Otterbein Physics Blog

News And Psuedo-Random Blurts from the Otterbein University Physics Department

James Randi (1928-2020)

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James Randi

I somehow missed the news of the passing of James Randi on October 29, 2020, at age 92. Randi had something of a formative influence on me when I was in high school and college. He was a professional magician who turned to debunking pseudoscience of all kinds — ESP, faith healing, psychics, etc. Along with Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, and Martin Gardner (a long-time columnist at Scientific American who wrote a column on recreational mathematics) he founded the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry in 1976. For many years he offered $1M to anyone who could demonstrate a supernatural ability under actual scientific controls. No one ever succeeded in claiming the prize.

I saw him speak once, though I can’t for the life of me remember where…

His main message: “Don’t be too sure of yourself. No matter how smart or well educated you are, you can be deceived.”

Written by David Robertson

December 4th, 2020 at 11:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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