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Point of Inquiry to Continue with New Hosts PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by D.J. Grothe   
Monday, 01 February 2010 16:00

Our friends at CFI have announced that Point of Inquiry will continue, which is good news — I would have been deeply saddened to see it cancelled due to my moving onto the JREF. We are also told that all of the previous 200+ episodes that I hosted will continue to be made available.

Point of Inquiry will proceed with three new hosts: Chris Mooney, Karen Stollznow, and Bob Price, all three friends and colleagues of mine in skepticism and humanism. While I had offered to continue hosting Point of Inquiry gratis, because I knew the value of the show for advancing CFI's important mission, CFI's management decided it wasn't the best business decision for them to have the President of a separate organization hosting the show.

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Jurassic Farce PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Sunday, 31 January 2010 14:10

We've seen claims that people coexisted with dinosaurs. In fact, some say Jesus may have even ridden a dinosaur. And while anyone who is at all interested in science can laugh at such claims, some new evidence has just appeared on the scene. It's not evidence of humans and dinosaurs; it's even better. 

It's Jurassic Bigfoot.

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Randi Responds to the Arrest of James McCormick PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Saturday, 23 January 2010 09:06

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.

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Hal Bidlack on CBS News Video PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 00:00

halcbs

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.

 
Fault Line: Why Pat Robertson and his boosters are either ignorant, racist, or both. PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 11:44

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.)

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