HomeSkepticism

by Claus Larsen

September, 2003
By now, most people should be aware of the James Randi Educational Foundation's Million Dollar Challenge. A tireless advocate of critical thinking and skepticism, James Randi offers the prize, which will go "to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event."

That should be easy, considering not just the money, but also the vast, positive impact on humanity. But, although this is a fantastic offer, nobody has yet won it. Some try, all fail, and for the same reason: They cannot do what they claim to do.

But wait. There's more.

Lot's more!

By the combined offers of skeptical organizations all over the world, it is possible to cash in no less than

$2,326,500!

Strangely enough, some of these people, when offered money, turn it down for various reasons. One of them is that the money is "tainted", has "bad karma", and "negative waves". Another is that they are not interested in money themselves, so why should they take these challenges?

Why indeed?

What can you do with a mere $2,326,500, in this day and age?

Well, you can buy a Lamborghini, a really nice 2-bedroom co-op on the Upper East Side, Manhattan, or a few crates of caviar. You can go on a whopping shopping spree that would leave Ivana Trump positively green with envy.

Or, you could...

It is hard to believe the claims of those who say they have paranormal powers, that is true. But it is even harder to believe that not one psychic, clairvoyant, dowser, astrologer, tarot-reader, crystal-bowl reader or what-have-you "feels" like doing what they claim to be able to. Even if they could do so much.

Why, indeed?

Red Cross

National Honor Society

United Way International

Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation

Editor's note: Thanks to JimTheBrit for supplying the data.