James Randi Educational Foundation Names New President PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by JREF Staff   
Monday, 07 December 2009 10:00

December 7, 2009

James Randi Educational Foundation Names New President

Fort Lauderdale, FL - The James Randi Educational Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of noted skeptic organizer D.J. Grothe as the JREF's new President. Grothe will succeed Dr. Philip Plait, who is leaving to pursue an opportunity in television.

Grothe joins the JREF following a 10-year career at the Center for Inquiry, where he most recently served as Vice President and Director of Outreach Programs. In his role at CFI, Grothe helped establish a robust grassroots program encompassing a network of 26 North American branches of the Center, as well as 180 affiliated skeptical and freethought campus groups.  Formerly a professional magician, he has also hosted the popular radio show and podcast Point of Inquiry since 2005, exploring the role of science and skepticism in society.

Ask The Skeptics: The Cottage Ghost, Global Warming PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   
Sunday, 06 December 2009 17:31

(Editor's Note: If you wish to contribute a question to Ask The Skeptics, please write an email to Swift@Randi.org. Questions may be edited for brevity, and frequently asked questions may be edited together so that the resulting query is representative. All questions shall be published anonymously. If you have an answer for this week's questioners, please supply it below.)


Dear Swift:

My mother has always been a hard-headed realist. (She does attend Methodist church off and on, but that's more a matter of upbringing than anything else.) She is a stubborn, no-nonsense lady and a hard worker, and she's always kept her wits about her. She is also twice-widowed - the first time when my father died in 1976 (sudden heart attack), and again when her second husband, Rupert, died in 2007 (another heart attack). Mother is 74 now and just beginning to slow down, and I'm concerned about a habit she's developed since Rupert's death.

The Sheldrake Kerfluffle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 21:27

A week and a half ago, we published a request for information regarding some quotes attributed to James Randi in a letter sent to Skeptic. (That's the English one, edited by Chris French, rather than Michael Shermer's American publication.) The letter was from Rupert Sheldrake, the éminence grise of "morphic fields" and psychic canines, and it's scheduled for publication in Skeptic's next issue. Thanks to a handful of good friends with impeccable record-keeping habits, we now have Sheldrake's infamous source document in our possession. The quote in question:

Becoming an expert is a pretty simple procedure; tell people you're an expert. After you do that, all you have to do is maintain appearances and not give them a reason to believe you're not.

The quote was culled from a handout distributed at a seminar at The Amaz!ng Meeting 3, entitled "Communicating Skepticism to the Public." It's accurate, as far as that goes. But Randi didn't write it.

Crocopetard PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martin A. Lessem, J.D.   
Thursday, 03 December 2009 11:48

For the past few years, anyone who has been following the Creation vs. Evolution debate has come across the comment by Kirk Cameron, made on the The O'Reilly Factor, that there are no "transitional forms." His exact quote, which demonstrates his general misinformedness as to how evolution actually works, was:

"Plus, Darwin said in order to prove evolution, which is the number one alternative to God, you gotta be able to prove transitional forms. One animal transitioning into another, and all through the fossil record and life we don't find one of these. A croco-duck. There's just nothing like it. There is no one animal transitioning into another"

Not so fast, Cameron. The croco-duck has been found.

Last Week In Science-Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by Harriet Hall, MD, The SkepDoc   
Monday, 30 November 2009 16:45

Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.

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