court.

regards,
BillyJoe
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written by BillyJoe, February 06, 2009
Espmell,

By the way, is dejavu a scientifically proven fact?... I'm sometimes able, along with a lot of others, to know what will happen, a split second before it happens.

Practically everyone has these experiences.

fMRI scans have demonstrated that the brain decides what to do a "split second" before we actually become conscious of our decision. We feel we are in control but, in fact, it's our subconscious that makes all the decisions. Amazing isn't it. Same with images. We become aware of images a split second after they have actually been constucted within our brains.
Deja vu is simply the combination of a short circuit from the subconscious to consciousness as well as the information following the normal pathways so that we get two awarenesses of the same event a "split second" apart. And both of these awarenesses occur a "split second" and "slightly less than a split second" after the actual event.
In other words, you cannot predict what is going to happen. It just feels like you can.

BJ
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written by Espmell, February 06, 2009
BillyJoe wrote:
You said "I hereby challenge people to find scientific proof that James Randi is amazing". So I'm asking you to define "amazing" so that we can answer your challenge. Is that too much to ask? I mean, how can we answer the challenge if we don't know exactly what you are after? In any case, someone has already offered a definition from the dictionary. Are you happy with that?

answer:
In my mind the people using the word should be responsible of finding out what it means. If people don't know what it means, why are they using it?
But here it is, quoted from Wiktionary:

Adjective:
amazing; Causing wonder and amazement; possessing uniquely wonderful qualities.

Noun:
amazing; Action when something is causing wonder

So there you go. Give me scientific proof James Randi is amazing.
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written by Cuddy Joe, February 06, 2009
Espmell never answered the question as to what degree he/she believes in psychic healers. He/she did allow to not belieivng 100%, but hasn't identified a closer percentage.

As for thinking that deja vu is something real existing outside the ken of science, well, this too just confirms some suspicions about Espmell's beliefs and dubious grasp of science.

As for The Amazing Randi, the word 'Amazing' is part of his stage name when he performed as a stage magician, something I'm old to remember having seen first hand. To prove he's Amazing is easily done it that the appellation appears on any number of posters, hand bills, marquis, and other theatrical materials. If we go with the dictionary definition of amazing, it still fits. There was a time historically when scientists were routinely fooled by psychic charlatans who seemed to pass their attempts at testing psychics scientifically. Scientists weren't used to the idea of lab rats working to fool them, that is to say, they assumed the psychics would play fairly, and were ill-prepared to set up the proper measures to control for the use of magic techniques passed off as psychic abilities. James Randi is the man who stepped in and fixed that problem, teaching scientists valuable tools for setting up proprer controls for testing psychics. I find that pretty amazing, especially given that many scientists tend to look down their noses at those they perceive to be less educated, less knowledgeable about science, a sort of intellectual snobbery which created another reason psychics found scientists easy to fool in the lab. This alone satisfies the 'amazing' tag.

Pursuant to the above example of Randi educating scientists on how to test psychics, did you know a University of Buffalo scientist/professor was so impressed by Randi's magic skills he accused Randi of really being psychic and only pretending to be a magician employing tricks? That is amazing.

I'm a Detroit native and one of Detroit's favorite sons is 70s theatrical rocker Alice Cooper. Did you know The Amazing Randi once toured with Alice Cooper, playing the executioner role onstage? Does that satisfy as 'amazing'? I think so. He also designed many of the props in the Alice Cooper show, like the guillotine. Amazing to me.

In 1975 The Amazing Randi - also a professional escape artist - escaped from a straightjacket while suspended over Niagara Falls. While straightjacket escapes have become somewhat pedestrian, just voluntarily being suspended over Niagara Falls alone satisfies the 'amazing' descriptor as far as I'm concerned.

Did you know James Randi once refused to complete a tour because the promoters had segregrated black audience members, forcing them into the balcony? If that isn't Amazing......

James Randi was the chief exposer of Uri Geller, Peter Popoff, Ernest Angley, and many others. He has perpetrated several wonderful hoaxes designed to expose psychic charlatans, like Project Alpha and others. The 'Carlos' hoax in Australia was particularly hilarious - and amazing. Factor in how much skeptical education he provided North American viewing audiences from appearances on Johnny Carson, Penn & Teller, and so many others, and the amazing bucket gets fuller and fuller.

I could go on and on in this vein, but I think i've done an amazing job of proving The Amazing Randi is amazing no matter how you define the word.

So, the ball is in Espmell's court. Please do one of two things:

1. Accept that The Amazing Randi is, in fact, amazing, or...
2. Provide your reasons for claiming the burden of proof has not been met.

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To Cuddy Joe
written by Espmell, February 06, 2009
Sorry for not answering your earlier question and thanks for reminding me smilies/smiley.gif

To help people understand what it's about I'll quote myself; "I'm not saying I believe 100% in healing and psychics"

The answer is quite simple. When I say I don't believe 100% it basically mean I'm not a believer, believing in those abilities no matter what, willing to bet my own house that those abilities are real. I'm just open minded, curious when it comes to alternative theories like this, open for a discussion on the subject, willing to accept that there might be things between heaven and earth we can't explain, nor scientifically prove. I have seen things myself I can't understand or explain, I've heard stories from people I normally trust, we used psychics both when we lost our dogs one time and when we drilled for water at our new house. The guys from the drilling company was the ones taking the initiative to call a well known psychic when they had problems finding water. This was the regular guy they always used. I'm not going into details but on the phone, 140 km away the psychic described our house, the area around it and told the drill company where to drill, they followed his instructions and we found water, It's still supplying us 30 years later. I'm not ignorant enough to just laugh and say lucky shot guys. Everything I've written above makes me believe something we can't control or understand is happening. If describing my standing point in this case by saying "I'm not saying I believe 100% in psychics and healing" is not an acceptable way of communicating I'll apologize and never do the same mistake again. In my world nothing is either black or white, My standing point is quite gray.

I guess you'll agree that Mr. Randi's earlier entertainment name "The amazing Randi" is not scientifically accepted proof. A guy I know is known as "the psychic man", that doesn't prove he is.

I'm quite impressed by your effort giving me an answer but for me that's just your personal opinion about Mr. Randi, based on what he has done over the years. My opinion about Joralf Gjerstad's abilities is based on what he's done over the years. Based on that I might say he's a healer and a psychic and then it's scientifically proven according to your test standards. i know I'm walking on a thin line here.

Maybe I can challenge you to give me the scientific standards Mr. Randi and others are using to test claims like supernatural powers? I'm to lazy to look it up myself smilies/wink.gif

If Mr. Randi offered 1 million dollars to the one able to scientifically prove he's amazing, do you think he would have given the money to you based on the answer you gave me? just wondering.
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written by BillyJoe, February 06, 2009
Espmell,

In my mind the people using the word should be responsible of finding out what it means.

And if they already know what it means?

If people don't know what it means, why are they using it?

So, give me the name of one person who is using the word "amazing" and doesn't know what it means. And please provide evidence for naming that person.

But here it is, quoted from Wiktionary:
Adjective:
amazing; Causing wonder and amazement; possessing uniquely wonderful qualities.
Noun:
amazing; Action when something is causing wonder

Agreed.

So there you go. Give me scientific proof James Randi is amazing.

So, what do you define as "scientific proof"?
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written by BillyJoe, February 06, 2009
Cuddy Joe,

Thank you for writing the foreword to my thousand page book on "The Amazing Randi".

Being a good sceptic, though, I'm going to give him some $#!+ as well.

regards,
BillyJoe
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To Espmell
written by BillyJoe, February 06, 2009

Your post snuck in there before mine, but mine still stand.

I didn't think you would accept Cuddy Joe's list.
They are, as you say, opinions.
So what do you understand by "scientific proof"

You have given us a couple of personal anecdotes that make you believe that psychic phenomena might exist. The first problem is that, although it might be a reason for you to believe, they certainly cannot be a reason for us to believe that psychic phenomena might exist. We do not know you so you could just be one big lying bastard for all we know.
On the other hand you might be mis-remembering, embellishing, or exaggerating the facts of the case. You might even have done this without being aware (or fully aware) that you have done so. Memories become contaminated by retelling (and hearing or reading about others telling their stories). As the years roll by and the story gets retold, a slight embellishment becomes imbedded as the truth and, gradually, the embellishment becomes a pretty big exaggeration. Eventually, there may be no resemblance at all to the truth in what you remember happened.
TV programs are recorded and sometimes disputes arise about what actually happened on a program many years ago. When the original is shown, the person recalling the incident is often absolutely amazed at how different his memory is compared to what actually happened as documented on tape.
On the other hand, you may not have been in possession of all the facts. The psychic may have been given the plans of your property or he might have found a way to obtain it for himself to impress you. Add to that the fact that 94% of the Earth's surface has water within reasonable drilling distance, and the feat of this psychic does not appear too remarkable after all.

Maybe I can challenge you to give me the scientific standards Mr. Randi and others are using to test claims like supernatural powers? I'm to lazy to look it up myself

The person making a claim has to state clearly what it is that he can do that he wants tested for the million dollar prize. Then a double blind test is developed to test it. The claimant has to be completely happy with the protocol before the rtest begins.
The psychic you mentioned in your anecdote is actually a dowser. Dowsers are the most tested of all paranoramal claimaints and they have always failed the double blind test. If you are really interested, the best test of dowsing (or divining as it is called here) was done right here in Australia in 1980 by the Australian Sceptics in collaboration with James Randi. Here is a link to a report on the test:
http://www.skeptics.com.au/articles/divining.htm

Here is a link to the video:
http://video.google.com.au/vid...=en&emb=0
(Sorry for the humour, it is an entrenched Australian trait born out of our convict past. No disrespect is intended)
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The above video link is wrong
written by BillyJoe, February 06, 2009
Here it is:
http://video.google.com.au/vid...l=en&emb=0
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That video link is still wrong
written by BillyJoe, February 06, 2009
I'll try once more:
http://video.google.com.au/vid...mb=0&aq=f#

If the link still doesn't work google "james randi in australia"
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That last link works!
written by BillyJoe, February 06, 2009
Finally smilies/smiley.gif
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To Billy Joe
written by Espmell, February 07, 2009
You wrote:
So, what do you define as "scientific proof"?

Well, that's what I'm asking you about. I'm the one believing there might be things on earth we can't scientifically prove, you're the ones saying things has to be scientifically proven, if else it doesn't exist/ isn't true. Therefore it's your task to set the standards for a scientific test, or find out internationally accepted standards, or accepted by the most amazing Mr. Randi, the King smilies/wink.gif

By the way, I was told to find the definition of amazing, so apparently someone in here is using the word without knowing the exact definition.

I don't expect you to be convinced by my personal experiences. I'm not lying and the story is based on my fathers memory, and if you knew my father you would know he's not a person lying nor likely to "add" to his story as years go by. BUT, I know the danger of mis-remembering, embellishing and exaggerating facts, being aware of it or not. I'm probably above average interested in the subject, usually in the context of examining witnesses to a crime or UFO witnesses. Have seen a lot of programs on the subject with proofs of how unreliable peoples memory can be. Sometimes it was really scary.

It's highly unlikely the psychic had been given the property plan or found a way to obtain it. The decision to call him came while drilling and wasn't planned, because they expected to find water easily. But of course, it might be a conspiracy between the psychic and the drilling company, not very likely but it CAN happen, therefore it's not valid as proof. on the other hand I'm not a fan of rejecting claims like this by saying unlikely things like it was a conspiracy as stated above, the psychic rented a helicopter and flew over the area without us seeing it, he had the property plan etc etc. That's what mostly pisses me off in discussions like this. I make a claim that is highly unlikely because if it's correct it means psychics or ghosts exist. Then people reject these claims and explains what happened to me with, in their mind, natural explanations which in my opinion is as unlikely as my claim it was a ghost, to use one example.
By the way, the drilling company really struggled to find water before they called the guy, so even if most of the planet consist of water within reach of drilling, they had serious problems at my home.

Another example I have is something that happened at work. I left my bedroom door (which is always locked because it's a rehab for drug addicts) wide open and went into the room next door (kitchen) to eat breakfast. I sat there for 10 minutes eating. didn't hear a sound, no one but me was in the house, no one came into the house during those ten minutes. After eating I was supposed to go back to my bedroom but when I came to the door it was closed....and, you guessed it, locked. It actually locked my keys inside the room so I had to go to a colleague of mine in another building and borrow her keys to get into my bedroom again. The place is an old farm and if I add my experience to all other experiences 7-8 different people have had during the last year it makes me think something out of this world is happening.

I'll check your link later ( the one that works smilies/wink.gif)

By the way, I spent three years studying in Australia so I feel half Australian smilies/smiley.gif
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By the way
written by Espmell, February 07, 2009
I'm looking at some videos on the net of James Randi exposing amongst others, Uri Geller and James Hydrick ( what a joke) Today I don't think anyone looks at those two as being the top psychics in the world. This is at most magic tricks labeled as psychic powers. ridiculous!

What I wish would happen was if James Randi could join the TV show "The hunt for the sixth sense" on the Norwegian channel TVNorge and consider the tests the participants go through and the results of the test.

Lets give an example;

If we placed a self claimed psychic in the middle of the woods and within a radius of 1 kilometer hid another guy under a tree or even digged a whole under that tree and put him into it to really make sure he couldn't be seen. Then told the psychic to find the hidden guy within 15 minutes. Do you think James Randi would have accepted that as a valid scientific test and given him 1 million dollars if he found the guy?

By the way Billy Joe, I've seen your video before. I think that was a fair test of those alleged powers. The only thing a reacted to was the distance between the pipe lines. I would think it would be more fair if there was a greater distance between them but it might not have made any difference.

Another thing. If the psychics accepts the way the test is conducted is that automatically an evidence that they don't have those abilities if they fail the test? Are they competent enough to evaluate the validation of the test testing their own abilities?
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to Epsmell
written by trixie, February 07, 2009
Hi there! This example of yours - would it be fair if the psychic ranked his succes-rate, or at least gave an estimate of how many times out of ten he usually finds hidden people? This would then represent the hypothesis - hypothetically this psychic would find people hidden in the forest x out of 10 times. Then the experiment could go as follows; the psychic, his friend of choice (perhaps another psychic?), you and I would each go out in the forest - or even better -in different forests - ten times each, using a preagreed amount of time, searching for a person in the way each of us tends to think is most efficient/gives the highest probable result.

The findings could then lead us towards a theory. The theory would either be something based upon the results vs the hypothesis. Still - to ensure that the findings were scientifically correct, the experiment would have to be conducted again, and produce the same results. Then there would be what science calls evidence. It might be, given that the psychic finds the person 5-7 times out of 10 and the rest of us fails to do so, that the theory could be that the psychic does something, or senses something or has some force that is helpful in finding people in forests. Then one would have to start makeing theories on what this is, and conduct experiments that would seek the answers as to what...and so on. So, no. Finding one person dug down isn't proof. Thankfully, science is fairly strict as to what it calls evidence...

What mr Randi and other skeptics really would love, is for some unidentified force to evidentically be present, so it could be analyzed, understood, and used for the better of all. Like electricity...
What skeptics don't like, is alledged forces or powers that denies to undergo the same quality-control as we demand that our vitamins and most foods undergo - and that the alledged bearers of these powers are so mean towards mankind that they rather keep the "powers" to themselves than help to find the "formula" if you like. And even worse, some "bearers of powers" downright prey on other people.

Skepticism is not denying forces/energies/powers/dimentions/spirits per se. Skepticism is not accepting such things until they can be proved, until there is evidence. Skepticism is to find the questions that must be answered, and the tools to measure with, and not swallow until you know whats in your mouth. And as for Randi - I'm convinced he would be overjoyed if there was to be proof for some of the astonishing things people claim to have seen/done/heard/experienced.... Me too.
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To Trixie
written by Espmell, February 07, 2009
Thanks for a good answer smilies/smiley.gif

I'll first explain what I'm referring to. Everyone is allowed to participate in the series, but of course they are looking for people claiming they might have psychic powers. There's initial rounds where the participants have to go through certain tests, Then the 10-12 best from the initial rounds becomes participants in the main competition. Then every week they go through different tests and they get point for correct answers etc etc. These tests are, amongst others:
- 20 similar cars are standing in a parking lot, one guy is hidden in one of the cars and they have to find him, pick the right car.
- Blindfolded they are placed in a specific car and they have to tell what's special with that car. In this case the car was the car being hijacked in one of Norway's most known plane hijack and murder cases.
- Blindfolded they are transported to a place in the middle of the forest and are asked to tell what have happened here. I think two of the participants were able to see there had been a plane accident, one of Norway's biggest plane accidents. they also came up with quite detailed information about the crash.
- They have to talk to a person on the phone and without any more information find out where that person is. In this case I think one of them correctly described the building that person were inside.
-They are standing on a grave and is also given an item hidden inside a bag. Then they have to tell what happened to this person and what is the item in the bag. One of the guys got a strange feeling around his neck and thought the person in the grave had been beheaded. He also saw fire and got a metal like taste in the mouth. he also thought the item in the bag had some religious connection, he said something else that turned out to be correct but I don't remember what. It turned out the one in the grave was norway's first publicly executed woman, by beheading. She was charged with murder after setting fire to a house with two persons inside. She also poisoned a guy using arsenic (gives a metal like taste in the mouth)

in addition there was many other great examples.

keeping in mind this is television and they might have cheated in any way, I find these tests quite amusing and the results are quite stunning, even though many of them also failed miserably in some of the other tests. An example is that one woman, sitting in the car connected to the hijacking case, thought she was sitting in Petter Solberg's car, the famous Norwegian rally driver. Soooo close smilies/smiley.gif

Even though they failed many of the tests I have no idea how they were able to pass the tests were they succeeded. I don't know if anyone knows how hard it is to find people deep into the forest, even if they are not hidden. Don't trust my memory 100% because the show was one year ago but I'm quite sure that they also used a professional rescue dog in that test and at least one of the psychics found the hidden man faster than the dog.
Come to Norway and I can do the same test with you. I can go hiding within one kilometer and you can try 100 times to find me. I'm quite confident you wont find me ever.
I wish that the TV channel could do the experiment you're describing. Let the psychic do it ten times and get ten other people to do the same. I'm quite confident the psychic would win the challenge.

The rest of your post I agree with, but i honestly don't think Mr. Randi wants someone to prove psychic abilities no matter what he's saying.

One of the guys participating in the show was a great guy who never understood his own abilities. He joined the show cause he was curious. He said he had no idea what was going on and found it quite frightening how he could come up with the right answers to some of the tests. He had no idea what he was doing. he just did it. I wish and think that he would be willing to test his abilities for Mr. Randi. If he failed I think he would just laugh and say; well well, I failed miserably but it was fun trying it. I find some of the guys participating in the TV show to be different to Uri geller and the other guy I mentioned in an earlier answer. These guys are just ordinary people wanting to test abilities they for some reason think they possess. Most of them are not making money of it, the funny guy i wrote about above is writing books for children.
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written by Rogue Medic, February 07, 2009
ESPmell,

I'm looking at some videos on the net of James Randi exposing amongst others, Uri Geller and James Hydrick ( what a joke) Today I don't think anyone looks at those two as being the top psychics in the world. This is at most magic tricks labeled as psychic powers. ridiculous!


Until they were exposed by Randi, they were considered to have supernatural abilities. That they are largely ignored now, is due to Randi. Amazing.

The best way to explain all of the examples that you give is to keep it simple. The simple explanation is coincidence. If enough people try something, some of the blind squirrels will be expected to succeed, but it is only an example of coincidence. It is to be expected. It is not Amazing.

Evolution works by the same principle of coincidence. No supernatural power. Eventually, things will work out, purely by coincidence, in a way that appears to be by some sort of intelligent design, or supernatural power.

No magic is required.
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To Espmell
written by BillyJoe, February 07, 2009
You said:

I hereby challenge people to find scientific proof that James Randi is amazing
.

Before we can actually accept the challenge we have to know exactly what it is you are challenging us to do. We need to know what you mean by "amazing" and "scientific proof".
You have lifed the definition of "amazing" out of the dictionary and I'm sure everyone is happy with that. But you have still to define what you mean by "scientific proof". How can we accept your challenge if you don't tell us exactly what you expect us to do. The ball is still in your court.

I'm not lying and the story is based on my fathers memory, and if you knew my father you would know he's not a person lying nor likely to "add" to his story as years go by. BUT, I know the danger of mis-remembering, embellishing and exaggerating facts, being aware of it or not...Have seen a lot of programs on the subject with proofs of how unreliable peoples memory can be. Sometimes it was really scary.

I don't understand how you cannot see the conflict or contradiction between what you said before the BUT and what you said after it.
And now, it seems, we have a second person report which is even more unreliable that a first person report.

That's what mostly pisses me off in discussions like this. I make a claim that is highly unlikely because if it's correct it means psychics or ghosts exist. Then people reject these claims and explains what happened to me with, in their mind, natural explanations which in my opinion is as unlikely as my claim it was a ghost, to use one example.

The only problem here is that the "natural explanations", no matter how unlikely, are known to actually happen from time to time. Somewhere, someone has been fooled by such a scam. On the other hand, there has never been shown that dowsers can successfully dowse for water and plenty of evidence that they cannot do this. And there is no natural explanation for how dowsing could possibly work.
So, if I was asked to choose between a supernatural and a natural explanation...

I left my bedroom door...wide open and went into the room next door...to eat breakfast. I sat there for 10 minutes eating, didn't hear a sound, no one but me was in the house, no one came into the house during those ten minutes. After eating I was supposed to go back to my bedroom but when I came to the door it was...locked. I'd actually locked my keys inside the room...

Well, it's either a ghost, or there is a natural explantion. There are any number of natural explanations (I can think of about a dozen off the top of my head). But ghosts have never been shown to exist. Also ghosts are claimed to be invisible and, therefore, immaterial and there is no explantion for how an immaterial being could interact with matter to lock the door.
I know your mileage is different, but I'm going for a natural explanation - unless and until someone proves the existence of ghosts and explains how an immaterial ghost could possibly interact with matter.

regards,
BillyJoe
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To Espmell
written by BillyJoe, February 07, 2009
Television and Psychics

Television shows are a poor way to demonstrate paranormal phenomena. They did one recently in Australia, called "The One". They are all available as youtube videos. The psychics were absolutely hopeless in my opinion. One week one of them would seem to succeed and the rest fail and the following week one of the others would seem to succeed and the rest fail. Television shows are for ratings and they are not interested in showing psychics failing because that's poor for ratings. The bulk of the results are edited out and what's left looks impressive to the un-initiated (on the other hand, I was totally unimpressed even with the heavily edited result)

The Water Divining Test

The only thing a reacted to was the distance between the pipe lines. I would think it would be more fair if there was a greater distance between them but it might not have made any difference.

There could always be more distance between the pipes but the point is the dowsers themsleves were completely happy with the setup and dowsed successfully when they knew which pipe had the water running through it.

If the psychics accepts the way the test is conducted is that automatically an evidence that they don't have those abilities if they fail the test?

No. As James Randi said at one point in the video, it only means that these particular dowsers failed these particlar tests on that particular day. But the tests have been repeated many times with different dowsers and different test conditions and never has there been a postive result.
Science cannot prove there is no dowser alive today, it can only make this increasigly unlikely as dowsers continue to fail tests of their claimed abilities.

Are they competent enough to evaluate the validation of the test testing their own abilities?

Good point. They have no experience in designing scientific tests - which is probably why they think they have these powers (because they have never tested them scientifically)
But, again, their dowsing rods seemed to detect the water when they knew which pipe had the water flowing in and failed when they didn't. What do you conclude from this?

regards,
BillyJoe
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