James Randi, magician and professional skeptic has, for many years now, offered a million dollar prize for anyone who can prove paranormal powers. There are certain restrictions and limitations and a long list of rules. So far no-one has passed the challenge.
Skeptics claim that the fact no-one has been able to claim the prize indicates a very low probability that there is any truth in any paranormal claims. Of course, Randi has his detractors, some of who claim that the challenge is rigged to make it impossible for anyone to win.
Outside the million dollars, Randi has exposed so-called psychics such as Peter Popoff (Randi demonstrated that Popoff and his wife used microtansmitters) and Uri Geller (Randi demonstrated that Geller’s psi powers were simple parlour tricks).
Recently, Randi well known psychics James Van Praagh and Allison DuBois to step up and take his challenge. So far, they have not responded. However, according to CBC, Toronto psychic Nikki will rise to the challenge.
Nikki said she would first need to learn more about the details
of the test and the $1-million prize before agreeing.
“I don’t like skeptics,” Nikki said. “They not only put psychics down, they put everybody down. They don’t know enough about predictions.”
I guess I qualify as a skeptic, I know nothing about predictions except they either come true or they don’t. Unless they are vague enough to be guaranteed.
But Nikki said her track record of predictions over the past 20 years validates her abilities, which, according to her website, includes prognosticating the Sept. 11 attacks, the Japan tsunami and the deaths of Michael Jackson, crocodile hunter Steve Irwin and Anna Nicole Smith.
Her predictions for the past few years are available on her website. Of course, if you make enough guesses, you are bound to get some right, especially if they are in the nature of
- More UFO sightings,
- A disease around maple trees
- An explosion at an American Airforce base
- Sex scandal around a famous political person in Washington, DC, USA
Those are the tough ones. Some of her other predictions for 2011 are:
- Polar bears and penguins moving south due to global warming (together?)
- Two subways will collide head on in New York City
- Parts of the polar ice cap will melt (that must have been a strain)
- The world’s first brain transplant (!!!!)
Somehow, I don’t see her walking away with the million.
I will predict that we will not see a big name psychic such as Van Praagh or DuBois go after the prize. They have to much to lose and nothing to gain by taking the challenge. They know they can’t win, so there will be no money; and being exposed as fakes will hurt their brand. Can I collect my million now?